The 'Book Review

Core 2 'Books Run Cooler and Faster, MacBook Core 2 Adds Value, Holiday Sales, and More

This Week's Mac Notebook News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2006.12.01

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


Apple Updates

Tech Trends

Products and Services


Bargain 'Books

News & Opinion

MacBook Pro Core 2 Features Improved Fans

Hardmac's Lionel reports:

"Following our yesterday's news related to MB Pro comparison, Uli, one of our readers, has pointed out the new fans in C2D-based MB Pro....

"We have tested the ratio noise/rotation speed, and we start hearing them from 3000-rpm; but in all our tests they are much more silent than the previous models installed in MB Pro Core Duo.

"Overall, the new MB Pro is more silent while being cooler."

Comparing Temperatures of Core Duo, Core 2 Duo

The Apple Core's Jason D. O'Grady says:

"I took some temperature benchmarks comparing the MacBook Pro (Core Duo) and MacBook Pro (Core 2 Duo). The results substantiate what I uncovered in a previous post about the Core 2 Duo running significantly cooler than the Core Duo....

"I let both machines running the Nature Patterns screen saver for an hour then took 12 temperature readings from the top and 12 readings from the bottom and compared them. Readings were taken using a MasterCool 52224 infrared thermometer gun."

New MacBook Pro Really Is Cooler than Previous One

BusinessWeek's Arik Hesseldahl says:

"Jason O'Grady over at The Apple Core has taken some serious measurements concerning something I had noticed as well [above]. When I took my first MacBook Pro out for a run - a 17-inch with an Intel Core Duo - I noticed it was running somewhat hot, hotter in fact than my older PowerBook. But then once Apple swapped out the Core Duo for the higher-performance Core 2 Duo the outer temperatures seemed to be less. It was just a little difference I noticed, but which I didn't think much about.

"It seems I wasn't too far off the mark. O'Grady took temperatures on both MacBook Pros and found the newer appears to run much cooler than the older one. The newer, high-performance machine actually runs as much as 21 degrees F cooler than its predecessor.

"My first though was that it gives proof to that old rule of thumb about buying Macs: Never buy the first generation of anything...."

When Apple Rules the World

SF Gate Columnist Mark Morford says:

"I have right here in my hot little hands that actually aren't all that little and are only slightly warm at the moment a brand new lick-ready smooth-as-love Apple MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo Super Orgasm Deluxe Ultrahard Modern Computing Device Designed by God Herself Somewhere in the Deep Moist Vulva of Cupertino Yes Yes Don't Stop Oh My God Yes.

"I believe that is the actual name of the product. I might be wrong. I do not really care.

"This machine, this silky hunk of aluminum and wire and divine Chinese factory-made love, was recently delivered into my hands by a squad of naked cooing angels who all happened to look exactly like Jenna Jameson or perhaps Eva Green and who also gave me a free foot massage and four hits of premium Ecstasy and a complimentary 3-hour tongue bath, all at the same time.

"It is possible I imagined that last part. It is possible it was merely, you know, UPS. It is possible I am exaggerating just slightly overall. I do not really care."

Note: If you've ever wondered what I and other Mac aficionados are babbling about when we talk about the "Mac Mystique," this column is an eloquent homage to it. cm

17'' MacBook Pro Core 2 Has Faster GPU

Hardmac's Lionel reports:

"MacBook Pro 15" RevB features in addition to the Core 2 Duo CPU a Radeon X1600 Mobility with increased RAM and GPU frequencies.

"It moved from 310/278 to 423/450 (GPU/memory).

"The GPU inside the new MB Pro 17" has also been clocked higher than in RevA:"

Laptops Polish Apple's Image

Washington Times' Mark Kellner says:

"Apple Computer has had 30 good years and 2006 will go down as one of the company's best, if not the best, so far.

"Within the past two weeks, Apple has upgraded the Intel processors in two of its portables, the MacBook and MacBook Pro, offering greater speed at the same price as earlier models.

"If the former computers were good values, the new models are superb values worth considering for an end-of-year purchase or for holiday gift giving.

"The MacBook Pro, with its 15-inch screen and 2.33 gigahertz Intel Core 2 Duo processors, would be a very good choice for many traveling business people....

"In performance, the MacBook earns my respect for several things. One is its sleek design, which isn't James Bondlike, but is stylish enough. The Chiclets-style keyboard grows on you; at least it grew on me, and I prefer typing on it a bit more than the MacBook Pro's keys."


MacBook Pro Core Duo versus Core 2 Duo

Bare Feats' Rob-ART Morgan reports:

"We have a 15" MacBook Pro 2.33 GHz Core 2 Duo in the lab. Though we expect a 17" MacBook Pro 2.33 GHz Core 2 Duo to arrive soon, we went ahead and tested this one against our 17" MacBook Pro 2.16 GHz Core Duo....

