Apple increases Mac mini pricing in multiple countries

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Alongside the new iMacs, Apple has silently raised the prices of all Mac mini models in both Australia and Brazil. In Australia, the prices were formerly A$699 and A$899 for the standard configurations, and the Mac mini Server model was priced at A$ 1,099.00. Now, the machines are priced at A$749, A$999, and A$1249, respectively.

Here are the new prices in Brazil (up R$ 300, 400, and 500 respectively):

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The prices for the Mac mini have also been raised in Portugal and Malaysia, multiple tipsters have noticed.

These are notable price increases, but it is unclear if there is reasoning for the change beyond standard currency fluctuations. The iMacs pricing was also tweaked when it was updated yesterday, but the Mac mini has not been altered. No other Mac prices in Australia nor Brazil have changed.

The Mac mini is presumably due for a hardware update with 802.11ac WiFi, new Fusion Drive options, and Haswell processors to match the new iMacs. Thanks, James and Joao! 

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iFixit investigates the innards of the new iMacs, spare SSD slot now standard in all models

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iFixit has taken a look at the newly-released generation iMacs, tearing down both the 21.5 inch and 27.5 inch variants. Although most of the internal structure is the same, which is to be expected given that the new iMacs have retained the same casing, there are some small differences.

iFixit points out that the 21.5 inch iMac now includes a Fusion Drive SSD bay as standard, improving future upgradeability prospects of the machine. With last year’s model, this expandability was only available if customers had specifically ordered the iMac with a Fusion Drive originally. As the new drives are now connected via PCIe, third-party drive makers should be able to make appropriate adapters to enable the addition of a second hard drive. Both the 21.5 inch and 27 inch models offer this unused PCIe Fusion Drive SSD port. A picture of the empty port is attached below.

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Stock shortages suggest possible new iMac and Airport Express on the way

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MacRumors is citing low stocks of Airport Express base stations as suggesting that a faster 802.11ac model is expected soon to match the capabilities of the latest Macs. This would offer wifi speeds almost three times faster than current 802.11n models, a capability that has already been incorporated into the current Airport Extreme and Time Capsule models.

We’re also hearing similar whispers about constrained supplies of iMacs, alongside price-cuts by resellers …  Read more

Apple opens graphics card replacement program for some mid-2011 iMacs

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Apple has opened up one of its rare replacement programs for the graphics card in some mid-2011 iMac configurations, according to a notice issued to Apple Support employees. The iMac in question is the model released in May 2011 with Sandy Bridge processors and Thunderbolt ports. This iMac was sold between that month and October 2012 when Apple launched thinner models with new internals. Apple says that AMD Radeon HD 6970M cards (both 1GB and 2GB configurations) in select versions of these 2011 iMacs could fail:

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Best Buy slashes new Mac prices w/extra savings for students; Haswell Airs start at $849

From 9to5toys.com:

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Best Buy is having a significant College Student sale this week on MacBook Airs, Retina/Pros and iMacs and Students or anyone with a .edu email address get another $100 off the sale prices signing up here. For instance, the entry level Haswell MacBook Air is now $949 and another $100 drops it down to $849, the lowest price we’ve seen by $100.

Haswell MacBook Air prices:

  • MacBook Air – 11.6″ Display/4GB Memory/128GB Flash Storage:$949.99-$100 students=$849.99 ($150 off)
  • MacBook Air – 11.6″ Display/4GB Memory/256GB Flash Storage:$1139.99-$100 students=$1039.99 ($170 off)
  • MacBook Air – 13.3″ Display/4GB Memory/128GB Flash Storage:$1,044.99-$100 students=$944.99 ($155 off)
  • MacBook Air – 13.3″ Display/4GB Memory/256GB Flash Storage:$1,234.99-$100 students=$1134.99 ($165 off)

Retina MacBook Pro prices:

iMac Prices save $100 across the board and another $100 for students = $200 savings starting at $1100

The MacBook Student $100 off promotion starts today, and will end July 27. Read more

Review: 29-inch 21:9 Philips Brilliance 298P4QJEB LCD monitor creates new MacBook/Desktop opportunities

I’ve been curious about the 21:9 display format since it started to creep into mainstream displays last year. Originally developed to display cinema grade movies natively, computer users are now snapping these up to give themselves a sort of wide ‘Bloomberg terminal’ without the break (and the swivel between displays).

