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All posts tagged "apple"


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Wondering Why the New Macbook Pro's Seem to Offer Less Battery Life?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Apple Laptops" @ 02:00 PM

http://techcrunch.com/2011/02/24/ma...o-battery-life/

"Now that the news about the new MacBook Pros is out there, one thing that may disappoint someone just reading the spec sheet is battery life. Across the board, the Pro is now rated at 7 hours. While still very solid, this is actually a step down from the previous versions which were rated at 8 to 9 hours for the 15 and 17-inch models, and 10 hours for the 13-inch model. So what gives?"

When I was looking at the battery life on the new Macbook Pros, I noticed something curious: they're all listed as "up to 7 hours". I couldn't recall what the exact battery life specs were for the previous Macbook Pros, but I knew it varied from model to model. As the above text shows, Apple had quoted the battery life on previous Macbooks from 8 to 10 hours. Sandy Bridge processors are supposed to be even more power-friendly than the first-gen Core series processors. So what gives? Read more...


Friday, February 25, 2011

Evertyhing You Wanted to Know About Thunderbolt

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 01:00 PM

http://www.engadget.com/2011/02/24/...-a-closer-look/

Simply put, Thunderbolt's a familiar-looking port, a brand-new chip, and a cord, which allows devices to pipe two data streams simultaneously -- in both directions -- over a single cable at up to 10 gigabits per second to start, primarily using PCI Express x4 for data and DisplayPort for video.

The announcement of Thunderbolt instantly reminded me about the old Firewire vs. USB battle. If you have read the comments or even the press release about Thunderbolt, you have probably seen how people are comparing Thunderbolt to Firewire, and the battle is now between USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt. There are certainly a lot of parallels but I do not know if there is a clear winner, or even if there will be one that dominates the other.

Thunderbolt definitely has more impressive specifications but will that be enough? USB has a far larger install base and is likely to remain much cheaper to implement for various peripherals. Does my mouse really need a 10Gbps lane? Will a Thunderbolt based keyboard cost more than a USB one? I personally suspect that the two will live together, with USB remaining the dominant connection type, with Thunderbolt serving the more demanding uses like external video cards, displays and hard drives. What do you think? Is Thunderbolt the future? Or do we all live in a USB world?


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Anyone Else Underwhelmed by the New Macbook Pro Line?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Other Laptops & Netbooks" @ 04:00 PM

Apple announced a new line of Macbook Pro hardware today (buy 'em from our Amazon.com store), and I have to admit I was underwhelmed. Yes, they have Intel's rocking new Sandy Bridge CPUs that offer insanely great performance. Yes, they've switched from NVIDIA to AMD (ATI) graphics that offer up to 3x graphics performance. And, yes, there's the impressive Thunderbolt connectivity and an HD camera. Read more...


Intel's Lightpeak Technology is now Dubbed Thunderbolt

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home News" @ 02:10 PM

http://newsroom.intel.com/community...pc-just-arrived

"Intel Corporation today announced the availability of ThunderboltTM technology, a new high-speed PC connection technology that brings together high-speed data transfer and high-definition (HD) display on to a single cable. Running at 10Gbps, Thunderbolt technology can transfer a full-length HD movie in less than 30 seconds. This Intel-developed technology is coming to market through a technical collaboration with Apple, and is available first on Apple's new line of MacBook Pro laptop computers."

One of the key technologies revealed today in Apple's line of refreshed Macbook Pros is Thunderbolt. I knew it was based on Lightpeak, but when I saw Apple calling it Thunderbolt I was concerned it was going to be an Apple-only term, and we were about to enter into an era where every laptop OEM would have their own term for the technology: "No, no, this isn't Thunderbolt, it's ULTRABOLT!" Turns out that's not the case: Thunderbolt is the new name for Lightpeak, and it will be used by all the OEMs. That's good news. What do you think about the name? It's an unusual name for a technology when compared to the likes of USB 3.0 and SATA; it's more in line with Firewire. Regardless, Thunderbolt is here to stay and offers some compelling features (more on that later).


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

What is the Magic Factor to Apple's Pricing?

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Talk" @ 09:00 AM

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/perlow/ap...ply-chain/15813

"The word is out. That cool Android-based iPad killer coming out from Motorola? The XOOM? It's going to set you back eight Franklins if you want to buy one. That's $800.00, 9,566 pesos, 881,000 won or 5,275 yuan, for those of you keeping track."

