15-inch MacBook Pro gets latest Intel chips, better battery life, and a lower price

Apple's MacBook Pro line has now gotten an entirely expected upgrade to current-generation Intel CPUs, just in time for the holiday shopping season. In our hands-on initial testing, these new 13-inch and 15-inch models look and feel just like the previous generation, but the promise of longer battery life, somewhat improved performance, faster Wi-Fi, and lower starting prices is enough to make this a significant overall update...

Read the full story here... Source: CNET

The Advantages of Multimode Laptops

When you look for a new laptop, you often look for a series of things such as the speed of the processor, the software provided, along with the Internet connectivity that willgive you the best browsing experience. Some people look for the latest release from the biggest name, others look for the best product they can buy according to their budget – it’s all down to personal choice and circumstance. 

We all want our lives to be as flexible and ‘free’ as possible, rather than having to live a structured life governed by working hours and other restrictions. The same is true with the products we buy – we want them to be tailored for us. Short of going into the research and development departments and presenting a series of requests, we can’t have it all our own way, but at least with laptops we know that there are tablet laptop hybrid spec computers that can be made as comfortable and user-friendly as possible.

These ‘multimode’ machines developed by the likes of Lenovo allow users to love the screen, the keyboard and even the stand, to the most comfortable position to provide the best all-round experience. Some have as many as four different methods of using the devices, so you can have it one way for doing your work, another for playing games and other positions to play your music and let your friends control the playlist (at your peril!).

Being user-friendly is key to the design of a successful laptop or tablet, enabling users to get the best experience from the device they’ve chosen. Many devices are purchased with a preference in mind such as doing work away from the office, playing games or browsing the Internet; but if you can’t use the device in the way you want to, you’re not going to be impressed. With a multimode machine, however, you can literally put it anyway you want so that you can feel comfortable working or playing and enjoying using your device so much people wonder if you ever put it down!

The touchscreen capabilities also make them particularly popular, allowing users to swipe and tap exactly what they want to use or do and they’re away without having to wait for it to boot up. All in all, this makes for a much more pleasant experience for the user as they literally have everything they’ll ever need right at their fingertips.

Apple Announces New MacBook Airs with Haswell Processors and 'All-Day' Battery Life

At today's WWDC keynote in San Francisco, California, Apple announced new 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Airs, which have been designed with battery life in mind. As expected, the new Airs use Haswell processors that offer enhanced performance and significantly improved battery life, but feature no cosmetic changes. 

With the new Haswell processors, The 11" MacBook Air will now have nine hours of battery life while the 13" MacBook Air will have a stunning 12 hours of battery life.

In addition to Haswell processors, the new MacBooks feature 802.11ac compatibility, with support for the "Gigabit WiFi" 802.11ac specification. Gigabit WiFi offers speeds up to three times as fast as existing 802.11n wireless networks. 

The 11" MacBook Air starts at $999 with a 128GB hard drive and the 13" MacBook Air with a 128GB hard drive starts at $1099. Apple's MacBook Airs are available today from Apple's Online Store and at retail locations.

Source: Mac Rumours


Intel: New Windows 8 Intel Notebooks to Cost As Little as $200

The PC industry is in a sharp decline as consumers gravitate more towards smartphones and tablets. Intel hopes to change that trend, largely blamed on Windows 8 itself, by introducing its new Bay Trail processors that will enable low cost Windows 8 machines. How cheap? Budget-friendly enough that notebooks will be able to compete with sub-$200 priced tablets from Amazon, Samsung, Google and other manufacturers.

“If you look at touch-enabled Intel-based notebooks that are ultrathin using [the new] processors, those prices are going to be down to as low as $200,” Intel CEO Paul Otellini said, according to a recent article from CNET. It might be easy enough for Otellini to promise those prices, especially as he plans his exit from Intel next month, so we’re going to remain skeptical until we hear manufacturers say that they can deliver on those promises.

