The 'Book Review

128 GB Flash Drive Fuels MacBook mini Rumors, 500 GB Notebook Drives, Apple's Dock Patent, and More

This Week's MacBook, PowerBook, and iBook News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2008.01.11

All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

General Apple and Mac desktops is covered in The Mac News Review. iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV news is covered in The iNews Review.

News & Opinion

Tech Trends


Bargain 'Books

News & Opinion

Samsung Announcement Fuels MacBook mini Rumors

The Inquirer's Nick Farrell reports:

"Flash memory maker Samsung is doing nothing to change our minds that Apple will be releasing a sub-notebook based around its drives next week.

"Now Samsung has announced that it will be releasing the world's first 128 GB Flash memory card in 1.8-inch and 2.5-inch versions."

Apple Patents Integrated Monitor/Docking Station for Portable Computers

Remember the PowerBook Duo?

The Abstract for United States Patent Application 20080002350 reads:

"A docking station is disclosed. The docking station includes a display and a housing configured to hold the display in a manner that exposes a viewing surface of the display to view. The housing defines a docking area configured to receive a portable computer; The docking area is at least partly obscured by the display when viewed from the viewing surface side of the display at an angle substantially orthogonal to the viewing surface."

Apple Gets Fans Juices Flowing with iMac-like Laptop Dock

Register Hardware's Tony Smith reports:

"The latest Apple patent filing to excite the Mac masses shows the manufacturer's iMac recast as a docking station for a MacBook laptop.

"Apple's been here before, of course, with its Duo range of PowerBooks, launched in 1992. Unlike standard PowerBooks, the Duos were designed to dock into a Mac-like desktop unit that improved the unit's monitor support and audio output, and added a floppy drive."

iMac at Home, MacBook on the Road - in One Package says:

"I always hate the need to switch/synchronize between my home/work and portable computer set-ups. But there's nothing I can do about it....

"Unless Apple goes on and makes a real product from the idea of merging the iMac and MacBook into a single package:"

MacBooks Consistently Good, but Where's the 'Wow'?

MacLife's Jennifer Berger says:

"We hope you won't get too excited about these new MacBooks, because their changes are minimal since the last line. New, slightly faster CPUs, a change to the keyboard, and (of course) Mac OS X Leopard preinstalled don't seem like much. In general, this line is solid, but not as lust-inspiring as other Mac laptop lines in the last few years. (Ah, for the 12-inch PowerBook G4 days...)"

Are Lenovo's Laptops Beating Acer and Apple to the Punch?

BetaNews's Jacqueline Emigh says:

"By unveiling a new line of stylish laptops ahead of both CES and Macworld, Lenovo stands alone in the limelight today. But is there still room for another large player in the laptop space?

"In unveiling a trio of design-conscious 'IdeaPad' laptops for the consumer market, Lenovo today beat newfound competitors such as Dell and Acer to the punch by at least three days, and Apple by a couple of weeks."

Tech Trends

Intel Out of One Laptop Per Child

Reuters reports on eWeek:

"The chip giant resigns from the OLPC program after the board demands it ends efforts in other non-OLPC platforms."

A Marriage of Convenience Broken: OLPC and Intel

Desktop Linux' Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols reports:

"Opinion - Can I be honest? Intel was never really interested in partnering with the One Laptop Per Child project. The marriage of Intel and OLPC was destined for divorce before the two ever walked down the aisle."

Bad Start to 2008 for the OLPC

eWeek's Jim Rapoza reports:

"Opinion: The calendar has switched over to 2008 and so far it has been anything but a happy new year for the One Laptop Per Child Project."

Intel Unveils 16 Next-Generation Processors, Including First Notebook Chips Built on 45nm Technology

PR: New Transistor Design, Manufacturing Capabilities Will Also Power Mobile Internet Devices

Intel Corporation has unveiled 16 new products, including the company's first 45 nanometer (nm) processors for Intel Centrino Processor Technology based laptops.

All of these new chips include the company's new transistor formula and 45nm manufacturing process that boost a PC's speed, reduces power requirements, saves on battery life, helps the environment and comes in smaller packages for more fashionable and compact computer designs. With the introduction of the new processors, Intel will be offering a total of 32 desktop, laptop and server processors based on these industry-leading innovations.

