Archive for the ‘Hardware’ Category

The iPad 2 looks awesome.

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

Most of the rumors turned out to be true. The iPad 2 is thinner, faster AND lighter! It does indeed have TWO (2) cameras on the front and the back (FaceTime for iPad!). The new 1GHz dual-core A5 chip is supposed to be twice as fast as the original, with ultra fast graphics up to nine times (9x!) faster.

While we were a bit disappointed that there’s no Thunderbolt connectivity on the new iPad 2, we were pleasantly surprised to see HDMI output on the new tablet (it does require an Apple Digital AV Adapter).

The iPad 2 will be available for order on March 11!

Apple Media Event Today – 2nd Gen iPad and new MobileMe?

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

The Apple Store is down, which is a definite sign that a new device is going to debut. All reports point to the release of a second-generation iPad, since the invitation to today’s media event shows this image:

The new iPad 2 is purported to be thinner, have more RAM and a faster processor and one or even two cameras.

Full coverage of the event begins at 1:00pm NYC time and you can tune in by visiting Macworld.

New MacBook Pro sighting?

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Photos of the low-end 13″ MacBook Pro have been revealed by MacRumors (via the German site fscklog), who confirms that the images are legitimate.

The specs (in German) for the 13″ MacBook Pro are as follows:

Core i5 two cores at 2.3 GHz 3 MB cache
4 GB of DDR3 1333 MHz
Hard Drive 320 GB 5400 rpm
Screen 13.33 “glossy 1280×800
Intel Graphics GPU HD 3000 with 384MB of RAM shared with main memory
Camera HD FaceTime
Superdrive 8x
Thunderbolt yet compatible with the I / O devices and high speed MiniDisplayport
SDXC Card slot, Firewire 800 and two USB 2.0
Digital Audio Output
Integrated Ethernet
Backlit keyboard
Size and weight 32.5 x22, 7×2, 41 cm, 2.04 kg

The mysterious Thunderbolt could be Apple’s answer to Light Peak.

Update on the rumored new MacBook Pro line

Monday, February 21st, 2011

Yesterday TUAW posted an update on the new MacBook Pros that are rumored to be released next month. TUAW’s post cites several sources that point to a February 24 announcement.  The report also mentions that the new MacBook Pros may include a new “high-speed connection technology” based on Intel’s Light Peak, which means data transfer speeds will exceed those of USB or FireWire.

Are new MacBook Pros going to be released in March 2011?

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

We’ve had a lot of clients ask us about the new MacBook Pro rumors that have been circulating lately.  For our clients who are in the market for a new MacBook Pro and ask Need Mac Help for our Macintosh tech and equipment recommendations, we’ve been asking them to hold off buying one until March (unless they absolutely, positively have to have an MacBook Pro right now, of course), because there’s a strong possibility that Apple will announce a new MacBook Pro lineup on March 1st.

The last MacBook Pro 13-inch, 15-inch and 17-inch models were introduced in April 2010, and this is the longest that Apple has gone without releasing an update to the line since its introduction in January 2006.

Several tech blogs have speculated that Apple will unveil quite a few major upgrades to the MacBook Pro line, such as better displays, better battery life, and updated designs.

The folks at Apple Mac blog Mactrast claims that the new MacBook Pros will have a new battery technology that provides 20% more battery life. They also state that the new line will be significantly lighter than the current models, which begs the question — would Apple get rid of optical drives entirely in its line of MacBook Pro notebooks?

I guess we will have to wait until March 1st to find out…

What’s the difference between the AT&T iPhone and the Verizon iPhone?

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

A lot of people were excited when Verizon announced two weeks ago that it would be getting the iPhone. With AT&T’s less than stellar service (dropped calls, spotty 3G connectivity), we can completely understand why people would want to switch to Verizon.

Before anyone rushes to change their plan to Verizon OR wants to get their first iPhone with Verizon, here are a few things you should all be aware of…

The AT&T iPhone is a UMTS/GSM device, whereas the Verizon iPhone is a CDMA device.

