Yes, it sounds like a terrible joke, but it’s a real business. People in China are paying for fresh air bottled in a different country and having it shipped to them from abroad. The air in some of China’s cities is so bad that this is actually a thing, and citizens who are concerned about their safety are paying more than $10 a pop for just a few breaths of clean air originating from anywhere but their home country. More →
It wasn’t exactly a secret, but now the proverbial big cat is out of the bag. Apple has just updated the company’s best-selling computer product, the MacBook Air with a Core i5/i7 option, better storage, Thunderbolt port, and finally, a backlit keyboard (again). Mac minis are updated as well, at long last bringing them up to speed with current processors and features.
The other big story is obviously OS X Lion which is Apple’s most iOS-like release yet, and it slowly starts to bridge PC and post-PC devices. Lion is a major OS update with more than 250 new features, and it’s available for $29 through the Mac App Store starting now. More →
Apple is expected to add a backlit keyboard to the new MacBook Air models when it refreshes the laptop line, AppleInsider reported on Tuesday. The Cupertino-based firm used to offer the feature on its high-end MacBook Air laptop, but oddly omitted keyboard backlighting during the last refresh. Apple is expected to take the wraps off of its new models during the week of July 21st, and the notebooks are rumored to offer the new Thunderbolt I/O port in place of a DisplayPort, OS X Lion, and Intel’s new Sandy Bridge processors. Other rumors have also suggested that Apple will offer 400MBps SSD modules. We’ve heard that Apple has an overnight shift planned on July 13th, too, so we’re still keeping our fingers crossed that an announcement could come even sooner. More →
Apple will refresh its MacBook Air line of computers on July 19th, iClarified reported on Wednesday. We began to suspect the update was imminent when early reports suggested that global supplies for the computer were in short supply in late May. Those reports were solidified earlier this week when stock of the MacBook Air at Best Buy and Amazon was depleted. The device is expected to pack the new Thunderbolt I/O port in place of DisplayPort, Intel’s new Sandy Bridge processors, and the brand new OS X Lion operating system. 9to5 Mac said that Apple will likely offer Intel’s 1.8GHz Intel Core i7, 1.7GHz Core i7, and the 1.7GHz Core i5 in its new machines. We love the current design of the MacBook Air, and rumor has it that there won’t be any hardware tweaks. We suppose that could mean the rumored anodized black version will never see the light of day. The good news is the long wait is nearly over. More →
Global supplies of Apple’s MacBook Air laptops are dwindling as the consumer electronics giant prepares to refresh the line, 9to5 Mac reports. The Apple enthusiast blog cites multiple sources in stating that shipments of the Air are currently constrained, and the site also points out that remaining MacBook Air inventory is now on sale at several retailers. Apple’s online store is currently offering refurbished models at an all-time low price of $829, and Best buy has brand new models on sale starting at $938.99 for the 11-inch version. Earlier rumors suggest Apple plans to issue an incremental update to its MacBook Air line later this summer, likely featuring Intel’s new Sandy Bridge processors and Thunderbolt I/O ports. More →
Looking to scoop up one of Apple’s ultra-light notebook offerings? You may want to hold on to your wallet for a few more weeks. According to the latest report, Apple is preparing to update the notebook line in the not-too-distant future. “The Taiwan-based supply chain for Apple products will begin shipments of new 11.6-inch and 13.3-inch MacBook Air models featuring Sandy Bridge platform and Thunderbolt interface in late May for launch in June or July,” reads a report filed by DigiTimes. The article goes on to note that the updated Air will be assembled by Quanta Computer, with Catcher Technology, Auras Technology, Shin Zu Shing, Simplo Technology, and Dynapack all supplying components. The report echos earlier prognostications made by Concord Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The current iterations of the MacBook Air were first revealed in October of 2010, just 7-months ago. More →
A patent filing from Apple has sparked rumors of a new, low-profile keyboard. Designed with perforated keys, the input device would provide its end-user with tactile feedback by forcing air through the perforations in the key-tops. According to a report by Patently Apple, the “Advanced Keyboard Feedback System” will pair the punctured keys with a pressure and proximity sensor. When a user’s finger is detected to be just above the key in question, a light stream of air will be emitted to provide pre-press feedback. “As a twist to this patent, Apple goes on to describe that flowing of air could also be implemented in a virtual keyboard, wherein each key location is merely a defined region on a solid surface, where contact with that surface region will generate a defined input signal,” reads the report. The implication there being that Apple could include this technology on touchscreen devices like the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. The problem Apple is trying to solve is delivering adequate input-feedback on low-profile keyboards while continuing to make thinner and lighter keyboards — usually, feedback is provided by the downward travel of a depressed key. Apple is known for patenting dozens of technologies that never make it on to mainstream products; it is unclear if this filing falls into that category as well. More →