The company also highlighted how it will take advantage of its transistor and manufacturing advances to spur a category of small form-factor, low-powered, high-performance devices that deliver broadband Internet access "in your pocket." The processors are up to 25 percent smaller than previous versions, so computer makers can create sleek, new designs for consumers ranging from stylish all-in-one desktop PCs to smaller notebooks.

Among the 16 new products, 12 are designed for new laptops and desktops products and four are for servers. All are now lead-free and, starting this year, halogen-free, making the processors more eco-friendly.

"The new products we're announcing today provide consumers and businesses with the benefit of sleeker and higher-performing laptops and more powerful and fashionable PCs that deliver for the most hard-core gamer, high-definition enthusiast and just about every other consumer demand," said Mooly Eden, vice president and general manager, mobile platforms group, Intel. "And later this year, Intel will begin delivering the mobile Internet with much smaller, lighter and powerful Internet-enabled devices that ultimately will fit right into your pocket."

Intel Adds Mobile Processors to Lineup

Intel is shipping five new mobile processors, enabling breakthrough performance and improved battery life, providing consumers with the ability to be more productive or just enjoy their digital entertainment while on the go. Helping to extend battery life is also a new Intel Core microarchitecture design feature for advanced power management state called Deep Power Down Technology that reduces the power of the processor when it's not running data or instructions to the laptop.

The processors are the foundation for the company's popular Intel Centrino technology for laptops, and deliver improved content and video capabilities with HD DVDa and Blu-Raya support with an optional third-party decoder. Centrino-based notebooks also come with the Mobile Intel 965 Express Chipset and wireless networking including the optional support for 802.11n networks with Intel Next-Gen Wireless-N.

Intel has also added new video and graphics capabilities with Intel HD Boost that includes Intel Streaming SIMD Extensions 4 (SSE4) for speeding up workloads including video encoding for high-definition and photo manipulation.

Intel will also use this mobile technology foundation and energy-efficient performance to enable a variety of smaller, cooler and quieter, stylish desktop designs. These computers, including the increasingly popular "all-in-one" category, provide the performance to run a variety of digital media and the latest software simultaneously, as well as enhanced high-definition video and smoother playback using Intel Clear Video Technology.

More Mobility on Tap: in Your Pocket; Wireless WiMAX

Pushing the power of the full Internet "in your pocket," Intel's strategy for using low-power Intel Architecture platforms that drastically reduce CPU and chipset power, and package size continues to gain momentum. Intel plans to ship in the first half of this year its first-generation low-power platform chipset that will help deliver a range of ultra mobile and mobile Internet devices from a growing ecosystem of customers.

Intel also continues to work closely with carriers around the world to deploy mobile WiMAX networks. These networks will help deliver true high-speed mobile Internet experiences to a variety of digital devices starting later this year.

Mainstream Desktop PCs Get 45nm Performance and Efficiency Boost

Building on its November 2007 introduction (the Intel Core™2 Extreme quad-core processor QX9650), Intel announced three quad core and four dual core 45nm-based processors for mainstream desktop PCs arriving later this month and throughout the first quarter of the year.

The new Intel Core™ 2 Quad and Intel Core™ 2 Duo processor offerings will speed the transition to Intel's newest processor line and multicore adoption, and are arriving at a time when digital and high-definition content, including photos, home videos, music, television shows and social networking, continues to grow exponentially.

Consumers will realize more performance at a variety of PC purchase prices as these processors feature a range of clock speeds, large L2 caches, and also come equipped with Intel HD Boost (SSE4 instructions). These 45nm processors are also a requirement for computer-makers carrying the Intel Core™2 Processor with Viiv™ technology brand, making it easier for consumers to select a great entertainment PC with Intel's most innovative technologies.

Dual core desktop processor-based PCs using these new processors begin shipping this month; quad core-based systems plan to arrive later this quarter.

The company also introduced four Intel Xeon processors for servers and workstations; they are expected to ship this quarter.


