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Ten Hours of Battery Life?

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Just in case you weren’t happy with the MacBook’s generous battery life, QuickerTek has a solution. Quickertek, an Apple accessory developer, has developed the MacBook Battery and Charger Lite for MacBooks and MacBook Pro computers. The device, looking somewhat like an external hard drive, plugs directly into the Mac’s power port, supplying an additional five hours of operation. Juicz

The device is smaller than one might expect for such a long-lasting power source. It is 7” x 3.5” and only one inch thick. At only 1.2 pounds, it travels well with the MacBook, even matching its coloring and surface texture. The durability of the battery is evidenced by its recharging capability. It is tested to recharge 1,000, which is three times as much as most Li-ion batteries. For the international traveler, fear not. The charger is compatible with power supply outlets internationally as well. At $249.95, it’s not a cheap five hours of power, but it could very well be worth it.

New Snow Leopard screenshots emerge

As the release date of Snow Leopard (the anticipated version 10.6 of Mac OS X) draws near, numerous sites are beginning to display screenshots showing off the new operating system’s features and tweaks.

Apple Insider has a round-up, including numerous screenshots, of several upcoming enhancements. (It’s worth noting that the rumored “marble” user interface style is not readily apparent in these images save for a black title bar in a QuickTime X interface screenshot. Perhaps Apple is saving the rumored new look for WWDC in June.)

The biggest changes for most users will be the new Image Capture app, which has finally grown up and received a modern Mac UI from Apple. QuickTime X also gains a screen recording ability and new options for exporting videos to iPods, iPhones, or Apple TVs. The other big change is a new Chinese handwriting recognition system. Chinese users will be able to draw characters on multitouch-enabled trackpads.

Apple to design its own processors

Apple is looking to the future for its iPhone / iPod touch mobile platform – and repeating history in a way. The company has snapped up two former ATI/AMD chip designers, a move which many designers consider foreshadowing of Apple’s plans to introduce custom silicon in future iterations of its mobile platform.

Since Apple acquired chip manufacturer P.A. Semi last year, many have speculated as to what Apple planned to do with the firm’s processor expertise. This latest revelation is one piece of the puzzle. As the Wall Street Journal reports, Apple executive Mark Papermaster will also begin working at the company after he was delayed by a legal settlement with IBM, his former employer. Papermaster is famous for developing the PowerPC chip architecture.

Battery life will become increasingly important to Apple as the company begins placing staking more and more of its future on handhelds and smartphones. The ARM processors which currently power iPhone OS devices have a reputation for being horribly inefficient, so it makes sense for Apple to attempt a much more frugal solution. Internal chip development will also help Apple maintain a tighter grip on secrecy about future products, especially since its been plagued by recent leaks from its Asian suppliers. Internal chip development will also let the company tune its software and hardware to work together with peak efficiency, which will become more and more important as the smartphone space continues to heat up.

One question is whether Apple will also develop chips for desktop computers. After all the confusion of the switch to Intel chips several years ago, it seems foolish of Apple to go through the entire process all over again. Then again, we have yet to see what its internal teams will come up with. The WSJ estimated that Apple-stamped chips won’t begin making their way into shipping hardware until at least until 2010.

(Via The Apple Blog.)

Modbook Pro, If You Really Want A Tablet Mac

Axiotron, announced the release of a tablet computer at Macworld earlier this week. Although tablet computers aren’t anything new, Axiotron’s Mac powered tablet computer is the largest you’ll find. The screen is 15.4″, and uses touch screen technology. If only I could get past the $4,599 price tag (and that’s after saving $399 for a pre-order)

Macworld Expo 2009 – Booth #502

El SEGUNDO, CALIFORNIA – At the Macworld Expo in San Francisco, California, hardware and software manufacturer Axiotron® yesterday unveiled the Modbook® Pro, the world’s fastest and largest-screen tablet computer. With its sleek black enclosure made from precision-machined aluminum, powerful graphics processing capabilities and revolutionary Synergy™ Touch technology, the Modbook Pro redefines the tablet computing experience.