And at roughly $800.00 USD, that isn't a price point to compete with the iPad. This is especially true when you factor in the absence of WiFi on the device, and this article isn't the only one pointing this pricing problem out. But what went wrong here with Xoom and why aren't they able to get their pricing point to a level to compete with the iPad? One reason is the control of the Apple supply chain. Apple has been doing this for years, investing heavily in technology such as their own A4 chipset, and leveraging price points by buying in bulk. In fact, the prediction is that by 2012 they are expected to be the largest purchaser of semiconductor technology. Their strategic planning is such that they are able to buy in high enough quantities to bring down their cost per unit to a level that they still make a profit at the low end of the product line. Granted, as you move up the line of products they increase in price, some say too much, but you can't argue that there is still value there. Bottom line however, is that when you control the supply chain, you certainly control the price. The bigger question I have about this isn't about Apple, it's about the competition. Why aren't they doing the same thing? Is the bigger issue lack of foresight rather than supply chain control? What are your thoughts?


Monday, February 7, 2011

Motorola's Much-Hype Xoom Tablet Commercial Debuts During Superbowl

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Laptop Thoughts Talk" @ 11:46 AM

http://blog.laptopmag.com/whats-you...tech-commercial

Thoughts? I liked it quite a bit, though it's clearly more about establishing the positioning of the product in the marketplace - "We're not the iPad! We're different!" - than it is about showing the product. Definitely my favourite commercial of the ones that Laptop Magazine profiles. Yours?


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Apple's Macbook Air 13 (2010 Model): The Future of Laptops?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Apple Laptops" @ 01:30 PM

This is my review video of the Macbook Air 13 (2010 model). This version has the 2.16 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo CPU, 4 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, NVIDIA GeForce 320M GPU, Bluetooth, 802.11b/g/n WiFi. It has no CD/DVD drive. The unboxing video can be found here; I kept this laptop for the full two weeks before returning it to Apple. Returning it was a hard decision, because there were so many things I liked about the Macbook Air. Read more...


Friday, December 31, 2010

What The Geeky Got for Gifts

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home News" @ 05:30 PM

http://mashable.com/2010/12/31/ipad...-mashable-poll/

"If you got an iPad as a gift during the holidays, you certainly weren't alone. In a recent poll of holiday gift recipients, iPads accounted for a full 22.7% of all gadget or hardware gifts, making iPads the single largest category in our gift poll, outstripping the nearest runner-up by nearly 14% of votes. That runner-up was Amazon's Kindle - not surprising considering that the Kindle is the best-selling product in Amazon's history."

It's a relatively small sampling size - less than 2400 votes, and only from people who read Mashable - but among the geek-set, there are a couple of stand-out points: the iPad was the #1 gift, more people got Macs (60%) than Windows machines (40%), Android phones let the way in the smartphone category with a hefty 50.3% figure (iPhones were 30%), but Windows Phone 7 devices at 10.3% just eeked out Blackberry devices (9.4%). Not bad for a brand new platform that most people still haven't heard about! Lastly, the Xbox/Kinect one-two punch clobbered the PS3 with a 54.3% figure versus only 11.9% for the PS3. The Kinect really is driving the Xbox 360 to new heights of popularity!


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Intel SSD 310: Honey, I Shrunk The Hard Drive!

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 11:01 AM

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4078/...ata-form-factor

"The 310 isn't about performance, rather form factor. The SSD in Apple's new MacBook Air is just the beginning - OEMs are beginning to shed the limits of traditional hard drive form factors as SSDs don't need to house a circular platter. The mSATA interface is physically a mini PCIe connector (similar to what you'd see with a WiFi card in a notebook) but electrically SATA. The result is something very compact. The full sized mSATA 310 measures 50.8mm x 29.85mm and is less than 4.85mm thick. Total weight? Less than 10 grams."

This is fantastic to see - one of the most impressive things about the Macbook Air that I was testing is that Apple managed to cram a 50 Watt Hour battery inside that incredibly slim chassis. One of the reasons they were able to do that is because they crammed basically the entire laptop other than the battery in the upper-third portion of the bottom chassis; the rest was left for the battery. And how did they accomplish that feat? By taking the SSD out of the traditional 2.5" chassis and putting the chips into a small daughterboard. It looks like other laptop vendors are going to be following in Apple's path, which is great. Bring on the choice!


