Review for Apple MacBook Pro 13

Share Button

 The Apple MacBook Pro 13 Mid 2012: very good condition, but the laptop is trying to compete with Ultrabooks and performance machines. The Apple MacBook Pro 13 Mid 2012 is, like its predecessor, a powerful laptop with long battery life and outstanding?

apple macbook pro 13

We believe that Apple has not quite hit the mark here. The MacBook Pro does have a processor enough? Powerful and can save its performance claims with reference results. On the other hand, the included RAM is not really enough, because it is a Pro model. At least for Mac OS, increased RAM should be considered. The same is true for the reader (fairly quiet) drive that Apple uses. An SSD would be a better fit here and increase the overall performance significantly.The display is also random. The TN is very bright, has a small black dot, provides excellent contrast and viewing angles appropriate. But unfortunately, the resolution of 1280 x 800 is a totally outdated. We would like to see a higher resolution here. In addition, the panel will not suffer from reflections (since it is a glare-type). There are rumors of a Retina 13-inch model, however.

 Regarding mobility, the? MacBook Pro 13 Mid 2012 is top-notch. The weight of two kilograms? (4.4 pounds) is OK, given the rather compact dimensions and the fact that the optical drive is included. The exceptional battery allows the user to venture far away from any.?So what’s the final verdict? The? MacBook Pro 13 Mid 2012 is a solid workhorse and compact with impeccable build quality and long battery life. But because of the missing card and dedicated graphics display resolution relatively low, it is not quite at the level longer. The base price of 1249 euros seems a little high. We can only recommend it for users who need a small notebook with an integrated optical drive and good performance. In a use case like that, the laptop offers a good compromise.

 

Share Button

Introduce Laptop Dell XPS 14z

Share Button

Introduce Laptop Dell XPS 14z

Not so long ago we looked at the laptop Dell Inspiron 14z. And now we have a model on the operating table with a similar name. Twins? Just relatives? Or is it namesakes and nothing more? Try to understand.

Outwardly, the two “chetarnadtsatzed” resemble each other only vaguely. The same, by and large, only joint cap to the body: in both notebook hinges are “upright” and not on the edge of the shell, and indented. In the case of Dell Inspiron 14z is more pronounced, and in the Dell XPS 14z is noticeable only at certain angles. The most important aspect of mismatched design – the materials used. In the low-cost Inspiron 14z plastic housing, with a decorative ornament from the “shredded” the metal.

In the XPS 14z all noticeably more interesting: the lower half of the body and the outside cover is made of anodized aluminum, like the MacBook. But, unlike the MacBook, “working surface» Dell XPS 14z – that is, the plane on which the keyboard and touchpad – not aluminum and plastic. The plastic is painted in gray color and looks much darker than aluminum.

In general, highly original approach: all the beauty of metal, for which the user actually pays to hide at the bottom and the back of the lid. A user is referred to propose the same realm of synthetic materials, as in the cheaper models. For example, openwork lattice air intake holes on the metal bottom of the XPS 14z looks just wonderful. And the same pattern – speaker grille – on the plastic panels for painting turned out pretty oplyvshim.

Typically, a company copying creatively reinterpreted design Apple, limited to the exterior. But the Dell decided to go one step further: to heighten the resemblance copied More innovative thinking and OSD-will adjust the volume, brightness, and the like. And rethink the most creative – even cleaned. Keyboard Dell XPS 14z looks interesting and somewhat unusual, and has the correct layout is well established.

Perhaps the main advantage of the keyboard XPS 14z – the presence of illumination. It is made less accurately than in Samsung 700Z5A, But its function copes well: in the dark buttons clearly visible. The touchpad is quite large, covering the right, the finger glides on it good and comfortable. Physical buttons that can be called a pleasant surprise, considering that the design of this laptop is innovative thinking you know someone.

In front of the case, obviously, is the battery. Therefore, no Front useful elements at all – there simply is empty. By the same token is not used, and about a third of each side. So the right fit only optical drive, and the left – a memory card reader, audio jacks and one of the two “exhaust” vents. The bulk of the ports are concentrated behind. Use them, of course, inconvenient. Terribly uncomfortable, to be exact to the end.

Share Button

Review: Asus Zenbook UX31

Share Button

Review: Asus Zenbook UX31

Overview

The Asus Zenbook UX31 is one of the first laptops to conform to Intel’s Ultrabook specification.

