The 'Book Review

Eee PC 1000HE the Model for a Mac Netbook, Apple Rethinking Fixed Batteries, LoJac for Macs, and More

This Week's MacBook, PowerBook, and iBook News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2009.02.13

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

Products & Services

Bargain 'Books

News & Opinion

ASUS Eee PC 1000HE: How Apple Should Build a Netbook

Computerworld's Seth Weintraub says:

"I just fell in love with a laptop, and for the first time since the IBM Thinkpad T40, it isn't a Mac.

"The ASUS Eee PC 1000HE 10-Inch Netbook is exactly what I want in a Netbook and here's why . . . and what Apple could do with this hardware.

"Today's NetBooks are a bit too slow. The 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270, which is in just about every NetBook out there, can't do video very well and lags often enough when typing or opening programs to get annoying. The update in the Intel Atom N280 is just enough (especially with the faster 667MHz front side bus. memory and GN40 chipset) to get the job done. Coupled with the new processor, the 1000HE also has a much denser battery pack which ASUS says can ride 9.5 hours (real world is closer to 8 hours). Wow, perfect.

"While I would happily shell out a few extra bucks for two or more GB of RAM, the Hard Drive really hits the sweet spot. My $1500 Unibody MacBook has the same 160GB that this $370 Netbook has. Hrmph.

"The comparisons to the MacBook don't stop there...."

Apple Rethinks Fixed Batteries

The Register's Rik Myslewski reports:

"Three Apple patent applications have surfaced indicating the company may be rethinking its policy of using non-user-serviceable batteries in its mobile devices.

"One of the applications describes a 'host machine' - looking much like an iMac in the accompanying drawings - that has battery-charging slots built into its body.

"A second describes how the host machine could communicate wirelessly with mobile devices to monitor their battery power, notify users when it was time for a charge, and talk with other host machines about the state of the batteries it's servicing.

"A third describes a 'intelligent universal rechargeable batteries' with pop-off end-caps that allow 'battery chemicals' to be swapped out when they've reached the end of their productive lives....

"We support battery freedom,"

Editor's note: Me too! cm

Apple to Go Back to User-Replaceable Batteries?

ZD Net's Adrian Kingsley-Hughes reports:

"A patent application uncovered by The Register seem to indicate that Apple is interested in making batteries user-replaceable."

"It's far too soon to read too much into this patent filing and could be little more than blue-sky thinking. In fact, given Apple's love affair with non-user-replaceable batteries at the moment (a feature which I see as a built-in obsolescence time-bomb . . . or at the very least a trickle income stream from warranty repairs)....

"My guess is that Apple may be coming up with a backup plan in case their current approach to batteries starts drawing legal attentions, in particular from the EU. There are some people who see non-user-replaceable batteries as a crime against the planet...."

Editor's note: I don't know about "crime against the planet," but I personally regard non-replacable batteries, or for that matter absurdly expensive replacable but non-standard size and format batteries, as an abomination, antagonistic to value, and a crime against my wallet. cm

Upgrading RAM in the MacBook White

MacUser's Derik DeLong says:

"Reader Dan wrote in for advice about upgrading to a new white MacBook. He found himself puzzled when it came to the memory situation in low-end model, especially vis-a-vis its aluminum counterparts:

"As you probably know, the white version comes with 2 GB of 667 MHz DDR2 RAM. The Aluminum version comes with 2 GB of 1066 MHz DDR3 RAM. Both have a 1066 MHz front side or front system bus... all I know is it has the abbreviation FSB. My question, which I've posed to, but they didn't know, and Apple, ditto (amazingly...), was whether I could take out the 2 GB of RAM in the whitebook and upgrade it to, not only to 4 GB, but also in speed.

"Well, wonder no more...."

LoJack for Laptops, Mac Edition

TestFreaks' Tom Ratas says:

"A quick search of the web brings up these shocking statistics: A laptop is stolen every 53 seconds, more than 12,000 laptops disappear each week from US airports alone and only 3% of laptops are ever returned ( Before you become a member of that sad statistical group, consider employing some anti-theft deterrent. Physically locking down your laptop is one way to keep your laptop from disappearing, but sometimes you can't or don't have an opportunity to lock it down. This is where laptop-tracking software comes into play.

"LoJack best known for their Stolen Vehicle Recovery System have lent their name to Absolute Software's tracking software. The LoJack for Laptops is a program and computer retrieval service that helps track, locate and recover stolen computers. The software works behind the scenes to silently and securely protect your Mac. If stolen, the machine can be remotely activated to contact the LoJack monitoring center every fifteen minutes. The Absolute Recovery Team will then track the location of the laptop and engage local law enforcement to recover and return your precious Mac...."

