The 'Book Review

MacBook Goes Santa Rosa, Seagate SATA Drive Alert, WD's Quiet 320 GB Notebook Drive, and More

This Week's Mac Notebook News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2007.11.02

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. iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV news is covered in The iNews Review.

News & Opinion

Tech Trends

Products

Software

Bargain 'Books

News & Opinion

Apple Updates MacBook with Santa Rosa Chipset

Apple StoreOn Wednesday evening Apple, in one of its inexplicable "stealth" product updates, released a "Revision D" 13" MacBook with an upgrade to Intel Santa Rosa CPUs. Also very welcome is a video support upgrade to the Intel GMA X3100 integrated video chip from the previous GMA 950 unit. The processor chip upgrade puts the MacBook closer to the MacBook Pro line, which has had Santa Rosa power for some time, although the MacBook Pro's real graphics processor and dedicated video RAM still gives it a big edge, especially for graphics, video, and gaming performance. (The new GPU uses 144 MB of system memory vs. 80 MB with the GMA 950 GPU in older MacBooks.)

The revised MacBook model lineup includes:

2.0 GHz 13-inch MacBook (white)

  • 2.0 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
  • 1 GB memory
  • 80 GB hard drive
  • Intel GMA X3100 w/ 144 MB of DDR2 SDRAM
  • Combo drive
  • $1,099

2.2 GHz 13-inch MacBook (white)

  • 2.2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
  • 1 GB memory
  • 120 GB hard drive
  • Intel GMA X3100 w/ 144 MB of DDR2 SDRAM
  • Double-layer SuperDrive
  • $1,299

2.2 GHz 13-inch MacBook (black)

  • 2.2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
  • 1 GB memory
  • 160 GB hard drive
  • Intel GMA X3100 w/ 144 MB of DDR2 SDRAM
  • Double-layer SuperDrive
  • $1,499

MacBook Pro 2.6 GHz Upgrade Option

Apple now offers the option to upgrade the 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro portables with a 2.6 GHz Core 2 Duo processor (+$250) and 250 GB Serial ATA Drive (+ $150).

Damage Alert for 2.5" Seagate SATA Drives Made in China

Register Hardware's Tony Smith reports:

"Data recovery company Retrodata has challenged Apple to come clean about what it claims is a 'critical manufacturing flaw' affecting some hard drives used in MacBook laptops and desktops like the Mac Mini - an issue that could result in data loss.

"According to Retrodata, its customers have sent in a much higher number of failed Seagate 2.5in SATA drives made in China and loaded with firmware version 7.01 than of any other current hard drive model.

"'We're getting 20-30 times more failed drives of this kind than others,' Retrodata chief Duncan Clarke told Register Hardware."

"Some of the failures are attributable - indirectly - to Mac OS X's Safe Sleep feature. This copies the contents of a laptop's memory to the hard drive whenever the computer is put to sleep."

"Mac users can disable Safe Sleep...."

MacBooks Face Intel Chip Shortage

Macworld UK's Dan Nystedt reports:

"Taiwan's Asustek Computer complained on Tuesday of a shortage of Intel central processing units (CPUs) for laptops, but said it didn't expect the problem to affect its sales.

"'The biggest shortage in notebook components is in CPUs, Intel CPUs. Intel isn't meeting demand,' said Jerry Shen, president of Asustek, answering questions at an investors conference in Beitou, Taiwan.

"As well as manufacturing its own brand of computers in the Far East, Asustek also manufactures devices for other brands, including (according to some reports), Apple. An Intel chip shortage is unlikely to only be affecting one vendor."

Laptop Famine This Christmas?

Register Hardware's Tony Smith reports:

"Want a new notebook this Christmas? Then get your order in early. That's the message coming out of Taiwan, source of almost all of the world's laptops, from the big brands to the little-known names.

"Intel's operation on the island this week confirmed that demand for its laptop-oriented processors, Wi-Fi modules and chipsets - all part of its Centrino package - was running higher than expected, local newssite DigiTimes reports....

"Intel has apparently told notebook manufacturers that the supply of its products will become a lot less tight by the end of the year."

Tech Trends

OLPC Wants $200 for Its $100 Laptop

The Register's Lucy Sherriff reports:

"The $100 laptop, designed to save the children of developing countries from a world without technology, might have to be rebranded. The machine's price tag has now hit the $200 mark.