"The MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo's advantage over the Core Duo version ranged from 9% to 60% depending on what app we ran. The faster core clock speed should provide an 8% advantage, so everything beyond that is 'gravy.' Most surprising were the significant gains with Aperture 1.5 and Photoshop CS2."

MacBook Core 2 Duo versus Others

Bare Feats' Rob-ART Morgan reports:

"In recent article I said it would be nice if Apple would put a 'supercharger' in the 13" MacBook (or Mac mini) - like BMW did with the JCW Tuning Kit for a Mini Cooper S that turns it into a 'rocket powered go kart' - for those of us who like little things that go wickedly fast. Soon after, the Core 2 Duo version of the MacBook was announced.

"So inquiring minds want to know if it provides enough 'punch' over the Core Duo version to deem the MacBook as an 'S' model. Or is that integrated GPU going to ruin all the fun?

"Good News: CPU intensive apps definitely get a boost from the Core 2 Duo update of the 13" MacBook.

"Bad News: The Intel GMA 950 integrated GPU is a party pooper."

MacBook Core 2 Duo 'Add Real Value'

"Macworld's Henry Norr reports:

"Before even reaching its six-month birthday, the MacBook has undergone its first makeover. The changes - a new processor and (in two of the three standard MacBook configurations) more memory, bigger hard drives, and double-layer DVD burning - aren't quite as substantial as Apple's recent enhancements to the 15-inch MacBook Pro, but they add real value to a product that had already taken the consumer and education markets by storm.

"Headlining the update is a switch to Intel's latest processor, the Core 2 Duo, in place of the Core Duo chip that powered the first MacBook generation. In the case of the MacBook Pro family, a similar update had a dramatic effect on performance.

"With the MacBook, however, the benefits of the brain transplant are more modest. There are at least three reasons for the difference."

Choosing MacBook Core 2 'a No-brainer''s Dan Ackerman reports:

"Now that the high-end MacBook Pro has Intel's Core 2 Duo CPU, it's high time the latest processor technology filtered down to Apple's more consumer-friendly MacBook line. There are three MacBook models, one with a 1.83 GHz CPU and two with 2.0 GHz CPUs. The MacBook starts at a mere £749, but our review unit is the most tricked-out of the three, offering the faster CPU and a larger hard drive for a still palatable £999.

"These 13.3-inch laptops, available in the standard Apple colours of black and white, are nearly as powerful as their 15- and 17-inch Pro cousins, and they include a lot of the same features, such as the built-in iSight camera and Front Row remote. If the handful of compromises vs the Pro model, such as the screen size and the lack of discrete graphics, isn't a deal breaker, the MacBook is a no-brainer for anyone who wants to step up to an Apple laptop or upgrade their older MacBook."

MacBook Core 2 Duo Review

Notebook Review's Budding reports:

"Studying Computer Science at Imperial College London has given me the opportunity to use a wide range of Operating Systems. In the past year, I have both casually played with and professionally worked with Linux, Unix, Windows and Mac OS X. In my personal opinion, Mac OS X impressed me the most with its logical structure; powerful hardware drawn graphics and effects; and security and stability...

"Therefore, I did not hesitate when Apple announced its Core 2 Duo MacBook, and ordered one the very same day...."

17" MacBook Pro Gets Core 2 Duo Treatment

Computerworld's Ken Mingis reports:

"It has been said that buyers should generally avoid the first year of a new model car, Version 1.0 of just about any application and most Rev. A computers - especially Rev. A computers.

"Well, if you held off buying the first Intel-based versions of Apple Computer Inc.'s MacBook Pro laptops, you can safely venture forth to the nearest computer store and take one home. I base that on my hands-on experience with Apple's latest updated consumer MacBook lineup, the recently revamped 15-in. MacBook Pro and - now, finally - the 17-in. variation of Apple's professional laptop line. (This particular model was also chosen for Computerworld's 2006 Cool Stuff gift guide.)

"To paraphrase Victor Kiam, the late Remington CEO, I liked the latest 17-in. MacBook Pro so much that I bought my own. And I'd like to note that it is the first time I've bought an Apple laptop that I didn't have to immediately upgrade with more RAM, a faster hard drive or some other extra. Out of the box, the 17-in. model comes completely stocked. About the only thing you can add is extra RAM (for 3 GB max) or a different hard drive."

