Fun new MacBook Touch concept would make a great mobile device

With the Intel CPU news today, a 9to5Mac commenter posted the above fake commercial in our comments.

The joint mechanism is obviously a fake, but  it would not be out of the realm of possibility to see a 360-degree hinge on the next generation of MacBooks coupled with a touch display —especially because Apple has taken the Mac OS in the same direction as iOS during the last few years.

More usability is made available in the MacBook with a 360-degree hinge, but it also creates less need for an iPad, which does not bode well for this concept.

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Thunderbolt 13-inch MacBook Pro drops below $1000 ($987.99)

From 9to5toys.com:

Update: Drops to $987.99

MacConnection drops the price on the base MacBook Pro 13 inch from $1199 to $999 after a $50 rebate with free shipping.  Even without the rebate, it is the lowest price we could find on a Thunderbolt-equipped MacBook Pro anywhere.  This model includes Intel 3000 Graphics, LED-backlit display, 802.11n wireless, full-size backlit keyboard, Multi-Touch trackpad, FaceTime camera, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, Thunderbolt port, and up to 7 hours of battery life.

Note that this is last month’s  model with a marginally .1GHz slower processor and smaller 320GB HDD which were upgraded slightly a few weeks ago.

You can also pick this up for $929 factory refurbished or $1199 newat the Apple Store. Read more

‘Late 2011 iMacs’? (Updated)

Update: Apple has pulled the listing

Some eagle-eyed commenters noted that the Support document about Thunderbolt Displays included an interesting addition.  Apple says that iMac (Mid 2011 and Late 2011) can both support two Thunderbolt displays.

There’s only one problem:

Apple hasn’t released a Late 2011 iMac…yet.

Apple released an EDU-only  iMac in August which is sometimes called “Late 2011 iMac” but that device has no Thunderbolt so that wouldn’t make sense.  Apple last updated the iMacs in May to Sandy Bridge processors.

Rumors of a late 2011 MacBook Pro refresh perhaps could also point to an iMac refresh as well.

Here is Apple’s current support doc on how to identify iMacs:

Interesting to say the very least. Read more

MacBook Pro refresh coming before Christmas?

AI reports that the MacBook Pro line will receive minor processor updates before the holiday shopping season.  In fact, they say the updates should come before the end of the month.

According to people with proven insight into Apple’s future product plans, the late-2011 MacBook Pro refresh will deliver marginal speed bumps to the notebooks’ Core i-Series of Sandy Bridge processors but will otherwise introduce no material changes over the existing models.

While precise timing for the update may change, those same people say the Mac maker currently anticipates an introduction of the refreshed line before the end of the month,

The report seems to stem from the recent release of Intel Core i7 2700 series processors fit for use in MacBook Pros (right).

This seems to fly counter to earlier reports from MacRumors that the next update to the MacBook Pro line would be a big redesign.

MacRumors has heard reliable confirmation that the next revision of Apple’s MacBook Pro line will utilize a new case design for the first time in several years.

For what it is worth, we’re seeing no hiccups in the supply chain on current models.  Silent updates aren’t unheard of however.

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Apple fixes Lion video lock-ups on iMacs, improves hardware support in Boot Camp for Windows

Apple has released a pair of new updates meant to fix video-locking issues on iMacs that run Lion and improve hardware compatibility when running Windows in dual boot mode on your Mac. The iMac Graphic FW Update 3.0 is now available for download, weighing in at a paltry 482KB. Apple says the firmware update “fixes a graphics issue that may cause an iMac to hang under certain conditions”. You can also download this update by choosing Software Update from the Apple menu, in which case the update mechanism will determine whether your iMac’s graphics card needs updating and offer the refreshed software appropriately. Also, Boot Camp got a small update for Windows 7 (version 3.3).  The 200MB download includes critical bug fixes and hardware support. It is recommended for all Boot Camp 3.2 users and requires Windows 7 plus an existing installation of Boot Camp 3.2 on your system.

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Apple to release sub-$1000 21.5-inch iMac geared at education customers (Update: Released!)

Update (Aug. 8th): Following our report, Apple has gone ahead and released it!. Interestingly, no Thunderbolt and RAM not upgradable?!

Apple is gearing up to launch a new addition to the iMac lineup later this month that appears to be geared towards education/volume customers. The new iMac has less power than the current line of all-in-one Apple desktop computers and also has less storage space. The computer packs a last generation 3.1 GHz dual-core processor (3.06 GHz rounded up), 2 GB of DDR3 RAM, 250 GB of hard drive storage space, and the AMD Radeon HD 6750M graphics processor with 256 MB of dedicated memory.

This lower-end iMac obviously has much less horsepower than the current iMac line and should be priced as such. For comparison, the entry level 21.5-inch iMac features a 2.5 GHz quad-core processor, 4 GB of RAM, a 500 GB hard drive, and the same AMD Radeon HD 6750M graphics processor but with double the dedicated memory at 512 MB. This entry level 21.5-inch iMac is priced at $1,199, so don’t be surprised to see this less-powerful machine with a sub-$1000 price tag. For reference, Apple’s last education-geared iMac was priced at $899. A similar (more RAM, worse graphics) refurbished model is currently priced at $929 (pictured below).

Apple is expected to silently release this new machine later this month. As always, thanks Mr. X.

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Apple drops the White MacBook, still in refurbished if you need one

It appears that Apple has dropped the White MacBook from its lineup today with the release of its new MacBook Airs.  Searching for White MacBook still brings up cached pages but going to them yields the Mac Homepage.

For those who like plastic, you can still pick up a White MacBook in the refurb store for $849.

So ends Apple’s relationship with Polycarbonate Macs. Read more