The 'Book Review

1.8 GHz, SSD MacBook Air Price Cuts; Samsung vs. Hitachi Notebook Drives; Centrino 2 Preorders; and More

This Week's MacBook, PowerBook, and iBook News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2008.07.07

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


Tech Trends


Bargain 'Books

News & Opinion

MacBook Air 1.8 GHz, SSD Price Drop

On Friday, July 4, Apple quietly reduced the price for the 1.8 GHz CPU and 64 GB Solid State Drive used in the MacBook Air. The premium for the faster CPU dropped to $200 from $300, and the SSD now costs $600 more than the 80 GB 1.8" hard drive, down from $1,000. The 1.8 GHz SSD model now retails for $2,598, a $500 price reduction.

MacBook Shipments Up 61% over Q1 2007

Macworld's Jim Dalrymple reports:

"A new report from market research firm DisplaySearch shows Apple's notebook shipments grew 61 percent from the first quarter of 2007 to the first quarter of 2008. Shipments rose from almost 900,000 to just over 1.4 million.

"The growth puts Apple in seventh place in overall notebook market share with 4.6 percent. HP (20.8 percent), Dell (15.1 percent), Acer (14.6 percent), Toshiba (9.3 percent), Lenovo (7.5 percent), and Fujitsu-Siemens (5.2 percent) all had higher market share numbers. Asus (4.3 percent) and Sony (4.2 percent) rounded out the list behind Apple.

"The growth rate from 2007 to 2008 tells a different story. Apple is second overall in growth behind Asus, which grew 67 percent. Lenovo is the only other company that was close coming in with 58 percent growth."

MacBook and MacBook Pro Design Overhaul Rumors Resurface

MacBlogz' Aviv says:

"We have received some new information regarding Apple's MacBook and MacBook Pro models, which have been long overdue for a design overhaul. Although the current case design is nearly flawless on both, rumors have continued to circulate about complete case refreshes for both machines.

"We have spoken with a connected source close to us, and they tell us that the MacBook Pro will, '100% have a MacBook Air-like keyboard. Feeling more like the MacBook's current keyboard, yet offering backlight.'"

2-Finger Scrolling for pre-2005 PowerBooks and iBooks

The Apple Blog's Jenny Kortina says:

"I was reformatting a PowerBook the other day and after a fresh Leopard install I went to use the two finger scroll function to scroll down a page . . . but it wasn't there. I have been using Intel based laptops for so long that I just take the two finger scroll feature function and the two finger secondary right click function for granted, and sorely miss them when they're not available. Luckily, with the help of some third party software the two finger scroll feature and the two finger secondary right click function are easily added to older G4 laptops."

Hacking the MacBook Air SuperDrive for non-MBA Use

tnkgrl Mobile says:

"So like me, you have a MacBook Air SuperDrive... It's affordable, it's functional, it's sexy. If only it was usable with other Macs and PCs!

"Well rejoice :) I have successfully hacked my MBA SuperDrive to work with other Macs and PCs. All you need is a $9 part (shipping extra) and a bit of soldering and you too can do this mod."

Tutorial: MacBook Air SuperDrive for All

Santa Rosa MacBook Pro Video Failure

MacNN reports:

"Owners of Santa Rosa-based MacBook Pros are suffering from video failures, reports claim. Victims say that the problem arises after waking or rebooting a Pro, at which point the computer may suddenly stop displaying video, whether on its native LCD or an attached monitor....

"AppleCare is said to be recommending a replacement of a Pro's logic board, but those who have have gone through with the procedure note that the fix may only be temporary, as the display can quickly go blank a second time...."

Mopar Launches Wireless In-vehicle Internet with Notbeook, iPhone, and iPod Support

PR: Mopar has announced that it will launch uconnect web, Chrysler LLC's in-vehicle wireless Internet connectivity for Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge consumers in the US. uconnect web, powered by Autonet Mobile, delivers continuous Internet connectivity to all vehicle passengers for entertainment and real-time information access on the go.

uconnect web will be available in August as a dealer-installed Mopar Accessory. Mopar is Chrysler LLC's original equipment parts manufacturer and distributor.

