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Mutant Macs, Psystar clones, and eMachines brought back from the dead

Mac tablets, Mac clones, and the revival of eMachines: It's the week in laptops!

In honor of Halloween, the laptop world was full of spooky headlines this week. Taking a page from Dr. Frankenstein, OWC started hacking apart MacBooks and turning them into tablets. Deep in a secret laboratory, Psystar was reportedly preparing a laptop Mac clone. And through some sort of black magic (or, you know, manufacturing) eMachines brought its notebook line back from the dead with a new $429 laptop.

Inspiron Mini 12
Dell's Inspiron Mini 12 pushes the definition of Netbook. Dell

If smoke and flames are more your style, Sony also recalled another 100,000 laptop batteries, 35,000 of which were sold in the United States, after reports of some batteries overheating.

Of course, not all the week's news was so macabre. HP rolled out its 10-inch Netbook, the Mini 1000, and left the door open to selling the mini-laptop bundled with WWAN service.

In Japan, Dell unveiled the Inspiron Mini 12, which pushes the definition of Netbook. And Apple began shipping the refreshed MacBook Air.

We also continued to add reviews to our Holiday 2008 Retail Laptop Roundup, and I rounded up some of the best laptops for writers.

In other news, MSI released a BIOS update that lets you overclock its popular Wind Netbook; our colleagues at Crave Asia picked up on yet another flavor or Asus Eee PC; Lenovo will be adding Splashtop instant-on software to the IdeaPad S10 Netbook; and laptop shipments surpassed desktop shipments in the United States.

Finally, Intel and Asus are looking for free brainpower: the companies announced an initiative to gather consumer input on laptop designs for use in a future "community designed" PC.

Have a spooky (and safe) weekend!