Hitachi Rolls Out 500 GB Notebook Hard Drive

PR: At a time when most of the technology world is asking "what's the next big thing?", Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (Hitachi GST) has answered that question quite literally by introducing the world's highest capacity 2.5-inch mobile hard drive. Setting a new industry benchmark for capacity, the half-terabyte (500 GB) Travelstar 5K500 is poised to usher in a new era of "slim" desktops, full-featured notebooks, gaming consoles and other advanced applications for consumers on-the-go.

With the Travelstar 5K500, Hitachi GST has effectively eliminated the "capacity compromise" by offering consumers all the storage capacity of a desktop with the portability and convenience of a notebook. Moreover, the new drives are well-suited for use in "slim" desktops, where users are seeking high-capacities in a space-saving, small form factor enclosure.

These new sleek PC designs are highly desirable among today's consumers who are often placing computers in multiple rooms throughout the home. The Travelstar 5K500, available in either a 400 GB or 500 GB model, is the fourth-generation Hitachi mobile drive to use perpendicular magnetic recording technology to deliver breakthrough capacity and reliability.

The half-terabyte drives can store up to 500 hours of digital video, 178 feature length movies, 250 games or 125,000 four-minute songs. Travelstar 5K500 drives are available with a 3.0 Gb/s Serial ATA (SATA) interface for enhanced system performance. Hitachi will also offer an enhanced-availability (EA) version, called the Travelstar E5K500 - also available in both 400 GB and 500 GB capacities - which is designed for applications requiring 24x7 operation in lower transaction environments, such as blade servers, network routers, point-of-sale terminals and video surveillance systems.

"The Travelstar 5K500 was designed to address some important trends taking place in today's notebook computing market," said Larry Swezey, director, Consumer and Commercial HDD, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies. "Consumers tend to think of their notebooks as less of a pure technology tool and more of a mobile entertainment device for taking large libraries of movies, music, games and pictures on the go. As a result, notebooks are now starting to ship with wide, high definition screens and large, high quality speakers for playing digital audio and video. Hitachi's new Travelstar 5K500 responds to these dynamics with the features, design innovations and technologies that enhance the overall entertainment experience."

The Travelstar 5K500 is among Hitachi's most technically advanced and robust family of drives and includes an array of innovative features, such Hitachi-patented Rotational Vibration Safeguard (RVS) technology. RVS is designed for today's full-featured notebooks that commonly include premium speakers for enhancing the movie, music and gaming experience. These speakers however, can inadvertently cause vibrations within the system enclosure. To mitigate any adverse impact on system performance, the Travelstar 5K500 uses RVS as an "early warning" system for the drive, enabling it to sense a possible disturbance in advance and take the necessary steps to stabilize the drive head and avoid any disruptions.

Additionally, the Travelstar 5K500 drives feature 400Gs of shock protection to further safeguard user data from falls, bumps and rough handling. The Travelstar 5K500 drives also feature optional Bulk Data Encryption (BDE) for hard drive level data security. Previously, data on a hard drive could be protected either through software-based encryption or a system-level password. However, hard-drive level encryption provides improved performance and a higher level of security than any of the previously available options.

BDE models ship exclusively with a 1.5 Gb/s SATA interface. Consumers have begun to demand environmentally responsible products in all aspects of their lives. Hitachi has designed the Travelstar 5K500 to address these requirements without compromising performance for power efficiency, or vice versa. While the Travelstar 5K500 uses a three-disk design to deliver up to 500 GB of capacity, the new drives are extremely energy-efficient, with a power profile nearly identical to its two-disk predecessor, the Travelstar 5K250.

The new drives feature a 1.9 watt read/write power draw and their 0.7 watt low power idle means longer battery life for more "unplugged" notebook time. Since entering the 2.5-inch segment in 1991, Hitachi has led innovations in the form factor for every measurable category: areal density, performance, power management, acoustics, shock tolerance, reliability and breadth of product options.

Hitachi Travelstar drives continue to be the most popular 2.5-inch hard drives on the market today. "PC form factors are changing dramatically as PCs shift from productivity tools to lifestyle devices," according to Richard Shim, Personal Computing Research Manager at IDC. "The most notable change is the emergence of notebooks as the dominant PC form factor over desktops. At the same time, desktops are slimming down without sacrificing, and in some cases improving, performance. One key component enabling this "less is more concept" in PCs is hard drives, which continue to increase in capacity, while maintaining their relatively diminutive sizes."

