Wait for the 15"
You suggest waiting for the next upgrade of the 15" model. Is that a speculative thing, or do you know summat we don't?
Last year’s update to the MacBook Pro was more notable for its £100 price cut than the modest speed bump that accompanied it. However, this year’s model is a more interesting kettle of fish, as it introduces Intel’s latest Broadwell processors to the Mac range, along with Apple’s new Force Touch trackpad doohickey. Apple …
it's just another laptop.
It's quite sleek, I'm sure the fashionistas will be drooling all over it (hopefully it is at least IP52).
I don't like black keys though as I can't find the one I want when I'm typing in low light.
£1000 seems quite pricey but what do I know, all my computers come from the tip.
'Keyboard is backlit'
Ah, very cunning but for a thousand quid I'd want a YTS kid to stand behind me with a torch in one hand and my coffee in the other :)
Cooler I think would be to have backlit LCD keys so you could have any character you like displayed, you could charge probably another £200 for that feature (gimmick).
"Cooler I think would be to have backlit LCD keys so you could have any character you like displayed"
I think this could have real value as enabling single SKUs for all world markets, rather than having every language needing its own physical keyboard. Not sure how keyboards work at all for non-Roman alphabets, but I guess they already have to lump it with circa 84 or 102 key keyboards, so it could still improve things for those users.
I'd buy a two screen clamshell job with the second screen as part-time keyboard/touchscreen, better idea in my opinion than a vertical touchscreen on a laptop.
Wouldn't be so hot for long-session typing, but imagine having your hotkeys colour coded depending on application or desktop/window manager as well as limitless keyboard layouts for languages/qwerty/azerty/games. Could also save space for applications by moving the toolbar/menu off the main screen. Lot of changes on s/w side there I know.
Per the reviews, one of the things the force touch trackpad attempts to achieve is haptic feedback that fools your brain into thinking you've pushed the thing down when in fact it hasn't moved. It seems to me like that plus Apple's obsession with thinness strongly implies a screen-as-a-keyboard within the next few years.
Why all the downvotes for what is obviously meant to be a tongue-in-cheek comment? Is this our local fanbois expressing their advanced sense of humour again when *anything* less than glowing is said about their iShiny?
For what it's worth, Bob, have an upvote. We need people with some vestige of humour to keep things interesting.
I modded you up +1, because I agree it does seem untoward.
However, you may notice that any deviation from an information free conversation will garner downvotes. I'm not that paranoid.... but I suspect some corporate interests probably hire shills to signup to introduce noise into any forum that disses (sic) them.
If I knew the clinical name for having ones sense of humour removed I would used it here.
Better still, we could have an Eddy Murphy icon (GTFOOH).
This thing about the majority of Apple users on some constant upgrade cycle is just seems false. I'm sure there are some who do (as there will be with Samsung / Windows / other gear as well) but the majority of Apple kit seems to be used for years and years.
I know people still running iPhone 3GS / 4 handsets and iPad / iPad 2 - both many years old - when most Android users are replacing at every contract renewal (18-24 months). I know people with 5-6 year old MacBooks still going strong and running the latest OS and probably still going strong for a few years yet.
Apple recently said that only something like 14% of existing iPhone users had upgraded to iPhone 6 / 6 Plus (and that was about 3-4 or so months after release). That figure is more indicative of people upgrading gradually as contracts renew or even longer rather that everyone rushing out to have the latest model (oh and that was despite also recording record volume sales - so must be a hell of a lot of new customers and people coming from Android / other handsets).
@jason 7 - the rules for living inside the Walled Garden of Eden(tm) are somewhat different to rules for those who've not yet found their way into paradise.
True fanbois buy at least once piece of new shiny every year regardless of whether it's needed or not because new shiny is always better shiny. And better shiny leads to happiness.
(Disclosure: I am a fanboi)
"My Macbook is 3 years old - there is no reason to upgrade it other than I was thinking of passing it on to my wife who is still happily running a 6 year old Macbook and the kids could then have hers. The thing is both are still perfectly good and have years of life left in them."
The problem with Apple stuff is not the hardware, which can easily last a decade, but the operating system and Apple's policy of forced obsolescence. You normally only get around 3-5 years worth of support before your laptop/iPad/iPod etc. is no longer compatible with the latest OS.
As everyone knows, running an obsolete OS is a security risk. Your only option then is to install some variety of linux that is only semi-compatible with the hardware, or cross over to the dark side and use Windows.
Absolute tosh. My mid-2010 MBP is still running as well as the day I bought it, and it's fully supported on Yosemite. My kids are running MBPs from 2008 (Core2Duo), also on Yosemite.
iPhones and iPads are supported right up to the point that the hardware can't run the OS; and even then they remain fully functional on the older OS with no security issues.
