The 'Book Review

MacBook Air Selling Poorly?, Macs Benchmarked with Leopard, MacBook Air Reviews, and More

This Week's MacBook, PowerBook, and iBook News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2008.02.22

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


Apple Updates

Tech Trends



Bargain 'Books

News & Opinion

MacBook Air 'Not Selling All That Well'

WebProNews' Doug Caverly reports:

"Only Apple knows exactly how many MacBook Airs it expected to sell, and thus, only Apple knows whether current figures are disappointing. Still, new findings suggest that people are doing more looking than buying, and that by year's end, transactions involving the Air will account for only 16 percent of Mac sales.

"So place your bets, people - will Apple and its investors find this acceptable? The 16 percent stat comes from Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster, so although he talked to just 20 resellers, it'll be somewhat hard to refute. Also, Munster added that about 60 percent of those resellers are seeing less initial demand for the Air than they did for the 13-inch MacBooks two years ago."

Editor's note: Only 16%? Apple's product line includes the Mac mini, MacBook, 15" MacBook Pro, 17" MacBook Pro, 20" iMac, 24" iMac, Mac Pro, and MacBook Air. 16% sounds good to us! dk

Comprehensive List of Mac Performance Benchmarks Using Leopard

Primate Labs Blog has posted a fascinating list of Mac performance benchmarks spanning back from the latest quad-core Mac Pros to 400 MHz PowerBook G4s.

Results were collected from the Geekbench Result Browser for Macs with standard processors (i.e., no processor upgrades, overclocked processors, or Hackintoshes) with at least 512 MB of RAM running Leopard.

Keep in mind that Geekbench 2 only measures processor and memory performance which is why, for example, MacBook and MacBook Pro scores are so similar, despite both having radically different graphics adapters.

You can check it out at:

Hitachi Travelstar 7K200 a Great Replacement Laptop Hard Drive

Macsimum News' Rod Harlan reports:

"Is your laptop sluggish when opening folders with lots of documents inside? Do video clips stutter when you play them? Are you constantly looking for items you can delete or burn to DVD because you're always running out of space? Then it sounds like you need a new laptop hard drive!

"The Hitachi Travelstar 7K200 (approximately US$210) is a 200-GB, 7200-rpm spindle drive with a 16-MB buffer running on the Serial ATA platform. Originally sold at the Enterprise level to go in large server banks, this 2.5-inch drive has developed a strong following among mobile content creators (video editors, animators, DVD authors, etc.) who demand the best performance possible in the smallest size that fits their laptops."

Using the MacBook Air's USB Ethernet Adapter on Another Mac

Hardmac's Lionel reports:

"Like the SuperDrive, MacBook Air's USB-Ethernet adapter was announced as being compatible only with this machine. Simply, if it is connected to another Mac, it will be seen, but not work.

"Christophe, however, has found a way to make it work in an optimal way on any machine that runs OS X 10.5.2...."

Keyboard Update Brings Back the First Key Press

Ars Technica's Justin Berka reports:

"Although they often haven't been highly-publicized issues, MacBooks and MacBook Pros have been plagued with a number of keyboard bugs for some time now. In December, Apple issued a software update to deal with frozen keyboard problems, but some users reported that the update hadn't squashed the bugs they were experiencing. Luckily, Apple is taking another crack at keyboard issues, and has released Keyboard Firmware Upgrade 1.0 for MacBooks and MacBook Pros."

MacBook Pro Penryn Update Imminent?

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

"In reading the Apple teas [sic] leaves it appears that a MacBook Pro update is imminent. A source tells me that it's within-the-next-30-days imminent.

"Let's look at a few of the other hints....

"Intel chief executive Paul Otellini says that 45nm Penryn is up to a 20 percent performance increase over 65nm chips, more energy efficient, and uses halogen-free packaging which is better for the environment...."

To Deploy MacBooks in Schools or Not?