The Travelstar 5K500 will be available worldwide in February. The Travelstar E5K500 will be available by the end of the second quarter, 2008.

Technical Specifications: Travelstar 5K00

  • 400/500 GB(a)
  • 12.5 mm in height
  • 5400 RPM
  • 260 billion bits per square inch maximum areal density 3 glass disk platter(s) 6 TMR recording head(s)
  • 1000 G/1ms nonoperating shock
  • 400 G/2ms operating shock
  • 5.5 ms average latency
  • 12 ms average read time
  • 0.95 W active idle
  • 0.7 W low-power idle
  • 1.8 W idle power (EA version only)
  • Serial ATA 3.0 Gb/s, 1.5 Gb/s encrypted
  • 148 grams in weight
  • 2.2 Bels typical idle acoustics
  • 2.4 Bels typical operational acoustics

Samsung Announces 500 GB Notebook Hard Drive

PR: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. announces the development of its new Spinpoint M6 500 GB, the world's first 500 GB 2.5" hard drive that fits in the industry's standard 9.5mm height dimension. Armed with 500 GB capacity, the Spinpoint M6 is designed to meet the growing storage needs of today's notebook computers as well as slim form factor PCs, blade servers and high density mobile applications.

Samsung's complete suite of new hard disk drives will be on display at CES 2008 in its Semiconductor Product Showcase, #N236, of the Las Vegas Convention Center, North Hall, 2nd Floor.

"We continue to raise the bar for high capacity 500 GB 2.5" hard drives," said Andy Higginbotham, director of hard drive sales and marketing, Samsung Semiconductor. "Our Spinpoint M6 500 GB extends the data storage capacity for notebook PCs and readily fits within the tens of millions of notebook PCs that ship every quarter with no modification to the notebook PC chassis, giving users more storage power than ever before."

Samsung's new Spinpoint M6 500 GB consists of three 166 GB platters in a 2.5" hard disk drive frame measuring just 9.5mm in height. Mainstream notebook PCs can now support capacity of up to one terabyte by installing two Spinpoint M6 500 GB drives.

The Spinpoint M6 500 GB hard drive features a 5400 rpm spindle speed, a 8 MB cache, and 3.0 Gbps SATA interface with a free fall sensor and a rotational vibration sensor available as optional features. Perpendicular Magnetic Recording technology enables the 500 GB drive to store 160,000 digital images, 125 hours of DVD movies, or 60 hours of high definition video images. The drive also features Samsung's Flying on Demand head technology that improves recording stability over changing temperature ranges.

Samsung's Spinpoint M6 500 GB is expected to be available in March 2008.

Belkin Unveils New Laptop Case and Backpack

PR: New Ceylon Messenger Bag from Belkin

Ceylon Messenger BagStylish and lightweight, the new Belkin Ceylon Messenger bag brings modern style and functionality to your laptop for local outings to the coffeehouse or the bookstore. Unlike heavier, bulkier laptop bags of "mobile warriors," the Messenger is slimmer and lighter, yet still provides plenty of room for your laptop and accessories. With its built-in stability, the Messenger bag stands upright on its own for easy packing and unpacking.


  • Laptop users who rarely or never take their laptops outside of the home now exceed the number of those who frequently bring their laptop outside the home(a)
  • The 35% of laptop users who use their laptops outside of the home take the laptops out on "local" trips, such as the coffeehouse or a friend's house(a)


  • Slim and lightweight - multiple compartments provide ample room for your laptop and accessories
  • Hidden handle available when needed
  • Plush inner lining protects laptops from scratches
  • Built-in stability for easy packing--bag stands up on its own
  • Works with 15.4" laptops--both widescreen and standard
  • Made with water-resistant nylon
  • Available in colors: black/light grey, grey/lavender, grey/green, grey/blue

Ceylon Messenger bagAvailability

  • Late January 2008 in all global regions

On Display At:

