The Mac laptop line, following today's new announcements, looks lots less like Apple and more like Compaq—where Tim Cook worked much earlier in his career, incidentally, long before the original IBM PC clone-maker's demise. Confusing. Complicated. These are apt descriptions that might just send the ghost of Steve Jobs skyward on either—take your pick—Halloween or Day of the Dead.
Among Apple cofounder's first tasks when returning to the chief executive's chair in 1997: Simplifying product families. Jobs cut the deadweight, surprising many people by killing off Newton, for example. Complex product lines define Apple under successor Cook, by contrast.
Next week, on October 27, Apple will hold a press event called "Hello Again". While the company has not officially announced the products to be unveiled, rumors suggest we will see new Mac computers. Apple has long neglected its desktops and laptops (it still sells a MacBook from 2012), and consumers have been eagerly anticipating refreshed machines with better specifications. It is quite likely that the wants of these folks will be met next week.
Unfortunately for some, Mac computers (and many Windows machines too) no longer have number pads (aka keypads). For those that work in the financial sector, or simply learned to type using a keyboard with a number pad, this can be problematic. Fortunately, there are many third-party options on the market. Today, Satechi releases the all-new Slim Aluminum Wireless Keypad and it looks like a winner. If you are planning to buy one of the rumored new Mac computers, this could be a godsend. Not only does it come in colors to match Apple devices, but it is slimmer than Satechi's prior offering.
Apple's Mac computers -- MacBook, iMac, Mac Pro, and Mac mini -- are works of art. Not only is the hardware beautiful, but the included operating system is visually impressive too. Today, after a series of Beta releases, the final 10.12 version of the desktop operating system formerly known as OS X -- now known as 'macOS' -- is available for download. Apple dubs the latest version of the desktop operating system 'Sierra', after a mountain range in the company's home state of California.
While Windows 10 is a great operating system for productivity, Microsoft simply cannot match the visual beauty of macOS. Still, Microsoft's latest operating system does offer some unique features, such as the voice assistant Cortana -- something that Apple's desktop did not offer. Today, this changes, as the legendary Siri comes to macOS Sierra. Best of all? As usual, this is a free upgrade for owners of compatible Mac computers!
For a little while now Microsoft's ad campaigns have been less about highlighting its own products, but a vehicle for knocking others'. It's something we've seen numerous times with the company's Surface ads, and now there's another one.
This time around we see the Surface Pro 4 compared to a MacBook Air. Microsoft says the former is better than the latter because it has a pen. Oh, and a detachable keyboard. But the tone of the ad is just so ridiculous, it serves only to make Microsoft look pathetic.
The question nags as I prepare to review TarDisk Pear flash memory expansion. The doohickey is available in 128 or 256 gig capacities for either MacBook Air or Pro. It fits neatly and snuggly into the SDXC card slot, which is required; color and finish match, too. Windows users must look elsewhere, though, and many may be glad to. The tech lists for $149 and $399, respectively. But, hey, the Apple fan club is accustomed to paying more for everything.
I will test TarDisk Pear on my 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display, 3.1GHz Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, and 256GB SSD. I recently, and unexpectedly, filled up the hard disk with photos and podcast raw recordings. (Hehe, using Chromebooks for so long spoiled me and my awareness of such things.) Doubling storage, particularly with San Diego Comic-Con coming in 14 days, could prove useful for editing audio, pics, and video on the laptop. But is it necessary or contrivance?
Apple has announced the first MacBook refresh, a year after the introduction of its thinnest and lightest laptop. The device gets the latest Intel processors, better graphics performance, faster SSD storage and longer battery life. Also new is a rose gold finish, on top of the existing gold, silver and space gray.
The 2016 refresh for the 12-inch MacBook brings sixth-generation dual-core Intel Core M processors with speeds of up to 1.3 GHz and Turbo Boost of up to 3.1 GHz, 1866 MHz RAM and HD Graphics 515, which is said to be 25 percent faster than in the original model.
Combined shipments of PCs, tablets and phones reached 2.39 billion units in 2015, according to a new report from Gartner, with an increase to 2.54 billion units expected for 2018. As you might expect, phone shipments account for the vast majority of units, 1.91 billion of them to be exact.
The report says that PC vendors shipped a combined 246 million desktops and non-premium laptops in 2015. Things aren't looking good in the long term, as shipments are expected to drop to 219 million units in 2018 for these two categories. However, the PC market as a whole, which includes desktops, non-premium laptops as well as premium ultramobiles will see a rise in shipments until the end of 2018 to 312 million units from 290 million units in 2015.
