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All posts tagged "macbook"

Monday, December 28, 2009

Speck SeeThru For The White UniBody MacBook

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Laptops" @ 09:00 AM

When I first picked up my MacBook Pro couple years ago, a Speck Hard Shell was one of the first things I ordered for it, and it has served it well over the years. Now Speck is continuing with the protection of all things Mac by coming out with a hard shell case called the "SeeThru" for the new white MacBook Unibody. 


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Apple Updates for MacBook and Airport

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (OS X)" @ 09:00 AM

"If you're set to automatically grab new updates, you're likely to notice Apple's Software Update burbling insistently in your dock for your attention, after Apple released a couple of updates of both their Airport software and the MacBook / MacBook Pro's EFI."

The Airport Update 2009-002 fixes a problem that involved the inability to turn the Airport on or off after upgrading from Leopard. There were also some network connectivity problems that it addressed. The MacBook EFI Update fixes the horrendous sound the SuperDrive was making on some machines. Both available as automatic updates or via the Apple Support Page

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Subtle Joke on Ballmer

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple News" @ 10:00 AM

"Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer appeared on NBC's Today Show on Thursday to shill his company's Vista service pack, er, "Windows 7" and spent the entire segment in front of an older model (note the latches above the screen) Apple MacBook Pro (courtesy of an NBC graphic designer - Mac user, no doubt - who must have a wicked sense of humor)"

Funny isn't it? Wonder if the NBC graphics artist got sent to the "Office" for this?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Apple Store Opens With Redesigned MacBook

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Laptops" @ 11:00 AM

"Apple Tuesday released a newly redesigned MacBook with a polycarbonate unibody design, LED-backlit display, multi-touch trackpad, and built-in battery with 7 hours of run time."

This makes the lineup all uni-body, all the time as the old saying goes. Glossy display on this one as well, with the options of "4GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, or 320GB 5400 rpm, 500GB 5400 rpm hard drive, Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapter, Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI Adapter (for 30-inch DVI display), Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter, Apple MagSafe Airline Adapter and the AppleCare Protection Plan."

Here is the Apple link.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Apple Has Greenest Notebook Line Overall

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

"Following an investigation of a complaint by Dell, NAD, the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, said Apple was “unique” in having chosen only to produce laptops that meet the highest EPEAT environmental standards. “While other manufacturers may have subcategories of lines with similar ratings, none has comparable high ratings for all of the notebooks it produces,” NAD said. However Apple was asked to remove the the reference to “world’s greenest” given the potential for overstatement. NAD noted that some individual Toshiba Portage notebooks have a higher EPEAT rating than MacBooks."

Interesting distinction. There are individual laptops that are as green or greener, but not an entire line that's as green as the MacBooks. Fair enough. Frankly, I think this whole rush to get green thing is a bit annoying already, but there are obviously people who make their buying decisions based on the color of their environmental impact (not to mention idiots like GreenPeace who won't shut up).

Frankly, I don't buy computers based on their environmental footprint, but that's me.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

White MacBooks Outspeed Aluminum Ones

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Laptops" @ 09:00 AM

"The latest entry-level MacBook rolled out by Apple a week ago offers more than just an improvement on the white laptop it replaces in Apple's notebook line. According to Macworld Lab tests, this new system outperforms the 2GHz aluminum unibody MacBook that costs $300 more."

That's pretty insane, if you ask me, although understandable. The Aluminum models haven't gotten a spec bump since they came out while the Whitebook just got one. Newer usually means faster. Yet again this proves what most of us have been saying and already know: the Whitebook is a great value, a good workhorse, and a powerful machine.

Chew on that, laptop hunters.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Cooling Stick For Your Macbook

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

"Brushed aluminum and black screams Apple design. What is it? It's Just Mobile's answer to the heat issues many of you may be experiencing with your MacBook. But is it just a bar of aluminum, or is it something more? Fortunately, it's something more. Yes indeed, you can use it as a weapon when needed. Seriously, this thing is a solid bar of aluminum. You could really mess someone up with this thing, not that you find yourself in that sort of situation all the time...or do you?"

This looks like a pretty slick device in case your Macbook gets hot, very Apple-like. It has rubber spacers so you don't scratch your Macbook, along with a slot for your power cord. At $40.00 USD or so, it is a bit spendy for a piece of metal, but it sure looks good doing what it does, and isn't that all that really matters?

3G in Macbooks? The Rumors Persist with a Job Posting at Apple

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

"Apple is looking for a Communications QA Engineer for its Mac Hardware Group. Could this be a hint that Apple is planning to add 3G networking to future Macs? It could, or it could just be your average job listing."