Apple Updates

Troubleshooting iBook, PowerBook G4, and MacBook Pro Power Adapters

An updated Apple Knowledge Base article says:

Is your iBook, PowerBook G4 or MacBook Pro power adapter not working correctly? This article will tell you what you can do if you experience one or more of the following issues:

  • Your iBook, PowerBook G4 or MacBook Pro power adapter won't charge the computer.
  • The LEDs in the adapter don't light when the adapter is connected.
  • The adapter only charges the computer intermittently.

Tech Trends

Asus W6 Leather-clad Laptop

Asus W6The Register's Hardware Widow reports:

"Leather, a material that calls to mind, at one extreme, Diana Rigg, tight thigh-length boots, the crack of the whip and, at the other, well-worn sofas, ancient libraries and the air of long-faded wealth. Somewhere in between sits Asus' latest leather-covered laptop, the W6Fp...

"Asus might like to think so, but let's not kid - ho, ho - ourselves that the W6 is a luxury item. Just look at the colours, for starters. It's offered in a choice of pink, caramel and - the covering I got to try - chocolate brown, none of which would look quite right in a boardroom. Where's the black model, or the dark brown version? The W6 isn't entirely the Vertu of the notebook world. And Vegan it certainly isn't."

Products and Services

Two New Pelican Laptop Shipping Cases

Pelican 1470PR: Finally a shipping case for a laptop and everything else. These Pelican Cases mean business for those looking for affordable high quality laptop computer cases. The new Pelican 1495 Laptop Case fits notebooks up to 17" with plenty of room for cables, media, and other electronics. It is totally water proof, crush proof, dust and chemical resistant. The pelican 1495 comes with a built in combination lock plus stainless steel padlock protectors for extra security. Add a pelican TSA padlock from Shipping Cases for checking on airlines and you're ready to travel. The Pelican 1495 is available with pick & pluck foam, a lid organizer, nylon padded computer sleeve and shoulder strap.

The Pelican 1495 is just another case in the family of computer cases that pelican offers. Other computer cases models include the 1490, 1470, and the 1080.

Pelican 14901080 HardBack Case is designed specifically for those notebook computers. Watertight, crushproof, and dust proof it has a molded plush foam liner that protects notebook from impact shock and scratches. The 1080 has an easy snap anodized aluminum latch with O-ring seal and a vent with Gore-Tex membrane for auto pressure balance. Comes in two attractive color combinations - charcoal grey with silver latches or black with black latches. Like all Pelican Cases it comes with the unconditional Lifetime Guarantee of Excellence. Fits notebook computers up to 12.3" L x 9.3" W x 1.5" D and will hold 8.5 x 11" and A4 documents.

Find all the old reliable Pelican Cases as well as the newly released Pelican Cases as well as numerous trade show display cases for folding panel displays, popup displays and those large format trade show graphics.

SeeThru hard shell15" MacBook Pro SeeThru Hard Shell Case Holiday Sale

PR: Speck's MacBook Pro SeeThru Hard Shell Case is believed to be the first translucent hard shell design for computers in the market. SeeThru hard shells for MacBook and MacBook Pro are made of sturdy, polycarbonate plastic and come in clear and red colors.

With the easy snap-on design, users can shield their notebook from scratches and bumps while enjoying access to all features including keyboard, drives and ports.

SeeThru MacBook Pro caseShells come complete with rubber feet to help prevent movement on slippery surfaces. The durable shell is the perfect add-on when transporting your notebook alone, in a sleeve, briefcase or luggage.

Versions of the SeeThru for the 15" MacBook Pro are currently shipping at a price of $40, whilst a MacBook version is due in early November. The SeeThru comes in translucent red and clear.

SeeThru hard shellFeatures:

  • Two piece snap-on hard case
  • Use everything without removing the case!
  • Protective shatter proof hard plastic shell
  • Sleek and shiny finish
  • Available in clear and red

SeeThru hard shellKeep your 15" MacBook Pro closed when you put on the case. Place MacBook Pro in bottom half of case, snap on the corners and back 'hooks'. Place top half of the case on top of MacBook Pro, snap on corners. Pull the small tabs away from the MacBook Pro corners to remove the case. Open the MacBook Pro and pull off the front corners first , then pop off the back.

15" MacBook SeeThru - $39.95

surfACE Laptop Stand Holiday Sale

surfACE Laptop StandPR: The innovative and original surfACE line of laptop computer stands are discounted up to 25%, on selected models, this holiday season until December 20th. Order while they last.

