The 'Book Review

Apple Outsells Dell in Education, 2008 MacBooks Reviewed and Benchmarked, Migration Tips, and More

This Week's MacBook, PowerBook, and iBook News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2008.03.07

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

Drive News



Bargain 'Books

News & Opinion

Apple Passed Dell in US Education Laptop Market During 2007

9to5mac's Andy Space reports:

"Hidden in among Apple's chief operating officer Tim Cook's speech to the Goldman Sachs Technology Investment Symposium was a critical barometer of Apple's success - Apple beat Dell in laptop sales in the US higher education market,

"While most reports focused on Cook's optimism as regards iPhone sales this year, the executive also told analysts: 'We just received word on Monday that Apple surpassed Dell as the number one supplier of portables to US higher education for 2007,' Cook claimed.

"'The ceiling for the Macs is nowhere in sight. Even if the market itself isn't growing, for us, switching Windows users is an enormous opportunity,' Cook also added.

"This is a critical metric for Apple, which once dominated computing on college campuses."

Oklahoma Christian University Lets Students Trade in Windows PCs for Macs

Mac Daily News reports:

"At Oklahoma Christian University this summer, all faculty and all new students attending New Student Orientations will be issued new Apple MacBooks. Current students also will be given the opportunity to trade in their Windows PC laptop for an Apple MacBook. This MacBook mobile learning initiative and the reliable campus-wide wireless infrastructure will allow OC to continue to provide opportunities for anytime, anywhere access to media-rich distributed course content."

Open Firmware Fix for PowerBooks with Lower RAM Slot Issues

Mac OS X Hints contributor Anonymous says:

"Many PowerBook G4 users are experiencing failures of the lower memory slot. I have found a workaround for the problem, though not quite a full solution (as it won't survive a reboot). Note that very little testing has been done on this fix, but I have used it on my PowerBook with 100% success...."

"There are two problems I can see with the use of this method. First of all, it is not persistent - when you reboot your machine, these mappings will be lost and you will be back to square one. Second, and this is the biggie, why is Open Firmware not doing its job and mapping both modules properly in the first place?"

Editor's note: Lower memory slot failure seems to be restricted to 15" aluminum PowerBooks of any speed (excluding the hi-res version released in Oct. 2005). We've covered this issue on Low End Mac in January 2006 and revisited the topic a year later.

If this is a firmware issue, it seems Apple should be able to come up with a fix for it by releasing a firmware update for these PowerBooks. dk

Wireless FAQ for Older PowerBooks

PowerBook Wireless reports:

"The following resources will help you to install and maintain 802.11b wireless PCMCIA Cards on older Apple PowerBook computers.

"This covers PowerBooks which have PC Card slots, from the PowerBook 190 to the G3 and G4 PowerBooks.

"Generally, you should be running OS 7.5.5 through OS 9.2.2 with Open Transport v1.1 or greater. A clean install of the OS is recommended (but not always necessary) before attempting to add wireless to any PowerBook.

"While there is some limited information specific to USB/PCI/Ethernet Adaptors, OS X, and the Apple AirPort card in this document, it's purpose is to support users of the Classic OS with PC Cards.

"This FAQ is now including limited information on how to add wireless to the following computers: Mac mini, iMac (Bondi Blue 233 MHz), iMac (Five Flavors 266 & 333 MHz), Desktop/Tower PowerMac and PowerMac G3 not equipped with AirPort Slot. See Section 5.0.1 below for substitutes for a wireless card."

256 GB MacBook Air Next Year?

Macworld UK's Agam Shah and Sumner Lemon report:

"Samsung Electronics could deliver 256 GB solid-state drives next year, quadrupling the capacity of SSDs it is currently shipping to computer makers, the company said.

"The company is due to ship samples of 128 GB SSDs in the middle of this year...."

Will Blu-ray Drives Suck Your Laptop Battery Dry?

Wired's Bryan Gardiner says:

"Now that Sony's Blu-ray technology has won the high-def format war, computer manufacturers must tackle its power-hungry playback performance.

"Watching a Blu-ray movie in all its high-definition glory on your laptop may finally become an affordable prospect this year. Just don't wander too far from a power outlet."

"...if the first generation of Blu-ray equipped laptops are any indication, you might not get more than halfway through that movie before running out of juice completely, analysts say."