The industry-first technology provides high-speed data transfer, combining WiFi and 3G connectivity. uconnect web transforms the vehicle into a mobile "hot spot," delivering unlimited, reliable and uninterrupted Internet connectivity for all passengers in and around the vehicle. The "hot spot" connection radius is approximately 100 feet -making it convenient to access the Internet at a soccer field or family picnic.

Wherever cellular service is available, uconnect web enables all vehicle passengers to simultaneously connect with WiFi-enabled devices like a laptop, iPhone, Sony PlayStation (PSP), PDA and more to:

  • access the Internet for e-mail, chat and IM
  • view streaming movies or television shows
  • download music and download/upload images
  • play online games

"Mopar's uconnect web brings a new level of convenience and technology to our Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles," said Rob Richard, Director - Mopar Part Sales and Service Marketing, Chrysler LLC. "With uconnect web, all passengers in or near the vehicle are continuously connected to the Internet. They can make dinner reservations, check directions or weather, make online purchases, surf Facebook, MySpace, Disney or Webkinz, watch the latest YouTube videos, upload photos to a Flickr account - all at the same time."

"uconnect web goes beyond today's DVD and GPS solutions, letting passengers extend their Internet lifestyle to the car," said Sterling Pratz, CEO of San Francisco-based Autonet Mobile. "The Internet is the future of in-car entertainment. We're delighted to be working with Chrysler LLC to deliver the first WiFi Internet access that lets families, business and leisure travelers stay connected."

The US Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the router module is $449. Dealer installation is estimated at approximately $35-50. Autonet Mobile offers wireless Internet account service at $29 a month, available in 12-, 24- and 36-month service plans. There is a one-time $35 service activation fee. Customer support assistance for hardware and service is available.

Run over integrated 3G and 2.5G (EVDO, 1xRTT) cellular data networks, the router module with antenna hard-mounts in any vehicle. High-speed Internet access ranges from 400-800 Kbps/sec., with upload speeds averaging 400 Kbps/sec. The WiFi connection is secured with WEP encryption, Mac address restriction or WAN port restriction. Compatible with all operating systems supporting WiFi including Windows, Mac, Linux and Solaris, no special software is required.

Autonet Mobile is the first wireless Internet service provider for vehicles. Founded by a corporate executive and former race car driver and a leading network architect and designer, the company is dedicated to enhancing the in-car experience, by bringing the power of the Internet to the 200+ million cars on the road in the US Autonet Mobile currently provides Avis Rent a Car with the Avis Connect service and is used by Storm Chasers, NASCAR and others. For more information about Autonet Mobile visit:


500 GB Notebook Drives: Samsung vs. Hitachi

Bare Feats' rob-ART Morgan reports:

"Two exciting new SATA notebook drives with 500 GB capacity are causing a stir. We benchmarked them against each other using a SATA notebook drive enclosure and SATA ExpressCard/34 on our MacBook Pro 'Penryn.'...

"The Samsung 500G notebook drive is slower overall than the Hitachi 500G notebook drive but has the advantage of being thinner (9.5 mm vs. 12.5 mm). That means that the Samsung will fit all laptops and notebook enclosures while the Hitachi will only fit some.... I understand from one reader that the Hitachi does fit nicely inside his MacBook Pro."

Editor's note: These are both 5400 rpm drives with 8 MB buffers. dk

Living with the MacBook Pro

David Alison says:

"It's now been a couple of weeks since I bought a MacBook Pro and handed my MacBook down to my youngest daughter. In that time I've used the MBP quite a bit and overall I'm quite happy with the upgrade. The only issue that I've had with it has been the heat it generates, though to a large degree I haven't really noticed it any longer. Either my left wrist has adjusted to being slightly warmer than my right wrist or the Fan Control I installed has helped keep the machine running a little cooler. I actually believe it's a bit of both."

17" MacBook Pro 'a Thing to Behold'

The Houston Chronicle's Bob Levitus says:

"For the past two months I've been testing a new 17-inch MacBook Pro and have come to prefer it over my 15-inch MacBook Pro in almost every way....

