The 'Book Review

Apple #3 in Laptops, 5 802.11 Options below $100, Dell's Color Laptops Not Available, and More

This Week's Mac Notebook News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2007.08.31

This Week's MacBook, PowerBook, and iBook News

All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

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

News & Opinion

Products and Services

Software

Bargain 'Books

News & Opinion

Apple Third in US Laptop Market

Wired's Charlie Sorrel reports:

"No surprise there - take a look around your local coffee shop and you'll see plenty of MacBooks and MacBook Pros. The continued rise of laptops against the desktop, along with some sweet looking and well priced notebooks has let Apple take 17.6% of the laptop market; that's one of every six sold. The numbers are for brick-and-mortar stores only, not taking online sales into account.

"The figures for June, released by market researcher NPD, put Apple in third place overall in the notebook market, behind Hewlett Packard and Toshiba...."

Apple Sells More than One in Six Laptops in US

Computerworld's Gregg Keizer reports:

"Apple Inc.'s share of the laptop market is growing - the company now sells more than one in every six laptops purchased in the U.S., a research firm said today.

"'Apple's definitely up,' said Stephen Baker, an analyst at Port Washington, N.Y.-based NPD Group Inc. 'Their sales are continuing to grow faster than the rest of the marketplace.'

"NPD, which collects its data primarily from retail sources and excludes most online and all direct sales, said Apple's MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops accounted for 17.6% of June's unit sales, an uptick of more than three percentage points from May's 14.3%...

"The market share increase pushed Apple past Gateway Inc. into third place on NPD's list of laptop sales leaders, behind Hewlett-Packard Co. and Toshiba Corp. Research firm IDC also has Apple in the third spot; data it released last month put Apple's share of U.S. sales at 5.6%, far behind leaders HP (28.4%) and Dell (23.6%) but tied with Gateway."

possible MacBook Lite renderingApple Cues Could Point to MacBook Lite

electronista.com reports:

"Apple may have already put in place several design cues that would make the frequently predicted Mac subnotebook a reality, well-known Japanese concept designer Isamu Sanada has pointed out through a new concept rendering. Nicknamed the 'MacBook lite'...."

Dell Laptops Not in the Pink After All

The Register's Kelly Fiveash reports:

"A customer poses the question: 'Dell, Dell, Dell, where art thou lovely electric pink laptop you bigged up a little while ago?

"'What's that you say? There's too much dust in the paint and so all you can give me right now is a, er, tuxedo black one.'

"Indeed, Dell's much-touted range of new colourful laptops, which were launched in a flurry of marketing publicity earlier this summer, have been hit by a manufacturing problem with the paint job which has led to a considerable shipment backlog.

"On the firm's official blog Direct2Dell, senior VP Alex Gruzen said: 'Right now, tuxedo black is the only colour that is consistently meeting our quality standards.'"

Products and Services

QuickerTek Delivers 5 High Speed 802.11 for under $100

Nano USBPR: QuickerTek has just extended its already extensive line of wireless Macintosh networking products with five new low-cost, high performance products, all under $100. All are 802.11 b/g/n compatible, meaning that they work with all Apple AirPort and other common wireless networking hardware.

These new wireless products include:

Nano USB is a small dongle that delivers 802.11b and g speed and range for only $49.95. This product can be used by PowerBooks, iMacs, and iBooks with USB and OS X. It's easy to use (no extra steps required) and still highly portable for mobile users.

nNano USBnNano USB is another small dongle that provides the highest performance 802.11n wireless networking to any Mac, PowerBook, iBook, iMac, MacBook, or MacBook Pro with USB. This product retains portability and ease-of-use. This USB 'n' product is available for only $59.95.

nQuicky PCInQuicky PCI is a PCI card for Power Macs, upgrading them to 802.11 b/g/n wireless. This PCI card comes with an external desktop tri-band antenna for improved range and performance for only $99.95. For all Power Mac G3, G4, and G5 models (excluding DDR2 memory G5s).

nQuicky PCMCIA CardBusnQuicky PCMCIA CardBus card that delivers 802.11b/g/n wireless for only $59.95. Ideal for PowerPC PowerBooks with an open PCMCIA slot that are running OS X. This little card automatically runs at the fastest speed possible when connecting to your wireless network. No extra steps, drivers, or other additional work are required to enjoy high speed wireless.

b/g Quicky CardBusb/g Quicky CardBus is a PCMCIA card for PowerBooks that provides 802.11g/b wireless networking performance. If you don't have the latest Apple AirPort Extreme Base Station and don't need 'n' networking just yet, then this $49.95 is exactly what you want.

