By Christian Zibreg on Jan 27, 2014
After transitioning its MacBook Pros to high-resolution Retina screens, the ultra-portable MacBook Air – my favorite Apple notebook of all time – has remained hopelessly stuck in the past with that normal-resolution display. I don’t want to trade portability for power, but non-Retina computing just doesn’t cut it for me anymore, simple as that.
I guess you could say I’m ready to upgrade to a Retina MacBook Pro, unless – unless Apple brings out a Retina Air at some point this year. Of course, it’s always easy to argue that a Retina-fied MacBook Air is going to remain wishful thinking until all the technological pieces have fallen in place. After all, aren’t Retina screens known as power and GPU hogs?
Yes, but fourth-generation Intel Core processors have made some great strides in power efficiency and graphics performances, as evidenced by the mid-2013 MacBook Air refresh: these systems now rock up to twelve-hour battery on the 13.3-inch model, or nine hours for the 11.6-inch version.
The bigger problem: Retina needs a powerful backlighting to push more light between those densely-packed pixels, in turn requiring a larger battery inside the Air’s already ultra-thin enclosure.
Me, I’m willing to sacrifice battery performance and be back at six hours of runtime in exchange for that ultra-sharp Retina screen. Which brings me to my question of the day: is Apple going to give the MacBook Air a Retina treatment this year, do you think? Read More
By Jeff Benjamin on Dec 3, 2013
NoSleep is a handy menu bar utility that I use each and every day to keep my MacBook Air awake. It’s like speed for your Mac. Even with the lid on the MacBook closed, it stays awake.
The best thing about this utility is that it can be easily toggled on or off by means of a single click on its menu bar icon. NoSleep is a simple tool, yet it does feature a few options to customize the way it works. Have a look inside as I showcase NoSleep on video. Read More
By Sébastien Page on Dec 1, 2013
Following Jeff’s lead, I will be the one walking you through my set up today. Many people have this image of us having amazing set ups with top of the line everything, but as you’ll be able to tell from this post, my set up will probably look incredibly low tech, borderline outdated.
Sharing my hardware set up with you wouldn’t make much sense if I didn’t first explain what my daily work activity consists in. In any given day, all that will be running on my machine is Twitter, an email client, iMessage and of course my web browser. Because the browser is where I spend most of my day, I do not feel like I need the computing power of a supercharged computer.
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at my setup… Read More
By Jeff Benjamin on Nov 30, 2013
If you follow my rants on Let’s Talk iOS then you know that there’s a running joke about how many times I change my mind. In the last 2 years, I’ve switched from an iMac, MacBook Pro, another iMac, a MacBook Air, a Retina MacBook Pro and another MacBook Air. I don’t have to tell you that that’s insane, and probably not a healthy way to go about living your life.
But I’ve settled. I’ve settled on the machine for me. That machine is the 11″ MacBook Air. It’s the MacBook with the exceptionally long battery life due to its Haswell processor. This — and trust me I would know — is the perfect computer for me. It’s probably the perfect computer for you as well; you just don’t realize it yet. Read More
By Jeff Benjamin on Nov 22, 2013
Every so often, we’d like to showcase the work space of an iDB writer. We want to give you a behind the scenes look at our work spaces so that you can get to know us better.
A lot of people have asked me about my setup over the years, so I thought it would only be right if I’m the guinea pig in this test. In this edition of Show Us Your Setup, I showcase my writing, blogging, and video editing work space. In a later edition, perhaps I’ll show you my entire video setup.
By and large, this is where I do 90% of my writing for iDB. It’s also where I sit when recording and editing Let’s Talk iOS. I also sit in this exact spot when editing videos, or doing any of the other day to day activities to help Sebastien keep iDB running smoothly. Inside, I’ll explain some of features of my setup, the products I use, and my mindset when choosing this setup. Read More
By Jeff Benjamin on Nov 19, 2013
I’ve been tripping over my own words in order to find the right phrase to express my satisfaction with the new MacBook Air. At well over 10 hours of battery life from a single charge, it’s been an absolute game changer for me.
I have the 11″ variety of the MacBook Air, and while Apple’s officially stated battery life is 9 hours, I’ve always done a bit better than that. The 13″ variety officially gets 12 hours of battery life, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see it get somewhere in the 13-14 hour range.
Apple is famously bearish when it comes to battery life predictions, which means users generally end up with the pleasant surprise of even higher numbers than Apple’s company line. But now, out of seemingly nowhere, Toshiba is claiming that its upcoming 2.5 pound ultra book will get an insane 22 hours of battery life.
Unless those estimates are egregiously overstated, this could be very good news for the next generation MacBook Air. Read More
By Ed Sutherland on Jul 3, 2013
Boston University (BU) could reap $75 million in a patent-infringement lawsuit filed against Apple Tuesday. The lawsuit centers on a patent filed in 1995 by a university professor which the school charges is used by the iPhone 5, iPad and MacBook Air.
The university has filed eight “identical” lawsuits against other device makers, including Samsung and Amazon. To bolster its argument that Apple should pay, the school is set to claim it is already receiving licensing fees for using the patent, according to a local report… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jun 20, 2013
The so-called Gigabit Wi-Fi, better known as 802.11ac, has yet to be officially ratified but that hasn’t stopped Apple from implementing the technology on the refreshed MacBook Air lineup and the redesigned AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule base stations, which were both announced during the WWDC keynote earlier this month.
That said, it’s fairly safe to assume that Apple will also roll out 802.11ac across the upcoming iPhone 5S, iPad 5, iPad mini 2 and a next-gen Mac Pro, Apple TV and MacBook. For what it’s worth, Apple reportedly partnered with chip maker Broadcom to outfit all Macs with 802.11ac chips.
