The 'Book Review

Titanium PowerBook to the Rescue, Laptop Component Shortage, 2007 'Book Performance Comparo, and More

This Week's Mac Notebook News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2007.08.10

This Week's MacBook, PowerBook, and iBook News

What to do when your MacBook Pro needs service? If you're Micah Walter, you dig out the old titanium PowerBook and continue to be productive.

MacSpeedZone has a comprehensive benchmark comparison of the May 2007 MacBooks and the June 2007 MacBook Pro models.

All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

General Apple and Mac desktop news is covered in The Mac News Review.

News & Opinion

Reviews

Products and Services

Bargain 'Books

News & Opinion

Homage to a Titanium PowerBook

O'Reilly.net's Micah Walter says:

"As you may have noticed I have been a little behind on my weekly blog submission. Well, I have a pretty good excuse. In the past couple of weeks I have had some serious computer problems. The fans on my MacBook Pro quit working, and the tropical temperatures here in Dominica were just too much for it to handle. So, laptop number one is out for repair. Then, just as I was getting ready to usurp my girlfriend's MacBook (and in the time between her downloading her pictures and the scheduled backup) her hard drive crashed.

"So, all of the sudden we found ourselves fresh out of Apples....

"Well, yesterday our new 250 gig hard drive showed up at fedEx....

"I had my father ship us the drive and my old Titanium PowerBook as well....

"It was kinda fun actually. My father had packed my old laptop in its original box, so it was like getting a brand new seven year old laptop. This old PowerBook and I have a great history together. It was my first Apple computer, and not only that, but the first computer I ever bought on my own . . . It really is a nice machine, and has served me well. I mean, it has never had a single issue, I have never had to repair it, and in the seven years or so since I bought it, I have only re-installed the OS twice, and one of those times was yesterday.

"The PowerBook isn't pretty anymore. The paint has chipped, and certain areas have yellowed. The screen resolution is pretty low, but hey, that means it's also very easy on the eyes! I keep trying to use the two-finger scroll feature on the trackpad, and if I sit at my desk with no shoes on, and my feet on our apartment's tile floor, the PowerBook's case still gives my wrists a low level shock!

"After spending the day reinstalling the two laptops, waiting for software updates to complete, and reassuring my girlfriend that her pictures and all of her files were safe and sound, I have to say I was enjoying my trip down memory lane...

"I mean, don't me wrong, I really like the Intel machines, and my MacBook Pro is finding its way into my heart at a rapid pace, but the Titanium PowerBooks were really wonderful machines. They were a great leap forward in design. They were durable and well made, small and sleek, and very very reliable. Kinda like an old Chevy.

"While I await the return of my MacBook Pro, I am really going to enjoy typing on this old keyboard...."

Editor's note: I really enjoyed reading this article, which also discusses booting from a USB drive and retrieving photos from a crashed hard drive. I can identify somewhat with the vicissitudes of repairing computers in out-of-the-way places. Dominica is several magnitudes more out-of-the-way than rural Nova Scotia, but I'm 50 miles from the nearest town and 150 miles from the nearest Apple reseller/repair outlet. You get resourceful by necessity. cm

Laptop Industry Hit by Components Shortage

The Register's Kelly Fiveash reports:

"Laptop computer makers are bracing themselves for a components shortage due to significant dents in the supply chain brought on by massive recalls and heavy demand.

"Semiconductor price tracker and electronics market researcher DRAMeXchange said the notebook industry was squeezed last quarter by a lack of key components including LCD panels, hard disc drives, batteries, and casings.

"Its outlook for the next quarter is even bleaker...."

Cool Down Your MacBook Pro

MacInstruct's Arbi Karamians says:

"I'm a member of a small group of individuals who believed they were falling victim to the now infamous MacBook Pro overheating problem. In hindsight, I now believe my false alarm was fueled more by the barrage of media reports concerning the issue than an actual problem. But I decided I was going to take some preemptive measures to counteract the looming problems I would face if I allowed heat to ravage my system. Since it was reported that the issue was of major concern, I took a variety of measures - some a bit more extreme than others.

