The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) announced today that it’s introducing the latest DisplayPort technology that brings support for upcoming 5K monitors and more. DisplayPort 1.3 for audio and video increases the standard to a maximum link bandwidth of 32.4 Gbps and as a result supports 5K displays with resolutions of 5120 x 2880 on a single cable without compression methods. In addition, users will notice enhanced performance for 4K displays in multi-monitor setups over a single DisplayPort connection: Read more
While iOS 8 for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch is set for a September launch, Apple is planning to bring its next-generation Mac software, OS X Yosemite, into the wild a month later, in October, according to several sources. Apple plans to continue releasing OS X Yosemite Developer Previews every two to three weeks until a final Developer Preview is seeded on September 29th, according to the people. Apple is then expected to finish up work on Yosemite in early October and release a golden master build around October 10th, the sources said. Apple is also finishing up preparations to release a version of OS X Yosemite beta tomorrow to the first one million people who signed up for the public beta.
Ever since the Mac Pro was released in December, we’ve faced an onslaught of 4k displays. We reviewed Seiki’s budget offering last year, and while we liked it overall, it did have more than its fair share of set backs. For instance, you could only use the full 4k resolution at 30Hz, which meant that there would be noticeable lag when using the display as a monitor. Despite the low refresh rate, the display was still a great deal at its then $450 price point (now down to $390) and truly got us excited for the potential of 4k. At CES this year, we also saw a variety of 4k displays, some of which were priced for budget-minded customers, and some of which were high-end. Noticeably missing from CES, however, was Apple’s frenemy supplier/competitor Samsung.
Samsung, at the end of May, unveiled its take on an affordable 4k display. Samsung’s U28D590D is a 28-inch 4k monitor that supports full 4k resolution at 60Hz via a DisplayPort 1.2 connection. There are also two HDMI ports, but they’ll only do 4k at 30Hz, like the Seiki. The big selling point of the Samsung monitor, aside from doing 4k at 60Hz, is that it costs just $646 on Amazon. This puts it far below any currently available 4k monitor with 60Hz capabilities. I purchased the Samsung U28D590D on Amazon while it was priced at $666 and have been using it as my primary display for the past week. How does it compare to the Seiki? Is 4k all it’s hyped up to be? Let’s discuss.
Streaming TV is heating-up. We’re expecting a new Apple TV box to be announced in April, Amazon looks set to launch its own box in March and Google is reputed to be not far behind with a Nexus-branded box.
So-called cord-cutting – people who give up their cable TV subscriptions in favor of streaming content over the web – is growing in popularity. Mobile TV viewing on tablets is increasingly common.
All of which makes me wonder whether we’re witnessing the beginning of the end of live TV … ? Read more
With the new Mac Pro capable of powering three 4k displays, new MacBook Pros with Thunderbolt 2 and 4K HDMI 1.4 in many hands and Apple taking its sweet time to release its own monitor, an affordable 4k display is something many people are searching out right now. ASUS, at the Consumer Electronics Show, has just unveiled a new 28-inch 4k monitor that will retail for just $799. Currently, ASUS’ 31.5-inch 4k offering comes in at over $3,000, and while the price difference between the two is major, there doesn’t appear to be a gap in features (via Engadget).
ASUS’s 28-inch 4k monitor will pack a resolution of 3,840 x 2,160, just like its larger sibling. As far as ports go, we’re looking at one DisplayPort and one MHL-capable HDMI port. The monitor has a fully rotatable design, as well as a quick 1ms response time.
Tests by French site Mac4Ever.com found that current model Retina MacBook Pro machines can use their Thunderbolt 2 connections to drive the Sharp PN-K321 4K display at 60Hz when running Windows 8.1 with the latest NVidia drivers, rather than the 30Hz possible with OS X. This suggests that OS X will be able to do the same when Apple updates the rMBP video/Thunderbolt 2 drivers.
While 30Hz is good enough for movies, our own Seth Weintraub found on his bargain Seiki that it gives a poor experience when scrolling webpages, and is of course completely unusable for games. 60Hz, in contrast, gives a smooth experience when using a computer. The mystery had been why the latest Retina MacBook Pros, with Thunderbolt 2 support, were limited to 30Hz when the specs should have made them capable of double this – and the video drivers appear to be the answer …
There was one notable omission from Apple’s recent flurry of new product announcements: a 4K display. It will launch one in time, of course – and I’ll come to that shortly. But in the meantime, there’s the question of how it demonstrates one of the key capabilities of the new Mac Pro.
