The 'Book Review

Mac Sales Up for 2006, Ode to 12" PowerBook, MacBook Among Best Gadgets of 2006, and More

This Week's Mac Notebook News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2007.01.05

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


Bargain 'Books

News & Opinion

Mac Sales Up 18%: 'Books Skyrocket while Desktops Decline

TechWeb's Gregg Keizer reports:

"Nearly lost among the results of Apple Computer's stock option investigation in the Cupertino, Calif., computer maker's annual 10-K report was news that revenue from sales of its Mac computers increased 19% during the second quarter over the same period in 2005 and climbed 18% for the year ending Sept. 30....

"Like many other computer manufacturers, Apple saw its desktop sales drop dramatically as buyers continue to shift to portables. During the second quarter, the number of desktops sold plummeted by 23% from the previous quarter, while notebook sales soared by 61%. Year-end totals were less sensational: Desktop sales were off only 3% for the year ending Sept. 30, and portable sales were up 42%."

Apple and HP to Launch LED-based Notebooks

DigiTimes' Max Wang and Carrie Yu report:

"Although US-based brands such as Apple and Hewlett Packard (HP) are expected to launch notebooks using LEDs as the backlight source starting from the second quarter 2007, Taiwan-based LED makers will not be the major beneficiaries, according to industry sources.

"HP's new LED-based notebooks will feature Microsoft's Vista operating system (OS) and will aim at high-end, multimedia uses, the sources said, adding that using LEDs as the backlight source for large-size applications will become more popular thanks to more models of such kind from US-based notebook brands."

Ode to the 12" PowerBook and Wishes for a Hyper-Portable MacBook

AppleMatters' Hadley Stern says:

"I've had a few Mac portables over the years although granted I arrived to the scene a tad late with a Pismo. It was a work machine but I coveted it like it was my own. Suddenly I was free to go everywhere and anywhere with all my stuff. The Pismo, in hindsight, was a great machine and offered some of the flexibility that my MacBook Pro doesn't offer now. In particular the ability to have hot swap bays wherein I could have two batteries going at the same time for cross country flights was a godsend....

"My next PowerBook was one that I bought myself, a 12" PowerBook. Being a designer it was a secondary machine mostly for writing. Apart from penning many thousands of words for Apple Matters it also became the machine I did all the writing for iPod and iTunes hacks on. The 12" PowerBook is an absolutely fantastic portable machine....

"...I've looked at the MacBooks. Nice machines and all but that extra inch makes a huge difference. The 12 inch PowerBook was a power-users hyper-portable machine, and Apple needs to bring something back like it. I don't want the hyper-miniature Sharp like experience (I already have a Blackberry, thank you very much) but I do want an Apple portable that is truly portable...."

Hybrid Flash Hard Drives for Next Gen MacBook Pro?'s David Flynn reports:

"One year on from the introduction of Intel's made-for-mobile Core Duo 'Yonah' processor in its MacBook Pro line, Apple looks set to integrate another member of the Centrino technology family into its next-gen notebooks.

"This time around it's Robson, Intel's codename for an on-board module which uses NAND flash memory as a 'smart storage' buffer between system RAM and the hard drive.

"The flash chip is used to store system boot files as well as the most often-used data files, which can be written and retrieved at several magnitudes faster than any mechanical hard disk - especially when the drive itself has to spin up to speed before disk access can take place."

'Best Tech Gadgets of 2006' List Includes MacBook

All Headline News' Jacob Cherian says:

"For software and gadget fans, 2006 was year of high-profile launches.

"While Apple's MacBook took a unique place on the market early in the year, others are eagerly waiting to change from XP to Vista, Microsoft's latest offering."

Apple Care vs. Dell Support: Dead Hard Drives's Todd Ogasawara reports:

"I had an interesting (ok, that may not be the right word) opportunity to compare Apple and Dell support handling recently. The results may surprise you (I know I was surprised). My Dell Latitude D600 notebook (about 2.5 years old at the time) had a sudden hard drive failure about 2 months ago. Last night, my 8 month old MacBook hard drive died just as suddenly. But, let's see what happened after that."


Core 2 a 'Welcome Improvement' for 17" MacBook Pro

Macworld's Henry Norr reports:

"When it comes time to update its 17-inch laptops, Apple always faces a challenge: how to improve a machine that already has just about everything?