  • 2008 International CES, January 7 - 10, 2008, in Las Vegas at Booth #30368 South Hall
  • Macworld Conference & Expo 2008, January 15-18, 2008, in San Francisco at Booth #911
  • Ceylon Messenger (F8N059) - $49.99
  • Built-in stability for easy packing
  • Fits up to a 15" laptop
  • Available in colors: black/gray, gray/blue, gray/lavender

(a) Belkin market research

Carry Your Laptop In Comfort and Style With the New Belkin Backpack

Belkin BackpackBelkin's new Backpack boasts a slim design that allows you to carry your laptop and other notebook accessories without added bulk. Its plush inner lining protects your laptop from scratches and is soft to the touch. The Backpack has two shoulder straps with extra padding and breathable mesh to give you maximum support while you trek to the coffee house, to work, or even through the airport.


  • Laptop users who rarely or never take their laptops outside of the home now exceed the number of those who frequently bring their laptop outside the home(a)
  • The 35% of laptop users who use their laptops outside of the home take the laptops out on "local" trips, such as the coffeehouse or a friend's house(a)


  • Currently available with launches in Asia, Europe, and Australia to follow.

On Display At:

  • 2008 International CES, January 7 - 10, 2008, in Las Vegas at Booth #30368 South Hall
  • Macworld Conference & Expo 2008, January 15-18, 2008, in San Francisco at Booth #911

Backpack (F8N057) - $59.99

  • Plush inner lining protects laptops from scratches
  • Slim design provides as much carrying capacity as larger cases
  • Separate pouch included for power adapter and cables
  • Phone compartment in shoulder strap
  • Fits up to a 15.4" widescreen laptops
  • Available in colors: dark gray/green, dark gray/light blue, dark gray/lavender, black/light gray, jet/cabernet, chocolate/tourmaline, dove/tarragon, dove/peony

(a) Belkin market research

Belkin offers a diverse product mix that provides people with seamless electronics integration in their homes, cars, and on the go. Founded in California in 1983, Belkin is a privately held company and the recognized leader in connectivity solutions, in addition to accessories for MP3 devices, computers, and more. We provide extensive solutions for networking, home theater - with the PureAV line of cables, power, and digital wireless accessories - and many more categories. You can view and purchase them at, as well as through a network of major distributors, resellers, and superstores.

Targus Announces 3 New Stow-N-Go Mice, HeatDefense Panel, and Portable Power Strip

PR: Targus Inc., maker of the world's top-selling laptop computer cases and accessories, today announced the newest additions to its line of premium laptop accessories. The new products include the Retractable Optical Stow-N-GoTM Laptop Mouse, Retractable Laser Stow-N-GoTM Laptop Mouse, Wireless Laser Stow-N-GoTM Laptop Mouse, HeatDefense laptop cooling system and Travel Power Outlets with Surge Protection. Targus' laptop accessories are designed to help ease your accelerated life while traveling.

"With the ever-increasing speed of business and personal life, Targus is committed to enhancing the lives of road warriors, traveling professionals and laptop users alike while on-the-go," said Mike Kroll, director of product management-accessories at Targus. "Targus' exciting new portable accessories offer these users simple and convenient solutions to maximize their productivity and efficiency while providing fast, flexible and reliable mobility."

Three New Stow-N-Go Mice

Targus' newest line of laptop mice bring a fresh new look and cutting edge technology to simplify computer navigation. The mice feature a tilt-wheel with four-way scrolling for efficient viewing of spreadsheets, photos, images, etc. For widescreen laptops, users can simply adjust the cursor speed with the convenient one-touch button and indicator light, which changes the DPI (Dots Per Inch) setting from 1600/1200/800. Program the scroll button on any of the mice to suit your needs including zoom, magnify, launch Internet Explorer, Internet back, cut, paste, copy, double-click, etc. The Retractable Optical Stow-N-Go and the Retractable Laser Stow-N-Go laptop mice have a convenient 2.5 ft. retractable cord, which attaches to the bottom of the mouse for easy travel. The Retractable Laser Stow-N-Go and Wireless Laser Stow-N-Go mice feature laser sensor technology, offering 20 times more tracking sensitivity, making it easy to use on shiny surfaces such as glass or covered surfaces. With a 2.4 GHz frequency, the wireless mouse can expand to greater distances of up to 10' and can easily be turned off for travel by tucking the receiver neatly under the mouse. The Retractable Optical Stow-N-Go Laptop Mouse (AMU40US) measures 3.74" x 2.44" x 1.38" and has an estimated street price of $19.99. The Retractable Laser Stow-N-Go Laptop Mouse (AMU41US) measures 3.74" x 2.44" x 1.38" and has an estimated street price of $29.99. The Wireless Laser Stow-N-Go Laptop Mouse (AMW26US) measures 3.74" x 2.36" x 1.46" and has an estimated street price of $39.99. The new mice will be available in March 2008.