"The system I tested was decked out with the optional high-resolution glossy widescreen display.... it's the fastest, most powerful and most capable notebook I've tested.

"But while performance was impressive, the thing that really blew me away was its high-resolution glossy display.

"All I can say is, 'Wow!'

"I would replace my 15-inch MacBook Pro with one in a heartbeat - if I could only afford it."

Tech Trends

Preorders Being Taken for Centrino 2 Laptops

IDG News Service's Agam Shah reports:

"Preempting Intel's official launch of its latest Centrino 2 mobile processors, PC makers and chip resellers are leaking processor details by letting customers preorder the chip through channels and in laptops.

"The Centrino 2 platform, codenamed Montevina, is an upgrade to Intel's current Centrino platform and will include five Core 2 processors running at clock speeds between 2.26 GHz and 3.06 GHz. The chip will also come with WiMax support....

"The processors are being offered by Santech, a European PC vendor, in its X46 laptop. The laptop will support up to 4 GB of RAM, include a 15.4-inch display, WiMax capabilities and wireless A/G/N networking. The X46 prices begin at €619 (US$963)."

Editor's note: Centrino 2/Montevina is widely anticipated to be the heart of next generation MacBook and MacBook Pro models. Intel will officially release it on Monday, July 14. dk

Intel Atom 230 Ultra Low-power Desktop CPU

Register Hardware's Leo Waldock reports:

"We recently reviewed Asus' Eee PC 901, which uses the new 1.6 GHz Intel Atom N270 processor. Atom uses the same 45nm technology that you'll find in the latest 'Penryn' Core 2 CPUs and it packs in some nifty power-saving features that result in a TDP of a mere 2.5W which makes it a natural choice for Small, Cheap Computers.

"But there's another side to Atom, as Intel also sells it in desktop form, the 230, which is likewise clocked at 1.6 GHz. Atom processors are generally soldered onto the motherboard so your choice of Atoms is limited to a single model. Buy an Intel D945GCLF motherboard - it was codenamed 'Little Falls' - and you get a 230 as part of the package....

"When we requested a D945GCLF sample from Intel the response wasn't especially encouraging so we took the plunge and bought one. That's not quite as bold as it sounds as Atom is very cheap. Intel sells the Atom 230 for $29 per CPU in batches of 1000 and the board and chip arrived at our door for £57 including VAT and carriage."

7" $299 Windows CE/Linux RazorBook 400 Mini-Notebook

PR: 3K Computers, LLC (3K) announces the second generation of its RazorBook 400 mini-notebook computer - the Windows CE powered 3K RazorBook 400 Mini Notebook Ultra Mobile PC. It's ultra lightweight - just under 2 lb. - and includes a 7-inch LCD TFT Display and a full-size keyboard for the same MSRP of $299.

"This is very exciting news for us since we are bringing a mini-notebook to market for the price of $299 that can support Remote Desktop functionality and comes equipped with Microsoft Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player. Microsoft Windows CE also boasts the familiar Windows interface that US based end users have been requesting daily through our support forum," said Dan Jacobs, CEO, 3K Computers.

The RazorBook 400 is already available running Genuine CE Linux OS Version 2.4.

The RazorBook 400 is perfect as a low-cost portable internet appliance for mobile professionals, students, internet browsing on the go, playing Flash games, secure online shopping, instant messaging, and playing music and movies while on the road.

With a bootup time of less than 8 second, the RazorBook 400 was designed to be turned on and off instantly just like any other appliance in your home. The energy-saving RISC architecture processor is fan-less and offers completely quiet computing with very low energy consumption. Without a spinning hard disk drive, the RazorBook 400 is shock-resistant and touts 4 GB of solid-state storage for your documents or media files.

With an energy saving 400 MHz CPU, our Mini Notebook features a portable 7" TFT LCD screen, a full size keyboard, 3 USB connection ports and 1 ethernet 10/100 LAN port. It runs on a Linux Operating System. End users will have a pleasant experience with a GUI Based Full-Flash menu interface for ease of use.