"In the case of the latest 17-inch MacBook Pro (Best Current Price: $2550.00), the company stuck to the basics: It added the latest and fastest Intel mobile processor available (a 2.33 GHz Core 2 Duo, replacing the 2.16 GHz Core Duo), doubled the standard memory (now 2 GB), and boosted hard drive capacity (from 120 GB to 160 GB)....

" pros who have been hesitant about upgrading to an Intel-based model should note that the latest MacBook Pros handily outperform the fastest-ever G4-based PowerBook when running Adobe Photoshop CS2, even though the application has to run through Apple's Rosetta code-translation technology."

17" 2.33 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro vs. Power Mac G4/1.25 GHz Dual

MacSpeedZone benchmarks both and reports on how much faster the new MacBook Pro is on all but one test.

Products and Services

AutoNet Mobile Turns Your Car into a WiFi Hotspot

PR: The first Internet service provider specifically designed for cars. Fasten your seatbelt. Because the driving experience will never be the same again. With Autonet Mobile, the first ever, always-on mobile broadband network, you and your passengers can now enjoy internet services and WiFi connectivity whenever you want to by turning your car into a WiFi hotspot on wheels. IM, chat, stream media, email, games, on-line listen to music and more.

Look ma! No wires, no software, no cell cards.

Simply turn on, log on and surf. No cellular data cards or special software required. And because Autonet mobile makes your car a WiFi hotspot, you can pull off the road, go sit under a tree and stay connected outside your car.

Hear it, see it, surf it for yourself.

We're unveiling Autonet mobile in Las Vegas on January 8 at CES International 2007, where you can test drive it for yourself. To get more information or to find out how you can be among the first to get yourself, your family, or your driving fleet connected, please enter your email address.

Why Autonet Mobile:

  • Easy to use for everyone.
  • Great for families.
  • Connect to any WiFi device.
  • Connect to multiple users.

We will begin shipping Spring '07 - sign up for early delivery

Netgear 802.11g Extreme & SuperG PC Card for PowerBooks

Netgear cardPR: Enjoy fast transfer speeds and extended range with Wegener Media's modified Netgear WG511T Wireless PC CardBus.

Up to 108 Mbps speeds (10x faster than 802.11b) with Super GTM Technology, giving you total mobile access to your AirPort or AirPort Extreme base station, office networks, and wireless hotspots.

It's compliant with 802.11g standards and is interoperable with 802.11b and 802.11g networks. This PC card is easy to use and simple to install. Just slide it into your notebook's PC CardBus slot, load the software, and get connected right away.

This card fully OS X compatible. Includes all drivers for OS X installation. 1 year warranty.

This card offers full 10bT networking capabilities, full compatibility with AirPort base stations, and the entire 802.11 network system.

Netgear card108mbs transfer rate 10x faster than standard AirPort, 2x faster than AirPort Extreme.

Fully compatible with AirPort web surfing, encryption software (WEP), and firmware.

Fits any G3 or G4 PowerBook with PCMCIA slot & OS X

Compatible with:

  • G3 WallStreet, Lombard, or Pismo
  • G4 Titanium, G4 Aluminum 15 & 17"
  • (not OS 9 compatible)
  • Automatically connects to any AirPort Base station
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11g SuperG

Available for $49.95 from Wegener Media.

Launchpad Laptop Stand

LaunchpadPR: The Launchpad has been designed by 604 using the most advanced space-age technology to compliment the way we use our notebooks. It allows for better cooling and protection in a portable, on-the-go format for the travelling spaceman.

The Launchpad comes in three convenient sizes: the A13 (MacBook 13.3"), the A15 (MacBook Pro 15"), and the A17 (MacBook Pro 17"). For the more discerning astronaut we have also included both silver, and black anodized finishes.


By creating an angled typing surface, the Launchpad allows for more comfortable and ergonomic use of your laptop while on the go, or using it at home on your desk.


The Launchpad has been designed with cooling holes along the entire face of the unit. This allows the heat generated by your notebook to dissipate through this newly created airway.


You can easily store your notebook inside the Launchpad for transportation. Just flip the stand over, and slip your notebook inside. This provides solid protection for your computer's case and screen. It will even fit inside your favourite notebook case.


Here at 604 Labs, we find form to be just as important as function. That's why the Launchpad is sleekly designed to subtly compliment your notebook.


