Geekbench results from 12-inch MacBook show similar performance to 2011 MacBook Air

macbook1

Even though the device is not yet available, an early unboxing gave us a hands-on look at Apple’s upcoming 12-inch Retina MacBook this morning, and now Geekbench results from the device have emerged giving us a look at what kind of performance we can expect from it. The Geekbench process tested the performance of the entry-level 12-inch Retina MacBook, which packs an Intel Core M-5Y31 processor clocked at 1.1GHz with Turbo Boost to 2.4GHz.

Read more

12-inch MacBook gets video unboxing in Vietnam ahead of April 10th release [Gallery]

3010078_DSC_0067

The 12-inch Retina MacBook may not be available in stores yet, but Vietnam-based blog Tinhte has already gotten its hands on the next-gen machine. A video posted to YouTube (embedded below) shows the MacBook being unboxed, though it doesn’t seem to be a shipping model, as it won’t boot into OS X. You can see the full unboxing video below, along with a gallery of photos of the computer itself and the accessories that ship with it, including the new charger and quick start guide.

Read more

Review: Kanex’s Thunderbolt 2 Express Dock is a handy MacBook hub with middle-of-pack features, pricing

thunderbolt2expressdock-2

As I’ve said before, Thunderbolt 2 docks are a really great idea for MacBook users. Before now, there were three major options: Belkin’s $300 Thunderbolt 2 Express HD DockElgato’s $220 Thunderbolt 2 Dock (review), and CalDigit’s $226 Thunderbolt Station 2 (review). All three are designed for the same purpose — to connect a bunch of peripherals (including hard drives, a monitor, and audio cables) to your Mac with one Thunderbolt 2 cable — and they all have the same core peripheral ports, with small differences to set them apart from one another.

This month, Kanex is entering the fray with the Thunderbolt 2 Express Dock ($250), which looks a lot like Belkin’s dock but is closer in price to Elgato’s and CalDigit’s. Aluminum on the top and bottom with a black plastic core, it has a front-mounted USB 3.0 port with two more on the back, and comes bundled with a power adapter and 3.3-foot Thunderbolt cable. While it doesn’t stand out in any major way from its earlier rivals, it’s competently executed and attractively designed, with some modest feature tweaks that prospective buyers should know about…

Read more

Review: Swapping MagSafe for SnapFit, BatteryBox adds 60Wh of portable power to MacBook Airs, Pros

batterybox-5

Thanks to Apple’s patent on the MagSafe connectors used in MacBook Airs and Pros, the list of third-party external batteries for MacBooks previously began with Hyper’s HyperJuice/HyperJuice 2 and ended with Lenmar’s ChugPlug — not much of a variety. Apple’s legal department chased Hyper for attaching harvested MagSafe connectors to its batteries, and Lenmar chose a workaround, sending ChugPlug’s power indirectly though an Apple wall adapter. Neither solution was ideal. It took until now for a completely different third solution to appear: BatteryBox ($220) from Gbatteries Energy.

BatteryBox is the first MacBook power option I’ve tested that doesn’t require either MagSafe or an Apple wall adapter to function. Since the developers went out of their way to create something that won’t run afoul of Apple’s legal team, there’s absolutely nothing Mac-like about its brick-like rectangular design. And it’s not cheap, priced between the two HyperJuices and higher than ChugPlug, which can now be had for only $100. But it works, adding a 60-watt-hour additional battery to the 38-95-watt-hour cells already inside MacBook Airs and Pros. So if you’re on the road without access to a power outlet and need to add hours of additional runtime to your Apple laptop, this is a viable alternative….

Read more

Inklet plug-in adds pressure-sensitive drawing on new Force Touch MacBook trackpad

pd_inklet_iso

Ten One Design has released an updated version of its drawing plug-in, Inklet, adding pressure-sensitive drawing on the new Force Touch trackpad in all Mac drawing apps, including Photoshop, Lightroom, Aperture and Illustrator. The new trackpad was introduced by Apple on the 12-inch MacBook and 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display.

This means MacBook owners with the new trackpad will enjoy enhanced, highly-accurate pressure sensitivity when drawing on the trackpad whether drawing with a stylus or with a finger.

