The 'Book Review

Apple Among Best Travel Notebooks, First 300 GB Laptop Drive, 17" MacBook Pro Concerns, and More

This Week's Mac Notebook News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2007.03.23

This Week's MacBook, PowerBook, and iBook News

Crunchgear names to top four travel notebooks, and two Apples make the list. Jason O'Grady is in search of the elusive 300 GB notebook drive Fujitsu promised for Q1 2007. And two things 17" MacBook Pro users should watch out for: a screw that can come loose inside the 'Book and cause a short, and swelling batteries.

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

Products and Services


Bargain 'Books

News & Opinion

Apple Has 2 of 4 Best Travel Notebooks

Crunchgear's Blake Robinson reports:

"There has never been a better time to be a geek road warrior. Technologies exist today that seemed like the stuff of science fiction just a decade ago. Laptops in particular have seen a glorious augmentation of performance with a concurrent reduction of size. Good times.

"I recently found myself in this situation and, even in my position, it was an incredibly difficult situation. But given the process, I was able to note and demo several possibilities for all types of road warriors:

"ThinkPad T60 Widescreen with ABGN Wireless

"Had this system been available a couple of months ago, I might have gotten it over my MacBook Pro....

"MacBook Black

"This appears to be the most popular travel system. Through my travels, I've seen more people using the MacBook Black than any other system....

"MacBook Pro 15-inch

"After much deliberation, I finally settled upon a 15-inch MacBook Pro and I'm pleased to say that I'm really happy with this system. It still bugs me that the system can only be equipped with a 5400 rpm hard drive....

"Alienware Area-51 m5790 Special Edition

"This is the most beastly laptop I've ever laid eyes on. It's also the biggest. So big, in fact, that the name 'laptop' might be a bit inappropriate. Maybe 'notebook' is better, but that still seems off. I think we need a new name for systems like these...."

Notebook Drives Rocket to 300 GB

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

"Just when you thought that a 200 GB notebook hard drive was enough, along comes a larger 300 GB drive that shatters the former ceiling by 50 percent.

"The Fujitsu MHX2300BT is a 300 GB 2.5-inch notebook HDD that was announced in December 2006 and was slated to ship in 'late February 2007' but I've also heard Q1 2007. Since the first date is already behind us and the quarter only has two weeks left, your editor is hot on the trail of this sweet little spinner."

missing screwScrew in 17" PowerBook Can Come Loose, Cause Short

Hardmac's Lionel reports:

"Couple of month ago, the PowerBook 17" from one of our team members suddenly stopped working. It was then considered as a bad luck as a screw went out from its location, and while moving on the motherboard created a short-circuit that killed the logic board. This specific screw is easily accessible via the RAM trap after removing of modules. But yesterday, another team member reported the very similar event on a PowerBook 17"...."

Swollen Batteries Affecting 17" MacBook Pro?

warped 17" MacBook Pro

Engadget's Thomas Ricker reports:

"The engorged battery photos [see full article] were sent to us by a reader named Brian. He claims that he was watching a movie on his 17-inch MacBook Pro (core duo) when it suddenly shut off. This happened twice before, only this time with a notable difference: his battery was fit to burst. As we have all learned, swelling is typically the final stage before explosion...."

Getting the Most Battery Life on Long Flights

InfoWorld says:

"I fly internationally at least once per quarter, and have done so for nearly three years. As such, I've long needed a way to get enough battery life to sustain me during 8-12 hours of flight time. I've seen others try to make do by buying 1-3 extra laptop batteries of whatever kind is standard to their laptop. I always carry an extra battery of this sort, but it's not a good solution for long-haul flights.

"In the past, therefore, I always used the Electrovaya PowerPad 160, which Brad Kuhn of the Free Software Foundation recommended to me back in 2003 at the eGovOS Conference.

"It was a great recommendation: I got roughly seven to ten hours of uptime, depending on what I was doing. (If watching DVDs, battery life was closer to seven hours; if working on email/Office applications, I got closer to ten and sometimes more.)"

Matte vs. Glossy and MacBook Pro vs. MacBook Screens says:

"Caution: The following post may seem tedious, boring, shallow, anal-retentive, and perhaps intensely obsessive. However, when you spend absurd amounts of time with computers and photo editing software, things like screens become paramount in importance. Also, skip it if you're a Mac hater please; trolls will be taken out back and dealt with properly. The content is probably applicable to both Mac and PC, but I'm focusing on Mac in particular.

