Intel Preps 4-core Notebook CPUs, 5400 rpm 1.8in Hard Drive from Toshiba, and More
This Week's MacBook, PowerBook, and iBook News
All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.
- Intel Reveals Plans for Quad-core Laptop CPUs
- Intel to Launch Quad-core Notebook CPU in 3Q08
- Intel to Shrink Nehalem Chips for Laptops
- Toshiba Boosts 1.8" Hard Drives to 5400 rpm
- Intel, Samsung Comment on Flash, SSD Reliability
News & Opinion
- Speed Up Sleep Mode on MacBooks
- Beer Meets MacBook: $755 Repair
- MacBook Air: Gorgeous, Expensive, and Exasperating
- Microsoft Losing Ground with Portable Computer Users?
- Apple Updates AirPort Express with 802.11n
Engadget's Joshua Topolsky reports:
"It looks like your favorite lap burner will get all quad-ified this year, thanks to the folks at Intel, and a little something we call 'enthusiast pressure.' The hot-to-the-touch CPU rumor mill claims that we'll see the quad-core, 45nm QX9300 hit the scene after the Centrino 2 (aka Montevina) chips are launched in the second quarter of the year...."
Editor's note: This is something Apple could use to differentiate the MacBook Pro line from the MacBook, since GHz speed is no longer a real factor. dk
DIGITIMES' Monica Chen reports:
"Intel is planning to launch its first quad-core CPU for notebooks, the Core 2 Extreme QX9300, in the third quarter this year with pricing set at a new high of US$1,038 in thousand-unit tray quantities, according to sources at motherboard makers.
"With the market demand for top-level notebooks still below average, Intel expects the quad-core notebook CPUs will not become standard in the performance/mainstream notebook market until the second half of 2009, and therefore should not impact the desktop PC market, noted the sources."
Macworld UK's Agam Shah reports:
"Intel said Monday that its upcoming chip microarchitecture, Nehalem, will first be targeted at servers and high-end desktops but later will be scaled down for laptops.
"The Nehalem architecture, a substantial upgrade to Intel's current Core 2 microarchitecture, will pack between two and eight cores, said Pat Gelsinger, senior vice president and general manager of the digital enterprise group at Intel, during a press briefing on Monday. He did not talk about plans for Nehalem laptops. Intel plans to touch on the subject at the Intel Developer Forum in Shanghai in early April, a company spokesman said."
htlounge.net's Gina Cavallaro reports:
"Although consumer electronics are getting smaller than ever, they still don't offer the same level of performance as their larger counterparts.
"Laptops still have some catching up to do with their desktop counterparts, but Toshiba is helping to narrow the gap, especially for notebooks that are particularly compact.
"Toshiba has developed a new series 1.8-inch hard drives that bumps the standard speed from 4200rpm to a more respectable 5400rpm...."
Editor's note: This could make the MacBook Air a much perkier performer, if Toshiba builds these drives thin enough to fit inside. dk
Cnet's Brooke Crothers reports:
"In a recent interview, an Intel manager in the NAND products group discussed the "physical limitations" of flash data recording and the challenges of making solid state drives (SSDs) more reliable. Samsung also addressed SSD durability.
"The comments from Troy Winslow, marketing manager for the NAND Products Group at Intel, are particularly pertinent after a report was released Monday by Avi Cohen, head of research at Avian Securities, stating that the 'return rates of current SLC based SSDs at Dell are running 20 percent to 30 percent due to a combination of performance issues and failures.'"
News & Opinion
Tech blogger Dan Warne notes that MacBooks loaded with serious memory - like MacBook Pros with more than 2 GB - can take a long while to activate these days, since the entirety of that memory is being written to your hard disk in the default "safe sleep." If you're almost always plugged into a wall socket or aren't the type to run your battery down entirely, Warne recommends a one-line Terminal hack that brings back the old swift-moving sleep....
