All posts in MacBook

Rumor: MacBook Pro Could Be Extinct As Early As Next Month

MacBook Pro 2011 modelsThere have been plenty of rumors flying around in recent months that the MacBook Pro may soon resemble the MacBook Air, slimming down and losing bulky, traditional hard disk and optical storage. But what if the Pro lineup was simply being absorbed into a larger Air?

Electricpig is reporting that Apple may have the MacBook Pro’s neck in a noose right about now, presumably in an effort to simplify the notebook lineup and rally around the wildly popular MacBook Air, which may soon come in a 15-inch version.

“We heard word from one anonymous vendor that Apple’s likely to launch a 15-inch MacBook Air in April, effectively killing the Pro for the average consumer,” the report reveals. “This particular company is a key player in MacBook docking solutions, so they’ve got to keep abreast of the finer details of what’s coming. And what is coming? If you take our source’s word for it, a 15-inch MacBook Air with ports on both sides, no optical drive and no Ethernet cable.”

Oh my. While the time is right for Apple to ditch optical drives given the wide availability of Wi-Fi and streaming movies, Gigabit Ethernet is still a faster option than even 802.11n Wi-Fi — although we’re guessing that Cupertino might offer an Ethernet dongle the way they do for the MacBook Air. But wait — maybe Electricpig has it wrong…?

“While our source wasn’t certain that this would completely destroy the Pro (he also stated that Apple might hold on to the 17-inch model, which would make sense for the sizeable audience of professional editors out there), he was fairly sure that the shakeup will happen in April,” the report continues. “To that end, our source’s company’s got its manufacturers on standby to be able to make and ship a new product lineup inside of 90 days.”

We’re not doubting that a 15-inch MacBook Air exists in Apple’s labs, and could even be rolling off the assembly lines right about now, if that April date is to be believed. Assuming that Apple can deliver a larger, more powerful MacBook Air, it would make sense to kill off the Pro line, with the exception of the aforementioned 17-inch model aimed at hardcore road warriors. But we’ll still get a little misty-eyed about it, should it actually happen…

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

 

News

Wednesday Recap: High-Res MacBook Pros, Netflix Update, Time Person of the Year

Netflix iPad appIt’s only the middle of December, but the presents are already coming for Apple fans, including today’s update to the Netflix iOS app, a new Pogoplug hardware device and a juicy rumor about new MacBook Pros with a type of “Retina Display” for early 2012. But that’s just scratching the surface of today’s news items, so read on and get all the details for this Wednesday, December 14, 2011.

 

Rumor: New MacBook Pro with High-Resolution Display Incoming?

If you’re in the market for a new MacBook Pro, the rumor mill says you may have some interesting choices early next year. According to DigiTimes, Apple is “likely to launch” a new line of MacBook Pros “with a display resolution of 2880 by 1800” sometime in the second quarter of 2012. Considering that current MacBook Pros top out around 1680×1050, that would essentially bring a Retina Display-style boost to the laptop, eclipsing competitors such as Acer and Asustek who are planning “high-end Ultrabook models with a display resolution of 1920 by 1080” by the middle of next year. Retina display Mac portables? Drool…

Original Apple Contract Fetches .6 Million at Auction

You’ll recall our recent news item about co-founder Ronald Wayne’s original signed contract from the founding of Apple Computer back on April 1, 1976 was headed to the Sotheby’s auction block, and that item has now been sold to the highest bidder. 9to5Mac is reporting that the document, originally expected to sell for upwards of 0,000, actually fetched a whopping ,594,500 — which amounts to about .3 million after deducting a “buyers tax.” The winning bidder is Eduardo Cisneros, the CEO of Cisneros Corp., whose family is listed as the second wealthiest in South America. No word on what Cisneros plans to do with the documents, which includes the original signatures of co-founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak as well.

Netflix Updates iOS App with New iPad UI, Latin America Availability

Beleaguered streaming giant Netflix is making up for some bad mojo in recent months with version 2.0 of their iOS app. The service is now available to customers in Latin America and also introduces a sleek new user interface for all regions on iPads running iOS 5 or later. While it may not make up for the price hike or having your DVD account jerked around like a ragdoll (Quickster… seriously?), if you happen to love Netflix viewing on your iPad, it’s a start.