After all, touchscreen displays themselves can cost more than $200, add in memory, a hard drive, a graphics chip and other components and you’re looking at a rather expensive device. Look at the smartphone industry, for example, where it’s common to find an off-contract flagship smartphone for $650. Still, we do know that it’s possible to create low-cost devices if you’re willing to take a hit at the point of sale. Amazon says it breaks even on its Kindle Fire devices but makes money once consumers enter its ecosystem and begin to buy eBooks, music, videos and applications.

[Source: TechnoBuffalo]

Apple sued over defective MacBook Pro Retina displays

A lawsuit has been filed in federal court in California alleging that Apple is misleading consumers by not advertising that there are two different types of displays used in its MacBook Pros with Retina displays. The issue stems from widespread reports that MacBook Pros with Retina displays that use display panels from LG suffer from ghosting issues. MacBook Pros that use Retina displays from Samsung reportedly are not affected by the same issues.

ArsTechnica reports that the class action lawsuit says that because the two makes of the Retina displays "exhibit different levels of performance and quality" Apple is wrongly marketing the MacBook Pro with Retina display as one product when instead it should be marketed as two different products -- the difference being which display, LG or Samsung, is used in the laptop.

[Source: TUAW]

Twelve South Releases BookBook Case for 15" Retina MacBook Pro

South Carolina-based accessory maker Twelve South has released a new version of its BookBook case, this time for the 15" MacBook Pro with Retina Display. The case matches those available for the iPad and iPhone, as well as existing ones for the 11" and 13" MacBook Air models. The 13" MacBook Pro with Retina fits into the existing case designed for the 13" MacBook Air.

Designed exclusively for MacBook Air and MacBook Pro with Retina display, BookBook is a totally unique case for the thinnest of MacBooks. Weighing as little as 13.5 ounces with an ultra-thin profile, this handmade, genuine leather case offers heavy duty protection. Two hardback covers, reinforced corners and a cushioned spine offer solid impact protection. The inside of the case is lined with a velvety soft, chocolate brown, padded interior for added protection.

BookBook cases for the 11" and 13" MacBook Air models and the 13" and 15" MacBook Pro with Retina Display are available for $80 from Twelve South's website.

[Source: MacRumors]

Google’s Chromebook Pixel is a Premium Chrome OS Laptop That Starts at $1,299

That mysterious Chromebook Pixel laptop we saw is real and it costs $1,299. That’s a hefty price tag for a device with only 32GB of storage (the 64GB model with LTE is $1449). But the screen… the 12.85-inch (3:2 aspect ratio) display has 4.3 million pixels with a 2560 x 1700 resolution (239 ppi). For comparison, the 13-inch MacBook Pro’s screen has a density of 227 ppi.

Google says the Chromebook Pixel “is a laptop that brings together the best in hardware, software, and design to inspire future innovation.” The screen itself has a 0.55mm layer of touch-enabled Gorilla Glass, allowing users to swipe and tap just as they would on a tablet. Google is simply taking that familiar tablet experience and transferring it over to the Chrome OS environment on a 3:2 screen it says is “designed for the web.”

Even though it has 32GB of onboard storage, Pixel owners will get 1 terabyte of Google Drive cloud storage for free for 3 years, so this is still firmly a cloud device. Whether PC users are still willing to only live (or mostly) in the cloud is up for debate. And beyond that, whether they’ll be enticed over to Google’s Chrome OS environment for a high res screen is a hard sell.

The Pixel body is engineered from machined aluminum with “nothing extraneous to distract you.” That means vents are hidden, screws are invisible and speakers are discretely tucked away. Google said there’s also a “piano hinge” for easy opening and closing, which also augments Wi-Fi and acts as a heatsink.

Full Pixel specs include a dual-core 1.8GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB DDR3 RAM, up to 5 hours of batter, Bluetooth 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, mini display port, and 2-in-1 card reader (SD and MMC). This is a full-powered laptop, and not a $200 “additional” machine as Chromebooks have traditionally been. However, for $1200 starting out, there are plenty of other machines you can buy with more robust software.