Dimensions: 8.25" Length x 5.5" Width x 1.25" Depth

"The scheduled release of the second generation RazorBook 400s is set for the end of July to early August, right in the middle of the back to school buying season. This is going to be one of the hottest back to school items on the market since it's so affordable and such an essential for any student. We have been in talks with many of the large retail outlets about stocking the RazorBook 400s in their retail stores. This is very exciting news for us!" says Will Jordan, Vice President of Sales, 3K Computers.

The RazorBook 400 is available at most major online e-tailers for consumers. Resellers and Value-Added Resellers can purchase directly from Ingram Micro, the world's largest technology distributor.


FeDom Notebook Desks with Built-in Stereo Speakers and Cooling Fans

FD-800 Notebook DeskPR: Interesting new variation on the laptop desk theme from FeDom (China) Limited of Shenzhen, China, that probably will be available to consumers in North America soon.

I can't provide any ordering information for this product, but it's an interesting new variation on the laptop desk theme from FeDom (China) Limited of Shenzhen, China, that probably will be available to consumers in North America soon. According to FeDom Business Development Executive Elven Zhang, they are now trying to find distributors in America and will let me know when they finish negotiations and find the right agents. The retail price is as yet undetermined.

FD-800 Notebook Desk with Built-in 2.1 Speakers & Cooling Fans


  • 2.1 Stereo: two 5W speakers & one 10W subwoofer
  • Powered through USB from your notebook or 4 Size-D batteries
  • No additional software or driver needed
  • Built-in ultra-silent cooling fans
  • Foldable table legs
  • Audio Input for MP3 players, Portable DVD players, and Game consoles
  • Works with all laptops
  • Control buttons: Power On/Off, Fans On/Off, Mute, Volume Down, Volume Up
  • Compatible with Win98 SE/ Win ME/ Win 2000/ Win XP/ Win Vista and Mac OS 9/OS X

FD-800 Notebook Desk


  • Dimension - 645 x 375 x 40 mm
  • Stand - 280mm
  • Weight - 5kg G.W.
  • Material - ABS Plastic
  • Power Requirement
    • - USB Bus Power
    • - Battery Type: D/Voltage: 1.5V x 4
  • Cooling Fans
    • - rpm: 1500
    • - CFM: 28
    • - Noise Level: 25dbA
  • 2.1 Stereo Speakers
    • - Amplifier: Class D
    • - Speakers: 5W each / Subwoofer: 10W
    • - Rated Impedance: 4½

FD-810 Notebook Station with Built-in 2.0 Speakers & Cooling Fan

FD-810 Notebook DeskFeatures:

  • Integrated 2.0 Stereo System - two 3W speakers
  • Ultra-silent cooling fan
  • Foldable speakers for easy storage
  • Powered by your notebook through a USB cable.
  • USB2.0 full speed compatible.
  • No audio cables and additional drivers needed.
  • Control Center: Power On/Off, Volume & Bass control, 5-Mode Preset Sound Selection
  • Compatible with Win98 SE/ Win ME/ Win 2000/ Win XP/ Win Vista and Mac OS 9/OS X
  • Suitable for all notebooks

FD-810 Notebook DeskSpecifications:

  • Dimensions - 320 x 225 x 25mm
  • Weight - 1.5kg G.W.
  • Fan
    • - rpm: 1500
    • - CFM: 28
    • - Noise Level: 25dbA
  • 2.0 Stereo Speakers
    • - Amplifier: Class D
    • - Speakers: 3W each
    • - Rated Impedance: 8½
  • Power
    • - USB Bus Power
    • - Includes: 2' standard USB to mini USB cable, 3.5' 3.5mm MP3 cable

Potential distributors and resellers can contact:

FeDom (China) Limited
18C, Building 1, Fulian Mansion, North Lianhua Village, FuTian District, Shenzhen, 518035, P.R.China
Tel: 86-755-83166456
Fax: 86-755-83611945
Cell: 86-13265415958
Skype: zhch328