Taking Stock of the MacBook Updates

AppleMatters' Aayush Arya says:

"As I was taking my early morning stroll around the narrow lanes of the Internet, I couldn't help but notice a lot of misinformation floating around about the MacBook and MacBook Pro updates that we saw this last Tuesday. It seems that people are unclear about what the specifications are now and which notebooks have been graced with the vaunted Multi-Touch trackpad and what's the deal with the Apple Remote. I'm hoping this little article clears out any of the lingering confusion you might have."

MacBook vs. MacBook Pro: The Agonizing Choice

Mac News World's Chris Maxcer says:

"Now that the new MacBooks and MacBook Pros are here, it's clear that the higher end of the MacBook line is more closely resembling its larger cousin when it comes to internal hardware - and it has a lower price. Still, the MacBook Pro has its advantages in graphics processing and screen size. For a prosumer in need of a new Mac notebook, it can be a tough choice.

"Ever since Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) first introduced the MacBook (MB) in May of 2006, the decision between the low end and the high end of Apple's laptop line became the most agonizing choice for Mac laptop buyers - with a couple of caveats, of course...."

'Official' Lenovo X300 vs. MacBook Air Comparison

Gizmodo says:

"You saw the 5 takes on the Lenovo X300, the X300 benchmarked vs. the MacBook Air, and even Mossberg's review, but what does Lenovo think about the comparisons between the two laptops? Well, obviously, they think their machine is better, but the reasons given for why it's better appeals to Lenovo's core audience - the traveling corporate worker - and not the MacBook Air's core audience, weaklings who like shiny laptops. Hit the jump for a big version of the image and realize that these two aren't really competing for the same credit cards...."

The Significance of MacBooks' Penryn CPU Architecture

AnandTech's Anand Lal Shimpi says:

"An old middle school friend of mine is obsessed with Apple these days. She's always asking me Mac questions or trying to get an idea of what's coming down the pipe (Steve: if you're listening, she'd drop her Palm in a heartbeat if she could edit Word/Excel docs on the iPhone).

"Lately she's been asking me about the updated MacBook and MacBook Pros, mainly trying to figure out when they'd be shipping. I told her it'd be late February at the earliest, but more likely March. It seems as if Apple is a very good customer of Intel's and thus a late-February launch of mobile Penryn was possible. Instead of being elated, she was disappointed by the new notebooks.

"How on earth could you be disappointed? We're talking 45nm Penryn inside the MacBook and MacBook Pro, this is a huge deal...."

Woz Wary of MacBook Air

Ars Technica's Chris Foresman says:

"Steve Wozniak is in Australia this week and gave a keynote speech for an Australian Communication Industry Association broadband conference. The press took advantage of a Q&A session to get the Woz's opinions on recent Apple hardware....

"Regarding the MacBook Air, Woz is still pretty torn. At first, he was put off by its lack of features, but after some use - 'for some reason, the way its keyboard is, I can type faster'- Woz is finding ways to squeeze the machine into his workflow. Despite his warming to its geek-chic cachet, he's still not convinced it's ready for the masses...."

Happy Outcome to MacBook Pro Issue

Apple Gazette's Michael says:

"On Thursday I wrote about some problems I'm having with my MacBook Pro. I received lots of great feedback in the comments and via email.

"After trying several solutions, I still couldn't get the computer running at a decent speed, or recording audio properly. So, taking kyre's advice of 'the squeeky [sic] wheel gets the oil!', I fired off an email to steve(at)apple(dot)com. I explained in that email what was going on, and how it could be documented that I was having problems here at the site and on the podcast, long before the 3 weeks since my warranty ran out. I also mentioned how unhappy I was that Apple was charging $900 to fix something that other companies could do for under $200.

"On Friday afternoon I received a phone call from Apple...."

crystal MacBook AirMacBook Air Not Snazzy Enough? Get It Crystalised

Register Hardware's James Sherwood reports:

"Established bling merchant Crystal Icing has already added glass-made sparklies to many gadgets, so it was probably just a matter of time before it turned its glue-gun onto Apple's MacBook Air."


Axiotron Modbook: A Touchscreen MacBook Done Right

Gizmodo reports:

"It was exactly a year from the time Axiotron first debuted their touchscreen MacBook at Macworld 2007 to the time we got the first hands-on of it at Macworld 2008, and that year of development time seems to have done the company some good. Not only is this Modbook the touchscreen Mac Apple fans have been looking for, it's got all the components of a MacBook, which means it's not a low-powered, stripped down, gimped version (MacBook Air) that sacrifices performance for the tablet pen sensitivity. And for that, we're thankful."

