The 'Book Review

Apple Sues Over Copycat AC Adapter, a Portable Docking Station, Glass Trackpad Tips, and More

This Week's MacBook, PowerBook, and iBook News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2009.12.04

General Apple and Mac desktops is covered in The Mac News Review. iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV news is covered in The iNews Review. All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

News & Opinion

Apple Updates

Tech Trends

Products & Services


Bargain 'Books

News & Opinion

Apple Sues to Stop Copycat Power Adapters

InformationWeek's Thomas Claburn reports:

"Apple on Monday filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Media Solutions Holdings, a company based in Anaheim, Calif. that allegedly sells knock-off Apple products through several Web sites.

"Apple's complaint charges that Media Solutions Holdings, through the Web sites, and, sells 'various consumer electronic accessories at retail, including knock-off power adapters for use with genuine Apple portable computers.'

"'Through various Web sites and otherwise, the Defendants market these knock-off power adapters for use with Apple portable computers, such as the MacBook,' the complaint states.

"Apple claims that some of the power adapters sold through these Web sites violate its 'Power adapter' patent, issued in August, 2003."

Apple Sues Over Knockoff Power Bricks

The Register's Rik Myslewski reports:

"Apple has sued a California company for alleging infringing a laptop AC-adapter patent granted to Cupertino in 2003.

"And they may have already won."

Apple patent drawings with photos of the infringing AC adapters
Apple patent drawings with photos of the infringing AC adapters.

"...this is a design patent - and it doesn't take the finely trained eye of industrial designer to determine that the Media Solutions Holdings' adapters are, as the lawsuit claims, 'substantially the same as Apple's patented design.'

"If you're wondering why Apple would go through the time and expense of dragging a small company into court for a design infringement, know that the two online stores named in the lawsuit have already pulled the products."

Axiotron Transfers TabletMac Trademark to Apple

More confirmational evidence that an Apple tablet computer is indeed on the way next year - and that it will be a Mac, not an iPod: The Mac Observer's Bryan Chaffin reports that ownership of a US trademark for the term "TabletMac" has transferred from Axiotron to Apple. Axiotron had originally registered the trademark in 2007 after releasing its MacBook-based Modbook tablet, but ownership of the trademark transferred to Apple during the last year, according to a report from

Apple Tablet Rumored to Be 'Shockingly' Inexpensive

AppleInsider's Neil Hughes reports:

Internet and television personality Alex Albrecht claimed to have insight on the price of Apple's rumored tablet during the latest episode of Diggnation....

During the course of episode 231 of the Internet-based show, co-host and Web entrepreneur Kevin Rose . . . turned his attention to Albrecht . . . After pestering from Rose, Albrecht eventually conceded: "I was shocked at how cheap the price point is going to be." He declined to reveal anything further.

Apple Updates

Tips for Using the Multi-Touch Glass Trackpad

A new Apple Knowledge Base article provides information and tips on using the glass multitouch trackpad in unibody MacBooks and MacBook Pros, noting that unlike typical trackpads, the new MacBook and MacBook Pro glass trackpad surface is a button in itself - you can click almost anywhere on the trackpad.

You can use the trackpad to move the mouse cursor, execute a primary or secondary click, scroll, or perform multitouch Gestures. To ensure accurate finger gesturing response, always user fingertips or slightly curled fingers.

Advanced Tips for the Sudden Motion Sensor

A new Apple Knowledge Base article says:

"Beginning with the PowerBook G4 (12-inch, 1.5 GHz), PowerBook G4 (15-inch, 1.67/1.5 GHz), PowerBook G4 (17-inch, 1.67 GHz), and iBook G4 (Mid 2005), Apple portable computers feature a Sudden Motion Sensor. Intel-based Apple portables such as the MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air also make use of the Sudden Motion Sensor.

"Sudden Motion Sensor technology is built-in protection for the hard disk, designed to help prevent disk issues if the computer is dropped or if it senses unusually strong vibration. Apple has adjusted this feature carefully to provide the best balance between protecting the hard drive and preventing unwanted activation of the Sudden Motion Sensor. Most Apple portable owners never need to turn this feature off. Apple suggests that you not modify the settings unless absolutely necessary.

