Intel officially launches 4th gen Haswell processors bound for next-gen Macs just in time for WWDC

Intel-Haswell-4th-gen-processors

We’ve told you several times in recent months about Intel’s next-generation Haswell processors that are largely expected to replace Apple’s current Ivy Bridge offerings in the next round of Macs. Now, ahead of Apple’s expected WWDC announcements, Intel has just officially launched its next-gen processors. The company confirmed that quad-core versions of the chips are available now with availability of ultrabooks, all-in-ones, laptops and desktops planned for this summer.

Intel says the processors provide up to a 50 percent improvement in battery life (the biggest gain in the history of Intel’s processors), and double the graphics performance of previous generation chips thanks to its ‘Iris’ technology.

Delivering Intel’s largest generation-over-generation gain in battery life enablement in company history, 4th generation Intel Core processors can bring an 50 percent improvement in battery life over the previous generation in active workloads when watching movies or surfing the Internet, and two to three times improvement in standby battery life. For some systems coming to market this year, over 9 hours of active use battery life or 10 to 13 days of standby with fresh data on a single charge is expected.

Earlier this year we saw stats from early performance tests showing Haswell will provide some notable performance boosts for MacBooks, and we’ve also heard reports that the 4th-gen Intel processors will be headed to iMacs and Mac minis towards the end of the year.

In a more recent report, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed Apple will introduce new MacBook Pro and Air updates next week at WWDC that will include an upgrade to Haswell. Yesterday, we posted even more evidence with SKUs showing that Apple is likely planning a MacBook refresh. Read more

Apple will exchange third-gen iPads purchased within the past 30 days for a shiny new fourth-gen

Image via The Verge

For those who purchased the third-generation iPad recently, and found themselves dumbfounded when the fourth-generation iPad was announced this afternoon, we have good news: CNET reported that local Apple Stores might replace a third-generation iPads with the new fourth-generation if it was purchased within the last 30 days. It is up to local Apple Stores to make the call if a customer can exchange or not. When speaking to a manager of an Apple Store, it was explained that the policy is on a store-to-store basis.

The manager at the Stockton Street store in San Francisco explained that “this specific store” would allow purchasers of the third-generation iPad to exchange their device for the fourth-generation iPad if purchased within the last 30 days. She emphasized that, unless the recently-purchased iPad showed serious signs of wear-and-tear, the usual 14-day return policy would be waived.

“And what about other stores?” You’ll have to call and find out. She explained, “We can’t speak to other stores’ policies — this is something our store has decided to do.”

The fourth-generation iPad, starting at $499, offers faster performance than the third-generation with a dual-core A6X processor and quad-core graphics. It also has a 5-megapixel iSight camera, expanded LTE chipset, front-facing camera with FaceTime and 720p video capture, ultrafast two-times Wi-Fi, and Lightening connector.

Call your local Apple Store to check—usually stores are pretty flexible. Let us know how it goes.

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