Pricing changes, inventory reports suggest late-Feb refresh of Apple ultrabook
Thanks to a confluence of factors -- including sudden price reductions on existing inventory, reports of a lack of restocking, and the timing of Intel's latest low-power notebook chips -- the likelihood of Apple offering a refreshed version of its MacBook Air later this month now appears high. Apple's most popular model of notebook will likely see a chip upgrade to Intel's Broadwell processors, with the possibility of a new 12-inch Retina model.
The iPhone 6, iPhone 6 plus, and Retina 5K iMac ship times all drop
In the past month, shipping times have been variable for some of Apple's most in-demand products. However, ship dates for the two new iPhone models, the 6 and 6 Plus -- along with the recently-introduced Retina 5K iMac -- have dropped just ahead of the final push of gift-buying for the holiday season. Both online ship times and same-day in-store pickup schedules have improved.
Retina iMacs beat Mac Pros in single core tests, but lags in multi-core
Early benchmarks of the new iMacs show the Retina 5K iMac as having high enough performance to beat the 2013 Mac Pro in some tasks, suggesting that in some cases it may be better to buy the new high-end iMac than a base-level Mac Pro. Results for the range, appearing on the 64-bit Geekbench 3 benchmark, has the high-resolution 5K iMac's 4.0GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor option dominating the board for single and multi-core performance when compared to previous iMacs, and it manages to also put up a good fight when compared to configurations of last year's Mac Pro.
savings of up to $770 on 15.4-inch MBPs
Right now, Apple's Online Store is offering steep price cuts on a selection of refurbished 15.4-inch MacBook Pro models. The 15.4-inch MacBook Pro with a 2.3GHz Intel quad-core i7 processor, 500GB of storage and 8x SuperDrive has seen a discount of $690, and is now down to $1,109. A $710 discount drops the price on the refurbished 15.4-inch Retina MacBook Pro with a 2.4GHz Intel quad-core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of flash storage down to $1,489.
Could offer resolutions as high as 2208x1242, likely for larger devices
It has been speculated for some time that if Apple does decide to make larger iPhone screens as it now appears to be doing, that resolution would have to increase dramatically, which could cause headaches for developers. However, new testing by Dragthing creator James Thompson has revealed that Apple may instead rely on pixel-tripling, asking developers only to provide assets at 1x, 2x, and 3x the logical screen resolution. This could yield Retina-quality images on devices with larger displays.
Up to $710 off refurbished rMBPs
Right now at Apple's online store, find new lower prices on refurbished Retina MacBook Air models. The refurbished 13.3-inch Retina MacBook Pro with a 2.6GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of flash storage has seen a whopping $640 discount down to $1,059. A $500 discount drops the price on the 15.4-inch Retina MacBook Pro with a 2.3GHz Intel quad-core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of flash storage down to $1,599.
Mujjo MacBook Sleeve proves versatile for both MacBook Air and Pro users
Last week we took a look at the new Mujjo Slim Fit iPad Air Sleeve from the Dutch company's 'Understated' collection and were impressed by the quality and craftsmanship on offer. This week we take a look at Mujjo's new 13-inch MacBook Air & Pro Retina Sleeve from its 'Low-Key' collection of fine Apple-focused accessories. Mujjo primarily uses two materials in its products, high-quality leather and felt. While the Slim Fit iPad Air Sleeve is made completely from vegetable-tanned leather, the MacBook Sleeve uses a mix of leather and felt in its construction providing both durability and a touch of class.
up to $630 off Retina MBP
Apple's online store this week has a wide selection of refurbished Retina MacBook Pro models with steep discounts. The 13.3-inch MacBook Pro with a 2.5GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of flash storage has been cut by $440 to $1,059. For $1,529 is the refurbished 13.3-inch Retina MacBook Pro with a 2.6GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 512GB of flash storage.
Retina MBP from $1,599
Right now, Apple's online store has a variety of refurbished MacBook Pro models with Retina displays on sale. A $500 discount is offered on the 15.4-inch Retina MBP with a 2.3GHz Intel quad-core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of flash storage, now $1,599. For $1,659, after a $540 discount, is the 15.4-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, 2.4GHz Intel quad-core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of flash storage.
