Kanex adds 3 USB ports and Gigabit Ethernet to your MacBook with pocket-sized DualRole

We have played with and enjoyed a few products from Kanex in the past, and today the company showed off its latest USB 3.0 charging solution at Macworld with the DualRole. The product is a super lightweight and very portable bus-powered USB3 hub that packs three extra USB 3 ports and a Gigabit Ethernet adapter. That means you’ll be able to add a Gigabit Ethernet adapter to your Retina MacBook Pro or MacBook Air and have an extra three USB ports on hand.

9to5Mac went hands-on with the DualRole today during Macworld, and we definitely want one for ourselves. Anyone who travels knows how nice it is to connect via Ethernet when hotel Wi-Fi gets sketchy, and it’s certainly nice to be able to carry around an additional three USB 3.0 ports in your pocket at the same time. DualRole also provided an optional 5V power adapter to offer a little extra power to the USB ports, and the built-in cable tucks away nicely when not in use. DualRole is selling for $69 through the Kanex website, but it should also land next to the company’s lineup of other solid products on Amazon shortly.

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13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display confirmed for Apple event

Alongside the smaller iPad, Apple will debut a 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display, according to a consistently reliable source at a high-profile U.S. retailer.

This new 13-inch MacBook Pro with a Retina Display is said to pick up the thinner and lighter enclosure of the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display that was released in June.

The new 13-inch MacBook Pro will be sold in two configurations, with differing processors and storage, and will be available for purchase soon after introduction.

Like with the 15-inch MacBook Pro lines, the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display will be sold (at a higher price) in addition to the current non-Retina display model. That computer was updated with faster processors and USB 3.0 in June.

The current 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display is codenamed D2, and its smaller sibling is in fact, as predicted this morning, dubbed D1 internally.

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Fox: New iMacs launching before Christmas

Clayton Morris at Fox says that new iMacs will launch soon, perhaps as early as next week during the iPhone event or even after the rumored October event, but he seems to think they will be available for the holidays.

I’ve been hoping for an iMac update and it looks like my wish is about to come true! Multiple sources tell me that a new lineup of desktop machines from Apple is imminent.

It appears that Morris changed his story from “releasing next week” but there is no mention of that on the Fox News website.  Only this tweet:

There has been no shortage of new iMac rumors, and supplies have been dwindling in a number of retail channels. We are in agreement with some of Morris’s predictions like USB 3, updated CPU/GPU and SSD options, but we are not yet on board with the outward design overhaul and loss of optical drive.

A few things we can count on in the new iMacs are new Ivy Bridge processors, improved graphics chips, USB 3.0, and expanded SSD capacities. Also look for a new slimmer design with Apple finally removing the optical drive from the side.

It is possible that the iMac announcement could happen at the rumored October iPad mini announcement, but I’m not holding my breath for that. Apple has been known to update the desktops without much fanfare.

Analysts have expected a new iMac for some time now, with KGI Research’s latest estimates below: Read more

LaCie announces re-engineered USB 3.0 products for new MacBooks including ruggedized USB stick

LaCie introduced the RuggedKey this week. It is an IP-54 water and dust resistant USB 3.0 key that provides speeds up to 150 MB/s and a bumper that offers protection from “heat, cold, and 100-meter drops.” The RuggedKey is now available in Apple stores or from the company directly starting at $40 for 16 GB, but LaCie also announced today that it updated its entire USB 3.0 portfolio with optimizations specifically for Apple’s latest lineup of MacBooks. LaCie said it re-engineered its USB 3.0 products for Lion and Mountain Lion by taking advantage of USB-attached SCSI Protocol support in Ivy Bridge Macs:

Thanks to UAS (USB Attached SCSI Protocol), people with the latest Macbook Air, Macbook Pro and Macbook Pro with Retina Display will experience maximum USB 3.0 performance… Everything from cables and USB keys, to professional RAID storage solutions have been re-engineered for advanced performances. LaCie’s recently announced RuggedKey achieves top speeds up to 150MB/s in 32GB of flash memory – making it one of the fastest USB keys on the market. LaCie’s popular Rugged Triple, and Porsche Design P’9223 and P’9233 have also been optimized for Mac and are available in Apple retail.

On top of Apple stores, the redesigned lineup of LaCie USB 3.0 products is available through LaCie stores. The company’s full press release is below:
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New MacBook Pro’s Retina display reviewed and benchmarked

After posting initial benchmark data yesterday for the new Retina MacBook Pro’s SSD and USB 3.0, AnandTech published a longer analysis today about the notebook’s display. The report first took a closer look at the new resolution preferences for Retina MBP users and described the advantages of the different scaling options displayed in the gallery above:

Retina Display MBP owners now get a slider under OS X’s Display Preferences that allow you to specify desktop resolutions other than 1440 x 900. At 1440 x 900 you don’t get any increase in usable desktop resolution compared to a standard 15-inch MacBook Pro, but everything is ridiculously crisp… Even at the non-integer scaled 1680 x 1050 setting, the Retina Display looks a lot better than last year’s high-res panel. It looks like Apple actually renders the screen at twice the selected resolution before scaling it to fit the 2880 x 1800 panel (in other words, at 1920 x 1200 Apple is rendering everything at 3840 x 2400 (!) before scaling… Everything just looks better.

As illustrated in the images above showing benchmark data, the review found greatly improved viewing angles, black levels, and contrast when compared to the previous generation high-res MacBook Pro model. AnandTech then looked at Apple’s claims that the new MacBook Pro display reduces glare by 75 percent from previous generations:

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New Mac spec sheet leaks out, WWDC launch pricing and naming included

The image above represents the full pricing matrix for new devices expected to unveil in a few days at the Worldwide Developers Conference. You will notice the Mac Pros, Retina MacBook Pros, MacBook Airs, and iMacs that we discussed before at length.