"A crash course in modern Mac notebook screens:

"With the advent of the MacBook, Apple switched from a matte screen to glossy for the MacBook line. Many users welcome this change, as many people find that the colors are more saturated (blacks more black, etc.), contrast may be higher (not always a good thing), and for things like movies and games, the screen may be more vibrant. The downside is that the glossy screens can double as a mirror in the wrong lighting (meaning anything other than indoors or with strong back lighting). Additionally, many designers, photographers, and other visual artists feel the glossy screens present unrealistic colors, overly contrasted images, and photographs cannot be accurately matched to the final print.

"Options: glossy or matte?"

Apple Updates

Cleaning the MagSafe Connector

An updated Apple Knowledge Base article says:

"The MacBook and MacBook Pro's power adapter with MagSafe connector uses a magnetic connection instead of a physical plug. This means that tripping over a power cord won't send your computer flying off the table or desk; the cord simply breaks cleanly away, without damage to either the cord or the computer.

"The power adapter with MagSafe uses an LED to indicate when the battery is charging and when the battery is full. As with earlier power adapters, the LED on the DC connector will turn amber when the battery is charging and green when the battery is fully charged.

"If the power adapter doesn't light up at all when it's plugged into the computer and you know the adapter is connected to a known good power source, check to see if...."

Products and Services

rex, a Remote Control that Stores in the MacBook Pro's ExpressCard Slot

rex remote controlrex is a Front Row compatible infrared remote control that can be stored in the ExpressCard/34 slot of your MacBook Pro. All Apple products introduced in 2005 or later with built-in IR receiver are supported by this compact 6-button remote

  • Works with Front Row, iPod Universal Dock, mira
  • Stores in MacBook Pro ExpressCard/34 slot
  • Six buttons: Menu, Select/Play/Pause, Volume Up, Volume Down, Next/Fast-Forward Track, Previous/Rewind Track
  • Compatible with Apple TV™ and all Apple products introduced in 2005 or later with built-in IR receiver
  • Can function at distances of up to 30 feet with unobstructed line-of-sight to the receiver.

OWC First to Offer 3 GB of Memory for MacBook

PR: Other World Computing (OWC), a leading Mac and PC technology company, announced today that it is the first to offer up to 3.0 GB of expansion memory for Apple MacBook laptops - 50% more memory than the 2.0 GB maximum factory installed option.

MacBook users will love the opportunity for improved performance for audio/video, photo, 3D modeling applications, and more, where the extra memory really makes a difference in their computer's performance. 3.0 GB Memory Upgrade options are also compatible with Apple MacBook Pro and Apple iMac Intel based systems.

In addition to being the first to offer this memory, OWC memory also costs less than half the price of factory installed and is easily user installable with a free online video installation guide and a lifetime Advance Replacement Warranty (vs. other manufacturer's limited 1 year warranty). Consumers can also get Trade-in Rebates of up to $55 per module on their existing factory memory (PC5300 DDR2 SO-DIMM).

Current pricing for MacBook (13.3" Models), MacBook Pro (15.4" and 17" Models), iMac Intel (all):

  • $42.99 for 512 MB module
  • $84.99 for 1.0 GB module
  • $167.99 for 2.0 GB KIT (1.0 GB+1.0 GB Set)

OWC pricing for all above Apple models with Core 2 Duo Intel Processor:

  • $259.99 for 2.0 GB Module
  • $339.99 for 3.0 GB Kit (1.0 GB+2.0 GB Set)

With over half a million memory modules since 1988 and thousands of new Macs upgraded each month, OWC Memory is built to the highest standards and fully backed by a Lifetime Advance Replacement Warranty and 30 Day Money Back Guarantee. OWC Memory options are a significant value even when compared to factory installed options, saving customers up to 65% compared vs. such factory options while providing a lifetime warranty vs. limited warranty at the same time.

For more information on all OWC Memory Upgrades, see:

BookShell for MacBook

BookShellPR: Introducing the new BookShell for MacBook, a hard clear case that protects while showing off your laptop. This shiny, sleek armor provides an extra classy shell, but it still allows your laptop to maintain the slim factor in order to fit into sleeve, briefcase, or backpack.


  • Two piece snap on.
  • Access ports interference free.
  • Thermal relief with 80-slot ventilation system on the bottom piece.
  • Skid resistant rubber feet.
  • Slim form factor, allowing MacBook still fit into most additional shock absorbing products (sleeve, case, briefcase...)