"They've supported right click for as long as OS X has been around."
From personal memory Apple supported right click from at least OS 7.5 prior to OSX if you had a third party mouse. No drivers needed.
If you didn't have a two button mouse (or trackpad) you can emulate it by holding down the control key as you click.
The whole deal with the Macs one button mouse was that the Alto at Xerox Parc, which was the inspiration for Apple's Lisa, and then the Mac, had a *THREE button mouse* quite complicated cording patterns to work the system.
Apple simplified this system so that ordinary folks, not just computer geeks and PHD's could use their hardware.
Professional Unix graphic workstations (Sun and others) continued to use the three button mouse where it was standard.
Apple's insistence of the single button mouse was to force the Software manufactures to make their software 100% functional with the single button.
Even today, in Apple stores, (and when you first unbox a Mac) the full functionality of the trackpad are disabled from the control panel so as to not overwhelm prospective buyers.
Indeed, when I first opened up my shiny new Apple laptop back in 2012, one of the first things I did was to turn all the trackpad features.
I spent well over four hours practicing all the gestures till I could do them without error even in a semi-consious state; which I practically was as it was pas2 AM when I finally went to bed.
Apple's trackpad (which they just even improved on the most recent 13" Mac Pro refresh with pressure sensitivity) is the main reason why Macs do not have touch sensitive screens. You don't really need them with their trackpads.
It's also why Apple is not adopting the recent touch events framework which is currently being worked out between Microsoft, Google, and Firefox.
Apple's computers don't have touch screens and their touchscreen devices don't support pens or finger proximity.
This one button mouse meme is old, pervasive with windows enthusiasts to point out how stupid Macintosh users are, and simply false.
@Jes.E: "Apple's insistence of the single button mouse was to force the Software manufactures to make their software 100% functional with the single button."
Or because Jony Ive/predecessors thought two buttons weren't pretty enough.
"This one button mouse meme is old, pervasive with windows enthusiasts to point out how stupid Macintosh users are, and simply false."
Windows was always usable without a pointing device at all, with things like tabbing.
Your argument may have some basis in fact, but, especially given your attempts to conflate multiple finger gestures with one vs two button mice, I simply don't buy it as the only explanation.
PS I'm not a Windows enthusiast.
Personally I hated the way the "full screen" feature has been implemented in OS X - the animation lasts far too long, and is distracting in itself, but the real sin was putting it on a global hotkey (ctrl-Command-F) that clashes with so many applications' special-case "Find" functions. (Yes, the app's hotkey overrides the default, but only if its window is focussed: if the app you were looking at doesn't have keyboard focus, something else that you weren't looking at takes over your screen)
If this annoyed you as much as it did me, do this:
Open System Preferences › Keyboard. Click the Shortcuts tab, Select "App Shortcuts" entry in left-hand list. Press [+] to add a new application shortcut.
Choose "All Applications", and "Enter Full Screen" as the menu title. Then use any hard-to-press combination of modifiers and keys as the shortcut, and press "Add"
This technique also works for wresting the easily-hit Command-M away from the evil hands of "Window › Minimize"
(I wonder, has anyone ever deliberately minimised a window this way in OS X? Minimizing in OS X is a user-experience disaster that only exists because Steve Jobs wanted to show off how OS X allowed affine transforms on windows; hold down Shift while you click, and you'll see the "Slow-mo" animation is still there)
thanks, you learn something everyday here.
My favourite is cmd/space for spotlight, then type first one or two letters of the app to open. I am convinced it is a 1000% improvement on using the dock, which I despised the moment it arrived and still find it an ergonomic mess. I have friends who are not power users, with maybe 20+ icons in the dock on a 13" laptop, the dock hide feature turned on and magnify turned on...drives me nuts to use their laptop.
TBH I miss the OS9 drop down box from the Apple icon, with the list of apps in there.
My favourite shortcut is command+shift+forward slash which takes you to the pull-down menu search box in any app. Then type to find the option you wanted. The text search eliminates the need manually to hunt amongst the pull-downs; the shortcut eliminates the need even to move the cursor in order to do that.
Traditionally in the past I've changed my laptop every couple of years or so. Primarily because of the amount of travel I do for work meaning they get battered and start to break. But also because I like shiny new tech every so often.
But like I've mentioned before on here, I bought a late-2011 15" MBP and with the DVD removed and the HDD in its place + and SSD and RAM upgrade it's still going strong. Best Windows laptop I've ever owned.
However, like I've also said here it'll most likely be the first and last one I ever own because I'm not a fan of how everything is soldered/epoxied to the point of being non-upgradable. Whatever the screen resolution.
All I seem to see from Apple lately is just more of the same and it's hard to justify (to myself) paying their prices for limited benefits (as perceived by me). Hell mine will still even perform fine for the odd bit of casual gaming.