ZD Net's Christopher Dawson says:

"Most of you know that I just got a new MacBook and really love it. On a personal level, it's darned close to perfect for what I do. Writing; systems administration; creating movies, presentations, and websites; and otherwise getting my jobs done come very naturally (and come in a lightweight package that easily slips into my messenger bag). Everything really does just work. The ads, to this point, seem quite accurate.

"However, what works really well for me may not make sense for a large-scale deployment in a public school...."

"Does the Mac add enough value in OS X and it's bundled applications to justify its cost (I know comparably-configured Windows machines don't have much a price differential - I'm talking about low-powered cheap machines for my low-powered users)?"


MacBook Air: 'True Engineering Genius' reports:

"At the start of the year, the T3 gossip machine leapt into pre-Macworld overdrive, forecasting a 12.1-inch lappy or iTablet. What we actually got was the world's slimmest notebook. Not too far off, then...."

"Considering this notebook measures just 40mm at its thinnest point and weighs under 1.5kg, it's a miracle this thing actually made it off the design table.

"But Apple has left a few blueprints behind, for the Air lacks FireWire, Ethernet, an optical drive and no more USB ports. A USB to Ethernet adapter costs an extra £19 and the deficiency of FireWire will madden those with compatible digital camcorders or peripherals . . . the Air is strictly for high-flyers. It's a show-off's dream and the shape of things to come in the lap-sector but don't expect it to replace your family 'pooter."

'Life with the Air Just Got Better and Better'

The BBC's Rory Cellan-Jones reports:

"It started so badly. My first few hours with the MacBook Air were full of frustration as I struggled - and failed - to import data and settings from my old computer. To make this ultra-slim laptop fit into its aluminium casing Apple has had to chuck a lot overboard - including a FireWire port - so that means you are completely dependent on wireless technology to import your data or install new software. And for me - and plenty of others as far as I can see from online discussions - Apple's new migration assistant did not work.

"But from then on life with the Air just got better and better. I took the laptop with me to Barcelona and used it as my prime tool for all my reporting from Mobile World Congress. Its sheer portability was a joy - when you're racing around a crowded congress site, a 1.4 kg load feels an awful lot better on your back than the 2.4 kg machine I normally carry."

MacBook Air Makes a Perfect Satellite

The Detroit Free Press's Mike Wendland reports:

"The MacBook Air comes with a 1.6 GHz Intel Duo Core processor. That is certainly not the most robust available in portable computers today. However, I really have not noticed any speed issues. Maybe that's because Apple includes 2 GB of RAM as standard. But really, how much speed do we need? For most of us, the MBA is the perfect second machine....

"Now that I've had one for a week or so, I can tell you that while the MacBook Air may not be for everyone, it is very much for me."

Unexpected MacBook Air Benefit - Reduced Carpal Tunnel Pain

Product Review's Dave Rosenberg reports:

"For those of you who are MacBook Pro users, you too may have felt the pain from the somewhat oddly placed keyboard....

"A week into the MB Air and I can honestly say that I have almost no pain or fatigue in my wrists when I use the machine standalone...."

Is MacBook Air Good Enough To Be Your Only Computer?

GigaOM's Om Malik says:

"Being less of a web-app zealot as others, I am still on the fence on this one, and even after using the MacBook Air for close to two weeks, I still can't make up my mind - whether to keep using it as my only machine or pair it with the MacBook...."

MacBook Air: Temperature Benchmarks

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

"A big concern for anyone using a notebook computer for any length of time is the heat it generates. It actually came to a head a few years ago when the lawyers at most notebook computer manufacturers replaced the term 'laptop' with 'notebook' for fear of litigation.

"Apple recommends that their notebook computers only be used on a flat, stable surface - not on your lap....

"To measure the heat generated by the MacBook Air I created 12 temperature zones on the bottom plate. I flipped over the MBA and mapped locations in three rows and four columns. Zones 1 to 4 are across the top from left to right. Zones 5 to 8 are in the middle row and 9 to 12 are the bottom row.