Contigo Mug Prevents Keyboard Spills

Bare Feats' Bet-TAY says:

"I love to browse, read, and type my way through my morning as I sip my 100% Kona Joe coffee. But containers of liquid near a computer is, as my husband, Rob-ART, says, ' accident waiting to HAPPEN!' I keep my Mac Pro to my left on a desktop and my MacBook Pro on my right. My tall coffee cup was poised between the two and every time Rob-ART walked past my desk he would hummmmm the tune to 'You'll Be SORRY....' I was confident that my neat and careful ways would triumph, but one day the unthinkable HAPPENED!

"I turned to answer an email on my laptop and smacked a full cup of coffee into the awaiting thirsty back-lit keyboard of my beautiful MacBook Pro. YIKES!....

"I enjoy my coffee sipping morning routine, but I didn't want to repeat the accident, so a search ensued for the ultimate, leak-proof drink container. This is what I found . . . the Contigo West Loop Mug.

"Contigo guarantees that the contents of their mugs are impossible to spill and 100% leak-proof...."

The 16 oz. Contingo West Loop Mug is currently available from for $19.19 in silver. A 2-pack with maroon or rose and stainless sells for $35. Contingo also makes leak-proof travel mugs and kids mugs.


Ultimate High Capacity Notebook Drive: Seagate Momentus 7200.4 500G

Bare Feats' rob-ART morgan says:

"Many of you emailed us expressing a wish that there was a 500GB 7200rpm 9.5 mm thick notebook drive option for the 'unibody' MacBook Pro. Your wish has come true. Introducing the Seagate Momentus 7200.4.

"We benchmarked it using QuickBench and Disktester against the 320GB 7200rpm drive that shipped with our MacBook Pro 2.8GHz test unit along with some other notable notebook drives."

"The Seagate Momentus 7200.4 gives the high-end laptop user both speed and space. It's not only the fastest notebook HDD we have ever tested but provides as much storage space (500g) as any other drive available. It's super quiet and even when we were beating on it, it never rose above 91 degrees F."

2 GHz MacBook White Barely Slower than 2.1 GHz Version, Roars on Graphics

Macworld's James Galbraith reports:

"While Apple's MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops have been re-engineered to include an all-aluminum unibody design, one lone plastic - err, I mean polycarbonate - model remains. With its recent internal updates, the $999 white MacBook 2 GHz is a better all around system than the white MacBook it replaces....

Speedmark results, 2 GHz MacBook White
Speedmark 5 scores for 2 GHz MacBook White and other Mac notebooks.

"The $999 2 GHz MacBook features faster graphics performance, thanks to the new Nvidia GeForce 9400M graphics subsystem . . . The second update is a doubling of the RAM - the entry level MacBook ships with 2 GB of 667MHz DDR2 RAM, compared to just 1 GB of the same type of memory in the previous version. The latest white MacBook also has a faster front side bus, now running at 1,066MHz instead of 800MHz before....

"What do these changes mean in terms of speed improvement?"

Power Support MacBook Pro Anti-Glare Film

Macworld's Rob Griffiths says:

"While testing the TechRestore-modified MacBook Pro, I thought it'd be interesting to compare that machine's matte screen with a stock (glossy-screen) MacBook Pro equipped with an anti-glare film. While there are many such films in development, I could find only one shipping right now: Power Support's $35 MacBook Pro Anti-Glare Film. (Power Support also makes the film in a 13-inch version, for the same $35 price, to fit the new unibody MacBooks.)....

"Of course, the best solution would be for Apple to - as it did for nearly the last 20 years of Mac laptops - offer a true matte-screen (as an option, in this case) for those users who simply cannot put up with glossy displays."

Tech Trends

Solid State Drives Not Worth the Price for Many

USA Today's Ed Baig says:

"Would you trade storage capacity and a lower price for speed and reliability? That's is the tradeoff between PCs with a conventional hard drive or the latest generation of solid state drives (SSDs.)

"For now, most consumers are sticking with the cheaper alternative. Who could blame them, given the battered economy?

"A new report from the comparison shopping service indicates that of those online users who are familiar with SSD technology, only 11% said they'd consider buying a netbook with the technology in the next few years. Another 43% indicated a willingness to do so only if the price dropped...."

Intel Nudges Atom Processor Faster with Update

PC Mag's Cisco Cheng reports:

"Intel has already begun shipping the latest update to its beloved Atom processor. The Atom N280, rated at 1.66GHz, will be a smidge faster (.06 GHz to be exact) than the previous N270.

"More than just a bump in megahertz is the slight shift in architecture, as the new platform integrates north bridge functions such as the memory controller and graphics core into the processor die. This will allow DDR2 memory to scale from 533MHz to 667MHz and optimize video playback."

