Report claims rumored refreshed Mac mini could launch next month

Mac-mini-bottom-cover-opened-iFixIt

Following rumors of a possible Mac mini refresh earlier this year and references on Apple’s own website, a new report says Apple could introduce an update to the product as early as next month. MacRumors cites a source that has provided accurate tips in the past claiming the new Mac mini could launch alongside new iPads and OS X Yosemite expected at an event in October. Read more

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

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 5.17.22 AM

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.

Read more

Intel launches updated Haswell chips, likely to appear in upcoming MacBook Pro spec bump

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 6.40.05 PM

Intel has debuted the next generation of its Core i5 and i7 processors, according to a report from CPU World. Each of these updated chips sports a 200 MHz speed boost over its previous incarnation, which can currently be found in the MacBook Pro lineup. It’s likely that these processors will be found in a spec-bumped version of the MacBook Pro later this year.

The current series of MacBook Pro processors are available at clock speeds of 2.0 GHz (in the lowest-end 13-inch model) up to 2.6 GHz (in the top-of-the-line, built-to-order 15-inch model). The next-gen models released this week range from 2.2 to 3.0 GHz, which will provide a decent speed boost to each model.

Read more

iMac reportedly getting a spec bump next week, but no Retina model yet

imac-best-buy-deal

According to a new MacG report, Apple is planning to debut a spec bump for the iMac lineup next week. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear these will be the Retina iMacs that have appeared in recent OS X beta builds. Instead, it seems we’re only due for a slight processor speed increase, with each model gaining only 100 MHz.

The report speculates that the new models could include a new and improved Thunderbolt 2 connection, but there doesn’t seem to be any confirmation of that at this time. MacG accurately predicted the most recent MacBook Air refresh, so it’s a safe bet that these iMacs are coming next week. We’ve heard similar whispers at 9to5Mac as well.

Read more

Bloomberg reiterates new Apple TV incoming, April introduction and Christmas launch

apple-tv-deal

Following our reports in recent months that Apple was looking to introduce a revamped Apple TV set-top box sometime around the month of March, Bloomberg is out with its own report today confirming much of what we’ve already reported. The report claims Apple is currently planning to launch the new Apple TV set-top box as early as April:

Apple Inc. (AAPL) is planning to introduce a new Apple TV set-top box as early as April and is negotiating with Time Warner Cable Inc. and other potential partners to add video content, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

In January we reported that Apple was working testing the new box that could include a revamped operating system and possibly app and game support for sometime in the first half of 2014. We also reported that Apple was testing upgraded hardware that included built-in AirPort Express 802.11ac router functionality and versions that include a built-in TV tuner to control existing cable boxes. Most recently we reported that code in recent builds of iOS 7 point to refreshed hardware, at least internally. Bloomberg today confirmed a couple of the same details including a new interface for navigating content. It also said the hardware will include a faster processor.

Bloomberg adds that a launch of the product is currently planned for Christmas but that might change if Apple isn’t able to nail down deals with content partners in time. Content from Time Warner has been rumored to be arriving soon for quite a while now, but negotiations are still ongoing according to Bloomberg’s report from today.

Read more

Apple announces refreshed MacBook Airs with Haswell, 802.11ac, 12hrs battery life

As we expected based on our intel leading up to the event, Apple just introduced refreshed MacBook Airs live on stage at it’s WWDC 2013 keynote address today. Apple announced that the new MacBook Airs will be arriving with the new Intel Haswell chips, as expected, and spent most of the time talking about increased battery life for the devices which now includes up to 12hrs battery. The 13-inch model now boasts battery life up to 12 hours (up from 7 on the previous generation), while the 11-inch model is expected to get 9-hour battery life (up from 5 on the previous generation).

Apple also announced that the new MacBook Airs would include the faster 802.11ac with “a maximum data rate of 1.3Gbps, almost three times faster than 802.11n.” Other specs that Apple mentioned: dual microphones, a FaceTime® HD camera, a high-speed Thunderbolt port and two USB 3.0 ports.

All models will be available with a 1.3 GHz processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 2.6 GHz and 4GB of RAM, but Apple will also make a BTO option available with a 1.7 GHz Intel Core i7 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.3 GHz, 8GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD.

Apple said the new MacBook Airs include up to 40% faster graphics, 2x GPU execution units, and more energy efficient CPUs, while the machine itself now meets ENERGY STAR 5.2 and EPEAT gold environmental standards.

Apple will be shipping the new MacBook Airs starting today starting at $999 for a 128GB 11-inch model and $1099 for the 128GB 13-inch model. An extra $200 will bump you up to the 256GB models, but Apple didn’t provide any other details on any other upgraded internals.

Earlier this month we received SKUs indicating that Apple had some MacBook refreshes in the works for today’s event that would include an upgrade to Intel’s new Haswell chips and upgraded internals. At the time, the SKUs pointed to availability of the refreshed MacBooks this week, but it was unclear when the models would ship and if some would arrive before others.

Apple’s full press release below: Read more

Intel officially launches 4th gen Haswell processors bound for next-gen Macs just in time for WWDC

Intel-Haswell-4th-gen-processors

We’ve told you several times in recent months about Intel’s next-generation Haswell processors that are largely expected to replace Apple’s current Ivy Bridge offerings in the next round of Macs. Now, ahead of Apple’s expected WWDC announcements, Intel has just officially launched its next-gen processors. The company confirmed that quad-core versions of the chips are available now with availability of ultrabooks, all-in-ones, laptops and desktops planned for this summer.

Intel says the processors provide up to a 50 percent improvement in battery life (the biggest gain in the history of Intel’s processors), and double the graphics performance of previous generation chips thanks to its ‘Iris’ technology.

Delivering Intel’s largest generation-over-generation gain in battery life enablement in company history, 4th generation Intel Core processors can bring an 50 percent improvement in battery life over the previous generation in active workloads when watching movies or surfing the Internet, and two to three times improvement in standby battery life. For some systems coming to market this year, over 9 hours of active use battery life or 10 to 13 days of standby with fresh data on a single charge is expected.

Earlier this year we saw stats from early performance tests showing Haswell will provide some notable performance boosts for MacBooks, and we’ve also heard reports that the 4th-gen Intel processors will be headed to iMacs and Mac minis towards the end of the year.

In a more recent report, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed Apple will introduce new MacBook Pro and Air updates next week at WWDC that will include an upgrade to Haswell. Yesterday, we posted even more evidence with SKUs showing that Apple is likely planning a MacBook refresh. Read more