Mac News Review

New iMacs Have 802.11n, Apple May Go AMD, Japan's PM Uses a Mac, a Germ Free Mouse, and More

This Week's Apple and Desktop Mac News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2006.09.29

Always looking ahead - it was Apple who made USB and 802.11b WiFi a hit - it looks like Apple is using a Broadcom chip in the new Core 2 iMacs that supports to draft 802.11n specification. And then there are rumors that Apple may adopt AMD CPUs at some point in the future.

Japan's new Prime Minister is a Mac user, Laplink has new software to help with Windows-to-Mac migration, and new mice include a germ free mouse and two ergonomic ones.

PowerBook, iBook, MacBook, and other portable computing is covered in The 'Book Review.

All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

News & Opinion

Reviews

Products

Software

Desktop Mac Deals

News & Opinion

Apple Using Draft 802.11n Wireless in New iMacs?

techdigest.tv reports:

"There are some interesting discussions around the Web at the moment which suggest that Apple may already be adopting the draft 802.11n wireless specification in its latest line of Apple iMac computers.

Broadcom 802.11n network adapter in iMac"We've already reported the coming 'iTV' from Apple next year, and speculated that it will contain the 802.11n next generation wireless specification, but it could be that the latest iMacs are setting the trend.

"Reports suggest that when the iMac is booted up into a pre-release version of Vista, the wireless card is reported as being a 'Broadcom 802.11n Network Adapter' This is possibly the same solution Dell and Acer were reported to be installing on their notebooks back in July."

Apple Equips iMac with Next-gen Wi-Fi?

The Register's Tony Smith reports:

"Do Apple's latest iMacs ship with an 802.11n Wi-Fi card? Photos of the Core 2 Duo-based all-in-one consumer computer certainly imply as much, but users will have to install and run Windows Vista to see it for themselves."

Apple May Use AMD 'in the Future'

Electronic News's Colleen Taylor and Suzanne Deffree report:

"According to a statement from financial firm Lehman Brothers, AMD's CEO Hector Ruiz made comments this week at a dinner in San Francisco indicating that Apple may use AMD processors in its products 'at some point in the future.'

"While Ruiz did not suggest that there were any talks currently between the companies, the firm said that he noted Apple would ultimately buy AMD chips."

Apple to Follow Dell and Offer AMD?

The Register's Tony Smith says:

"Apple is the new Dell. Yes, now that the PC giant has finally, after a decade of speculation, signed up to buy processors from AMD and end its Intel-only policy, we can now expect ten further years of similar rumours that Apple's about to adopt the Athlon too.

"Last week, AMD CEO Hector Ruiz indicated Apple 'wants choice'. The comment was pounced upon by numerous observers that Apple's going to introduce AMD-based Macs.

"'Why would they want to be held hostage like everyone else has been?' Ruiz asked an audience at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco.

"Well, presumably for the same reasons Dell wanted to be so bound for so long. But let's not forget Apple is - or, at any rate, has been - an AMD customer: it's used AMD embedded processors in some of its AirPort Wi-Fi base-station products for some time.

"A second item of 'evidence' was also presented last week: Parallel's virtualisation software for Mac OS X now supports AMD's Secure Virtual Machine (SVM) technology, aka 'Pacifica'."

New Japanese Prime Minister a Mac User

I thought outgoing Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi was refreshingly charming, wailing away on air guitar and doing a karaoke impression of Elvis on the front lawn of Graceland last summer, alongside a somewhat consternated George Bush.

Evidently Koizumi's successor and protege, Shinzo Abe, is a bit of a cool dude too (at least for conservatives like me), and, as AFP reports - a Mac-user to boot. - CM

AFP's Shaun Tandon reports:

"The 52-year-old, dubbed 'the prince' for his elite pedigree, became Japan's youngest prime minister on Tuesday, fulfilling at an early age the ambitions of his family which has advanced conservative causes for generations....

"About the most non-conformist aspect of Abe is pictures showing he prefers Macintosh to Windows computer systems...

"But Abe's calm, polite exterior belies a hawkish streak. In July, he stunned neighboring countries by openly mulling a theoretical pre-emptive attack on communist North Korea.

"He has also followed Koizumi's lead in appealing directly to the public rather than to backroom powerbrokers who traditionally call the shots in Japanese politics.

"One of his most passionate causes is revising the pacifist constitution, which was imposed on a defeated Japan by the United States in 1947, seven years before he was born into a leading political family."