Monday, December 13, 2010

Apple's Macbook Air 13 (2010 Model) Unboxing & First Impressions

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Apple Laptops" @ 07:00 AM

This is an unboxing and first impressions video of the Macbook Air 13. This is the maxed-out model has a 2.16 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo CPU, 4 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, NVIDIA GeForce 320M GPU, Bluetooth, 802.11b/g/n WiFi. It has no CD/DVD drive, two USB ports, no Ethernet port, a built-in microphone and Webcam, and a headphone jack. The slender (0.11-0.68 inch) profile weighs in at 2.9 pounds. The full specs can be found on the Apple site. Read more...


Monday, November 15, 2010

MacBook Air: Best Laptop Ever!?

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Laptops & Netbooks" @ 04:30 PM

http://www.gottabemobile.com/2010/1...-ive-ever-used/

"I picked up a new MacBook Air a few days after it was first introduced and have been using it as my primary mobile computer since then. If you want to skip reading a long block of text, I'll get to the point. The new MacBook Air is the best laptop I've ever purchased or used."

Can't really say that I disagree here. My experiences with my smaller (11.6-inch, 4GB RAM, 64GB SSD) MacBook Air are pretty similar. Astoundingly easy to carry around, although I don't think I'd get as extreme as the author - I don't want to carry it in a jacket pocket. Powerful? I've done some admittedly non-scientific performance tests against my new MacBook Pro with a Core i7 processor: simultaneously installing MS Office 2011 for the Mac, the MBA finished far ahead of the MUCH faster processor-equipped (but standard hard drive equipped) MBP. Of course, your mileage may vary. I expect that it'll be a great travel companion as well, but I haven't had a chance yet to test it out on an airplane tray table. Despite all the gnashing of teeth when the (only) 64GB SSD is mentioned, after installing everything that I need for (business) travel, I still have 40GB free. Even throwing on a movie or two and some music will not tax storage capacity. Coming from the days of floppy-only laptops, I find it a (fun) challenge to manage storage. This may not be everyone's best laptop ever, but it is for me! So far ...


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Why Did HP Buy Palm?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Laptop Thoughts Articles & Resources" @ 04:00 PM

http://gdgt.com/discuss/why-hp-boug...eared-gdgt-ayj/

"HP knows that although they're the number one PC maker in the world, being number one in an industry that has stopped growing and will be flat at best for the foreseeable future is not the way to stay a $100 billion company. They've figured out that mobile is the future of computing, and that despite some early successes in that space (mainly after purchasing Compaq and its iPAQ line of handhelds) HP's efforts to date have been anemic. Let's put it another way: you see plenty of people using HP netbooks, but when's the last time you saw anyone one of their smartphones? Exactly. Right now HP isn't a significant player in mobile and that needs to change."

Peter Rojas from gdgt has a useful perspective on the consumer electronics industry having been at the helm of Engadget for several years, and I'm sure he's right on the money here - in fact, this dovetails nicely with the post I wrote up earlier today in a depressing sort of way; if Microsoft really had something in the pipeline that was nearing completion, HP wouldn't have bought Palm. Microsoft literally must have had no answer to the question of "What Microsoft OS can we use on HP hardware to combat the iPad?". HP entering the operating system space isn't something that they'd choose to do lightly, that's for sure...they must have felt like they had no choice.

Tags: microsoft, apple, hp, palm, ipad, ios

Is Microsoft a Dying Consumer Brand?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 03:30 PM

http://money.cnn.com/2010/10/27/tec.../microsoft_pdc/

"Consumers have turned their backs on Microsoft. A company that once symbolized the future is now living in the past. Microsoft has been late to the game in crucial modern technologies like mobile, search, media, gaming and tablets. It has even fallen behind in Web browsing, a market it once ruled with an iron fist."

This is your typical link-bait article in some ways, and I'm complying by linking to it, but I felt it was worth discussing. Windows 7 is selling like gangbusters, and it's the best OS Microsoft has ever released, so it's hard to blindly say that somehow Microsoft is losing in the consumer space...but I think the author has a point that Microsoft has no answer to the next wave of consumer computing: instant-on appliance-like devices. I don't own an iPad, but I understand what that device represents and why it resonates so powerfully with an increasing number of people. Read more...


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Does the New MacBook Air Worry Microsoft?