I like the spec of Alienware but I've never been a fan of them in a corporate environment. Anyone know of any alternatives out there?
> Alienware but I've never been a fan of them in a corporate environment.
> Anyone know of any alternatives out there?
Depending what you're after, a Scan 3XS could be worth a look. They go up to a GTX980M, and desktop quad-code CPUs, and there are workstation graphics options too.
I like the spec of Alienware but I've never been a fan of them in a corporate environment. Anyone know of any alternatives out there?
Dell XPS 15-lxxx
I have a 2 year old one with 2 SSDs fitted and room for a 3rd if I swap out the Blueray player.
RAM is at 8GB but easily up-gradable to 16GB should I see the need.
Newer versions are slimmer, have better battery life, higher res touch screens and slightly better CPU and GPUs
Pcspecialist in the UK have a 13.3" Lafite laptop. Playing with the configuration gives
8GB in a socket, but there is only one socket
1USB3 + 1USB 2
Windows 8.1 instead of OSX
for £558. Drop the operating system and it's under £500. That's quite a difference.
Of course, if you need OSX or thunderbolt ports it's a pointless comparison.
I've never used Pcspecialist, so I don't know how their customer service compares against Apple (important for tech stuff in general). The 2week delivery time is also a factor.
When you compare prices, the biggest difference is that Apple has people in their stores who get paid to help you with any computer related problem that you might have, and who are actually trained and qualified to do so. (And no, they don't have some esoteric knowledge that some geek has who promptly declares them as incompetent, but they have a deep knowledge of problems that their customers have and are very good at solving these problems). Any other store, they just try to get rid of you.
"and who are actually trained and qualified to do so. (And no, they don't have some esoteric knowledge that some geek has who promptly declares them as incompetent, but they have a deep knowledge of problems that their customers have and are very good at solving these problems".
14 days and a manual...that's deep for you.
Yep, reason I bought the parents iPads and iPhone, I am on the other side of the pond and they are good for FaceTime, but they are even better when things go wrong. The parents are happy to make an appointment and a quick trip to the apple store, they are late 70's and are never talked down to, made to feel stupid or worried they will get charged for something they don't understand.
"and are never talked down to, made to feel stupid or worried"
I know someone, a pleasant and intelligent woman who had a problem with an iPhone 6. The "quick trip" to the Apple Store turned into a long trip that reduced her to tears. The next day, with the help of her son, the problem was resolved. His opinion of the expertise of the "geniuses" was pretty low - and he's all of 14.
Anecdotal yes, but so is your anecdote.
You can get an i7 for another £70 or so in the configurations to get a better processor. Screen is still worse though. Some people may see it as better value, some won't. And surely the USB complaint is weak. I thought Apple were moving away from physical connectors...?
More seriously, there are already some comments pointing out that for some non-technical people, the customer service from Apple is definitely worth the extra. And that's really the point. Every time Apple release a new laptop, people bash them on the price compared to mail-order (often ex-VAT) Windows PCs. But for some, the Apple is better value overall.
>>Every time Apple release a new laptop, people bash them on the price compared to mail-order (often ex-VAT) Windows PCs. But for some, the Apple is better value overall.
Cost of ownership of Apple laptops may ultimately be cheaper too. The market for used Apple products is very active where I live. I would expect to be able to use a new MacBook for ~4 years and get half my money back.
I bought a display model white Macbook 13" in 2007 or 2008, got a discount because a, it was a display model, b, it was the previous generation model - in fact, they gave me a 320Gb external USB/FireWire hard drive with it for free (Iomega with mac mini looks) + 50 euro discount.
Sold Macbook a year later for the same amount I bought it.
A Wintel latop loses close to 80% of its value after year 1.
Like cars, German cars have a strong second-hand market.
As close a Dell as I can find. And the price/spec isn't that far off a match in either direction.
5th Generation Intel® Core™ i5-5200U Processor (3M Cache, up to 2.70 GHz)
Windows 8.1 Pro (64Bit) English
13.3-inch UltraSharp™ QHD+ (3200 x 1800) infinity touch display
8GB Dual Channel DDR3L at 1600MHz
Intel(R) HD Graphics 5500
939 Ex VAT (£1126)
Higher Rez Display
Older CPU (i think)
You win some you loose some, but the prices aren't as far apart as I might have expected.
I get the impression that MacBooks are about the same value for money spec-for-spec as other manufacturers.
Similar spec, similar price Dell will be user upgradeable and serviceable and (at an extra cost) come with 3 year accident cover and on site support.
If you work contract or freelance then NOT having to make a 4 hour return trip to a service center is a very valuable feature.