"I understand that a majority of MacBook Pro owners have in some way resolved this issue, but I decided to write this article after a friend of mine asked me what I did when faced with similar problems. So here are some of the ways I battled the heat. I'll begin with the more conventional methods I used...

"The following instructions will make your Macs fans run faster and longer. It is very important to backup the files we are going to edit."

Reviews

2007 MacBook Pro vs. MacBook Performance Comparison

MacSpeedZone reports:

Machine - Power Mac

Score
in Seconds

Percentage
of Base

MacBook Intel - May 2007

Base Machine -
MacBook - 13-inch 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo - MB061LL

331

100%

MacBook - 13-inch 2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo - MB062LL

359

108%

MacBook - 13-inch 2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo - MB063LL

359

108%

MacBook Pros Intel - June 2007

MacBook Pro - 15-inch 2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo - MA895LL

365

110%

MacBook Pro - 15-inch 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo - MA896LL

400

121%

MacBook Pro - 17-inch 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo - MA897LL

398

120%

17" High Resolution MacBook Pro Suitable for Color Work

PCPro's Alan Lu reports:

"Apple's 17-inch High Resolution MacBook Pro wants to tap into the HD market, with its huge 1,920 x 1,200 screen. This has a high enough resolution to watch 1080p movies, and plenty of room for you to work on, too.

"Our test model's display had a matte, anti-glare finish but you can also choose to have a glossy coating. Surprisingly for Apple, this is available for free. The screen's one of the best we've seen. Our high definition test videos looked bright, sharp and detailed. Colours looked rich and were evenly lit. Transitions from one shade to the next in our greyscale and colour tests were remarkably smooth, so this notebook is suitable for colour-sensitive work, such as image editing.

"Considering the size of the screen, you might expect the MacBook Pro to be a huge beast that's difficult to carry around. While we wouldn't want it in a bag all day, at 3kg it's surprisingly light and easy enough to transport occasionally."

Products and Services

FreshBattery Legacy Batteries for G3, G4 'Books

PR: FreshBattery has introduced its new line of batteries for older laptop models. Each are guaranteed to meet or exceed the original capacity and most are value priced under $100.

Legacy units are available for the following Apple models:

  • Apple PowerBook G4 (15" Titanium) Series Legacy Power Battery
    14.8V, 4000mAh, LiIon, Model: FB1190
    $93.95
  • Apple iBook (12" Dual USB) Series Legacy Power Battery
    11.1V, 4000mAh, LiIon, Model: FB1196
    $87.95
  • Apple iBook (Original Model) Series Legacy Power Battery
    14.8V, 4000mAh, LiIon, Model: FB1197
    $84.95
  • Apple PowerBook G3 (Bronze Keyboard, FireWire) Series Legacy Power Battery
    11.1V, 5400mAh, LiIon, Model: FB1198
    $87.95
  • Apple PowerBook G3 Series (1998 Wall Street) Series Legacy Power Battery
    14.8V, 3750mAh, LiIon, Model: FB1199
    $89.95

BOOQ Laptop Bag, iPod Bag Closeout

BOOQ bagsPR: BOOQ is having a closeout sale on items for the iBook and PowerBooks. These premium products are brand new and are drastically discounted because of their sizing (not great for MacBooks).

All of the items below are listed as in stock as this news brief is posted, but several others have sold out, so don't tarry if you're interested.