Penryn MacBook Pro 'Not That Hot' (It Runs Cool)

Engadget's Ryan Block reports:

"Sure, more speed is great, but on OS X most bumps don't have an appreciable effect on everyday work (unless all you're doing is video encoding). We were more interested in what Intel's Penryn processors can do for the MBP's heat envelope, so we maxed out both CPU cores in this brand new machine at let 'em crank for a half an hour. Our test machine may or may not compare to a later 3rd-gen MBP in terms of heat efficiency, but here's the quick rundown:

"Core Duo (2.16 GHz)

  • Peak: 195° F, fans over 5000 RPM
  • Average: 185° F, fans about 4900 RPM

"Penryn Core 2 Duo (2.5 GHz)

  • Peak: 176° F, fans about 3400 RPM
  • Average: 173° F, fans about 2500 RPM (much quieter)"

New MacBook Benchmarked

Primate Labs Blog reports:

MacBook benchmarks"When I wrote about the performance of Apple's recently-released MacBook Pros last week, I wanted to write about the MacBooks, too but didn't have results for the differnet [sic] MacBook models. Well, now I do, so here's a Geekbench performance comparison of the latest MacBooks against the previous generation of MacBooks....

"Despite having a slightly faster processor, the smaller L2 cache of the Penryn processors means the base MacBook (Early 2008) is slower than the base MacBook (Late 2007). If you're considering buying a base MacBook, you might want to shop around and see if you can snag an old one rather than a new one.

"Of course, the high-end MacBook (Early 2008) is faster than the high-end MacBook (Late 2007); it seems the increase in processor frequency is enough to overcome the smaller L2 cache in this case."

2.5 GHz Penryn MacBook Pro Benchmarked

CrunchGear's Peter Ha reports:

"Today in the CrunchGear test labs we're benchmarking the Penryn-based MacBook Pro. And just for fun we're also benchmarking the Merom-based MacBook and a Mac Pro. For this test we're using Primate Labs Geekbench 2. The baseline for this test is 1000, which represents a 1.6 GHz Power Mac G5. For all intents and purposes we're only focused on the overall score and the MBP did quite well compared to the Mac Pro. Without a previous gen MBP in the mix the numbers don't mean as much, but we will be adding a 2.16 GHz Core Duo MacBook Pro into the fold later on today so that should give some of you a better indication of what's going on with the Penryn-based MacBook Pro. For your geeky pleasure we've added all numbers for each machine in a ginormous gallery for you to peruse."

The MacBook Air: What a Laptop Should Be

Kirk McElhearn says:

"I mentioned a few weeks ago, after the Macworld Expo in San Francisco, that I was planning to buy a MacBook Air. Well, my Air finally arrived yesterday, and, after unboxing, getting the 'oohs' and 'aahs' from my son, the fanboy (well, he actually said, 'Dude!' several times), I took some time to sit down with the computer and try it out. I'm pretty amazed by this computer, and I can safely say that it's the most impressive Mac I've ever owned (my May experience dates back to the PowerBook 100, in 1991). Frankly, the MacBook Air is what a portable computer should be."

New MacBook Pro: Penryn + LEDs = Efficiency

Gizmodo says:

"The new MacBook Pro is not much of a bump up from its predecessors, but it is a step in the right direction . . . the now-pervasive LED backlighting and 45nm Penryn chips bring to the MacBook Pro, which together give an hour extra battery life over older models with CCFL screens and 65nm CPU technology. That makes this the most efficient MacBook Pro yet."

Apple Updates

Migration Tips and Tricks for New MacBook, MacBook Pro Models

A new Apple Knowledge Base article says:

"FireWire connections are still the fastest way to migrate applications and data from an older computer to your new computer, however, these new models now offer the ability to perform a system migration over network connections. This gives you more choices and flexibility in migrating your applications and data.

"Network migration

"For network migration, a wired Ethernet connection is the fastest option. For the best experience, be sure to attach your source and target computers to the wired network before you start the migration.

"Wireless migration

"If you don't have an Ethernet cable or a wired network, wireless migration can be used. For wireless migration, be sure to use the best wireless connection available. Before you begin, use the Signal Strength meter in the upper right corner of your screen to find the location with the strongest signal to your source computer. You may also want to eliminate potential sources of interference. The best wireless migration experience will be on an 802.11n network."

