Last week Apple revealed it's next-generation MacBook Pro with Retina display during the WWDC 2012 keynote. The new model bucks the trend of the MacBook Pro line, eliminating a bunch of techniques that Apple considers to be "on the way out," while adding in newer technologies that, while expensive, are certainly what the industry is moving towards. We got our hands on the new MacBook Pro with Retina display, and we've collected our thoughts. Is this the notebook for you? Is the Retina display as striking as Apple says? Join us as we answer these questions, and more, in our MacBook Pro with Retina display review.
Intel has been working on designing a tablet, dubbed the Studybook, that focuses and built primarily on educational needs. The tablet would run on Windows 7 or Android 3.0, powered by the Atom Z650 processor, feature a front and rear-facing camera, 1 GB of RAM, and all the versatile ports such as USB 2.0, HDMI, and a microSD slot. It would fall into Intel’s line of educational computers, such as the Classmate Convertible, which is used by 7 million students over the whole world.
Now, you might be cringing thinking about how quickly students will destroy the tablets, but Intel has designed the Studybook to withstand abuse. It’s made of durable plastic and can withstand a drop from about 2 feet or so.
The StudyBook is to come with preinstalled educational software, such as the Kno e-reader and LabCam suite for science. It’s reported that the tablet should sell around $200, but no word of when its official release and availability date will be.
Normally at this time of the year, I predict tech trends for the New Year. As I think about 2012, I realize that over the next 12 months, the personal computing and consumer electronics industries are poised to see some big disruptions that could change their course for the next five years.
In fact, I believe that when we end 2012, we will look back and realize that it was the most disruptive year we will have had in personal computing in over a decade. In the next 12 months, the market for personal computers of all shapes and sizes will have changed dramatically.
So, what will be the major forces that could reshape the PC business in 2012? There are four technologies and trends in the works that I believe will force the computer industry in a new direction.
The first will be Intel's huge push to make ultraportables 40 percent of its laptop mix by the end of 2012. Although I don't believe it will achieve that goal, especially if ultrabooks are priced above $899, the fact is that ultrabooks are the future of portable computing. Instead of thin and light laptops driving the market as they are now, ultrabooks, which are thinner and lighter, with SSDs and longer battery life, will eventually be what all laptops will look like in five years. The heavier and more powerful laptops that exist now won't go away completely since there are power users who will still need that kind of processing power. But ultrabooks will be the laptops of the future and 2012 will be the first year of their major push to change the portable computing landscape.
There is an interesting twist with ultraportables that could be even more important starting next year: the introduction of ultraportables with detachable screens that turn into tablets. In the past, this hybrid, as it is called, ran Windows when in laptop mode and Android when in tablet mode. But this approach was dead in the water from the start. With Windows 8 tablets ready to hit the market next fall, you will see ultraportables with detachable screens that will run Windows 8 with the Metro UI both on the laptop and in tablet mode. This will bring a level of OS consistency across both device modes and I think that this concept is a sleeper. In fact, if done right, this alone could reshape the traditional PC market in the near term.
Ivy Bridge is on its way. For the uninformed, that's the codename of the latest iteration of Intel processors, a die-shrink of the company's current Sandy Bridge lineup that blends higher performance – including new integrated graphics support for DirectX 11 – with lower power use. And did we say higher performance? Intel's previously hinted that Ivy Bridge's graphical prowess could be up to 60 percent higher than the chips' sandy predecessors.
AnandTech got its hands on a leaked roadmap of all the Ivy Bridge chips that are expected to hit in 2012 – April, say the current predictions – and the listed, mainstream processors number eight in total. Six quad-core, i5-branded chips can be found in the lineup, ranging from the 3.0-GHz i5-3330 on the lowest end all the way up to the 3.4-GHz i5-3570K on the highest. All of the i5 chips, save for the i5-3330, can Turbo Boost their clock speeds up by 0.4 GHz when necessary, whereas the i5-3330 can only jump from 3.0 GHz to 3.2 GHz.
The only unlocked processor in the Ivy Bridge i5 lineup is the aforementioned i5-3570K, meaning that aspiring overclockers will have to settle for fiddling around with the processor's Base Clock instead of hacking away at the chip's multiplier. And none of the i5-series chips support Intel's hyperthreading, a split of the chip's four physical cores into eight virtual cores within the operating system.
