Apple Retail SVP Ahrendts tackles Apple Watch/MacBook launch questions in 5-minute employee video

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The video accompanying the memo Ahrendts sent to staff last week has been published by Mac4Ever. Apple retail boss Angela Ahrendts clarified some of the details of the Apple Watch and MacBook rollouts that are starting this week. The executive confirmed that for the time being, watch orders will only be available online due to extremely limited supply.

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The best travel accessories for your MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, or Retina MacBook

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Traveling with any MacBook is a lot easier today than it was five or ten years ago. Apple’s latest laptops consume much less space than their predecessors, and last much longer when they’re in active use. Whether it’s on a seat-back tray or resting in your lap, your MacBook can deliver quite a few hours of productive work time, video viewing, or even gameplay without assistance. But it can do even more if you bring the right accessories along.

My goal is to help you choose the best items to carry with you on the road — the type of items I’ve spent years testing. The picks below are highly practical and focused to make good use of space and address real-world concerns that many travelers have. Read on!

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Review: Can you actually use the new 12-inch MacBook for work?

MacBook 2015

Early reviews of Apple’s MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2015) have framed it as an expensive prototype from the future — a notebook that will someday be the standard, but one most people aren’t ready for yet. Despite that classification, the new MacBook is extremely tempting if you’re in the market for a new computer: it’s more portable than even the MacBook Air, it’s the first Mac available in gold and space gray finishes, and it has a trackpad with a new feature called Force Touch.

But can you actually do work on the 12-inch MacBook? That’s the $1300 question everyone is asking. I’ll unpack my experience below …

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Solutions to the 12-inch MacBook’s single port begin hitting Kickstarter

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The radical approach taken by Apple in equipping the new 12-inch MacBook with just a single port for both power and connectivity makes the machine extremely sleek, but somewhat problematic to use when you want to connect multiple devices. Two Kickstarter projects aim to solve that.

First, InfiniteUSB, which already provides stackable cables for standard USB ports, has launched a USB-C version called, unsurprisingly, InfiniteUSB-C. Each cable has a combined USB-C plug and socket at one end, enabling you to piggy-back as many as you need, and either a Lightning, Micro USB or USB socket on the other end …  Read more

12-inch MacBook teardown provides closer look at its tiny motherboard, terraced battery design

We saw teardowns of the 2015 MacBook Air and Retina MacBook Pro last month, but now a Feng.com user has provided us with the first teardown of the all-new 12-inch MacBook. Apple heavily touted the internal design of the laptop during its unveil last month and today’s teardown gives us a closer look at what exactly the company had to do in order to make the 12-inch MacBook as small as possible.

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CalDigit unveils durable USB-C Tuff drive for the 12-inch MacBook, T4 nano RAID drive w/ HDMI & Thunderbolt 2

CalDigit USB-C Tuff

USB-C is the sole port on Apple’s new 12-inch MacBook, and CalDigit today announced a version of its durable external drive that takes advantage of the new reversible USB 3.1 port. CalDigit Tuff features a USB-C port and cable for connecting the portable drive to the Apple’s ultra-thin notebook, and an included adapter cable ensures compatibility with the USB port that you’re used to seeing on your hardware as well. Since the new MacBook’s thin and light profile intends for it to venture out of your office and into the wild, CalDigit Tuff is ruggedized to endure drops, splashes, dust and other extreme environments.

CalDigit Tuff starts at $139.99 for 1TB HDD with availability starting in July (new MacBook orders currently deliver in 4-6 weeks). A solid state drive version with up to 1TB of storage will also be available while a higher capacity 2TB HDD option will be offered. Read more

OS X 10.10.3 brings enhanced 4K support (including 12-inch MacBook), adds 5K Dell for Mac Pro/iMac

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Apple has expanded support for 4K displays in its recent OS X 10.10.3 release and officially confirmed specifics for using 4K displays with its new 12-inch MacBook.

While previously Apple only officially supported certain Multi-Stream Transport (MST) displays at a refresh rate of 60Hz, it now says that “most single-stream 4K (3840×2160) displays” are officially supported at 60Hz as well following the recent OS X Yosemite v10.10.3 update. That should mean support for a lot more inexpensive 4K displays that don’t include DisplayPort’s Multi-Stream Transport feature.

A full list of Macs that will support Single-Stream (SST) displays with a 60Hz refresh rate include: Read more

You now have to wait almost a month to get a Gold (or fast) MacBook

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While it was a case of ‘you snooze, you lose’ for the Apple Watch, almost all models selling out shortly after online sales opened, there’s better news if you’re in the market for the new 12-inch MacBook. At the time of writing, the standard model ships in just 1-3 days in either silver or space gray.

Opt for the gold model, however, and the shipping estimate jumps straight to a month. And it appears Apple isn’t expecting many buyers to care about the relatively weedy performance: the faster 1.3GHz processor model appears to be build-to-order only. Check the button for that and the site displays a message saying “this customized Mac takes a bit longer to build” and shipping slips to 3-4 weeks for even the silver model …  Read more

Apple begins Apple Watch pre-orders & 12-inch MacBook sales, supplies limited

Apple Watch

Update: Shipment dates are all over the place for the Apple Watch. Many models are already showing delivery dates in June, while the Edition shows an August arrival date. Some 12-inch MacBook models still ship in 1-3 business days.

As expected, the highly anticipated Apple Watch is now available for pre-order through Apple’s online store. Likewise, the new 12-inch MacBook is now available for purchase through the online store. Pre-orders of the Apple Watch and sales of the MacBook are also live in the Apple Store app on iOS devices. You can also now make appointments to try-on an Apple Watch at an Apple Store.

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