The gang over at mophie, a company that makes a variety of power products for mobile devices, was kind enough to loan us a juice pack air for the iPhone 4. For those unfamiliar, the juice pack is a slide-on case that packs an extra 1500mAh battery for those times when power is at a premium. Although the case does add a fair amount of weight and depth to your iPhone, it also nearly doubles the battery life. We took the case with us when traveling to several events — where we were using our jailbroken iPhone 4 to tether via Wi-Fi — and the amount of time the juice air pack allowed us to use our handset without the need for a wall outlet was truly impressive. When the case is fully charged, activating its battery can almost completely replenish the battery of your iPhone 4. This allows you to use your device until the iPhone 4’s original charge is spent and for two hours while the case recharges the iPhone. Once the case is out of juice, your iPhone is left with somewhere between 80% and 90% of its reserve and you’re ready to rock and roll again.
Yesterday, mophie announced that the juice pack air will be available in two new colors — red and white (insert white iPhone 4 joke here) — and the case retails for $79.95. The company also makes several non-case, universal juice packs with a standard USB connection for other power-hungry devices. If you’re looking for a gift for a gadget-geek this holiday season, you might want to consider a mophie power pack. More →
Earlier this month, BGR exclusively confirmed that Apple was working on fixes for a string of troublesome MacBook Air bugs. The issues were widespread, and they involved a variety of problems with display flickering, fading and discoloration when affected notebooks woke from sleep. Internal documents revealed by BGR suggested that the problems would be addressed by an upcoming software update and as expected, OS X 10.6.5 appears to have resolved the bugs described in those documents. Apple also issued a new support document on the matter. While Apple’s description of the issues does not appear to encompass all of the problems reported earlier this month, we have confirmed with several affected users that these bugs no longer occur on their devices. More →
Ever since Apple announced the new MacBook Air — and we found out there was a built-to-order option which upped not only the RAM but CPU — we figured it would be worth putting it head to head with the stock model to see performance differences. We have a 13-inch MacBook Air “stock” model with a 1.86GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD drive. Our built to order MacBook Air is rocking a 2.13GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD drive. Hit the jump to check out our results. More →
Apple didn’t exactly surprise the tech world with a MacBook Air update at its Back To The Mac event a couple weeks ago. The infamously-thin notebook hadn’t been updated in over 500 days, and there were more rumors and leaks on the unannounced product than we could shake a stick at. When the new Air was finally revealed, we got a look at some decent to very-good specifications, an even better and thinner design, and a more functional and useful product; that’s not to mention the device’s 11-inch baby brother which retails for only $999. We did our hands on thing with the 11-inch unit, but, in our eyes, it proved to be too small for daily use, so we’ve gone ahead and reviewed the 13-inch model. Read on for our thoughts! More →
Have you been twiddling your thumbs, contemplating whether or not to get the svelte new MacBook Air? The folks over at Macworld might just have what you’ve been looking for — benchmark scores. The website has published benchmark results for all four variants of the new Air and as it turns out, all four outperformed previous generation models. The new 11.6-inch MacBook Air, even with its 1.4GHz processor, managed to outperform the older 2.13GHz Core 2 Duo models thanks to its speedy flash storage. The new 13.3-inch 1.86GHz model even managed to marginally outperform the current 13-inch MacBook Pro. So, if you are still sitting on the fence, check out our hands-on and then hit the read link for detailed benchmark results. More →
If you watched the Apple keynote yesterday, you got to see a promo video for the new MacBook Air featuring Apple design chief, Jony Ive, waxing-poetic about the inner-beauty of the new, lightweight laptop. If you think Mr. Ives could be a little biased — or have some sort of odd trust issue towards middle-aged men with charming accents — you can get a look at the Air‘s innards for yourself. As is customary, the crew over at iFixit have given the new electronic gizmo the teardown treatment. Hit the read link to have a look for yourself. More →