Tag Archives: macbook

MacBook Air Initial Impressions

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Apple’s MacBook Air is arguably the most elegant portable computer on the market. The device is lightweight and thin. But how does it stack up for practical use? Is the processor speed fast enough? Does the MacBook Air come with enough RAM to be practical? Is the machine really as light as people claim? Here are some first impressions of the 11.6-inch MacBook Air, along with the best and worst of what Apple’s smallest laptop has to offer.

This little baby comes with a 1.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor. You can also choose the optional 1.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor. You’ll find 2GB of RAM onboard with a 4GB maximum capacity. The 11.6-inch high-res screen has support for about a million colors. The device comes with a standard full-sized keyboard and a pretty sweet multi-touch trackpad. You can pinch, rotate, swipe, three and four-finger swipe, tap, double-tap and drag right from your trackpad.

You’ll be happy to find the built-in EyeSight camera, two USB ports, a microphone and of course a headphone jack. The NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics processor is enough to handle most of your graphics needs, and more than enough in a such a small portable device.

What’s interesting about this machine is that there’s no disk drive. Complaining that a computer such as this doesn’t have a tray for a disc is like complaining that YouTube doesn’t have a slot to stick things in. This machine doesn’t need any type of removable media (disc) options, honestly. The 13-inch model has an SD slot if you are really in need of one.

The MacBook Air is actually much faster than a new laptop that I recently won, likely due to the processor style inside of both machines. It’s also a better device than the MSI Wind netbook I happen to own. Can you not see the huge difference in profile between the Wind and the Air? The MacBook Air wins out when it comes to speed, thinness and even looks. I happen to prefer that gorgeous aluminum. That’s part is personal preference, of course.

I personally think that my Air was a bargain at a bit over $800 USD and free shipping. It has better specs at the base level than many “higher-end” netbooks and notebooks.

I happen to LOVE that this machine has “instant-on” features. I open the lid, and it is ready to go. There’s no waiting on an operating system to load. I don’t have to sit here and whistle Dixie while waiting for the device to wake itself up.

I am also adoring the layout itself. The keyboard is just perfect for my fingers. Even though I have small hands, the keyboards on most small-ish devices just don’t work for me. I end up making eighteen typos before the end of any given sentence. I don’t have this problem with my Air.

If you’re on the go and need something to carry with you, I think this device will suit your needs perfectly. I’m told that it runs Windows very well, even though I haven’t tried it yet myself. This machine is fast, it’s light and it works very VERY well.

Have you used the new MacBook Air? What are your initial impressions?

Which Notebook Do You Prefer?

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If you aren’t a fan of the questions being answered in these videos, you can pop into the chat room and ask something original of your own! One chatter wanted to know recently why it is I chose to go with the MacBook Pro instead of another brand or model. The answer is simple: it’s all about software for me.

Yes, there *may* be better choices out there for hardware. But I’m happy with what is inside of my MacBook Pro. I just happen to prefer OS X over other choices. However, I can still run Windows or Linux on this machine, so why would I need anything else?

If you aren’t a Mac fan, more power to ya. I simply like it. Yes, I have Windows machines in my home – and I DO use them. This machine carries everything that I need, and it works well.

Isn’t that what it’s all about? At the end of the day, you need to use what works for you and whatever you are most comfortable with. I’m not different.

Do You Have a New MacBook Air?

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Angelo is one of our Lockergnome bloggers, writing about all things Android. He recently purchased a 13″ MacBook Air and recorded the unboxing for us. The video is short, sweet and to the point – and Angelo is as excited as a kid on Christmas morning.

The new MacBook Air is likely the thinnest – and lightest – notebook on the market. It’s sleek design has people all over the world drooling… including those who aren’t normally OS X users.

The machine wakes from sleep in an instant and is build around Flash storage. This keeps your device light – almost like air. The battery is built to last – and last – and last. It boasts a high-resolution, pixel-perfect display. I have to admit, the display IS gorgeous.

The 13″ MacBook Air comes standard with a 1.86GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB of memory and NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics. You can choose from either 128GB or 256GB of Flash storage.

I love the enthusiasm that Angelo has. What is the last item you bought or received that made you this excited?

Are You a Ninja?

According to research conducted at both Facebook and LinkedIn, an increasing number of people have job descriptions that include the word “ninja” in the title. Both sites have in-house researchers who look at all of the junk that is posted on their respective sites and then try to make sense of it. That is a job I definitely wouldn’t want to have.

According to the chief scientist for LinkedIn, “From 2002 to 2007, there was an increase in job titles using the word “ninja” to designate a position requiring a high level of skill. “Evangelist” and “guru” were other titles that rose during the same period, although guru has since dropped in popularity.” Perhaps someone who decides they are the newest social media god (or goddess) will now call themselves a “Social Media Ninja.” Ohhh I know! Maybe Gordon Ramsay is a Kitchen Ninja!”

Are you a ninja?

You don’t have to be a ninja to grab the latest software and apps we’ve been able to find for you.