And, right away, we’ll tell you – it stands toe-to-toe with Apple’s MacBook Air in the fight for the title of best luxury ultraportable.

More competition is to come, however, in the form of the Lenovo IdeaPad U300 S, Acer Aspire S3 and, potentially, others from the likes of HP and Dell.

Back to the present though and Asus has done a terrific job with the Zenbook’s design – even if you have to acknowledge that the designer took more than a sneaky glance at Apple’s ultraportable first.

The 13-inch Zenbook is fantastic to look at. When closed, the wedge-shaped laptop measures 17mm at its thickest point and a mere 3mm at its thinnest.

Asus zenbook ux31

The aluminium silver lid boasts a distinctive concentric circle design that catches and reflects the surrounding light. Befitting the name, the Zenbook’s simple, sleek finish gives it a premium look that keeps getting better as soon as you lift the lid.

The design ethic is in evidence earlier than that, though – it’s a lovely experience as you open the box while Asus has also included a mini Display Port to D-Sub adapter and a USB to Ethernet lead as well. Both are housed in their own little pouch. Better still, you even get a bespoke sleeve for your Zenbook in the box.

The same thinking even stretches to the Intel Core and Windows 7 stickers. We wonder who it was that proposed they were silver and black – Intel? Asus? – but whoever did has made a difference.

Specifications

Asus zenbook ux31

The outward elegance of the Zenbook UX31 has certainly been matched by power on the inside. There are currently two different versions available, our test model has the Core i7 2677M Processor while there’s also a Core i5 2467M Processor variant.

Our test version was running Windows 7 Home Premium, though the Asus spec sheet seems to suggest that Professional is also available should that be a requirement for you.

For those looking for a smaller laptop, there’s an 11.6-inch UX21 version that costs £849. We’ll be reviewing that separately as soon as we can get our hands on one.

You’ll get 4GB or RAM with all 13-inch models, as well as a 128 or 256GB solid state drive (SSD). Our review model had a 128GB drive under the hood and, as we were using it a lot, we managed to fill most of that with apps and files in no time. This is a performance machine and you may find yourself wanting the larger capacity.

The isolation-style keyboard is front and centre inside the Zenbook with no additional clutter from the likes of hotkeys, volume controls, numeric keypads or even separate mouse buttons.

As the chassis is so thin, there’s very little depth to each key. It must be said that, at first, this can be of-putting, especially if you’re used to hammering out your emails – but before long typing on the Zenbook becomes second nature.

We did find the directional arrows and the enter key to be a little on the small side, but not enough to interfere with extended typing sessions.

There’s also no backlight to the keyboard – as the MacBook Air and other competitors such as the Samsung 9 Series have this. A shame it’s missing here.

Asus zenbook

Alongside the keyboard, Asus has included a large, central touchpad. We had doubts about the inbuilt buttons and lack of a textured surface at first, but these were soon laid to rest.

The response is swift and because of the larger size, it is possible to use your thumb on the touchpad without moving your hands from the typing position. Occasionally you might brush the touchpad when typing but this is a rare occurrence.

However, we really don’t like the mouse buttons. The touch isn’t very definite, while it can be quite hard to do selections or multiple presses. Things could be a lot better here.

Another noteworthy feature of the Zenbook is the external speaker running across the base of the 13.3-inch, 1,600 x 900 16:9 Super-TFT screen. Developed by Bang & Olufsen and called ICEpower, the speaker is monitored by in-built Asus techcalled SonicMaster to keepthe balance even.

The Zenbook will hit a reassuringly loud volume without disintegrating into either a tinny treble or a fuzzy bass. It sounded impressive both in our expansive office and at home in a fully furnished room.

For the record, there’s also a 0.3 megapixel webcam for video conferencing or Skype.

The Zenbook weighs in at 1.4kg, exactly the same as the 13.1-inch Macbook Air. It’s hardly noticeable when carried around for the day and, because of the svelte design; it won’t take up too much space in your bag.

Thankfully Asus hasn’t filled the Zenbook with too much add-on software, but there is an annoying Live Update engine that keeps on popping up messages from the taskbar, while there’s also a battery life gadget (actually useful but it remains in your taskbar), as well as backup tools and a webcam app.

We’re sure there are some people that think it’s nice to have this kind of stuff, but we’re not among them. Moreover, much of the software is simply unnecessary.

