The 'Book Review

Apple Handheld Revealed, Dual-Core G4s Coming, Tiny Soyo Hard Drive, and More

This Week's PowerBook and iBook News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2004.08.20

This week's PowerBook, iBook, and iPod news

Euro Filing Reveals Apple Handheld Computer

The Register's Tony Smith reports:

"Apple has filed for a European design trademark which may provide a tantalising glimpse of the company's long-awaited tablet computer.

"The filing, made in May this year but only published this week, covers a "handheld computer" and contains sketches of what look like an iBook screen minus the body of the computer....

"Hints that Apple might be working on such a product emerged in 2003 when a source close to Taiwanese contract manufacturer Quanta claimed that the company had been hired by Apple to build what was dubbed a 'wireless display'...."

Freescale to Detail Dual-Core PowerPC G4

The Register's Tony Smith reports:

"Freescale - Motorola's soon-to-be-spun-off chip division - and AMD are set to detail their respective dual-core processor designs this autumn....

"Like AMD64 CPUs, Freescale's dual-core PowerPC is expected to sport an on-board memory controller, this one capable of supporting DDR 2 SDRAM, along with a Gigabit Ethernet controller. It is also expected to use the Rapid IO bus, according to past Motorola pronouncements, though MPX bus support is also anticipated to maintain backward compatibility.

"The dual-core PowerPC may also mark the next major leap in Mac notebook G4 processors before Apple gets G5 chips from IBM that are capable of integration into a top-spec portable computer....

"Freescale also has a faster successor to its top-end G4, the MPC 7447A - used in Apple's PowerBook G4 notebooks - in the works."

Soyo Adds Tiny Hard Drive to Portfolio

ExtremeTech's Mark Hachman reports:

"The Soyo Group has entered the magnetic storage market with the Cigar HD20, the company's first mobile hard drive.

"Soyo doesn't actually manufacture the drive; the 1.8-inch drive inside Soyo's specialized magnesium casing is actually produced by Japanese hard-drive maker Toshiba Ltd. Soyo plans to expand its Cigar HD line as Toshiba expands its product portfolio, said Jim Chan, director of sales and marketing at Soyo, based in Ontario, Calif. The initial Cigar HD20 drive, which sports a USB 2.0 interface, will cost an estimated $199, the company said."

iLap Laptop Stand for Lap Work or Desk Work

iLap Laptop Stand
iLap Laptop Stand

iLap is a unique stand that keeps your laptop cool, and at the same time, lets you work comfortably on your lap as well as your desk. Designed to match Apple's PowerBooks, the iLap laptop stand is made of aluminum with a sandblasted and silver anodized finish. iLap is also suitable for other laptops. iLap comes in five sizes: 12", 14", 15", 15" widescreen, and 17" widescreen.
  • iLap keeps your laptop cool by using light weight aluminum as cool sink.
  • Allows your laptop to run more efficiently and last longer.
  • iLap raises your laptop to keep your lap cool.
  • Padded with cushions for extra comfort.
  • iLap is ergonomically designed to suit both lap and desk works, so you stay cool even on prolonged use.
  • Raises your laptop screen higher to reduce strain on your neck and shoulders.

The iLap aluminum plate notebook stand lets you stay cool and comfortable whether you're working on your lap or on a desk.

From $49.90

Capslock to Control 1.8 Converts Caps Lock/Enter Key on G4 PowerBook

Modified keyboard driver for the G4 PowerBooks (it may well work on other ADB keyboard machines). This driver will map the Caps Lock and Enter keys to Control.

Read the messages in the installer before hitting the install button.

New in this version:

Updated for 10.3.4. This version will also work with 10.3.5. Apple made no changes to the ADB keyboard driver in this release.

System requirements: ADB keyboard on G4 PowerBooks. It may work with older systems with ADB keyboards.

Capslock to Control is freeware.