The rumor of a 3G wireless Macbook has been circulating for a few days now on various sites, now Apple has posted this job posting so maybe there is merit to it? As of now, the posting has been pulled from the Apple but you can check out a copy of it at the Computer Jobs blog site. It appears that someone may have jumped the gun a bit on the posting but it does add some credence to the rumors. Couple that with the conversation Steve Jobs had with USA Today regarding 3G in Macbooks last year, and AT&T in January discussing working with Apple on non-phone devices, and it would appear you have the makings of an almost reliable rumor. Anyone out there hoping for this?

Tags: hardware, 3g, at&t, macbook

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Apple Acknowledges Case Problem on White Macbooks

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

"Apple has apparently begun to acknowledge the existence of small white cracks in older plastic MacBooks, according to a report. AppleInsider says Apple service providers started receiving notices last month that the plastic chassis on the white 13-inch MacBook released in 2006 can crack in four different spots. Apple had previously helped out users who had noticed hairline cracks around the trackpad on the top of the notebook, but did not acknowledge cracks in other places as a design flaw, according to AppleInsider."

AppleInsider also has a nice collage of cracks on various white Macbooks. Apple is advising their repair folks to repair the Macbook even if it is outside the warranty date. That is, if it is determined that the owner of the Macbook is not responsible for the cracks. Interestingly enough, the black Macbooks aren't experiencing the same type of cracking, and are not granted the repair consideration outside warranty dates.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Proporta Offers Protective Crystal Case for Unibody Macbooks

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Laptops" @ 12:00 PM

"The Impact Protective Crystal Case (13" MacBook) is designed to keep your MacBook safe and sound at all times. Crafted to the exact specifications of the device, its scratch resistant top shell adds almost no bulk, yet offers unrivalled protection against knocks, impact damage, and any other surprises that life might have in store."

I've wanted something like this for my MBP since the day I got it, but if I had a MacBook I'd surely snap one of these up. Aluminum cases look great, but they dent like nobody's business, so every extra bit of protection helps, and at $43.95 (USD) it's something you may want to consider. After all, your notebook is a $1300 investment!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Macbook Battery Update 1.4 Now Available

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

This from the Apple support page: "This update improves the ability of MacBook batteries to maintain a charge when the system is shut down and not used for an extended period of time."

Yea, I know, not much to it, but they do offer another link that takes you to a page with more information. From what I've read it isn't for all Macbooks, as the uni-body Macbooks don't appear to be affected by it. Basically what it fixes is the ability for the battery to hold a charge when you shut down your polycarbonate Macbook and don't use it for an extended period of time. If you have one of the affected Macbooks, you can go here for the update.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Apple Updates Polycarbonate Macbooks

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Laptops" @ 10:00 AM

"Apple released MacBook SMC Update 1.3 on Wednesday. The update improves startup time when running on the laptop's battery, and improves performance for the white MacBook (early 2009) when running on battery power. MacBook SMC Update 1.3 is available for download at the Apple support Web site."

Startup times were slower than they were supposed to be so this update fixes that problem. You can find out if your Macbook is affected by checking at the Apple support site.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Returning to the Mac: 1 Year Later

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Laptops" @ 04:00 PM

"After being entrenched in Microsoft Windows territory for many years, due to professional necessity and excellent experiences with the IBM/Lenovo ThinkPad product line, I decided to take a leap back into the Mac fold in February of this year. At the time I was still sporting a nearly four year old ThinkPad as my personal laptop, and while this was an absolute workhorse system, it was time for something fresh. On February 5, I walked into my local Apple Store and purchased a 13″ white MacBook, essentially the base model, for $1099. Certainly no beast with its low-end specs (by Mac standards), and only an 80GB hard drive, I was simply looking for a decent machine to take with me on trips, enjoy while not working, and primarily use as a way to "learn" Mac OS again."

Dave is a friend of mine who made the trip back to the Mac, and after a bit of a rough start he seems pretty happy with his Whitebook. I would say his experiences match most returning Mac users' experiences pretty well. A little bumpy at first (even with the occasional hardware failure) but after that, it's all smooth sailing. Mostly. Check out his article, though. Very well-written and well-thought out.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Battery Out = Performance Hit?

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Laptops" @ 02:00 PM

"While I was benchmarking third-party RAM with a MacBook Pro this week, I noticed that the computer was taking a huge hit in performance when it wasn't running on Apple-supplied memory. A minor decrease in performance might be unlikely, but a 37 percent plunge in processing power seemed impossible. After some backtracking, I realized that I had been running the benchmarks without the battery installed after I'd swapped out the stock RAM for third-party memory."