Intel Ships Updated Atom Chips 6 Months Early

The Register's Austin Modine

"Intel has confirmed it is already shipping the next incarnation of the Atom processor.

"The chip maker's successor to the near-ubiquitous netbook chip, the N270, is landing in the hands of laptop makers well before the anticipated mid-2009 release. Those presently mulling a netbook purchase may want to hold off for a bit...."

'$100 Laptop' to Drop from $204 to $180

The Boston Globe's Hiawatha Bray reports:

"The One Laptop Per Child Foundation of Cambridge was established to bring the world's children a $100 laptop, and according to founder Nicholas Negroponte, the organization is still determined to reach that goal. But last year, it quietly raised the price of its proprietary XO laptop from $188 to $204, more than twice what the foundation originally hoped to charge. Now Negroponte is promising to cut the price of the XO by $24, to $180. 'I believe it will go down another $20 soon,' he added. But even at $160, the laptop will cost far more than its original $100 target price...."

Products & Services

7 Port Powered USB 2.0 Hub Has Rotating Ports

PR: An especially attractive solution for owners of Apple's port challenged laptops, this compact 7-port USB hub from folds in the middle for travel and features 4 roatating ports for maximum versatility when connecting several USB devices at once. An included AC adapter provides additional power to the ports.

We've never seen anything like this at Low End Mac - very clever!

Product Specifications

  • Ports : 7
  • USB: 2.0
  • Size: 6 3/4"L x 7/8"W x 7/8"H
  • Cable: 20"
  • Power: USB or AC (adapter included)
  • Other: Ports fold & rotate

List Price: $27.99

Sale Price: $10.75

TechRestore MacBook/ModBook Conversion Take Apart Video

PR: TechRestore's Shannon Jean says:

"I've finally finished the world's first Modbook upgrade video, with help from Dan's technical skills and Lance's music. This newest stop-motion animated video shows the complete conversion process, from MacBook to Modbook. I think it's our best video yet (but be sure to voice your opinion in the comments are ratings). As usual, this video is brought to you in wide-screen - optionally 720p HD format - that's nearly twice the resolution of a standard DVD, so you can see it as though you were watching a blue-ray disc, even on YouTube. (c:

"If you haven't seen one yet, let me just tell you that this is the must have service for artists. With 512 levels of sensitivity, and a screen surface designed to feel like paper, this touch-screen out-performs any other tablet on the market - not to mention the fact that it's a Mac! The best part is, that you don't have to buy a whole new system ($2249 for a complete Modbook), just upgrade the MacBook that you already use, for half that price ($1149), and it comes back with all of your data and programs intact - sweet.

"We have posted a new, stop-motion take apart HD video of our Overnight ModService. Watch the conversion of a standard MacBook into the only Tablet Mac in under two minutes."

Bargain 'Books

Bargain 'Books are used unless otherwise indicated. New and refurbished units have a one-year Apple warranty and are eligible for AppleCare.

PowerBook, iBook, and MacBook profiles linked in our Portable Mac Index.

Apple Store

  • refurb 1.6 GHz MacBook Air, 2 GB/80, $999
  • refurb 1.6 GHz MacBook Air, 2 GB/64 SSD, $1,199
  • refurb 1.8 GHz MacBook Air, 2 GB/80, $1,099
  • refurb 1.8 GHz MacBook Air, 2 GB/64 SSD, $1,299
  • 2.0 GHz Unibody MacBook, 2 GB/160/SD, $1,099
  • 2.4 GHz Unibody MacBook, 2 GB/250/SD, $1,399
  • 2.4 GHz Unibody MacBook, 2 GB/128 SSD/SD, $1,899
  • refurb 15" 2.2 GHz Santa Rosa MacBook Pro, 2 GB/120/SD, $1,249
  • refurb 15" 2.4 GHz Penryn MacBook Pro, 2 GB/250/SD, $1,699
  • refurb 15" 2.6 GHz Penryn MacBook Pro, 2 GB/200 @ 7200 rpm/SD, $1,799
  • refurb 17" 2.4 GHz Penryn MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $1,849
  • refurb 17" 2.5 GHz Santa Rosa MacBook Pro, 2 GB/250/SD, $1,899


  • 15" 1.83 GHz Core Duo MacBook Pro, 512/80/SD, $849.99
  • 15" 2.16 GHz Core Duo MacBook Pro, 1 GB/100/SD, $949
  • 17" 2.33 GHz Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro, 1 GB/120/SD, $1,399


