What’s this? It looks like the gang over at Engadget have played a game of I Spy with and aluminum mockup of Apple’s second-generation iPad, the iPad 2. The owner of the aluminum slug is case maker Dexim, who is at CES showing off a new case for the next iPad that incorporates a Bluetooth keyboard. It is unclear whether the milled body-double was provided by Apple or machined by Dexim, but it does seem to confirm several of the rumors we’ve been hearing. The pictured mockup, and case, have a space for both a rear and front-facing camera, rear speaker-grill on the device’s lower right, and tapered edges (similar to those on the iPod touch). Dexim says the next iPad will be slightly thinner than the current model with the volume rocker and mute switch retaining the same positions. Have a look for yourself and let us know what you think. More →
It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, but Apple today announced a long-awaited refresh of its MacBook Air notebook line. Apple’s airy laptops haven’t been its most popular series by any means, but there is no question that the company’s remarkably thin notebooks struck a chord among jet-setters and young urbanites with expendable income. The sleek, lightweight machines were perfect for travel and even better for being seen in a local Starbucks. As time moved on however, the meager specs began showing their age and even a price drop couldn’t keep MacBook Air sales inflated.
Today, Apple looks to rekindle the public’s interest in its slender MacBook Air line with a reworked case, beefed up specs and a new smaller option.
Long story short, thin is in.
Hit the jump for more information on specs, pricing and availability. More →
As soon as we saw the page go up on ElementCASE’s site, we knew we had to have one. The Vapor case for the iPhone 4 is perhaps the meanest, most bad ass-looking bumper / case we’ve seen so far. It’s made from a solid block of “aircraft grade aluminum” and features a non-conductive coating on the inside to do away with that pesky antenna issue. We’ve been playing with two different Vapor cases for a couple days and here are our thoughts:
The construction of the case is top notch — really solid, though we would have liked a better system of taking the case on and off. To get your iPhone situated nicely, you have to bend the large frame a bit to fit your iPhone, then carefully insert the phone making sure the sharp edges of the frame don’t scratch the handset, then you have to attach the second piece and get it nailed down with 4 screws. Once the phone is in the case, it all comes down to personal preference. The case is manufactured well, fits snuggly on the iPhone 4, but does have a couple draw backs. Since the aluminum is so thick, the headset jack gets recessed, the vibrate switch and volume buttons can be a little hard to press, and the on / off button, while accessible through an integrated button, loses a bit of tactility.
All in all, the ElementCASE Vapor case for the iPhone 4 is the most aggressive-looking and lust-worthy case we’ve seen so far. While we love the concept of the Vapor case, the execution misses the mark in a couple ways. Some people might not like the added thickness and weight it adds to the handset, and the case makes the phone’s buttons pretty recessed. Plus, at a starting price of $79, it’s up there on the expensive scale.
Blog iClarified has posted several images of what a tipster is claiming to be the exterior casing for the fourth generation iPhone. The pictures are a little suspect for several reasons: an all aluminum, unibody enclosure would probably hinder the effectiveness of a Wi-Fi or cellular radio (insert iPhone reception joke here), the Apple logo does not appear to be proportioned properly as compared to the size of the body, the text on the back of the phone is not positioned low enough as compared to previous models… and other things like Photoshop CS4 metadata in the pictures. We suppose the aluminum enclosure/cellular radio issue could be moot, as the iPad uses the Apple logo as the radio signal exit point… however, most of us have heard about the issues the iPad is having with its Wi-Fi radio. Real or fake, with the release of the Incredible, EVO, and iPhone 4G all looming, it is going to be a great summer for high-end cell phone lovers. What do you guys think? A few more images after the break. More →
The good news for Nokia notebook hopefuls this morning is that the much anticipated Booklet 3G is now available for pre-order in Italy. Of course most of our readers don’t live in Italy, but this simply means that Nokia is getting ready to begin pushing its first laptop out to market. The bad news, and it is in fact pretty bad, is the pricing: a whopping €699. In case you’re wondering, that works out to about $1,021 USD. Now as you may recall, we were definitely digging the Booklet 3G when Nokia finally detailed it in full earlier this month. A grand for a 1.6GHz netbook with 1GB of RAM and a 120GB hard drive is bordering on crazy though, even if it does actually come close to providing 12 straight hours of light usage on a single charge. The standard disclaimer of course, is that Nokia products are priced very differently for each region so odds are good that we’ll see a lower price point if and when the Booklet 3G hits US shores. Even if it drops down to $799-$899 territory however, Nokia may have a tough time moving product when similarly-spec’d netbooks can be had for $400. Will a $400 netbook come anywhere close to matching the styling, elegance or battery life of the Booklet? Absolutely not. Where the typical consumer is concerned however, we’re not so sure that matters.