Intel Offers $1m for a Viiv-based Mac mini Killer

The Register's Tony Smith reports:

"Intel will pay whoever designs what it reckons is the world's coolest living room computer $1m. Apple's Mac mini might be a candidate, but despite the appearance of VP Phil Schiller during CEO Paul Otellini's Intel Developer Forum - a first for the Mac maker - the contest is only open to Viiv-branded machines.

"They also have to be based on the Core 2 Duo processor."

Reviews

24" iMac 'a Great System'

"Apple's iMac grows up, and he's a big 'un. The 24-inch iMac is a great system for professionals and media junkies alike."

Mac mini Upgrade Disappoints

Personal Computer World's Cliff Joseph reports:

"We like the Mac mini. It's reasonably priced, virtually silent when running, and its ultra-compact design makes most SFF (small form factor) PCs look like a tub of lard. And yet we can't help being a little disappointed with this latest upgrade to the mini.

"When Apple chose to revamp the iMac range recently, it upgraded them from the Core Duo to the Core 2 Duo processor without any increase in price. In contrast, the Mac mini stays with the Core Duo and merely gets a minor speed bump from 1.66 GHz to 1.83 GHz.

"To be fair, you are still getting a small performance improvement at no extra cost, but we still can't help thinking that Apple could have been just a little bit more adventurous."

This review looks at the 1.83 GHz top-end Mac mini. Here at Low End Mac, we see the 1.66 GHz entry-level model as the great bargain - dual core 1.66 GHz for the same price as the single core 1.5 GHz model it replaced. Disappointing as the small increase is on the top-end model, we're anything but disappointed with the value of the new entry-level Mac mini. dk

Products

Germ Free Wireless Laser Mouse Protects Against Bacteria and Viruses

PR: IOGear's new Germ Free Wireless Laser Mouse is intended especially for medical offices, libraries, and schools as well as for mobile professionals, gamers, and desktop users. The special coating protects users from germs and viruses by neutralizing the harmful microbes on the mouse surface.

IOGear's Germ Free Laser Mouse is coated with a Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) and Silver (Ag) nano-particle compound. The coating uses two mechanisms to deactivate enzymes and proteins to prevent a wide spectrum of bacteria, virus, fungi, and algae from surviving on the surface of the mouse. The compound has been tested and proven effective against the settlement of harmful microbes on the insulated surface.

This new IOGear mouse uses VCSEL (Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser) as the light source, which provides 30x more tracking power than mice using an optical sensor. VCSEL allows the mouse to work on virtually any surface, even glass, and provides an extremely high resolution of 1600dpi, substantially reducing the amount of injury-producing hand and arm movement. IOGear's Germ Free Wireless Laser Mouse is USB ready, Plug-n-Play, and Hot Pluggable. It provides a 6 feet (2 meter) wireless range, and it is also backed by IOGear's 3 Year Limited Warranty.

Features

  • Advanced laser technology provides 30x more tracking power
  • Works on almost any surface, including glass
  • Nano-partical coating neutralizes 99% of all bacteria and viruses on the mouse surface
  • Safety approved. Heavy metail free, no skin irritation, non-toxic
  • Uses very little real estate on your workspace - needs only a few inches for accurate movement
  • Ergonomically contoured design for comfortable use
  • On/Off switch for power saving
  • Stylish carrying case included
  • 6 feet (2 meter) wireless range
  • Solid 3 Year Limited Warranty

Disclaimer: This device cannot be used as antibiotic or anti-viral medication. Do not ingest the surface material of the device under any circumstances. If you have symptoms of bacteria or viral infection please consult with your physician and seek medical attention immediately. This device does not eliminate the entire universe of bacteria or viruses. It is not a replacement for cleanliness and good personal hygiene. Please keep your hands and work area clean for optimal protection.

System requirements:

  • Mac OS X 10.2 or later (for Mac 9.x or earlier, works only as a one button mouse)
  • Windows 2000, XP

Package Content

  • 1 Wireless Laser Mouse
  • 1 Wireless Transmitter
  • 1 Carrying Case
  • 1 User Manual
  • 1 Warranty/Registration Card

Specifications

  • Operating Range: 6 feet
  • Interface: USB
  • Battery Type: AAA x 2
  • Resolution: 1600 dpi

Dimensions

  • Length: 3.74 in.
  • Width: 1.97 in.
  • Height: 1.18 in.

Weight

  • Unit Pack Wt. 0.6lb
  • Unit Wt. Mouse: 0.18lb; Receiver: 0.04lb

Relax Your Wrist with Evoluent VerticalMouse

Evoluent VerticalMousePR: The Evoluent VerticalMouse 2 has a patented new shape that supports your hand in a relaxed handshake position and eliminates arm twisting. Once you experience the superior comfort, you will never go back to ordinary mice.