"I measured the temperatures (in degree Fahrenheit) on the bottom of an MBA (1.6 GHz HDD) and MBP (2.4 GHz Santa Rosa) after approximately three and five hours of use using a Mastercool 52224 infrared thermometer. Both machines were attached to AC power and sitting on a cloth upholstered automan [sic] ...."

Apple Updates

Apple MacBook, MacBook Pro Keyboard Firmware Update 1.0

This MacBook and MacBook Pro firmware update addresses an issue where the first key press may be ignored if the computer has been sitting idle. It also addresses some other issues.

The update package will install an updater application into the Applications/Utilities folder and will launch it automatically. Please follow the instructions in the updater application to complete the update process.

Mac OS X 10.5.2 or later

Tech Trends

ThinkPad with Preinstalled Linux Is Good, but Not Great

Desktop Linux' Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols reports:

"I use, on a daily basis, three different Linux distributions: MEPIS 6.5 and 7, OpenSUSE 10.3, and SLED 10 SP1. So, when I saw that Frank Ohlhorst, my colleague over at The Channel Insider, had gotten his hands on a ThinkPad T61 with SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 Service Pack 1, I was interested in what he would find.

"I was also interested in how he got a review model to play with and I didn't, but that's mere envy."

iSuppli Warns of NAND Flash Slowdown in 2008

iSuppli reports:

"Amid troubling signs of order reductions and weakness in consumer spending, iSuppli Corp. is cutting its outlook for global NAND flash revenue growth in 2008 to the single digit percentage range, down from our previous outlook of a 27 percent rise. Global NAND flash revenue is set to rise marginally in 2008, up from $13.9 billion in 2007. NAND flash is used heavily in consumer-electronics applications - including flash storage cards, MP3 players and USB flash drives - that are driven by retail sales to consumers. With consumer confidence taking a dive due to the US subprime mortgage crisis, the NAND market outlook has diminished considerably in 2008."

Intel Montevina Notebook Platform to Be Named Centrino 2

DigiTimes' Monica Chen and Joseph Tsai report:

"Intel is planning to rename its brand name for the upcoming notebook Montevina platform to Centrino 2 in order to clear up confusion for consumers, according to sources at notebook makers.

"Intel has used the brand name Centrino for four generations of its notebook platforms including Carmel, Sonoma, Napa and Santa Rosa....

"Intel is set to launch the Centrino 2 platform in Computex Taipei 2008 along with six 45nm notebook CPUs, all with a 1066 MHz FSB. Core speeds will range between 2.26-3.06 GHz....

"Intel will then launch seven 45nm SFF (small form factor) notebook CPUs, similar to those used in Apple's MacBook Air and soon other ultra-portable notebooks, in the third quarter of this year...."

Intel's Fifth-gen Centrino to Launch as Centrino 2

Register Hardware's Tony Smith reports:

"Ladies and gentlemen, will you please welcome Centrino . . . 2. Yes, despite numerous annual updates since the launch of Intel's laptop platform, the next version, codenamed 'Montevina', will apparently be released as its second generation....

"Hopefully, it'll also mean an end to the use of Intel Centrino codenames - 'Carmel', 'Sonoma', 'Napa' and 'Santa Rosa' - as differentiators, an unofficial naming scheme even more confusing for consumers."


NiteCruzer Laptop Computer Overnight Carryon Case

PR: CaseCruzer's new Pelican laptop case turns business air travel warriors into easy riders. The first class Pelican Cases provide protective laptop cases for the MacBook Pro with lots of room for all the essentials of business and pleasure. The new NiteCruzer 1510 by CaseCruzer is the toughest airline-legal carry on solution available for consumers

NiteCruzerThe NiteCruzer 1510 laptop case introduces the latest addition to a comprehensive line of carryon luggage by Pelican Cases. Business nomads with an eye for trailblazing amenities are chucking dual shoulder bags in favor of the new suave and sleek NiteCruzer - the toughest airline-legal carryon baggage available today. This innovative spin on air travel marks the end of those days when technology and personal belongings required separate but equal spaces.

