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Tag Archives: Laptops

Apple Reinstates Matte Screen Option On 15-inch MacBook Pro


By Chris Scott Barr

For a long time now, Apple has only offered glossy screens on their notebooks, which has frustrated some people to no end. Apple ended up offering an anti-glare option on their 17-inch MacBook Pros, but not for any of their others. Well today Apple has caved into demands and allowed buyers of 15-inch MacBook Pros to pay an extra $50 for this option.

Personally, I love the glossy screen on my 15-inch unibody MBP. I have three other monitors sitting on my desk (because I’m an over-achiever) and my MBP looks better than any of them. Still, people love to have a choice, and it’s good to see that Apple is listening. If you read through the description, you can see that they aren’t exactly trying to sell you on this option. They describe the glossy display as one that “lets you view graphics, photos and videos with richer colors and deeper blacks.” They don’t bother saying anything about the antiglare screen other than the fact that it is optional.

[ Apple ] VIA [ Technabob ]

ElectraShields Laptop Surge Protectors

ElectraShields Laptop Surge Protector (Images courtesy X-treme Geek)
By Andrew Liszewski

Worried about plugging your laptop into a sketchy power outlet when traveling but don’t want to carry around a bulky surge protecting power bar wherever you go? These tiny ElectraShields connect between your laptop’s power cord and power brick and feature an indicator light letting you know it’s protecting your hardware from power surges.

When the light’s gone out, you’ll know that a potentially harmful surge has occurred, but instead of sending your laptop in for repairs you’ll simply have to replace the ElectraShields since they don’t feature a reset button. But at just $9.95 each from X-treme Geeks that’s not so painful.

[ ElectraShields Laptop Surge Protectors ] VIA [ The Gadgeteer ]

Always Innovating Touch Book Supposedly Available This Month For $300


By Evan Ackerman

Always Innovating has taken a completely different approach to the burgeoning (and some might say cluttered) netbook market with their Touch Book tablet laptop… thing. Really, it’s a tablet computer that uses an 8.9″ touchscreen, but you can also use it with an attachable (more like, dockable) keyboard and touchpad that essentially turns it into more of a laptop.

There’s more besides the versatile form factor that differentiates the Touch Book from a netbook, though. Firstly, it’s always on, like a cell phone. No booting up, no shutting down, and it’s all solid state, so there’s no noisy fans. Somehow it manages to keep itself on for 10 hours with a single charge, thanks in part to a battery in the keyboard half as well as the screen half, although the entire package still weighs under 3 pounds. As you might expect, it has b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth, plus an accelerometer and 3 external USB ports.

The only potential downside is that the Touch Book was not engineered to run Windows. It’s not just that it doesn’t come with Windows, it’s that Windows won’t work it. At all. Except maybe mobile versions of Windows. It unsurprisingly runs a custom distribution of Linux off of an SD card, which should easily provide enough functionality to do more or less everything you’d want to do with a mobile computer (web browsing, media, and light document editing). If you’re not happy with that, they’re also working on an Android version.

The Always Innovating Touch Book should be available sometime this month for $300, plus an extra $100 for the keyboard… It’s not a powerhouse compared to other netbooks in the price range, but it really speaks to what the core principle of a netbook is (or should be): flexible, mobile, inexpensive, basic computing.

[ Always Innovating ] VIA [ Gizmodo ]

Maker Faire 2009: Steampunk Laptop, Keyboards, And… Other Things


By Evan Ackerman

The only thing I don’t like about steampunk is that it tends to promise more than it delivers, like these ray guns, which don’t actually vaporize people. This steampunk laptop, on the other hand, works as advertised. It’s not powered by steam or anything, but it’s working laptop, and it looks badass, which (I think) is most of the point of steampunkizing something.


The keyboards are custom made out of vintage parts, and cost between $1200 and $1500 (or more) depending on what you want it to look like.

