Last month, Apple unveiled new MacBook Pro laptops. While the machines were undoubtedly great, their prices were very high -- even for Apple. Despite the cost, they are apparently flying off virtual shelves, as shipping dates are now in late December. In other words, price be damned, people will buy what they want, and they are willing to splurge on quality. The old adage of "you get what you pay for" is sometimes quite true.
Today, Apple announces a hardcover book called "Designed by Apple in California". It is a paper book comprised of high-quality photographs of the company's products. There are two sizes being offered, with the smaller (10.20" x 12.75") costing $200 and the larger (13" x 16.25") costing $300. Are those prices high? Yes. Is Apple crazy to ask that much? Nope. In fact, the company is wise to set a high price, as it sets the value and desirability at a high level.
With the latest-generation MacBook Pro, Apple made a giant leap forward and fully-embraced USB Type-C. It went so far as to drop all other ports on its new prosumer-oriented laptops, even if the consumer market is not ready for it. The end result is that, if you want to use your existing peripherals and accessories, you will need (quite) a few dongles.
And this creates a problem. The new MacBook Pro does not come with any dongles in the box, so you will have to buy them yourself. This has angered quite a few prospective buyers, so, to make up for it, Apple has decided to do something it rarely does -- cut prices.
Windows does not seem to have a future in the smartphone market, as the vast majority of consumers opt for either Android or iPhone. It is a sad state of affairs, but there is little that Microsoft and its partners can do now to turn things around. Judging by the software giant's most-recent press events, it seems that it has stopped trying to compete.
And this is reflected in the latest quarterly figures from Strategy Analytics. The report, which analyzes smartphone shipments in Q3 2016, puts Windows under the "Others" category, a place reserved for the least-popular platforms that only a handful of consumers are invested in.
Apple's latest MacBook Pro is a connectivity nightmare. If you opt for the base 13-inch model you only get two USB Type-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports -- but when you charge it you can only use one. The pricier models do feature twice as many ports but, regardless, you still need to buy a bunch of dongles to use your existing devices with it -- or replace them with new ones.
However, if you are in the market for a new MacBook Pro your options are not as limited as they seem, as OWC just unveiled a 13-port hub -- called Thunderbolt 3 Dock -- that lets you use all of your peripherals and accessories with the new laptop. Let's take a look at what it includes.
Last Wednesday, Microsoft revealed, among other things, an updated Surface Book. The following day, Apple introduced a new MacBook Pro. Both devices look great, sport powerful innards and come with a suitably high price tag.
Which you go for will likely depend on whether you’re a fan of Microsoft or Apple, but if you’re not firmly entrenched in either camp, and need a little guidance to decide which laptop to go for, here are all the details you need.
The latest addition to the MacBook Pro range has seen Apple heaped with praise -- for the most part. While the reception has been largely positive, there have been pockets of criticism.
One thing for which the late-2016 MacBook Pro has been mocked is its lack of an SD card reader. Some critics have said that the absence of such a port means the laptop is not worthy of its 'professional' tag. Razer, the company behind high-end gaming laptops, today took to Twitter to take a swipe at Apple with a taunt that raised eyebrows and caused a degree of offense.
For some, Apple's decision to drop the startup chime from the latest batch of MacBook Pros came as great news -- for others it was an absolute travesty.
The quest for a silent startup has led many Mac users over the years to seek out third party tools to kill the sound, but now that it has gone there are those who want it back. All is not lost! If you prefer a musical start to your computing sessions, you can re-enable the chime.
"What the heck is happening at Apple?" people ask me. "Has the company lost its mojo?" "Why no new product categories?" "Why didn’t Apple, instead of AT&T, buy Time Warner?" And "Why are the new MacBook Pros so darned expensive?"
After first getting out of the way the fact that Apple is still the richest public company in the history of public companies, let’s take these questions in reverse order beginning with the MacBook Pros. In addition to their nifty OLED finger bar above the keyboard, these new Macs seem to have gained an average of $200 over the preceding models of the same size. What makes Apple think it can get away with that?