New MacBook, MacBook Pro Developer Notes Posted

These developer notes give a technical description of the MacBook and MacBook Pro computers incorporating the Intel Core 2 Duo processor on 45 nm process technology and introduced in February 2008. The purpose of these notes is to provide information about each computer's internal design, input-output features, and expansion capabilities to help developers design products compatible with them.

Drive News

Samsung Ships World's First 2.5" 500 GB Hard Drive for Notebooks

PR: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. has announced that it is shipping the world's first half-terabyte (500 GB) 2.5" mobile hard drive - the new Spinpoint M6. The Spinpoint M6 is designed to fit the industry's standard 9.5mm height dimension and armed with a massive 500 GB capacity, the drive is targeted to meet the growing storage needs of today's notebook computers as well as slim form factor desktops and high density mobile applications.

"Our customers require more and more notebook storage for their data, video and music files," said Andy Higginbotham, director of hard drive sales and marketing, Samsung Semiconductor. "Our Spinpoint M6 easily fits within notebook PCs with no modification to the notebook PC chassis, giving users more storage power than ever before."

Samsung's new Spinpoint M6 consists of three 167 GB platters in a 2.5" hard drive frame measuring just 9.5mm in height. This critical feature gives notebook manufacturers the option of easily integrating the Spinpoint M6 into the tens of millions of notebook PCs that ship every quarter.

Mainstream notebooks can now support capacity of up to one terabyte by employing two Samsung Spinpoint M6 drives. The Spinpoint M6 also meets the Microsoft fast-boot design requirements and supports ramp load and unload of up to 600,000 times.

The Spinpoint M6 500 GB hard drive features a 5400 rpm spindle speed, an 8 MB cache, and 3.0 Gbps SATA interface with a Free-Fall-Sensor available as an optional feature. 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.

The Spinpoint M6 is currently shipping with an MSRP of $299.

Samsung Announces 250 GB 7200 RPM 2.5" Spinpoint MP2 Hard Drive

PR: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. has announced its new premium Spinpoint MP2, a 250 GB 2.5" hard drive consisting of two 125 GB disks. Operating at a 7200 rpm rotation speed, the MP2 is ideal for high performance, desktop replacement notebook PCs, and entry-level enterprise applications such as workstations and RAID or blade servers.

"As the capacity, performance, and stability features are comparable with those of 3.5" hard drives, Samsung's 2.5" drive offers our customers a smaller form factor with a broad range of speed and density choices for advanced data storage," said Andy Higginbotham, director of hard drive sales and marketing, Samsung Semiconductor.

In step with the surging growth of multimedia content and the demand for smaller form factor devices, 2.5" drives have been developed to meet the stringent environmental demands of notebook PCs and slim form factor desktop PCs. The high performance characteristic of Samsung's MP2 expands the scope of applications for 2.5" drives to entry-level enterprise applications.

The Spinpoint MP2 features 7200 rpm speed rotation, SATA II 3.0 Gbps interface, and Native Command Queuing functions for advanced performance. Samsung's proprietary SilentSeek and NoiseGuard technologies are incorporated in the drive to offer ultra quiet operation. An optional Free Fall Sensor is also available for data protection in case of any unexpected external impact. The Spinpoint MP2 drive has a 16 MB buffer memory and is available in 80 GB to 250 GB capacities.

Market research firm IDC forecasts that the demand for 2.5" hard drives will reach 203 million units in 2008, which is an annual 20 percent increase.

Initial shipments will be available to key OEM manufacturers from March 2008.

Hitachi Drives Notebook Capacities Higher with 320 GB Travelstar Hard Drives

PR: Bolstering Hitachi's position as the segment and technology leader in 2.5" hard drives, the company today announced volume shipment of new 5,400 RPM notebook hard drives with a maximum available capacity of 320 GB. Designed to support the multitasking needs of consumers and commercial users balancing mobile computing and movies, music, photos and games on-the-go, the Travelstar 5K320 delivers the right capacity and performance options to meet the needs of IT and consumer electronics manufacturers. The new drives feature optional Bulk Data Encryption (BDE) for users requiring increased data security and enhanced availability models designed for use in 24x7 environments.