"Anyone feeling altruistic can purchase the machines in lots of 10,000 and say where they'd like them to be sent. Smaller donations can also be made, but for a higher cost of up to $299 per laptop. The extra cash will fund yet more laptops to be sent to the place OLPC deems neediest.

"But according to the One Laptop Per Child organisation, although the initial hope was that the machines could be built for $100 apiece, the build cost is now up to at least $175 or, according to Reuters, $188"

OLPC Wins Bid: Uruguay to Purchase 100,000 XO Laptops

PR: The One Laptop per Child (OLPC) Association, Inc., a nonprofit organization focused on providing educational tools to help children in developing countries "learn learning," announced today that LATU, the Laboratio Tecnológico del Uruguay (Technology Laboratory of Uruguay) has awarded OLPC a contract for the purchase of the first 100,000 XO laptop computers for a project including up to 400,000 units. Brightstar Corp., OLPC's exclusive global sales and distribution partner, was instrumental in helping OLPC win the competitive bid.

LATU, which is responsible of the CEIBAL Project (Conectividad Éducativa de Informática Básica para el Aprendizaje en Línea - Basic Informatics Educative Connectivity for Online Learning) and called for the tender, conducted a thorough technical evaluation of the laptops (the XO laptop from One Laptop per Child and the Intel Classmate) submitted by the two bid responders. The award was based on carefully developed evaluation criteria and not solely given to the lowest bidder or due to OLPC's unique hardware features

The CEIBAL Project will deliver the laptops to all schoolchildren and all teachers in public schools in Uruguay during 2007-2009. The project will also provide connectivity to schools, town buildings, and homes. The project has had a very successful school pilot with XO laptops in Villa Cardal, Uruguay.

"We are very much looking forward to the next phase of the CEIBAL Project and to bringing highly innovative education and an equal access tool to all school children in Uruguay," said Miguel Brechner, President of LATU. "The XO laptop's advanced features and functionality - including the out-of-the box mesh network, integrated camera and dual-mode display - are certain to delight the children of Uruguay and to kindle in them a deep passion for learning, creativity and self-expression."

"We're delighted that Uruguay has fully committed to the OLPC program," said Nicholas Negroponte, founder and chairman of One Laptop per Child. "We commend Uruguay for the being first country to take concrete actions to provide laptops to all its children and teachers and look forward to other countries following this example and using their due diligence to evaluate the opportunity."

About One Laptop per Child

One Laptop per Child is a nonprofit organization created by Nicholas Negroponte and others from the MIT Media Lab to design, manufacture and distribute laptop computers that are sufficiently inexpensive to provide every child in the world access to knowledge and modern forms of education. These XO laptops will be rugged, open source, and so energy efficient that they can be powered by a child manually. Mesh networking will give many machines Internet access from one connection. The pricing goal is $100.

The XO laptops will be sold to governments and issued to children by schools on a basis of one laptop per child. Starting November 12 and for two weeks only, individuals in the US and Canada will be able to participate in the Give 1 Get 1 program and for US$399 get a laptop while giving one simultaneously to a child in a developing nation.

Products

WD Ships Quiet 320 GB Scorpio Laptop Hard Drive

PR: WD Scorpio 2.5" drives offer high-performance, low power consumption and cool operation, making them ideal for notebooks and other portable devices.

WD Scorpio hard driveWD Scorpio delivers best-in-class performance with low power consumption and cool operation. In addition, you'll get one of the quietest 2.5" drives on the market with real-time data protection technology to help keep your data safe.

Key Features

  • Massive capacity - Whether they are in an external drive or a notebook computer, WD's 320 GB 2.5" drives offer the most available capacity for space-hungry operating systems like Windows Vista, plus plenty of room left over for photos, music, and video.
  • Fast and Efficient - With 5400 RPM spin speed and 12 ms access time, even the most demanding customer will appreciate the performance achieved by WD Scorpio drives.
  • Quiet - In a notebook drive, silence is golden. WD's exclusive WhisperDrive combines state-of-the-art seeking algorithms to yield one of the quietest 2.5" hard drives on the market. These algorithms also optimize the way a drive seeks for data, which significantly improves power consumption. So now silence (and longer battery life) is golden.
  • Reliable and Rugged - WD's ShockGuard technology protects the drive mechanics and platter surfaces from shocks. WD's SecurePark parks the recording heads off the disk surface during spin up, spin down and when the drive is off. This ensures the recording head never touches the disk surface resulting in improved long term reliability due to less head wear, and improved non- operational shock tolerance.
  • Tested for Compatibility - We perform tests on hundreds of systems and a multitude of platforms in our FIT Lab and Mobile Compatibility Lab to give our customers confidence that our drives will work in their systems.