  • PowerSleeve S90
    Compact laptop case for 12" laptops.
    Fits 12"PowerBook, iBook
    Laptop Compartment: 11.5"x9.75"x1.4" (292x248x36mm)
    $39.98
  • PowerSleeve XS
    Compact laptop case for the 12" PowerBook and iBook, and ultra-compact laptops
    Fits 12" PowerBook, iBook
    Laptop Compartment: 11.2"x9.1"x1.6" (284x231x41mm)
    $29.95
  • Vyper M
    Ballistic nylon-covered molded sleeve for the 15" PowerBook. Fits like a glove. Does NOT fit the MacBook Pro.
    Fits 15" PowerBook
    Laptop Compartment: 13.75"x9.5"x1.2" (349x241x30mm)
    $24.98
  • Vyper XXS
    Ballistic Nylon-covered molded foam sleeve. Fits the 12" PowerBook like a glove.
    Fits 12" PowerBook
    Laptop Compartment: 10.9"x8.6"x1.18" (277x218x30mm)
    $9.99
  • Venom mini, bianco
    Genuine nappa leather & luxurious suede iPod mini case
    Fits iPod mini
    Ships: In Stock! Ships within 24 hrs
    $0.99
  • Venom mini, biack
    Genuine nappa leather & luxurious suede iPod mini case
    Fits iPod mini
    Ships: In Stock! Ships within 24 hrs
    $0.99
  • Mamba S
    Vertical messenger bag for the 13" MacBook or 12" PC, and accessories.
    Fits 13" MacBook, 12" PowerBook, iBook, 12-13" PC
    Laptop Compartment: 13"x10.5"x1.6" (330x267x41mm)
    $64.98

zCover TypeOn Keyboard Skin for 15" and 17" MacBook Pro

zCoverPR: Turn your normal keyboard into a fully functional program editing keyboard

  • Washable
  • Durable
  • Dustproof
  • zPrinted
  • Unique in having pre-printed program icons on the cover
  • Turn your normal keyboard into a fully functional program editing keyboard
  • Not peel off or fade off
  • Snugly fitted to your keyboard
  • zCover silicone skin are crafted from non-toxic, durable high-grade silicone rubber. It is safe.
  • Ultra thin (0.6mm) skin touch feeling, durable,
  • Multicolor and glow-in-dark fashionable design,
  • Full shock-absorbing, tear-resistant protection,
  • Molded to specifically fit every point,
  • Removable easy on and off for cleaning,
  • Stays in place and does not shift around,
  • Washable - you can wash zCover silicone typeOn skin by hand. Make sure it's dried out before put it on your keyboard.

zCover on 15" and 17" MacBook ProAvailable for:

  • Apple Final Cut Pro: Pro, HD & Express - Compatible with all versions
  • Adobe Photoshop - Compatible with all versions
  • Adobe After Effects, versions 5 and above
  • Digidesign Pro Tools - Compatible with all versions

zCover TypeOn Keyboard Skin sells for $49.99

Bargain 'Books

Bargain 'Books are used unless otherwise indicated. New and refurbished units have a one-year Apple warranty and are eligible for AppleCare.

There are two different versions of WallStreet running at 233 MHz, the cacheless MainStreet version and the later Series II with a level 2 cache. It's not always possible to determine from the vendor's listing which is being offered, so we've included links within this paragraph to the two models. The same goes for the PowerBook G4/667 (VGA) and G4/667 (DVI), the titanium vs. aluminum 15" PowerBook G4 at 1 GHz, and 1.25 GHz to 1.5 GHz 15" PowerBooks.

PowerBook, iBook, and MacBook profiles linked in our Portable Mac Index.

Apple Store

Several more MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo models, both low and high-end, available this week, including a high-resolution screen 17" MacBook Pro, although at just $200 of the new pricew it's not a rip-roaring bargain. Same slate of MacBooks as last week. cm

  • refurb 1.83 GHz Core Duo MacBook, white, 512/60/Combo, $799
  • refurb 1.83 GHz Core 2 MacBook, white, 512/60/Combo, $849
  • refurb 2.0 GHz Core 2 MacBook, white, 1 GB/80/Combo, $949
  • refurb 2.16 GHz Core 2 MacBook, white, 1 GB/120/SD, $1,099
  • refurb 2.16 GHz Core 2 MacBook, black, 1 GB/160/SD, $1,299
  • refurb 15" 2.2 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/120/SD, $1,699
  • refurb 15" 2.33 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/120/SD, $1,899
  • refurb 15" 2.4 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $2,199
  • refurb 17" 2.33 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $2,199
  • refurb 17" 2.4 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $2,399
  • refurb 17" 2.4 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160 7200 rpm/SD, $2,599

PC Connection

  • 13" 1.83 GHz Core 2 MacBook, white, 512/60/Combo, $949 less $50 mail-in rebate = $899

TechRestore

TechRestore is offering a $25 discount to 'Book Review readers off any PowerBook or iBook in stock. Just enter the code CWM during checkout when ordering online. The coupon code is valid from now through 2007.12.31.