Travelstar 5K320 delivers the performance needed for today's advanced mobile applications. The drives' Serial ATA (SATA) interface provides a fast 3 Gb/s data transfer rate, allowing the drive to be used in a wide variety of applications including mainstream computing, portable external storage devices, small form factor video devices, game consoles and other advanced mobile devices.

The Travelstar 5K320 elevates the standard for hard drive reliability with design enhancements that include altitude-sensing Thermal Fly-height Control (TFC), an improved actuator latch and fourth generation perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) head technology. These features combine to safeguard user data that might otherwise be compromised as a result of accidental falls, bumps and rough handling. The drives also include TrueTrack technology, which improves tracking accuracy in high shock or vibration environments. These features combine to deliver an industry-leading 400 Gs of operating shock protection.

The Travelstar 5K320 does not sacrifice performance in its quest to be energy efficient. The drives only consume 1.8W of power when reading and writing and their .55W low power idle means longer battery life for more "unplugged" notebook time and a longer drive life expectancy.

"The Travelstar 5K320 addresses a growing demand for high capacity hard drives, which are at the heart of today's notebook PCs, external storage devices, gaming consoles and other mobile computing applications," said Larry Swezey, director, Consumer and Commercial HDD, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies. "And when coupled with our optional Bulk Data Encryption technology, the Travelstar 5K320 offers even greater value to notebook users by helping to guard against data theft."

The Travelstar 5K320 is available in single or dual-platter configurations with capacities between 80 GB and 320 GB. The 320 GB version can hold up to 320 hours of digital video, 160 PC computer games or 80,000 four-minute songs. Hitachi will also offer an enhanced-availability (EA) version of the drive that 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.

Bulk Data Encryption

The Travelstar 5K320 features 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.

Hitachi and Phoenix Technologies (Nasdaq:PTEC) recently announced a collaboration to provide next-generation mobile PC security on notebooks equipped with Hitachi hard drives. When the Travelstar 5K320 is installed in a notebook using the Phoenix FailSafe theft-deterrence service, PC owners can track, remotely disable and securely erase the hard drive. As a result, vital data stored on the notebook remains safe and protected. Hitachi's encryption technology combined with Phoenix's FailSafe technology forms the core of this innovative security solution.

Technical Specifications:

Travelstar 5K320

  • 320/250/160/120/80 GB
  • 9.5 mm in height
  • 5400 RPM
  • 250 billion bits per square inch maximum areal density
  • 2/2/1/1/1 glass disk platter(s)
  • 4/3/2/2/1 TMR recording head(s)
  • 1000 G/1ms nonoperating shock
  • 400 G/2ms operating shock
  • 5.5 ms average latency
  • 12 ms average read time
  • 0.8W active idle
  • 0.55W low-power idle
  • Serial ATA 3.0 Gb/s, 1.5 Gb/s encrypted
  • 102/95 grams in weight
  • 2.4 Bels typical idle acoustics
  • 2.6 Bels typical operational acoustics

The Travelstar 5K320 is now shipping to customers worldwide. The enhanced-availability version of the drive is expected to ship in the second quarter of 2008.


OWC Announces 4 GB Upgrade Kits for New MacBook & MacBook Pro Models

PR: Other World Computing (OWC) has announced that it is offering 4 GB Memory Kits for Apple's newly announced MacBook and MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo models, which began shipping yesterday, February 26, 2008. OWC is providing memory for these new MacBook 13" 2.1 GHz/2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo Models and MacBook Pro 15" & 17" 2.4 GHz/2.5 GHz (including 2.6 GHz optional configuration) Core 2 Duo models. OWC memory is available in modules and kits of up to 4 GB for these models as well as the previous MacBook Pro models.

OWC is an Apple Developer Connection Premiere member and its memory upgrades meet Apple's electrical and mechanical design requirements. OWC maintains an active state-of-the-art test lab to ensure the highest product quality and reliability and provides a lifetime of high-performance reliable operation backed with a Money Back Guarantee and OWC's Lifetime Advance Replacement Warranty.

OWC's 4 GB Memory Upgrade Kits are available immediately, priced at $95.99 (configured as two 2 GB memory modules). Additional savings are also available for customers who take advantage of OWC's trade-in program which provides $20 cash back for the trade-in of two 1 GB modules.

