Archives

Oct
22

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.
macbook_pros
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.

Oct
19

New Macbook Air has 12 hour battery life

The geniuses over at apple have been hard at work. The lightest and the most powerful from Apple, i.e Macbook Air now comes with 12 hour battery backup. Yes, thats right, Complete 12 hour of browsing and 10 hour of music playback.

Not only this, it has 30 days of standby which means it will be available in seconds whenever called upon. You just have to put the Macbook Air to sleep and it enters in standby mode to conserve energy by default after 3 hours.

The 11inch macbook Air it has 9 hours whereas the 13-inch has 12 hours but thats not a big Deal.

The rest of the features remains the same but as always Apple provides us an option to upgrade RAM, Flash Drive at an extra cost which is a great advantage to PRO users.

Some Top features Includes

- Fourth Generation Intel Core Processors.

- Ultrafast 802.11ac Wi-Fi

- Faster All Flash Storage.

- ThunderBolt and USB.

- Display, Camera and Mics.

- Multi-Touch Trackpad.

- 720P face HD Camera.

Buying Tips

If you are buying one, do not get messed up with the previous Macbook Air which had 6 hour of battery life as some vendors still have in their stock. Please check the below Model number if you are looking to buy the new one.

Model Model Identifier Model Number Configuration
MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2013) MacBookAir6,2 MD760xx/AMD761xx/A MBAIR 13.3/1.3/4/128FLASHMBAIR 13.3/1.3/4/256FLASH
MacBook Air (11-inch, Mid 2013) MacBookAir6,1 MD711xx/AMD712xx/A MBAIR 11.6/1.3/4/128FLASHMBAIR 11.6/1.3/4/256FLASH
MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2012) MacBookAir5,2 MD231xx/AMD232xx/A MBAIR 13.3/1.8/4/128FLASHMBAIR 13.3/2.0/4/256FLASH
MacBook Air (11-inch, Mid 2012) MacBookAir5,1 MD223xx/AMD224xx/A MBAIR 11.6/1.7/4/64FLASHMBAIR 11.6/2.0/4/128FLASH
MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2011) MacBookAir4,2 MC965xx/A
MC966xx/A MBAIR 13.3/1.7/4/128FLASHMBAIR 13.3/1.7/4/256FLASH
MacBook Air (11-inch, Mid 2011) MacBookAir4,1 MC968xx/A
MC969xx/A MBAIR 11.6/1.6/2/64FLASHMBAIR 11.6/1.6/4/128FLASH
MacBook Air (13-inch, Late 2010) MacBookAir3,2 MC503xx/A
MC504xx/A MBAIR 13.3/1.86/2/128FLASHMBAIR 13.3/1.86/2/256FLASH
MacBook AIr (11-Inch, Late 2010) MacBookAir3,1 MC505xx/A
MC506xx/A MBAIR 11.6/1.4/2/64FLASHMBAIR 11.6/1.4/2/128FLASH
MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2009) MacBookAir2,1 MC233xx/A
MC234xx/A MBAIR 13.3/1.86/2/120HDDMBAIR 13.3/2.13/2/128FLASH
MacBook Air (13-inch, Late 2008) MacBookAir2,1 MB543xx/A
MB940xx/A MBAIR 13.3/1.6/2/120HDDMBAIR 13.3/1.86/2/128FLASH
MacBook Air (13-inch, Early 2008) MacBookAir1,1 MB003xx/A MBAIR 13.3/1.6/2/80HDD

I think I’ll be putting that on the Christmas present list to Santa.

Jun
02

How To Set Up Dual External Monitors On Your MacBook, MacBook Pro or Mac Mini

I’ve always been a bigger is better kind of guy. The biggest hard drive, biggest laptop screen, biggest monitor on my desktop, etc. It really has no end. What’s funny about me, though, is every 6 months or so I go through this big life cleaning thing and start downsizing everything. I suppose it’s some kind of self-preservation mechanism that keeps me from getting overrun by too much crap in my life.

Recently, on the tail end of a big declutter phase, I decided it would be very handy to have two 24″ monitors on my desk. Let me pause to say my dream system is a MacPro with dual 30″ Apple Display monitors connected to it. Some day, I’m going to get this setup. Course the $7,000 to $8,000 price tag to go with such a setup will definitely require me to be in a different tax bracket before I can even consider it.

Needless to say, I wanted dual monitors, which I happened to have at my disposal. The only problem is I sold both of my MacPro machines a couple of “declutter” cycles ago. I’ve got a new MacBook Pro that I use for everything. So I set out to see if I could somehow drive 2 external displays from the Mini DisplayPort on the MacBook Pro 15″.

To my surprise, it’s not only doable, it’s darn easy. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Matrox Dual Head 2 Go DP Edition (here’s a link to it on Amazon.com: Matrox Dual Head 2 Go DP Edition)
  • DisplayPort to Mini DisplayPort Cable
  • 2 DisplayPort to DVI Cables

That’s it. That setup will let you connect two monitors of all different sizes to your single MacBook, MacBook Pro or Mac Mini display port connection.