We give you a look at Apple's new Thunderbolt Display in this episode. The Thunderbolt Display allows you to connect a host of peripherals to it, and then run them all to your MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac, or Mac mini using a single Thunderbolt cable. We show all the Thunderbolt I/O inputs and explain how the monitor works in this episode. You can pick up the Thunderbolt Display for $999 from Apple.
Big thank you to GoToMeeting and JackThreads for sponsoring the show - be sure to check them out! As for JackThreads, we've got exclusive invite codes that give you $5 to use towards anything you'd like.
A former Lucasfilm software engineer on Wednesday filed a class-action lawsuit against a who's who of Silicon Valley tech giants, alleging a conspiracy to fix employee pay and not poach staff away from each other in violation of anti-trust laws.
Hariharan is represented by Joseph Saveri of the national plaintiffs' law firm Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein.
The suit claims that an alleged "no-solicitation" agreement between the named companies resulted in employee compensation being reduced by "10 to 15 percent" as compared to "what would have prevailed in a properly functioning labor market where employers compete for workers."
The invention, which in 2009 Apple called a "Reduced Size Multi-Pin Male Plug Connector" describes a 30-pin dock connector for "high-speed communication standards," citing USB 3.0 and a "dual channel" DisplayPort.
The name "Thunderbolt" wasn't mentioned (unsurprisingly, given that it only launched in February 2011 on the new MacBook Pro) but the patent's multiple mentions of a "dual channel" DisplayPort suggests the same technology.
Thunderbolt combines Intel's PCI Express and DisplayPort into a single connector for theoretical transfer speeds of 10 Gbps (fast enough to download a full-length Blu-ray movie in under 30 seconds).
A series of rainclouds has descended over Apple. Purchasers of the company's latest Macbook Pros—featuring Intel's brand-new Thunderbolt ports—are reporting issues when they go to hook up their Apple Cinema Displays to their laptops via a Displayport-to-Thunderbolt connection.
"I have a new MBP with a thunderbolt port, which is connected to an Apple 24" cinema display, using the new thunderbolt port," writes user "Streitz" on Apple's support forums. "I am experiencing one second black outs every few minutes, and fairly regular jitters once the computer starts warming up and crunching some numbers. The shift never occurs on the 15" monitor, only the external. I also still have my old MBP with a mini-display port, and the external monitor works perfect with it."
The display flickering issue allegedly affects all editions of the latest Thunderbolt-laden MacBook Pros. And as the above comment illustrates, it seems to be a problem involving the combined Thunderbolt/DisplayPort connection. The only fix, so far, appears to be the time-honored tradition of waiting it out.
According to Intel, the drives in the 510 Series offer "the fastest sequential read and write speeds of any consumer SATA SSD available today," and feature read speeds of up to 500 Mbps and write speeds of up to 315 Mbps—respectively more than twice and more than three times the rates of Intel's current 3-Gbps SSDs. (OCZ announced its own 6-Gbps SSD series, the Vertex 3, last week, and made similar performance claims.)
The 510 Series SSDs are constructed using Intel's 34nm NAND Flash memory, and are targeted at gamers, enthusiasts, and professionals (particularly media creators) who need fast transfer rates. Intel claims the 510 Series is just one of a number of major SSD products it plans to introduce in 2011.
The new MacBooks are the first Apple portable to include a quad-core processor, Intel's Core i7. The devices also include more RAM, iFixit discovered. Thunderbolt, meanwhile, combines PCI Express and DisplayPort into a single connector.
On the new machines, you can chain up to six Thunderbolt devices. For comparison, FireWire supports 63 devices and USB supports up to 127 devices. But as iFixit noted, this might not be an issue since "we're not even aware of six products that support Thunderbolt yet." But if the connection becomes more popular, it might become a problem.
The RAM in the MacBooks is PC3-10600. That's the same RAM found in the 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMacs released last year, but different from earlier Apple laptops, iFixit said. PC3-10600 can be used in older MacBook Pro machines, but the RAM found in those older machines - PC3-8500 - will not work in the new MacBook Pros.