Seems quite a good deal. Something to bear in mind though is a likely total cost over a typical ownership period: after 3 years, you'd be lucky to get 100 in resale, where as a MBPR will still get 500, which means the total cost is pretty much the same
A real deal breaker you need a dongle.
Lots of building are very difficult to "fill" with decent performance WiFi.
WiFi also is slow if many people on one Airpoint.
The once off running of Cat5e isn't a big deal to have 100Mbps to 800MBps real throughput vs 0.5Mbs to 200Mbps at unpredictable speed.
Or is this just for coffee shops and Mobile Internet?
It's the case for any kind of shared internet connection, whether you're on WiFi or not. If 100 people are trying to squeeze all of their internet traffic through a 10mbit pipe, you're going to notice some slowdowns. Using a Cat5 cable to connect to the switch will make no difference in that situation.
I think you've misunderstood how media access works on ethernet switches. Every client gets its own private, dedicated link to the switch, and the switch dynamically connects these links together as required.
Any half-decent 1000 Mbit Switch used in an office environment can maintain several parallel Gigabit transfers: the aggregate traffic through even a cheap a 24-port 1Gbit/s switch can be well over 20 Gbit/s. To a user, this means that your file transfer from Server A does not starve someone else's transfer from server B.
By contrast, Wifi makes every client share the same medium (even in 802.11n Multiple-In/Multiple-out networks you will have multiple clients accessing the same contended medium). Packet collision is common, and the aggregate throughput of the network is limited to the capacity of the shared medium. If you start to generate lots of traffic, then other users on the same accesspoint will suffer.
But it's not just performance: Wired networking is also inherently more secure than wireless, and that's the bigger reason for corporate IT managers preferring it.
There are a million dullwitted people who don't get that, and for them having lots of pixels that they can't see is important for bragging rights.
It is the Top Trumps school of evaluation at work, the number has to be higher regardless.
My car is better than your car because mine has seven wheels and yours only has four.
There is a point to it; display scaling.
LCDs have discrete pixels. This is why Apple always try to double their resolution in each direction; so that an integral number of pixels (4) replaces the previous pixel. It makes application design easier. If I scale from 1280 by 720 to 1920 by 1080, pixel to pixel mapping doesn't work on an LCD causing slight fuzziness. This is noticeable on small character hinting.
A resolution higher than "retina" will avoid visible artefacts for some combinations of scaling and pixel layout.
Of course, once a display reaches a certain level and all applications are correctly scaled for it, further increases are useless. But if a resolution higher than "retina" is achievable, and gives better backwards compatibility, why not use it?
Not that it bothers me too much, my eyesight is now such that 1920 by 1200 is perfectly adequate. But when I was younger and doing CAD work, I'd have killed - or at least done some pretty crafty things - for a 3600 by 2400 screen.
I'm not getting you I'm afraid. Of course if you display a 1280 width image on a 1920-width screen then pixel mapping is not 1:1, but if the pixels are too small to see, and the scaling is done properly to avoid aliasing, then how can you see any "fuzziness"? It shouldn't be up to the application - the display driver should scale.
Why not use a higher resolution than is necessary? Because it costs more to manufacture, and takes more processing and electrical power.
Any advise please.
Should I wait for updated 15 inch or should I buy the existing 15 inch as my laptop of 7 years has nearly given up and I would assume I won't be thinking of buying a new one for couple of years.
Many thanks in advance.
> Unfortunately, like its predecessor, the new MacBook Pro also comes with its 8GB of memory soldered on to the motherboard.
That means nogo for me, don't get me wrong, I love the hardware, but RAM soldered onto mainboard is just criminal and should not be encouraged.
The older 13" Macbook were equipped with an nVidia graphics card, and as such offered support for code our students develop in CUDA, and had sufficient graphics grunt for 3D visualization code we develop. The later ones don't. Real shame, because I hate lugging a 15" along for conferences. As my code is OS agnostic, I was seriously considering the older MacBook, but I will have to pass this one for lack of video grunt.
I recently got a quote in the same price range from a Dutch company for a 13.3" at 2560x1600 resolution, Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, one 1TB HDD, + one 256GB SSD, and Geforce 860 (or so) graphics card. Weight 1.9 kg, so a bit heavier (and a bit bulkier to allow for cooling). The cost (with OS, you can also order it without) was just a shade under a MacBook pro 13.
I got the i7 and it's excellent. It's a good development machine due to its memory and disk. What matters with laptops isn't so much the processor, it's the ergonomics (screen, weight, battery, build, keyboard, an OS that supports high resolution well, a track-pad that actually works). So spec-for-spec, Macbooks are about average value, but factor in the ergonomics and they are a clear win. Obviously if you play a lot of games this isn't for you.
By the way, it still has the WiFi fail after sleep issue, which Apple allegedly "fixed" but did no such thing. Thanks Crapple, hope you're listening.
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