Tag Archives: macbook air

Which Mac should I buy?

Apple has 6 Macs to select from and choosing one can be difficult. They are the iMac, MacPro, MacBook, MacBook Air, Retina MacBook Pro, and the Mac Mini. Each Mac targets a specific market but there are no set rules about crossing over to enjoy the features of a professional Mac like the Mac Pro as long as you can afford its much higher price tag. The choices have many potential buyers asking – Which Mac should I buy? To help you figure out the best Mac product for your needs, here’s a brief summary of each.

Apple MacBook Pro

macbook-pro-2015
Macbook Pro

This month Apple is launching the new MacBook model. It will have the Retina display and the Force Touch haptic trackpad. You can also expect a new basic processor and upgraded battery life.  From all appearances though, the 2015 MacBook Pro looks exactly like the 2012, 2013, and 2014 models so that take a wee bit out of the excitement. Also the new MacBook Pro will only be sold with the 13 inch display and does not compared well to the new 12 inch MacBook which has an absolutely beautiful new design. However, the new MacBook Pro is all about what’s inside which is the Force Click, 97% sRGB coverage and 73% Adobe RGB, and contrast ratio of 880:1 – all of which are slight improvements from the 2014 model.

Apple MacBook

macbook-2015
MacBook

The new MacBook just came out this April 2015 and focuses more on portability and aesthetics. Read more about the design and new innovations in our recent write up.

Apple MacBook Air

macbook-air-2015
MacBook Air

The MacBook Air laptop by Apple first came out in 2008 and was the first laptop from Apple with the SSD flash storage. There was an upgrade released in 2014 and a new 13 inch released in early 2015. Aside from better quality graphics, faster storage, and a change from Thunderbolt to Thunderbolt 2, there is nothing significantly different with the precious model.

Apple Mac Mini

mac-mini-2015
Mac Mini w/ Apple Thunderbolt Monitor

This is the compact desktop from Apple which first came out in 2005. It is also the cheapest Mac and can be plugged into your TV monitor if you want to create a home movie/media theater. The last update was in 2014 and is actually priced lower than the 2012 versions. One reason could be because the 2012 Mac Mini has a faster processor and is more upgradable.  The RAM of the 2014 model is soldered on to the motherboard making it impossible to upgrade memory after purchase.

However, the newer Mac Mini has 3 models from a 500GB drive to a 2 TB Fusion drive. It also has build to order options so the 2TB Fusion drive is actually an upgrade of the high end 1TB that can be ordered with a corresponding fee.

Apple iMac

imac-2015
iMac

This desktop was first released in 1998 and is known for streamlining the design of the computer and away from the bulky-looking monitor. There were 2 new improvements introduced in 2014: the entry level, low cost iMac without Retina display and the 27 in 5k Retina. There are rumors of a possible new iMac this 2015 but nothing specific has been revealed.

Apple MacPro

mac-pro-2015
Mac Pro without Monitor

The MacPro is the professional’s computer is a high-end Apple product where the base model costs almost $3,000. Apple has labeled it as the “pro-level desktop” with 6 Thunderbolt 2 ports, a built-in HDMI output, Wi-Fi antenna, and faster SSD storage. It is known to be very quiet, powerful, and if fully loaded, can cost over $8,000.

12″ MacBook Air : What we know so far

Although rumors of a next-generation MacBook Air with Retina Display have been floating around for about a year, Apple is yet to officially announce the product. And we might not have to wait long for the keynote since a recent report from MacRumors and DigiTimes indicates that one of Apple’s parts suppliers – Quanta Computer – has been steadily increasing their production of components for the upcoming MacBook. Quanta Computer has plans to hire 30,000 new workers in order to meet component demands set by the Cupertino tech giant.

Such increases in production of an unannounced product are almost always indicative that the product is ready for prime time. We’ll most likely see this new next-generation MacBook Air announced along with the official release of the Apple Watch in the first quarter of 2015.

Will it be visually different that the current models?