Time Snubs Steve Jobs as Person of the Year

AppleInsider is reporting that Time magazine has announced their annual “Person of the Year,” and sadly Apple co-founder Steve Jobs did not make the cut yet again. While the former CEO was recognized in a special “Fond Farewell” written by Pixar chief creative officer John Lasseter, the “Person of the Year” went to an unlikely choice: “The Protester,” which symbolizes those who participated in the demonstrations across the Middle East, Europe and even here in the United States with the “Occupy” movement. While we’re down with the goodwill of the people uprising against their oppressive governments in the Middle East, we can’t help but feel that Jobs was cheated again, even in death. On the plus side, the issue also touts new Apple CEO Tim Cook as among “People Who Mattered” for 2011 for his ability to stand in for an otherwise “irreplaceable” co-founder.

Pogoplug Introduces New Series 4 Cloud Storage Device

It’s been a busy year for the gang at Pogoplug, who seems to be introducing new product offerings every month now that the cloud storage phenomenon they helped give birth to is really taking off at last. Today, the company announced the debut of Pogoplug Series 4, a new hardware solution equipped with two USB 3.0 ports, a single SD card slot and USB 2.0 port and plug and play SATA connectivity for Seagate GoFlex ultra-portable drives and other storage products that have adopted the new Universal Storage Module (USM) standard. Pogoplug Series 4 retails for .95 and the company is currently soliciting existing users with a 50 percent off deal via email as well.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

 

News

Tuesday Recap: MacBook Rumors, Comic Zeal 5, New Apple TV Coming?

Comic Zeal 5Hey hey, it’s Tuesday! Other than being the second day of the week, that doesn’t mean all that much, particularly for those looking forward to next week’s Thanksgiving holiday (at least here in the USA). But turn that frown upside down, because we’ve got some juicy MacBook rumors, a swanky new update to the Comic Zeal Comic Reader app, whispers of a new Apple TV on the way and a preview of what the Netflix app will look like on the iPad in a few weeks for this Tuesday, November 15, 2011.

Report: Ultra-Thin 15-Inch MacBook Coming in Q2

According to a report from DigiTimes, there’s a new, ultra-thin 15-inch MacBook on the way, and suppliers have already started shipping “a small volume of components” this month, with the final product expected “as early as the second quarter of 2012.” The question is, could these suppliers be putting together a refreshed MacBook Air or is this the rumored super-thin MacBook Pro? No one knows for sure, but clearly the new “ultrabook” category is heating up, with Asus and others brazenly imitating Apple’s success with the MacBook Air.

Comic Zeal 5 Introduces New Interface, Organization Options

Bitolithic has unleashed Comic Zeal 5, a major new version of their universal popular comic book reader for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. The updated app features an all-new interface for organizing comics on your device, including the ability to load new CBZ, CBR, RAR or ZIP files via iTunes, Wi-Fi or even through other apps such as Dropbox. An innovative new slider allows users to push comics, series and dividers into a red ribbon at the right side of the screen, then simply drag them out at the intended destination. Comic Zeal 5.0.36 is now in the App Store for .99 and as always, it’s a free update for existing users.

Never Mind Those Rumors, MacBook Shipments Stable in Q4

You can always count on Taiwan’s DigiTimes to first barf up a good rumor and then clean up the mess only after everyone else has gotten it all over their shoes. Case in point: That recent rumor about Apple reducing its MacBook shipment forecast for the fourth quarter of this year, which the website is now debunking. Rumors of supplier Catcher Technology being ordered to halt production over foul odors emitted from their factory appear to have been overblown, and ODM partner Quanta Computer is planning to increase shipments for the last quarter of this year, up from 5.3 million units shipped in the quarter that ended in October. But did we get an apology for spreading the rumors in the first place? Heck, no…

Netflix Introduces New Android App, iPad Version Forthcoming

Streaming giant Netflix may seem to be all thumbs these days, but judging from a new post on The Netflix Blog this morning, they may be working hard to get their mojo back — starting with a stealth update to the Android tablet app which offers a new, “fully redesigned experience.” That includes the new Amazon Kindle Fire and Barnes and Noble NOOK tablets, but the more exciting news for Apple fans is they won’t have long to wait for the new experience on the iPad as well. “This experience will be ready for the iPad in the coming weeks, so stay tuned,” Netflix mobile manager Zal Bilimoria writes. Among the changes are a new interface that displays twice as many movies and TV shows, and tablet-centric features such as swiping through rows of titles with larger artwork. No download is required — Android users simply open the app and they’ll see the change.

Rumor: Updated Apple TV Coming Soon?

