price dropped 100 quid
You seem to have missed the fact the price has dropped 100 quid ?
was 849, now 749.
join http://www.corporateperks.co.uk/ and get another 50 squid off.
Apple has sneaked slightly updated Macbook Airs onto its shelves with slightly tweaked price tags. Without any fanfare yesterday, Cupertino started touting the new super duper lightweight 'puters. They come complete with a slightly faster processor and, well, not much else. The new Intel Core i5 CPUs clock in at 1.4GHz, …
Most windows laptops in the last couple of years have multi-touch trackpads as well. Both my current HP and my previous Dell were multi-touch. Have you tried it on your Vaio?
I always preferred having the scroll bar area along the bottom and one side of the trackpad rather than multi-touch, but that's just personal preference at the end of the day.
"... unlike iPhone where you get nothing between each generation it's good that their PCs gradually improve spec during a generation."
Huh? Even ignoring the fingerprint sensor and improvements to the camera, the iPhone 5S is roughly twice as fast as last year's model. In fact, Apple has more or less been doubling phone speed every single year since the 3G.
If a vendor doubled their laptop/desktop speed every year for 5+ years, everybody would be practically pooping themselves with excitement. But do it for phones and I guess it's not worth mentioning... ?!
Apple gave one of its products a minor spec bump and a price cut. Both these things would be welcome if I were looking to buy one right now. (I am not, although I have the 2011 model and am happy enough with it for now. Undoubtedly some people are). Total non-story for everyone else, though.
For the record, all my gear runs either Debian or Mint. ;-)
I personally think that for £750, 4Gb is a little stingy. Dell's XPS and it's non-upgradable memory is even worse, I'll grant.
@Steve Todd: Also for the record, my main laptop is a ~6-year old Thinkpad X61 with 4Gb of memory... It cost me a smidge over £100 on fleabay. Not a fair comparison I'll grant, but a couple of fresh batteries and an SSD, and it's more than capable. If I want a portable powerhouse, then while the new Macbook's internals would be better, the whole memory limitation comes straight back into focus.
If all your £750 was buying was 4GB of RAM I might agree with you. The X61 may be perfect for your needs, but it is very much less capable than the Air. The Core i series CPUs that it uses are much more frugal on power (running for nearly 10 hours on a charge and weeks in standby mode), while being much faster (they can dynamically clock up to 2.7GHz to start with), the SSD is much faster than any SATA model, it comes with the latest 802.11ac wireless networking, can connect to the world via USB3 or Thunderbolt and generally is able to give a full desktop machine from only a year or two ago a run for its money.
It's that combination of portability and performance that costs money. Windows PC makers have by now figured out that it costs money to make the same kind of device, and for what they are providing the Apple Air is competitively priced.
So you've not ACTUALLY used one then? The fact that OS X 10.9 compresses memory images, plus the SSD is connected direct via PCIe (and can shift near 1GB/sec in and out of RAM) means that you can actually do quite a lot of work inside of 4GB.
Go take a look at the price and spec of Ultrabooks, then come back and explain what a bad deal Apple are offering.
How in the seven hells is that an acceptable level of memory for the price these days?
1 - more memory efficient OS
2 - fewer resources needed to cache the disk (as it's SSD)
3 - total price of ownership of a Mac is a LOT lower than Windows due to increased usabiliy, less interruptions for updates and *dramatically* lower cost of software with one notable exception: Microsoft software.
So yeah, I can see this value. I used to buy VAIOs before, so for me the hardware costs are similar. However, the change to OSX was something else entirely. Well worth it the short pain (think 4..6 weeks to get comfortable with a different UI model).
Say what you want about the technology. I don't disagree with you. I have a 2011 MBP 17" and it is quite a good machine.
But..., regardless of the rather nice OS, which needless to remind anyone, is BSD-based and sports a well-hidden but fully functional Bash shell*, I agree with the OP that Apple has the deplorable habit of pricing <$50 component upgrades at $100 or more. This is true for CPUs, HDD/SDDs, RAM and across the range, from iPhones to Macs. It's their traditional gouge tactic and the main reason iPhones will never get an SD slot.
One redeeming TCO feature however is the low, and now zero, cost of OSX upgrades. If your hardware supports it, of course.