You can purchase the Chromebook Pixel now from the Google Play store, and it’ll ship in 3-5 days.

[Source: TechnoBuffalo]

Apple Updates Retina MacBook Pro, Lowers Price – Drops Price of MacBook Air, Too

Apple announced on Wednesday that it has dropped the price of its 13-inch MacBook Pro with a Retina display to $1,499 for the 128GB model and $1,699 for a newer model with 256GB of storage and a faster 2.6GHz processor.

Meanwhile, it also updated its entry-level MacBook Pro with a Retina display with a faster 2.4GHz quad-core processor and updated its high-end version with a 2.7GHz processor and 16GB of RAM.

The company also dropped the price of its 13-inch MacBook Air with 256GB of storage to $1,399, which by our calculations should be a savings of about $100.

The new devices and prices don’t seem to be appearing in Apple’s online store at the time of publication, although we imagine they will be added very soon.

[Source: TechnoBuffalo]

The Apple Store begins offering Retina 15″ MacBook Pro refurbs starting at $1869

This evening, Apple began offering refurbished Retina MacBook Pros at the online Apple Store at significant 15% discounts, yielding savings of over $500 on high end models (below). 15-inch Retina MacBooks normally retail at $2200 but we’ve seen them as low as $2,000 (which is also the EDU discount price).

Apple refurbished products are packaged and look like new and come with the same one year of AppleCare. See all of the best prices on Apple Products on our Apple product pages.

[Source: 9to5Mac]

Samsung unveils the Series 7 Ultra, refreshes the Series 7 Chronos with a slimmer design

We've gotta hand it to Samsung: announcing new products before CES is a clever way of grabbing our undivided attention. With days to go before the show officially kicks off, the outfit's already unveiled some new monitors, and put out teasers for at least three other items. Now the company's PC division is getting a headstart as well: Samsung just added two notebooks to its high-performance Series 7 family of products. These include the Series 7 Ultra, a 13-inch Ultrabook, as well as a refreshed Series 7 Chronos with AMD graphics.

[Source: Engadget]

MacBook Air, MacBook Pro refreshes expected June 2013 with same designs, new processors

Digitimes expects Apple to unveil refreshed MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models in June 2013. The report claims that Apple has already issued requests to its supply chain partners to prepare to build the revised notebooks. Digitimes frames the news as concern for Ultrabook vendors.

Digitimes also says that the new MacBook Air models will include new processors, but the computers will likely retain the current industrial design. The current MacBook Air design was introduced with the late 2010 model. Apple last updated the MacBook Airs in June 2012 with faster processors, new RAM and storage options, USB 3.0, and a FaceTime HD camera.

Separately, the report also believes that current MacBook Air models could see price drops ahead of the product refresh, but this would be unlike Apple’s typical Mac upgrade strategy. Apple’s common Mac update strategy is to succeed a current Mac model with the refreshed version without providing official price drops ahead of these refreshes.

[Source: 9to5Mac - Click here to ready the full story]

Acer outs C710-2605 Chromebook, 500GB HDD, 4GB RAM, 100GB Google Drive for two years

When we tried out Acer's C7 Chromebook, we liked the price, but some aspects of the build let it down. Now, the firm's updated the line with a new model -- the C710-2605. This time the price goes up to $299, but for your money you get twice the RAM (4GB) a bigger hard drive (500GB) as well as an improved battery (now 5,000 mAh). The form factor remains the same -- at 11.6 inches -- along with the same 1,366 x 768 display and 1.10GHz Celeron chip as before. Other features include WiFi in a/b/g and n flavours, a built in webcam, three USB ports, HDMI, VGA and Ethernet LAN. Of course, Chrome OS was designed for the cloud, so you'll get 100GB of Google Drive storage for two years thrown into the deal as well. Surprised by the stealth release? So were we, but the good news is, it looks like you can pick one up right away for the afore mentioned asking price, just head on over to the source.

[Source: Engadget]