Griffin Elevator Desktop Stand for Notebook Computers

PR: Back in the day - that would be about four years ago - Griffin introduced a very elegant laptop stand called the iCurve - a sensuously bent and curved (hence the name) single bar of crystal clear plastic that formed a skeleton platform on which a laptop computer could be perched.

Griffin ElevatorGriffin pitched it as "the invisible laptop stand," but the iCurve was so attractive it was almost a shame to hide it under a computer. It could stand on its own as a piece of modern sculpture.

Unfortunately, the iCurve had some functional deficiencies, mainly that the flexibility of the plastic made it a less than rock-steady perch, especially for heavier laptops.

Now Griffin has introduced a new laptop stand called The Elevator, whose minimalist design concept owes much to that of the iCurve (which has been discontinued for some time), but instead of molded clear Lexan, The Elevator is made from sturdy brushed aluminum. It's not as pretty as the iCurve, but it should be substantially sturdier and more solid-feeling.

Griffin ElevatorWith Elevator you can lift your laptop to a comfortable viewing height and reclaim your desktop. Elevator holds your portable computer safely and securely at just the right height to match external monitors - and to save your aching neck.

Elevator is claimed to conform to health and safety standards, making your laptop safer and more comfortable to use all day long., the premier source for office ergonomics, recommends positioning the top of your screen level with your eyes and sitting at least an arm's length distance from the screen. Both of these key ergonomic standards are made possible using Elevator with an external keyboard.

Griffin ElevatorFeatures:

  • Elevates laptop screen to the ideal height while providing valuable desktop real estate for your keyboard and mouse
  • Keeps laptop cool with 360 degrees of air circulation
  • Fits all laptops - Mac or PC

Elevator sells for $39.99

RadTech Improves ScreenSavrz Screen Cleaners and Protectors

ScreenSavrzPR: Protect your laptop computer screen from damage. Clean, Protect and Repair / Refinish Your LCD Display Screen with RadTech ScreenSavrz

RadTech ScreenSavrz protect delicate LCD display screens from abrasion caused by the close tolerances in modern ultra-thin notebooks. ScreenSavrz positively shield and protect your display screen from oils, dirt, keyboard marks and top case abrasion when closed. ScreenSavrz also expertly clean and polish LCD displays without sprays or wet wipes - dampen ScreenSavrz with water and easily remove existing keymarks and scuffing.

ScreenSavrzMade from RadTech's exclusive, super-soft Optex fabric, a non-woven, ultra-thin advanced polishing fabric developed specifically for LCD panel care and cleaning. ScreenSavrz allows you to safely clean the screen or any surface of your notebook. So thin, soft and supple, they stow as easily as a dollar bill - and they're machine washable too. For late model Apple and PC notebooks, combine with Wildeepz Display Cushions for the ultimate in hard-wear.

ScreenSavrzShow off your style by choosing the ScreenSavrz color or pattern that fits you best.

RadTech ScreenSavrz - the best thing next to your screen.


  • Shields and protects notebook LCD's from oils, dirt, scratching and abrasion
  • No oily residue or shedding as with leather or commercial microfiber protectors
  • Expressly designed to protect, clean and polish LCD displays - never buy another wet wipe
  • Easily removes prior LCD screen damage, abrasions and key marks
  • Ultra-tough and lightweight cloth lasts for years - won't ever wrinkle, fray, run or tear
  • Optex construction provides the most safe, effective and economical screen cleaning solution available
  • Polish and clean your entire notebook, your peripherals, accessories, iPod, eyeglasses, CD's, DVD's and more
  • Sizes for all brands and models of notebooks. If you don't see it, please contact us
  • Combine with Wildeepz Display Cushions for maximum protection on MacBook Pro, PowerBook and iBook
  • Make a splash with stunning colors and patterns, or get your own custom logo -

Notebook ScreenSavrz sizes are meticulously researched. RadTech performs extensive mechanical testing for screen, case, and keyboard contact, notebook cooling, and display face pressure as well as ergonomics and performance testing using an experienced 200 member focus group. Closed notebooks are load tested to 90 kg. to simulate a person sitting on the machine. RadTech certifies that notebook computer LCD's are protected to the highest degree possible when used with our full-size ScreenSavrz for Notebooks.