Since I am getting older, one thing I like with my MBP 1080 17" screen is the size. For those of us who are pretending not to need bifocals (yeccch), the new 15" or 13" retinas are nice, but also somewhat missing the point :(
* sssh, don't tell the sensitive Starbucks artsy fanboi types that such an ugly beast lurks under the covers of their pristine FB & Twatter gateways.
and not just wannabe artsy types, but I have surprised two geek buddies who really should have known better by showing them it is a fully functional 'Nix machine.
I'll ignore the Windows-based stuff since I don't actually run Microshite.
I would argue with you on #2 though... It's no more or less resources to swap to disk, it's just faster with an SSD. Secondly, relying on swap to make up for a lack of dedicated memory out of the box is pretty poor form.
I'll grant that okay, it seems that my assumption of what should come with a ~£750 machine - Mac or otherwise - these days appears to have been a bit high, but can we forget about the damn OS and concentrate on the hardware?
can we forget about the damn OS and concentrate on the hardware?
Hmm, I wouldn't, because that exposes you to the "my bling is better than your bling" crowd. My preference for Apple is pretty much driven by facts and figures, I'm not into the whole cult thing (it was actually a barrier before I tried it). However, if you insist, it is also my experience that a MBP tends to be well engineered. This is probably also a general benefit as you have a defined spec to work with, but you're right insofar that it allows Apple to create a better margin for their hardware. If you would just look at the raw price, this may seem high, but that's like looking at a Mercedes as an expensive car or Armani as expensive clothes without taking into consideration just how long you have use of it (although cars are a poor example as you have a retained value but also have a weird 1st year value drop which I never quite understood).
I have no real problem with a higher price if it works out better over time, and thanks to Sony I'm quite used to a higher price for what is better quality. If you want track record of getting away with high prices, in my experience that was a concept developed by PSION in the late 80s :).
My VIAOs were generally dead after 2 years, and I tend to be very careful with my hardware. The 15" MBP I'm typing it on is hitting its 4th year and still going strong. I bought this with a hi-res screen (1680 x 1050) and 4GB of RAM, and it just works.
So yes, Apple gear is expensive if you don't put the price in context, and I would agree with you that their option prices are stupid - but Kingston sells the same memory chips, and Seagate's hybrid hard disk fits just as well. The new ones cannot be upgraded, so I'll just buy the one but fattest one available, and that will probably see me through the next 4 years.
Trashy wanna-be hack plunges slightly deeper to find a negative spin on a story that anybody else responded "more for less, I have no problem with that" to.
Target audience brand him a petty, worthless twat and lazy journalist*.
More for less.
*If sitting around in your underpants regurgitating shit that you found elsewhere on the internet infused with your own brand of spiteful vomit counts as a career these days.
It's nice to know they do make incremental improvements when it's possible. Btw I'm on their web site configuring one and there is a 512Gb SSD option for this unit. I like that! If I could change ONLY thing it would be the graphic chip offerings. I know the Air line is not designed to be a graphics powerhouse but Intel graphics is such an aweful low-brow thing to see on any Mac. I would not mind seeing that changed to something better.
Eh, tricky. Right now the entire laptop has essentially only one chip that uses any significant amount of power or produces any heat, and that's the CPU (with integrated graphics). Add a discrete graphics chip and that'll roughly double the power consumption, halve battery life, increase heat, and increase the complexity (and noise) of the cooling system. I consider using integrated graphics to be a fairly significant advantage of the system.
Actually the integrated HD5000 graphics are pretty good. Aperture is an OpenGL resource hog where the whole UI is dependent on graphics card performance. It runs superbly on my external 2560x1600 screen from my MBA (2013 model) together with a second monitor...
As does the whole Creative Suite....Nothing wrong really with those integrated graphics. They are now very different opposed to earlier generations....
Minor spec bump and price decrease for most people is a non-story but the real story is for people who have been delaying an upgrade. Basically Apple is saying there won't be any major new upgrades/features for another year, so, go ahead and purchase. Personally I've been putting off buying for the last ~6 months so this is welcome news.
I really wish The Register writers would stop calling Apple users 'Fanbois'. It makes me cringe every time I read it and it often infringes on what is usually a reasonably informative article. It's very childish and makes it look like the article was written by a thirteen year old. Please stop it.