An Apple educational newsletter for March 2009 apparently offers a 17-inch iMac starting at $899 as part of the company’s new iMac Line. Currently, iMacs are only available in 20 inch and 24 inch sizes and the re-introduction of a 17″ model leaves us scratching our heads. Once upon a time, there was a 17″ white iMac, available to educational institutions for $899, that was phased out when Apple overhauled its iMac line in 2007. Is this a new aluminum 17″ iMac that hits the low price point that educational institutions can afford or is it just a three year old advertisement that was inadvertently recycled with new pics?
UPDATE: Couple commenters and other people wrote in… this seems to simply be the older 17″ aluminum iMacs that are discounted for educational institutions.
The battery in Apple’s recently revamped 17″ MacBook Pro, incase you somehow missed it, is amazing. With a single charge it can power the monster notebook for approximately eight hours while using the NVIDIA 9400M graphics processor or approximately seven hours while the 9600M GT chip is at work. What’s more, the new powerhouse has a charge cycle life of 1,000 charges which is leaps and bounds beyond the shelf life of a standard laptop battery. While those are some remarkable specs, it doesn’t mean that the new battery is immune to problems of course and Murphy’s Law makes it likely that problems will occur after the one-year battery warranty has expired. It also can’t (shouldn’t) be replaced by end-users so what happens if the pack starts to go after its estimated five-year lifespan and you want to swap it out for a new one – though we can hardly imagine using the same notebook for two years, let alone five. Apple has just put up a support page detailing the process and cost to put your mind at ease as you debate shelling out that $2,800 – $4,000 on a shiny new Pro. In a nutshell, the replacement battery will run you $179, which includes the installation of your new battery and the disposal of your old one. If you can find your way to an Apple Store, the turn around time is just one day. If you choose to mail your baby to Apple you’re looking at three to four days from the date Apple receives it. There, now you can sleep better at night.
Ok, Philly Schilly has finally gotten around to the new MacBook Pro now so we’ve got all the new details for you: How does Intel Core 2 Duo 2.93GHz Dual Core, 6MB L2 Cache, up to 8GB of DDR3 RAM at 1066 MHz sound to you? Oh yeah, good stuff indeed – and all wrapped in a gorgeous unibody aluminum case. The new rig is Apple Cinema display-ready and uses both NVIDIA 9400M and 9600M GT graphics chips just like the 15″ model. The glass trackpad is 39% larger and the battery supposedly lasts for a whopping eight hours with a 1,000-charge life cycle! The eight hour rating is on the 9400M chip, with the 9600M GT dropping it down to seven hours (still phenomenal) but we’ll believe it when we see it. Judging by the current MacBook performance, eight hours of juice on a single charge would be a thing of beauty. There will only be one base purchase option for the new 17″ Pro – ringing up at $2,799 for the glossy screen, 2.66 GHz processor, 4GB of RAM, 320GB 5400 rpm hard drive, glass trackpad, backlit keyboard and so on – and options such as the 2.93GHz processor, 8GB of RAM, 320GB 7200 rpm HD/128GB SSD/256GB SSD, anti-glare screen, etc will all be add-ons.
