I’ve been using Apple’s mid-2011 MacBook Air for almost a week now and even though it’s physically the same unit that it replaced (for the most part) on the exterior, this is an entirely different beast. For starters, Apple’s second-generation MacBook Air improved greatly on the first model by offering up a redesigned case complete with two built-in USB ports, an SD card reader and SSD hard drives as the only available options. The older Intel Core 2 Duo processors however, severely limited the computer. It was functional enough for me to replace a Core i7 MacBook Pro, but it was slow; normal tasks would bog the system down, and the computer would heat up at the drop of a dime. All this has changed with the latest MacBook Air, however. Read on for my thoughts.More →
Japanese blog Macotakara.jp is reporting from parts makers in Asia that Apple’s upcoming MacBook Air refresh, expected in the next two weeks, will use super-speedy 400Mbps NAND flash storage chips. In addition to being incredibly fast — even faster that the current MacBook Air solution, which uses an mSATA connector to connect the SSD to the motherboard — these new NAND flash storage chips would be soldered directly to the motherboard, bypassing any connector. If true, this new change would result in 100-times performance increase over the current solution, and coupled with a rumored bump to i5 / i7 processors, the new MacBook Airs should absolutely fly. More →
Sony announced its brand new VAIO Z laptop on Thursday, an ultralight device that weighs just 2.6 pounds. The Windows 7 Professional-powered notebook is equipped with a 13.1-inch 1600 x 900-pixel display, a 2.7GHz Intel Core i7 processor, a 256GB solid state drive, AMD Radeon HD graphics, and can be purchased with an optional battery sheet that provides up to 14 hours of battery life. Similarly, its optional Power Media Dock accessory supports up to four displays at once, has its own 1GB graphics card, can be purchased with a DVD or Blu-ray drive, and offers support for Intel’s new “Light Peak” port. The VAIO Z will make its debut in July in the UK first for £2,700 ($4,320), Read on for the full press release.
ASUS is on a mission to become a tablet-toting, force to be reckoned with and it looks like that mission could begin to yield some pretty nifty tablets moving forward. And while ASUS’ aim is to become the world’s No.2 tablet vendor by next year, it sounds like ASUS will continue to cook up some interesting products in other categories as well. Netbooks don’t get as much coverage these days, but the category is still a pretty big money maker for companies like ASUS. According to ASUS CEO Jerry Shen who spoke to reporters at CeBIT, we can look forward to both Android and MeeGo netbooks from the company in the near future. Shen also says ASUS is working on a Windows Phone that will launch next year. Moving back to tablets, Shen talked up 3D displays, quad-core processors and SSD drives when discussing the company’s roadmap, though he didn’t get into any specifics. The just announced Apple iPad 2 gave competitors plenty of room to shine in 2011, though it could be almost impossible for any single vendor to make any real headway with imminent floods about to drown us all. What definitely won’t help is a lot of talk with no products to back it up, so we’re hoping ASUS has some intriguing devices in hand next time executives talk tablets. More →
Ever since Apple released Mac OS X Lion 10.7 to developers to test, new features have started to become uncovered. 9to5Mac has been doing a great job compiling a list of some new (and pretty lust-worthy) features that are available in the next version of Apple’s operating system for the PC, and here’s a brief recap of what you can expect to see come summer:
- TRIM support for super-fast SSD writing
- Recovery partition to your startup hard drive removing the need for the OS X installer disc in case something goes wrong
- Possible Dropbox-like functionality for MobileMe storage
- Find my Mac functionality in Apple’s MobileMe service
- Removed support for PowerPC applications
- Removed Front Row (possible it’s only in the seeded development OS, however)
- Podcast Producer, a true podcast production tool letting you create various shows, episodes, and effortless edit, upload, and share your podcasts
- Yahoo IM! support in iChat including video and audio conferencing, iOS-style symbol keys (hold down a key on your keyboard and an onscreen symbol list appears like in iOS), and live URL previews when you hover over a URL link
There are many more findings in Mac OS X 10.7, but these are some of the exciting smaller ones that haven’t yet been announced. More →
We have been told by one our Apple sources that the new MacBook Pro laptops will be available for sale in the next two weeks, and Apple stores are set to start receiving the shipments in “the coming days.” As far as what the refreshed MacBook Pros will hold, our source mentioned a few interesting features. For starters, we are told that the new laptops will contain glass trackpads that are even larger than the pads found on current-generation MacBook Pro models. The next bit of information doesn’t quite make sense to us, but we have been told the OS on the laptops will be loaded to a separate (internal) 8-16GB SSD while everything else will remain on the regular hard drive. There will be options for just SSD drives but the base models will feature regular hard disks with the SSD combo for the OS. Our source also said that the new MacBook Pro models are about a half-pound lighter on average than each of their relative current models, and there will be five different SKUs as had been previously reported.
