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All posts tagged "macbook air"

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Does the New MacBook Air Worry Microsoft?

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

No Flash Shipping With MacBooks

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (OS X)" @ 04:00 AM

"Last week, we reported that Apple's new MacBook Airs were shipping without Adobe Flash preinstalled... a radical departure from the norm for Apple, which has been bundling Flash with OS X (and OS 9 before it) as the default for seemingly ages. Was it a fluke, or is this Apple's new policy?"

And not just MacBook Airs, as Apple is saying it won't ship with any of their products in the future. Sounds like another conspiracy in the making doesn't it? Well it's not, basically the reason is that due to frequent updates by Adobe, you get an outdated version anyway when you get your Mac so you might as well just add it (if you choose to) when you get your machine so you have the latest version. Same with Java. Or do you think this is just a dig at Adobe? What are your thoughts, good move? Bad move?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Need a Case For Your New MacBook Air?

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Laptops" @ 05:00 AM

"Already have your MacBook Air ordered? Good for you! I don't, sadly, which is a shame, because it's exactly what I wanted the iPad to be when I bought that. Such is life. Regardless, now that your Air is on the way, you should probably start looking into cases and accessories. A few companies-companies we like, even-were quick to announce their MacBook Air case lines, so we've rounded them up here for you."

I love Waterfield Designs' cases, great quality of workmanship, and now they have one for your new MacBook Air. This isn't the only company listed in the article, they also have examples of cases from Tom Bihn, as well as screen protectors from ShaggyMac for the 11.6 and 13.3-inch versions. I use one of the screen protectors on my older MacBook Air and it keeps the key outlines from showing up on your screen.

iFixit Tears Down the MacBook Air

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Laptops" @ 04:00 AM

"If you were wondering about the components inside the new, second-generation MacBook Air - iFixIt has you covered. They took apart the 11.6-inch MacBook Air and documented their findings in copious detail."

You knew this was coming, and they aren't kidding when they say copious detail. The write up is three pages filled with photographs, beginning with what is in the box and then at each step of the tear down. It always amazes me how they are able to cram so much technology into such a small package. Interesting article if you have been wondering, like me, just how Apple was able to do it.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Could This Be Your Next MacBook?

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

"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

Is This the New $999 MacBook Air?

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Apple News" @ 01:00 PM

"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."

The rumors are swirling today. Speculation is rife that both 11.6-inch and 13.3-inch models will be announced by Apple, with the smaller lighter, netbook-sized model starting at $999, and, the best news to me, both will support more memory, at least 4GB (that 2GB limit in the current models has kept an MBA out of my office). Other speculation is that some of the hardware quirks (annoyances) will be gone, like the angled power connector (replaced by a magsafe connector), and that battery life will effectively be doubled to 8-10 hours. I guess that Apple has seen that the iPad (and tablets in general) are not totally killing the netbook market, and have decided to try to get in on the action. With Office 2011 (with Outlook) for the Mac available in another week, this may become *the* work travel computer for me.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Apple Goes on an Adventure

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Laptops" @ 07:00 AM

"When a pair of rugged adventurists decides to trek 700km across a frozen lake in Siberia, chronicle the expedition in a daily blog complete with photos and videos - and share it all on the Internet - it should come as no surprise when Apple hardware and software features prominently among their gear."

On February 23rd the pair set out from Siberia and as you can see from the picture above, they had an unusual way of marking their progress. To document the trip they used a MacBook Air (128GB solid-state drive), a satellite modem and iWork and iLife for their software. For the photos they used Aperture. You can read more about their adventure on their blog here

Monday, October 5, 2009

Charge Your MBA On The Go

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Laptops" @ 11:15 AM

"QuickerTek has released a new MacBook Air power charger, the Auto and Airline Charger."

This seems to take care of all your power supply needs, well except for a wall plug in if you are stuck in the airport. I guess they figure you are going to haul around your regular power supply anyway, but it sure would be the ultimate power supply if it came with a wall outlet option, then I wouldn't mind too much paying the $89.95 USD price.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Firmware Update for MacBook Air

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Laptops" @ 08:00 AM

"Apple this past weekend released a firmware update for its MacBook Air line of ultra-thin notebooks that bundles support for a new series of replacement batteries."

This update requires Mac OS X 10.5.7 and modifies the micro-controller on the logic board. This, according to Apple, controls the power functions, thermal management, the sleep LED and the battery. Basically it makes the MacBook Air compatible with some new batteries that are coming out and will be distributed to the various repair centers. This is supposed to improve the battery life by optimally charging the cells. The update is 623KB in size and is available now.

Monday, June 29, 2009

2009 MacBook Air Slower Than 2008 Version

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Laptops" @ 12:00 PM

"Ouch. Those numbers below have to hurt if you are in the market for a new high end MacBook Air. Macworld tested the new machines and found the high end 2.13GHz MacBook Air didn't perform as well as the previous high end 1.86Ghz machine with the same 128GB SSD. In fact, to them, it was noticably slower."

Makes me wonder, since I'm thinking of getting another MacBook, if the 13 inch MacBook Pro isn't the way to go. It is only about 1.5 pounds heaver with bigger hard drive and faster processor, as well as built in superdrive. I've done some weight comparisons (very non-science, lifting one then the other) in the Apple Store, and the difference wasn't all that much. But I sure like the thin factor of the Air. What would you buy if you were in the market for a laptop and having a built in superdrive wasn't a deciding factor?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Apple Revamps Laptop Lineup, Along With Prices

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Laptops" @ 10:10 AM

"Phil Schiller kicked off today's keynote with a light update to the MacBook Pro family. All the models now include the new lithium polymer battery introduced with the 17 inch MacBook Pro earlier this year. They also have an SD-card slot in exchange for the Expresscard slot, a weird move by Apple. The Expresscard slot remains only on the 17-inch MacBook Pro. And lastly, the 13-inch MacBooks now have a Firewire 800 slot, officially making them part of the MacBook Pro family."

So there you have it, no netbook but they sure made improvements in specifications as well as pricing. The unibody MacBook is turned into a MacBook pro with the addition of the FireWire 800 port, and they drop the price down to $1,199.00 USD. The only MacBook you can purchase now is the white one, which is probably the best value of all the laptops when you compare performance. The big change is the sealed battery unit in all of them, giving the battery life a boost to 7 hours, but you lose the ability to swap out your batteries or replace them without going to an Apple Genius. Apple feels the trade off in the battery life increase is worth it, what do you think? Read more...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Quickertek's New MB Air Battery

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Laptops" @ 11:00 AM

"QuickerTek has released its latest notebook accessory, a new external battery for the MacBook Air. The external pack powers the device while simultaneously charging the internal battery. The company claims users can achieve 12 to 16 total hours of run time, or around 6 to 10 extra hours of power."

Myfirst reaction, of course, was "How do they do this? Did Apple let them license the Magsafe adapter?" Nope, you have to have the one QuickerTek will modify for you. The battery retails for $349.95 and adds an additional six to ten hours of battery life. If you don't have a modified Magsafe, they'll sell you one for $100 or you can have yours altered for $25.

A bit pricey for some more juice, but in the end, that's a ton of time you're gaining for that long flight. If time is money, this might be the move for you.

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