And then there’s the graphics that appear when you turn the volume up, change the brightness or switch the power mode. To be honest, they’re horribly ugly and we’re simply not impressed.

It’s a shame the same attention that was paid to the external design wasn’t paid to the add-ons within the OS.

Performance

Asus zenbook ux31

TechRadar Labs

tech labs

Cinebench 10: 8726
3D Mark ’06: 3623
Battery Eater ’05: 253 mins

Both processors in the 13-inch are from Intel’s second-generation Sandy Bridge family and mean the Zenbook can easily handle multi-tasking, varioius demanding apps and multiple displays using the Sandy Bridge chips’ in-built HD 3000 graphics capabilities.

However. the lack of non-dedicated graphics from AMD or Nvidia does hit the Zenbook in the performance pocket – hence our relatively modest 3D Mark score.

We felt the display wasn’t the best – dark colours and especially blacks seem a little washed out – but definition is good. We also found the viewing angle wasn’t great for watching video and working alongside others.

Speed, clearly, is the focus of the ultrabook range and the Zenbook is no slouch. The instant-on feature means you can be up and running in just two seconds from sleep mode and standby time will hit two weeks on a single charge.

The Core i7 unit featured here performs brilliantly and it was able to handle multiple browsers, Outlook and Word 2010, Spotify, FileZilla and image editing apps all concurrently. You really find you can do what you want, when you want.

There were a couple of times when we found this wasn’t the case – several times when switching power states suddenly (like unplugging the charger) meant that the whole system seemed to struggle to adapt – browsing became slow and we had to let the system calm completely down. Also we found that using more intensive apps could make things hang – handling a load of images inside Microsoft Publisher, for example.

Even with heavy use during our testing, the Zenbook’s battery lasted for an impressive 253 minutes. And when the battery does dip below 5 per cent, the Zenbook will automatically save any files in progress to avoid you losing all your work when the machine shuts down.

The battery can seem like it’s draining reasonably quickly when doing any tasks on high performance but on power saving mode this thing is positively frugal, going for around six hours if you’re careful. Asus quotes seven, but you’ll have to barely use it to get that. So we’re not at the all-day battery life scenario yet, but we’re getting closer.

The slim design means physical connectivity isn’t as abundant as regular laptops, but there’s still enough here to satisfy most users.

Asus zenbook ux31

Asus has included two USB ports, one of which is USB 3.0 as well as an SD card slot plus a mini HDMI and mini DislayPort for connecting the ultrabok to an external TV or monitor. The Zenbook also has 802.11n Wi-Fi and cutting edge Bluetooth 4.0 wireless connectivity.

Asus zenbook ux31

Good value?

Although the 13.3-inch Zenbook will set you back from £999, that;s still £100 less than the cheapest 13.3-inch Macbook Air.

Similarly, Asus has matched Apple with pricing for the 11.6-inch model which, like the smaller Macbook Air comes in at £849. Considering the technology and the form factor, a starting price point of under a thousand pounds is good value for money – especially when you consider other such ultraportables have cost as much as £1,500 in the past.

Asus zenbook ux31

Verdict

Asus zenbook ux31

Overall we were very impressed with the Asus Zenbook. Neither power nor portability has been sacrificed in pursuit of the other and features that traditionally suffer, such as audio quality and battery life, have not been neglected.

Battery life, especially, isn’t the worry it usually is with the Zenbook, but you need to make sure it’s in the right power state – running on high performance means that the system flies – but it comes at a cost. For most purposes, running in power saving mode is more than enough.

We liked

There’s so much to like about this laptop. It’s a real PC ultraportable – the design is fantastic and it goes like stink.

Beautiful design can only come into its own when there’s performance to match.And it’s all here in spades.

The instant sleep and resume is exactly what you want in a laptop like this, and you’ll find yourself quickly adapting to never shutting down. Unless, that is. Windows wants to install updates!

We disliked

There’s surprisingly little we disliked about the Zenbook, but it must be said that the trackpad buttons grate especially. They are truly awful and mean that a mouse is recommended for serious work.

The keyboard takes a bit of getting used to and isn’t as good as many – however, you quickly get to know it and it’s not too much of an issue. The lack of a backlight is also a problem.

Graphics performance could be better but we realise that’s slightly unrealistic for a machine of this type – we also weren’t huge fans of the display.

Finally, you could say the design – though fantastic – is rather derivative. Still, unless you’re a real design freak, you’ll almost certainly find that you’re not that fussed.

