MacbookPro Stories October 15, 2021

With the upcoming Apple event approaching quickly, speculation is getting out of hand in regards to the chip Apple plans to put in the next-generation MacBook Pro. The most likely name is “M1X,” and others believe the chip will be called “M2.” Some folks have tossed around other names as well with different modifiers. Guess what? It doesn’t matter what it’s called. What matters is that it’s faster than last year’s chip, but not so much faster that it steps on the M1’s parade.

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MacbookPro Stories November 19, 2020

While macOS Big Sur has been available to the public since last week, some users have reported that they were unable to install the latest version of Apple’s desktop operating system on their Mac computers. More specifically, macOS Big Sur is having compatibility issues with some older MacBooks, and if you’re facing this issue, Apple today shared some ways to fix that.

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MacbookPro Stories July 29, 2014

Apple Store refurbished Retina MacBook Pros dip to lowest prices ever, now start below $1,000

From 9to5Toys.com:

Apple quietly released an updated lineup of Retina MacBook Pros earlier this morning and as a result, previous generation (which, let’s be honest, aren’t a big step down) refurbished models have received notable price drops.

At the low end, the October 2012 (first generation) 13-inch model has dropped $59, which has made it the first refurbished Retina MacBook Pro with a 1 year Apple warranty to dip below $1,000. This pricing isn’t completely unprecedented as we have tracked new models at $999.

A best bet: Prices for the 2013 Haswell model now start at $1,019. That’s down from $1,099 (that $20 extra will go a long way on battery life alone).

You can browse Apple’s entire refurbished offerings, but keep in mind quantities are extremely limited and popular models tend to sell out quickly. Be sure to check back frequently because inventories are constantly being replenished. Apple refurbished products have a reputation for being nearly as good as new and are still eligible for AppleCare.

Best Buy continues to be the best place to buy a new MacBook for anyone with access to an .edu email address. The big box retailer offers students an additional $100 off already discounted MacBook prices. All other buyers should follow our buying guides and 9to5Toys to keep up with the best Mac deals.

MacbookPro Stories July 18, 2014

Apple’s upcoming redesigned 12-inch MacBook with a Retina display is expected to ship later than expected and new 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air models have gone into production, according to a pair of reports from Taiwan’s Economic Daily News. The first report says that updates to both current MacBook Air sizes have entered production with Apple partner Quanta Computer, and that the new computers will boost Quanta’s 2014 notebook shipment numbers by 15%. The new devices are said to sport new chassis, screens, and chipsets, and volume shipments are due in late-August barring any unforeseen component delays.

Speaking of part delays, Apple’s illusive 12-inch MacBook with Retina display is now expected to ship as early as the end of Q3 2014 or as late as early 2015. The computer was initially reported by multiple analysts and publications to hit the marketplace sometime in the earlier part of the third quarter. Why the apparent delay? Intel. According to the report, the new MacBook’s launch is glued to Intel’s power and performance-efficient 14-nanometer Broadwell part, and as we’ve heard multiple times, those chipsets will be short in supply into next year. Regardless, Apple has shown an ability to stock up on Intel’s latest chips months before the competition, so perhaps Apple will be able to avoid this reported delay…

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MacbookPro Stories June 9, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-06-09 at 4.13.44 PM

Apple has issued SMC update 2.0 for all mid-2013 MacBook Airs, citing a fix for battery problems while the computer’s screen is closed.

This update addresses an issue which may cause the battery to drain faster than expected when the lid is closed.

You can download the update here or in the Mac App Store.

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MacbookPro Stories February 19, 2013

MacBook AirAccording to a translated report from Taiwanese publication Economic Daily (via Macotakara), Apple is apparently in the process of preparing suppliers for the launch of a Retina MacBook Air in Q3 2013. The report appears to claim that both 11- and 13-inch variants of the MacBook Air will launch with Retina displays in addition to an upgrade from Intel’s new Haswell platform. Apple supplier Quanta is expected to begin receiving shipments of the new components in the second quarter, according to Economic Daily.