A lot of new selections and some significant price drops this week.

  • 12" iBook G3/600, 256/20/CD, $349.99 less $25 = $324.99
  • 12" iBook G3/700, 256/20/Combo, $419.99 less $25 = $394.99
  • 12" PowerBook G4/867, 256/40/Combo, $549.99 less $25 = $524.99
  • 12" PowerBook G4/1.5 GHz, 256/60/Combo, $799.99 less $25 = $774.99
  • 12" PowerBook G4/1.5 GHz, 256/80/SD, $849.99 less $25 = $824.99
  • 14" iBook G4/1.33 GHz, 512/40/Combo, APX, $599.99 less $25 = $574.99
  • 14" iBook G4/1.33 GHz, 256/60/SD APX, $699.99 less $25 = $674.99
  • 15" PowerBook G4/1.25 GHz, 1 GB/60/SD, one RAM slot, $699.99 less $25 = $674.99
  • 15" PowerBook G4/1.5 GHz, 512/80/Combo, $869.99 less $25 = $844.99

Baucom Computers

  • 12" iBook G3/500, 192/10/CD, $199
  • 12" iBook G3/600, 256/20/CD, $219
  • 12" iBook G3/700, 256/20/Combo, $299
  • 12" iBook G3/800, 256/30/CD, $289
  • 12" iBook G4 1.0 GHz, 512/30/Combo, AirPort, $515
  • 12" iBook G4 1.2 GHz, 512/30/Combo, AirPort, $559
  • 15" PowerBook G4/867, 512/40/SD, $579
  • Add Airport for $70

ExperCom

  • 12" iBook G4/1 GHz, 768/30/Combo, $549
  • 12" iBook G4/1.2 GHz, 512/30/Combo, AirPort, $599
  • 14" iBook G4/1.2 GHz, 768/60/Combo, AirPort, $649
  • 14" iBook G4/1.42 GHz, 512/60/SD, AirPort, $749
  • 15" PowerBook G4/1 GHz, 256/60/SD, APX, $849
  • 15" PowerBook G4/1.33 GHz, 512/60/Combo, $799
  • 17" PowerBook G4/1 GHz, 512/60/SD, AirPort, $759

Wegener Media

The PowerBook Guy

  • 12" clamshell iBook G3/300, blueberry, 64/3/CD, $169.95
  • 12" clamshell iBook G3/366, Key lime, 128/10/CD, $289.95
  • 12" iBook G3/500, 128/10/CD, $219.95
  • 12" iBook G3/500, 256/20/CD-RW, $279.95
  • 12" iBook G3/500, 256/10/Combo, $349.95
  • 12" iBook G3/600, 128/20/CD, $239.95
  • 12" iBook G3/600, 128/20/DVD, $299.95
  • 12" iBook G3/700, 256/20/Combo, $369.95
  • 12" iBook G3/800, 256/30/Combo, $379.95
  • 12" iBook G4/1 GHz, 512/30/Combo, AP, $579.95
  • 14" iBook G4/1 GHz, 512/40/Combo, AP, $629.95

We Love Macs

  • 12" iBook G3/500, 192/10/CD, $284.95
  • 12" iBook G3/700, 256/20/CD, $379.95

Custom Macs

  • 12" clamshell iBook G3/300, 64/3/CD, OS 9, $129.99
  • 12" clamshell iBook G3/300, 256/3/CD, OS X 10.3, $189.99

BetaMacs

  • 12" iBook G3/500, 128/10/CD, OS X, $209
  • 12" iBook G3/500, 128/30/CD, OS X, $279
  • 12" iBook G3/600, 128/30/CD, OS X, $329

For deals on current and discontinued 'Books, see our 13" MacBook and MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, 13" MacBook Pro, 15" MacBook Pro, 17" MacBook Pro, 12" PowerBook G4, 15" PowerBook G4, 17" PowerBook G4, titanium PowerBook G4, iBook G4, PowerBook G3, and iBook G3 deals.

We also track iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, iPod classic, iPod nano, and iPod shuffle deals.

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