WWDC kicks off in five days, and it looks like we at least know that we can expect a slew of new Apple Mac hardware and accessories. We're talking new MacBook Pro, iMac, MacBook Air, and even a very long-awaited update to the Mac Pro line. In addition, a new Airport Express seems to be in the cards, along with a new USB SuperDrive and USB Ethernet adapter that we are guessing will support USB 3.0. You can see the leaked part list above--here's hoping that those MacBook Pros are sporting Retina displays!
Read More | 9to5Mac
WWDC kicks off a week from today, with a keynote address to be delivered by Apple CEO, Tim Cook, and crew. Many are expecting that we'll hear all about iOS 6 and OS X Mountain Lion. While that may be the case, 9to5Mac is reporting that Apple is also set to unleash a slew of Mac updates at its annual developer event as well. In fact, Mac hardware may end up stealing the show, as Apple is purportedly set to refresh four out of the five Macs in its lineup, which would make it the biggest simultaneous Mac hardware launch in company history.
Read More | 9to5Mac
Apple is preparing to launch a redesigned MacBook Pro that'll be sporting all sorts of new features. According to multiple sources, the new MacBook Pro will feature a new, ultra-thin unibody design, USB 3.0 ports (a first for Apple,) and at the center of it all, a "jaw-dropping" Retina display.
How's Apple gonna achieve making a thin notebook even thinner? With the removal of two components. First, the optical drive is going bye-bye. Apple started phasing out optical drives with the release of the original MacBook Air, and then continued the trend with the latest Mac mini. With the release of the Mac App Store, and broadband being to ubiquitous, it stands to reason that digital files and downloads are here to stay. Apple does still sell an external optical drive that connects via USB for those who need it.
I make the Macs we use at Gear Live work pretty hard, and am always looking to squeeze out any extra performance that I can. I've used SSD drives for about three years now, long before they were as available and affordable as they are today, even in a Mac Pro. I recently downgraded from a 2009 Mac Pro to the 2011 iMac, and had to make a few concessions as it related to a bunch of things. I mean, the Pro was a beast with an SSD, 3 HDD drives, 16 GB RAM, 3 video cards, etc. Going from that to an iMac gave me some concern. Using the iMac, though, had been fine, with the exception of slowdowns once the computer was out of RAM. Even matching it with the 16GB RAM that was in the Mac Pro wasn't enough for what we do. Granted, right now I've got about 15 tabs open in Chrome and over 40 tabs open in Safari, while iMovie is exporting a 1080p video episode of Bleeding Edge TV, with 20 apps running in the dock. I may be an edge case, but I deserve a speedy computing experience just as much as the next guy! I recently maxed out the RAM in the iMac to a ridiculous 32GB, and now things are flying.
I took a chance on an unknown (to me) brand called KomputerBay that I found on Amazon, and they sell 8GB RAM modules in sets of two (so 16GB total) for less than I've seen anywhere else, by a substantial margin. After installing, performane was markedly improved, and I have yet to experience any of those "out of RAM" slowdowns that plagued me before. Not bad for inexpensive RAM. If you've got a 2011 iMac, your system has four RAM slots and can support up to 32GB RAM. Alternatively, if you're running a recent MacBook Pro, you have two slots and can bump it up to 16GB using these modules. Each 16GB set currently costs $139.
We know a ton of you got some new Apple gear over the past few days, and we want to make sure you protect those items appropriately. Whether it's a new iPad 2, iPhone 4, MacBook Air, or even an old-school iPhone 3GS, we thought it would be prudent of us to recommend you get AppleCare for the devices you’ve acquired. Here’s the trick though—don’t buy AppleCare from Apple. If you buy it from Amazon, you can get up to 30% off of the price that Apple will charge you for the same 3-year warranty. Even better, when you go to resell your Apple hardware, if you have an AppleCare Protection Plan attached to it, you get a higher resale value. We’ve compiled a list of the different AppleCare Protection Plans available for the entire line of Apple hardware, check it out:
Apple Mobile Devices:
- AppleCare Protection Plan for iPad
- AppleCare Protection Plan for all versions of iPhone
- AppleCare Protection Plan for iPod touch/classic
- AppleCare Protection Plan for iPod nano and iPod shuffle
Apple Mac Computers:
- AppleCare Protection Plan - Mac Laptops 13-inches and below
- AppleCare Protection Plan - Mac Laptops 15-inches and above
- AppleCare Protection Plan - iMac
- AppleCare Protection Plan - Mac Pro
- AppleCare Protection Plan - Mac Mini
We review the Twelve South PlugBug in this episode. The PlugBug is a clever device that attaches to your MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air AC adapter, and allows you to charge both your Apple notebook, as well as a USB device (like your iPhone or iPad.) It's a neat little device that we think makes things super convenient, especially during travel, and it's one of those things that we wish we would have thought of first. We give you a look at the device, along with how it works, in this video.
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.
Apple is set to discount some of its most popular products for Black Friday 2011. No word yet on if the stores are opening early, but you can get all the deals online as well as in-store, which is nice. Discounts on items like the iPad 2, iMac, MacBook Air, and iPod touch are just the tip of the iceberg, as Apple is also discounting a bunch of third-party accessories, including the Jawbone Up. We've got the best of the sale listed after the break, along with links to take you directly to the products!
The next featured gadget in our 2011 Holiday Gift Guide is the Twelve South PlugBug. It's a device that's so simple that it's hard to believe no one has come up with this until now. The PlugBug snaps onto your MacBook, MacBook Pro, or MacBook Air wall charger, giving you a powered USB port in the process. The results? You can then charge both your Apple notebook, and a USB device (like an iPhone or iPad) at the same time, using just one outlet. Genuis! This means that when you're on the go, you can carry one less charger, and you'll have one less outlet to try and find. You can get the PlugBug on Amazon for $34.
Read More | PlugBug
Details of Best Buy's Black Friday 2011 sales have just been released, and we've got a list of all the highlights you can expect to see after the break. Doors will open right at midnight on October 25th, and tickets for the doorbusters will be handed out as early as 10:00 pm on Thanksgiving Day. Click through for a look at the goods.
This morning Apple released refreshed models of the MacBook Pro. Pricing remains the same across the line, but they bring faster CPU and GPU options. For example, the 13-inch model now has a 2.4 GHz Core i5 and 2.8 GHz Core i7 option, and the hard drive got bumped up to 500 GB standard. The 15- and 17-inch models have access to a faster AMD Radeon HD 6770M discrete GPU, and the 15-inch can also be topped out with a quad-core 2.4 GHz Core i7. Definitely a nice refresh for those who were waiting, but nothing to get super excited over if you've already own the early 2011 model. The new MacBook Pro is available now.
Read More | MacBook Pro product page
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