These wireless networking upgrades are made to the same specifications as the Apple factory networking products. They work with all 802.11/b/g/n WiFi equipment including Apple AirPort, AirPort Extreme and the latest 802.11n version of AirPort Extreme, as well as wireless hardware from Linksys, Belkin and other popular brands found in wireless networks across the country.

Like most QuickerTek products, these 802.11b/g/n wireless upgrades are backed with a one-year warranty on parts and labor.

QuickerTek has been a recognized leading innovator of antennas and RF products for Apple Power Macintosh, Mac Pro, iMac PPC and Intel, PowerBook, MacBook and MacBook Pro computers. QuickerTek products can be purchased online and from authorized dealers.

Sonnet FireWire/USB 2.0 ExpressCard/34

Sonnet Combo FireWire/USB ExpressCard/34PR: Sonnet Technologies, a leader in upgrades and accessories for notebook computers and iPod digital music players, announces the immediate availability of the FireWire/USB ExpressCard/34 for Windows notebook computers with ExpressCard slots. This card will be also compatible with MacBook Pro computers upon release of Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard). ExpressCard is the expansion slot technology of choice in today's most popular notebook computers.

Sonnet's FireWire/USB ExpressCard/34 features one USB 2.0 and two FireWire 400 (1394a) ports and provides users the ability to hook up multiple peripherals at the same time, including printers, external drives, digital cameras, DV camcorders, scanners, iPod mobile digital devices, and more. Each port offers full-bandwidth data throughput. This card works in ExpressCard/34 and ExpressCard/54 slots, and features hot-pluggable and hot-swappable device connection with automatic device configuration.

FireWire/USB ExpressCard/34 Compatibility

  • PC notebook computer with ExpressCard/34 or ExpressCard/54 slot, running Windows XP SP2 or Windows Vista
  • MacBook Pro running Mac OS X Version 10.5 (expected to be released October 2007)

Available now with the following suggested retail price:

  • FireWire/USB ExpressCard/34 (part number FWUSB2-E34) - USD $69.95

Sonnet 21-in-1 Memory Card Reader ExpressCard/34

Multimedia Reader ExpressCard/34PR: Sonnet Technologies announces the immediate availability of its 21-in-1 Multimedia Memory Card Reader for ExpressCard slots. ExpressCard is the expansion slot technology of choice in today's most popular notebook computers.

Sonnet's 21-in-1 Multimedia Memory Card Reader ExpressCard/34 quickly moves files from memory cards to a notebook computer's hard drive, with no cables required. This handy device inserts flush inside a MacBook Pro or Windows notebook's ExpressCard slot so it can be carried inside the computer slot even when not in use. The Sonnet multimedia reader supports the most popular memory card formats used in digital cameras, cell phones, and other electronic devices, including Memory Stick, MMC (Multimedia Card), SD (Secure Digital), XD-Picture Card, and all their variations. This card works in ExpressCard/34 and ExpressCard/54 slots.

Multimedia Memory Card Reader ExpressCard/34 Compatibility

  • MacBook Pro running Mac OS X Version 10.4 or later
  • PC notebook computer with ExpressCard/34 or ExpressCard/54 slot, running Windows® XP SP2, or Windows Vista

Available now with the following suggested retail price:

  • Multimedia Memory Card Reader ExpressCard/34 (part number MMR-E34) - USD $29.95

Ergotron Neo-Flex Notebook/Projector Lift Stand

Neo-Flex Notebook/Projector Lift StandPR: Lift and tilt your notebook to eye level for better ergonomics and productivity. At home, make paying bills, searching the net or viewing photos easier by placing your screen where you can see it best. In the office, enhance productivity by pairing a notebook alongside an existing LCD to create a dual-display configuration. Get desktop computing comfort with notebook portability.

Got a projector? Don't bother with expensive ceiling installations, wobbly projector feet, or scrambling to stack books and materials. This one-of-a kind stand is built with lift and tilt capability for fast, easy setup and stable projector positioning.

The Neo-Flex Lift Stand was developed using Constant Force (CF) patentpending lift-and-pivot motion technology. With little effort, you can lift and tilt your notebook screen up to six inches (15 cm) or swivel it side-to-side.