Targus' lightweight and easy-to-store HeatDefense cooling system can be placed underneath the laptop on your lap or desk to assist in cooling your device and providing heat protection. The HeatDefense cooling pad features innovative HeatShift Technology, which uses a crystalline compound to absorb heat emitted from laptops. As your laptop heats up the pad, the crystalline compound melts into a gel-like substance, which absorbs the laptop heat and protects your lap or workstation from heat damage. HeatDefense help laptops operate at cooler temperatures to maximize laptop performance. Whether you're using it with a 12" laptop or a larger 17" laptop, the foldable HeatDefense provides a comfortable experience and easily stores away for travel. The HeatDefense (TXZ014US) measures approximately 13.35" x 11.85" and will be available in April 2008 at an estimated street price of $29.99.

Travel Power Outlets with Surge Protection

Equipped with 4 outlets, Targus' new Travel Power Outlets with Surge Protection help protect your electronics while providing instant outlet expansion whether you're at the airport, hotel room, library, or the local coffee shop. With its innovative design, the Travel Power Outlets accommodate oversized power adapters while allowing for easy travel with its ability to fit into hard to reach places. You can now charge your cell phone, camera battery and work on your laptop all from one location. The Travel Power Outlets with Surge Protection (APS03US) measures 2.80" x 10.75" x 7.70" and only weighs 8 oz. It will be available February 2008 at an estimated street price is $19.99.

All products are backed by a limited lifetime warranty. Targus' new accessories will be available at as well as through leading retailers, e-tailers and computer manufacturers' websites.

Targus Takes Laptop Security to the Next Level with Its New DEFCON Privacy Filters

Targus Inc. has announced its new DEFCON Privacy Filters as an extension of their complete line of laptop security products. Designed specifically to protect sensitive information displayed on laptop screens or LCD monitors, privacy filters safeguard data from prying eyes and provide an ergonomic benefit by reducing glare to help prevent eye strain.

The new DEFCON Privacy Filter is designed to fit laptops with display sizes of 12.1" and 14.1" as well as laptops with widescreen display sizes of 12.1", 14.1", 15.4" and 17". It also fits LCD monitors with 17" or 19" displays and 19", 24" and 30" widescreen displays.

"With more laptops being used while on the go in planes, airports, coffee shops and other public places, there is the increased risk of vital information being stolen from your laptop screen," stated Mike Kroll, director of product management-accessories at Targus. "Targus' new easy-to-use DEFCON Privacy Filter can protect you, your business and your sensitive information from the prying eyes of strangers."

Targus' new Privacy Filter uses small vertical blinds to shield your personal and mission critical files from anyone looking at more than a 45 degree angle from the center of the screen. By narrowing the viewing angle, anyone attempting to catch a glimpse of your laptop or LCD monitor will see nothing more than an obscure dark screen. The filter can easily be attached to your LCD with specially designed clear adhesive strips or with the included tab guides, which are designed to keep the filter in place and are simple to install and remove as needed.