  • 2.0 GHz Unibody MacBook, 2 GB/160/SD, $1,219.99
  • 2.4 GHz Unibody MacBook, 2 GB/250/SD, $1,509.99
  • 15" 2.4 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/200/SD, $1,449.99
  • 15" 2.6 GHz Penryn MacBook Pro, 2 GB/200 @ 7200 RPM/SD, $1,699.99
  • 15" 2.4 GHz Unibody MacBook Pro, 2 GB/250/SD, $1,819.99
  • 15" 2.53 GHz Unibody MacBook Pro, 4 GB/320/SD, $2,329.99

Wegener Media - G3 iBooks - 15" Titanium PowerBook - 15" Aluminum PowerBook - MacBook - 15" MacBook Pro

  • 12" iBook G3/500 MHz, 128/10/CD, $169.99
  • 12" iBook G3/600 MHz, 128/15/CD, $249.99
  • 12" iBook G3/700 MHz, 128/20/Combo, $329.99
  • 12" iBook G3/800 MHz, 256/30/Combo, $399.99
  • 12" iBook G3/900 MHz, 256/40/Combo, $489.99
  • 1.83 GHz Core Duo MacBook, white, 512/60/Combo, 60 day warranty, $594.99
  • 2.0 GHz Core Duo MacBook, white, 512/60/Combo, 60 day warranty, $659.99
  • 2.0 GHz Core Duo MacBook, black, 512/80/SD, 60 day warranty, $719.99
  • 2.0 GHz Core 2 MacBook, white, 1 GB/80/SD, 60 day warranty, $769.99
  • 2.0 GHz Core 2 MacBook, black, 1 GB/120/SD, 60 day warranty, $799.99
  • 15" titanium PowerBook G4/867 MHz, 256/30/Combo, $549.99
  • 15" titanium PowerBook G4/1 GHz, 256/60/Combo, $699.99
  • 15" aluminum PowerBook G4/1.25 GHz, 256/60/Combo, $599.99
  • 15" aluminum PowerBook G4/1.33 GHz, 256/60/Combo, $639.99
  • 15" aluminum PowerBook G4/1.5 GHz, 1 GB/80/Combo, $679.99
  • 15" aluminum PowerBook G4/1.67 GHz, 1 GB/80/SD, APX, $729.99
  • 15" hi-res aluminum PowerBook G4/1.67 GHz, 512/80/SD, APX, $799.99
  • 15" 1.83 GHz MacBook Pro, 512/80/SD, 90 day warranty, $899.99
  • 15" 2.0 GHz MacBook Pro, 512/80/SD 90 day warranty, $979.99
  • 15" 2.0 GHz MacBook Pro, 512/100/SD 90 day warranty, $1,099.99
  • 15" 2.16 GHz MacBook Pro, 1 GB/100/SD, 90 day warranty, $1,179.99


  • 12" PowerBook G4/1 GHz, 1.25 GB/40/Combo, $499
  • 12" PowerBook G4/1.5 GHz, 512/80/SD, $549
  • 1.83 GHz MacBook, white, 2 GB/60/Combo, $649
  • 2.0 GHz MacBook, white, 2 GB/60/SD, $699
  • 2 GHz MacBook, black, 2 GB/120/SD, $799
  • 2 GHz MacBook, black, 2 GB/500/SD, $949
  • 2.0 GHz 15" MacBook Pro, 2 GB/80/SD, $799
  • 2.16 GHz 15" MacBook Pro, 2 GB/100/SD, $999
  • 2.8 GHz 15" MacBook Pro, 4 GB/320 @ 7200 rpm/SD, AppleCare, $2,999

Baucom Computers

  • 1.83 GHz MacBook, 1 GB/80/Combo, APX, $600
  • 15" hi-res PowerBook G4/1.67 GHz, 1 GB/80/SD, $715
  • 15" hi-res PowerBook G4/1.67 GHz, 1.5 GB/100/SD, $805
  • 2.0 GHz MacBook Pro, 1 GB/100/SD, APX, $969

PowerBook Guy

  • 12" iBook G4/1 GHz, 512/30/Combo, $499.95
  • 15" PowerBook G4/500 MHz, 256/20/DVD, $479.95

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.

Join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or Google+, or subscribe to our RSS news feed

Links for the Day

Recent Content

Go to the 'Book Review index.

About LEM Support Usage Privacy Contact

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

Page not found | Low End Mac

Well this is somewhat embarrassing, isn’t it?

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

Most Used Categories


Try looking in the monthly archives. :)

Page not found | Low End Mac

Well this is somewhat embarrassing, isn’t it?

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

Most Used Categories


Try looking in the monthly archives. :)

Favorite Sites

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

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

Low End Mac's store


Well this is somewhat embarrassing, isn’t it?

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

Most Used Categories


Try looking in the monthly archives. :)

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

Open Link