MicroU2E-MV USB 2.0 ExpressCard Adapter

USB 2.0 to USB Mode ExpressCard Host AdapterPR: The MicroU2E-MV USB 2.0 to USB 2.0 Mode ExpressCard Adapter allows use of USB based ExpressCards with USB 2.0 equipped computers. USB mode ExpressCards include: Novatel Wireless Merlin ExpressCards (XU870, EX720, V740), Option Wireless GT Max 3.6 Express and GT Express 7.2, storage media ExpressCards like the expSSD, simple minded RS-232 host adapters like Synchrotech's EXP34-RS232-01, most ExpressCard to memory card media adapters like Synchrotech's CFExpressPro, and several others. The DEVICE WILL NOT WORK WITH any ExpressCard using the PCI Express (PCIe) portion of the ExpressCard standard. This is the majority of ExpressCards that do any other than the devices discussed above. Any real host adapter for SATA, FireWire, Ethernet, USB 2.0, etc. WILL NOT WORK WITH the MicroU2E-MV USB 2.0 to USB 2.0 Mode ExpressCard 34/54 Host Adapter.

The MicroU2E-MV USB 2.0 to USB 2.0 Mode ExpressCard 34/54 Host Adapter should provide more than enough power to ExpressCards when plugged into a 500mA USB 2.0 port. However, some ExpressCards including WWAN wireless broadband cards benefit from the use of the DoubleQueue cable plugged into two USB ports. The additional power helps when located further from wireless carrier towers. Use with 300mA USB 2.0 ports is not recommended and may not provide sufficient current for certain ExpressCard applications. Using USB 2.0 technology, the device supports high speed applications including HSDPA and HSUPA ExpressCards. The MicroU2E-MV USB 2.0 to USB 2.0 Mode ExpressCard Host Adapter is very small and lightweight, providing excellent portability.

  • USB-EXP-ADP-02 MicroU2E-MV USB 2.0 to USB Mode ExpressCard 34/54 Multi-Voltage Host Adapter - $48

Optional Accessories

  • CAB-USB2-AAFA-0020C DoubleQueue USB 2.0 A+A (Power) to A (Female) Y Extender Cable 19cm/.62F Extender with option of drawing current from second USB Port for MicroU2E or other USB devices - $6.00
  • CAB-USB2-AFA-0020C AirQueue USB 2.0 A (Male) to A (Female) Extender Cable 19cm/.62F Use MicroU2E or USB devices with large or unusually designed connectors with MacBook Air - $6.00


  • USB bus powered, no power adapter required
  • Compatible with all USB 2.0-MODE ExpressCards including many WLAN, WiMax, 3G (HSDPA and CDMA) and memory
  • Compact and portable design with low power consumption
  • Up to USB High Speed 480 Mbps (Megabits) interface access to host systems with USB 2.0
  • LED indicator for Activity
  • Easy Installation
  • RoHS Compliant
  • CE Approved

Host Connection

  • USB 2.0

Devices Accepted

  • USB 2.0 Based ExpressCard 34 or ExpressCard 54
  • Not compatible with any PCIe based ExpressCards - examples include SATA, FireWire, Gigabit Ethernet, USB 2.0, etc.

System Requirements

  • PCs with USB running Windows ME/2000/XP/Server 2003/Vista or later
  • Macs with USB running Mac OS X
  • Macs with USB running Mac OS 8.6 or later or Mac OS X
  • Unsupported, but known to work with USB 2.0 capable BSD and Linux distributions

Transfer Rates

  • High Speed 480 Mbps (Megabits)

Electrical Characteristics

  • Operational Voltage: DC +5.0 Volts ± 5% direct from USB

Physical Dimensions

  • 45.9 x 58.2 x 13.4mm (WLD)

OWC Announces 320 GB 7200 rpm Mercury On-the-Go

PR: Other World Computing (OWC) has announced today the highest capacity 7200 rpm portable bus-powered storage solution on the market - the Mercury On-The-Go 320 GB 7200 rpm portable storage drive. The Mercury On-The-Go is blazing fast with 3.5" desktop hard drive performance in a 2.5" solution. And at 320 GB, it provides a 60% higher capacity than any other 7200 rpm 2.5" competitor.