PowerPage's Chris Barylick says:
"About a week and a half ago, I was sitting at my kitchen table, working out my taxes on my MacBook while setting up a black PowerBook G3 to be sent to my grandmother as her first computer. Simple enough and if you can make it easy enough to understand, you might not be inundated by calls from a person who'll probably love you unconditionally but is confused by her e-mail.
"With the receipts almost in order and tallied up under Quicken, I grabbed a Corona from the fridge, took a sip, placed it on the table and kept working....
"That's when the phone rang. Moving with all the grace of a Muppet having a seizure, I managed to trip over the PowerBook's power cord and knock half the Corona onto the MacBook's keyboard...."
Editor's Note: Did you know that Apple charges a $755 flat rate for repairing spill-releated damage? Further observation: This incident reveals a big downside to the MacBook's (and MacBook Air's) unorthodox, integrated keyboard design. The conventional keyboard in a MacBook Pro would be easily replacable for a lot less than $755!. cm
"'Gorgeous, expensive and exasperating in equal measure, and yet still desirable despite its myriad faults,' is how Australia's PC Authority sums up the MacBook Air.
"Before you've even laid eyes on the MacBook Air, the very process of extricating it from its packaging frustrates and excites in a way that few technology purchases can . . . the MacBook Air is a simply stunning example of fine design....
"The MacBook Air's skinny frame requires pretty serious compromises when it comes to components, however...."
InformationWeek's Dave Methvin says:
"Hey, what is going on here? In Thursday's list of Amazon's best-selling portable computers, only seven out of the top 25 run Windows! As you might expect, Apple takes a lot of the spots, but it's not just MacBooks. The Linux-based Asus Eee PCs and Nokia tablets are grabbing high positions in the list. That's a lot of computers that aren't paying tribute to Microsoft.
"Let's come back to earth for a moment, though. Direct vendors like Dell, and sales through corporate channels, aren't represented in Amazon 's ranking. The recent market share data shows that although Apple's share of the market is growing faster than any other manufacturer, Microsoft OEMs rule the roost. Still, it's a thing that makes you go, 'Hmmm.' There are some disturbing signs here."
PR: Apple has updated its AirPort Express mobile base station with 802.11n to deliver up to five times the performance and twice the range of the previous model*. Priced at just $99, AirPort Express is the world's smallest 802.11n-based mobile base station. It can be plugged directly into the wall for wireless Internet connectivity and USB printing at home or easily brought on the road for wireless freedom wherever there is an Internet connection. AirPort Express features AirTunes™, which works seamlessly with iTunes to give users a simple and inexpensive way to wirelessly stream iTunes music from a PC or Mac to any room in the house.
"Apple is leading the way with a broad range of innovative 802.11n base stations for almost any wireless networking need," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. "From the small and portable AirPort Express, to AirPort Extreme for workgroups of up to 50 users and the new Time Capsule for automated backups, Apple customers now have more great ways to extend their wireless networks with 802.11n."
AirPort Express features a single-piece, compact design weighing just 6.7 ounces, providing maximum portability. AirPort Express offers both PC and Mac users the ability to share a single DSL or cable broadband connection with up to 10 simultaneous users. Users can also share a printer wirelessly that is connected to the USB port. Apple's AirPort Utility software provides easy step-by-step instructions for setting up and configuring AirPort Express; and with its advanced security features, AirPort Express safeguards data on networked computers with support for WiFi Protected Access (WPA/WPA2), 128-bit WEP encryption and a built-in firewall. Apple now includes 802.11n as standard in its entire line of AirPort base stations and Mac notebooks as well as iMac, Apple TV and Time Capsule™.
AirPort Express includes a built-in combination digital and analog audio connector allowing users to connect to a home stereo or powered speakers. iTunes automatically detects remote speakers and displays them in a simple popup list for the user to select. Once the remote speakers are selected, AirTunes wirelessly streams iTunes music from the computer to the AirPort Express base station. Multiple AirPort Express base stations can be set up around a home, each connected to a set of powered speakers for a whole-home music experience. AirPort Express can also extend the range of an existing AirPort Extreme wireless network.
