Rumour Mill: iPhone 5 will have a 4 inch screen, iPad 3 a high-res display

One of the most hotly discussed feature of the iPhone’s release in 2011 was its speculated 4 inch screen. Well, we all know how all that turned out after the 4S was announced. Fear not though for all those of you clamouring for the larger touch screen. According to iLounge’s “most reliable sources”, the next gen iPhone (aka the iPhone 5) will indeed have a 4 inch display, along with some other prominent changes:

Our source says that the next-generation iPhone will not look like the teardrop-shaped version that was widely rumored for release in 2011. We’ve been told that the device will have a 4-inch display and will be 8mm longer than before, with a metal casing (probably aluminum). It is on track to be introduced in summer of 2012, and is still in the engineering phase, not early production. We suspect that poor battery life doomed the prior prototype version, and that this one is being built with LTE-ready battery drain in mind.

As for the iPad 3, it’ll supposedly be slightly thicker (0.7mm) to house a twin light bar system for the long expected higher res display (retina?):

The third-generation iPad will become modestly thicker (0.7mm) in order to accommodate the twin light bar system needed for its higher-resolution display. It’s currently on track for a March timeframe release, and according to our source could be publicly shown as early as January, depending on conditions.

Finally, the source also notes that the MacBook Pro could very well receive an all new (thinner) design in 2012 :

Barring some huge and unexpected issue, 2012 will be the year when the MacBook Pro line gets its new design. Think thinner.

New MacBook Pro 17 Inch – maybe too fast!

CultofMac writer, Leigh McMullen, got his lucky hands all over one of mobile computing’s biggest beasts: the 17 inch MacBook Pro. Last week, Apple updated its entire MacBook Pro line with new processors, graphics chips, and for the 15 and 17-inch models, automated graphics switching capabilities. Evidently, the new 17-inch is a speed demon; it screams past a 1st-generation 8-core Mac Pro in 64 bit mode, and keeps apace when in lousy ol’ 32-bit. The most poignant part, however, is McMullen’s assumption that the new computers may be ‘too fast’:

See, the combination of an OS that is continuously optimized to improve performance (rather than add features), with Moore’s Law of CPU horsepower suggest that Macs might be getting to the point of diminishing returns for consumers.

A laptop has certain advantages over a desktop: it can be lugged around, it can do most of the work a full desktop can all the while taking up less space and using less energy. Of course, laptops are stuck with silly 6-bit screens and in general, slower performance than their contemporary desktop cousins. But tending the often performance-tweaked OSX, new MacBooks tends to satisfy all but the most esoteric of computational uses. If you are a word-processor, photoshop, internetter, the extra power could be completely lost on you. It would on me.

Amazon have 50-100$ off Apple’s MSRP. Valid for USA’ers only.

1159$  13″ MacBook Pro with FREE Super Saver shipping
1739$  15″ MacBook Pro with FREE Super Saver shipping
2199$  17″ MacBook Pro with FREE Super Saver shipping

Inside Apple’s automatic graphics switching technology

Apple’s 2010 MacBook Pros, based around Intel’s Core i3, i5, and i7 CPU’s are more efficient than ever. Specifically, the integration of the CPU and GPU into the same processor die requires less bus-handshaking, and results in better battery life than separately compartmentalised units. But the new MacBook Pro’s integrated GPU, IntelHD, while much faster than prior Intel graphics chips, is hardly sporty. 15-inch and 17-inch models have sported two, discreet GPU’s since 2008. But yesterday’s debut of the 2010 MacBook Pro changed formulas, this time allowing new MBP’s to automatically switch between the  integrated IntelHD GPU and the discreet nVidia chip. Users no longer have to log out to switch to the higher-performance GPU. Apple’s automatic graphics  switching is “breakthrough technology”. It also differs from Optimus, nVidia’s automatic graphics switching system which runs both GPU units at all times. Arstechnica explains the difference without getting too technical and while cultivating more love for Apple’s technology.

Debut Tuesday reveals new MacBook Pro’s schizophrenic battery

Today’s MBP debut sees the addition of  a hyphen into quoted battery life spec, an addition which leaves Apple lying twice per machine – that or simply unsure of themselves. At least however, the MBP spec leak was wrong! The hyphen denotes a new automated graphics-switching technology which oscillates between GPU’s (Intel HD or nVidia 320 GT) for on-the-fly battery conservation. Apple claim 8-9 hours of use for their higher end 15 and 17-inch models and 10 hours for their single-GPU 13-inch model. Apple’s laptops never get their quoted battery spec, so it is reasonable to assume 6-9 hours of light use with the new machines, which while hardly marginal, should confuse spec-buyers.