OWC, an expert in the Mac memory market, has nearly two decades of experience providing memory module upgrades for Mac computers. OWC has conducted independent memory benchmarks on MacBook laptops, which show how important memory is for customers employing high-memory intensive applications, such as audio/video, photo, 3D modeling, gaming and other applications. OWC has concluded that more memory is better overall than having less memory that is interleaved.

"We're all about maximizing performance and impressively, we've found there can be better performance attained even between 2 GB and 3 GB memory configurations than getting a new system with a faster processor," said Larry O'Connor, President, OWC. "More memory makes a tremendous difference, as our real world testing illustrates, and going up to 4 GB offers a noticeably significant benefit beyond just what a faster processor provides."

MacService: Free iPod Shuffle with 320 GB Hard Drive Upgrade

PR: MacService has announced customers purchasing a 320 GB hard drive upgrade will receive a free 1 GB iPod shuffle (PRODUCT)RED. 320 GB hard drive upgrades are available for $345 for both Apple MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops. This price includes free ground roundtrip shipping, installation and a laptop shipping container. Overnight roundtrip service is available for $79.

MacService has announced customers purchasing a 320 GB hard drive upgrade will receive a free 1 GB iPod shuffle (PRODUCT)RED. 320 GB hard drive upgrades are available for $345 for both Apple MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops. This price includes free ground roundtrip shipping, installation and a laptop shipping container. Overnight roundtrip service is available for $79.

How the service works - MacService sends a custom laptop shipping container to you. Once it arrives, simply pack your laptop and send it back using the prepaid UPS shipping label. Once your laptop is back at MacService, a certified technician installs the new drive and transfers the data over from your old drive. If your old hard drive is failing, a new operating system is installed.

After the service is completed, your laptop is cleaned, tested and sent back to you, along with your old drive. All services are completed within 24 hours of arrival.

Use code IPOD on checkout to receive your free 1 GB iPod shuffle (PRODUCT)RED. Apple gives a portion of the purchase price of the iPod shuffle (PRODUCT)RED to the Global Fund to fight AIDS in Africa. The promotion ends March 31st, 2008.

For more information visit the MacService website or call 877-622-3473.

MacService delivers complete repair and upgrade services for Apple laptop computers. With an average 24 hour turnaround time and free roundtrip shipping, MacService makes the service process fast and easy. No phone trees, no run-around, just awesome service. Since 2001 MacService has provided great service to thousands of individuals, businesses and schools throughout the US.

iToppers Cool Skins for Your MacBook, MacBook Pro, or iBook

PR: Okay, let's face it. You're not the average boring PC user. You don't do Windows' You're different. You're a Mac user . . . a creative individual who likes to enjoy life.

iToppers Cool SkinsNow you Can add even more style to the best looking portable computer out there with iToppers graphic skins for your Apple MacBook and iBook. Easy to install, and the protect your MacBook or iBook From scratches.

NEW! Create your own custom MacBook Skins.

That's right, you can create your own custom iTopper with photos, computer graphics, logos, or whatever you want. It's easy ... and it makes a great gift.

iToppers Cool SkinsiTopper skins are available for a variety of Apple portable computers. Unlike a lot of other generic skins out there, we've designed our products so they work with the overall design of your Apple portable computer, being careful to ensure that dimensions and spacing enhance your computer without compromising its' integrity. In fact, Apple recently recommended our product to a music company interested in purchasing customized MacBooks for a consumer promotion.

We can create custom iToppers from your provided photo images as well.

Each iTopper design is priced individually.

iToppers Cool SkinsAll iToppers are made using top-quality pressure sensitive vinyl and are fairly durable. All of our products are made with pride in the USA!

iToppers are fairly easy to apply if you follow the basic instructions provided. There are two methods that we have used to successfully apply iTopper skins with relatively similar success. Both are described in detail in the application instructions that come with your iTopper.

Removal of the iTopper skins is relatively simple with a little effort. Instructions for removal are also provided with your application instructions.

There is a money-back guarantee for 30 days from original purchase date against defects in materials and craftsmanship.

  • MacBook $18.95
  • MacBook Pro 17" $21.95
  • iBook (both sizes) $18.95 and $19.95

Proporta Laptop Sleeve for MacBook

PR: Need something for your MacBook? Try the Protective Laptop Sleeve from Proporta. Ideal for protecting your MacBook against scratches and impact damage; it can also be stored away safely when not in use.