One more slightly NSFW object, after the jump.Continue Reading

OhGizmo Review: Uniea Omniverse Laptop Case


By Evan Ackerman

As loyal readers who care about my safety, sanity, and well being might remember, my laptop was stolen about a month ago. Yeah, that sucked. It’s been replaced (I’m writing this review on it, can’t you tell?) but I needed to get myself a new case for it, so I thought I’d try out a new case/tote from Uniea called the Omniverse. I’ve got a review for you, after the jump.Continue Reading

iUnika Solar Powered Netbook


By Evan Ackerman

A Spanish company called iUnika has come out with a family of netbooks, most of which are entirely unremarkable except for one, which is powered (at least partially) by the sun. It weighs 1.5 pounds, runs Linux, costs about $220, and has a sizable solar cell on the lid that (I assume) charges an internal battery.

Unless there has been some huge breakthrough in cheap and efficient solar panels, my guess is that you’d have to leave this thing out in the sun for, oh, about a week before you’d be able to do much with it. Okay, maybe not a week, but seriously, solar charging is slooowwww and laptops (even netbooks) use a bunch of power, so the ratio of charging time to operating time is not going to be good. But it’s better than having to rely completely on available electricity, and if you’re in the market for a cheap, efficient, and versatile travel netbook that can offload pics and check email and stuff, this may not be a bad idea at all.

[ iUnika ] VIA [ Gearlog ]

Ionic Laptop Cooling Is Silent, Efficient, Works 30% Better Than Fans


By Evan Ackerman

The faster a laptop is, the hotter it tends to be, making it noisy and sucking down power running fans and (eventually) rendering you sterile. We’ve heard about some promising new cooling technologies like steam cooling, but something called ionic cooling looks like it could really take the cake ice cream. Ionic cooling is a pretty simple concept: a 3,000 volt electrode ionizes molecules like nitrogen in the air. A second electrode attracts the ionized molecules, and as they move toward the electrode, they push neutral air molecules along with them. This flow of air is channeled over a conventional heat pipe, cooling it.

The ionic cooling system uses no moving parts (making it completely silent), is very compact, and has the potential to use only half as much power as a conventional fan. The best part, though, is that it cools up to 30% more effectively than fans do. The biggest hurdle at the moment is making the ionic cooling system as reliable as the rest of your laptop is, but the technology may be commercialized as early as next year. The cost? It’s supposed to be in the “ballpark of where it needs to be.” Who knows what that means, but personally, I’d certainly be willing to pay a premium for a silent (and more efficient) laptop.

[ Tessera Thermal Management ] VIA [ MIT ]

NorhTec Gecko Edubook Costs $200, Runs On AA Batts


By Evan Ackerman

We’re big big fans of rechargeable batteries, but they’re not usually something that you think of powering devices that suck up a lot of electricity over a long period of time. Something like, oh, I don’t know, a laptop. But it looks like netbooks are just barely low power enough to achieve a decent amount of on-time using a bunch of rechargeable AA batteries, and NorhTec has taken the first step with their Gecko Edubook, which uses eight integrated NiMH batteries for power. More info and specs, after the jump.Continue Reading

Extend Your MacBook’s Battery With The HyperMac


By Chris Scott Barr

There’s nothing quite like running out of juice on your laptop when you’re in the middle of something very important and far from an outlet. Many road warriors will pack a spare battery for just such times. However, what if you don’t want to remove your battery (making you shut down your laptop or plug it in) or want more than just two batteries worth of use? If you’re using a MacBook of any kind, you turn to the HyperMac.

The HyperMac line of external batteries are a useful tool for any frequent traveler with a MacBook. While they might be a little larger in size than your spare battery, it does much more than just give you double the running time. First, they come in varying sizes, allowing you to run your laptop for up to 6x as long as it would with a single battery charge. Each one also comes with a USB port that can be used to charge any USB device (including your iPhone) while simultaneously powering your laptop. The HyperMac comes in four different sizes ranging from $200-$500 each.

[ HyperMac ] VIA [ CrunchGear ]