Most reports suggest that the new MacBook Air will sport a new 12” Retina Display, replacing the current 11” model. However this will not necessarily increase the dimensions of the product since it is rumored that the new ultra-portable computer will have a much smaller bezel around the screen, just like how the iPad Air is more compact than the 4th generation iPad with Retina Display.

We will most likely see a redesigned keyboard and trackpad as well. Currently all MacBook Air models have some space on each side of the keyboard which is expected to be drastically reduced in the new design. The trackpad has been rumored to become larger and lose its button mechanism, so you won’t be able to press it.

It is said that the MacBook will be incredibly slim, even to the point where many of the standard I/O ports will be dropped due to their size. We may even be looking at an MacBook Air with just two ports – an 3.5mm jack for audio output and a USB 3.0 Type-C port for charging and data transfer.

macbook-usb-type-c
USB Type-C Connection on MacBook Air

And for the first time on a MacBook Air we might get some color choices with the most likely being Silver, Gold and Space Gray. Since the next-generation MacBook Air with Retina Display has a similar size to the iPad Air 2, it is not hard to envision the laptop going through the same anodization process that is currently being used to give iPads their color.

What will we find under the hood?

The brain inside the next-generation notebook from Apple will be the delay-riddled Broadwell-Y Core M processor. The chipset is said to be high performance and extremely power efficient, which is the reason why we expect the upcoming 12” MacBook Air to have no fans for completely silent operation. As we’ve eluded to earlier, the new laptop will have a 12” Retina Display with a resolution of 2304 by 1440 pixels. Apart from that, we expect to see an improved Wi-Fi as well as the new faster PCIe-based flash storage.

Holiday season 2014 MacBook Air release with Core M processors still uncertain

A remodeled MacBook Air could be in the works for a pre-Christmas release as Intel launches updated Core M processors worldwide.

First announced at Computex in June, Intel wanted to remind people of the features and capability of their M chipsets at another expo, the IFA 2014 trade show. Intel has confirmed that various devices using the Core M processor will appear during the holiday season.

Because of Apple and Intel’s close business relationship, this is seen as a hint that new MacBook Air laptops could arrived just in time for Christmas.

Initial speculation was that the MacBook Air would be released earlier in the fall, but was pushed back due to other pressing announcements, such as the Apple Watch and iPhone 6. Intel’s shipment of new Broadwell chips was also allegedly delayed for unknown reasons.

The first batch of the Core M processors will be shipped by the end of this year.

Because of an agreement, Apple will be the first to use the Core M, leading the way to making thinner and lighter MacBook Pro and Air laptops.

Intel said that the new 14mm processors will work perfectly in laptops and tablets without the need for a cooling fan. The chips are expected to generate a 50% increase in performance of a device and at least 1/3 faster graphical performance. The processors will also increase battery life of a device by one and a half hours, due to redesigned power efficiency.

Rumors about the new MacBook Air have been emerging for a while, centered on the Retina display added to the device.

Some of the features expected to be seen on the MacBook Air include a 12-inch monitor with a 2K pixel resolution, 500 GB solid state drive and 8 GB of RAM, the use of USB 3.0 ports, Thunderbolt 2.0, a memory card reader and a FaceTime camera rendered in 720p.

Apple has not yet responded to these rumors for comment.

Apple readying fix for sleep crashes on 2013 MacBook Air

The truth is yet to be known, however it seems that Apple has been having several major problems with recently released software and hardware, at least more than usual. There are the severe bugs in iOS 7, which have yet to be fixed, Mavericks has been a mess especially for Gmail users, and the new MacBooks have had several problems.

One of those problems is about to be fixed. 2013 MacBook Air owners have been experiencing intermittent issues when the computer goes to sleep and/or wakes up. Sometimes the computer crashes completely, sometimes it just freezes, or users are presented with a black screen.