Proporta Laptop Sleeve for MacBookThe Proporta Laptop Sleeve is available in three sizes; 13", 15", and 17" to perfectly fit whichever MacBook or MacBook Pro you have. It also features elasticated sides for an even more snug fit.

This incredibly soft to the touch sleeve incorporates a nylon lining to prevent scratches caused on the move by knocks, bumps and loose items in your bag.

Quite simply this Laptop Sleeve does exactly what it says on the tin and provides a quality, comfortable, protective casing for a device which most definitely deserves it.

Proporta Laptop Sleeve for MacBookKey Features

  • Protects against scratches and impact damage
  • Nylon lining to protect against scratches
  • Elasticated sides to accommodate wide range of laptop widths


  • Small Sleeve - 13" Laptop = 27.5mm (1.08") x 325mm (12.78") x 227mm (8.92").
  • Medium Sleeve - 15" Laptop = 29.5mm (1.00") x 357mm (14.10") x 243mm (9.6").
  • Large Sleeve - 17" Laptop = 29.5mm (1.00") x 392mm (15.40") x 265mm (10.4")

Protective Laptop Sleeve - $39.95

Geoincase Neoprene Sleeve for MacBook Air

Geoincase Neoprene Sleeve for MacBook AirPR: Geoincase introduces a new Neoprene Sleeve for MacBook Air.

Geoincase Neoprene Sleeve for MacBook AirDesigned to compliment the slender frame of the world's thinnest notebook, the Neoprene Sleeve features durable neoprene construction, plush faux-fur lining and a slip entry closure system, making it the lightweight and low-key solution for discreetly carrying the MacBook Air.


  • Complete notebook protection
  • Formfitting neoprene construction
  • 3mm cushioned interior
  • Ultra plush faux-fur lining
  • Slip entry closure system


LAbesace Classic Case Fits 13" MacBook

LAbesace Classic CasePR: Vast and compact, LAbesace holds your MacBook and plenty of accessories and A4 documents. Built like a shell, Its curves, trendy inner color and other details make it as a well noticed fashion object. The materials allow a optimum protection for your MacBook.


  • Hi-density paddings up to 8mm thickness
  • 1682D nylon fabric
  • 420D nylon ripstop linings
  • Hi-Grade Shoulder Strap
  • Compact : 390 x 290 x130mm and only 760g

LAbesace Classic CaseCompact Cargo

Vast and compact, LAbesace holds your MacBook and plenty of accessories and A4 documents, for a very compact bag of just 390 x 290 x130mm and only 760g.

Fashion Shelter

Built like a shell with hi-density paddings up to 8mm thickness, rainproof hi-quality 1682D nylon fabric, 420D nylon ripstop linings, metal hardware, waterproof zipper, and load-bearing hi-grade nylon shoulder webbing,

LAbesace is still a fashion icon. Its curves, trendy inner color and other details make a statement of style wherever you take it.

LAbesace Classic CaseFast & Safe

While the main compartment is totally secured by a zipper, conveniently store the small items you need on the go in the two fast-access pockets (one on cover, one hidden on the back). Inside, organize your items between the computer space, the documents folder, the three pockets (2 secured by zippers), pen holders, name cards holders, and ID tag clear pocket.

  • Compatible: Built for Apple MacBook 13 and digital accessories, LAbesace can adapt to any computer up to 320 x 240 x 40 mm (12.6 x 9.4 x 1.6").
  • Outer Dimensions: 39 x 29 x 13 cm
  • Computer maximum size: 32 x 24 x 4 cm

LAbesace Classic Cases are available from Micro Enterprises, Mac-Pro Systems, and GB Micro.


Free SmartSleep.prefPane for MacBook or MacBook Pro

PR: SmartSleep.prefPane is a preference pane that dynamically sets the sleep state of your machine. It's a successor to Hibernate.prefPane.

Two years back, a feature called hibernate silently went into newer PowerBooks. With a NV-RAM setting it was possible to enable hibernation on old PowerBooks as well. A friend of mine pointed me out to this and having done no Cocoa programming at all on Macs I decided to venture into this realm and write a nice interface to it - Hibernate.prefPane was born.

I quickly found out that hibernation wasn't a feature I wanted and the program lay dormant for the last two years.

I recently bought a new Intel Probook - oops - MacBook Pro and since then I was annoyed by the hibernation feature which just takes too long to get my Mac to sleep. I updated Hibernate but that was not enough, so I decided to write SmartSleep.