Price: $34.99

I-volution ShellVaja I-volution Shell for 15" MacBook Pro

I-volution ShellPR: The maker of bags and cases for notebooks, music players, and other portable electronic devices, Vaja has announced the I-volution Shell, a case for the 15" MacBook Pro. There are two models, a "base" I-volution Shell starting at $392 and a model with handles at $464.

The folio-style I-Volution Shell is crafted in sumptuous Argentine leather and is custom built to order in your specified color scheme

I-volution ShellTen different principal colors are offered, while a wide spectrum of accent colors can be specified. Customization with personalized text or graphics can also be ordered.

The 'Slim' Computer Bag from Acme Made

'Slim' computer bagPR: The "Slim" is Acme Made's original bag/sleeve hybrid designed to fit most laptops including Apple, Sony, Dell, HP and Gateway. The streamlined design allows the Slim to be inserted into another bag or carried with or without its removable shoulder strap (included).

While minimal in design, the Slim maintains a high standard of protection utilizing closed cell foam, high impact plastic, "Splash-proof" zippers and a quilted lining all encased in a water-resistant, ballistic nylon shell.

New MacBook Sizes

'Slim' computer bagSized specifically for the new MacBook (black or white models), the MacBook Slim is available in three different ballistic nylons: Chocolate, Green, Gray and of course, Black. They're shipping now!

  • YKK "SplashProof" zips
  • Removable shoulder strap
  • Closed cell foam padding on 5/6 sides
  • Hi-impact plastic inserts on 5/6 sides
  • Top grain leather handles
  • Quilted satin lining
  • Water-resistant, ballistic nylon
  • 1 year warranty

The Slim $79.99 - $109.99

BookShellBookCase Pro for 13" MacBook

PR: BookCase Pro is made from the best shock resistant- foam. Polyurethane is rigid to the touch, and its slowly compress and expand on impact characteristics provide the best protection for your fragile laptop.

Totally encloses and protects

BookShellBookCase Pro completely encloses the MacBook/MacBook Pro when zipped up, providing total protection against bumps, scratches, dents, or dust.

Minimize vulnerability

BookCase Pro was designed to allow accessing and charging the laptop without having to remove it completely(see note).

List price: $24.99

Online Price: $19.99

The Clyde Computer Bag from Acme Made

PR: The Clyde was originally built for us. As designers we needed a bag that is durable, holds everything (from tabloid-sized boards to the latest laptops), and works as well at the office as it does at play - heck it's even used a lot as a baby bag.

The Clyde is a bag that does it all and looks great doing it. It's functional, comfortable, and well designed.

The Clyde is available in two sizes: the full-sized large and a much reduced small version that is designed to fit those who don't require the full capacity and functionality of the larger size.

NOTE: All Clydes now ship with black ballistic nylon sleeve, not the pink or green sleeves pictured.

Additional features include:

  • Removable black ballistic computer sleeve (medium size) included
  • Durable "ballistic" nylon exterior
  • Adjustable, soft, flexible shoulder strap
  • Supersoft mountain bike grip
  • YKK nylon zippers
  • Zippered outer ticket pocket
  • Outer magazine pocket
  • Outer gusset pocket
  • Zippered document pocket
  • Zippered utility pocket
  • Roomy main compartment
  • Lightweight mountaineering hardware
  • Hand built entirely in the USA

Like all Acme Made products, The Clyde is fully covered with our 1 year warranty and support.

  • The Clyde - Large Black w/orange lining $180
  • The Clyde - Large Black w/orange lining with a 17" Sleeve $180
  • The Clyde - Large Brown w/orange lining $180
  • The Clyde - Large Black w/green lining $180
  • The Clyde - Large Gray w/orange lining $180
  • The Clyde - Large Green w/gold lining $180
  • The Clyde - Small Black/Orange $155
  • The Clyde - Small Black/Green $155
  • The Clyde - Small Black/Pink $155
  • The Clyde - Small Gray/Orange $155


CoolBook 1.3 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.

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

For test results see

New in version 2.0:

  • Added support for throttling.
  • Added support for keychain.
  • CoolBook uses a new GUI.
  • Updated documentation.