Oops! We’re minutes away from Apple’s keynote featuring Phil “I am not Steve Jobs” Schiller and we’ve already got our second major bungle. The team back in Cupertino apparently got a little trigger happy and let the 17″ MacBook Pro page go live a tad ahead of schedule. Woo! 4GB of RAM out of the box, 320GB+ hard drive, up to 2.93GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor… This baby is a killer! You’ve also got a Firewire-400 and a Firewire-800 port so none of those MacBook complaints are an issue for Pro users. Hit the read link for the live page and get ready for more Apple goodness coming any minute now.
Early adopters, prepare to be annoyed. Those of you who have been putting off picking up the sexy new aluminum MacBook, prepare to be pleasantly surprised – as long as you live near a participating Fry’s. While plenty of speculation is being tossed around with regards to Apple being aggressive with its pricing this coming Black Friday, Fry’s is apparently sick of the hubbub. Rather than wait to find out what Apple has in store for the upcoming shopping holiday, if anything, future MacBook owners can make their way down to Fry’s where the base aluminum MacBook will be on sale for $1099. $200 off the normal retail price isn’t too shabby at all. Unfortunately not all the discounted MacBooks will be new models as the ad stipulates demos and open boxes will be thrown into the mix. As long as you don’t mind knowing your new lappy has likely been manhandled by hoards of Fry’s customers before you, you’re good. It looks like the sale will only be on tomorrow, and only at brick and mortar stores. Who’s in?
We’re now just over two days away from the confirmed Apple notebook event and wouldn’t you know, more leaked images of Apple laptops have emerged. We’ve got to say that despite being the clearest shots to date, this new round is also the least Photoshop-ish yet. Sure, they may still be fake but if they’re not we’re in for a pretty tasty refresh on Tuesday. Hit the jump for all the images you can handle. What do you guys think – fake or real deal?
Update: Note that the image above is a Photoshop job done by a MacRumors forum member and republished along with the original images (read link). The original images below however, are still thought to be authentic.
As we near the rumored release date for Apple’s laptop line refresh, a new set of spy shots has emerged. Presumably one of the products of Apple’s new “Brick” manufacturing process, the image above shows an aluminum keyboard panel reportedly belonging to Apple’s upcoming new line of MacBooks. Sure it could be a Photoshop job but if it does in fact end up being the real deal, it looks like we’re all in for some sexy new notebooks from the Cupertino crew. What’s more, additional rumors floating around the internet this morning place the starting price point for the new MacBook line at $800. This would be the first laptop Apple has ever sold new for less than $1,000. The rumor goes on to state that the refreshed laptops will range from $800 to $3,100 and will have more optional configurations than currently available. The MacBook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro will now combine for a total of 12 price points compared to the eight currently available (three MacBooks, two MacBook Airs and three MacBook Pros). Or could this mean we can expect an all new fourth model from Apple? Unfortunately that’s still an unknown, as is the reliability of the source. In fact it seems a bit odd that the source is supposedly in possession of an official Apple price list and yet he or she can’t tell us what models are on it. Hmm. Hopefully we’ll all find out the real deal straight from the horse’s mouth in less than a week.
Over the past week or so, the rumor of a mysterious “Brick” running around Cupertino has set forth a flurry of speculation throughout the blogosphere. Now, according to an unnamed “adamant” source, the mystery of the Brick has been revealed. A report from 9 to 5 Mac states that the Brick is actually an internal pet name of sorts, referring to the new manufacturing process Apple is using to build next-generation MacBook laptops. Huh? Bear with us. According to the post, Apple has finally build its own manufacturing plant and the new MacBooks will be the first production piece to come out of it. The “Brick” is indeed just that; it is reportedly a brick of solid aluminum that represents the beginning of the manufacturing process for the new MacBook cases. Apple then carves the case from the brick of aluminum using an automated laser-cutting technique and the end result is a lightweight but solid case. 9 to 5 Mac refers to the new manufacturing process as “totally revolutionary, a game changer. One of the biggest Apple innovations in a decade.” The truth is there’s nothing terribly revolutionary about carving things out of a block of aluminum – this is just a new use for a process that has existed for quite some time. Whatever the case may be, we hope the rumors are true and that some sturdy new lightweight aluminum MacBooks come our way on October 14 complete with some extra Nvidia juice as we’re now hearing.