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Laptop Thoughts Talk" @ 08:00 PM

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13860_3-2...ol;inTheNewsNow

"Ordinarily, the release of a single ultraportable Mac should not be reason for Redmond to quake in its boots, but yesterday's announcements by Apple should give the Windows team plenty of reason to fear. It's not that the product itself will put that much of a further dent in Microsoft's still-massive share of the PC market. However, the product demonstrates some capabilities that the Mac now can offer that Microsoft would seem to have a tough time matching."

My guess is, no, they're probably a bit sorry that they didn't push harder (and sooner) on the SSD concept, but their market share remains overwhelming, so worry, probably not. The gauntlet has been thrown down. There -are- Windows-based laptops that match-up well with the new MacBook Air, when hardware is compared (the Sony Vaio X is mentioned). But, Mac OS X really gets a boost when run on an SSD. The instant-on (from sleep mode) really is instant. When I'm done with Windows, close the lid. Ditto for the Mac. Open the lid, both come back, the Mac almost immediately, Windows needs a bit more time to awaken.

As for building more 'iPad-like' features into the Mac, it's a good idea as long as the 'old ways' continue to work. Windows has had touch capabilities going way back as well, so as operating systems evolve, we can expect the distinctions to blur a bit. Witness BootCamp and virtualization. Admittedly one-way to this point, but maybe the Hackintosh community will succeed (and/or be commercialized).

The concept of an App Store for the Mac is intriguing. Anyone who has ever searched for software for the Mac or Windows (or Linux) knows how iffy the whole process can be. Bad code, Viruses, Spyware, Keystroke Loggers, ad nauseam, are rampant. A "trusted" source is really the Holy Grail of software, so of course Microsoft will follow. Again, who benefits besides Apple and Microsoft? All of us.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Could This Be Your Next MacBook?

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Apple Laptops" @ 08:30 PM

http://blog.laptopmag.com/macbook-a...n#axzz12wF0xEga

"They're a dynamic duo indeed. We just went hands-on with the new 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air and wanted to share our first impressions. At 2.9 pounds, the 13-inch Air is about 1.5 pounds lighter than the MacBook Pro with the same size display and it comes with a higher-resolution 1440 x 900 display.The 11-inch Air weighs just 2.3 pounds and goes with 1366 x 768 pixels. Both models measure from 0.16 to .68 inches, which is very svelte. You now get a glass trackpad for gestures and you still have a full-size keyboard, but it’s not backlit."

Could this be near-perfection in a less than 3-pound package? Apple is getting very, very close. In my opinion, the only thing lacking is a backlit keyboard, the tradeoff: much better battery life (5-hours on the smaller, 7-hours on the larger). And, the little annoyances are gone, the power connector is normal, and there are two USB ports. Oh, one other little nit to pick, no internal SD drive on the smaller model, but I have a whole drawer full of USB SD readers. For my frequent work travel, lightness and travel-ease trumps almost everything, so I will be replacing my Lenovo Thinkpad X100e with the 11.6-inch model. In fact, it's already ordered. Being an old-timer in computing, I can live with a 64GB SSD. Thoughts, readers? Is this a compelling laptop?


Monday, October 18, 2010

Commentary on the Competition from Infinite Loop

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Apple News" @ 11:00 PM

http://blog.laptopmag.com/apple-ear...l#axzz12l0mrov1

"The first 15 minutes of Apple's earnings call today were not all that surprising, although the numbers were impressive. Quarterly revenue at the end of the company's fiscal year (late September) was $20.34 billion, making this the company's biggest quarter ever. This exceeded analyst expectations and predictions, so big score for Apple. Then things got really interesting when Steve Jobs got on the call and started ripping his competitors a new one."

Let's see, biggest quarter ever, yet, there's still plenty of time to bash the competition, rather than graciously bask in the glow of spectacular financial results (Thank you consumers, you've voted with your wallets! ). I don't quite understand what benefit is derived from publicly pointing out the obvious - see! we sold more stuff than you sold. And, despite the fact that the competition in the tablet space doesn't have real products shipping in meaningful number yet (at least here in the US), we're told that they'll be inferior, and that the small size will be a disadvantage unless fingers can be made smaller. I read that, and thought, gee, I'd better get rid of my iPhone then, because I don't have sandpaper to make my fingers smaller. I love Apple products, because, as Steve J points out,"they just work," but I'm not real happy with the whole "cult of personality" that seems to be developing and causing bad feelings in the industry. All the sniping between CEOs is getting old! Just build the products and let the consumers decide.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

60 Days With The iPad; Now What?

Posted by Eric Juillerat in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 07:00 AM

Product Category: Tablet
Manufacturer: Apple
Where to Buy: Amazon.com [Affiliate]
Price: $779 USD (tested)
System Requirements: iTunes 9.1 or later, MAC or PC with available USB port.
Specifications: 9.7-inch Multi-Touch display, 64GB, Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 2.1, 3G GSM/EDGE ATT only, 1.6 pounds (0.73 kg), 9.56 inches by 7.74 inches. Features vary by model.