Also bets on possible AMOLED screen for rumored 'iWatch' device
Computer research firm DisplaySearch has published its 2014 tech forecast, and is predicting that the next-generation iPhone (expected to arrive next fall) will sport a dramatically larger display. The report -- which is not based on any insider knowledge, but has in the past been known to guess correctly on Apple's moves -- calls for as large as a 5.5-inch high-resolution display. The company also believes Apple may use AMOLED display technology for its rumored "iWatch."
MiniDrive to add compatible unit for latest 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina
The creators of MiniDrive - a storage space solution for MacBooks that uses the SD card slot to provide secondary storage - have announced their upcoming unit that will be compatible with the latest 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina. The MiniDrive is a semi-permanent, on-board storage addition that provides users with 64 GB of secondary storage.
15.4-inch Retina MBPs for $1,599 and up
Apple's online store is currently offering a range of refurbished 15.4-inch MacBook Pro models with Retina displays starting as low as $1,599. A $500 discount drops the price on the 15.4-inch MacBook Pro from June 2012 with a 2.3GHz Intel quad-core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of flash storage down to $1,599. The refurbished Retina MBP with a 2.4GHz Intel quad-core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD released in February of 2013 has seen a $540 drop to $1,659.
Refurbished Retina MBPs from $1,249
Apple's online store currently has a wide selection of refurbished Retina MacBook Pro models at discounted prices. The 13.3-inch Retina MBP with a 2.5GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of flash storage has been reduced by $250 to $1,249. The 13.3-inch Retina MBP with the same specs but 256GB of flash storage has also been cut by $250 to $1,359.
Retina MBPs for less than $1,800
Starting at $1,249, after a $250 discount, is the refurbished 13.3-inch MacBook Pro with a 2.5GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of flash storage. A $240 discount is offered on the 13.3-inch Retina MBP with a 2.5GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of flash storage, now $1,359.
Retina MBPs from $1,249
Currently Apple's online store has a variety of refurbished Retina MacBook Pro models starting at $1,249. The 13.3-inch MBP with a 2.5GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of flash storage was reduced by $250 to $1,249. Priced at $1,439 -- after a $260 discount -- is the 13.3-inch Retina MacBook Pro with a 2.6GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of flash storage.
Asus and Google take aim at iPad mini
Despite Android's dominance in the smartphone arena, Google and its hardware partners have struggled to compete with Apple in the tablet market. The second-generation Nexus 7 appears to serve as Google's answer to the iPad mini, adding a Retina-resolution display while undercutting the entry price by $100.
Retina MBPs from $1,269
Apple's online store currently has a wide selection of refurbished Retina MacBook Pro models at reduced prices. The 13.3-inch MacBook Pro with a 2.5GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of flash storage has been reduced by $230 to $1,269. The 13.3-inch Retina MBP with a 2.6GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of flash storage has been cut by $260 to $1,439.
Retina MBP shuts down while sleeping
This week in the MacNN forums, one Professional Poster was trying to get to the bottom of a problem they had with their Retina MBP shutting down while in sleep mode, a solution has yet to be found. Fresh-Faced Recruit "frozentundra" is wondering when Apple will update the Mac Pro line.
Retina MBPs and more
Apple's online store this week has a variety of Retina and non-retina MacBook Pros to chose from in the refurbished section. The 13.3-inch MacBook Pro with a 2.5GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of flash storage has been reduced by $230 to $1,269. A $240 discount is offered on the 13.3-inch Retina MBP with a 2.5GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of flash storage, now $1,359.
Save up to $920 on new and refurbished Macs
At Apple's online store, save $230 on the refurbished 21.5-inch iMac with a 2.9GHz Intel quad-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive, now only $1,269. A 20 percent price break is available on the refurbished 27-inch iMac, with a 2.7GHz Intel quad-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive, which lowers the cost by $340 to $1,359. The refurbished 15.4-inch Retina MacBook Pro with 2.3GHz Intel quad-core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of flash storage has been reduced by $320 to $1,779.
New and refurb retina MBPs at discount prices
Currently, Apple's online store has a variety of refurbished Retina MacBook Pro models to chose from. The 13.3-inch Retina MBP with an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of Flash Storage has been reduced by $260 to $1,439. A $300 price cut is offered on the 13.3-inch MBP with a 2.5GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of flash storage, now $1,699.