The mobile NiteCruzer 1510 is yet another progressive CaseCruzer design. This cutting edge laptop case with its spacious interior gives globetrotters ample storage for personal belongings. Yet it also pampers laptops with a protective lid compartment that is ideal for the Apple MacBook Pro 13.3-, 15-inch or the new MacBook Air.

Arrivals and departures are always smooth with NiteCruzer's deluxe 17-inch retractable extension handle, which allows world-class voyagers to roll in and out of any hemisphere with ease. And since the new NiteCruzer1510 is equipped with side and front handles, assistance won't be necessary when hoisting it into an overhead bin.

NiteCruzerFortune-hunters who travel with laptop cases - and who doesn't? - can easily survive the onslaught of tiresome travel conditions because NiteCruzer is a veritable fortress on wheels. The metal reinforced padlock protectors add strength and extra security against cutting, theft and air turbulence. And if travel plans demand that you tolerate stormy weather or seasonal downpours, the waterproof NiteCruzer by Pelican Cases with buoyancy up to 64.2 lbs is capable of rising to nearly any occasion.

Road warriors Bruce Johnson and Christine Toy Johnson of ReImagined World Entertainment have spent a lot of time on aircraft this past year. "The laptop is always critical, especially now. When we're on the road, we have to take two. One for writing, and one for design and editing needs," said Bruce Johnson. "I'll often have two different carryons. But I tend to try to find an all-in-one bag that will carry both my laptop and other things."

The Johnsons have encountered the full menu of travel headaches. But the most feared is when they fly into a major airport and transfer to a "puddle-jumper" aircraft to travel to remote locations. Often no bags may be carried onto these small planes. "They take your bag. And you just pray at that point," Johnson said.

No prayers needed when rolling with NiteCruzer laptop cases. Although the peerless carrying NiteCruzer by Pelican Cases weighs only 15 lbs when empty, it comes with standard features, such as water and dustproof neoprene O-ring seal, automatic purge valve with Gore-Tex® membrane, and easy to open double-throw latches. And, as always, all Pelican Cases come with a lifetime guarantee.

However, the NiteCruzer 1510 is designed to provide moderate protection as a carryon. It is not intended to be used as a shipping container or check-in luggage. CaseCruzer has developed other products for heavy duty protection.

Nevertheless, when making cross-country or transcontinental trips and going the extra mile to achieve your business dreams, everyone deserves to upgrade to a dependable overnight travel laptop case so that they can finally experience peace - on Earth and in the air. Think the new NiteCruzer is special? That's right. But when you hear the name CaseCruzer, think Pelican Plus.

NiteCruzer 1510 sells for $195.00

  • Outside Dimensions: - 22"L x 13.81"W x 9"H
  • Weight: 15 lbs

To order your NiteCruzer case call: 1-800-882-4730

Pelican Cases can also be reached by calling 800-440-9925 in the US or 909-613-1547 internationally; faxing 909-613-1979; or writing to CaseCruzer at 4665 State Street, Montclair, CA 91763.



PR: KeyRemap4MacBook is a keyboard remapper for Mac OS X.

Not to mention the change of simple key remap, it has the special remapping like Emacs-mode, SandS-mode (Space and Shift).


  • enter - > command
  • swap escape & tilde.
  • control+M - > return (Emacs)
  • space - > shift (SandS)
  • drop shift+F1 .. shift+F12 (prevent to slow down expose)

Very small & concise source code written with C++.

Use it as codebase of your original keyremapper.

