Ultrabook Stories May 9, 2013

Best Buy Apple sale: Airs $125 off, 15% off $100 iTunes card, $17 Smart Covers, Bluetooth speakers, Free games, more

From 9to5Toys.com:

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Best Buy is taking $125 off the price of MacBook Airs for the next three days to celebrate Mother’s Day. That yields some of the lowest prices we’ve seen. The retailler knocks off $100 across the board, then using code MOM25 knocks off another $25.

Prices after discount:

Best Buy is also offering a $100 iTunes gift cad for $85. (Free Money!) That is a total savings of 15% off future purchases of Apps Music, Movies and any other content on the the App Store, iTunes, Mac App Store and iBook Store.  This is the first iTunes deal we’ve seen in nearly 2 months and a perfect opportunity to surprise Mom on Mother’s Day.

  • Those interested in an iPhone 4S can pick one up for $50 (half off) with contract.
  • Best Buy also offers probably the best looking keyboard case out there, Targus – Versavu Keyboard Case for Apple® iPad – Bone White half off for $50.
  • An 8GB Kingston Keydrive is $5

More at Best Buy’s Mother’s Day sale and Smart Buys & Gift Ideas for every type of Mom in our Mother’s Day Gift Guide

iMac $150 off sale on most current generation configurations, now starting at $1,150 shipped

Just a few weeks ago we saw an unprecedented sale from Best Buy on current generation iMacs and now Amazon has stepped up and surpassed that deal by offering a staggering $150 off 3 out 4 standard configuration iMacs.

Other amazing 9to5Toys.com deals from around the web:

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Ultrabook Stories June 3, 2012

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Do you remember all of those ports you used to see on Macs? DVI, Gig Ethernet (har), and separate analog stereo for in and out? Matrox, a company that used to make mad graphics cards and other video devices, is coming to DubDub with a new $249 piece of kit called the “DS-1.” This box brings you all of those old school ports and even throws in a “superspeed” USB 3.0 port, so you can match the speed of the new MacBooks.

Matrox makes a bunch of other highly rated, high-end Thunderbolt breakout boxes that retail for much more. If you are looking for a (relatively) cheap Thunderbolt dock to hide away from sight and hook up to an old DVI monitor, this may be a good pick up. We should have a review unit to play with next week.

The press release follows: expand full story

Ultrabook Stories May 30, 2012

Runcore adds another SSD upgrade option to MacBook Air owners

If you find fault with the OWC’s Mercury Aura Pro Express 6G MacBook Air SSDs, there is now another MacBook Air SSD upgrade option.

RunCore announced this week that it would offer its own SSD upgrade option: the RunCore Rocket Air SSD.

We are hoping to get a test unit and post a review soon.

RunCore also announced something else interesting this week: a SATA SSD so small that it could almost fit within the free space inside a MacBook Pro enclosure. Are you thinking what I am thinking?

 

Ultrabook Stories April 23, 2012

Ivy Bridge tested, significantly faster and more power efficient

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Laptop Mag’s Michael A. Prospero put Intel’s upcoming Ivy Bridge through a battery of Benchmark tests and revealed the processor is certainly robust at a “mere” 22 nanometers:

It’s not a huge leap, but the performance gains we saw in our Ivy Bridge test system–with comparable battery life–makes this a strong follow-up to the previous generation of Intel Core processors. We’re really looking forward to testng slimmer and sleeker Ultrabooks with Intel’s powerful third-generation Core chip inside.

Check out the full breakdown here.  Other Ivy Bridge reviews AnandTechBit-TechTechSpotTech ReportHot Hardware

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Ultrabook Stories April 2, 2012

With Apple’s next round of Macs likely to include Intel’s Ivy Bridge processors recently confirmed for an April launch, there is still some speculation about which processors from the lineup will land in certain Macs. Rumors today point toward a refreshed iMac. Moreover, new Benchmark tests (via tonymacx86) submitted to Geekbench show Apple’s desktop operating system performing with the 3.5GHz Quad-Core i7-3770K, which is one of Intel’s most powerful Ivy Bridge chips suitable for desktops.

Note: The “Mac Pro” in the above screen capture is the profile used by the Hackintosh user, not the hardware. Also, note that the user had to modify the kernel to employ these new chips, which will also see further optimizations by Apple.

Geekbench user “hiwa” obviously had to use a Hackintosh to boot with the new chip. A Z77 motherboard was used in this case. Some benchmarks listed by the user demonstrate scores higher than any current Apple hardware. It is unclear what machine the benchmarks performed on, but it is clear Ivy Bridge is posting some impressive results compared with current Mac hardware.

While the benchmarks above show the Core i7-3770K desktop chip, Intel Product Manager Anand Kajshmanan claimed Apple’s MacBooks (likely to include Ivy Bridge CPUs in the near future) would face strong competition from Intel-powered Ultrabooks. In an interview with PC World, Anand was asked why a person would choose an Ultrabook over a MacBook Air or even an iPad:

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Ultrabook Stories December 14, 2011

DigiTimes reports, based on “sources in the upstream supply chain”, that a next-generation MacBook Pro with a Retina-capable display sporting a 2880-by-1800 resolution could arrive in the second quarter of 2012:

While the prevailing MacBook models have displays with resolutions ranging from 1680 by 1050 to 1280 by 800, the ultra-high resolution for the new MacBook Pro will further differentiate Apple’s products from other brands, commented the sources.

The report continues asserting that Acer and Asustek Computer also plan to launch high-end Ultrabook models sporting  the 1920-by-1080 pixel resolution displays versus the 1366-by-768 displays typically found on today’s Ultrabooks. The rumor might make sense as Intel’s upcoming Ivy Bridge platform natively supports displays with up to a 4096-by-4096 pixel resolution and is capable of decoding multiple 4K video streams at once. Lion also added support for 3200-by-2000 wallpapers, doubling icon resolution to 1024-by-1024 pixels and enabling HiDPI display modes.

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