Today’s report of course goes against recent claims from analysts predicting the next-gen MacBook Air would land in Q2 or Q3 without a Retina display. We heard last year that Apple was working on MacBook Airs with Retina displays, but sources indicated the power drawn from the Retina Displays combined with the thin and light form factor of the MacBook Air may pose challenges for Apple and its product manufacturers. expand full story

MacbookPro Stories February 16, 2013

2013-Retina-MacBook-PRo (Click to enlarge)

It appears the recent spec update to the MacBook Pros wasn’t as minor as we had originally thought. According to a leaked Apple repair guide for the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro, many internals including the SSD, I/O Board, Logic Board and even the bottom case have been updated to new parts. While it isn’t clear yet how the updated parts were changed (besides the obvious CPU speed), it reminded us of a Foxconn leak we got in October 2012:

1. The rmbp in production line D2 is identified as defected products as in terms of thermal heating and screen ghosting. P/S: Apple is not going to re-launch the 15” rmbp. Just that Apple will improve on the production technique in D2 line. Apple will launch the 13” rmbp. Ghosting and thermal issues will be fixed but internals and design will be similar to 15” rmbp.

Interestingly, the report also said that Retina MacBook Pro production would move, at least partially, to Mexico.

We also have the 2013 repair manual for the 13-inch MacBook Pro below that only shows 2013 updates to logic board (likely just for CPU updates) and how to tell which model of Retina MacBook Pro you have for both 13- and 15-inch varieties. expand full story

MacbookPro Stories February 15, 2013

MacbookPro Stories February 13, 2013

Apple Store also drops prices of refurbished Retina MacBook Pros (now start at $1269) and MacBook Airs

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From 9to5Toys.com:

Following price drops and minor processor upgrades for Apple Retina MacBook Pros this morning, Apple also further discounted its refurbished MacBook Pros. Apple took 15 percent off the MacBook Pros in January, and it dropped the 256GB 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro even more to $1,359 today. Other refurbished Retina MacBooks have been discounted as well. The 512GB 2.9GHz Retina MacBook Pro now sells for $1,779 refurbished. Apple also discounted its 256GB 13-inch MacBook Air to $1,099, and it received a price drop this morning to $1,399 new.

MacbookPro Stories February 12, 2013

Apple releases MacBook Pro firmware update 1.7 to address rare battery issue

After releasing an SMC firmware update for most MacBook models last month to address the same battery issue, Apple today released MacBook Pro SMC Firmware Update 1.7 for mid-2010 and early 2011 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pros. The update, available through Apple’s website, addresses a rare battery issue:

About MacBook Pro SMC Firmware Update 1.7

This update addresses a rare issue on some Apple notebooks where a battery that has accumulated more than 1000 charge cycles may unexpectedly shut down or stop functioning.

MacbookPro Stories February 11, 2013

MacbookPro Stories February 1, 2013

13-inch Retina MacBook Pro for $1515, 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro $1980 at Amazon, Best Buy

From 9to5Toys.com:

Amazon dropped the price of the Retina MacBook Pro to $1999 with free shipping. That’s tied for the lowest price we’ve ever seen on this product. Apple sells the refurb for $100 less (with Tax in more locations which negates the savings).

Amazon also has the 13-inch MacBook Pro for $1515.59. The sale compares with $1469 for a refurb with the same Tax equalizer.

The sale is in response to Best Buy knocking $200 off MacBook Pros (and $20 more off from in-store pickup). The effective price of a 15-inch Retina  MacBook Pro is $1980.

If you are holding out for a MacBook Air, check back with us tomorrow, we’ll have the lowest prices you can find on MacBook Airs across the board.