Apple is usually among the first companies – if not the first – to implement each new major revision to the Wi-Fi standard. And while this allows Apple’s customers to live on the bleeding edge of technology, it also exposes early adopters to their fair share of teething issues… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jun 10, 2013
We had a feeling that Apple was going to be showing off some new Mac hardware today. And it did. After giving a preview of the new OS X Mavericks update, Craig Federighi brought up Apple’s marketing head Phil Schiller to talk about some new Macs.
First up, Schiller showed off some updated MacBook Airs. As expected, they’re sporting Intel’s new Haswell processors and other internal improvements that Apple says give it “all-day” battery life. Details on the Air and the stunning new MacBook Pro coming up… Read More
By Jim Gresham on May 14, 2013
Recently, a slew of my reviews focused around connections made at CES 2013. In a predictable unchanging fashion, X-Doria is a company I bumped into during my travels in Vegas. Fairly new to the accessory scene, I like the high density color schemes and puffing ink used to give texture to many items of the X-Doria product line.
A friend from the company recently sent over the Dash Icon hardshell for MacBook Air. The shell is currently only available for the 13″ model and also includes the standard puffing ink design. With a slightly raised surface and bold color options, X-Doria’s mission is to place their products between technology and fashion… Read More
By Jim Gresham on Mar 26, 2013
It is almost redundant for me to begin another article expressing my love affair with quality iOS device stands, but, for the sake of tradition, allow my introduction sentence to lend credence to my lust. Bluelounge announced today, their newest product, the Mika, which is a simple stand for iPad, but strong enough to hold a full size MacBook. Thanks to a buddy at Bluelounge, I was able to get my hands on one for review prior to the announcement… Read More
By Ed Sutherland on Mar 15, 2013
The U.S. state of Maine plans to make available to other schools its contract for buying students MacBooks and iPads. Although the offer could provide some guidance for educational institutions, perhaps most eye-opening are the low prices state officials were able to get from an eager Steve Jobs. The contract – originally from 2000 – lets the state pay $217 for an iPad and $273 for a MacBook Air.
Although other states are unlikely to strike a similar bargain with Apple today, the Cupertino, California company has expressed interest in putting its iDevices on the desks of US students… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Feb 13, 2013
Apple Wednesday morning announced it has refreshed Retina MacBook Pro and MacBook Air configurations with faster processors and lower price points. The 256GB 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display is now a $300 cheaper and has an upgraded processor and its entry-level 128GB counterpart now costs $200 less. Two 15-inch Retina MacBook Pros have also received a slight specs bump up. The MacBook Air is now a $100 cheaper. Full details right after the break… Read More
By Jeff Benjamin on Jan 25, 2013
BestBuy’s Winter Doorbuster Days sale is resulting in some pretty amazing prices for the entire MacBook Air line. The Richfield, Minnesota based company has slashed the price of the MacBook Air by $200 across the board.
That means that you can score a brand new low-end 11.6″ MacBook Air for a mere $799 before tax. Even when you look at refurbished options direct from Apple, that’s the lowest price you’ll find anywhere. Read More
By Ed Sutherland on Nov 20, 2012
Like the left-over turkey that just won’t disappear from the fridge, talk of a full-blown, Apple-branded HD television set – the mythical iTV – lingers on in the minds of Wall Street seers. The product could carry a price of $1,500 and $2,000 and be introduced in time for Christmas 2013, one analyst forecast Tuesday. The shiny television product launch would highlight a long list of new products for Apple fans of all stripes.
Although Apple’s goal of offering à la carte TV programming is viewed as “unlikely,” some of the features made popular on the iPhone and iPad could be headed to a big-screen TV set spanning between 42 and 55 inches, according to perhaps the most vocal iTV proponent out there, Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Oct 18, 2012
I kinda like the concept of an Internet-only notebook which boots in a few seconds, is always on and runs smoothly. I wanted to like Google-branded Chromebooks and almost bought one before realizing that Apple has already ticked all the right boxes with its iPad computer. But if a portable computing device with a physical keyboard which runs a browser-based OS and runs only web apps is your thing, this new Chromebook surely will pique your interest.
Apart from being a total rip off of the MacBook Air down to its black rounded keys, trackpad and the recess right where the lid opens, know that this Chromebook is a quarter of the Air’s asking price and half the iPad’s. On paper, the machine is a must-have: it weighs in at only 2.43 pounds, is 0.8-inches thick, runs 6.5+ hours battery and rocks a 11.6-inch display at a 1,366-by-768 pixel resolution.
Per usual, there are some caveats that a flashy commercial (included below) fails to mention… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Aug 10, 2012
Chip giant Intel is working on a new technology for its 2013 Ultrabook portable platform that is said to incorporate wireless charging between notebooks and mobile devices, per a new report out of Asia based on sources from the upstream supply chain.
As MacBooks use Intel’s chips, Apple could adopt this upcoming technology from Intel to enable wireless charging between future MacBooks and your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jun 11, 2012
That’s it folks, the Apple Store has just gone offline ahead of today’s WWDC keynote, which begins in a little bit more than two hours. Are you feeling the excitement yet?
As the big event approaches, possible specs of Apple’s new MacBooks have leaked, indicating that MacBook Airs will come with 4GB/8GB RAM flavors and a 512GB SSD option. SSD in these new Airs should use SATA3 and some of them are said to be based on Samsung’s crazy fast 830 series.
New MacBook Pro and Mac Pros are also in the cards and the AirPort Express base station is said to be due for an upgrade as well… Read More