Setup of the device and monitors is pretty easy and straightforward. Once you unpack the Matrox DualHead2Go device, you plug in the cables and your hardware is ready to go. No power cable needed since it will pull power from the USB port on your laptop.

Next you install the Matrox PowerDesk software. This allows you to control settings across the monitors and handles a single stretched image across both monitors. I didn’t run the laptop display alongside the dual monitors. I just used the 2 external Dell 24″ displays and was very pleased. The picture was gorgeous and it was just like other dual monitor setups I’d used on desktop machines in the past. Here are a couple of pictures of where I placed the Matrox and MBP under my desk:

There were, however, a few wrinkles. First, your Mac won’t see the external displays as separate devices. Instead it sees it as one monster monitor. My displays were each running at 1920×1200, but as far as the Mac was concerned, it was just one device. This kills the ability to dock applications or other windows onto a particular display. You have to manually move things around most times. Also, the dock, which I typically have centered at the bottom was in the middle…..of the one monster display. This means it was half on one monitor and half on the other. Moving it to the left-hand side fixed that though.

The other problem I’ve run in to is some weird issue where my MacBook Pro loses the ability to display to the monitors. I have to go through a painful unplugging, plugging in and sometimes restart process to get things working again. Of course it comes at the worst times too. I finally broke down and called tech support (which I HATE doing) because I thought there might be an issue with the Matrox device itself. Turns out DisplayPort connections are some of the most finicky. Didn’t really get that problem solved.

Overall, this was a cool experiment, but not a realistic long term setup. If you’re desperate, give it a try, but keep your expectations realistic. It’s not without it’s faults.

Also, there are different Matrox devices for analog, DVI and even a triple display device.

Feb
17

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.

Feb
10

“Bad Day” Encourages Out Of Warranty Repair on Macbook

When Michael, from the 10centsworth.com 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

Oct
20

Will Apple Take A Hit In The Recession?

With the buzz of last weeks event still electrifying the Apple stock and market, how will Apple adjust to the recession and cut in stock? I’m going to have to agree with my fellow blogger, Henry Blodget, who states that Apple Won’t Get Crushed By The Recession.

The new MBP and other products launched within the last few months have took into account the market and economy, while still maintaining the elegance and superior performance that Apple offers. They have been able to effectively balance the, ” magical halo of quality and cool” that Blodget mentions, while still lowering prices to a reasonable rate for those interested in purchasing a Mac for the first time or buying the new, sleek MBP with its innovative features. Blodget says:

  • A $1,000 laptop is not really much more expensive than an $800 laptop, especially for a product that should last a few years. Apple will never win over the folks who choose purely on price anyway, so it would be dumb for it to sacrifice its premium positioning to try.
  •  

  • The $200 iPhone has much of the functionality that many people once looked to laptops for, and some potential buyers of $500-$800 laptop will opt for that instead. Apple’s iPhone, moreover, is still the highest quality product in the market, so no one who buys it will ever feel like they’re settling for less.

 

I agree with Blodget’s reasoning, but still, there were many who were disappointed with the event and were hoping that Apple would lower their prices a little more in order for those struggling in a recession to be able to purchase a new Mac.

So while Apple is far from ‘taking a hit’ in the current recession, though everyone will see a cut in stock and lowering in profit margin and purchasing, Apple will still be just find and continue to excel as the leader in innovative and user-friendly, cutting edge technology.

But I can’t help but wonder, will Apple ever make their products, like the iPhone, available at a lower price or keep it just out of reach for the average joe in order to maintain its mystical and superior quality status?

Oct
17

Hands On With the New Macbook, Macbook Pro, and 24″ LED Cinema Display

The new MacBooks, MacBook Pros, and 24″ Cinema Display (floor model only) showed up at our Apple store, so we popped in and gave them a good lookin’ over to see if there was anything we couldn’t live without. After nearly getting the book when Ryan set off the anti-theft alarm on the MacBook he was fondling, we noted the following impressions.

MacBook

Paul says: – I like the new, more Air-like design in both shape and finish. Also, this machine definitely feels peppier than our previous-gen MacBook. Still stuck with the same 1280×800 resolution as before, which is a little bit disappointing.

Ryan says: – I really like the new design, more than I thought I would based on the initial pictures.  I, like Paul, wish the display resolution was tighter. Noticeably quicker than previous models and felt like it blew the MacBook Air out of the water speed-wise. This is almost a MacBook Air replacement for my light and portable machine, but not quite. An interesting note, I didn’t find the new trackpad much different than the current one. It’s bigger, but all they’ve really done is created the bottom edge so it tips down effectively hiding the button. That feature wasn’t as impressive to me hands on as it was when Jobs pitched it.