We have more notes on the unlabeled parts below—including the newly identified RAM update: Read more

After nearly two years without an update, Apple to finally revamp Mac Pro next week

Yesterday, we reported that Apple has an incredible WWDC surprise: major updates to four of its Mac lines. We were able to affirm that three of these updates would cover the redesigned MacBook Pro with a Retina Display, refreshed 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Airs, and new iMacs in two screen sizes. Besides those three Mac lines updates, we were unsure if the either the Mac mini or the Mac Pro would make it as the fourth update. We speculated that it could be the Mac mini due to the newly available Ivy Bridge processors, but now, reliable sources are reporting that Apple will, in fact, unveil a new Mac Pro at WWDC next week.

Sources have also been able to provide some part numbers and prices to prove this:

MD770LL/A – K5BPLUS,BETTER, BTR-USA

MD771LL/A – K5BPLUS,BEST,BTR-USA

MD772LL/A – K5BPLUS,ULTIMATE,BTR-USA

The pricing is similar to current Mac Pro models. What’s interesting here is that we’ve seen updates to every other line of Macs that Apple carries….except one…The Mac Mini.

Our sources are currently unsure of the feature-set coming with the new Mac Pro, but these sources say that there will likely now be three configurations. Two standard versions of the Mac Pro and a third version with OS X Server capabilities. In early 2011, we reported on some of the work that Apple engineers had been prototyping up for a future version of Apple’s Pro desktop line. For that report, sources said that Apple had been experimenting with a new Mac Pro design that is rackable and stackable. These prototype machines also included space for more storage drives, an important feature now that the Xserve has been long discontinued. With a year having passed since we heard about these prototype Mac Pros and the ability of Thunderbolt to offload a lot of the expandability, the final new Mac Pro designs could be different than the current designs but we haven’t yet heard definitively either way.

MacRumors reported that Apple has begun pulling Mac Pro stock from some of its retail stores. We’ve heard the same from tipsters, left.

With Apple adding the super-fast USB 3.0 technology to its next-generation MacBook Pro, and with Apple’s latest Macs including the even faster Thunderbolt I/O technology, Apple will likely add these faster connection ports to their latest Pro desktop. Since the Mac Pro is Apple’s most high-end machine for professional workers of all types, the most important features are the internals. Earlier this year, Intel released a series of Xeon E5 chips that would seem like a lock for a new Mac Pro. These new Mac Pros will likely also likely feature the latest graphics chips.

Apple last updated the Mac Pro in July 2010, making this upcoming update significant. It is unclear why Apple had left the Mac Pro in its 2010 form for so long, but a reader email from 2011 might explain that. According to the Apple executive who replied to a 9to5Mac reader inquiring about the Mac Pro’s status, Apple had been “investing heavily” in the professional desktop computer. We are unsure what investing heavily will mean for the final product, but it should surely be an incredible update over the nearly two year old model.

The Mac Pro’s demise: greatly exaggerated, indeed. Read more

Decidedly un-exciting new 13-inch MacBook Pro spec sheet leaks?

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Weiphone forum member shows a purported new MacBook Pro spec sheet ripped right from a unit. The notables are Intel HD 4000 video, USB 3.0, and a faster 1600MHz DDR3 RAM.

Perhaps more notable is the same .95-inch thickness (in fact it has the exact same dimensions as the current 13-inch MacBook Pro), optical drive, and sad 1,280-by-800 display that is not even as dense as the 2010 13-inch MacBook Air’s display.

This base model (if this is indeed real) is not going to be on our shopping list. Do you know what is?

Update: If this is indeed true, this base model MBP would be running a Intel® Core™ i5-3210M Processor (3M Cache, up to 3.10 GHz),

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Amazon Trade-In program conveniently now lists MacBook lineup, other laptops

Amazon’s Trade-In program now accepts laptops and netbooks, which means Mac users are eligible to swap their MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, or MacBook before the upcoming refresh. How convenient—especially with the new MacBooks likely just weeks away from launch!

Starting today, those who are interested can visit www.amazon.com/tradein to search for electronics worth trading-in. After finding the item, click the Trade in button. After the trade-in submission is accepted, Amazon offers free shipping through UPS Ground or U.S. Postal Service to eliminate the headache and cost of the trade-in process. All items have to ship within seven days of submitting the transaction.

The online retailer deposits a Gift Card into the seller’s account after the deal finalizes. Unaccepted trade-ins either will receive a lower Gift Card amount or simply be returned. The return method adheres to the seller’s preference, which is selected upon completing the initial transaction online.

A quick glance through the MacBook price tags reveal an Apple MacBook Pro MD322LL/A 15.4-Inch Laptop (NEWEST VERSION) for a trade-in value up to $1,230, while an Apple MacBook MC516LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop (OLD VERSION) fetches a trade-in value up to $360. An Apple MacBook Air MC966LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop (NEWEST VERSION) earns a trade-in value up to $74o. The amount offered per trade-in varies depending on the model and condition.

9to5Mac first reported earlier this month that Apple is prepping a new 15-inch MacBook Pro for this summer that features an ultra-thin design, a “jaw-dropping” Retina Display, and super-fast USB 3. Our sources also indicated the MacBook Retina Display will début at the Worldwide Developers Conference next month, but it will not stay exclusive to Apple’s Pro notebook. The first-class, high-resolution display is also coming to the MacBook Air family. Read more