Opinion: Will Apple return to a single MacBook range next year?

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Photo: anandtech.com

I guess you could call me something of a fanboy where Apple laptops are concerned. I bought the very first one, the Macintosh Portable, in 1989 (and actually still have it tucked away in a cupboard even now). This was followed by a series of PowerBooks before the MacBooks came along, and I currently have both a MacBook Pro 17 and MacBook Air 11.

The split between the Air and Pro ranges made sense for a whole bunch of reasons up to now. The Air has performed two important roles for Apple. First, the cachet of producing the world’s slimmest notebook further boosted Apple’s style credentials. Even today, after it lost the slimmest notebook crown and has seen the wedge design copied by others, it remains a style icon, getting admiring glances every time you pull it out in a coffee shop …  Read more

Black Friday: The best Apple deals on iPhone, iPad, Macs, & Apps all in one place

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It can be hard to keep up with all of the great Apple related deals available this Black Friday weekend, so we thought we’d make it easy for you. Here are all of the best deals available this weekend on Macs, iPhones, iPads, Apple TV, iPods, iTunes gift cards, and a ton of great apps for both iOS and Mac. As always, 9to5Toys is tracking all the best Black Friday deals on other products as well as the latest discounts as they get announced.

Mac |

Best Buy: Retina MacBook Pro up to $200 off, iMac $150 off, MacBook Air $150 off
MacMall: Black Friday Begins Now at MacMall: MacBook Airs $100 off, iPads $40 off, more
B&H: Some of the best deals on Macs if you want AppleCare included.

iPhone |

Best Buy: Best Buy offering iPhone 5s for $75 off all models on AT&T, Sprint and Verizon
Walmart: Walmart will credit YOU $30 to get an iPhone 5c on contract this Black Friday
T-Mobile: T-Mobile, regional carriers offering iPhone 5s and 5c for $0 down on Black Friday

iPad |

Apple iPad Deals: iPad Air w/ $100 Target GC $479, iPad mini $249, iPad 2 $300, more

Apple TV |

Apple TV + HDMI Cable: $72.49 shipped
Apple TV 3rd generation 1080p $85 shipped (Reg. $99)

iPod |

Black Friday iPod Discounts: iPod Touch/iPod Nano $50 off, more

Accessories |

Where to find the best Black Friday deals on iPhones, iPads, Macs, & Apple accessories

iTunes |

Discounted iTunes Gift Cards: Save up to 20% on future apps, music, movies, more. $100 gift card for $85 or $50 gift card for $40.

Apps |

Black Friday App Store sale guide: The best deals on iPhone, iPad, and Mac apps

Adobe Photoshop and Premiere Elements 12 combo: $70 shipped

Adobe launches Black Friday deals up to 60% off on Photoshop, Lightroom, and more

VMWare sitewide Black Friday sale, VMWare Fusion 6: $38.99 new or $32.49 for an upgrade

Apple’s multi-billion dollar spend on gadgets you’ll never see

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Bloomberg claims to have some info on how Apple plans to spend some of the $10.5B it has set aside for capital expenditure over the next year, saying that the investments will span everything from lasers to robots.

Apple is spending more on the machines that do the behind-the-scenes work of mass producing iPhones, iPads and other gadgets. That includes equipment to polish the new iPhone 5c’s colorful plastic, laser and milling machines to carve the MacBook’s aluminum body, and testing gear for the iPhone and iPad camera lens …  Read more

Apple fixes 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro trackpad/keyboard issues, graphics bug on 15-inch

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With the new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro launch last month, many users have noticed and complained about issues relating to the computer’s keyboard and trackpad becoming unresponsive.

In line with Apple’s promise, a fix has been delivered:

This update is recommended for MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, late 2013) models.    This update addresses an issue where the built-in keyboard and Multi-Touch trackpad may become unresponsive.

The solution comes in the form of the MacBook Pro Retina EFI Update 1.3, and this update is available via Software Update in the Mac App Store. Apple has also released an update for the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro to fix issues relating to NVIDIA Graphics chips:

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Latest MacBook Pro 15 gets blazing SSD performance thanks to 4-channel PCIe (updated)

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Update: It appears this may be a function of the 1TB drives fitted to both 13- and 15-inch models. The reason for this isn’t yet clear: it may be the drives used offer greater bandwidth.

Benchmark tests by French site Mac4Ever show that the latest MacBook Pro 15 is delivering SSD read and write speeds in excess of 1GB per second. The site repeatedly achieved these speeds when Apple claims only “up to 775MB per second.”

The MBP 15 is able to achieve these speeds because it has a 4-channel PCIe connection to the SSD, in contrast to the 2-channel link on the MBP 13 and MacBook Air models, though from some reader reports this may be the case only on models fitted with 1TB drives …

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iPad Air teardown: never mind the repairability, feel the tech

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iFixit has done its usual trick of hopping over to Australia to get its hands on an iPad Air in the first time-zone to open its doors for business to bring us a look at the innards of the new device. The device is now on sale in the U.S. too, with supplies expected to be good.

No surprise that the company found little prospect of success for DIY repair, reporting that even opening the casing was a challenge: when you pack that much technology into so small a space, there’s going to be a lot of glue involved.

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Some details of what the company found and more photos below the fold …  Read more