New MacBooks revealed – Faster, stronger, better

The new iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display weren’t the only juicy things revealed at Tuesday’s product rollout in San Francisco; there were also upgraded versions of the 13-inch and 15-inch Retina display MacBook Pro.

Apple’s 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pros as announced on October 22, 2013
Apple’s new MacBook Pros, 13-incher on the left, 15-incher on the right.
The most notable upgrade to the laptops is their processors. The 13-inch model now comes standard with a dual-core 2.4GHz Intel fourth-generation Core i5 processor, while the 15-incher’s base-model processor is a quad-core 2.0GHz Haswell Core i7. The smaller model can be upgraded to a dual-core 2.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5, and the larger to a quad-core 2.3GHz Intel Core i7.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro has lost a bit of heft – it now weighs in at 3.46 pounds, down from 3.57 pounds in its previous incarnation. It’s also marginally thinner at 0.71 inches, down from 0.75 inches. The 15-incher went on no such diet – it still weighs 4.46 pounds and remains 0.71 inches thick.

The fourth-generation Core processor in the 13-incher has Intel’s Iris Graphics, while the 15-incher has Intel’s Iris Pro Graphics. The larger of the two MacBook Pros can also be equipped with Nvidia GeForce GT 750M discrete graphics with 2GB of GDDR5 graphics memory.

Apple’s new MacBook line as of October 22, 2013
Apple’s marketing lead Phil Schiller, speaking at the rollout event, claims that the 13-inch model now gets up to nine hours battery life. “So if you’re a fan of The Black Knight as I am, you can watch the entire trilogy on one charge,” he said. The 15-incher’s battery life is rated at eight hours.

Both models have been upgraded to PCIe flash, which Schiller claims is 60 per cent faster than “the previous generation.” Wi-Fi has been upgraded to 802.11ac (802.11a/b/g/n compatible) in both, and the previous generations’ Thunderbolt ports have been upgraded to Thunderbolt 2.

The base model of the 13-inch MacBook Pro runs $1,299, down from $1,499 for its predecessor; the base 15-incher will cost you $1,999, down from $2,199. Both models are available beginning Tuesday.


Versihold Media Stand A Great Stocking Stuffer for $10

If you’re looking for a great stocking stuffer for your techie buddies this year, head over to Versihold and snag their personal media stand for $10. Also, while supplies last, they’re including a second tripod (not a 2nd Versihold clamp, but the tripod base) for FREE.

These Versihold stands are ‘versatile’ (see what I did there) and can be used on any standard tripod stands. I have one on mini GorillaPod and it lets me put my iPhone just about anywhere I want. The tripod(s) it comes with is just fine on it’s own, but use your own to make it a whole other tool.



AutoCAD for Mac

Steve Jobs, in the “Back to the Mac” press conference held at Apple headquarters on Wednesday, mentioned AutoCAD is finally coming to the Mac. Now all the architects and designers in the world have an option other than the Windows platform for their main workstations.

Up until recently, AutoCAD was only available natively on the Windows platform. Apple fans have been crying out for the professional application to come to the Mac for years now. Even Steve Jobs admitted to wanting the app on the Mac platform for some time.

“AutoCAD is coming to the mac — we’ve coveted this for a long time,” said Jobs during the presentation.

Autodesk, the makers of AutoCAD already have a Mac version available for download as a trial on their web site. You can find it here: AutoCAD for Mac.


Will It Blend – iPad Edition!

Well, I haven’t stepped up to the plate and snagged an iPad yet (although other team members have, so hopefully we’ll get some good hands on here soon) but there’s nothing like a good Will It Blend episode with a new Apple product at the heart of it.

Enough rambling, check out the video.


Apple iPad Pre-Orders Now Delayed

I was reading a press release this morning about the Apple iPad Pre-Orders. It indicated all pre-orders going forward were going to be delayed on the Wi-Fi units until April 12th with the Wi-Fi + 3G versions still coming “late April”. We’re almost to April and no date on the 3G models seems a bit odd. Add to it that Apple is delaying add’l Wi-Fi models for 9 days and my mind starts to wonder.