Mercury On-the-Go hard driveImmediately available and priced starting at $239.99, the new Mercury On-The-Go 320 GB 7200 rpm drive has models available with USB 2.0, USB 2.0+eSATA, FireWire 400+USB 2.0, and FireWire 800/400+USB 2.0 Interfaces. These portable drive solutions are built with the latest Hitachi 7K320 mechanism with OWC's custom bridge interfaces and provide the highest performance of any portable storage solution available on the market.

Geared for the demanding "On-the-Go" professional road warrior who requires dependable, high-performance storage, the OWC Mercury On-The-Go 320 GB 7200 rpm portable drive solution offers options for virtually all computers and gadgets with an available FireWire or USB port, including all Macs and PCs, as well as digital cameras and camcorders for an instant on-the-go portable storage solution to quickly and safely store all your digital photos and video when traveling.

With The Mercury On-The-Go portable drive, you can back-up your entire desktop computer and bring it with you everywhere you go. For easy backup, the drive also includes the full retail versions of the latest award-winning Prosoft DataBackup III for OS X and NovaStor NovaBackup for Windows.

In addition to the 320 GB 7200 rpm drive, OWC also offers additional 7200 rpm models with capacities of 100 GB to 200 GB, priced from $109.99; and 5400 rpm Models from 60 GB to 500 GB, priced from $74.99. All drive solutions offer leading performance and reliability due to a well thought-out design, performance bridge interface, and the best hard disk drive mechanisms inside.

The Mercury On-The-Go 320 GB 7200 rpm portable storage drive is available immediately priced starting at $239.99 through OWC and other retailers. It includes a carrying case, connecting cables, Prosoft DataRescue III for OS X, and NovaStor NovaBackup for Windows. All Mercury-On-The-Go models are covered by a one-year warranty and are compatible with Apple OS Versions 8.5 through 9.2.x; Apple OS X (including the latest OS 10.5.x); and Microsoft Windows 98SE, ME, 2000, XP, Vista.

CaseCruzer Pelican Laptop Case Gives Protection for MacBook Pro

PR: When traveling designers and editors use a laptop case, they aren't worried about protecting their MacBook or laptop. Their greatest fear is losing the sophisticated graphics and videos contained inside. That's why they choose the stylish new Pelican case by CaseCruzer when traveling long distances or between home and office.

CaseCruzer Pelican Laptop CaseThe Apple 1490 laptop case is a sleek addition to the CaseCruzer reputation for innovative design. But don't be fooled by its good looks. The sole mission of this tough, do-or-die briefcase is to safely secure the creativity of web developers, graphic designers, art directors, photographers, and video editors who travel or commute with an Apple MacBook Pro 15" laptop (and 13.3" MacBook).

This Pelican case warrants trust and top honors because it comes with a custom Polyurethane foam interior. That kind of cushion and the lid's interior egg-crate-style convoluted foam (no pick and pluck) provide a dense, superior protection with a snug fit. No need to worry about annoying gaps that in other cases allow too much wiggle room for your delicate companion.

CaseCruzer Pelican Laptop CaseBy including more foam padding, the Pelican case actually improves on the excellent universal version laptop case by CaseCruzer. As a result, it guards against the major risks of travel: shock, impact and vibration - the bane of all creative people whose genius is trusted to the sanctuary of a MacBook Pro.

This laptop case is also ideal for airline travel. Premier safety latches tightly secure your laptop. And the small handle on the top of this carryon luggage makes it easy to maneuver into an aircraft's overhead bin - a significant advantage now that airlines charge a fee for each checked bag. The convenience allows business travelers to access and work on their Apple MacBook Pro laptops while on the way to important meetings.

The traveling case weighs only 8.7 lb. (when empty). Its outer dimensions are 19.43" L x 13.93" W x 4.69" H.