2.5" SATA Hard Drives

  • 320 GB, 3 Gb/s, 8 MB Cache, 5400 RPM
  • High-performance
  • Low power consumption
  • Ultra-cool and quiet
  • Price: $199.99

Sonnet Offers MacBook Pro Users FireWire 800 ExpressCard Adapter

PR: Sonnet Technologies, announces the immediate availability of the Sonnet FireWire 800 ExpressCard/34 adapter for MacBook Pro computers and Windows notebook computers with ExpressCard slots. This Sonnet card enhances notebook computers' capabilities by providing support for the fastest FireWire multimedia peripherals through its dual, full-bandwidth ports.

FireWire 800 ExpressCardSonnet FireWire 800 ExpressCard/34 provides users the ability to connect additional FireWire 800 (1394b) peripherals, such as external drives and AJA Video Systems' Io HD professional video interface and conversion solution. The Sonnet adapter delivers the maximum data transfer speeds for the fastest multimedia devices, satisfying the high-bandwidth demands of video and pro-audio applications. This card works in ExpressCard/34 and ExpressCard/54 slots, supports all FireWire 800 and FireWire 400 (1394a) devices, and features hot-pluggable and hot-swappable device connection with automatic device configuration.

Sonnet FireWire 800 ExpressCard/34 Compatibility: MacBook Pro running Mac OS X Version 10.5

PC notebook computer with ExpressCard/34 or ExpressCard/54 slot, running Windows XP SP2 or Windows Vista (FireWire 800 speeds supported on Windows XP SP2, and expected with the release of Vista SP1)

Sonnet FireWire 800 ExpressCard/34 (part number FW800-E34) is available now with the suggested retail price of $99.95

iLugger Goes Leopard in Celebration of Apple's New OS Release

iLuggerPR: iLugger, a division of LTA Projects, announces their newest addition to their iMac case collection. In response to Apple's release of Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard on October 26, 2007, iLugger has come out with a line of cases just for the occasion. Celebrate the release of Apple's latest OS with a custom made Leopard print iMac iLugger! Same great craftsmanship and exceptional reliability, and more personal style! That's what you'll get when you purchase the new custom* 17/20 Inch Brown iMac Carrying Case with Leopard Print. Each 17/20 inch Brown iMac Carrying Case with Leopard Print comes with the same durability and protection as all other iLugger bags. Whether you're traveling around the world or around the corner, you'll receive high endurance and great performance every time, everywhere you go. Moreover, the iMac cases are designed to reduce the risk of tears or rips.

iLugger Spacious design with additional storage compartments on either side of the case. Great for storing keyboard, mouse, and power cable!

  • Hard plastic shield between foam and fabric to protect monitor
  • Removable shoulder strap with shoulder padding

While keeping the same great craftsmanship and exceptional reliability that iLugger customers have come to know and trust, these new bags come in brown or black and are equipped with a stylish, leopard-print patch representing the newest Mac operating system. These leopard cases are no kittens either, the iMac cases are created with durable nylon fabric to resist rips, tears and even water so your iMac will be protected in the toughest of conditions. These 17/20 inch iMac cases and are perfect for trips across campus, to and from the office or around the world.

Features:

  • Durable, Water-Resistant Nylon Construction
  • Heavy Foam Padding
  • Removable Shoulder Strap
  • Plastic Shield Between Foam & Fabric
  • Extra Handle For Support
  • Pockets on Both Sides of Bag
  • 90-Day Warranty
  • Removable Backpack Straps for Easier Carriage (select models only)

17/20 Inch iMac Carrying Case sells for $119.00

17/20 Inch Coffee iMac Carrying Case with Leopard Print sells for$189.00

TransIntl miniXpress portable FireWire Hard Drive

PR: miniXpress potable rugged yet stylish cases are made with Aluminum assuring durability, excellent heat dissipation and impact protection, keeping your high RPM SATA hard drive running cool and safe. The drive spin down function ensures efficient operation by automatically reducing power consumption. When the laptop or desktop system enter sleep mode, the miniXpress spins down to minimize power consumption. The hard disk spins up automatically when the host system wakes up.