AirPort Express is available immediately through the Apple Store, Apple's retail stores, and Apple Authorized Resellers for a suggested retail price of $99.
*AirPort Express is based on an IEEE 802.11n draft specification. Actual performance will vary based on range, connection rate, site conditions, size of network and other factors.
PR: Apple Security Updater 2008-002 is recommended for all users and improves the security of Mac OS X. Previous security updates have been incorporated into this security update.
Security Update 2008-002 v1.0
Security Update 2008-002 is recommended for all users and improves the security of Mac OS X. Previous security updates have been incorporated into this security update.
Security Update 2008-002 v1.0 Server
Security Update 2008-002 is recommended for all servers and improves the security of Mac OS X. Previous security updates have been incorporated into this security update.
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.
Each model comes with an Apple one-year warranty, and ground shipping is free. Changes this week are the addition of a 2.6 GHz Core 2 Duo 15" MacBook Pro for $1,849 (my 2 cents: go for the 2.2 GHz Santa Rosa unit for fifty bucks less and get the LCD backlight), and a 2.33 GHz 17" MacBook Pro for $1,899. cm
- refurb 2.0 GHz Core 2 MacBook, white, 1 GB/80/Combo, $849
- refurb 2.2 GHz Core 2 MacBook, white, 1 GB/120/SD, $999
- 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 15" 2.6 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $1,849
- refurb 17" 2.33 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $1,899
- refurb 17" 2.4 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $2,149
- refurb 17" 2.4 GHz hi-res Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $2,349
- refurb 17" 2.6 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $2,349
- 12" iBook G3/700, 256/20/Combo, $419.99
- 15" PowerBook G4/667 (VGA), 256/30/Combo, $619.99
- 15" PowerBook G4/1.5 GHz, 512/80/SD, $879.99
- 15" PowerBook G4/1.67 GHz, 512/80/SD, $949.99
- 17" PowerBook G4/1 GHz, 512/60/SD, $999.99
- 12" iBook G3/500, 128/10/CD, $169.99
- 12" iBook G3/800, 128/30/CD, $299.99
- 12" PowerBook G4/867, 256/40/Combo, $589.99
- 15" PowerBook G4/867, 256/30/Combo, $549.99
- 15" Titanium PowerBook G4/1 GHz, 256/60/Combo, $699.99
- 15" 1.83ghz MacBook Pro, 512/80/SD, $1,179.99
- 15" 2.0 GHz MacBook Pro, 512/80/SD, $1,239.99
- 15" 2.16ghz MacBook Pro, 1 GB/100/SD, $1,399.99
- 17" 2.16ghz MacBook, 1 GB/120/SD, $1,499.99
- 17" 2.16ghz MacBook, 1 GB/160/SD, $1,529.99
- 17" 2.16ghz MacBook, 1 GB/200/SD, $1,619.99
- 12" iBook G4/800, 640/30/Combo, $399
- 12" iBook G4/800, 640/30/Combo, APX, $438
- 12" iBook G4 1.07 GHz, 640/30/Combo, APX, $539
- 12" iBook G4 1.2 GHz, 512/30/Combo, APX, $600
- 2.1 GHz Core 2 MacBook, white, 1 GB/120/Combo, $1,094 less $75 mail-in rebate = $1,019
- 15" 2.2 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/120/SD, $1,674.99 less $150 mail-in rebate = $1,524.99
- 17" 2.4 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $2,399 less $150 = $2,249
- open box 2.0 GHz Core 2 MacBook, white, 1/80/Combo, $929
- 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, $1,179
- open box 2.2 GHz Core 2 MacBook, black, 1 GB/160/SD, $1,149
- open box 15" 2.16 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/120/SD, $1,599
- 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
- clamshell iBook G3/300, Blueberry, 64/3/CD, $149.95
- clamshell iBook G3/300, Tangerine, 64/3/CD, $169.95
- clamshell iBook G3/366 SE, Graphite, 128/10/CD, $199.95
- clamshell iBook G3/366, Key Lime, 192/10/CD, $259.95
- 12" iBook G3/500, 256/10/Combo, $279.95
- 12" iBook G3/600, 256/20/Combo, $319.95
- 12" iBook G3/800, 256/30/CD, $249.95
- 14" iBook G3/700 MHz, 640/30/CD, Screen Spot, $299
For more deals on current or recently discontinued models, see our best MacBook deals, MacBook Air deals, 15" MacBook Pro deals, 17" 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.
