The 'Book Review

MacBook Pro 'Absolutely Flies', Not Just for Pros; Mobile 'Penryn' to Debut in January; and More

This Week's Mac Notebook News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2007.12.07

This Week's MacBook, PowerBook, and iBook News

All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

General Apple and Mac desktop news is covered in The Mac News Review. iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV news is covered in The iNews Review.

News & Opinion


Apple Updates

Tech Trends


Bargain 'Books

News & Opinion

5 Reasons the MacBook Pro Isn't Just for Pros

Mac Blorge's Triston McIntyre says:

"You're standing in the Apple store, looking up and down the row of MacBooks and MacBook Pros; one is silver and slightly bigger, and one is white or black . . . but when it comes down to your bank account, is silver really all that worth it? The answer is a thousand times yes, and here are 5 reasons why."

8 Steps to Buying a MacBook

American Chronicle's Rodney Goldston says:

Every week I'm approached by friends and family considering the purchase of an Apple computer asking my advice. In this article I'll teach you the critical things you need to consider when purchasing an Apple MacBook computer. I'll also provide a link to places on the web where you can get a list of good deals on a MacBook and other Apple Computer stuff.

  1. Decide where you want to shop.
  2. Decide what color MacBook you would like to own.
  3. Memory
  4. Hard Drive
  5. Decide on an optical drive
  6. Displays
  7. AppleCare Protection Plan
  8. Enjoy your new MacBook

Editor's note: "The page cannot be displayed. The request cannot be processed at this time. The amount of traffic exceeds the Web site's configured capacity. Server error: Web server is too busy." Good old Microsoft Internet Information Services, always letting us know when it's misbehaving. :-) dk

Mobile Intel 'Penryn' Processors to Launch in January

The Register Hardware's Tony Smith

"Intel has already launched its first desktop 45nm 'Penryn' processor, the Core 2 Extreme QX9650 and has begun seeding next year's QX9770 - reviewed here. And now we know what it's planning for laptops.

"While these desktop CPUs are quad-core parts, the mobiles will be dual-core chips, DailyTech reports. They'll debut on 6 January during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and just ahead of Macworld Expo.

"The T8100 and T8300 are clocked at 2.1 GHz and 2.3 GHz, respectively, and contain 3 MB of L2 cache shared by both cores. The T9300 and T9500 up the cache to 6 MB. They run, respectively, at 2.5 GHz and 2.6 GHz.

"All four chips have a thermal envelope of 35W, which matches current Core 2 Duo processors, allowing notebook makers to slot the new chips in without having to redesign the machines' thermal characteristics....

"...Intel's next update of the current incarnation of its Centrino notebook platform. Santa Rosa's successor, 'Montevina', is due in May 2008 and will see the introduction of 25W CPUs capable of running on an 1066 MHz frontside bus (FSB) - Santa Rosa uses an 800 MHz FSB."

Intel's 'Penryn' Mobile Processor Schedule Revealed

DailyTech's Brandon Hill reports:

"Model numbers for Intel's upcoming mobile chips leaked

"Intel shows no signs of slowing down when it comes to its mobile processors. Intel's Core-based architecture has being doing remarkably well in the marketplace with Celeron-M, Pentium Dual Core, Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Extreme processors covering the vast spectrum between budget and high-end notebooks.

"Intel will up the ante again on January 6, 2008 with its new 45nm Penryn-based Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Extreme dual core processors.

"It's highly plausible that the chips could make their first appearance at CES 2008 (January 7, 2008) with further unveils at Macworld 2008 in Apple's oft-rumored tablet, revamped MacBook Pros or refreshed iMac desktops."

MacBook nano at Macworld '15% Short of a Sure Thing' says:

"A Piper Jaffray analyst puts the probability of an 'ultra-portable' MacBook being introduced at Macworld at 85%.

"That's as close to being a certainty as anything rumored to be about to sprout forth from Apple ever is, which is to say don't count on it until you hear Steve Jobs say that it's true, but be listening for it...

"And, as always with Apple, the truth may turn out to be even more interesting than anticipated."

Why Is a MacBook 30% More Expensive in the UK?'s Steven York says:

"It's the festive season and everyone is geared up for some shopping. As it happens my old Pentium IV laptop isn't doing so well anymore so I felt inclined to purchase a more mobile computing solution; the Apple MacBook was the obvious choice. But what are Apple doing with their pricing structure?