How to Make a Glossy Screen Matte

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When I ordered my new MacBook Pro not long ago, I decided to go with the glossy screen. I’m a matte fan, but I don’t like the way that Apple does those on their notebooks. The device isn’t all black with the matte screen, and it ends up getting a lot of gunk and debris around it. My friends over at RadTech happened to see the unboxing video, and sent along their ClearCal for me to use.

Before applying the screen protector, you have to make sure the screen is absolutely clean. There should be no smudges, dirt or debris anywhere on the surface. Always have a can of air and some scotch tape handy to help you get rid of anything unwanted. I use Monster iClean spray to get rid of any smudges. You’ll also want to have a credit card ready to help smooth out any air bubbles.

The ClearCal reduces glare coming from the pretty glossy screens on your devices. It also protects them from gathering fingerprints, dust and various little pieces of debris. Installing any brand of these is not an easy task. I’m happy to report that this one actually goes on much easier than any I’ve tried in the past.

ClearCal’s hardened surface resists scratches and abrasions and is easy to clean. In addition to glare reduction, ClearCal provides a level of impact protection and minimizes the appearance of oils or streaking if the display is touched.

Now that I spent all of this time putting this sucker on right, it’s never coming off! I’m very happy with my new matte screen. Thanks, RadTech!

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Best Mac for a Student

A common question, indeed:

I’m Adam Griffiths – a long time YouTube subscriber. Love your videos, and I occasionally jump in the live chat.

I’m in the UK and am heading to University this September to study Computer Science. I currently have a Late 2007 MacBook, 2.0Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo with 4GB RAM. It has served me well. I’m debating (1) buying a 15″ MacBook Pro or (2) an iMac and an iPad for portability.

The question I am asking is: which do you think is better for me? A 15″ MacBook Pro with power and portability or n 27″ iMac (the power) with the iPad (portability). Now, if I did have an iPad, the main thing I’d be doing would be taking notes on it. So, it’s not like I believe I could use it in place of a laptop.

One last thing – how is your 17″ MacBook Pro? I have been eyeing it up since I saw your video. I feel it may be too heavy and maybe the screen would be too small for me. I have a 13″ MacBook and use a 19″ external monitor. Maybe I just answered my own question there. 🙂

I would have killed to have any kind of portable computing device with me in college (or at any school, for that matter). You don’t always want to be chained to a desk to do your “education thing,” do you?

My suggestion is to go with an MacBook first (whichever one you can afford most). If you see the value of carrying an iPad separately, it’s definitely recommended for all-day computing and note-taking (with wireless keyboard in tow).

You asked about iMmortal (the name of my current 17″ MacBook pro, as sponsored by PC Pitstop). I should also thank @Outsanity for giving her the name, too. She’s doing fine. I’ve been very happy with her battery life, too. I don’t yet regret snagging the glossy screen model, and the SSD is performing like a champ (though it may need further optimization). Given that I only wheel my accessories when I travel, weight isn’t a factor for me. While I’m on the subject, let me recommend that you also get some kind of knapsack that rolls.

As always, I ask that you go through my own affiliate link for Apple [http://go.tagjag.com/apple] for buying something with Apple so that I might get the referral credit for dispensing free advice (which you requested). 🙂

MacBook Pro Unboxing

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What’s so exciting about watching somebody unbox a new product? I’m not quite sure, but I’ll do it in front of a live virtual audience any day. Over 1,300 of you tuned in for that particular broadcast! If you think this is boring, you’re probably correct. There’s honestly not much to it, folks.

I was able to get a brand-new MacBook Pro courtesy of our friends at PC Pitstop. Upon opening the machine for the first time, I have to echo what one person said in our chat room… this thing is “Geekalicious!!”

I’m heading off to Washington DC for a few days, and then to Hawaii next week to speak at a conference. The new MacBook is going to get a workout, so I’ll let you know how well it works when I return!

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How to Order a New MacBook Pro

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According to Apple, the new MacBook Pro line is the fastest and most powerful ever. They now come with Intel Core i5 or i7 processors. Each one happens to contain next-gen nVidia graphics. I am about to order one of these gorgeous little babies for myself, thanks to PC Pitstop.

I like the big screen, so I decided to go with the 17″ MacBook Pro. The big question to be answered is in the type of screen… glossy or matte. My current MacBook Pro has a matte screen, which is anti-glare. I like that a lot. However, crumbs and crud collects around the edge of the screen. The new glossy screen doesn’t have that issue. It’s a more seamless design.

In terms of performance, we’re looking at a pretty big boost in speed over the last generation of MacBook Pro. When building, I went with the i7 processor. The vote in the chat room was unanimous on that, so I had to follow their directions. Memory-wise, I went with the 8 GB of RAM. When it came to the hard drive, I went with the 512 Solid-State drive. I have an SSD in my Mac main machine, and I LOVE it.

I had to choose the screen type next. The chatters convinced me to go with the glossy screen. I’ll end up getting a matte screen protector I’m sure. We chose the English keyboard, of course. I skipped getting the mini display port to DVI, because Griffin makes one I really like. I did end up grabbing the mini display port to VGA, though, since I travel a lot.

The AppleCare Protection Plan is an absolute must. I clicked that particular button with a flourish. It’s saved my butt – and my wallet – MANY times in the past.