Things can go awry with any computer from time to time, and getting things back to normal is often just a matter of knowing the right trick. With a Mac, resetting NVRAM is a quick fix for a number of issues, and Apple has changed the way you go about doing this with the late-2016 MacBook Pro models.
One of the reasons for the change is that these latest models do not feature the startup sound, so timing the required key presses is a slightly different matter now. Here's what you need to do.
When Apple unveiled the new MacBook Pro range last week, much was made of the Touch Bar and other things that have been added. What was not noticed immediately is that the company has also ditched the famous startup chime that used to sound when powering up the laptops.
More than this, Apple has eliminated the need to use the power button. Just as laptops wake from sleep when the lid is opened, the new MacBook Pro automatically powers up when the lid is lifted -- even if they are fully switched off.
That's the question to ask if you're considering ordering the new MacBook Pro unveiled last week or wondering whether or not to cancel an already placed purchase before it ships. For fervent fanboys who drink Apple Kool-Aid like water, "treat" can be the only answer. But for the thinking public, the response depends on several factors, such as budget and whether or not buyers believe that the fruit-logo company advocates a rational design ethic.
Let's start with the latter. Apple is finger-obsessed and has been since before the first Mac shipped, as I explained in March 2010 post: "What 1984 Macintosh marketing reveals about iPad". The company lags behind Google getting to the next user interface, which is more contextual and immediately responsive: Voice, meaning touchless interaction, rather than touch, supported by artificial intelligence. By contrast, Apple isn't ready to abandon the finger-first motif, as Touch Bar makes so obviously apparent.
The new Apple MacBook Pro looks to be a wonderful laptop, but understandably, not everyone is impressed. The "Pro" moniker literally means "professional", and there are some concerns from that segment. Some photographers, for instance, will be very hurt and disgusted by the lack of an SD card slot. More importantly, the computer maxes out at 16GB of RAM -- many pro users want 32GB or more, which is not possible on the new machine, sadly.
While you might expect some of these disappointed Apple loyalists to turn to a Windows machine -- and I'm sure some will -- some are turning to an unexpected alternative -- Linux. You see, immediately after the Apple Keynote, famed Ubuntu laptop and desktop seller, System76, saw a huge jump in traffic from people looking to buy its machines. The traffic was so intense, that it needed to upgrade servers to keep up!
When Apple unveiled the latest MacBook Pro, it was the Touch Bar that stole the show. But if you were expecting this touchscreen addition to the keyboard to become an all-singing, all-dancing fun parade, you may be disappointed.
Apple -- loving, as it does, to remain firmly in control of everything -- has issued developers strict guidelines that restrict how the Touch Bar can (or should...) be used.
Apple's newest MacBook Pro with Touch Bar has four Thunderbolt 3 (USB Type-C) ports, making it amazingly versatile. While all the ports can charge the device, they can all transfer data and video too.
If you are investing in Apple's latest pro laptop, and you need blazing fast external storage, LaCie has a Thunderbolt 3 product that will make you giddy. Called "Bolt3", it offers 2800MB/s read, and 2200MB/s write. The beautifully designed drive also has two Thunderbolt 3 ports, so you can daisy-chain to other devices, such as displays or additional storage.
People wanting a shiny new MacBook Pro are in for sticker shock. The entry-level for the cheapest, newest 13-incher is $200 or $500 more than its predecessor, depending on whether or not opting for the newfangled TouchBar and TouchID. That's $1,499 or $1,799. Yikes. MBP 15 is a $400 price hike, $2,399, for current tech.
But if you already own MacBook Pro, particularly the 13-incher released in March 2015 or the larger model two months later, Apple increased the laptop's value by not accelerating its depreciation. No kidding. That's because the new entry-level SKUs are the same as before.