The Privacy Filters for Laptop Displays will be available for estimated street prices of:

  • 12.1" (ASF121USZ) and 12.1" widescreen (ASF121WUSZ)- $47.99
  • 14.1" (ASF141USZ) and 14.1" widescreen (ASF141WUSZ) - $47.99
  • 15.4" widescreen (ASF154WUSZ) - $54.99
  • 17" widescreen (ASF17WUSZ) - $74.99

The Privacy Filters for LCD screens will be available for estimated street prices of:

  • 17" (ASF17USZ) - $74.99
  • 19" (ASF19USZ) and 19" widescreen (ASF19WUSZ)- $84.99
  • 24" widescreen (ASF24WUSZ) - $179.99
  • 30" widescreen (ASF30WUSZ) - $279.99

Backed by a limited one-year warranty, Targus' DEFCON Privacy Filter will be available later this month at as well as through leading resellers, e-tailers and computer accessory websites.

New Kensington Notebook Cases for Women Pack Style, Functionality and Comfort

PR: Rich, Textured Exteriors with Contrast Stitching, Paisley Linings and Pleats Meet Light Weight, Smart Pockets and Ergonomic Support

Kensington Computer Products Group has introduced three new Contour Balance cases - a top loader case, backpack and roller - made specifically for professional women to carry their notebook computers in style and comfort.

The new Contour Balance line takes inspiration from women who demand styling to match the latest fashion trends, but also the functionality to keep up with their professional lifestyle in comfort. Balance lets women express their personality and taste with designs that bring out the colors, patterns, textures and shapes of today's latest looks. Kensington's expertise in designing for mobile professionals ensures a customized level of comfort, for a line of cases that fits like your favorite pair of shoes.

Each Contour Balance case is finished in either onyx and white or chocolate and cream, with contrasting floral paisley or graphic print along the interior. Understated, clean lines and modern silhouettes on the outside combine with thoughtful features on the inside that are custom-designed for professional women.

"Uncompromising style. The concept behind Contour Balance was to give professional women a smart alternative to impractical fashion," said Ly Nguyen, Regional Product Manager, Cases. "These three new cases don't just look great; we designed them to offer outstanding notebook protection and comfort. We shaped them to fit the contours of a woman's body, which makes carrying them more natural; we added ergonomic straps and panels to make them more comfortable; and we packed them with features to give women more options for carrying their work around. The result is style with purpose."

Key features of the new Contour Balance line include:

  • Stylish and Smart - designed to complement your wardrobe and show off your good taste, Contour Balance has the refined styling to hold its own among your other bags, but with the practicality and versatility that will quickly make it your favorite.
  • Protective and Light - each Contour Balance case uses a patented AirBrake cushioning system to provide superior protection for notebook computers, while the overall weight of each case has been reduced to make them easier to carry. The Contour Roller, for example, is up to 25% lighter than traditional rollers.
  • Comfortable - new Air-Flo Contour panels are tailored for women, offering custom-fitting ergonomic support that dissipates heat and sits closer to the torso for greater comfort on the go.
  • Organized - purpose-built pockets provide dedicated storage for accessories and separates smaller items from larger ones, making it easy to find that lipstick or power supply when the need arises.
  • Strong - durable, lightweight and water-resistant, the microfiber exterior of a Contour Balance case will stand up to regular wear and tear without showing it.
  • Convenient - stowable shoulder straps (available on top loader) offer a choice of carrying options, and a telescoping handle (available on Roller) makes traveling a breeze.

The Contour Balance Collection from Kensington Includes:

  • Kensington Contour Balance Case (K62535US onyx & K62536US chocolate): A case for your 15" notebook and all your essentials. A detachable, ergonomic shoulder strap can be stowed in an exterior pocket. The protection system at the bottom of the case protects your notebook from accidental falls. Feminine pleat detailing and a stylish paisley or graphic print inset. Available in onyx and chocolate. Suggested retail price $79.99.
  • Kensington Contour Balance Backpack (K62534US): This compact backpack has space for smaller accessories, and a dedicated notebook compartment that will fit 14.1" widescreen computers. Ergonomic straps are designed to provide the greatest support for women. Contrasting chocolate and cream colors make for a polished, professional and feminine look. Available in chocolate only. Suggested retail price $69.99.
  • Kensington Contour Balance Roller (K62533US): A telescoping handle lets you wheel around your 15.4" widescreen notebook and other accessories, while the lightweight design is up to 25% lighter than traditional rollers, making it easier to carry. The microfiber material offers high durability, soft fabric and scuff resistant bottom. Kensington's patented Contour panel makes the case more comfortable to carry when needed. Available in onyx only. Suggested retail price: $119.99.