"In some environments, such as live concert halls, recording studios, or dance clubs, external vibrations may be major enough to cause the module to unexpectedly park the hard drive heads, resulting in interrupted sound or video playback. In these situations, you may find that you want to disable the feature temporarily...."

Tech Trends

Acer to Launch Chrome OS Netbook in 2H10

DigiTimes' Yen-Shyang Hwang and Joseph Tsai report that Acer plans to launch a Google Chrome operating system-based netbook, which the company has been developing since mid-2009, in the second half of 2010, according to industry sources.

Acer chairman JT Wang also expressed his confidence that the company will be the first vendor to launch Chrome-based netbook in the market during a recent interview with DigiTimes.

10" to 12" Displays to Dominate Netbook Market in 2010

DigiTimes' Monica Chen and Joseph Tsai report that netbooks with 10- to 12-inch displays are expected to become the mainstream in the segment in 2010 as market demand for larger-size netbooks is rising, according to industry sources.

In 2010, the sources expect current 10-inch netbooks to be mainly positioned for entry-level markets to defend against the entrance of smartbooks. 10-inch models with touchscreen capabilities will be positioned for mid-range markets, and 12-inch models will be the major profit driver for the vendors.

Products & Services

DeskBook Pro Portable Docking Station

DeskBook Pro Portable Docking StationPR: Zemno LLC, a developer and manufacturer of advanced Apple and PC peripherals, has unveiled the DeskBook Pro Docking Station, which features unrivaled connectivity and introduces ModBay technology. Zemno's innovative ModBays enable the DeskBook Pro to support internal connection of hard drives, batteries, and peripherals. ModBays are not only portable, they also provide convenient access to additional power for the dock when mobile. DeskBook Pro with ModBay technology allows an upgrade path for future peripheral connectivity in a portable, elegant and slim profiled design.

When going mobile or returning from the road with your laptop, the DeskBook Pro allows you to leave all your peripherals plugged in so you don't waste time plugging and unplugging multiple devices. For the professional who needs more power on the road, the DeskBook Pro enables you to "take life with you" - anywhere. It docks two hard drives simultaneously or any combination of hard drive, battery,* or peripheral device with access to 16 input/output connections.

DeskBook Pro Portable Docking StationThe DeskBook Pro docking station is a control & command center for your digital world featuring:

  • 6 downstream USB ports
  • 3 FireWire 800 ports
  • 1 FireWire 400 port
  • 1 DVI output (video ported over USB)
  • 1 ethernet port
  • 1 eSATA data connection
  • 1 eSATA power connection
  • 1 audio stereo input
  • 1 audio stereo output
  • 1 Flash Card reader
  • 2 ModBays, each supports a single 2.5" hard drive or battery

DeskBook Pro is compatible with any Mac or PC notebook up to 15" with FireWire and USB capabilities. It provides for unlimited storage upgrades and multiple ports to extend the life and functionality of almost any notebook or desktop.

"In creating the DeskBook Pro, Zemno have applied our own passion for improving mobile computing technology while also listening to the needs expressed by users worldwide," said Gregg DeFronzo, Zemno's CEO and lead designer. "We believe that our efforts have resulted in a new definition of what a State of the Art docking station should be."

Preorders for DeskBook Pro (MSRP $499.99) and ModBay Modules are now being taken for Jan. 2010 delivery. Early adopter discounts of 10% are available for orders placed by Dec 25, 2009.

* The battery powers the DeskBook Pro; it does not provide power to your notebook.

Solar Power Now Available for All MacBooks

PR: QuickerTek now offers solar power for the entire Apple MacBook line of popular laptops unibody Macs and just released white MacBook. The initial Apple Juicz Solar Charger worked with the MacBook Air only, now we power the entire MacBook line including the 13.3", 15", and 17" unibody Pros and the white MacBook. There are two Apple Juicz models available: 27 Watt and 55 Watt, to match your performance needs.

Apple Juicz Solar ChargerThe addition of the all of the MacBook and MacBook Pro models to the previous MacBook Air completes the solar compatibility. MacBook users are no longer tethered to the AC wall outlet. The freedom to work where you want, makes the solar charger from QuickerTek very popular with all users - but especially in tough environments.