Features

  • Smooth one-step lift and tilt functionality promotes true ergonomic viewing with Constant Force (CF) technology
  • Easy to use--simple installation and effortless operation
  • Excellent price performance
  • Width- and weight-adjustable design is compatible with most notebooks, with or without port replicator
  • Make group-viewing of family photos or the internet more enjoyable and easy
  • Lightweight and compact design enables mobility
  • Create a productive dual-display configuration by placing your notebook's screen alongside an existing LCD
  • Get the comfort of a full desktop computer system with notebook portability

Price: $54.99

Computer Times Names FreshBattery Editor's Choice

PR: Computer Times, one of the leading technology publications in the US, has given FreshBattery its Editor's Choice award in the battery category. FreshBattery, located in Irvine, California, is a reliable online source for built-to-order notebook computer batteries, offering healthy, long-life lithium ion batteries at competitive prices.

FreshBattery joins companies such as Samsung, Casio, Gateway and Verbatim as top products selected by the editors of Computer Times. A leading supplier of notebook batteries, FreshBattery is a one-stop source for batteries compatible with today's popular models including Apple, Dell, Gateway, HP-Compaq, IBM-Lenovo, Sony, Panasonic and Toshiba.

According to the magazine's editors, FreshBattery was put to the test when asked to send the editors a replacement for an old IBM ThinkPad R40 battery. Here's what the editors had to say:

"Their thoroughness and expertise immediately impressed us. While many battery supply places on the Internet have replacement batteries for the older ThinkPad laptops, and will let you simply add one to your shopping cart, FreshBattery understood that not all ThinkPad R40s used the same battery. We immediately received an e-mail that read, 'There are several different IBM R40 models. Would it be possible to get the exact model number so we can be sure to ship you the correct battery?' That message assured us that we were dealing with battery experts and not simply a battery supplier, many who sell refurbished batteries rather than new ones.

"The core features of a FreshBattery are freshness, quality, innovation, efficiency, and dependability. On each battery there is a 'born on' date to ensure you are purchasing a battery that is fresh and will provide maximum run time and battery life. Your battery will be brand new, built to order and never refurbished. Their battery cells are sourced directly from the leading Japanese and Canadian manufacturers and are never second-sourced. The battery packs are designed, assembled and tested in the USA with the highest quality cells. FreshBattery is ISO 9002 certified in their manufacturing process and the use of FreshBattery will not void any OEM warranty. This is especially important if you are purchasing a spare battery for your rather new computer.

"FreshBattery uses the most current lithium ion cells for your battery and, if you are using an older model computer, a FreshBattery can have a longer life than your original battery supplied by the manufacturer. This was the case for our IBM Thinkpad used in our testing. The battery sent to us by FreshBattery provided nearly 20% more time in a typical computing session than the original battery did when it was brand new. Every FreshBattery purchase is backed by a one-year warranty."

Software

SideTrack 1.5 Trackpad Driver for iBook, PowerBook, MacBook, and MacBook Pro

PR: SideTrack is a replacement driver for Apple MacBook, MacBook Pro, PowerBook and iBook trackpads. With SideTrack installed your standard trackpad becomes a powerful multi-button scrolling mouse.

Leave your external mouse at home and take full control over your trackpad:

  • Vertical scrolling at left or right edge of pad.
  • Horizontal scrolling at top or bottom edge of pad.
  • Map hardware button to left or right click.
  • Map trackpad taps to no action, left click, left click drag (with or without drag lock), or right click.
  • Map trackpad corner taps to mouse buttons 1-6 or simulated keystrokes.
  • Extensive control over accidental input filtering.

SideTrack is multiuser aware and fully compatible with MacOS X fast user switching (FUS). Every user on your laptop can have different settings depending on their needs.

SideTrack supports most Apple laptops, including MacBooks, MacBook Pros, PowerBooks and iBooks. For specific supported models please see the FAQ.

  • Extended control over the trackpad button and tap gestures. Use trackpad taps for left click, drag gestures, or right click. Complete scrollwheel mouse emulation with customizable scrolling speed. Place your scroll zones on either side of the pad, or both sides simultaneously.
  • Turn the corners of your trackpad into independent tap actions. Use the corner zones to emulate up to a 6 button mouse or generate custom keystrokes. Customize SideTrack's sensitivity and accuracy. Calibrate to your own trackpad style and adjust filtering to reduce accidental taps while typing. Choose from several mouse acceleration options.

System Requirements

  • Apple MacBook, MacBook Pro, PowerBook or iBook
  • MacOS X 10.2 (Jaguar), MacOS X 10.3 (Panther), MacOS X 10.4 (Tiger), or MacOS X 10.5 (Leopard)

New in version 1.5:

  • [FEATURE] Support October 2006 and later MacBook and MacBook Pro models. All current models as of August 2007 now supported.
  • [FEATURE] Preliminary compatibility with MacOS X 10.5 (Leopard).
  • [BUG] Improve compatibility of keystroke corner actions with non-English keyboard layouts.
  • [BUG] Improve USB trackpad decoding and noise filtering.