My first thought when reading that was could Apple have discovered an issue with the first run units that needs to be fixed before additional devices are shipped? All you early MacBook Air adopters know exactly what I’m talking about. We suffered through more than our fair share of problems with the first gen versions of those. Still great devices and I wouldn’t necessarily wait if I had it to do all over again.

For the iPad, I don’t know that I’d want one of the April 3rd shipped devices. Part of me wonders if it wouldn’t be better to wait until the 3G models come out (I’m waiting for 3G anyway) to at least have a little better shot at a device sans the early adoption woes.

Part of what is contributing to this paranoia is I’m really really surprised that Apple is even selling that many iPad Wi-Fi editions out of the gate. Aside from devices for press and all the giveaway iPads I’ve seen going for everything from buying insurance to selling affiliate offers to buying make money online products, I just don’t see the early adopters going for the base version. Everyone I know is waiting for the 3G edition.

Perhaps Apple has intentionally created the shortage, just like always seems to happen with these cool category changing products. Course, again, this doesn’t seem likely. Especially given that Best Buy will have iPads hitting the shelves the same time the Apple Store does this time around.

What does everyone think? Apple cover up, poor production planning, or just plain old shortage?



Apple Offering Free Hard Drive Replacements on 06-07 Macbooks

I’ve known far too many people with MacBooks that have had their drives take a dump on them. According to a post over on Gizmodo, Apple is now stepping up to replace said drives, albeit with a bit of hoop jumping:

MacBooks bought between 2006 and 2007 could be eligible for a free hard drive replacement, with Apple dodging a guilty admission, stating that “a very small percentage…may fail under certain conditions.” If you own a white or black MacBook bought between 2006 and 2007, with either a 1.83GHz, 3Ghz, or 2.16GHz processor and 60GB, 80GB, 100GB, 120GB or 160GB, you may be in luck. Or out of luck—as you have to prove the hard drive actually has failed.

Read the complete article here, or contact your local Apple store to see if your drive is covered.


“Bad Day” Encourages Out Of Warranty Repair on Macbook

When Michael, from the blog found that his hard drive had taken a dump on his Macbook, he also found out that his machine was out of warranty. On his blog he posts about the experience of having an Apple store employee taking pity on his poor soul and ‘faking that it was still under warranty‘ to get his hard drive replaced.

My heart sank. I didn’t have the money to replace a hard-drive. He asked what I’d like to do, and I told him I really didn’t have any other option than to just wait until I could afford it. I’m not really sure if he could see something in my countenance, but he held up his finger and told me to wait for a moment. He walked into the back for a few minutes, then came out and told me that he’d just go ahead and “pretend” I had the warranty on my computer, and replace it for free, and even told me he would replace the crack in the keyboard that I got months previous from setting it down a little bit too hard.

If you own Mac gear, you’ll likely need a Genius Bar visit at some point. As to whether or not you agree with the dude helping out on an out of warranty machine…well, I won’t try to sway you, but I do believe in customer service, so I say two thumbs up. Hopefully Apple doesn’t track this guy down and can him.

In the past couple months, I’ve needed to hit up the Genius bar myself with the following results.

1. Volume switch fell off my iPhone – just barely out of warranty, and they replaced the phone for free.

2. Developed a single pixel line down the right side of my screen on my 17″ Macbook Pro — out of warranty, no luck. Estimated $500 repair to replace…still living with the line.

3. 2nd Gen Macbook Air hinge was getting wonky – well within warranty, they replaced the entire display assembly. HOWEVER, when I got it back, the case was tweaked and wouldn’t sit flat AND my sound was no longer working. Took it back, the replaced the bottom case, and sound card. I’m pretty sure that one turned out to be a complete replacement.