This has led to some extremely lengthy threads on the Apple Support site.

macbook-air-crash-fix

These problems have gone unresolved since at least November of last year. It looks like the problem is related to a Mavericks (OS X 10.9) bug, which causes the keyboard and touchpad to miscommunicate. It also seems to be only affecting a small percentage of users.

Clever and ambitious users have been able to re-create the issue by pressing the power button, and clicking the touch pad immediately. Which has led to the conclusion that something is going wrong with the way the software communicates clicks during the wakeup/sleep process.

A Fix is Coming

Apple is already deep into development of the next software update for Mavericks. They released another seed of OS X 10.9.2 to developers earlier this week. According to an Apple Support Representative, the fix for these problems will be included in that update, as long as nothing crops up that prevents the fix from being deployed between now and the update’s release.

Developers who are using the beta, which is now in its fourth iteration, have claimed that the problem has been completely fixed. It looks like Apple did this by preventing the computer from going to sleep when the power button is pressed accidentally. Whether or not this solves the problem for all users will remain to be seen.

How to Get Around the Problem Now

If you are experiencing this problem, there seems to be only one work around that works, and that is to do a hard restart of your computer. To do so all you need to do is press and hold the power button.

The question is when will Apple release the patch with the fix? The answer, as always when it comes to Apple, is when they think its ready. It could be tomorrow or it could be a couple months away. Logic seems to indicate that it will be sooner rather than later, as it is at beta 4 at this point, so it has to be getting pretty close. Bold prediction: expect the update to drop in March alongside iOS 7.1.

WiFi issues with Apple MacBook Air

It’s not news to those who own the brand-new 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air computers, but recently it’s been discovered and confirmed by Apple that some people are experiencing Wi-Fi connectivity issues.

Of course one of the premier features of the new Air, besides less battery-intensive chipsets, is that it features faster wireless connectivity thanks to a new 802.11ac card. Of course, as with any new product bugs are possible, but it’s frustrating for many when one of the very features that the new MacBook Air was marketed on is the one that doesn’t work.

Reports released have stated that the MacBook Air Wi-Fi issues are due to networking problems with the OS X software. And fortunately, Apple is aware of the trouble and working to address it. A recent statement from the company advised that, “In the United States, Apple Geniuses and Advisors should capture MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2013) and MacBook Air (11-inch, Mid 2013) computers with any Wi-Fi issues.”

According to an industry insider, Apple is working to identify just what exactly is causing the new WiFi-related problems. Initially, when trying to get to the root of the problem, AppleCare advisors offered customers complementary USB-to-Ethernet adapters so their new MacBook Air could connect to the Internet without Wi-Fi. But as a result of more frequently reported Wi-Fi problems, both AppleCare and Apple Store Genius Bar employees were advised to collect any affected MacBook Air units and replace them, advising customers that they have been “captured.” The computers would then be sent back to Apple for testing so a solution can be found.

The latest news, however, is that Apple is sending out invitations to certain MacBook Air owners inviting them to participate in the company’s AppleSeed customer software seeding program in order to test a pre-release version of a new “MacBook Air Wi-Fi Update 1.0.” Apple hasn’t specified in the invitations exactly what the issue is that a software update is designed to address, but the buzz amongst those in the know is that the update focuses specifically on the Wi-Fi connectivity issues.

Further to the already-reported MacBook Air Wi-Fi connection issues, the public release of Apple’s OS X 10.8.4 public release and OSX Mavericks beta are also reported to be experiencing software issues that prevent machines from supporting the new 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard and taking advantage of the faster speeds for file transfers. Apple has yet to make it clear to the public whether they will address the same issue for current MacBook Air owners through the software update in testing or through a separate patch like the upcoming OS X 10.8.5 update.

As frustrating as it can be to purchase a new MacBook Air only to discover it has an issue that prevents you from using it for one of its primary functions, it is good to know that Apple is addressing the issue, replacing the affected computers for customers and working to solve the problem. Hopefully those who choose to accept the AppleSeed invitation will have success with their update and be able to enjoy the many excellent features included in the new MacBook Air.