System requirements: Mac OS X 10.2 or later, supported MacBook, MacBook Pro, PowerBook or iBook model.

System support: PPC/Intel

$15 shareware

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

The 2.16 GHz MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo is the cheapest MacBook Pro offered this week at $1,499, 2.2 GB units are out of stock. but there are a gaggle of lower-speed Core Duo and Core 2 Duo MacBooks at $799 - $949. A high-resolution screen 17" MacBook Pro is available, although at just $200 off the new price, it's not a rip-roaring bargain. cm

  • refurb 1.83 GHz Core Duo MacBook, white, 512/60/Combo, $799
  • refurb 2.0 GHz Core Duo MacBook, white, 512/60/SD, $849
  • refurb 1.82 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 15" 2.16 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 1 GB/120/SD, $1,499
  • 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 hi-res MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160 7200 rpm/SD, $2,599

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.

  • 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 G4/867, 256/40/SD, $679.99 less $25 = $654.99
  • 12" PowerBook G4/1 GHz, 256/60/SD, $749.99 less $25 = $724.99
  • 12" PowerBook G4/1.5 GHz, 256/80/SD, $849.99 less $25 = $824.99
  • 14" iBook G4/1.33 GHz, 256/80/SD, $749.99 less $25 = $724.99
  • 14" iBook G4/1.42 GHz, 512/60/SD, APX, $829.99 less $25 = $804.99
  • 15" PowerBook G4/400, 256/20/Combo, $549.99 less $25 = $524.99
  • 15" PowerBook G4/1.5 GHz, 256/80/SD, $979.99 less $25 = $954.99

Baucom Computers

  • 12" iBook G3/700, 256/20/Combo, $299
  • 12" iBook G4/1.2 GHz, 512/30/Combo, AirPort, $515
  • 15" PowerBook G4/867, 512/40/SD, scratches/wear, $520
  • 15" PowerBook G4/867, 512/40/SD, $555
  • Add AirPort for $70

Wegener Media

  • 15" aluminum PowerBook G4/1 GHz, 256/60/Combo, $689.99
  • 15" PowerBook G4/1.25 GHz, 256/60/Combo, $749.99
  • 15" PowerBook G4/1.33 GHz, 256/60/Combo, $769.99

Power Max

Free shipping and $50 rebate on Power Max MP3 Sunglasses with the purchase of any new, used, or refurbished Mac.

  • open box 1.83 GHz Core 2 MacBook, white, 512/60/Combo Drive, warranty started, AppleCare eligible, free Dr. Bodelin laptop carrying case, $949
  • 2.0 GHz Core 2 MacBook, white, 1 GB/80/SD, $1,149
  • open box 2.0 GHz Core 2 MacBook, black, 1 GB/120/SD, $1,349
  • open box 2.16 GHz Core 2 MacBook, white, 1 GB/120/SD, $1,249
  • open box MacBook 2.16 GHz Core 2, black, 1 GB/160/SD, $1,449
  • open box 15" 2.16 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 1 GB/120/SD, $1,699
  • 15" 2.16 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 1 GB/120/SD, $1,749
  • 15" 2.16 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 1 GB/120/ SuperDrive, $1,749
  • 17" 2.33 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2/160/SD, $2,688

ExperCom

  • 12" iBook G3/700, 128/20/Combo, $249
  • 12" iBook G3/800, 128/30/Combo, white spots, $249
  • 12" iBook G3/900, 128/40/Combo, No FireWire, $279
  • 12" iBook G3/900, 128/40/Combo, Scratch and Dent, $329
  • 14" iBook G3/700, 640/30/CD, Screen Spot, $319
  • 15" PowerBook G4/500, 256/20/DVD, Scratch/ Dent, $349

PowerBook Guy

  • 12" clamshell iBook G3/300, blueberry, 64/3/CD, $129.95
  • 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 G3/600, 128/20/CD, $239.95
  • 12" iBook G3/800, 256/30/Combo, $379.95
  • 12" iBook G4/1 GHz, 512/30/Combo, APX, $549.95
  • Pismo PowerBook G3/400, 192/6/Zip, $349.95

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 more deals on current or recently discontinued models, see our MacBook deals, 15" MacBook Pro deals, 17" MacBook Pro deals, 12" PowerBook G4 deals, 15" and 17" PowerBook G4 deals, titanium PowerBook G4 deals, iBook G4 deals, PowerBook G3 deals, and iBook G3 deals.

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