4. While in picking up the MBA, I asked about a missing plastic foot for my 17″ MBP, and they said they couldn’t just give me one, but to bring it back in and they’d replace it for free. Hopefully that means even if it’s out of warranty, since I lost a second one this week….

Gotta say, for my money, the Genius Bar has done a great job and taken care of my gear.

Via the Consumerist


Apple Introduces iPad…the Ill-named, Long Awaited Tablet.

Steve Jobs holds the new Apple iPad - image via Engadget.

This is the device everyone has been waiting for. Is it the one we’ve been waiting for here at TweakOSX? Well, that’s up in the air as of yet…but the keynote isn’t quite over yet…so here’s what we know so far:

  • half-inch thick and weighs just 1.5 pounds,
  • 9.7-inch capacitive touchscreen IPS LCD display
  • custom 1GHz Apple “A4″ chip
  • 10-hour battery life and a month of standby
  • 16, 32, and 64GB sizes
  • 30-pin Dock connector
  • speaker and microphone
  • Bluetooth, and 802.11n WiFi
  • accelerometer
  • compass.

The iPad runs iPhone apps out of the box — either pixel-for-pixel in a window, or pixel-doubled fullscreen. Developers can also target the new screen size using the updated iPhone OS SDK (available today) and take advantage of the sexy full screen.


iPad also comes in a 3G version with data plans of

$14.99 for 250 mb of transer
$29.99 for unlimited data transfer

$499 for 16GB

32GB is $599

64GB is $799.

3G models cost an extra $130.

$629, 729, and 829 with 3G.

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The Future of Laptops? Should Apple Get On Board?

The great thing about technology is that it is always changing, always evolving, always turning into the next and newest most exciting thing. The laptop was a revolutionary concept in the computer and technology world. A computer you could carry with you wherever you went. Since then companies like Apple have created all new kinds of laptops, different sizes, shapes and even colors.

The MacBook Air has been one of the newest and most exciting innovations in the laptop culture. But now, could this new Sony design outpace the likes of the MacBook Air and MacBook Touch? Check out this video and let us know what you think…


Gunnar Optik Gaming Glasses A Scheme?

550As technology grows and more and more people are looking at various types of screens, whether they are computer screens, phone screens, tv screens or gaming screens, one has to start to wonder what that staring at screens will do to our eyesight. Enter Gunnar Optiks, a company that is promoting and advertising ‘technology glasses’ that reduce glare and relax and create healthier eyes for technology users.

But how are these glasses any different that regular eye glasses? Is there anything to these strange, overpriced glasses?

Arstechnica interviewed optometrist Krista Anderson. Her take? “Really, it looks like a great marketing strategy for stuff I tell patients everyday.

“The tints are pretty standard in the optical community. The advantages stated are all true… they haven’t reinvented the wheel, so to speak,” she explains. The amber tint is going to increase contrast when looking at computer or television screens, and the anti-reflective coating will also help. Anderson says that should help you “get back 8-10 percent of the 12 percent of usable light that we lose to glare, when worn in front of a light-emitting source such as a computer or oncoming headlights.”

She goes on to explain that the other features are also solid. “The AR coating and hard coat are nothing that I don’t recommend to everyone ordering glasses in my practice,” Anderson tells Ars. “The ‘hydrophobic and oleophobic’ components are no different from the premium coatings I use in my practice.”

In other words, the glasses do in fact have benefits for your eyes, but it’s more a case of a handful of well-known optical techniques all aimed at helping your eyes when you look at a computer or television screen for hours at a time.”

So how should gamers and IT workers alike take care of their eyes?

1. Make sure you get annual eye examinations and have proper glasses or contacts for your eyesight.

2. If you’re interested in the Gunnar Optiks, find out how much they might cost with the size and style you’re interested in, then ask your local optometrist if they can beat the price.

3. If you can, take five minute breaks away from comptuer screens. While these breaks seem small, they relax your eyes and renew their ability to focus. Also, eye drops can help keep eyes moist and less strained.