Recent News Roundups
- Tips for New MacBook Users, When (Not) to Buy AppleCare, and More 'Book News, 2012.12.29. Also inside Retina MacBook's asymmetric cooling fans, Windows 8 means lower Windows PC sales, and more 'Book news.
- Confessions of an Apple Store Employee, Refurb Mac Bargains, and More Mac News, 2012.12.29. Also save old RAM when upgrading, latest Geekbench results, use TextEdit as an HTML editor, and more Mac news.
- The Case Against PPC Linux, OS X Tiger on Facebook, ResExcellence Rebirth, and More, 2012.12.22. Also sharing files between OS X, Classic, and Linux; remembering the 20th Anniversary Mac, iMac, SuperDisk, and G3 PowerBooks; and TenFourBird 17 email client released.
- Google Maps #1 iOS App, Android Share Dropped in 2012, New Apps, and More iOS News, 2012.12.22. Also Google Maps drives users to adopt iOS 6, Walmart iDevice price rollback, Easilydo life assistant, waterproof iPhone 5 case, and more iOS news.
- 2012 a Year of Great Change in Apple Portables, Desktop to MacBook, and More 'Book News, 2012.12.22. Also can an iPad replace your MacBook?, EFI update for 13" Retina MacBook Pro, $249 Matrox Thunderbolt dock with video output, and more 'Book news.
- Apple Services Status Monitor, Macs Users the Most Charitable, and More Mac News, 2012.12.22. Also Yahoo mail viewed as platform neutral, EFI update for Late 2012 iMacs, Logos and Photoshop Elements sales, and more Mac news.
- iPhone 5 Is Time's Gadget of the Year, Fundamental iOS 6 Complaints, and More iOS News, 2012.12.17. Also former Mac evangelist an Android fan, iPad changes the way you write, Microsoft Surface falling flat, Google Maps for iOS 6, and more iOS news.
- More in the 'Book Review index.
Links for the Day
- Mac of the Day: PowerBook 145, introduced 1992.08.03. About 70% faster than the 140, the 25 MHz 145 was quite a value.
- May 21 in LEM history: 99: Not censorship - 01: USB and FireWire drives - 02: Hooked by a PowerBook - Printer sharing for Mac OS X - 04: Less frequent OS X uprades: Good or bad? - 07: I won't get an iPhone this year - Can 262,144 colors be considered 'millions'? - Most durable 'Book - 3 GB in a Mac mini? - 08: Quadra a great server for vintage Mac network
- Support Low End Mac
Recent Content on Low End Mac
- World Book Encyclopedia 2012 DVD, Tommy Thomas, Reviews, 2013.03.05. "You may be asking yourself, in an age of Wikipedia and instant information, is World Book still relevant?"
- Vintage Computer Festival SouthEast, April 20-21, 2013, Simon Royal, Mac Spectrum, 2013.02.25. Old Apple gear and old PCs.
- iMessage: The Ultimate Messaging Service?, Simon Royal, Mac Spectrum, 2013.02.21. In most ways, Apple's iMessage is far superior to BlackBerry Messenger.
- More links in our archive.
- Best Mac mini Deals
- Best 13" MacBook Pro Deals
- Best Intel iMac Deals
- Best iPod touch Deals
- Best iPhone Deals
- Best iPod nano Deals
- Best iPod classic Deals
- Best Apple TV Prices
- More deals in our archive.
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