For the geek, highlights include Intel’s new Core i5 and i7 processors (15 and 17 inch models only), the inclusion of fast GPU switching technology, and a fancy-pants nVidia 330 M/GT GPU* accomodates Intel’s slower Intel HD Graphics.

The new 13-inch MBP starts at USD 1199$ while the higher spec’d 15 and 17-inch models start at USD 1799$ and 2299$ respectively.

*Error fixed

MacBook and MacBook Pro refresh spec leak?

While Apple may have difficulty grabbing hardware suppliers for new MacBooks because nVidia and Intel are at it, news from Taiwan graced the Chinese-speaking tech world today.

Of note, the new MacBook Pro line should see the following updates:

  • 640GB harddisks or 248GB SS drives
  • 8 hour batteries

Apple routinely update their MacBook line every year at least once, but with supplies running thin and problems between both major chipset vendors, Apple are wedged in between a rock and a rough place. Thanks to AppleInsider for the tip.

TouchMyApps routinely follows MacBook goings-on, but it ain’t always good news:

iSkin Giveaway O’ the Day: ProTouch FX and Vibes for Macbook/Pro/Air

We’ve already featured plenty of iPhone and iPod cases from our iSkin Giveaways and today, we move from one mobile device accessory to another – the Macbook. The iSkin ProTouch is a Keyboard Protector that is made with pure high-grade silicone that is soft and flexible and specially engineered to cover every key on your Macbook, Macbook Pro and Macbook Air (released late 2008 and later). The ProTouches are also embedded with Microban® protection (no more worrying about bacteria build-up on your typing surface) and you can even wash them with warm water and detergent to keep the skins squeaky clean.

We have 1 each of the ProTouch FX and ProTouch Vibes up for grabs. If you want to give give your MBs an extra layer of protection and one that looks great to boot, don’t miss out on this iSkin giveaway! More contest details after the gap…

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New MacBook Pro EFI firmware update – SATA returned to speed

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The shock and horror that I and many other users who rely on connectivity in a laptop face in Apple’s new MacBook Pro line is somewhat alleviated after today’s EFI firmware upgrade. Prior to it, users of Apple’s top of the line portable laptops faced an arbitrary interface downgrade which capped throughput to 1,5 Gigabits per seconds – a number that could easily be saturated by a speedy solid state drive (SSD). For people who purchased these disks, the downgrade was nearly the last straw in a troubled line of laptops.

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Post WWDC-Woe: Apple’s MacBook Pro’s SATA Interface Downgraded

The Face of the Future, A Dumbed-down, Limited-use Future.

The Face of the Future, A Dumbed-down, Limited-use Future.

In an effort to stem the high prices of its laptop line, Apple announced overhauled MacBool Pro models. The series received the most immediately noticeable upgrade in a return to a smaller form factor which has long been overdue. The 12 inch PowerBook replacement received these updates over its prior incarnation as a mere MacBook: a MacBook Pro quality screen, the reintroduction of a FireWire port and an SD card port. However, the 15-inch model was made redundant. Unless you need the speakers and the larger screen, there is no reason to opt for the more expensive middling model.

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Updated: Apple’s Troubled Laptop Line – WWDC Sealed the fate of the 15 inch MacBook Pro

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The MacBook Pro has suffered serious setbacks since its 2008 redesign. The combined insult of a glossy glass screen and removal of the firewire 400 port was reason enough to skip the 15 inch model in favour of the cheaper plastic MacBook. But the new 15-inch line as updated at WWDC is the worst line of laptops from the Cupertino company in a long time. Below is the spec list from the new 15-inch machines.

  • 1699$. 2.53 GHz, 4 GB RAM – NVIDIA GeForce 9400M, 250GB HD, Firewire 800, Glossy Screen, SD Card Port, 2 USB, Optical line in/Out
  • 1999$. 2.66 GHz, 4 GB RAM – NVIDIA GeForce GT, 320GB HD. Firewire 800, Glossy Screen, SD Card Port, 2 USB, Optical line in/Out
  • 2299$. 2.8 GHz, 4 GB RAM – NVIDIA GeForce GT, 500 GB HD. Firewire 800, Glossy Screen, SD Card Port, 2 USB, Optical line in/Out

Built to Order (BTO) options:

  • Upgrade to 3.06 GHz Core 2 Duo
  • Upgrade to 8 GB RAM
  • Upgrade to 500 GB HDD or 256 GB SSD

This information was covered in the first section of Apple’ WWDC Keynote.

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