Pros:

  • Extreme geek appeal;
  • Convenient, fun and easy to use;
  • Mail, Synchronization;
  • Great battery life.

Cons:

  • Expensive;
  • Heavy;
  • ATT fees;
  • Limited productivity.

Summary: If you liked Star Trek, you had no choice, you had to get an iPad; and so did I. As I exited the Apple store with my big flashy bag in hand, I made the whooshing sound of the Enterprises' automated doors, and headed home knowing my life had just changed. 60 days later, I am left wondering - Now what? It's not that it's not a useful device - it is. It's not that it's not fun - it certainly can be. But I find myself constantly trying to justify it in a sea of laptops, netbooks, and e-readers. If this sounds like blasphemy, perhaps it is. Or, perhaps I've been able to avoid being sucked into the reality distortion field broadcast from Cupertino, and into space? Let's investigate.

Read more...


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Be Prepared To Welcome Your Android Overlords

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Android News" @ 03:30 PM

http://www.talkandroid.com/17348-an...s,+and+Updates)

"Apple seems pretty confident that they are going to keep the iPad at the top of the tablet market well into 2011. We know otherwise, but so does Gene Munster who is a Senior Research Analyst with Piper Jaffray."

Let us gaze into the Mystical Silica Ball and guess what the future holds in store. Hearing estimates and predictions from industry experts has always been entertaining. The interview did produce one nugget of information that I would apply to the whole tablet market, and that estimates can be hit or miss, not just for Asian production lines, but for estimates in the technology industry. Apple has certainly brought attention and revived the previously stagnant tablet market and in doing so, has turned everyone's focus on slates. Android certainly seems the next most suitable OS and will likely sellore units. I am not sure if that can be considered dominance though. Whether slates have fundamentally changed the PC market, well, those words were also said about netbooks and then smartphones. Technology is certainly moving fast, but I have doubts as to whether consumers are able to keep up with the pace that manufacturers want us to move. Do we really need to buy a new computing device every year or two?


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Slate For Every Taste

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 10:30 AM

http://gizmodo.com/5630935/five-of-...revealed-so-far

"Last week alone saw ViewSonic, Toshiba and Samsung all officially unveil new models of keyboard-less computer, with a mish-mash of operating systems and screen sizes hoping to somehow build themselves a market in the wake of Apple's market-leading device. So here's a summary of five of the best tablets out there and on the way this year. Or, to put it another way, the iPad +4."

Is the slate tablet market really that hot, or is this simply a whole bunch of hype intended to get everyone to open their wallets? Tablets might be the next step in casual computing and thankfully, it seems like it draws a large part of its inspiration from smartphones. The only one that stands out for me, and not in a good way, is the ViewPad 100. Dual-booting just seems like such a hassle and it is not like dual-booting slate tablets have not been tried before. Just ask HTC. Most likely, the iPad will continue to dominate the space though there will be a large amount of Android devices to pick from.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Dell Comparing Studio Series Laptops to MacBook Pros

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Dell Laptops & Netbooks" @ 12:00 PM

http://blog.laptopmag.com/apples-to...ile+Technology)

"It's no secret to those who follow tech that Macs tend to offer lesser specs than its competitors, and for more money. That hasn't slowed Apple's momentum in the laptop market, though, especially among college students. As the back to school season kicks off, Dell has posted a direct comparison between its Studio 15 and 17 laptops and the 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pro."

While the Studio series laptops perform well, and are priced significantly below comparably sized and configured MacBookPros, the intangibles make the big price difference somewhat less of a factor. Dell perhaps should have focused on their strengths in addition to re-hashing the "Apple tax." Stressing some simple things, like a one-year warranty standard vs. Apple's 90 days would perhaps have helped, but then, on the other hand, Dell's support has become somewhat of a liability recently. I personally like the Studio laptops, but would I choose one over a MBP? Probably not, despite the price difference.


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