The suave, sophisticated case also enjoys the renowned, standard Pelican features: it is indestructible, watertight, airtight - no need to worry about dusty, sandy or gritty environments - extremely buoyant, and as if that weren't enough, it comes with an unconditional lifetime guarantee. Its specifications also meet US military standards and the carryon case.

Successful business people know genius is in the details. Think a Pelican case is special? You're right. But when you see or hear the name CaseCruzer, think Pelican Plus.

More information by phone is available at 800-882-4730 in the US or 909-613-1999 internationally and by fax 909-465-5598. Or write to CaseCruzer at 4665 State Street, Montclair, CA 91763.

Orbino Aria Case for the MacBook Air

Orbino Aria Case for the MacBook AirPR: Orbino's new Aria MacBook Air case is Crafted with premium hand folded leather and an aluminum frame sculpted from a single block of pure aircraft-grade aluminum with integrated handle.

The case's spring-loaded latch closure provides positive security, while the hand-stretched and folded leather body gives it a rich and sumptuous elegance, and the Aria is also available in premium leathers and special-order exotic skins.

Orbino Aria Case for the MacBook AirThe Aria case's inside is, if anything, more sumptuously appointed than its exterior, and it comes equipped with Orbino's removable accessories pocket and a padded ergonomic shoulder strap. The Aria is available in four standard colors: Black Calfskin, Brown Pebbled Leather, Deep Red Pebbled Leather, and Orange Kidskin.

Priced at $529, the Aria costs nearly one-third as much as the base MacBook Air itself, but there's no denying that it looks great and should do a fine job of protecting the Air.

LINK: Orbino Aria Case for the MacBook Air

Orbino Arista Case for the MacBook Air

Orbino Arista Case for the MacBook AirPR: The ultra slim premium leather case for the MacBook Air. Crafted entirely by hand, lets you carry your MacBook Air and essential accessories in style

The Orbino Arista is a premium, super-slim, vertical messenger-type bag for MacBook Air crafted entirely by hand, and featuring a fully padded computer bay and gusseted accessories pocket.

The Arista is pure detailing, featuring a raw-edge design to accentuate its slim, clean lines, with no superfluous or bulky pockets - just like a finely-tailored Italian suit.

However, as noted, there is a front gusset pocket to carry your power adapter and cord, as well as an internal tailored pocket to hold an iPhone.

The case features handstitched detailing in all areas of wear, using high-tensile woven and waxed thread. Every case comes with a certificate of authenticity.

Though remarkably thin, the Arista offers excellent protection for your MacBook Air, and is surrounded by a rigid lip of leather to absorb impact. The MacBook Air itself is enveloped in a cell of soft cushioning material.

Orbino Arista Case for the MacBook AirA palette of vegetable-tanned leathers gives the Arista case its extraordinary allure. As a leader in premium accessories, Orbino has access to a wide range of Italian leathers, and can do custom colors on request.

Standard colors include Black Tuscan Leather, Brown Tuscan Leather, Burnished Whiskey Leather, Deep Red Tuscan Leather and Handstained Mahogany Leather)

Prices for the Orbino Arista start at $349 for most colors while the Handstained Mahogany Leather version sells for $375.

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

The only change this week is that black Penryn MacBooks are back. Each model comes with an Apple one-year warranty, and ground shipping is free.