The Problem

Your MacBook or MacBook Pro knows the following sleep states:

Sleep: machine will go to sleep only (saves state in RAM only, battery keeps RAM contents)

Sleep & Hibernate: machine sleeps and hibernates. (default)

Hibernate only: machine will go to hibernate only. (saves state on disk, battery will not be used)

Just sleep means that the notebook will go to sleep fast, but you lose the ability to change the battery as the battery is needed to keep the contents of the memory (RAM).

Just sleep and hibernate will wake the computer fast, but sleeping will take ages as the contents of the memory are saved to disk before entering the sleep.

The Solution

SmartSleep lets your notebook just sleep while the battery has a high level. If the battery level drops below a certain point ( default is less then 20% or 20 minutes ) it will switch to sleep and hibernate. So you have the best of both worlds.

It's free - as in beer - have fun with it

It has to be installed for all users - it will complain if it'

KeyRemap4MacBook 3.2.0 Apple Notebook Keyboard Remapper

PR: Now supports PowerBook G4 and iBook as well.

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).

Very small & concise source code written with C++. Use it as codebase of your original keyremapper.

New in version 3.2.0:

  • Added an existence check of DoubleCommand to installer. If DoubleCommand has already installed, the installation will be aborted.
  • Supports PowerBook G4 & iBook.
  • Fixed the key repeat bug on VMware + emacsmode.
  • Fixed a minor PreferencePane bug.
  • Added new remappings.

System requirements: Mac OS X 10.4, 10.5 or later.

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.

The Apple Store has dropped prices on Apple Certified Refurbished MacBooks and MacBook Pros. Each model comes with an Apple one-year warranty, and ground shipping is free.

Apple Store

Both refurbished MacBook Pros and MacBooks took some price drops this week thanks to the release of new, Penryn-based models, but stocks are dwindling fast as a result. cm

  • refurb 2.0 GHz Core 2 MacBook, white, 1 GB/80/Combo, $849
  • refurb 2.0 GHz Core 2 MacBook, white, 1 GB/120/Combo, $949
  • refurb 2.2 GHz Core 2 MacBook, white, 1 GB/120/SD, $999
  • refurb 2.16 GHz Core 2 MacBook, black, 1 GB/160/SD, $1,049
  • refurb 15" 2.2 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/120/SD, $1,449
  • refurb 15" 2.4 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $1,649
  • refurb 17" 2.4 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $2,149
  • refurb 17" hi-res 2.4 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $2,349


  • 12" iBook G3/600, 256/20/Combo, $349.99
  • 15" PowerBook G4/667 (DVI), 256/30/Combo, $629.99
  • 15" PowerBook G4/1.5 GHz, 512/80/SD, $879.99
  • 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

  • 15" PowerBook G4/867 MHz, 256/30/Combo, $579.99
  • 15" titanium PowerBook G4/1 GHz, 256/60/Combo, $699.99

Baucom Computers

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

Power Max

  • open box 2.0 GHz Core 2 MacBook, white, 1/80/Combo, $959
  • open box 2.16 GHz Core 2 MacBook, white, 1/120/SD, warranty started, $1,099
  • open box 2.16 GHz Core 2 MacBook, black, 1/160/SD, warranty started, $1,129
  • open box 2.16 GHz Core 2 MacBook, white, 1/120/SD, $1,139
  • close-out 2.16 GHz Core 2 MacBook, black, 1/160/SD, $1,149
  • open box 2.2 GHz MacBook, black, 1/160/SD, warranty started, $1,149
  • open box 15" 2.2 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2/120/SD, $1,649
  • open box 15" 2.4 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2/160/SD, $1,799
  • open box 15" 2.4 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2/160/SD, $1,839
  • open box 17" 2.33 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $2,288
  • open box 17" 2.4 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, warranty started, $2,439
  • 17" 2.6 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $2,699

PowerBook Guy

  • clamshell iBook G3/366, Key Lime, 192/10/CD, $259.95
  • 12" iBook G3/500, 256/10/Combo, $279.95
  • 12" iBook G3/600, 128/20/CD, $229.95
  • 12" iBook G3/800, 256/30/CD, $249.95


  • 12" PowerBook G4/1 GHz, 256/80/Combo, $499
  • 14" iBook G3/700 MHz, 640/30/CD, Screen Spot, $299
  • 14" iBook G4/1.33 GHz, 384/60/Super, APX, $599

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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