Inklet for Mac adds an icon to your menubar that you click when you want to draw on your trackpad in your chosen app …  Read more

Feature: Becoming the Apple stereotype of writing a novel on a MacBook in Starbucks

Man using/working on laptop computer

Of all the stereotypes we hear about Apple owners, there is perhaps none so enduring as the guy writing a novel on his MacBook in Starbucks. Well, one November, I became that guy. Fast-forward a few years, and I have a 110,000-word technothriller ready to unleash on an unsuspecting public.

I’d had an idea for a novel years earlier, but I’d initially done what almost everyone does when they have an idea for a novel: absolutely nothing. The gap between having an idea and having a completed novel seemed too enormous to contemplate, especially when it would have to be combined with, you know, working for a living.

But then someone told me about something called NaNoWriMo: National Novel Writing Month. Every November, around 400,000 people across the USA, UK, Canada and a number of other countries around the world attempt to write 50,000 words of a novel. I decided to become one of them–using Apple technology, naturally …  Read more

Happy Hour Podcast 006 | New Apple Watch details, a controversial Steve Jobs flick, and the future of USB-C with Apple

happy-hour

Welcome to Happy Hour 006. In this episode Zac, Seth, and Benjamin discuss new Apple Watch details and wrap up the need-to-know information, a new controversial Steve Jobs documentary, and the future of USB-C. How will it affect future iOS devices and Macs? The Happy Hour podcast is available for download on iTunes and through our dedicated RSS feed…

Click here to subscribe on iTunes or listen to the episode embedded above.

Read more

Apple seeds OS X 10.10.3 build 14D105 to developers and Public Beta users

Screenshot 2015-03-16 12.56.54

Less than a week following the previous seed, Apple has released build 14D105 of the upcoming OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 to both developers and users of the Public Beta. Apple has not yet said when 10.10.3 will be released to all OS X Yosemite users, but the increase in seeds in recent weeks likely indicates that a wider launch is fast approaching. As we’ve previously detailed, 10.10.3 will include the all new iCloud-based Photos app for the Mac, developer APIs for the new Force Touch Trackpad on the MacBook and MacBook Pro with Retina display, and a new Emoji picker across the system.

Read more

Brace yourself – Core M benchmarks illustrate likely low-end performance from new MacBook

core-m

Lenovo’s Yoga 3 Pro convertible laptop–which uses the same Broadwell Core M processor as Apple’s new ultraportable MacBook–has provided the first look at its likely performance. AnandTech‘s numbers show that in overall performance terms, the Yoga 3 Pro was delivering a little over 90% of the performance of the early 2014 MacBook Air which has far fewer pixels than the Retina MacBook…

Read more

Opinion: Are we bidding farewell to MagSafe, and does it matter?

magsafe

When Apple unveiled the new 12-inch MacBook with just a single port (plus a headphone socket), it was doing not just one radical thing, but two. Reducing a machine to just one port was the first; dropping MagSafe was the second.

MagSafe has been one of the key features of MacBooks since it was first introduced by Apple in 2006. It is still highlighted on Apple’s website as one of the key design features of both the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air.

MacBook Air offers innovations you won’t find anywhere else — like the MagSafe 2 power connector, which breaks cleanly away from the notebook if you accidentally trip over the power cord.

The magnetic power cord attaches securely and detaches cleanly.

It’s one of the features that even the most die-hard opponents of Macs tend to grudgingly admit is a good idea. And yet that (very) shiny new MacBook aimed at the largest slice of the MacBook Air market doesn’t have it. Is this a one-off move for a single model, or will we see USB C power replacing MagSafe across the entire MacBook range … ?  Read more

Happy Hour Podcast 005 | Discussing Apple’s 12-inch MacBook, Apple Watch, and other ‘Spring Forward’ announcements

happy-hour

Happy Hour is back and this week we’re discussing all of Apple’s latest announcements. The Spring Forward event brought along a few new Apple Watch details, slight MacBook Pro/Air updates, and the anticipated 12-inch MacBook with Retina Display. In this episode, we’re breaking down the announcements and serving up all of the need-to-know information about Apple’s latest and greatest for 2015. The Happy Hour podcast is available for download on iTunes and through our dedicated RSS feed…

Click here to subscribe on iTunes or listen to the episode embedded above.

Read more