ScreenSavrz Dimensions:

Universal Series:

  • Fits: All 11 x 27cm - 4.5 x 10.8in

Full-Size Series:

  • Fits: Apple 12in PowerBook - iBook - PC: 12-13.8in Standard Screen: 26 x 20cm - 7.8 x 10.3in
  • Fits: Apple 13in MacBook - PC: 12-13.8in Wide Screen: 29 x 19cm - 7.3 x 11.5in
  • Fits: Apple 14in iBook - PowerBook G3 - PC: 14-17in Standard Screen: 29 x 23cm - 9.0 x 11.5in
  • Fits: Apple 15in MacBook Pro - PowerBook PC: 14-15.5in Wide Screen: 32 x 21cm - 8.3 x 12.5in
  • Fits: Apple 17in MacBook Pro - PowerBook PC: 16-17.5in Wide Screen: 36 x 23cm - 9.0 x 14in

Material: OptexSuper60

colorsColors: Gray - Fuchsia - Indigo - Green - Grape - Black - Shagwire

Price Range: $9.95 - $16.95

RadTech Releases Tiny DriveMate External Drives

DriveMatePR: Rugged, portable, and compact 1" hard drive based data storage module combines compact size and multilayer hardware protection with ultra-fast data transfer speeds. DriveMate provides security conscious users with high-performance, compact and attractive solutions for their secure, portable data storage requirements.

DriveMate compact data storage modules provide the ultimate physical protection and security for your valuable data. Protection starts with DriveMate's compact, tough and lightweight form-factor. The internally gusseted enclosure features a HDD shock-chamber to provide exceptional drop protection and physical crush resistance. A captive USB cable neatly stows inside DriveMate's housing and provides versatile connection options.

DriveMateEach DriveMate module features a generous 2.0 gigabytes (GB) of data storage capacity, and is available with 64-bit patented Enova X-Wall hardware encryption technology - the most effective way to secure your valuable and sensitive information. A low profile write-protect switch prevents inadvertent data transfer when required.

DriveMate also includes OnSync - A Mac/PC compatible backup and synchronization application which combines scheduled sync and smart backup capabilities. OnSync sports a user-friendly and intuitive interface, detailed analysis of files to be synchronized and error-proof confirmation dialogs to prevent unintentional overwrites and duplicate file changes or deletions. When quality and dependability count, DriveMate delivers - don't trust your data to anything less.


  • Rugged protection and security with blazing hi-speed USB 2.0 data transfer performance.*
  • Compact and lightweight enclosure provides exceptional drop and impact protection.
  • Integrated USB cable stows inside housing and provides versatile connection options.
  • Low-profile USB connector and flexible cable won't block adjacent ports on computer.
  • Available 64-bit hardware encryption ensures that your data is safe and protected.
  • Low profile write-protect switch prevents secondary users from writing to module.
  • Includes OnSync - synchronization and data backup utility for Mac and PC
  • Perfectly sized module fits easily into pocket, purse or luggage.
  • Formats easily as Mac, Unix, or MS-DOS volume(s).

* Backward compatible with USB 1.1

Encrypted Hard Drives Available with 64-bit Hardware-Based Encryption

Infinitely more secure than software or biometric-based encryption. The Enova X-Wall engine provides real-time, hardware-based encryption and decryption.

X-Wall shuttles encrypted data as fast as the installed HDD reads and writes.

Unlike easily circumvented and platform dependent software or biometric encryption, X-Wall strongly encrypts every bit and byte on the drive, including the directory. The included secure key must be present to mount the drive. Without the key, the drive and its data are rendered useless and unreadable.

Two keys are included with each DriveMate, additional keys available for purchase on request.

Enova's X-Wall technology provides the world's most secure method to encrypt digital data:

  • Hardware key must be present at drive mount time - after drive mounts, the key can be removed
  • Attempts to crack X-Wall receive no 'bingo' answer to key injections, and a mount attempt must follow each try
  • Would require decades or even centuries to crack 64-bit Enova X-Wall hardware encryption
  • 192-bit software or biometric HDD encryption can be readily cracked in hours or days

DriveMate Specs

  • Material: Polystyrene
  • Enclosure Wall Thickness: 1.2mm
  • Dimensions: 76 x 66 x 15mm
  • Weight: Std: 57g Encrypted: 59g
  • Power Source: USB Bus Power
  • Bus Interface: USB 1.1 and/or 2
  • Data Transfer Rates:
    • USB 1.1: ² 12 Mb/s
    • USB 2.0: ² 480 Mb/s

Product of Taiwan

Price: $74.95 - $144.95


CoreDuoTemp Widget

PR: CoreDuoTemp Widget is the companion widget for CoreDuoTemp.