MacbookPro Stories October 30, 2012

OWC announces 480GB SSD upgrade for 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro

Like it does for the 15-inch model, OWC announced today it is offering its 480GB Mercury Aura Pro SSD for Apple’s new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro. As noted by OWC, the $580 aftermarket upgrade option will cost you approximately $220 less than Apple’s comparable 512GB built-to-order upgrade, and will also allow you to keep your original base flash module. The press release (below) also said additional capacities would be available sometime in November, while an OWC Envoy Pro Enclosure for re using the factory flash module will be landing in December:

Available in 480GB capacity for immediate ordering and with additional capacities to be announced in November, the 6G (6Gb/s) SandForce Driven Mercury Aura Pro offers rMBP owners up to nearly 3x more storage and/or backup capacity than the factory 128GB flash module… In addition to offering significantly more capacity over the factory base 128GB SSD, the 480GB Mercury Aura Pro offers a $220 savings over the comparable sized 512GB factory capacity upgrade costing $800. Savings, however, aren’t always measured just in dollars. A key benefit for Apple notebook owners when choosing an OWC SSD is the retention of the original factory flash module.

MacbookPro Stories October 22, 2012

Had you heard? Apple’s got a ‘little’ event going on at the newly-decorated California Theatre tomorrow where they will FINALLY showcase the iPad Mini, new Mac Minis, a Retina 13-inch MacBook Pro as well as software like iBooks 3.0 and iTunes 11.

First, the bad news: We’ve heard that the some of the iMacs that we found earlier have been pushed so far back that they might not warrant inclusion at the event this week. That doesn’t mean they are cancelled but because there have been some issues with the products and the including them is a “gameday decision”. We’re obviously hoping they make the docket.

And now the good news: expand full story

MacbookPro Stories October 19, 2012

Alongside the new mini/iPads, Mac Minis, and iMacs, Apple will reveal a 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display on Oct. 23. We have now received pricing information on the base model and the “best” model. We believe the entry model 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro will cost roughly $1,699 at launch, based on wholesale prices we received, while the higher spec model will cost $200 to $300 more.

The base model Retina MacBook Pro retails for $2,199 in the United States, so the 13-inch varieties would create a more inexpensive option for those who also prefer a smaller device. We expect these to be available shortly after launch, but we can probably expect some supply constraints as we saw with the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro. We also expect initial supply constraints on some of the new iMacs.

It sounds like the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro will have a 2,560-by-1,600-pixel display (the same as a 30-inch Cinema Display), with the effective area being the same as the 1,280-by-800 screens as the current MacBook Pros when used in pixel-doubled Retina mode. We do not yet have other specs on the Retina Pro configuration, but we will update as that information comes in.

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MacbookPro Stories October 16, 2012

iFixit’s Kyle Wiens disputes EPEAT certification of Retina MacBook Pro

Apple was just given the EPEAT Gold certification for the Retina MacBook Pro after reversing its decision to withdraw its products from the green computer registry. Today, iFixit’s Kyle Wien has a few strong words about the MacBook Pro’s Gold certification. He claimed the decision “demonstrates that the EPEAT standard has been watered down to an alarming degree”:

With the Retina MacBook Pro, EPEAT felt there were three specific concerns about the product design that merited further investigation… On the surface, it seems that a product assembled with proprietary screws, glued-in hazardous batteries, non-upgradeable memory and storage, and several large, difficult-to-remove circuit boards would fail all three tests…But it’s not that simple…. 

Apple’s MacBook Pro with Retina display is not repairable, it’s not upgradeable, and it’s not easy to disassemble for recycling. Yet it is EPEAT Gold. The Product Verification Committee’s decision essentially greenwashes the Retina.

Go to iFixit to read Kyle’s full post about how the MacBook pro was able to get verified EPEAT Gold. (via Wired)

MacbookPro Stories October 14, 2012

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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MacbookPro Stories July 13, 2012

Retina MacBook Pro shows up in EPEAT Registry

Apple’s products are back on the EPEAT’s registry with a Gold standard, but the Retina MacBook pro notably was at question. The Cupertino, Calif.-based Company announced earlier this week that it planned to forgo the environmental rating system. The decision allegedly came after the EPEAT took up an issue with the new MacBook Pro’s Retina […]

MacbookPro Stories June 28, 2012

Almost three years before Apple launched the original iPad in 2010, a company by the name of Axiotron unveiled the first “Mac tablet” with the launch of the Modbook—a stylus-based tablet running OS X that is made from a converted MacBook Pro. Today, the Modbook is officially returning thanks to one of its original developers and designers. Former co-founder of the now-defunct Axiotron, Andreas Haas, and his new company LA-based Modbook Inc., today announced the new Modbook Pro- “the world’s most powerful and largest-screen tablet computer.”