Verdict

While price may preclude some from purchasing the Zenbook, we have no problem in recommending it as one of the best ultraportables we’ve seen.

It’s certainly a match for the impressive MacBook Air – and a real tonic to those who have wanted a performanceWindowsultraportable at a price point that doesn’t require a remortgage. Yes, it’s expensive. But it’s so worth it.

Share Button

Apple Officially Launches 2010 MacBook Air Ultra-Thin Laptops

Share Button

Apple has just officially announced the immediate availability of the new 2010 MacBook Air ultra-thin laptops, available with 11.6- and 13.3-inch displays and based on Intel Core 2 Duo processors, solid state Flash storage, new battery solution, and aluminum unibody enclosures.

Starting at $999, the MacBook Air notebooks are only 0.11-inches thin at their thinnest point and 0.68-inches the thickest. The systems weigh 2.3 pounds for the 11.6-inch model and 2.9 pounds for the 13.6-inch.

Here’s the official press relase: CUPERTINO, California—October 20, 2010—Apple® today unveiled an all new MacBook Air®, the first of a next generation of notebooks which will replace mechanical hard disks and optical drives with Internet services and solid state flash storage. These next generation notebooks are:

* faster—solid state flash storage is up to twice as fast as hard drive storage
* more reliable—hard drive crashes are eliminated
* lighter and smaller—solid state flash storage is up to 90 percent smaller and lighter than hard drives

Available in 11-inch and 13-inch models and weighing as little as 2.3 pounds, the new MacBook Air is Apple’s lightest and most portable notebook ever. MacBook Air uses the same solid state storage technology as iPad™ to deliver instant-on responsiveness, up to seven hours of battery life and up to 30 days of standby time.* Starting at $999, the affordable MacBook Air defines the next generation of MacBooks.

“MacBook Air is the first of a new generation of notebooks that leaves behind mechanical rotating storage in favor of solid state flash storage,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We’ve taken what we have learned with the iPad—solid state storage, instant-on, amazing battery standby time, miniaturization and lightweight construction, to create the new MacBook Air. With its amazing responsiveness and mobility, it will change the way we think about notebooks.”

With its precision aluminum unibody enclosure, the new MacBook Air measures an incredibly thin 0.11-inches at its thinnest point and 0.68-inches at its thickest, and weighs just 2.3 pounds for the 11-inch model and 2.9 pounds for the 13-inch. Like iPad, MacBook Air was designed from the ground up to use flash storage exclusively. Apple’s custom-designed flash storage is 90 percent smaller and lighter than a conventional notebook hard drive, contributing to MacBook Air’s mobile, featherweight design. MacBook Air’s flash storage also provides faster data access and is more reliable than notebook hard drives due to its solid state design.

MacBook Air features a full-sized keyboard for typing comfort and productivity, as well as the highly acclaimed glass Multi-Touch™ trackpad found on Apple’s MacBook® Pro, so you can scroll through web sites, flip through photos, and resize or rotate images all from the trackpad. The built-in FaceTime® camera, mic and stereo speakers are perfect for video calls with iPhone® 4, iPod touch®** and other Macs.

Flash storage combined with power-efficient Intel Core 2 Duo processors and NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics delivers an ideal balance of mobility, battery life and performance. MacBook Air features an 11.6-inch or 13.3-inch high-resolution LED-backlit display and Mini DisplayPort to connect your 27-inch Apple LED Cinema Display, projector or HD TV. Ultra-fast 802.11n Wi-Fi networking allows you to download music and movies from iTunes®, back up data to Time Capsule® and store or share files with MobileMe? and iDisk®. MacBook Air includes Bluetooth 2.1+EDR for wireless peripherals and two USB ports making it easy to sync and charge an iPad, iPhone or iPod® while using another device. The 13-inch MacBook Air also includes an SD card slot.

Apple makes the industry’s greenest notebooks and the MacBook Air is the latest Mac® notebook to achieve EPEAT Gold status and meet Energy Star 5.0 requirements.*** Each unibody enclosure is made of highly recyclable aluminum and comes standard with energy efficient LED-backlit displays that are mercury-free and made with arsenic-free glass. Mac notebooks contain no brominated flame retardants, are PVC-free and are constructed of recyclable materials.

