Review – Newer Technology TiHandle and Stand

TiHandle and Stand
Company: Newer Technology

Price: $39.95


The FedEx guy is gone down the driveway, and the Apple shipping box has been opened. You’ve got your shiny new 1 GHz Powerbook in your sweaty little hands.

So, how do you hold on to this 3 kilobuck little gem, and NOT let it slip out of out of your sweaty little hands? The top and bottom of the Powerbook G4 machines are smooth metal sheets, with little or no texturing to provide a good grip. The case has no odd shapes to provide a good handhold. You can’t just grab a 5.5 lb., $3000 computer with two fingers and head off to the races, as you are sure to drop it.

Every G4 owner has a near-death experience sooner or later when they drop, or nearly drop, their precious computer. Mine came at an airport security checkpoint when I wanted to escape the mass of people leaving the metal detector. I got lucky and caught my machine before it hit the ground, after it slipped out of my one-handed grip.

I’ve seen some Powerbook G4 owners put bathtub anti-skid tape on their computers to prevent a slippery disaster, but this absolutely ruins the sleek look of the ‘Book.

Newer Technologies has an answer. Their easy-to-install handle provides a secure way of carrying your Powerbook G4. No longer must you try to carry it snuggled under your arm. With the Newer handle, you can carry your precious baby with your hand firmly on the handle, and your arm comfortably extended.

The handle also serves to elevate the back end of the Powerbook, which is supposed to help reduce heat build-up on the underside of the computer. While this will not help those who use the Powerbook on their laps, it will help keep the machine cool when use at a desk.

I found the slight tilt imparted by the handle when the ‘Book is on a flat surface helps my normally wretched typing.

The handle is made of aluminum, and is quite sturdy. Unfortunately, the paint used by Newer does not have the exact same color as the titanium used to sheath the Powerbook, so there is a bit of visual mis-match between the computer and the handle.

Installation took all of 2 minutes. Newer provides the proper Torx screwdriver to remove the screen attachment bracket screws. They provide longer screws that allow their handle mounts to piggyback on the screen attachment brackets. So, once installed, the handle is firmly attached to the case in the same manner that the screen is. A thoughtful touch is the inclusion of two pieces of clear plastic tape to prevent the metal handle from scratching the back of the Powerbook case.

Newer cautions the user to not over tighten the screws, and I was careful to obey that instruction. Unfortunately, both screws on one side had loosened after the first day’s use, and needed to be re-tightened. I decided to keep the Torx driver in my carrying case for a while, just in case I needed it again. Perhaps a locking washer would be in order.

This is a great add-on for any Powerbook G4 owner. It will help you carry your computer with confidence. Make sure that your attachment screws stay snug, and you have a great device.

MacMice Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Post-review warning! (1/6/03)

About ten days after I completed the above review of the Newer Technology TiBook handle and stand, I had a potentially serious problem with the review unit.

The right hinge froze in the “retracted” position (the position where the handle elevates the back of the ‘Book when on a flat surface). Any attempt to unfreeze the handle put tremendous strain on the hinge attachments. I grimaced watching the back of PowerBook case flex while trying to move the hinge. I even tried removing the handle and rotating the hinge by hand, but to no avail. So, after numerous tries to get the hinge to rotate normally, I gave up and removed the handle altogether.

I am currently trying to get in touch with Newer Tech to find out the best way to “handle” the problem. In the meanwhile, potential buyers should be aware that trying to force a stuck hinge may cause serious problems to your Titanium PowerBook.

David Weeks

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