Apple Rolls Out Software Update For June-2012 MacBook Airs and Retina MacBook Pros

Apple has started rolling out a new software update for all the Macs that it had introduced in June 2012, including the MacBook Air and the 15-inch MacBook Pro Retina.

The MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Update 2.0 weighs in at 127MB and the change-log from Apple suggests that it includes “graphics performance and reliability improvements and improves compatibility with some USB devices”.

Apple recommends this update to all the June 2012 MacBooks, so do update if you own one of them. Early reports suggest that the update has fixed the freezing issues that many people experienced for around 30 seconds when they plugged in a USB drive to their Retina MacBook Pro(s). It, however, does not fix the image burn-in issues on the Retina MacBook Pro(s) with an LG display panel, or the flickering issues that have plagued rMBP owners since quite sometime.

Apple Updates MacBook Airs, Mac Minis, and Cinema Displays, Drops the White MacBook

In conjunction with the launch of OS X 10.7 Lion, Apple has made a few changes to their product line. If you go take a look at the Apple Store, you will notice that a couple of products have the little bluw “new” tags over head, and that the Mac line is one computer shorter now.

Apple is now offering upgraded versions of the MacBook Air and Mac mini, as well has a their first Thunderbolt display in the new Cinema Display. Lets take a look at the Specs for each new product, then we will look at what has gone missing form the Apple Store page.

The MacBook Air comes in two sizes, the 11.6 and 13.3-inch beauties we knew before, but each packs a couple major changes. First, they have been given Intel Sandy Bridge chipsets, like the recently updated MacBook Pros. This brings better overall speed to the SSD-powered ultra portables. They have also been given Thunderbolt ports on the right hand side, which looks to be Apple’s new standard feature.

There were two other predicted upgrades to the Air that have indeed come true. First,  backlit keyboards have returned, bringing joy to all of us who type in dark rooms. Second, the Air will now ship with Lion, making it the first of Apple’s laptops to do so. The cheapest Air is now only $999.

The next product that saw an upgrade on Wednesday is the Mac mini. It received the same basic upgrades as the Air, bringing the Sandy Bridge architecture, Thunderbolt, and Lion to Apple’s cheapest desktop option. Unfortunately, you can no longer get an optical drive with your mini. You can pick up the lowest end option for $599.

There is also a new version of the Mac mini server, which is running the new server version of Lion. It comes packing Sandy Bridge, Thunderbolt, and 2 500GB HDDs. You can pick it up in the Apple store starting at $999.

The last product that got an upgrade this morning is the Cinema Display. With the inclusion of Thunderbolt support, Apple has renamed the 27-inch LED powered display the Thunderbolt Display. You can buy it now for $999. Be warned that this new display will only work if your Mac has a Thunderbolt Connector.

The last update to the Apple store is easily the saddest. There were rumors going around the tech community that Apple was planning to end the life of the polycarbonate white MacBook. It seems as tho those rumors are turn, as it is no longer listed on Apple’s website. If you want to buy one of the entry-level notebooks, some are still available in the Apple Refurb store, but there is no guarantee on how long they will last.

Next Generation 13” MacBook Pro Specs Leak; Sports A Thunderbolt Port!

The announcement of the next generation of iPad may be garnering all the limelight, but Apple’s range of premium laptops the MacBook Pro(s) are also due for an update. Now, a seemingly unpopular blog fscklog.com have managed to get their hands on a leaked document which contains the specs of the upcoming 13MacBook Pro.

According to the leaked document, the 13MacBook Pro will feature the latest Sandy Bridge Core i5 processor from Intel running at 2.3GHz. The Nvidia discrete graphics card currently found in the 13MacBook Pro has been replaced with the Intel HD Graphics 3000 IGP with 384MB of dedicated memory.

The hard disk space has also been bumped to 320GB (5400RPM). Other than this, there are no other major changes in the next generation 13MacBook Pro from Apple.

Apple_13_MacBook_Pro

The iSight’ camera has now been renamed to Facetime HD’, with the HD moniker hopefully meaning that Facetime will soon support 720p or higher resolutions for video chatting. One new feature which the 13MacBook Pro will get is the Thunderbolt’ I/O port, which in all probability is Apple’s implementation of Intel’s Light Peak port.

Intel’s Light Peak port is capable of connecting to multiple devices and provide a staggering bandwidth of up to 10Gbps. The Thunderbolt I/O’ port should make its way to other higher spec’d MacBook Pros as well.

New Apple MacBook Air(s) Revealed!

Apple has finally announced the successor to the MacBook Air. This time the MacBook Air will come in two screen sizes of 11.6-inches and 13.3-inches. The 13.3-inch MacBook Air will sport a 1.86GHz Core 2 Duo, 2GB of RAM, an Nvidia GeForce 320M graphics card and an SSD for all your storage needs. The 13.3-incher is only 0.68-inches thick at its thickest point and only 0.11-inches thin at its thinnest point. Apple quotes the battery life of the 13.3-inch Air to be around 7 hours of wireless weband a whopping 30 days on standby. Apple_MacBook_Air

The smaller MacBook Air the one with the 11.6 inches of screen size will sport a resolution of 1366×768. The smaller Air will sport a 1.4GHz Core 2 Duo which is upgradeable to 1.6GHz. Like the 13.3-inch Air, the smaller Air also packs 2GB of RAM and the GeForce 320M graphics card. Both the Airs have sport a full unibody aluminium construction. The smaller Air will have a smaller’ battery of up to 5 hours.

The 13.3-inch MacBook Air will set you back by $1,299 with 128GB SSD while 256GB of storage space will set you back by $1,599. The 11.6-inch Air with 64GB of storage space will cost $999 while the 128GB version will cost $1,199. Both the Airs are available from today at all the various Apple retail stores.