Apple uses advanced chemistry and Adaptive Charging technology to create a MacBook Air battery that delivers up to seven hours of wireless productivity on a single charge and up to 1,000 recharges.**** The built-in battery design results in less waste, and depleted MacBook Air batteries can be replaced for $129, which includes installation and disposal of your old battery in an environmentally responsible manner.

Every Mac comes with Mac OS® X Snow Leopard®, the world’s most advanced operating system, and iLife®, Apple’s innovative suite of applications for creating and sharing great photos, movies and music. Snow Leopard builds on more than a decade of innovation and includes multiple features for portable computing such as Multi-Touch navigation, advanced wireless networking, easy file sharing, automated data backup and intelligent power management. The new iLife ’11 features iPhoto® with stunning full screen views for browsing, editing and sharing photos; iMovie® with powerful easy-to-use tools to transform home videos into fun theatrical trailers; and GarageBand® with new ways to improve your playing and create great sounding songs.

Pricing & Availability
The 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air are immediately available through the Apple Store® (www.apple.com), Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers. The 1.4 GHz 11-inch MacBook Air with 2GB of memory and 64GB of flash storage starts at a suggested retail price of $999 (US) with a 128GB model for $1,199 (US). The 1.86 GHz 13-inch MacBook Air with 2GB of memory and 128GB of flash storage starts at a suggested retail price of $1,299 (US) with a 256GB model for $1,599 (US). Configure-to-order options and accessories include faster processors, 4GB of memory, MacBook Air SuperDrive® and a USB Ethernet Adapter.

Additional technical specifications and configure-to-order options and accessories are available online at www.apple.com/macbookair.

*Battery life and standby time vary by use and configuration. See www.apple.com/batteries for more information.

**iOS 4.1 required.

***EPEAT is an independent organization that helps customers compare the environmental performance of notebooks and desktops. Products meeting all of the 23 required criteria and at least 75 percent of the optional criteria are recognized as EPEAT Gold products. The EPEAT program was conceived by the US EPA and is based on IEEE 1680 standard for Environmental Assessment of Personal Computer Products. For more information visit www.epeat.net.

****A properly maintained MacBook Air battery is designed to retain 80 percent or more of its original capacity during a lifespan of up to 1,000 recharge cycles. Battery life and charge cycles vary by use and settings. For more information visit www.apple.com/batteries.

Share Button

Apple Previews Mac OS X Lion

Share Button

Besides the launch of the new MacBook Air laptops, Apple today gave a preview of the company’s upcoming Mac OS X “Lion” operating system.

Inspired by iPad’s software, the eighth major release of OS for Mac computers includes the Mac App Store, support for full screen iPad-like apps, Launchpad, a new home for all of Mac apps, and and Mission Control, which “unifies Exposé, Dashboard, Spaces and full screen apps into an innovative new view of everything running on your Mac, and allows you to instantly navigate anywhere.”

Mac OS X Lion will ship next summer, while the Mac App Store will be available for the current Mac OS X “Snow Leopard” within 90 days.

Apple also introduced today a beta version of FaceTime for Mac which allows Mac users to video call iPhone 4 and iPod touch users, as well as iLife ’11 with major upgrades to iPhoto, iMovie and GarageBand applications.

Share Button

Apple MacBook Pro 17″ (MC024LL/A) Overview

Share Button

mbp2010-amzn

Apple has released recently the updated MacBook Pro laptops with the new 2010 Intel Core processors, including the 17-inch MacBook Pro MC024LL/A.

The MacBook Pro MC024LL/A with the aluminum unibody enclosure features the Intel Core i5 CPU at 2.53GHz or Core i7 at 2.66GHz, a switchable graphics solution combining the NVIDIA GeForce GT330M 512MB video card and Intel’s HD graphics, 4 or 8GB of DDR3 memory, up to 500GB of hard disk space or up to 512GB solid state drive, the SuperDrive DVD burner, and a battery life of “8 to 9 hours”.

Its 1920×1200-pixel LED-backlit display has a glossy or anti-glare coating, depending on customers’ choice.

The notebook also includes a multi-touch trackpad and illuminated keyboard, iSight video camera, stereo speakers, 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth, Gigabit Ethernet, two USB ports, a Mini DisplayPort output, SD card and ExpressCard slots, and a FireWire 800 port.

Apple’s MacBook Pro MC024LL/A runs Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard.

Customers can buy the notebook online direct from Apple for a base price of $2,299 or through MacMall which offers mail-in rebates and instant off for a total of around $130 savings.

Share Button