Eliminates Arm Twisting

The patented shape supports your hand in a relaxed handshake position that eliminates forearm twisting. You will quickly become accustomed to the improved comfort. An ordinary horizontal mouse requires your forearm to twist away from its natural position.

Evoluent VerticalMouseNo Retraining

The grip is the same as an ordinary mouse, just turned sideways, and the buttons are operated by the same fingers. There is virtually no retraining necessary. The mouse does not move sideways when clicking with normal force. Pointer control is as accurate as any other good mouse.

Fast Response

1200 dpi true optical resolution sensor reduces hand movements. Great for games. (Other mice have 800 dpi)

Evoluent VerticalMouseEasy Clicking

The button force is light for easy clicking, but still firm enough to avoid accidental actuation.

Programmable

5 buttons - 4 are programmable with 59 selectable functions each with Windows driver, plus special features such as:

  • Vertical scroll - press a button and drag the mouse to scroll with greater precision and control than the scroll wheel.
  • Auto click - automatically perform a double click by pausing the pointer.
  • Click lock - press and hold a button momentarily to simulate continued pressing without holding down the button.

Evoluent VerticalMouseImprovements over original model:

  1. Improved styling for matching the coolness of top brand mice.
  2. Matte black body for matching popular black computer systems, and gloss purple accent for standing out from the crowd of silver mice.
  3. Completely new internal mechanical design for improved parts fit and operation.
  4. Completely new electrical design for improved compatibility with different computer systems.
  5. Lighter, easier to click buttons and longer button travel with more tactile feedback.
  6. Higher quality, softer and more flexible cable for improved appearance and movement.
  7. Optical scroller instead of mechanical encoder scroller for improved reliability and quiet operation.
  8. Soft-touch coating on black body instead of silicon pads for improved feel.
  9. Fast 1200 dpi optical sensor instead of 400 dpi for reducing hand motion.
  10. 3 buttons instead of 2 in Unix and 5 in Linux with default support.
  11. Improved grip shape for even better comfort.
  12. Additional functions in the driver, such as vertical scroll (press a button to automatically grab the scroll bar), auto click (pause the pointer to double click automatically), etc.

Compatibility

Mac:

  • 2 buttons in OS X, 1 button in OS 9. Separate driver available for $20 at usboverdrive.com enables all buttons.

PC

  • 5 buttons - 4 are programmable with included Windows driver.
  • Windows® XP, 2000, NT, ME, 98SE.
  • USB, PS/2.
  • USB port.

Unix

  • 3 buttons without additional driver.
  • USB port.

Linux

  • 5 buttons in XFree 4.0.1 or higher without additional driver.
  • USB port.

Specifications

  • Resolution: 1200 dpi true optical resolution
  • Length: 4.6"/11.7 cm
  • Width: 3"/7.6 cm
  • Height: 3"/7.6 cm
  • Cable: 2 m

Available in

Right hand

  • purple black $75
  • silver black $75
  • silver chrome $75

Left hand

  • purple black $105
  • black black $105

New Ergonomic Keyboards and Mice from Ergo-Items.com

PR: Ergo-Items.com is announcing their new selection of ergonomic products for the fall season. These products include ergonomic keyboards, arm supports, mice, trackballs and more. Those who work in the office or at home can take advantage of working ergonomically correct while greatly reducing muscle tension and illnesses such as Carpal Tunnel Disorder.

Before many of these products were designed, computer users had to invent their own ways to comfort themselves while using the computer, this caused fatigue and muscle pains. But today there is finally a solution and it is called prevention.

Comfort Keyboardwww.Ergo-Items.com's featured item is the Comfort Keyboard. This keyboard is unlike the conventional keyboard. This keyboard is designed with adjustable sections that separate into a number of comfortable positions to the most comfortable position. This product also helps to reduce fatigue.

Each section of this keyboard actually tilts and rotates to almost any position possible. Each person that uses this product can type in their own comfortable hand and wrist position.

Each section is compatible to each user's shoulder width. This keyboard has three sections the height is: 2.3 inches x 18.25 inches x 5.25 inches. The base plate is: 125 inches x 22 inches x D 4.5 inches.