I do have to thank PC PitStop once again for sponsoring this awesome new machine.

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Should I Get a Mac or PC?

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I had to chuckle when this particular caller tried to start the old war… Mac vs PC! *sigh* Do you know how often I hear that? However, this guy was a bit more specific. He’s starting college, and wanted to know whether I felt an HP TouchSmart computer would be better for him, or a MacBook Pro. I hate when someone asks my opinion on what is better for them! I really do!

I cannot begin to tell you what will work best for any of you. That’s something only you can decide, and it depends on any number of factors. How much do you have to spend? What will you need the device for? These are the kinds of things you need to think about. I have no way of knowing what will fit your particular needs. You have to do your homework.

That said, I do happen to have an HP TouchSmart. It’s an excellent machine, to be sure. It’s functional, but it’s not as responsive as the interface on the iPad is, largely due to the type of screen and the technology that was used to build it. Not all touch screens are made the same, just like all cars are not built alike.

I recommend you get what you want. Ultimately, there will be one killer feature for you. If touch is the killer feature, then the obvious choice is the HP. It may boil down to price or support for you, as well. You have to decide what features are important to you, and what will fit your lifestyle the best.

Don’t take my word for it. Choose wisely, young grasshoppers.

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Which MacBook Should I Get?

Andrew Portess (also known as ‘portessa’ in the chat room, and also a member of Geeks and Lockergnome.net) asks:

Since Mac OS X Leopard came out, I was sold on the idea of getting a MacBook Pro and unfortunately, I still haven’t managed to afford one yet. Considering that the MacBook Pros have just been refreshed, now is most certainly the best time to get one.

Ideally, I would love to get the 15-inch Core i7 model which, here in the UK, retails at £1,799. The base 13-inch model (based on the Core 2 Duos) is just £1,119 if you add the 500GB hard disk to boot. In terms of my budget, the £680 difference is quite a big jump (and could buy a very decent family PC), but that would eventually be mitigated. I just can’t help but wonder if it’s really worth it, though; given the major differences in the models is just the processor, graphics card, and screen.

When you also take into account how quickly Apple rolls out new Macs, as well as how quick technology moves in general, trying to decide what is a better investment becomes that much more difficult. To put it in a more general way, when buying any computer, at what point do you say “enough is enough” – and what’s the best way to make your money go further? I suppose the deciding factor is in how I plan to use the computer. I do play games, but my primary focus is in creating music, which isn’t very graphic-intensive in comparison to gaming.

At the moment, I am doing both these things on what is technically a laptop I bought for my Mum when *cough* Windows Vista was released. It’s true to say that even the base 13-inch model of the new MacBook Pro trumps my Mum’s laptop in every single component – and the performance gains I’m sure to get are likely going to be a vast improvement on what I am used to. I would love to hear both your, and the community’s, opinion on what model I should get. If you are getting one of the i7 MacBook Pros, I would also be very grateful to see some performance tests.

I swear, I get asked this question every day – which is one of the reasons I’m answering in a public capacity.

It’s kinda funny, though; you seemingly question the value of a newer processor, graphics card, and screen. What else is there to be concerned about in a notebook computer? 🙂

“Making music” may not be graphics-intensive, but it likely will be processor- and RAM-intensive. For that reason, coupled with your love for games, I’d recommend an i7 (or AMD-equivalent) in just about any current-generation notebook computer you care to pick up. I’d also suggest going for as much screen real estate as you can realistically lug around.

You already realize that Microsoft Windows can be run inside a Virtual Machine (VMWare or Parallels) or through Boot Camp – which effectively makes it a PC in every single respect. If your favorite audio editing tool is Windows-only, you’ll still be in luck with a MacBook Pro. I bet you’d have fun with GarageBand, though.

I’m not going to tell you to buy a Mac outright, though – that choice is ultimately up to you (and you’ll have to live with your decision, not me). I will, however, suggest you look at these features when you’re shopping:

  • Case Structure – It’s extremely tough to beat the MacBook Pro’s unibody design.
  • Service Plan – It’s extremely tough to beat the track record of AppleCare.
  • Battery Life – It’s extremely tough to beat a MacBook Pro’s battery life of ~10 hours.

Bottom line? Macs make awesome PCs. Even though…

  • MacBooks don’t come with Blu-ray drives (instead, you can download HD content from the Internet, which most people do these days, anyway).
  • Some MacBooks don’t contain removable media card slots (although, you can get an ExpressCard media reader at any point).
  • MacBooks don’t have removable batteries (but this new series had taken measures to optimize life away from the power cable).

You can certainly save a *tiny* bit of money by going with another vendor, no doubt – but are you giving anything up by taking that route? You’re the one asking me about a MacBook Pro option, and I’m just laying out the facts for you (or anybody who takes the time to read this article).

Am I an “Apple Fanboy” just because I value quality hardware? Sure. Okay. Whatever. I can save you money with any choice via http://coupons.lockergnome.com/ – so I really don’t care what YOU buy – just be happy with the purchase, please? Get the hardware features you need AND love (and don’t break the bank in the process).

…but never fall victim to FUD.