Formal announcement likely as part of Create Now Live kickoff
[Update: the free update for Retina display MacBook owners is now available] Reports of users with Retina-enabled Photoshop betas, Tuesday's keynote for Adobe's Create Now Live webinar conference -- along with a leaked video on YouTube -- suggest that the company plans to announce that CS6 Photoshop and Illustrator users will finally get support for Retina displays. The keynote, scheduled for 10AM PST, will come as overdue but welcome news for users with Retina display MacBook Pros. As reported previously, the company is also expected to reveal a sneak peek at the next major version of the CS suite, expected in late spring.
Create Now Live will offer sneak previews, Creative Cloud, more
Adobe will open its Create Now Live streamed event on December 11, a week later than originally planned, but will apparently announce a Retina display-compatible version of Photoshop CS6 among other events during the webinar. In a promotional video that has surfaced on YouTube, the updated version is shown running on a Retina display MacBook Pro, and features some close-ups on buttons and other items that betray Retina-quality graphics. Other features are highlighted in the video as well.
Improved screen, thinner body, loss of optical drive
Apple has revealed a 13-inch version of the MacBook Pro with Retina display it is shipping today, confirming rumors and analyst claims from earlier this month. Measuring 13.3-inches diagonally, the 300-nit IPS display has a 2560x1600 resolution, four times that of its predecessor, which makes it the second highest resolution notebook on the market today.
Release expected after iPad Mini announcement
Production of a 13-inch MacBook Pro with a Retina display is still "on track", claims an analyst at NPD DisplaySearch. Speaking to CNET, Richard Shim believes the notebook will begin manufacture in the fourth quarter, later than estimates made by other analysts earlier this year for an October production start.
New queue and reservation systems reduce scalper traffic
With little fanfare, Apple finally launched the latest model Retina display iPad in China earlier today to significantly less chaos than previous iPhone and iPad launches. A pre-sale reservation process guaranteed a smooth sales process, surprising Apple customers expecting mayhem when the device finally went on sale. The new system is intended to stymie scalpers, whose high-volume purchases had aggravated an already-tense stock shortage situation outside the dealerships during the iPhone launch.
Mac Evernote bolstered to version 3.2, adds Retina display support
This week, Evernote for Mac has benefitted from an update. Added to the popular note-taking application is the Activity Stream, which keeps the user updated on all the activity in an Evernote account. The application has also been upgraded to support the new Retina display in the MacBook Pro. Additional bug fixes have been performed, but no details have been provided by the developer. The update is free application.
Problem isolated to inexpensive bridgeboards, chipsets
Almost immediately after USB 3.0-equipped Macs were announced by Tim Cook at the 2012 Worldwide Developers Conference, MacNN started receiving tips that there were sporadic problems involving USB 3.0 external drives not mounting properly. The reports were scattershot, with reports of one drive working fine on one machine, but not on the Retina MacBook pro, or alternatively, working on the 2012 MacBook Pros but not the just-refreshed MacBook Air. To get to the bottom of the problem, we contacted an independent lab to set up tests of various combinations of new MacBooks and USB 3.0 drives to look into the phenomenons and, hopefully, find a root cause.
Online orders to arrive early next week
Apple is now shipping the new Retina models of the MacBook Pro. Notifications are being emailed to customers who ordered the computer from the online Apple store on the day of the WWDC announcement. Expected delivery dates are generally set for early next week.
New display may add between $60 and $90 to assembly cost
Rumors of a new line of Apple Macintosh MacBook Pros with an enhanced Retina Display are making the rounds this week. According to CNet, NPD DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim said that super-high resolution 13.3 and 15.4 inch panels suitable for Retina Display usage are available now from component manufacturers. The increased resolution may come at an higher cost to Apple, and possibly to consumers.
Conde Nast rolls mag updates for the new iPad
Conde Nast has started issuing updates for its iPad magazines with support for the Retina Display on the new iPad, starting with the April issues. Magazines to get the updates so far include GQ and Wired. Prior to the update, users had been experiencing pixilation issues using Apple’s latest tablet, with its high-res 2048x1536 display showing up deficiencies in quality.