The new Kensington Contour Balance Cases are available for pre-order at and and will be available at other major retailers in February 2008.

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

No change from last week except the addition of one high-end MacBook model. cm

  • refurb 2.0 GHz Core 2 MacBook, white, 1 GB/80/Combo, $899
  • refurb 2.16 GHz Core 2 MacBook, white, 1 GB/120/SD, $1,049
  • refurb 2.16 GHz Core 2 MacBook, black, 1 GB/160/SD, $1,249
  • refurb 15" 2.2 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/120/SD, $1,699
  • refurb 15" 2.33 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/120/SD, $1,899
  • refurb 15" 2.4 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $2,099
  • refurb 17" 2.33 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $2,199
  • refurb 17" 2.4 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $2,399
  • refurb hi-res 17" 2.4 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $2,599


  • 12" PowerBook G4/1 GHz, 256/60/SD, $529.99
  • 15" PowerBook G4/400 MHz, 256/20/DVD, $499.99
  • 17" PowerBook G4/1 GHz, 512/60/SD, $999.99
  • 17" PowerBook G4/1.5 GHz, 512/80/SD, $1,119.99

Wegener Media - 15" PowerBook - 17" MacBook Pro

  • 15" Aluminum PowerBook G4/1 GHz, 256/60/Combo, $699.99
  • 15" Aluminum PowerBook G4/1.25 GHz, 256/60/Combo, $709.99
  • 15" Aluminum PowerBook G4/1.33 GHz, 256/60/Combo, $724.99
  • 15" Aluminum PowerBook G4/1.5 GHz, 512/80/Combo, $799.99
  • 15" Aluminum PowerBook G4/1.67 GHz, 512/80/Combo, $899.99
  • 15" hi-res PowerBook G4/1.67 GHz, 512/80/SD, $949.99
  • 17" 2.16 GHz Core Duo MacBook Pro, 1 GB/100/SD, $1,459.99
  • 17" 2.16 GHz Core Duo MacBook Pro, 1 GB/120/SD, $1,499.99
  • 17" 2.16 GHz Core Duo MacBook Pro, 1 GB/160/SD, $1,529.99
  • 17" 2.16 GHz Core Duo MacBook Pro, 1 GB/200/SD, $1,619.99

Power Max

  • open box 2.16 GHz Core 2 MacBook, white, 1 GB/120/SD, warranty started, $1,199
  • open box 2.16 GHz Core 2 MacBook, white, 1 GB/120/SD, $1,229
  • open box 2.16 GHz Core 2 MacBook, black, 1 GB/160/SD, warranty started, $1,399
  • open box 2.16 GHz Core 2 MacBook, black, 1 GB/160/SD, $1,439
  • open box 15" 2.2 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/120/SD, $1,899
  • open box 15" 2.2 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/200/SD, $2,229
  • open box 15" 2.33 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/120/SD, warranty started, $2,199
  • open box 17" 2.33 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $2,599
  • open box 17" 2.4 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, warranty started, $2,649
  • open box 17" 2.4 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/200/SD, $2,899

Baucom Computers

  • 12" iBook G4/800, 640/30/Combo, $449
  • 12" iBook G4/800, 640/30/Combo, APX, $485
  • 15" PowerBook G4/1.25 GHz, 512/80/SD, $685
  • Add Airport Extreme for $39


  • open box 17" 2.4 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $2,599

PowerBook Guy

  • 12" iBook G3/500, 128/10/CD, $199.95
  • 12" iBook G3/500, 256/10/Combo, $299.95
  • 12" iBook G3/600, 128/20/CD, $219.95
  • 12" iBook G3/700, 256/20/CD, $229.95
  • 12" iBook G3/800, 256/30/CD, $249.95
  • 12" iBook G4/800, 640/40/Combo, $479.95
  • 14" iBook G4/800, 512/40/Combo, $529.95
  • 15" PowerBook G4/1 GHz, 512/80/Combo, APX, $999.95

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

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