The eagle eyes over at 9to5Mac are noting that Amazon.com has changed their listing for the second-generation Apple TV, now referring to it as the “2010” model with a price drop to .99 on top of it, matching a similar deal through Best Buy. Is Apple gearing up for pushing some little black boxes on Black Friday this year or does Amazon and Best Buy know something they’re not supposed to be telling? We’ll all know soon enough…

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

 

News

Apple Quietly Bumps MacBook Pro Line Processors, Graphics and Storage

MacBook Pro 2011 modelsChalk one up for the rumor mill yet again: As widely predicted over the last week or so, Apple has slipped a few stealth updates into the MacBook Pro line, including upgraded processors, graphics and storage updates. Here’s a look at what’s news.

If you’ve been in the market for a new MacBook Pro, Monday is a great time to buy now that Apple has quietly kicked up the specs in a mid-cycle refresh. According to MacRumors, the updates include juiced-up processors, with many models also receiving refreshed graphics and storage options.

For the 13-inch model, the changes include a move from 2.3 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 and 2.7 GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 to 2.4GHz and 2.8 GHz, respectively. You’ll now also have the choice of a bigger hard drive, with the low-end model up from 320GB to 500GB and the high-end model up from 500GB to 750GB.

15-inch MacBook Pro models have received even more changes, with the standard processor ratcheted up from 2.0GHz and 2.2 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 to 2.2GHz and 2.4GHz options, while the high-end build-to-order model at 2.3GHz is now a 2.5GHz. The formerly high-end Radeon HD 6750M is now featured on the low-end model (but only with 512MB of memory), with the high-end model now offered as a Radeon HD 6770M with 1GB of RAM. The previous 500GB 7200rpm hard drive available as a build-to-order has also been bumped to 750GB at the same speed.

Last but not least, the 17-inch MacBook Pro processor speeds get bumped from the base 2.2GHz Intel Core i7 to 2.4GHz, with the build-to-order model jumping from 2.3GHz to 2.5GHZ, while the graphics card gets kicked up from the AMD Radeon 6750M to the Radeon HD 6770M (still with 1GB memory) and build-to-order buyers now get a 750GB 7200rpm hard drive as an option, up from 500GB previously.

All in all, not a huge difference but more speed, better graphics and additional storage space are certainly nothing to sneeze at. Now if we could only unthaw that credit card we put on ice…

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

 

News

Rumor: Apple Will Refresh the MacBook Pro This Month

Apple Insider is exclusively reporting that, according to “people with proven insight into Apple’s future product plans,” the MacBook Pro will get a mild refresh this month. The update is reported to only mildly increase processor speed, and is being pushed out early because Intel will not have their next generation Core i-Series chips ready until the second quarter of 2012.

New MBP

If it feels like we only got introduced to new MacBook Pros a few months ago, well, we did. It was just this past February when Cupertino released the latest MacBook Pros. Usually, you can expect to have the latest and greatest Apple gear for a year or so before an update comes out, right?

That February release was kind of big, too, delivering dual-core Sandy Bridge Core i5 and i7 chips to the 13″ model and quad-core Sandy Bridge Core i7 chips to the 15″ and 17″ models. Not to forget about Thunderbolt, which honestly we haven’t even gotten used to yet.

Well, according to this rumor, Apple did not want to wait until the middle of next year to release a new MacBook Pro, and wants to speed up this release to take advantage of the heavy buying season in November and December. Intel refreshed its Sandy Bridge lineup last week, adding four new new Core i7 chips suited for adoption by the MacBook Pro while cutting prices on some other chips, and even discontinuing a few others.

Intel introduced new 2.4GHz, 2.5GHz and 2.7GHz quad-core Core i7 processors, which could replace the 2.0GHz, 2.2GHz and 2.3GHz chips in the current 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pros, as well as a 2.8GHz dual-core Core i7, which could replace the current 2.7GHz 13-inch MacBook Pro.

According to the initial report, there have been no peeps about Apple drawing down inventories of existing MacBook Pros, so perhaps, as Apple Insider suggests, this refresh is only to make sure the MacBook line stays competitive over the holiday shopping season and until Intel releases the next-generation Ivy Bridge chips later in 2012.

If the rumor does pan out, it does not appear the new MacBook Pros will have any other cosmetic or component updates, if that makes you feel any better.

Via AppleInsider

 

Adrian covers daily news as well as the weekly Law & Apple column for MacLife.com. You can follow him on Twitter, if you want to.

News

Apple Releases MacBook Air EFI Firemware Update

Apple today released an EFI update for the MacBook Air. The update chances the stability of Lion Recovery from an internet connection and fixes the Thunderbolt Display compatability issues with Thunderbolt, as well as remedies any issues with the Thunderbolt Target Disk Mode performance.