"The MacBook is an excellent piece of kit; the build quality alone is leagues ahead of most laptops and given I don't game on notebooks anymore it seems logical to accept a Mac as the most stable, high quality tool for my mobile computing needs. However upon shopping around the obvious price differences between the UK and US became more than an annoyance, they became insulting . . . there is one crucial question that I would like a definitive answer to:

"Can someone explain why there is such an epic difference in price between the UK and US markets?"

Kenmos and Nano-Op Supply LED Backlit LCDs to Apple

DigiTimes' Rebecca Kuo and Rodney Chan report:

"Kenmos Technology and Taiwan Nano Electro-Optical Technology (Nano-Op) have become suppliers of notebook-use LED backlight units (BLUs) for Dell and Apple, with the makers' shipments to the segment expected to soar, according to industry sources.

"Nano-Op has already started shipping 12.1-inch notebook LED BLUs to Dell via AU Optronics (AUO), and its 13.3-inch LED notebook BLUs have already been validated by Apple, the sources said.

"The sources disclosed that Nano-Op's LED notebook BLU shipments in November were only about 10,000 units, but Apple orders are expected drive up shipments to over 90,000 units in December."

Apple to Debut More LED-lit Notebooks?

MacNN reports:

"Both Apple and Dell are already set to receive large quantities of small LCDs with LED backlights for imminent notebooks, according to a new report from Taiwan manufacturers. Local firms Kenmos and Nano-Op are said to be producing the thinner, more power-efficient backlights for LCD display makers AU Optronics (AUO) and Chi Mei respectively that will be used for compact notebooks by both of the American notebook designers. Although details of Kenmos' production plans are unclear and may include existing systems such as the 15-inch MacBook Pro or the XPS M1330, AUO and Nano-Op are allegedly producing a 13.3-inch screen for Apple and a 12.1-inch screen for Dell, the report's industry sources claim."


17" MacBook Pro 'Absolutely Flies'

Trusted Reviews' Wil Harris reports:

"Apple has turned around its fortunes in computer sales with its latest line-up of laptops. While its market share in terms of hardware has been tiny in the last two years, this year has seen it grow massively, to the point where almost 20 per cent of all laptops sold in the US are Designed By Apple in Cupertino, California - and Jobs' firm is well on the way to catching HP and Dell in the sales stakes.

"Key to the resurgence of Apple has been its consumer line of notebooks, the MacBook, with its pearly white finish and wide screen. But Apple has never forgotten that so many of its customers are 'creative' professionals - video editors, photographers, graphic artists and web designers, and so has continued to put a bit of effort into its MacBook Pro line....

"The configuration we have on test here today is a 2.4 GHz machine, specced up with 4 GB of memory and a 250 GB hard drive...

"...there's no doubting that the machine doesn't lack power. First impressions upon use are that it's seriously snappy - with 4 GB of RAM, Leopard, the latest version of OS X, absolutely flies . . . the 17in MacBook Pro is really a fantastic machine for creatives and anyone else looking for a high-powered, high-style laptop with a large screen...."

Hitachi vs. Seagate 200 GB 7200 rpm Notebook Drives

Bare Feats' rob-ART Morgan reports:

"Seagate now has a 200 GB 7200 rpm SATA notebook (2.5 inch) drive, the Momentus 7200.2 ST9200420AS and ASG. We were curious how it compared to the 200G 7K notebook drive from Hitachi Travelstar 7K200 (HTS722020K9SA00).

"We tested them on both FireWire 800 and SATA ports. And we included results from the Western Digital Scorpio (WD2500BEVS) 250 GB 5400 rpm notebook drive.


"The Hitachi 7K 200G notebook drive posted the fastest times for large sustained transfers. However, the Seagate 7K 200G was fastest in the small random transfers - which implies it would make a better boot drive. I'd be pleased to have either drive in my MacBook Pro...."

Apple Updates

Apple Posts MacBook Developer Note

PR: This developer note gives a technical description of the Intel Core 2 Duo MacBook computers introduced in November 2007. The purpose of this note is to provide information about the computer's internal design, input-output features, and expansion capabilities to help developers design products compatible with the MacBook, however, it makes interesting reading for anyone technically-minded who has an interest in the engineering details of Apple's latest notebook computers.

