The Apple iMac got an update announced todays “event” that improves the display, and storage options. The new display includes a special coating that reduces reflection along with updated NVIDIA graphics. They also updated the processor to include the new Intel chips and put it all in a thinner case. For storage they now include what they call Fusion Drive that is a combination of Flash memory, standard hard drives and special Mac OS software that makes the two drives look as one, along with manages what applications and information is stored on the Flash memory or hard drive based on use.
There was also a small update to the Mac mini that updates the processor with a Intel i5 chip. Both the iMac and Mac mini also have a reduced power usage. The Mac mini is available now, 21.5 inch iMac will be available in November, and the iMac 27 inch some time December. Prices start at $1,299 for the 21.6 inch iMac, $1,799 for the 27 inch iMac, and $799 for the Mac mini all at the base model.
With the upcoming release of the Windows 8 and Windows RT Microsoft has been developing what they think is the ideal tablet experience for Windows RT. They call their tablet Surface and will be coming out in both a Windows RT version and Windows 8 Pro version. The announcement of the Surface with Windows RT came out today and will start at $499, shipping on October 26 2012. There are three different packages to order, the lowest priced one is just a 32GB Surface with no cover and the highest is 64GB with a Cover. You can also order extra covers in different colors or buy a cover with a built-in keyboard that comes in 5 different colors.
While I don’t see mass adoption of Windows 8 or Windows RT it looks to be an acquit tablet interface but lacks in apps and functionality that most users will expect from a tablet such as an iPad or Android device. As for running Windows 8 on a laptop or desktop is a complete failure on the part of Microsoft, and they have only shown how the start menu takes over the system and that is all they expect you to do with your computer is have the start menu up all the time. This tablet seems like a response to the iPad but done with out thinking through the entire experience along with the experience of how Windows 8 will work as a desktop interface.
While the Surface looks to be a decent tablet it will also come with Microsoft Office 2013 RT installed, while it will be a pre-release of Office Home and Student it should get updated to the full release when it comes out. They also include Internet Explorer 10, Xbox Music store and other Xbox branded games. Check out the specs and gallery below for more about the details of the device.
|Software||Windows RT and Office Home and Student 2013 RT|
|Storage||32 and 64 GB|
|CPU / Memory||NVIDIA T30 / 2 GB RAM|
|Display||10.6 inch 5-point multi-touch|
|Cameras||Both front and back 720p HD|
|Wireless||2×2 MIMO WIFI, Bluetooth 4.0|
|Ports||USB 2.0, mircoSDXC, HD Video Out|
|Sound||3.5mm headphone, 2 microphones, stereo speakers|
|Sensors||Ambient Light, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Compass|
|Price||$499-699 + $119-129 for covers + HD Adaptor|
Lenovo announced the pre-order of four new Windows 8 mobile systems, the IdeaPad Yoga 13, Yoga 11, Lynx, and Twist. The Yoga is a convertible laptop tablet that hinges to fold the keyboard flat with the display going backward, this gives it the ability to be used as a tablet or stand up in interesting ways. This was first seen at CES 2012 and got lots of attention. It will come two sizes at 11.6 inch and 13.3 inches. The big difference between the two is the 13 has an Intel 3rd Generation i7 processor running Windows 8 Pro and it earns being a Ultrabook. Where the 11 runs on a NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor with Windows RT with less battery life and won’t run any old Windows applications because it runs the ARM processor. Full tech specs of the four systems below.
As for the Lynx, it is a low powered Dual Core Intel Atom powered 11.6 inch tablet that runs Windows 8 but has a keyboard that can be attached to transform it into a laptop type computer. They claim that with the 16 hours of batter you can use it all day and also use it for applications like the included Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
The Twist is the only one specifically built for business users, it has an Intel Core i7 processor and is also a Ultrabook running Windows 8 Pro with the option to have 3G data and more storage options. They also make note that it will have a normal ThinkPad keyboard that so many people like to type on if they have a laptop. The display is also a high-definition IPS with multi-touch that twists around so you can use it like a tablet. This would be a good power user laptop if you are looking to get a Windows 8 Pro device.
|IdeaPad:||Yoga 13||Yoga 11||Lynx||Twist|
|Processor||Intel Core i7||NVIDIA Tegra 3||Intel Dual Core Atom||Intel Core i7|
|OS||Windows 8 Pro||Windows 8 RT||Windows 8||Windows 8 Pro|
|Battery||8 Hours||13 Hours||16 Hours w/ Dock||7 Hours|
|Storage||256GB SSD||64GB eMMC||64GB eMMC||500GB HDD / 128GB SSD|
|Price MSRP Starts At||$1,099||$799||$649||$849|
These specs are if you max out things such as getting the fastest processor or largest SSD, and they only gave prices for the lowest of the spec base systems so the prices will be way different. You can pre-order the Yoga 13 at Best Buy October 12 2012.
A few weeks ago Apple had an update to their Mac Book Pro line of laptops, and with most other computer venders focusing on building Ultra Books they had to do something that would be different than what most new laptops are going to have in them by the holidays. There trick was an updated 15-inch display using what they call Retina, that has 220 pixels-per-inch to give it one of the best looking displays out. This same technology was used in there iPhone 4s to make the screen look better. One problem with this display is that most applications and websites do not have high enough resolutions to have this be worth much at this time.
The rest of the laptop is about the same as any other high end laptop, Intel Core i7, NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M, up to 16GB of 1600MHz RAM and up to 768GB flash based storage. As for ports it has Thunderbolt, USB 3.0, HDMI and an updated MagSafe 2 power plug. They claim 7 hours of battery life, HD webcam, 802.11n Wi-Fi, and a full size backlight keyboard.
For the base model the price starts at $2,199 USD and goes way up from there. For that price you can get a great Ultra Book or a Gaming class Windows 7 Laptop, but with Apple you always have the old Apple Tax for the name. If I had the extra money to drop I would get something else, maybe next year it would be great with the Retina Display. But if you’re in the market for an Apple laptop go ahead and get this it’s only more and comes with more memory in the base price.