Like past generations of the Modbook, the Modbook Pro uses the guts of one of Apple’s new MacBook Pros. The company will offer two configurations, both with a 13.3-inch, 1,280-by-800 flush-mounted display, based off the specs for the recently refreshed non-Retina MBPs running Mountain Lion:

The Modbook Pro’s configurable base system includes a 2.5GHz dual core Intel® Core™ i5 processor or 2.9GHz dual core Intel Core i7 processor, up to 16GB of RAM, a 2.5–inch SATA drive (up to 1TB HDD or up to 960GB SSD), an 8X SuperDrive® DVD burner, an Intel HD Graphics 4000 chipset, 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 wireless connectivity capability

The company is promising seven hours on a full charge from a built-in 63.5-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery (Modbook will also utilize a 60W MagSafe adapter). As for the digitizer and included stylus, Modbook will once again use Wacom tech:

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MacbookPro Stories June 20, 2012

Picture by Gabor Cselle

While Apple already recognized in its support documents for Thunderbolt that the new Retina MacBook Pro supports up to three external displays (as pictured above from Other World Computing’s recent tests of the setup), it has yet to confirm official support for the refreshed Ivy Bridge MacBook Airs. Today, we get word that the new MacBook Airs indeed support two external Thunderbolt displays thanks to the recent “Mac OS X Lion Update (Mid-2012 MacBook Air)” update that “improves external display support.” Apple has not updated the device’s specs page to reflect support for dual external Thunderbolt monitors.

The image below from OWC shows two iMacs running at 2,560-by-1,440 as Thunderbolt displays, and it shows an LG monitor at 1,920-by-1,200 via HDMI. The post noted “moving images and media didn’t create any lag and we were able to play video on all four displays simultaneously.” This makes the new MacBooks the first to support up to four displays at their native resolution. Note: You could theoretically add even more space with AOC DisplayLink displays.

The refreshed MacBook Air with dual external Thunderbolt displays is pictured above, while the MacBook Pro with three displays is below: expand full story

iFixit tears down the refreshed MacBook Pro, compares repairability to Retina MBP

Since the introduction of Apple’s refreshed Mac lineup earlier this month, iFixit has torn apart the new machines one at a time starting with the new 13-inch MacBook Air, then the Retina MacBook Pro, and finally the Retina display itself (which it later confirmed is made by Philips). Today, it is venturing inside the refreshed MacBook Pro and comparing it to the Retina model:

As for the tear down itself, iFixit found the refreshed MacBook Pro lineup, which has the same overall design and is largely unchanged on the inside too. More interesting is how the Retina MBP (1/10 repairability score) and refreshed last-gen MBP (7/10 repairability score) compare:

The regular MacBook Pro is always cited first, compared to the MacBook Pro with Retina Display:

* Use of regular vs. proprietary screws. This is a no-brainer in our books — there’s absolutely no benefit from using a proprietary pentalobe screw type in any electronic device, aside from keeping users out of it.

* The battery is exactly the same capacity as last year’s model: 77.5 Wh at 10.95 V. It’s the same size as well, a solid 13.8 mm in thickness. The MacBook Pro with Retina Display’s battery varies in thickness from 5.25 mm to 8.60 mm depending on which cell you measure, and it has a plastic frame around some of the cells. Although the discrepancy is large between the two battery thicknesses, the Retina MacBook Pro’s battery (seen here http://bit.ly/retina_battery) is spread out over a much larger surface area. It would’ve taken some engineering, but Apple could expand the frame in the Retina MacBook Pro to encompass the whole battery, and allow it to come out as a singular, non-glued unit.