  • refurb 1.6 GHz MacBook Air, 2 GB/80, $1,549
  • refurb 1.8 GHz MacBook Air, 2 GB/64 SSD, $2,699
  • refurb 2.1 GHz Penryn MacBook, white, 1 GB/120/Combo, $949
  • refurb 2.1 GHz Santa Rosa MacBook, white, 1 GB/120/Combo, $949
  • refurb 2.2 GHz Santa Rosa MacBook, white, 1 GB/120/SD, $999
  • refurb 2.4 GHz Penryn MacBook, white, 2 GB/160/SD, $1,099
  • refurb 2.4 GHz Penryn MacBook, black, 2 GB/250/SD, $1,299
  • refurb 15" 2.4 GHz Santa Rosa MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $1,649
  • refurb 15" 2.4 GHz Penryn MacBook Pro, 2 GB/200/SD, $1,699
  • refurb 15" 2.5 GHz Penryn MacBook Pro, 2 GB/250/SD, $2,149
  • refurb 15" 2.6 GHz Santa Rosa MacBook Pro, 2 GB/200/SD, $2,399
  • refurb 17" 2.4 GHz Santa Rosa MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $2,099
  • refurb 17" 2.4 GHz hi-res Santa Rosa MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $2,299
  • refurbn 17" 2.5 GHz Intel Penryn MacBook Pro, 2 GB/250/SD, $2,399
  • refurb 17" hi-res 2.5 GHz Penryn MacBook Pro, 2 GB/250/SD, $2,499
  • refurb 17" 2.6 GHz Penryn MacBook Pro, 2 GB/250/SD, $2,649
  • refurb 17" hi-res 2.6 GHz Penryn MacBook Pro, 2 GB/250/SD, $2,749


  • open box 1.6 GHz MacBook Air, 2 GB/80, $1,499.99

Wegener Media

  • 12" iBook G3/500, 128/10/CD, $169.99
  • 12" Book 600, 128/15/CD, $249.99
  • 12" iBook 700, 128/20/Combo, $329.99
  • 12" iBook 800, 128/30/CD, $299.99
  • 12" iBook 800, 256/30/Combo, $399.99
  • 12" iBook 900 256/40/Combo, $489.99

Baucom Computers

  • 12" iBook G4/800 MHz, 640/30/Combo, $329
  • 12" iBook G4/800 MHz, 640/30/Combo, $370
  • 12" iBook G4/1.07 GHz, 640/30/Combo, $375
  • 14" iBook G4/1.2 GHz, 512/60/Combo, $425
  • 14" iBook G4/1.33 GHz, 640/60/SD, APX, $535
  • 15" PowerBook G4/1.5 GHz, 1 GB/80/Combo, APX, $719
  • 15" PowerBook G4/1.67 GHz, 1 GB/80/Combo, APX, $785
  • 15" 2.1 GHz Core Duo MacBook Pro, 512/80/SD, APX, $1,129

Power Max

  • open box 1.6 GHz MacBook Air, 2 GB/80, $1,699
  • open box 2.1 GHz Core 2 MacBook, white, 1 GB/120/SD, $1,049
  • open box 2.2 GHz Core 2 MacBook, black, 2 GB/160/SD, $1,249
  • open box 2.4 GHz Core 2 MacBook, white, 2 GB/160/SD, $1,249
  • open box 2.4 GHz Core 2 MacBook, black, 2 GB/250/SD, $1,449
  • open box 15" 2.4 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, warranty started, 2/160/SD, $1,749
  • open box 15" 2.4 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, warranty started, 2/200/SD, $1,899
  • open box 15" 2.5 GHz MacBook Pro, 2 GB/250/SD, $2,399
  • refurb 17" 2.4 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $1,988
  • open box 17" 2.4 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $2,188
  • open box 17" 2.4 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, warranty started, $2,288
  • open box 17" 2.6 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $2,649

PowerBook Guy

  • Blueberry clamshell iBook G3/300 MHz, 64/3/CD, $149.95
  • Tangerine clamshell iBook G3/300 MHz, 64/3/CD, $159.95
  • 12" iBook G3/500, 192/10/DVD, $249.95
  • 12" iBook G3/800, 256/10/DVD, $289.95
  • 12" iBook G4/1 GHz, 512/40/Combo, $499.95
  • 12" iBook G4/1.33 GHz, 512/40/Combo, APX, AppleCare, $599.95
  • Pismo PowerBook G3/400, 192/6/Zip, $269.95
  • 15" 2.16 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 1 GB/120/SD, $1,499.95

Beta Macs

  • Lombard PowerBook G3/400, 128/6/DVD, battery in unknown condition, $150

Custom Macs

  • 12" iBook G3/600, 128/20/CD, OS X 10.2, working battery, $279.99
  • 12" iBook G4/1 GHz, 512/30/CD, APX, OS X 10.4, stop theft tags on the cover, $449.99

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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