Power. The Apple Mac Pro (late 2013) is the newest Mac on the block, and it's also the most powerful computer ever made by Apple. It deserves to be, too, as the Mac Pro lost that title as Apple let that product line slip into virtual irrelevancy. After all, the previous Mac Pro spent the last four-or-so years at a technical standstill. It didn't have any Thunderbolt ports, no USB 3.0, no PCIe flash storage...heck, it didn't even have an 802.11n Wi-Fi option. For all intents and purposes, Apple had allowed the Mac Pro, the one machine that was aimed at meeting the needs of the most demanding customers, to become a dinosaur.
That is, until the release of the newly-redesigned Mac Pro (late 2013) model. With its smooth metallic cylindrical shape that looks like it was plucked off of an alien spaceship, smaller and lighter profile, and top-of-the-line specs that include PCIe SSD storage, dual workstation-class GPUs as standard, the newest Intel Xeon processors (up to 12 cores!), 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and a bunch of I/O ports which include Thunderbolt 2 and USB 3.0, this thing is a beast. It's modern--no, futuristic.
For all of you professional video editors, photographers, graphic artists, 3D animators, audio engineers and the like, we're betting that Apple has piqued your interest. After all, this is a Mac which can drive up to three 4K displays simultaneously. That's a lot of power. Wondering if it should be your next purchase? It's expensive, starting at $2,999 (and climbing up to $9,559 depending on how you configure it,) so we're here to help you in your decision making. Follow along as we bring you our full Mac Pro (late 2013) review, after the jump.
During this morning's iPad mini event, Apple unveiled the brand new, redesigned iMac. The new model is super-thin, just 5mm thin at the edges, constructed using something called "friction stir welding" to fuse together the aluminum pieces. The display is laminated to the glass, similar to what you find on iOS devices. You get the same screen sizes, with the iMac coming in at 21.5-inch 1080p and 27-inch 2,560 x 1,400 models. Apple also announced a new Apple Fusion drive option, which is basically a hybrid drive that OS X manages for you. The OS and apps live on the flash storage portion, and all your documents and other apps get loaded onto the HDD portion. As you use and launch them, things get moved to the faster SSD portion on the fly.
The 21.5-inch model will ship in November for $1,299 with a 2.7GHz Core i5 processor, 8 GB RAM, and with a 1TB hard drive. The 27-inch model starts at $1,799 for a 2.9GHz Core i5, and that one won't ship until December.
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The new Thunderbolt-equipped Drobo units will be shipping soon, and today the company announced that the Drobo 5D and Drobo Mini are now available for pre-order. In case you forgot, the Drobo 5D spots dual Thunderbolt ports and a USB 3.0 connection, while the Drobo Mini supports 2.5-inch drives and is super-portable. Head on over to Amazon where the 5D will cost you $849, and the Mini goes for $649. Both models support SSDs and ship with a Thunderbolt cable included, so you don't have to pay another $50 or more to get one elsewhere.
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Here's a great deal we found today - you can grab the OCZ Vertex 3 VTX3-25SAT3-240G SSD drive for just $169.99 with free shipping! These are brand new SSD drives, not refurbished, and with this deal using coupon code VDW65626 you end up saving $130 off the full price of the drive--that's a 43% savings. The Vertex 3 SSD features max read speeds of 550 MBps and write speeds of up to 520 MBps. This is a nice, inexpensive way to vastly increase the speed of your computer.
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Aside from the awesome Drobo 5D, Drobo is also announcing its new Drobo Mini storage array. Supporting up to four 2.5-inch drives (either HDD or SSD, or any mix thereof,) this is the first portable Drobo that the company has released. It looks slick too. To insert the drives, you simply push it in, then push it again to remove, almost like a SIM card or CableCARD slot. Drobo even built its own custom power supply for this thing to go with its rugged design, ensuring maximum portability. You also get the same SSD port that the 5D has, allowing you to accelerate data speeds even more. Dual Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 round out the offering here. The Drobo Mini will be available in July, no pricing details have been revealed just yet. Check out the video below for more details.
If you're like us, you love Drobo, but you've been wondering for over a year when it would release a unit that was compatible with the super-fast Thunderbolt technology. Well, we've got our answer. Feast your eyes on the Drobo 5D. The Drobo 5D is a huge step forward for the directly-connected external storage data robot. First, the ports. The 5D has dual Thunderbolt ports (so it supports daisy chaining) as well as a USB 3.0 port. You get five hard drive bays, as well as a new SSD port for added data acceleration for even more speed. Even without the SSD, this Drobo is five times faster than its predecessor, supporting up to 16 terabytes of SSD-accelerated data. No price or specific launch date has been set yet, but it'll be available next month. Check out the video Drobo put together that explains the 5D after the break.
We open up the new next-generation MacBook Pro with Retina display in this episode. Apple announced the new MacBook Pro with Retina display during the WWDC 2012 keynote, highlighting a bunch of new features never before seen on the MacBook Pro line. These include the phenomenal 2800 x 1800 Retina display, USB 3.0, HDMI, and more. The notebook sports an Intel Core i7 processor, 8 GB RAM, and a 256 GB flash SSD for storage. Join us as we open up the new MacBook Pro with Retina display and give you a look at the gorgeous, thin hardware. We open it up in this episode. Want your own? You can order it now from the Apple Store online.
In this episode we open up the Kingston HyperX SSD 120GB upgrade kit. The SSD has no moving parts, giving it longer life, and sports 550 MBps read speeds and 510 MBps write speeds. The drive also supports high-speed SATA Rev 3.0 with 6 GBps transfer speeds. Kingston includes Acronis Migration Software, HyperX 3.5 desktop mounting plate, HyperX USB External Drive Bay, HyperX Multi-head Screwdriver and HyperX colored SATA Rev 3.0 (6Gb/s) cable - all of this gives you everything you need in order to install the drive, migrate your data off of your original drive to the new SSD, and then keep your old drive as an external storage device. They definitely thought of everything, and you can pick up the HyperX SSD on Amazon for $240, a 25% discount.
Big thank you to GoToMeeting and JackThreads for sponsoring the show - be sure to check them out! GoToMeeting with HDFaces provides rich, super-simple collaborative virtual meetings. As for JackThreads, we've got exclusive invite codes that give you $5 to use towards anything you'd like on the site.
We chat with Victorinox Swiss Army at CES 2012 about its upcoming monster 1 TB SSD drive that will be available soon. Meant for the data road warriors out there, this 1 terabyte SSD fits into the size of a flash drive in your pocket, and will retail for $2999 when it goes on sale. It also has a small display integrated into its side, which can give you information about the drive and the data held on the drive.
Big thank you to MozyPro and JackThreads for sponsoring the show - be sure to check them out! MozyPro provides simple, automatic, and secure data backup. As for JackThreads, we've got exclusive invite codes that give you $5 to use towards anything you'd like on the site.
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.