Sure, they could hook it up to multiple Thunderbolt Displays, but that’s not the same: Apple made a point when launching the machine of pointing out that it could drive three simultaneous 4K displays. That’s a capability you’d imagine it would want to at least show off in-store, and perhaps even offer for sale …
During Apple’s next-generation Mac Pro portion of its iPad event earlier today, the company took some time to present first impressions from a few professionals that have been using the machine. While the public won’t officially get its hands on it until December, Apple noted that three professionals had been testing the new Mac Pro. One of those pros was award-winning extreme sports photographer Lucas Gilman pictured above next to his Mac Pro setup with a 4K Sharp display. We thought it would be interesting to have a chat with one of the only people in the world currently using the new Mac Pro, so we’ve reached out to Gilman to get his first impressions and learn more about his experience with Apple’s completely redesigned professional Mac line.
Head below for the full interview. Read more
Apple is working on a new version of the Apple TV, and according to MG Siegler, it could arrive as soon as next month. We have independently heard that a new version of the Apple TV is in development, but our sources have not provided a clear picture in terms of a launch timeframe.
Siegler says that the launch could occur in October, which is the month that we’re expecting new versions of the iPad arrive. It would make sense for Apple to launch the new Apple TV and iPads in tandem as this is a launch combination that it has done in the past (iPad 3 + Apple TV 3 in 2012)…
There are a few snippets of AppleTV related news popping up today. The first we take with the usual grain of salt as it comes to us from the often unreliable DigiTimes. The publication has been reporting some more believable stories as of late, but today’s rumor of Apple purchasing 55 and 65-inch Ultra HD TV panels from LG seems to be more rumor than anything else.
Apple has of course been rumored several times to be building a full fledged HDTV to go along with the much expected revamped AppleTV service coming in the the near future. The latest from the usual lineup of analysts points to a launch as early as the end of this year or early 2014. LG and Sharp– two of Apple’s regular display suppliers– would be obvious choices to source panels, but there’s no proof at this point that Apple is beyond the experimenting stage and we’ve heard rumors from more reliable sources ranging from 40-inch to 60-inch in the past.
Next up for today’s AppleTV news is a bit more insight into the company’s current negotiations with cable and media companies. We heard previously that Apple is working with TimeWarner to bring AppleTV integration in the coming weeks, but, according to the NYTimes, its recent hire of Hulu SVP Pete Distad will also come in handy as it negotiates with others for similar apps: Read more
Sharp is announcing a 32-inch 4K monitor today that uses its LGZO LCD tech expected to hit the Japanese market in February 2013. The roughly $5,500 PN-K321 monitor sports a 3,840-by-2,160 resolution and HDMI and DisplayPort inputs. According to Sharp, it will also be the thinnest monitor frame on the market at just 35mm. Even if analysts were wrong about a full-fledged TV set from Apple next year, these new Sharp displays would certainly make a pretty Thunderbolt display.
Sharp will put its IGZO displays in the hands of consumers in the near future, as it recently announced its first 7-inch tablet to take advantage of the technology’s low-power consumption features. Apple decided to not go with Sharps’ IGZO displays for its latest round of iPad launches. It instead sourced display components from AU Optronics, LG Display, and Samsung, but several reports in the past indicated Apple is interested in the technology. Apple was even recently rumored to be potentially making an investment in the failing company—much like Apple partner Foxconn previously agreed to.
Steve (@stroughtonsmith) November 28, 2012
According to Taiwanese PC manufacturers (via DigiTimes), Intel is preparing to release the first round of 22nm Ivy Bridge desktop, notebook, and ultrabook CPUs around April, 8 2012. Seventeen models are slated to be launched, but some desktop and notebook CPUs will likely replace current CPU options in next-generation iMacs and Macbooks.
The 3820QM and 3720QM i7 CPUs, detailed by DigiTimes, are candidates for a next-gen MacBook Pro. Meanwhile, quad-core Core i7 and Core i5 desktop models could land in a future iMac. Ultrabook CPUs, possibly headed to future MacBook-air-like devices are scheduled for later in the year (most likely May).
A few weeks back, a leaked roadmap for Intel’s upcoming Ivy Bridge mobile CPU lineup gave us a look into the new standard voltage M-series and ultra low voltage U-series lineups. The document shows the CPUs will probably make their way into MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs, and will most likely be available to OEMs sometime in April or May 2012. The document leaked days after a report claimed Ivy Bridge desktop processors would roll out to partners sometime in the second quarter of 2012.
The new Ivy Bridge lineup marks a significant performance increase over previous Sandy Bridge models found in current Macs. According to 3DMark Vantage GPU benchmark from Intel, there is an average 199 percent improvement in graphic intensive applications, and 25 percent overall better performance over Sandy Bridge CPUs. Improved power consumption could lead to increased battery life, while the lineup will also include OpenCl 1.1 support and DirectX 11 for more than 30 percent faster graphics performance. They could also support 4K video.