minixpress hard driveminiXpress customized to give 2.5" SATA HDD users blazing SATA transfer speed and multiple interface connectivity options, the combo miniXpress offers a full spectrum of connectivity options with eSATA, USB 2.0, FireWire 800 and FireWire 400 ports with repeater functionality. The groundbreaking DuoLink eSATA/USB 2-in-1 IO connector (miniXpress 825 S &425 S) combines an eSATA and a USB 2.0 port into a single connector. The discreet, "error-proof" connector eliminates potential damage to the enclosure, by limiting the direction in which the eSATA or USB cable can be inserted.

miniXpress potable rugged yet stylish cases are made with Aluminum assuring durability and heat dissipation. Equipped with Anti Shock mechanism and Duale interface (F400/USB) makes miniXpress an ideal, versatile and economical solution for portable external storage. Utilizing the latest Oxford 934DS Hot pluggable and Bus powered technology feature allows the FireWire drives to be Plugged or Unplugged with out turning-off or restarting the computer. The drive mounts automatically when plugged in to the FireWire Port of the computer.

Software

Fan Control 1.2 for MacBook & MacBook Pro

PR: Do you think your MacBook (Pro) is running to hot? Give Fan Control a try then. Do you think your MacBook (Pro) is running to hot? Give Fan Control a try then.

Some MacBook (Pro) are just to hot for day-long use. Fan Control adjusts the minimum fan speed depending on the current CPU temperature. For safety, it leaves the original automatic fan speed control intact.

Fan Control is Open Source

Fan Control is distributed under the GNU General Public License (GPL). The sources are included in the download.

System requirements:

  • Mac OS X 10.4 or later,
  • MacBook

System support: PPC/Intel

Free

CoolBook 2.5 Monitors Core Duo CPU

PR: CoolBook is a program for the MacBook and MacBook Pro computers. It lets you monitor the frequency, voltage and temperature of the notebook. CoolBook is a tool for the MacBook and MacBook Pro computers. It lets you monitor the frequency, voltage and temperature of the Core Duo / Core 2 Duo CPU

Registered users can also change the frequency and voltage of the processor.

The "Santa Rosa" / LED MacBook Pro is only partially supported. Read the manual for more info.

For test results see <http://www.coolbook.se/testing.html>

New in version 2.5:

  • Added a larger "Leopard icon".
  • Fixed an issue affecting the activation/deactivation of CoolBook on OS X 10.5.
  • Updated documentation.

System requirements:

  • Core Duo MacBook Pro and MacBook.
  • Some support for iMac and Mac mini.

System support: Intel

$10 Shareware

For more information, visit:

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

An smaller selection than usual in all categories this week. cm

  • 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" 2.4 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $2,199
  • refurb 17" 2.16 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/120/SD, $1,999
  • refurb 17" 2.4 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $2,399

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" PowerBook G4/867, 256/40/Combo, $529.99 less $25 = $504.99
  • 12" PowerBook G4/867, 128/40/SD, $599.99 less $25 = $574.99
  • 12" PowerBook G4/1.5 GHz, 256/80/SD, $729.99 less $25 = $704.99
  • 15" PowerBook G4/400, 256/20/Combo, $549.99 less $25 = $524.99
  • 15" PowerBook G4/1.5 GHz, 512/80/Combo, $849.99 less $25 = $824.99
  • 15" PowerBook G4/1.5 GHz, 512/80/SD, $979.99 less $25 = $954.99
  • 17" PowerBook G4/1 GHz, 512/60/SD, APX, $999.99 less $25 = $974.99

Wegener Media - 14" WallStreet - 12" PowerBook - 15" MacBook Pro - 17" MacBook Pro