I received the Philips 298P4 29-inch 21:9 display a few weeks ago and have set it up as my display at my desk.  It has an unusual 2560×1080 pixel display which is the same amount of pixels across as traditional 30 inch 16:10 displays or 27-inch 16:9 displays (like Apple’s 27-inch iMac or Thunderbolt Display). The 1080 pixels high however matches up with a typical 1080P display. I didn’t use it like a traditional desktop computer or with a laptop off to the side.

For me, I saw an opportunity to add a display on top of my Retina MacBook Pro whose keyboard/trackpad layout I find more usable than anything else out there including Apple’s Wireless Keyboard/Trackpad combo. The Philips’ stand (and this is the key part) allows the display to grow over the top of even the 15’inch Retina MacBook Pro so that I can continue to use the MBP keyboard and display even while looking up (for much improved posture) at the Philips display. It is also great for watching movies while working :D, unless productivity is a priority.

For this it was great, but how was the quality of the display?

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9to5Toys Last Call: $59 Logitech UE Mini Boombox Bluetooth speaker, $15 Apple Leather Smart Cover (open-box), Father’s Day Gifts, more

From 9to5Toys.com:

A large majority of the deals we cover each day come from a variety of ‘Daily Deal’ websites or are so popular that they don’t even last 24 hours.  We know you can’t be at your computer every second, so we’re going to roundup the best deals each day to make sure you have a fair shot at the deals you want. Be sure to follow 9to5Toys.com so you never miss a deal... TwitterRSS FeedFacebook

Today’s Featured deals:

91bci4gzz7l-_sl1500_Logitech UE Mini Boombox Bluetooth speaker, ‘the best portable speaker you can buy’: $59 shipped

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Apple iPad Leather Smart Cover (open box) $15 Shipped (Reg. $69 new)

3-in-1 Universal USB Charging Cable -This universal USB cable is the last charging cable you’ll ever need. It can charge up to 3 devices simultaneously, and is compatible with iPhone 5/4S/4/3GS/3G/3, iPad, iPod, Android, HTC, Samsung and other devices. It’s optimized to avoid tangling, and for $7 + Free Shipping (a big discount from $59) it is the same price as Apple’s single Lightning cable. We reviewed the Cable here for more information.

Other great deals we love:

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

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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

iMac $125 off sale at Best Buy pushes new iMacs down to $1175 shipped (Update: Amazon matches)

From 9to5Toys.com

Screen Shot 2013-04-26 at 2.31.03 PMFind the best deals/buying advice at 9to5Mac.com/products

Update: As is often the case, Amazon has matched Best Buy (which could save some tax $)

Best Buy is taking $125 off all of their stock of iMacs for two days only. New iMacs now start at $1174.99 for the 21.5-inch variety and $1674.99 for the 27-inch variety shipped or site-to-store. These iMacs with super-slim profile were released late last year with low inventory and these are the deepest discounts we’ve seen.

More specials at Best Buy’s 2-Day sale. Read more

Tim Cook admits that iMac launch should have been postponed to avoid delays for customers

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When asked about staggered product launches during the Q&A of Apple’s Q2 2013 earnings call today, Apple CEO Tim Cook admitted that he wished Apple would have postponed the launch of the new iMac until after the holiday season in order to avoid the significant delays that customers experienced in the initial months of launch:

I don’t spend a lot of time looking back… If we could run it over, i would have announced the iMac after the turn of the year… we felt our customers had to wait too long for that specific product… Where the iPad mini was in shortage in the December quarter, I would not have done that differently because we were able to get the product out to many customers that wanted it. In retrospect, I wish it [iMac] was after the turn of the year so customers would not have had to wait as long as they did.