For more information, visit Apple’s Support Site.

News

eBay Auction Reveals MacBook Pro Prototype with 3G Modem On Board

MacBook Pro prototype with 3G antennaIt seems like every new iteration of Apple’s notebooks, there’s speculation about when the company might add integrated 3G data to the mix. It still isn’t happening just yet, but that doesn’t mean Cupertino isn’t entertaining the notion — as evidenced by this 2007 MacBook Pro prototype which has turned up on eBay.

MacRumors is reporting that a 15-inch MacBook Pro from the 2007 Santa Rosa processor era has turned up on eBay, originally purchased from Craigslist for parts. Nothing strange there, right? Except that this particular unit is an Apple prototype “with a 3G antenna, 3G hardware and SIM card slot built in.”

“Upon removing the top case it was immediately clear this was no normal Macbook Pro: the circuit boards inside were bright red as opposed to the normal blue!” writes the eBay seller, whose prototype is currently up to more than ,000. “Further inspection found multiple differences from the stock version, most notably a feature never seen in a Macbook laptop of any kind: what appears to be a fully integrated cellular modem and SIM slot. There is an extendable cellular antenna located at the right top side of the display assembly (The antenna is marked with ‘Tyco Proto / #006’ when slid out), and a standard size SIM card slot located underneath the memory cover on the bottom of the machine. The SIM card board is connected to the logic board via a connector not found on production machines. The solder footprint for it is still present on the production boards and not populated, which is interesting.”

“This would seem to suggest that it was a last minute decision to remove the cellular functionality before going into mass production,” the seller concludes. “The optical drive is marked as a ‘Sample for Evaluation.’ Rather than a normal EMC Number the specifications lapel simply says ‘XXXX,’ and the serial number does not show up in Apple’s online database.”

The good news for the auction winner (bidding closes August 20) is that the seller was able to repair the machine to working condition, although the 3G modem “is not presently functional,” despite being seen by the operating system. The inclusion of a SIM card means the 3G would have been GSM-bound, “allowing for use on AT&T and many other international networks.”

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

(Image courtesy of MacRumors and eBay)

 

News

Report: New MacBook Air Outperforms MacBook Pro

MacBook Air WinsWhile we are still digesting that the new MacBook Air sent the white MacBook to pasture, a report out today from Wired indicates that the MacBook Pro better watch its back, too.

Apparently, the new MacBook Air outperforms every 2010 MacBook Pro in benchmark tests. Guess that means little cousin Air is not so little anymore. For serious.

According to the report, via Laptop magazine, the new 13-inch Air jumped 100 percent in performance over last year’s model, now scoring 5,860 on the Geekbench test; the 11-inch jumped 149 percent, tagging an amazing score of 5,040. Last year, the 2010 17-inch MacBook Pro scored 5,423. The higher score wins, yo; the new 13-inch Mac Book Air knocks out the 17-inch Pro, and the 11-inch Air goes toe-to-toe till the final bell.

And that is something white MacBook never did.

Wired goes on to break down several of the stats, but the article also touches on a possible bigger picture here: Apple continues to focus on the consumer and “prosumer” market, at the expense of the professional market. Final Cut X, anyone?  This is not to say that Apple is abandoning the pros, but devices like the iPhone and iPad and, now, the MacBook Air really do seem focused bringing high powered tools into the hands of everyday users, even if the devices do not have every bell and whistle the niche market of professional users want.

Anyway you spin it, the MacBook Air is one skinny, fast, fierce machine.

Via Wired

News

Rumor: Apple May Eliminate White MacBook

White MacBookAppleInsider reports that, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of Concord Securities, Apple may be removing the (now) classic white MacBook from its lineup as early as this fall. The white, polycarbonate, unibody MacBook, currently starting at 9, has served as the entry level Mac notebook computer since it was launched in 2006. Kuo predicts that the MacBook Air, which also starts at 9, could be the logical replacement.

Kuo reports that Apple’s internal forecast for shipments of the white MacBook has a significant drop-off beginning this August, which is the basis for his belief that the unit will go “end of life.”

Kuo also reports that shipments of the white MacBook have fallen during the first half of 2011, and currently represent less than 10 percent of Apple’s total Mac shipments.

Whether or not the MacBook Air, without an optical drive and with less hard drive space, can serve as the entry level Mac notebook remains to be seen. But we suspect that killing the white MacBook would be a very black day for many Apple fans, and change the look of coffee shops and college campuses around the world.

News