This particular note describes the MacBook computers based on the 2.0 GHz and 2.2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo microprocessor, introduced in November 2007. It includes information about distinguishing features of the computer, including components on the main logic board: the microprocessor, the other main ICs, and the buses that connect them to each other and to the I/O interfaces.

Tech Trends

Laptop Power Cranks Up a Gear

The Register Hardware's James Sherwood reports:

"There's never really been a reliable way of losing weight and saving the planet - and certainty not one that works while you're sat working at your desk. Until now - a Spanish Polytechnic has invented a laptop that runs on a miniature bicycle.

"The Polytechnic of Madrid's design means a cycling action by the user is turned into electricity, which powers the laptop via a voltage convertor...."

Samsung and Toshiba to Share Specs for Premium NAND Flash Memory to Increase Supplier and Procurement Flexibility

PR: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. and Toshiba Corporation today announced that they have licensed to one another the rights to produce, market and sell memory with the specifications and trademarks of Samsung's OneNAND and Toshiba's LBA-NAND memory chips.

As a result of the reciprocal arrangement, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) will have a broader choice of suppliers for each premium memory chip, thereby reducing any potential risk of over-dependence on a single supplier for any of the selected chips. The arrangement is expected to result in increased availability of premium-performance OneNAND and LBA-NAND flash devices worldwide.

Under terms of the agreement, Samsung will license product specifications of its integrated OneNAND and Flex-OneNAND "fusion" memory chips to Toshiba, while Toshiba will license product specifications of its single-package LBA-NAND and mobileLBA-NAND flash chips to Samsung. Both companies will develop and market products that are compatible with the respective original-source technology. Samsung and Toshiba each plan to release products next year based on the respectively licensed product specifications.

Masaki Momodomi, Flash Memory Technology Executive of Toshiba Corporation's Semiconductor Company, said, "Signing this agreement will provide a major boost for market development and we believe it will trigger substantial new growth. It will allow our customers more options - both in terms of high performance technologies and suppliers. We believe that this agreement will bring positive results to the industry as a whole."

Yun-Ho Choi, senior vice president of the Flash Team at Samsung Electronics' Semiconductor Business, said, "The advanced performance specs and easy design-in features of the NAND flash memories to which the agreement applies can greatly improve design options for CE application designers, while reducing development costs. Samsung will place additional priority on meeting the anticipated growth in demand for high-performance NAND flash in mobile and other consumer applications through the provisioning of more diverse NAND solutions and peripheral interfaces."

Samsung's OneNAND and Flex OneNAND are fusion memories that integrate a NAND core, SRAM, error correcting engines, and logic circuits in a single chip with a NOR interface. Flex-OneNAND's capability of partitioning SLC and MLC allows it to provide a highly flexible and cost-effective flash storage solution for consumer electronics and other applications. By providing optimized software along with OneNAND, Samsung can help users easily design OneNAND into their platforms for high performance while reducing total development time.

Toshiba's LBA-NAND and mobileLBA-NAND are non-volatile memories that integrate a controller and NAND flash memory in a single package. Pin assignment and the command sequence are compatible with conventional NAND flash memories, but logical address access methods are utilized. LBA-NAND are designed for use in mobile consumer products, such as digital audio players and personal media players, and mobileLBA-NAND are for mobile phones. Both support developers in minimizing development costs and shortening development times for new and upgraded products.


KeyRemap4MacBook 2.2 MacBook Keyboard Remapper

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

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


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

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

Use it as codebase of your original keyremapper.

New in version 2.2:

  • [BUGFIX] Fixed the bug around "key to modifier" (enter2*, return2option, jis_eisuu2*, jis_kana2*).
  • Support PowerBook enter key.
  • Added new remapping.

System requirements: Mac OS X 10.4 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.

Apple Store

Changes this week with Apple refurbished 'Books include a $100 price drop on the 2.4 GHz 15" MacBook Pro, a return of 2.33 GHz 17" MacBook Pros and a wider selection of refurb MacBooks. cm

  • refurb 2.0 GHz Core 2 MacBook, white, 1 GB/00/Combo, $899
  • refurb 2.16 GHz Core 2 MacBook, white, 1 GB/120/SD, $1,049
  • refurb 2.16 GHz Core 2 MacBook, black, 1 GB/160/SD, $1,249
  • refurb 15" 2.2 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/120/SD, $1,699
  • refurb 15" 2.4 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $2,099
  • refurb 17" 2.33 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $2,199
  • refurb 17" 2.4 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $2,399
  • refurb hi-res 17" 2.4 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $2,599


TechRestore is offering a $25 discount to 'Book Review readers off any PowerBook or iBook in stock. Just enter the code CWM during checkout when ordering online. The coupon code is valid from now through 2007.12.31.