When Apple first launched the all new, slimmed down iMac lineup leading up to the holidays in October of last year, Tim Cook quickly confirmed that Apple would run into some significant component constraints and delays for the product. The months following launch saw major delays with customers ordering the product having to wait weeks to receive their shipments and some models pushed back as far as December.

Intel announces 2014 Thunderbolt update with 4K support; opens door for Retina iMacs?

Retina iMac mockup via MacSpoilers

Retina iMac mockup via MacSpoilers

Today, Intel announced a new version of its Thunderbolt technology that will ship with devices in 2014. The new Thunderbolt technology supports up to 20Gbps throughput, which is up from the 10 Gbps supported by the current version of Thunderbolt.

Notably, the new technology supports 4K resolutions, which could open the door for even higher-resolution Mac displays. Perhaps, this is the technology that Apple needs to work with in order to begin a Retina display rollout for its all-in-one desktop computer, the iMac, or even Mac Pro compatible Thunderbolt displays.

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NVIDIA introduces GeForce 700M Series GPU, prime fits for the next high end iMacs/MacBooks

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NVIDIA announced a new series of notebook GPU’s today branded as the 700M series. Introduced today are five new graphics cards in total, and NVIDIA said they would be available in a long list of laptops over the next few months. The five new graphics cards include two options aimed at the “mainstream segment”, the 720M and the 735M, while the remaining three, the 740M, 745M, and 750M, will be “for the performance segment” of the market.

700m-lineupThe graphics cards are being touted by NVIDIA to “maximize performance and experience,” but they also more power efficient than their predecessors. Because the 700M Series is notebook-only, expect these to be less powerful than a desktop version of the 700 Series that may be announced sometime in the future.

Helping our new 700M chips reach such lofty levels of performance is GPU Boost 2.0, a GPU innovation that extracts every ounce of available computing power from the graphics processor. Before GPU Boost, GPUs were held back by synthetic benchmarks that pushed chips and power usage to the limit, far beyond the levels typically seen when playing games. This ‘worst case scenario’ forced us to throttle GPUs, leaving spare performance on the table when playing games.GPU Boost resolves this problem by monitoring power usage and temperatures, enabling the GPU to use every last ounce of performance without exceeding safety or comfort limits.

While the press release from NVIDIA said the new GPUs will be available in nearly every notebook maker other than Apple, it is possible these GPUs will be seen in the next-gen MacBook Pro with Retina Display. The current 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display sports a NVIDIA 650M GPU, as does the high-end 21-inch iMac model, so an upgrade to the 700M series only makes sense.

The full press release is available below.

New NVIDIA GeForce 700M GPUs Squeeze Every Drop Of Performance Out Of Notebooks, Automatically

Monday, April 1, 2013

NVIDIA today announced five new notebook GPUs which deliver a trifecta of technologies that seamlessly and automatically maximize a consumer’s notebook performance and experience.

With no effort or input from the notebook user, the technologies work in the background to save battery life, enhance performance and enrich the visual experience — providing the best notebook experience the GPU can deliver. They include:

New NVIDIA GPU Boost™ 2.0 technology, which intelligently adjusts GPU clock speed to maximize graphics performance.

NVIDIA® Optimus™ technology, which enables extra-long battery life by switching the GPU on and off so it runs only when needed.

GeForce® Experience™ software, which adjusts in-game settings for the best performance and visual quality specific to a user’s notebook and keeps GeForce drivers up to date.

“There is an elegant simplicity to NVIDIA’s GeForce 700M notebook technologies,” said Rene Haas, vice president and general manager of the notebook business unit at NVIDIA. “You use your notebook how you want, and GeForce makes your experience awesome.”

Incorporating all three of these technologies, the new lineup of NVIDIA GeForce 700M GPUs includes GeForce GT 750M, GeForce GT 745M, and GeForce GT 740M GPUs for the performance segment, as a well as GeForce GT 735M and GeForce GT 720M GPUs for the mainstream segment.

NVIDIA GeForce 700M GPUs are available today. Every leading notebook manufacturer will be introducing notebooks with GPU Boost 2.0 technology, including Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, MSI, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba.

More information about the GeForce 700M family of notebook GPUs is available at http://www.GeForce.com.