An aftermarket modification of the unibody Apple® MacBook® Pro computer, Axiotron’s Modbook Pro offers a 15.4-inch pen-enabled display with a pixel resolution of 1440×900 WXGA, and features a surface layer of the company’s etched, paper-emulating ForceGlass™ for optimum drawing and writing comfort. The screen assembly is flush-mounted in the top bezel, providing a completely level drawing and writing surface and maximizing the Modbook Pro’s on-screen workspace.

In addition to the RF-based pen digitizer components, the Modbook Pro also feature Axiotron’s Synergy Touch, a revolutionary technology that — unlike any other touchscreen computer — employs touch functionality primarily in support of the pen input. Synergy’s user interface, Quicktouch™, appears on the screen as translucent overlays of buttons and pads, permitting users to enter text or keyboard shortcuts with the “alt,” “option” or “command” keys to directly modify pen clicks.

While the Axiotron Modbook Pro completely replaces the original Apple MacBook Pro’s enclosure, it leaves the main system components unmodified, maintaining 100% compatibility with both the system hardware as well as the Mac OS® X operating system. The voided Apple warranty will be replaced by Axiotron’s one-year Modcare® Hardware Warranty, covering the complete hardware solution top to bottom.

As another first, customers can order their Modbook Pro with a partitioned drive preinstalled with Windows Vista® Business Edition. The Modbook Pro also comes with Axiotron’s Quickapps™ suite, including Quicktouch (the pen-supporting touch user interface), Quickclicks™ (on-screen software keyboard and shortcuts), Quickflip (screen rotation utility), and Quickscript (advanced handwriting recognition).

The Axiotron Modbook Pro is compatible with all 15.4-inch unibody Apple MacBook Pro systems, hosting up to a 2.8GHz Intel® Core™ 2 Duo processor, up to 4GB of 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM, up to 320GB of storage on a 7200-rpm hard drive or 128GB of storage on a solid-state drive, and an NVIDIA® GeForce® 9600M GT graphics subsystem.

The Modbook Pro is slated to ship in May/June 2009. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price for an Axiotron Modbook Pro built from a customer-supplied Apple MacBook Pro base system via Axiotron Modservice™ starts at $3,049. An Axiotron Modbook Pro built from a brand new Apple MacBook Pro base system starts at $4,998. Customers can direct pre-orders through Axiotron’s website at http://www.axiotron.com/buy. Placing a pre-order now will secure a customer’s place in line when the Modbook Pro begins shipping.

To celebrate the Modbook Pro’s unveiling at the Macworld Expo, Axiotron is offering the following discount promotions through January 19th, 2009.

Modbook Pro Promotion:
Customers who pre-order a complete Axiotron Modbook Pro, including those built with a new Apple MacBook Pro base system, will be eligible for a manufacturer’s discount of $399. With this discount customers can get a complete Axiotron Modbook Pro solution that includes the 2.4GHz Apple MacBook Pro for as little as $4,599.

iPhone Accounted 39% Revenue In Q4 2008

MacRumors is reporting that Apple has released their numbers for their Q4 of the fiscal year.

Those figures are just the actual iPhone itself. The 39% doesn’t include the subscription based revenue. Steve Jobs would later go on to provide interesting facts about the Q4 2008 iPhone stats:

- In Q4 2008, more iPhones were sold than RIM Blackberries

- Based on revenue, Apple is the #3 cell phone vendor.

Apple Boasts Some Impressive Numbers Over The Weekend

Even though the 3G iPhone had a rocky start with the ill-fated “iPocalypse”, Apple was still able to sell over 1 million units. This is a worldwide tally but is still nothing short of amazing. According to Steve Jobs it took 74 days for the original iPhone to sell 1 million handsets.

Along with the recent 3G iPhone numbers, Apple has said that the App Store has reached the 10 millionth download marker.

“The App Store is a grand slam, with a staggering 10 million applications downloaded in just three days,” from the man Steve Jobs himself.