Back to the Mac: New iLife ’11, MacBook Air and a Mystery Product

Apple’s Back to the Mac event is scheduled to take place later today in San Francisco. As usual, Apple is being tightlipped about what to expect in the event. However, BGR has already confirmed that we will be seeing a new MacBook Air, as well as the latest edition of iLife suite, which includes iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, GarageBand, and iWeb. The confirmation came in the form of categories in Apple’s official discussion forums.

Back-to-the-Mac

Apple staffers also created a mystery category called “Reserved 10 20″ for a possibly unknown product. I am hoping that the mystery product turns out to be Mac OS 10.7, which has been speculated to be codenamed Lion.

Engadget has also managed to learn about the key specifications of the updated MacBook Air. The new Air will be as sleek as the original Air (actually smaller), while bumping up the specifications by a fair bit. Here’s what Engadget was told about the Air.

  • Display: 11.6 inch screen.
  • Processor: 2.13GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (optional 2.33GHz upgrade).
  • RAM: 2GB.
  • Other: Mini DisplayPort, 2xUSB (one of the left and one on the right), and SD card reader. Air’s trackpad will be similar to the multi-touch trackpad in MacBook Pros.

Nokia N9 Pictures Leaked; Looks Like A Mini MacBook

Details about the Nokia N9 first emerged at the end of June. The N9 will be the first phone from Nokia to run the next generation of the Maemo OS MeeGo. The phone is expected to sport a 4-inch screen, along with a slide-Nokia N9 out QWERTY keyboard. The screen of the N9 will be inclined at a certain angle for better viewing pleasure ala the Nokia N97. The N9 will be made of anodized aluminium. From the leaked pictures, the Nokia N9 looks like a mini MacBook/MacBook Pro.

The phone will also feature a microHDMI port, along with a microUSB port. The N9 will be powered by a 1320mAh battery. No other details about the camera, the processor used inside the phone is available as of now.

The phone will be launched in December, so the phone should be announced by Nokia at the upcoming Nokia World Event.

(Source)

High School Students Forced To Buy a MacBook

It is one thing to require students to have a laptop and a completely different thing to force them into buying a Mac laptop.  Massachusetts  based Beverly High school thinks every student needs a laptop to keep up with the technology oriented teaching methodologies of the school, and interestingly they think Mac is the only platform that will do. The policy would be enforced starting Fall 2011 but the school is already making announcements so the parents can prepare.

However, as one can imagine, many parents are not happy with this decision. Specially those who have already bought their kids laptops that run on Windows. Who would want to buy their kid another laptop just because the school requires a different operating system? Last time I checked, choice of operating system was still a matter of personal preference and not something that can be dictated. Currently, an average MacBook sells for $900 and an average PC laptop sells for around $500.  The school does say that students who don’t want to buy will be able to lease the laptops from school at a charge of $20/month but that doesn’t make a lot of parents happy either. Many insist that the school bears the cost of the new laptops but the district claims they are unable to spend around $1 Million on buying laptops for around 1,200 students.

This even in itself is not huge but it may become a serious issue if other schools start following this trend. Before we know, colleges and universities will also start demanding that every student buys a MacBook and that will be something really preposterous.

What do you think, is the school justified in requiring students to buy a MacBook?

Apple Unveils A Refreshed Entry-Level MacBook; Still costs $999

It was just a month ago, that Apple had refreshed their MacBook Pro line-up. Today, Apple has officially unveiled a new entry-level MacBook. The new MacBook now runs on a 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo processor. The 2GB of DDR3 RAM and 250 GB of storage space remain unchanged from the previous generation MacBook.Apple MacBook

The NVIDIA GeForce 320M integrated graphics card handles the graphics department of the new MacBook. The Apple notebook also features a large glass trackpad with multi-touch support. The battery life of the new MacBook has also been increased to a mind blowing 10 hours.

The specification of the new MacBook is similar to that of the entry level MacBook Pro, except for the lack of a backlit keyboard, an inbuilt SD card reader, unibody aluminium build   and Firewire 800 port.

There has been no change in the pricing of the new MacBook. It still costs the same $999.

New and Improved MacBook Model Leaked [Video and Pics]

South East Asia is turning out to be a goldmine for Apple rumor mongers. Engadget is reporting that the Vietnamese website Tinhte has managed to get their hands on a yet to be announced entry level MacBook.

New-Apple-Macbook

The new MacBook features a ramped up hardware including 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics card with 256 MB DDR3 video memory, 2GB DDR3 RAM and 250 GB hard disk.

New-Apple-Macbook-Specification

The MacBook acquired by Tinhte identifies itself as MacBook 7.1 and will be the first update to the MacBook product line since October 2009. As far as core hardware specs are concerned, this update puts the MacBook on par with entry level MacBook Pros. The new 13-inch MacBook will be a steal as long as you don’t mind the smaller screen and the lack of unibody design. Of course, I am assuming that Apple would stick to the current pricing of $999.

Is Apple Preparing To Launch AMD Powered Macs?

Apple-AMD Is Apple preparing to launch a new line of (possibly cheaper) Macs powered by AMD microprocessors? Apple Insider certainly believes that this is a real possibility.

According to Apple Insider, representatives from Advanced Micro Devices have been spotted on Apple’s commuter coach buses. In addition, AMD executives have been spotted on their way out of meetings with senior Apple employees.

It is no secret that AMD has been struggling to compete with Intel’s offerings. This is just the kind of shot in the arms AMD desperately needs. In fact, a partnership with AMD would be good news for everybody. It would offer Apple some bargaining chips when dealing with Intel. Moreover, it would provide Apple, if they are interested, the opportunity to launch lower priced netbooks. AMD’s offerings can also come in handy in Mac Mini and lower end models of MacBook.