  • WallStreet PowerBook G3/233, 128/2/floppy, $99.99
  • WallStreet PowerBook G3/233, 128/2/CD, $119.99
  • WallStreet PowerBook G3/266, 288/2/CD, $159.99
  • 12" PowerBook G4/867, 256/40/Combo, $589.99
  • 15" 1.83 GHz MacBook Pro, 512/80/SD, $1,179.99
  • 15" 2.0 GHz MacBook Pro, 512/80/SD, $1,239.99
  • 15" 2.0 GHz MacBook Pro, 1 G/100/SD, $1,299.99
  • 17" 2.16 GHz MacBook Pro, 1/100/SD, $1,629.99
  • 17" 2.16 GHz MacBook Pro, 1/120/SD, $1,689.99
  • 17" 2.16 GHz MacBook Pro, 1/160/SD, $1,729.99
  • 17" 2.16 GHz MacBook Pro, 1/250/SD, $1,829.99

Power Max

Free ground shipping

  • open box 2.0 GHz Core 2 MacBook, white, 1 GB/80/Combo, $999
  • open box 2.16 GHz Core 2 MacBook, black, 1 GB/160/SD, warranty started, AppleCare eligible, $1,349
  • open box 2.16 GHz Core 2 MacBook, black, 1 GB/160/SD, $1,399
  • open box 15" 2.0 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 512/80/SD, warranty started, AppleCare eligible, $1,539
  • open box 15" 2.2 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/120/SD, $1,949
  • open box 15" 2.2 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $2,029
  • open box 15" 2.33 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/120/SD, $2,149
  • open box 17" 2.33 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $2,549
  • open box 17" 2.4 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $2,699
  • open box 17" 2.4 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, warranty started, $2,719

ExperCom

  • 12" iBook G3/700, 128/20/CD, AP, small crack, $249
  • 12" iBook G3/900, 256/40/Combo, AP, $399
  • 12" iBook G4/1 GHz, 512/40/SD, $599
  • 14" iBook G4/1 GHz, 128/60/SD, $579
  • 14" iBook G4/1.42 GHz, 512/60/SD, APX, $699
  • 15" PowerBook G4/500, 128/20/Combo, Scratch/Dent, $299
  • 15" PowerBook G4/550, 128/30/Combo, $349
  • 15" PowerBook G4/667, 512/30/SD, AP, $549
  • 15" PowerBook G4/1 GHz, 256/60/SD, AP, $599
  • 15" PowerBook G4/1.25 GHz, 1 GB/80/SD, AP, $699

Baucom Computers

  • 12" iBook G3/700, 256/20/Combo, $299
  • 12" iBook G3/700, 384/20/Combo, $309
  • Add AirPort for $69
  • 12" iBook G4/1.0 GHz, 512/30/Combo, $475
  • 12" iBook G4/1.0 GHz, 512/30/Combo, AirPort, $509
  • 15" PowerBook G4/1.25 GHz, 512/60/Combo, $595
  • Add AirPort for $69

PowerBook Guy

  • 12" iBook G3/500, 128/10/CD, $199.95
  • 12" iBook G3/500, 256/20/CD-RW, $239.95
  • 12" iBook G3/600, 128/20/CD, $219.95
  • 12" iBook G3/700, 256/20/Combo, $349.95
  • 12" iBook G3/800, 256/30/CD, $259.95
  • 12" iBook G4/1 GHz, 512/30/Combo Drive, $479.95
  • Pismo PowerBook G3/400, 192/6/Zip, $279.95
  • 14" iBook G4/1 GHz, 512/40/Combo, $529.95
  • 15" PowerBook G4/500, 256/20/DVD, $449.95
  • 15" PowerBook G4/800, 256/40/Combo, $599.95
  • 15" PowerBook G4/1.5 GHz, 512/80/SD, APX, BT, $949.95

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.

Join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or Google+, or subscribe to our RSS news feed

Links for the Day

Recent Content

About LEM Support Usage Privacy Contact

Custom Search

Follow Low End Mac on Twitter
Join Low End Mac on Facebook

Favorite Sites

MacSurfer
Cult of Mac
Shrine of Apple
MacInTouch
MyAppleMenu
InfoMac
The Mac Observer
Accelerate Your Mac
RetroMacCast
The Vintage Mac Museum
Deal Brothers
DealMac
Mac2Sell
Mac Driver Museum
JAG's House
System 6 Heaven
System 7 Today
the pickle's Low-End Mac FAQ

Affiliates

Amazon.com
The iTunes Store
PC Connection Express
Macgo Blu-ray Player
Parallels Desktop for Mac
eBay

Low End Mac's Amazon.com store

Advertise

Open Link