Zero Tension MouseThe next hot item available is the new Zero Tension Mouse. After using this product the user will discover that all of the muscles of the hand, arm and shoulder will feel great comfort. The Zero Tension Mouse was invented by Dr P Michael Leahy who is known as the expert in the area of overuse injuries. Using this product will ultimately reduce repetitive strain injuries. Whether a person is working on their computer as a hobby, to study or for work, the Zero Tension Mouse will allow you to work comfortably with less strain.

The features of this groundbreaking product are the digital optical tracking, the scroll wheel button, the left and the right mouse buttons. The Zero Tension Mouse is compatible with the USB enabled computers. This product comes in large and medium. The height is 4.5 inches x 3.4 x 5.6. Compatible with Mac OS computers and Windows 98 Windows 2000 and Windows XP.

Online shoppers can now purchase a armrest that will reduce cramping, muscle strain and fatigue while using the computer. The CRAB-X provides support for a computer user's shoulder, forearm and the wrist. This product can help prevent painful conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) and repetitive strain injury (RSI).

The features and benefits of the CRAB-X is that that it can be used on both laptops and desktops. Once purchased, this product is easily assembled and will attach to desks from 15 mm up to 35mm.

CRAB-X is manufactured from a thermoplastic material known as ABS which has high impact strength and it has abrasion resistant attributes. This product is durable and long lasting.

Cherry Introduces Low-Cost Keyboard and Mouse for Office Applications

PR: Cherry Electrical Products has introduced two new data entry products for the commercial market. The J82-16001 K-1 Business Keyboard offers comfortable key action in a compact, durable package. The M-5400 Optical Wheel Mouse features an optical sensor for precise movement and an easy scrolling Power Wheel.

The J82-16001 K-1 Business Keyboard features an enhanced, 104-position U.S. key layout in a compact form factor, combining space efficiency with uncompromised alphanumeric data entry. It is offered in black and light grey and comes standard with either a USB or PS/2 interface. Tested to 10 million operations, the keyswitches provide comfortable, tactile key actuations and proven Cherry quality and performance.

The M-5400 Optical Wheel Mouse is PC- and Mac-compatible and comes standard with a USB and PS/2 interface. It offers precise performance with 800 dpi resolution and Cherry's easy scrolling Power Wheel. The elegantly designed mouse is perfectly suited for right- and left-handed users. Offered in black and light grey, the M-5400 is a perfect companion to the J82-16001 K-1 Business Keyboard.

Software

Laplink PCmover Migration Software Lets Users Make the Switch from PCs to Macs

PR: Now that Apple's Mac computers can run a Windows XP operating system with the help of Apple's Boot Camp utility and third-party software solutions such as Parallels Desktop for Mac, using migration software to move from an old PC to a new Mac just became a whole lot easier. Laplink's PCmover - previously available only for PC-to-PC migrations - can now perform complete PC-to-Mac migrations, including the transfer of Windows software applications not handled by other migration tools.

Before PCmover became an option, users abandoning PCs in favor of a Mac faced a major migration challenge. As Apple's own website states: „Quite frankly, the hardest part of setting up a new Mac is figuring out how to get your stuff off of your PC.‰ New Mac owners tried a do-it-yourself approach using external hard drives, paid for an Apple technician to perform the migration for them, or bought Detto's Move2Mac to do the job before realizing that the product can only transfer files and settings - not software applications.

PCmover moves files, settings and software programs from an old PC to a new Intel-based Mac, making quick and easy work of the migration.

Mehboob Ajwani, owner of Accurate Technologies, a Toronto-based, Apple-Authorized Sales and Service centre, found PCmover while searching for software that could help make the PC-to-Mac transition easy for his customers. He performed two successful migrations of PCmover from an HP Omnibook to a MacBook running first Bootcamp and then Parallels software. "In both cases PCmover worked flawlessly," Ajwani said.

The new PC-to-Mac ability of PCmover coincides with the launch of Apple's latest national advertising campaign promoting its Windows functionality, which is expected to spur more users to make the PC-to-Mac switch. Apple describes its ability to run PC software at:

http://www.apple.com/getamac/windows.html

Laplink's PCmover allows users to perform their migration using several options: genuine Laplink USB Cables, any local network (including wireless) or removable media (CD-R, DVD-R or external hard drives).

Laplink's PCmover is available online and on the shelves at all major retailers. Prices start at $39.95 for the download version.

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For more deals on current, recently discontinued, and older notebooks, see our MacBook deals, 15" MacBook Pro deals, 17" MacBook Pro deals, 12" PowerBook G4 deals, 15" & 17" PowerBook G4 deals, titanium PowerBook G4 deals, iBook G4 deals, PowerBook G3 deals, and iBook G3 deals.

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