Opinion: Does the minimalist 12-inch MacBook Air design represent the future of MacBooks?

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While we’ve been expecting the 12-inch MacBook Air for quite some time and some of the details have long been rumored, the design exclusively revealed in Mark Gurman’s report has raised eyebrows throughout the tech world. Especially the most dramatic element: the reduction of the ports to just one multifunction USB-C socket, a headphone socket and a pair of microphones.

The $64,000 questions are: will this ruthlessly cut-down approach prove workable—and is this a design unique to this one machine, or does it represent the future of all MacBooks … ?

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Apple’s next major Mac revealed: the radically new 12-inch MacBook Air

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Apple is preparing an all-new MacBook Air for 2015 with a radically new design that jettisons standards such as full-sized USB ports, MagSafe connectors, and SD card slots in favor of a markedly thinner and lighter body with a higher-resolution display. Sources within Apple, who have used internal prototype versions of the upcoming computer, have provided in-depth details about the machine, and our exclusive artist renditions of the revamped MacBook Air provide the first close look at Apple’s first major step in mobile Mac computing since the Retina MacBook Pro launch in 2012.

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Mac Pro monitor review: The best 4K & UHD monitors for Mac

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So Apple didn’t release a 4K (or 5K) standalone Retina display alongside the new 5K iMac, but you can’t hold off any longer on a shiny new display for your Mac Pro. I found myself in the same predicament not too long ago and decided to put a number of displays to the test in recent months. 4K might offer 4x the resolution of your standard 1080p display, but for the short time they’ve been around, they’ve also cost about 4x as much as the alternatives. The good news: There are a few Mac Pro compatible 4K displays (and UHD alternatives) finally starting to hit more reasonable price points just as recent OS X updates fix some issues early adopters first had with the higher resolution displays.

I’ve been testing Mac Pro compatible displays from Dell, Sharp, Samsung, LG, and others that are officially supported by Apple, and put together a list of my thoughts and top picks for those planning on picking up a new Mac Pro this holiday season. Despite my tests being done mostly on a new, stock Mac Pro, these picks stand for Thunderbolt-equipped MacBook users as well.

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2011 MacBook Pro GPU complaints not going away as petition reaches 18k signatures

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Update: Repair Extension Program…

Long-standing complaints that the 2011 MacBook Pro suffered from a manufacturing fault resulting in GPU glitches and failures don’t appear to be going away, as an online petition calling for Apple to fix or replace affected machines reaches more than 18,000 signatures.

To:
Timothy D. Cook, Apple Inc
Craig Federighi (Apple Inc) (Apple Inc), Apple Inc

Replace or Fix All 2011 Macbook Pro with Graphics Failure

The petition notes the premium spent to buy Apple laptops, and says that Apple’s only response to date has been to ask owners to pay for an extremely expensive logic board replacement …  Read more

KGI: 27″ Retina iMac ready to roll, 21″ next year, iPad Air 2 supply constrained, iPad minis to see minimal updates

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KGI has published a new research note indicating that the 27″ model of the new “Retina” iMac will begin shipping before the end of this year. However, according to the note, a 21-inch version which is currently in development will not be released until the beginning of 2015, probably alongside other products “early 2015″ like the Apple Watch and Photos for Mac.

With regards to the iPad Air 2, KGI says that constrained supplies are likely, with a possible initial shipment of only 7-9 million. Compare that to the original iPad Air, which kicked of sales with 12 million units. The iPad mini will be updated, but the changes will be more conservative than those coming to the Air. A 12.9″ iPad is also said to be in development, though no timeline seems to have been set for its release.