Monitor the temperature of your Intel Macintosh with CoreDuoTemp.

CoreDuoTemp uses SpeedIt.

System requirements: Mac OS X 10.4.6, iMac 2006, Mac mini 2006, MacBook Pro, MacBook.

System support: Intel


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

Newly available - Core 2 Duo 17" MacBook Pro

  • refurb 1.83 GHz MacBook Core Duo, White, 512/60/Combo, $799
  • refurb 2.0 GHz MacBook Core Duo, White, 512/60/SD, $899
  • refurb 2.0 GHz MacBook Core Duo, White, 1 GB/80/SD, $1,049
  • refurb 2.0 GHz MacBook Core Duo, Black,1 GB/80/SD, $1,099
  • refurb 15" 1.83 GHz MacBook Pro Core Duo, 512/80/SD, $1,299
  • refurb 15" 2.0 GHz MacBook Pro Core Duo, 512/80/SD, $1,349
  • refurb 15" 2.16 GHz MacBook Pro Core Duo, 1 GB/120/SD, $1,599
  • refurb 17" 2.16 GHz MacBook Pro Core Duo, 1 GB/120/SD, $1,999
  • refurb 17" 2.33 GHz MacBook Pro Core 2, 2 GB/160/SD, $2,299
  • refurb 17" PowerBook G4/1.67 GHz, 512/100/SD, $1,599


  • 12" iBook G3/900, 640/40/Combo, AirPort, $599
  • 12" iBook G3/900, 640/60/Combo, AirPort, $619
  • 12" iBook G4/1 GHz, 256/30/Combo, APX, $599
  • 14" iBook G4/1 GHz, 256/40/Combo, APX, $599


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
  • 12" PowerBook G4/1 GHz, 256/40/Combo, Bluetooth, $699.99
  • 12" PowerBook G4/1 GHz, 256/60/SD, Bluetooth, $799.99

The PowerBook Guy

  • 12" iBook G3/500, 192/10/CD, $199.95
  • 12" iBook G3/800, 256/30/CD, $279.95
  • 12" iBook G3/700, 192/20/Combo, $379.99
  • 12" iBook G4/1 GHz, 512/30/CD, Minor Case Defect, $379.95
  • 12" iBook G4/1 GHz, 512/30/CD, $429.95
  • 12" iBook G4/1 GHz, 512/30/Combo, Minor Case Defect, $479.95
  • 12" iBook G4/1 GHz, 512/30/Combo, $529.95
  • 12" iBook G4/1.2 GHz, 512/30/CD, $479.95
  • 12" iBook G4/1.2 GHz, 512/30/Combo, $579.95
  • 12" iBook G4/1.2 GHz, 512/30/SD, $629.95
  • 12" iBook G4/1.33 GHz, 512/40/Combo, APX, BT $629.95

Wegener Media

  • PowerBook 1400cs (11.3" DS LCD), 16/775 MB/floppy, new battery, AC, $99.99
  • Newton eMate complete with power pack, $59.99
  • eMate complete, NO power pack, $39.99
  • NEW eMate battery (Just in-new OEM batt's!), $21.99
  • Extra eMate charger/power pack, $19.99

Baucom Computers

  • 12" iBook G3/700, 256/20/Combo, $355
  • 12" iBook G3/800, 256/30/CD, $415
  • 12" iBook G4/1.2 Ghz, 256/30/Combo, $619
  • 14" iBook G3/700, 256/20/Combo, $385
  • 14" iBook G3/800, 256/30/Combo, $455
  • 14" iBook G3/900, 256/40/Combo, $485
  • Add AirPort for $75

Custom Macs

  • Apple Emate 300 - Touch Screen in great working shape - $59.99

Computer Geeks

  • 12" iBook G4 1/.0 GHz, 512/30/CD, APX, $529.99
  • 12" iBook G4/1.2 GHz, 512/30/CD, APX, $579.99
  • 12" iBook G4/1.33 GHz, 512/40/Combo, APX, $749.99


  • 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 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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