* Here’s a big difference: the regular MacBook Pro 2.5″ SATA hard drive is 9.45 mm thick, compared to 3.16 mm for the SSD found in the Retina Display MacBook Pro. But the SSD is one of the few things that is actually removable from the Retina version, and Apple *could* use a non-proprietary mSATA connector so folks could replace the drive with an off-the-shelf unit.

* While the individual RAM modules are thin (~3.15 mm), the “stacked” RAM slots in the regular MacBook Pro are a whopping 9.15 mm thick. Yet the entire Retina MacBook Pro is only 18 mm thick, and allocating half of that dimension to RAM slots would be a big sacrifice. But, an individual RAM slot is only 4.27 mm thick; if the design of the logic board featured the RAM slots side by side (like older MacBooks), folks could still replace their RAM for years to come.

* While the regular MacBook Pro display may not be Retinalicious, a cracked LCD will still be the most expensive repair (aside from the logic board) on this machine. Thankfully, users can replace just the LCD instead of the entire assembly. Incorporating a removable LCD into the MacBook Pro with Retina display would increase the thickness by less than a millimeter, while still preserving the awesome Retina resolution.

* We love the optical drive in the regular MacBook Pro because we appreciate the additional space given by adding a second hard drive (using one of our SATA enclosures: http://bit.ly/sata_enclosure). A significant portion of the weight savings in the Retina MacBook Pro comes from Apple’s removal of the optical drive. While the lack of an optical drive won’t be major imposition for many, the inability to inexpensively add a secondary, high capacity spinning drive is definitely a significant loss in terms of upgradability.

MacbookPro Stories June 19, 2012

[Image credit: iFixit]

We covered iFixit’s Retina Display teardown this morning, but the report left out one very important detail: Who makes the display? There had been some discussion by DisplayMate’s Raymond Soneira on whether Sharp’s IGZO display technology was used:

An IGZO Retina Display? Traditional high PPI displays (with amorphous Silicon) are inefficient with both brightness and power. As a result, the new iPad 3 with a Retina Display needs a 70 percent larger battery than the non-Retina Display iPad 2, but the MacBook Pro with Retina Display has only a 23 percent larger battery with the same 7 hour running time as the non-Retina Display MacBook Pro. How can this be? You may recall that IGZO technology has been making headlines for months, first rumored to be the technology used in the Retina Display for the new iPad 3. IGZO is significantly more efficient than amorphous Silicon. It wasn’t ready in time for the new iPad 3, but Sharp announced that production of IGZO LCDs with up to 300 PPI started in March of 2012… Just in time for the MacBook Pro… These facts lead me to speculate that the MacBook Pro is using a Sharp IGZO Retina Display…

Apple, Sharp, and Foxconn are rumored to be working together on something bigger as well.

Nope… expand full story

They first took apart the new Retina MacBook Pro and called it the “least repairable laptop” ever, but today our friends at iFixit took apart the device’s most impressive new component: its Retina Display. Here is what they found:

The Retina display is an engineering marvel. Its LCD is essentially the entire display assembly. Rather than sandwich an LCD panel between a back case and a piece of glass in front, Apple used the aluminum case itself as the frame for the LCD panel and used the LCD as the front glass. They’ve managed to pack five times as many pixels as the last model in a display that’s actually a fraction of a millimeter thinner. And since there’s no front glass, glare is much less of an issue.

The major downside to the design noted in the report: the LCD is not replaceable. It is attached to the entire assembly, so this means you will likely have to replace the entire assembly if something goes wrong. It also noted that getting into the display is quite difficult, claiming, “Obliterating the front panel of the display was the only way to get it out.” Some highlights:

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MacbookPro Stories June 13, 2012

Apple releases Software Update 1.0 for new MacBook Air

Apple just released an update (link) for the newly launched MacBook Air.

Software update 1.0 weighs 1.06GB and fixes several issues, including: graphics stability, flash performance, and external display support. The tweak accompanies more recent updates for the new MacBook Pro and MacBook Pro with Retina display, which unveiled earlier this week at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference.

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