Idiots will flame this post "clickbait". It's how they draw attention to themselves, to inflate their egos; others mistakenly will assign motivation to my writing—e.g., for pageviews, when I couldn't care less about them. But I do care about Apple, as a longstanding customer (starting in December 1998). As a journalist, I developed a reputation for hating the company (I don't) so long loved because my stories aren't kiss-ass fanboyism. What's that saying about being hardest on the ones you love most? Kind I am not.
Today's theme isn't new from me and repeats my analysis that Apple has strayed far from the path that brought truly, disruptive innovative products to market. In 2016, the company banks on past successes that are not long-term sustainable. We will get a glimpse after calendar fourth quarter 2015 earnings are announced on January 26th. You will want to watch iPhone and international sales, particularly emerging markets. For analysis about that and more jump to the second subhead; the next one is for idiot clickbait accusers.
Measured as sales through the U.S. consumer retail channel, Macs reached rather shocking milestone during first half 2015, according to data that NPD provided to me today. Yes, you can consider this a first, and from lower volume shipments. By operating system: OS X, 49.7 percent; Windows, 48.3 percent; Chrome OS, 1.9 percent. That compares to the same time period in 2014: OS X, 44.8 percent; Windows, 53.1 percent; Chrome OS, 2.1 percent. So there is no confusion, the data is for U.S. consumer laptops.
While data junkie journalists or analysts often focus on unit shipments, revenues, and subsequently profits, matter much more. Looked at another way, Mac laptop revenues rose by 10.9 percent during the first six months of 2015, year over year, while Windows PCs fell by 9 percent, and Chromebooks contracted by 9.5 percent.
It would take quite a laptop to bring me back to the Windows fold after using and enjoying a 13-inch Apple MacBook Air for nearly two years. I love the versatility Apple's device provides: it is light and portable, offers amazing battery life, has an awesome keyboard and trackpad, performs well, can run Windows and Linux alongside OS X and, on top of it all, looks quite nice as well. To be perfectly honest, there is nothing that I miss that could push me towards another laptop.
However, I am not exactly a normal person. I'll be the first to admit it. When I saw Lenovo's retro-inspired ThinkPad the first thing that crossed my mind was: "This ThinkPad is awesome. I have to have this". It just so happens that old-school-looking ThinkPads are like kryptonite to me. Imagine how I feel about this modern interpretation. There is only one problem -- this is a concept. But, Lenovo, if you make it and I can buy it, I will give up my MacBook Air to have it!
Staff at tech giant IBM are set to use Apple Mac machines following the company’s one-year partnership with Apple for the creation of business-centric apps for the iOS.
IBM employees will be given the option to choose between a MacBook Pro, MacBook Air or traditional PC for their new workstations and will be part of the company’s choose your own device policy, according to the company’s recent memo.
Across tech sites and forums there are rumbling complaints about Apple choosing to provide just one port on the 12-inch MacBook and the compromises the design presents. The flawed approach is much bigger, and the laptop line has been this way before—where thinning down means giving up something many users want, which is why I am so surprised that little of the discussion focuses on the original MacBook Air.
Stated simply before the long explanation: If you don't mind paying $1,299 or $1,599 for the performance equivalent of a souped-up tablet, running OS X but lacking touchscreen, Apple's tiny laptop is a good choice. Otherwise, stop whining and buy something else. There is no shortage of choices in the slim-and-portable category.
If the Apple Watch and new MacBook were not enough, Apple had more hardware to reveal at today's launch event. In addition to the 'regular' MacBook (if such a word is really applicable), there was also the updated 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display.
Key changes include the addition of a fifth generation Intel Core processor, improved battery life, and double-speed flash storage as well as the Force Touch trackpad. Updated 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Airs were also unveiled, with the larger model gaining a fifth generation Intel Core processor, Intel HD Graphics 6000, Thunderbolt 2, and faster storage.
I'm not easily impressed. Lots of tech products see the light of day each year, but only a few I consider to be truly great. And by that I mean technology that I want to have in my life, that brings value, and, last but not least, that makes me feel good. The subjective factor is just as important, I believe, when it comes to the things that I have to look at and interact with on a daily basis. That's just the way it is, and I'm fine with it.
Because of this, a pretty long list can get really, really short in no time. My colleagues have already shared their favorite tech products of 2014 with you, and now the time has come for me to do the same. It's BetaNews tradition, after all. So, without further ado, here they are.