MacBook Pro

Paul says: – I could be drinking the dual video card Kool-aid, but the new MBP definitely feels peppy with all apps that I could open. Again, I like the new sleeker look, and really like the easy access to the hard drive. Since I currently use the 17″ high resolution model, I’m not sure I could move down to the lower resolution of the 15″, but that size factor is always tempting.

Ryan says: – I have similar comments to how I felt about the MacBook. Great design. Gorgeous screen. Love all the connectors on one side. I also like the new keyboard style, picking up the Air and MacBook design. If I were buying today, I think this is what I’d go with given the nice balance between portability and power.

24″ LED Cinema Display

Paul says: – Apple is calling this display ‘the must-have MacBook accessory,’ and I think I’m buying the hype. The new display is bright and crisp, and looks good from a design perspective. I also like the new three-in-one mag safe connector that has power, usb, and mini display port connectors in one dock-like cable. Built in camera, mic, speakers and usb ports are definitely handy, and my wife will love that it’s ‘the greenest display’ from Apple yet.

Ryan says: – Let me just say, I’m in love with Apple displays…yet I don’t own one. I don’t know that this will be the one I’ll buy. It’s a beautiful display. I also love the new connector cable on one hand, and am disappointed on the other. I can’t use this display, out of the box, with any of my current Macs. Also, no 30″ option (my current dream display)…yet.

Hands On Conclusion

Paul says: – When the 24″ displays hit in November, I could be tempted to try them out alongside a MacBook. (You have to get one with the other, since the new displays only use the mini displayport at this time.) Until the MacBook Pros get the 17″ refresh as was noted in the announcement, I probably would not be tempted to go with the 15″ at this time.

Ryan says: – All in all, I was a little disappointed on announcement day. Steve spoke and I was left wanting more. I love the refresh on some of the products, but I really wanted something substantially new. I suppose I could be tempted by a refreshed 17″ MacBook Pro and possibly the 24″ LED display to go on my desk at the office where I’d only use the notebook/display combo, but other than that, there’s not a lot that makes me want to move out of current Macs and into new gear. Other than the usual “new gear happy” feeling of cracking open something fresh

Jul
23

iPhone – The Cabbage Patch Doll of Our Time

When I was just a kid, one of my siblings asked for a Cabbage Patch doll for a gift. I remember my dad running around like Arnold Schwarzenegger in Jingle All The Way, trying to find that ugly little thing, and probably aging 5 years in process. I’m catching glimpses of that fiasco every time I call the local AT&T shops and Apple Stores asking about iPhone availability.

I think I’ve finally given in, and let our AT&T business rep order one for me. Expected delivery time: up to 21 days. All because I was camping out, instead of camping out. I honestly would not have expected the 3G iPhone to be a bigger, and quicker seller than the first gen version — many people I knew were planning on NOT upgrading, but apparently many were, and many first time buyers stepped up.

Perhaps the rep will come through with a surprise, otherwise, in about three weeks I’ll do an unboxing….ugh.

Jul
15

Living In The iPhone Void

Last Thursday, July 10…”iPhone Eve,” I tossed my sleeping bag and tent into the ol’ rig and set off to camp out. No, I wasn’t camping out for the iPhone, I was literally camping out — trees, lake, bugs — the whole nine yards. I had a previous commitment that turned out to be on the same weekend as the V2 release, and couldn’t join in on all the hoopla for the new version when it came out.

Last year I was one of the first couple of people in our town to get an iPhone. I brought down my RV and we played Halo and Guitar Hero all night long, got in the local paper, had friends bringing down food and drinks — really made a party out of it. This year, nada. My camp out buddies from last year went down at 5 am the day of, got in a then-short line, and walked out with iPhones.

During a lull in the camp out this year, I headed into a fairly large town around noon, only to find out that this years iPhone was actually a bigger seller than last years. Apple has reported that it’s sold 1 million iPhones over the weekend, whereas last year it took 74 days to accomplish the same goal. I could have told you that…because there are NO phones to be had around here. Checking in daily since I got back from my trip…ugh:

They had black 8gb iPhones available yesterday, but I’m fairly set on the white 16gb model, so here I sit, in an iPhone 3G void. All is not lost though, I have been enjoying the V2 update for the V1 iPhone mentioned in the previous post. I still have the beta version, and I think it’s acting a little funky, but downloading and playing around with stuff from the iPhone App Store is keeping me entertained while I wait.

Anyone else still waiting, waiting, waiting?

Feb
26

Apple MacBook, MacBook Pros

MacBook Pros

After a day with leaked product numbers showing up across different websites, the fairly obvious rumor has finally come true.  The Macbook Pro has been updated as well as the regular Macbook.  While no new form factor or eye catching changes, the Macbook Pro now includes a multi-touch trackpad and has benefited from increases in processor speed and more powerful graphics chips.  Of note, the apple remote is no longer included and is to be purchased seperately.  Head over to the apple store for more.