One of the best features of the iPhone is that you can browse the web, send email, etc. while you’re on a phone call — only if you are on the AT&T UMTS/GSM version of the iPhone.  Verizon’s CDMA iPhone is unable to carry voice and data simultaneously.

Although GSM and UMTS is used worldwide and make them ideal for international use, UMTS devices are more susceptible to dropped calls. CDMA devices, like Verizon’s, will in general drop less calls but it can’t use a SIM card which makes it difficult to switch devices.

It seems that most people agree that AT&T has the faster 3G network, so this is a big advantage when you’re trying to upload / download data.

Apple will discontinue the Xserve after January 31, 2011

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Last week Apple announced that it will discontinue the Xserve, its Intel-based rackmounted server, after January 31, 2011. Although Apple will continue to provide service for Xserves during and after the transition, it will not be developing a future version of the Xserve.

Apple has published a document on its Xserve site entitled the “Xserve Transition Guide,” which outlines the alternative server options that Apple is offering:

  • Mac Pro with Snow Leopard Server
  • Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server

New MacBook Air Benchmark Reports

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

We know that many people are wondering about the new MacBook Air models. Are they fast enough? How will they handle applications like Photoshop or FileMaker?

Well, according to the benchmark results obtained by Macworld’s tests, the new MacBook Airs are faster than the previous versions — flash storage is fast, the flash storage capacity did not affect overall performance and the processor performance is much improved.

Macworld also tested the build-to-order options — the “ultimate” configurations of the MacBook Airs.  The team at Macworld found that the 13-inch built-to-order MacBook Air 2.13 GHz Core 2 Duo (256 GB FS, 4GB RAM) was 20% faster than the 13-inch MacBook 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo.

Looking forward to seeing more tests on the flash storage of the new Airs…

N.B.  Here’s how the Macworld team tested:

Speedmark 6.5 scores are relative to those of a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo Mac mini (Mid 2010) with 2GB of RAM, which is assigned a score of 100. All Macs were tested with OS X 10.6.4. All laptops were tested with the standard configuration of RAM except where noted. We duplicated a 1GB file, created a Zip archive in the Finder from the two 1GB files and then unzipped it. We converted 135 minutes of AAC audio files to MP3 using iTunes’ High Quality setting. In iMovie ’09, we imported a camera archive and exported it to iTunes using the Mobile Devices setting. We ran a Timedemo at 1024-by-768 with 4X anti-aliasing on in Call of Duty 4. We imported 200 JPEGs into iPhoto ’09. The Photoshop Suite test is a set of 23 scripted tasks using a 50MB file. Photoshop’s memory was set to 70 percent and History was set to Minimum. For our multitasking test, we timed the Photoshop test again, but with the iTunes MP3 encoding and file compression tests running in the background. We used Handbrake to encode four chapters from a DVD previously ripped to the hard drive to H.264. We recorded how long it took to render a scene with multiprocessors in Cinebench and ran that application’s OpenGL, frames per second test. We ran the Evaluate Notebook test in MathematicaMark 7. We ran the WorldBench 6 multitasking test on a Parallels 6 VM running Windows 7 Professional. We timed the import and processing time for 200 photos in Aperture.

New DroboPro FS NAS

Friday, October 8th, 2010

Data Robotics announced the new DroboPro FS this week. The DroboPro FS has eight drive bays (as opposed to the five drive bays that are in the current Drobo FS) and dual Gigabit Ethernet ports.

The eight drive bays make it possible to have as much as 16TB of available storage (depending on how you configure the device).

The dual Gigabit Ethernet ports can be configured to fail over if one link fails. They can also be set up to use one port for data access on the local area network and the other port to sync backups to another DroboPro FS. This capability will be made available through the Drobo Sync application, which is a free update slated to arrive at the end of the month to the included Drobo Dashboard software.

According to Data Robotics site, the DroboPro FS has a leadtime of 6 to 8 weeks.

Snow Leopard Graphics Update

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Apple released the Snow Leopard Graphics Update this past Monday. According to the support notes on Apple’s site, the update provides stability and performance fixes for graphics applications and games in Snow Leopard version 10.6.4.

More info can be found in Apple’s support document here.


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