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Review: Lumsing Prophet $20 Bluetooth Speaker/phone rocks out with its dock out

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Although we’ve covered the gamut of portable Bluetooth speakers here at 9to5Mac, we typically recommend higher-end products like the Bose Soundlink Mini ($199), JBL Charge ($138) or Ultimate Ears Mini/Boom ($80/$179). It’s usually not worth cheaping out on Bluetooth speakers (unless you are looking for niche products like wearables) because the sound quality degrades heavily once you drop below the top tier. Lumsing-Prophet-review Sadly, today’s entrant into the Bluetooth speaker cage-match lot isn’t going to compete with any of the $100+speakers above. But I have to say, the Lumsing Prophet isn’t bad at all, especially if you aren’t listening to bass-heavy tracks. And, the freaky part is it only costs $20 bucks after coupon code PROPHET0 (expires 8/13) at Amazon which makes it an absolute steal… Read more

Apple support page also listed as yet unseen ‘mid-2014 iMac 27′

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The same Bootcamp support page that either reveals an upcoming Mac mini refresh or a misprint also listed an iMac 27-inch mid-2014′ model before the page was updated – spotted by French site Consomac.

The model was listed above the 21.5-inch mid-2014 iMac released last month. That model was a low-end one, with a 1.4GHz dual-core i5 processor and 500GB hard drive. That might suggest a new entry-level 27-inch iMac is on the way – though Apple doesn’t generally offer a low-spec version of the larger iMac …  Read more

Mid-2014 Mac mini listed on Apple Support page, but no 2014 Mac mini in sight

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Apple seems to have inadvertently referenced a new model of Mac mini on an Apple Support page. The page was last modified yesterday, presumably to include information on the new MacBook Pro’s but instead lists “Mac mini (Mid 2014)” as a supported machine. There is a possibility that this is simply a human error on Apple’s part, of course, confusing the MacBook Pro and the Mac mini updates. There haven’t really been rumors of a new Mac mini being in the works, but due to the relative unimportance of the product in the Mac lineup, it is not of the question for it to have slid under the radar.

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Apple refreshes entire Retina MacBook Pro lineup with improved processors and more RAM standard

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As expected, Apple has pushed out an upgrade to the Retina MacBook Pro lineup. Both the 15-inch and 13-inch models were updated, and two models received price drops.

Each 15-inch model received a modest processor speed bump, starting with a new 2.2 GHz chip in the base model, followed by 2.5 GHz in the upgraded version. The Turbo Boost speeds of each model are now up to 3.4 and 3.7 GHz, respectively. Both of the new models include 16 GB of RAM standard. The graphics processor in the upgraded model is still an NVIDIA GeForce 750M with 2 GB of VRAM.

A built-to-order option for a 2.8 GHz processor is also now available for the 15-inch model, which features Turbo Boost speeds of up to 4.0 GHz.

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Modest Retina MacBook Pro refresh expected tomorrow, still with GeForce GT 750M but base RAM up to 16GB

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The unverified photo from a Chinese Apple Store appearing to show a slight refresh to the Retina MacBook Pro launch is accurate, claims French site MacG, citing a reliable source. The site claims that the refreshed models will go on sale tomorrow.

The refresh is a minor one, with a modest speed boost of 200MHz and an increase in RAM across the range to 16GB. Apple is also, for the first time, offering a 1TB SSD in a standard model …  Read more

Faster Retina MacBook Pros w/ 16GB of RAM across the board teased by unverified Apple Store photo

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An image posted on a Chinese forum, claimed to have been taken inside of Apple’s new Paradise Walk store, indicates that Apple could be preparing to release an updated line of Retina MacBook Pros in the near-future. The image appears to be from one of Apple’s iPad Smart Signs within the store, and the sign advertises 15-inch MacBook Pros with technical specifications and features not found in the current lineup.

The first possibility is that this image is faked, but the other likely possibility is a system error on Apple’s part. There’s also room for this image to indicate an actual MacBook Pro lineup update coming in the near-future. The rumored specifications indicate that Apple will be bumping the standard 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro line from two models to three, and all will include 16GB of RAM as a standard option. Here are all the purported models:

  • 2.2GHz Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost to 3.4GHz), 16GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, and Intel Iris Pro Graphics
  • 2.5GHz Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost to 3.7GHz), 16GB of RAM, 512GB of storage, and Intel Iris Pro Graphics & NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M w/2GB Video Memory
  • 2.8GHz Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost to 4.0GHz), 16GB of RAM, 1TB of storage, and Intel Iris Pro Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M w/2GB Video Memory

For comparison, here is the current MacBook Pro with Retina display lineup:

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