Griffin Debuts RoadTrip 3-in-1 Transmitter, Charger, and Cradle for All iPods

Griffin Technology Inc., innovator of exciting accessories for the Apple iPod, has announced the Griffin RoadTrip, an all in one iPod charger, FM transmitter, and cradle in one compact unit. The Griffin RoadTrip allows you to play your iPod or iPod mini's music through your car's FM stereo, while simultaneously charging and positioning the unit for easy access. The RoadTrip also features a detachable Transmitter Module and cable that can broadcast users' Mac or PC music to any FM stereo. The new Griffin RoadTrip retails for $79.99 and will begin shipping September 1. Customers can preorder a RoadTrip online through Griffin now and soon at the Apple Store.

The new Griffin RoadTrip makes enjoying an iPod or iPod mini in the car convenient and easy. The RoadTrip plugs into any auto power outlet or lighter adapter and provides an adjustable cradle to charge and hold any docking iPod, including the new 4G iPods and the iPod mini. The RoadTrip transmitter can then be set to broadcast iPod's music to any FM frequency from 88.1 to 107.9. Its backlit screen shows which frequency RoadTrip is currently broadcasting. This frequency can easily be changed via buttons located directly on the front of the unit. The iPod's audio is transmitted through the connected dock on the bottom of the units. Not only is this a superior signal transmission but it also leaves the top of the iPod exposed for use with other iPod accessories like the Griffin iTalk.

The RoadTrip is a great all-in-one connection for the iPod in the car, but what makes RoadTrip truly unique is its removable Transmitter Module that can also broadcast music from a Mac or PC. The package includes a combination USB power and audio connector cable that attaches any USB equipped computer to the module. Users can then play their iTunes music, movie audio or presentation sound to any FM stereo close by. The module's broadcast frequency can still be adjusted to play to 88.1 through 107.9 just as it can in the car.

"The car is where we find most people use their iPod. We already have the best 'transmitter only' device to use in the car, the iTrip. We also wanted to add the best full-featured cradle based device to our family of iPod accessories for the car, so we developed the RoadTrip. I think many people will enjoy the bonus of being able to play their laptop's music on their home stereo," said Alan Thompson, VP of Production at Griffin Technology, Inc.

The Griffin RoadTrip retails for $79.99 and is available for preorder. The RoadTrip will also be available at the Apple Store soon. The Griffin RoadTrip will begin shipping worldwide September 1, 2004.

Ferrari Laptop (Not a Mac, Alas)

Ferrari 3200 laptopThe latest Acer Ferrari 3200 laptop sports a the low-power 64-bit, 1.8 GHz mobile AMD Athlon 64 processor 2800+ (AMD is another Ferrari sponsor), 512 MB of DDR 333 SDRAM, and 80 GB hard drive, a SuperDrive, an ATI MOBILITY RADEON 9700 video card with 128 MB video memory and support for AGP8x, Four USB 2.0 ports plus FireWire, Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth, and 802.11g Wireless. It would make a great Linux portable.

Acer introduced its first Ferrari notebook in 2003 when it became an official supplier to the legendary Scuderia Ferrari Formula One team, which Acer supplies with with notebooks, PCs, servers and monitors.

Acer's Ferrari 3200 laptop pays tribute to the F1 machines Michael Schumacher drives, with its high-gloss, scratch-resistant scarlet finish derived from an advanced ten-step production process, a textured carbon fiber strip across the keyboard that strengthens the chassis while amplifying the race car motif, and of course the coveted prancing horse emblem.

You can read a review of the Ferrari 3200 in The Register.:

AMD Ships Athlon 64 3700+ for Notebooks

Extreme Tech's Mark Hachman reports:

"Advanced Micro Devices said it had begun shipping a 3700+ mobile Athlon 64 processor on Tuesday. AMD also confirmed it had begun shipping processors on its 90-nm manufacturing process for revenue.

"Desktop-replacement notebooks containing AMD's mobile Athlon 64 processor 3700+ will be included in the HP Pavilion zv5000z and Compaq Presario R3000Z notebooks, as well as VoodooPC's line of ENVY notebooks. The chip, priced at an even $500, is immediately available, AMD said."

Bargain 'Books

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 (Gigabit Ethernet/2001) and G4/667 (DVI) and the titanium vs. aluminum 15" PowerBook G4 at 1 GHz.


Small Dog Electronics

Wegener Media

Baucom Computers

For more deals on current or recently discontinued models, see our Best PowerBook G4 Deals, Best iBook G4 Deals, and Best iBook G3 Deals.

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