  • • Ideal support for your laptop anywhere, indoors or outdoors.
  • • For web-surfing, gaming, watching DVDs, work and much more.
  • • Great design, quality materials and fine craftsmanship.
  • • Sturdy, durable, secure, adjustable and expandable.
  • • Increases comfort, cooling and ergonomics.
Link: surfACE Laptop Stand Holiday Sale
Link: PowerBook Mystique Review - surfACE I 1.5 Laptop Stand with Tripod Adapter


Absolute Software Expands Support for Apple Computers with Universal Version of Computrace

PR: Absolute Software, a leading provider of patented, firmware-based, Computer Theft Recovery, Data Protection and Secure Asset Tracking solutions, announced today that its Computrace software products now support the Apple Universal Agent (AUA), meaning they operate natively on Macintosh computers using either Intel (MacBooks) or PowerPC (PowerBooks) processor chips. "Support for the Apple Universal Agent better positions Computrace as the theft protection solution of choice for Apple customers in the education market," said John Livingston, President and CEO of Absolute Software. "Whether a college or a school has new Intel-based Macs, older PowerPCs, or a mix of Macs and PCs, Computrace can protect, help manage, securely track and provide an institution a complete view of their entire computer population, regardless of platform."

Apple Universal Agent compatibility means Absolute's education customers can now install one piece of software that supports both the Classic environment and the new Intel processor. This added flexibility means the company's solutions better support institutional needs for simplified total cost of ownership, improved life cycle management and easier disk imaging.

An early adopter of the new version of Computrace for Apple computers is Punahou School, a private, college preparatory K-12 school in Honolulu, Hawaii.

"We like the fact that Computrace will track and recover both older Macs and the new Intel machines," said Wendi Takemoto, CIO and Director of Information Technology at Punahou School. "This means we can remain a mixed platform school, supporting the diverse needs and innovative uses in teaching and learning with technology in a K-12 school, and keep our machines protected by Computrace. This provides us a flexible and robust solution that meets our needs."

The latest version of the Computrace agent for Macintosh is compatible with Apple's OS X system software version 10.3 and forward.

Bargain 'Books

The release of Core 2 Duo MacBooks has precipitated a ratcheting down of prices on refurbished Macintel notebooks at the Apple Store. You can now get a Core Duo MacBook for $899, one with a SuperDrive for under $1,000, and a MacBook Pro for $1,399! If there was any doubt that the switch to Intel chips would result in lower prices, they should now be erased.

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

  • refurb 1.83 GHz MacBook Core Duo, white, 512/60/Combo, $899
  • refurb 2 GHz MacBook Core Duo, white, 512/60/SD, $999
  • refurb 2 GHz MacBook Core Duo, black, 512/60/SD, $1,099
  • refurb 15" 1.83 GHz MacBook Pro Core Duo, 512/80/SD, $1,399
  • refurb 15" 2 GHz MacBook Pro Core Duo, 512/80/SD, $1,449
  • refurb 15" 2.16 GHz MacBook Pro Core Duo, 512/100/SD, $1,599
  • refurb 17" 2.16 GHz MacBook Pro Core Duo, 1 /120/SD, $2,199
  • refurb 17" PowerBook G4/1.67 GHz, 512/100/SD, $1,799

Baucom Computers

  • PowerBook "Pismo" G3/400, 256/20/DVD, $299
  • 12" iBook G3/800, 256/30/CD, $425
  • 12" iBook G3/800, 256/30/DVD, $455
  • 12" iBook G3/900, 256/40/Combo, $499
  • Add AirPort for $90


  • 12" iBook G3/900, 128/40/Combo, $399
  • 12" iBook G3/900, 256/30/Combo, $449
  • 12" iBook G3/900, 128/40/Combo, AirPort, $469
  • 14" iBook G3/800, 128/40G/Combo, $399


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, 128/40/Combo, $599.99 - $25 = $574.99
  • 12" PowerBook G4/1 GHz, 256/40/Combo, Bluetooth, $699.99 - $25 = $674.99
  • 12" PowerBook G4/1 GHz, 256/60/SD, Bluetooth, $799.99 - $25 = $774.99

Computer Geeks

  • 12" iBook G4/1.0 GHz, 512/30/CD, AirPort, OS X, $519.99
  • 12" iBook G4/1.2 GHz, 512/30/Combo, AirPort, OS X, $599
  • 12" iBook G4/1.3 GHz, 512/40/Combo, AirPort, OS X, $749.99
  • 12" iBook G4/1.0 GHz, 512/30/CD, AirPort, OS X, $529.99


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

Custom Macs

  • 12" iBook G3/600, 128/20/CD, OS X 10.2, $209.99
  • 12" iBook G3/600, 128/20/CD, OS X 10.2, $259.99
  • 12" clamshell iBook G3/300, 128/3/CD, OS X 10.2, $259.99

Wegener Media

  • 12" PowerBook G4/867, 256/40/Combo, $619.99

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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