Thanks, Lindsey S.!
If you think a single $58,000 RED EPIC camera package is a lot to blow on a 5K resolution production camera, Peter Jackson and crew have just swooped in and snagged thirty of them. The entire package comes with the EPIC-M body, titanium mount, 5-inch touchscreen LCD, REDmote, four batteries, a four-pack of 128-GB SSDs to shoot onto, and of course, a charger. RED is planning on assembling Peter Jackson’s order by hand starting next month into January and then roll into full production one month after that. They are hoping for general availability by NAB in April, but as usual with RED, that’s not something written in stone. The Hobbit starts filming in February. More →
We covered the fact Apple is taking around $100 off Mac purchases today online at Apple.com as well as in Apple retail stores, but with $100 off, the 11″ MacBook Air with 128GB drive is effectively the same price as the 13″ MacBook Air with 128GB drive. Our question to you is, which one would you get, and is anyone taking Apple up on their Black Friday offer? We went with the 13″ laptop, but the 11″ is still tempting us from afar. 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 →
A refresh of the now aged MacBook Air line is almost a foregone conclusion at this point, with Apple’s “Back to the Mac” event scheduled to take place later this week. Now, more purported specs are making the rounds by way of Cult of Mac, and they definitely look appealing. According to the blog’s sources, here are some highlights from the new Air models:
- 11.6-inch model starting at $999, 13.3-inch model starting as low as $1,100
- 2.1 GHz and 2.4 GHz processor options
- 8-10 hours of battery life (vs. a “claimed” 5 hours in the current model)
- NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics
- Upgradeable RAM (2 GB base) and SSD options
- New thinner case design
- An SD card slot, two USB ports, standard MagSafe port and Mini DisplayPort
Apple fans have been waiting for what seems like an eternity to see a true MacBook Air refresh and if these specs make their way from rumor to reality, the wait might just be worth it. Especially at those price points. More →
Sony’s first VAIO P was a was quite a disappointment considering how poorly it performed and the huge price tag it carried, but Sony seems to be confident that its second-gen VAIO P will right the wrongs of the past. Shipping one week ahead of schedule, the “Lifestyle PC” comes pre-loaded with Windows 7 Home Premium and has an Intel Atom Z530 processor and 2GB of RAM to help keep things flowing. Apart from that, the $900 rig has a 8″ 1600×768 display that’s straddled by optical trackpads, Everywair 3G, GPS, digital compass and an accelerometer. Of course if you lived elsewhere you’d have a lot more options than that to chose from, but who needs that much stress in their life?
Some might argue it’s a case of too little, too late, but Sony looks to have a pretty darn good “don’t call it a netbook” netbook on its hands with its much-needed and long-rumored upgrade to the VAIO P. Featuring a “new design for two-handed operation while standing or walking”, the refreshed VAIO P has a built in optical trackpad to the right of the 8″ 1600×768 display which neighbors the left/right mouse click buttons on the left. Thrown in for good measure is an an accelerometer which allows you to shake and flick your way around the internet, Everywair 3G, GPS, digital compass and support for PS3 Remote Play (provided you’re running firmware 3.30 and up). Running Windows 7 Home Premium with an optional upgrade to Professional, the entry-level model features an Intel Atom Z530 clocking in at 1.6 GHz while the top-of-the-line model packs an Atom Z560 at 2.13 GHz. RAM tops out at 2GB, and you have your choice of either a 64, 128, or 256GB SSD. The new VAIO P starts at $799.
Catch the PR after the break. More →
It might have legal issues galore thanks to Chandra Rathakrishnan’s legendary row with Michael Arrington, but the internet tablet formerly known as the CrunchPad has finally entered into production and should begin shipping later this month. To retail for $499 USD, the JooJoo features a 12.1″ multi-touch capacitive display with native resolution of 1366 x 768, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g, 4GB SSD, front-facing camera, accelerometer, support for Flash (HD Flash will be all systems go when 10.1 comes out of beta) as well as a bunch of givens like integrated speakers, a 3.5mm headphone jack and USB port. Also announced today is Fusion Garage’s intent to open an app web store in which JooJoo owners will be able to grab whatever developers can make using some proprietary “but standards driven” APIs. Rathakrishnan et al are rather confident that their device will be able to take on competitors such as the HP Slate and Apple iPad, even going so far as to say of the later that the JooJoo is bigger, fully supports Flash (the real internet) and will beat its major competitors to the market, but one has to wonder what it’s all for in a day and age where most people are brand-conscious to the point where they’ll often turn away from something far better. We guess you have to start somewhere. More →