New in version 3.1.0 (2008-02-18)

  • Correct the key repeat behavior.
  • Fixed a minor PreferencePane bug.
  • Added new remappings.
  • commandL2shiftL
  • commandR2controlL
  • commandR2optionL
  • commandR2shiftL
  • enter2commandLcontrolL
  • enter2commandLshiftL
  • pclikehomeend
  • keypadnumlock
  • pc_application2f11
  • emacsmode_controlAE
  • jis_commandR2eisuu
  • jis_commandR2kana
  • jis_optionR2eisuu
  • jis_optionR2kana
  • jis_unify_kana_eisuu_to_optionR

System requirements: Mac OS X 10.4, 10.5. (Leopard-ready

System support: PPC/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

Refurb 2.2 GHz Santa Rosa 15" MacBook Pros are available again late in the week, in my estimation a better value than the older 2.16 GHz models for $200 less and 2.33 MHz Core 2 Duo models that are offered for $200 more. The higher-spec. 15-incher has never seemed to me to be much of a deal. cm

  • refurb 2.0 GHz Santa Rosa MacBook, white, 1 GB/80/Combo, $949
  • refurb 2.0 GHz Core 2 MacBook, white, 1 GB/80/SD, $1,049
  • refurb 2.16 GHz Core 2 MacBook, black, 1 GB/160/SD, $1,249
  • refurb 2.2 GHz Core 2 MacBook, white, 1 GB/120/SD, $1,099
  • refurb 2.2 GHz Core 2 MacBook, black, 1 GB/160/SD, $1,299
  • 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" 2.4 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $2,299
  • refurb 17" 2.6 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $2,499


  • 12" iBook G3/600, 256/20/Combo, $349.99
  • 12" iBook G3/700, 256/20/Combo, $379.99
  • 15" PowerBook G4/667 (DVI), 256/30/Combo, $629.99
  • 15" 2.16 GHz Core Duo MacBook Pro, 1 GB/100/SD, $1,399.99
  • 17" PowerBook G4/1 GHz, 512/60/SD, $999.99

Wegener Media - G3 iBooks - 15" MacBook Pro - 17" MacBook Pro

  • 12" iBook G3/500, 128/10/128/CD, $169.99
  • 12" iBook G3/600, 128/15/128/CD, $249.99
  • 12" iBook G3/700, 128/20/128RAM/Combo, $329.99
  • 12" iBook G3/800, 256/30/256mb RAM/Combo, $399.99
  • 15" 1.83 GHz MacBook Pro, 512/80/SD, $1,179.99
  • 15" 2 GHz MacBook Pro, 512/80/SD, $1,239.99
  • 15" 2.16 GHz MacBook Pro, 1 GB/100/SD, $1,399.99
  • 17" 2.16 GHz MacBook Pro, 1 GB/120/SD, $1,499.99
  • 17" 2.16 GHz MacBook Pro, 1 GB/160/SD, $1,529.99
  • 17" 2.16 GHz MacBook Pro, 1 GB/200/SD, $1,619.99

Baucom Computers

  • 12" iBook G4/800, 640/30/Combo, $399
  • 12" iBook G4/800, 640/30/Combo, APX, $439
  • 1.83 GHz Core Duo MacBook, white, 1 GB/80/Combo, $879
  • 2.16 GHz Core 2 MacBook, black, 1 G/160/SD, $1,251

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, $1,299
  • open box 2.16 GHz Core 2 MacBook, black, 1 GB/160/SD, $1,388
  • MacBook 2.16 GHz Core 2, black, 1 GB/160/SD, $1,449
  • open box 15" 2.2 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/200/SD, $1,899
  • open box 15" 2.4 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $2,439
  • open box 17" 2.4 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $2,599
  • open box 17" hi-res 2.4 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/250/SD, $2,849

PowerBook Guy

  • clamshell iBook G3/366, Key Lime, 192/10/CD, $259.95
  • 12" iBook G3/500, 256/10/Combo, $299.95
  • 12" iBook G3/600, 128/20/CD, $179.95
  • 12" iBook G3/800, 256/30/CD, $249.95
  • 12" iBook G4/800, 640/40/Combo, $479.95
  • 12" iBook G4/1 GHz, 768/40/Combo, $529.95
  • 15" PowerBook G4/400, 256/20/DVD, $449.95

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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