One Apple Juicz Solar Charger has taken the Charger to Mount Everest. This feat helps demonstrate the extreme durability and flexibility that MacBook users can expect. Not every Solar Charger user will take their laptop to the world's tallest peak, but knowing that it is built tough enough, adds confidence when hiking in the woods, spending a week at an island beach, a month on your boat or just working in your own backyard.

The Apple Juicz also folds up for easy transport. Even though the sun gathering power is remarkable, the folding solar collection panels make it practical to use - something that has been lacking in solar technology to date. The Apple Juicz Solar Charger also comes complete with all cables to make "going solar" as easy as it should be. Users don't need to make any adjustments to take full advantage of the ever-present renewable resource - the sun.

You gain additional power options through a 2.5mm connector allowing access to other QuickerTek power products from solar cells to external batteries. There are no safety sacrifices in using QuickerTek's Apple Juicz MacBook Solar Charger.

Apple Juicz Solar ChargerSpecifications

  • 5mm connector - for connecting QuickerTek solar and external batteries;
  • Original Apple MagSafe connector;
  • 12 volt automotive cigarette lighter connection;
  • 3-foot extension cable with 2.5mm connection;
  • Grommets to secure the unfolded panels during charging;
  • Messenger bag carry case


  • 27 Watt - $700
  • 55 Watt - $1,200

Like most QuickerTek products, the Apple Juicz Solar Charger is backed with a one-year warranty on parts and labor.

WoodServe Laptop Stand WoodServe Fine Furniture Finish Laptop Stand

PR: Balmuda Design's Unite WoodServe is an engineered wooden notebook computer stand for both Mac and Window computers, with a capacity to store any notebook computer with a thickness between 21mm and 28mm.

Additionally, Mac users can set their computer in closed clamshell (display closed) mode and while closed, combine with a external display to use as a compact desktop computer.

Two wood finishes are available - Natural using Basswood and Brown using Walnut so you can choose the one best suited to harmonize with your desk space or interior. Individual examples of this product may have differences in texture due to use of natural wood material.

WoodServe Laptop StandComplimentary details such as the soft lines created by the layers of Engineered wood and the sharpness produced by the aluminum pieces create an unique harmony.

The "inside" can be adjusted anywhere from 21mm to 28mm, holding your notebook computer securely in place. In order to include this adjustable feature, each WoodServe is created carefully by hand in an Engineered wood factory in Japan.


  • Size: W 260 x D 100 x H 82.5 (mm) / Weight: 295g
  • Color: Natural (Basswood) / Brown (Walnut)
  • Materials: Plywood, aluminum alloy, rubber sponge

Can be used with a notebook computers with thickness of 28mm or less.

WoodServe sells for $89.


Airlock: Your Mac Now Locks Itself When You Walk Away

AirlockPR: Louisville-based The MHA released the first version of Airlock, a smarter kind of Mac security solution that allows a Mac to automatically lock and unlock itself as a user comes and goes. Airlock uses advanced Bluetooth proximity detection that interacts with a user's iPhone or iPod touch to determine the approximate distance between the user and his or her Mac. When the user leaves the preset range, Airlock locks the Mac's screen, and upon the user's return, Airlock automatically unlocks the screen. As a fallback for when the user's iPhone or iPod Touch's battery is dead, Airlock can be configured to accept the user's account password to unlock the screen.

Airlock runs completely in the background and is configured through the System Preferences. From the Airlock preference pane, users can configure many aspects of Airlock to suit their needs. For example, the Airlock preference pane features a radar screen which allows users to easily configure the distance that Airlock considers in-range, while displaying the location of the user's iPhone or iPod Touch in realtime.

AirlockIn addition to locking the screen, Airlock can be configured to perform custom actions as the user comes and goes. For example, when the user comes in-range, he or she could automatically be logged-in to iChat, a favorite news site could be refreshed, or a daily snapshot could be taken of the Mac's surroundings. On the other hand, when the user goes out-of-range, he or she could be logged-out of iChat, or an email could be sent logging the time and date that the user left.

System Requirements

  • An Intel Mac running Mac OS 10.5
  • An iPhone or iPod Touch
  • Airlock runs solely on a user's Mac (nothing needs to be installed on a user's iPhone or iPod Touch.)

A free, full-featured demo of Airlock is available. Airlock can be purchased for $7.77.

Bargain 'Books

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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