Seeing as Apple has documented this issue, it is apparently known and designed. That being said, it just seems odd and everyone discussing it right now seems almost completely baffled by it. The explanation, in theory, makes sense. They don't want to overdraw power that the power supply can't handle by itself, but if that's the case how come we haven't heard of this same issue with other manufacturers? I personally think the MacBook is an alien device that we've yet to fully grasp the function of and at some point we'll all be sequestered in a room and debriefed as we're handed new notebooks, but that's me. What's your theory?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Best Buy Drops Prices on MacBooks and MacBook Pros

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Talk" @ 08:00 AM

"We just got a tip that Best Buy was selling MacBooks and MacBook Pros for $100 each off the list price, and in at least one case $150 off (as Lizard King points out). This is an unusual phenomenon in the MSRP-only world of Apple products. We don't know how the deal came through, but the sale prices are for real-at least for now."

To be honest, if they hadn't included the screenshot below and promised they had verified it, I wouldn't believe it myself, but Gizmodo swears it's real so if you're into buying a new MacBook, this might be the time to pull the trigger.

Why are you still here? Come back after you buy your new MacBook! We'll still be around :-)

UPDATE: Link updated.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

In a Cooling Economy, Apple Still Sells

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Talk" @ 08:00 AM

""A slowing global economy had little impact on Apple's computer business last month, as consumers willingly plunked down their cash for the company's new MacBook offerings, helping to drive Mac sales up more than 25 percent year-over-year," Katie Marsal reports for AppleInsider. "According to data from market research firm NPD, which was relayed in a research note from Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, sales of Macs during the month of October were up 28 percent compared to the same month one year ago. They benefitted largely from the October 14th launch of the Unibody MacBook and MacBook Pro, which began shipping immediately thereafter," Marsal reports."

The truth is, it's Gene Munster who is an eternal optimist where Apple is concerned, but that being said, numbers are numbers and the fact that Apple's new MacBooks are attracting buyers when everyone said they were nuts for introducing new products a few weeks ago proves that the economy isn't always a barrier to buying or an indicator of an intent to buy. It also proves that if you have a product people want to buy, they'll be at least somewhat willing to throw caution to the wind and buy it.

I know I did!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

MacBook / MacBook Pro Trackpad Update Available Now

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Laptops" @ 08:00 AM

"Apple has released a software update to address an issue where trackpad clicks would randomly go unrecognized on its latest notebook offerings: the MacBook (Late 2008) and MacBook Pro (Late 2008). "This firmware update addresses an issue where trackpad clicks may not be recognized on MacBook (13-inch, Aluminum, Late 2008) and MacBook Pro (15-inch, Late 2008) computers," the company said."

As I stated in my original review of the MacBook Pro, the trackpad was giving me grief. As cool as it was when it worked, it was finicky in a way that was starting to become counterproductive. A few weeks after its release, a customer wrote to Steve Jobs and got a response that they were aware of the issue and working toward a fix for it. Today was the day and it did exactly that. My trackpad works perfectly now and my only real "issue" with my MBP is now gone. Thankfully, I no longer want to punt it out my kitchen window in frustration. Anyone else grab it yet?

Friday, November 7, 2008

Unibody MacBook Owners Having WiFi Drama?

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

"Some owners of Apple's new unibody, 15-inch MacBook Pro are reporting in Apple's support forums (1, 2) that their connections to wireless access points often lose signal strength or drop their links altogether. The problem echoes a similar one witnessed by owners of aluminum iMac owners since mid-year that has created similar difficulties. What conditions are exactly necessary to trigger the problem are unknown. Connections to some access points work properly, while others create severe connection problems. Network and security settings don't appear to matter, nor do devices attached to the systems. A collection of the MacBook Pro owners have partly diagnosed the problem and have discovered that the latency between their Macs and their Wi-Fi hotspots can fluctuate wildly, shifting from normal response times of under 10ms to as high as 39,290ms -- or more than 39 seconds between signals. These extreme variances result in the data packet loss that ultimately interrupts the signal."

As I said in the comments on my review of my MacBook Pro, I haven't had this issue, but apparently a lot of people are. It's long been hinted by disgruntled users that the aluminum case is equivalent to a Faraday cage, from which no radio signal can escape in tact. I have no reason to believe it isn't happening, I just haven't experienced it yet. It's definitely something to be aware of when you're choosing your next Apple product, especially considering that all of them seem to be moving toward aluminum as the material of choice. Then again, there is the MacBook White...

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