System requirements:

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

System support: Intel

$10 Shareware

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

  • refurb 1.83 GHz Core 2 MacBook, white, 512/60/Combo, $949
  • refurb 2.0 GHz Core 2 MacBook, white, 1 GB/80/SD, $1,099
  • refurb 2.0 GHz Core 2 MacBook, black, 1 GB/120/SD, $1,299
  • refurb 17" 2.16 GHz Core Duo MacBook Pro, 1 GB/120/SD, $1,999
  • refurb 17" 2.33 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $2,299

Power Max

  • 12" iBook G4/1 GHz, 256/30/CD, $599
  • 15" PowerBook G4/1.33 GHz, 256/60/Combo, APX, $999
  • 15" PowerBook G4/1.5 GHz, 512/80/Combo, APX, $1,049
  • 17" PowerBook G4/1.67 GHz, 512/120/SD, APX, BT, $1,388

We Love Macs

  • 12" iBook G3/500, 192/10/CD, $284.95
  • 12" iBook G3/600, 128/20/CD, free case, $324.95
  • 12" iBook G3/700, 256/20/CD, $379.95

Baucom Computers

  • 12" iBook G3/800, 256/30/CD, $329
  • 12" iBook G3/700, 256/20/Combo, $295
  • 14" iBook G3/900, 256/40/Combo, $409
  • Add AirPort for $75
  • 15" PowerBook G4/1.5 GHz, 512/80/SD, $1,199
  • Add AirPort Extreme for $65


  • 12" iBook G3/700, 256/20/CD, AirPort, $349
  • 12" iBook G4/1 GHz, 256/30/Combo, no AirPort, $449
  • 12" iBook G4/1 GHz, 256/30/Combo, AirPort, $519
  • 12" iBook G4/1 GHz, 256/30/SD, AirPort, scratches, $599
  • 12" PowerBook G4/867, 384/40/Combo, Scratch & Dent, $479
  • 15" PowerBook G4/1.25 GHz, 512/80/SD, BT, Scratch & Dent, $799
  • 17" PowerBook G4/1.33 GHz, 512/80/SD, APX, BT, $1,099


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" iBook G3/700, 256/20/Combo, $429.99 less $25 = $404.99
  • 15" PowerBook G4/1.25 GHz, 512/80/SD, BT, $899.99 less $25 = $874.99
  • 15" PowerBook G4/1.67 GHz, 512/80/SD, BT, $1,219.99 less $25 = $1,194.99

The PowerBook Guy

  • clamshell iBook G3/300, blueberry, 64/3/CD, $179.95
  • clamshell iBook G3/300, tangerine, 64/3/CD, $189.95
  • clamshell iBook G3/366, indigo, 128/10/CD, FireWire, $249.95
  • PowerBook Pismo G3/400, 256/20/DVD, $379.95
  • PowerBook Pismo G3/500, 256/20/DVD, $399.95
  • 12" iBook G3/500, 128/10/CD, $199.95
  • 12" iBook G4/1.2 GHz, 512/30/Combo, APX, Minor Case Defect, $559.95
  • 12" iBook G4/1.33 GHz, 512/40/Combo, APX, BT, $629.95

Wegener Media

  • PowerBook Lombard G3/333, 128/4/CD, $249.99
  • PowerBook Lombard G3/400, 128/4/CD, $329.99
  • PowerBook Pismo G3/400, 128/6/DVD, $299.99
  • PowerBook Pismo G3/500, 128/6/DVD, $349.99

Custom Macs

  • Apple Emate 300 PDA, Touch Screen in great working shape, $69.99

Computer Geeks

  • 12" iBook G4/1 GHz, 512/30/CD, APX, $449


  • 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.

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

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

Page not found | Low End Mac

Well this is somewhat embarrassing, isn’t it?

It seems we can’t find what you’re looking for. Perhaps searching, or one of the links below, can help.

Most Used Categories


Try looking in the monthly archives. :)

Page not found | Low End Mac

Well this is somewhat embarrassing, isn’t it?

It seems we can’t find what you’re looking for. Perhaps searching, or one of the links below, can help.

Most Used Categories


Try looking in the monthly archives. :)

Favorite Sites

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

The iTunes Store
PC Connection Express
Macgo Blu-ray Player
Parallels Desktop for Mac

Low End Mac's store


Well this is somewhat embarrassing, isn’t it?

It seems we can’t find what you’re looking for. Perhaps searching, or one of the links below, can help.

Most Used Categories


Try looking in the monthly archives. :)

at BackBeat Media (646-546-5194). This number is for advertising only.

Open Link