  • 12" iBook G3/900, 256/40/Combo, $429.99
  • 15" PowerBook G4/1.33 GHz, 512/60/Combo, $799.99 less $25 = $774.99
  • 15" PowerBook G4/1.5 GHz, 512/80/SD, $879.99 less $25 = $854.99
  • 15" PowerBook G4/1.67 GHz, 512/100/SD, $979.99 less $25 = $954.99

Wegener Media

  • Lombard PowerBook G3/333, 128/4/CD, $219.99
  • Lombard PowerBook G3/400, 128/4/CD, $299.99
  • Pismo PowerBook G3/400, 128/6/DVD, $299.99
  • Pismo PowerBook G3/500, 128/6/DVD, $349.99
  • 15" 1.83 GHz MacBook Pro, 512/80/SD, 512 MB VRAM, $1,179.99
  • 15" 2.0 GHz MacBook Pro, 512/100/SD, 256 MB VRAM, $1,239.99
  • 15" 2.0 GHz MacBook Pro, 1 GB/100/SD, 512 MB VRAM, $1,299.99
  • 15" 2.16 GHz MacBook Pro, 1 GB/100/SD, $1,399.99
  • 17" 2.16 GHz MacBook Pro, 1 GB/100/SD, $1,629.99
  • 17" 2.16 GHz MacBook Pro, 1 GB/120/SD, $1,689.99
  • 17" 2.16 GHz MacBook Pro, 1 GB/160/SD, $1,729.99
  • 17" 2.16 GHz MacBook Pro, 1 GB/200/SD, $1,829.99

Power Max

Free ground shipping

  • open box 2.16 GHz Core 2 MacBook, white, 1 GB/120/SD,warranty started, $1,199
  • open box 2.16 GHz Core 2 MacBook, white, 1 GB/120/SD, $1,229
  • open box 2.16 GHz Core 2 MacBook, black, 1 GB/160/SD,warranty started, $1,399
  • open box 2.16 GHz Core 2 MacBook, black, 1 GB/160/SD, $1,469
  • open box 15" 2.33 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $2,599
  • open box 17" 2.4 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, warranty started, $2,688


  • 12" iBook G3/700, 128/20/CD, AP, small crack, $249
  • 15" PowerBook G4/550, 128/30/Combo, $349

Baucom Computers

  • 12" iBook G3/700, 256/20/Combo, $299
  • 12" iBook G3/700, 384/20/Combo, $309
  • Add AirPort for $69
  • 12" iBook G4/1.0 GHz, 512/30/Combo, $475
  • 12" iBook G4/1.0 GHz, 512/30/Combo, AirPort, $509
  • Add AirPort Extreme for $39

PowerBook Guy

  • 12" iBook G3/500, 128/10/CD, $199.95
  • 12" iBook G3/500, 128/40/CD, $219.95
  • 12" iBook G3/500, 256/10/CD-RW, $239.95
  • 12" iBook G3/800, 256/30/CD, $249.95
  • Pismo PowerBook G3/400, 192/6/Zip, $269.95
  • 14" iBook G4/1 GHz, 512/40/Combo, $549.95
  • 15" PowerBook G4/500, 256/20/DVD, $449.95
  • 15" PowerBook G4/800, 256/40/Combo, $599.95

Custom Macs

  • 12" clamshell iBook G3/300, 512/3/CD, tested battery, power cord, OS X 10.3, $235
    • $189.99 with OS X 10.3 with 288 MB RAM
    • $149.99 with OS X 10.2 and 160 MB RAM
  • 12" iBook G4/1 GHz, 256/40/Combo, OS X 10.4, $589.99


  • 12" iBook G4/1.07 GHz, 256/30/Combo, APX, $399
  • new Apple battery for 12" iBook G3 or G4, $42.99

For more deals on current and discontinued models, see our MacBook deals, MacBook Pro deals, 12" PowerBook G4 deals, 15" PowerBook G4 deals, 17" PowerBook G4 deals, titanium PowerBook G4 deals, iBook G4 deals, PowerBook G3 deals, and iBook G3 deals.

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