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A new report from the China Times is suggesting that we may see Haswell-based Apple MacBook Pros arriving in stores and online in October. The report claims that supply chain sources said the production has been moving forward at a steady pace and everything is on schedule for the devices to arrive in the fall.
The update to Haswell will not offer much in terms of a performance gain, but users will see a massive increase in battery life over the previous generations of MacBook Pro. These rumors seem to confirm an earlier report from Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI securities who said that:
Retina MacBook Pro to be slimmer slightly, along with a camera upgrade. We expect the 13" Retina MacBook Pro will have a slightly slimmer form factor for increasing its portability. Also, we think the camera spec will be upgraded from HD to full HD. This will improve Facetime and video conference quality in the high resolution Retina display.
This morning, Apple has laid to rest the number of issues that have been plaguing the new MacBook Air since release. A new software update has just been released that is said to fix certain Wi-Fi issues that were causing network connections to be dropped. This issue arose shortly after launch and caused a small uproar on the Internet when users were unable to connect to their networks after spending a small fortune on the next-gen device.
At the same time, other MacBook Air owners said they were experiencing a severe flickering of the screen when using Photoshop. Going into detail, they said that the issue seem to be more prevalent when using large brush tools or other high resolution add-ons for the popular image editing program. Additionally, a fluctuating volume issue arose early last week which affected video playback on some of the new machines.
Even though the Cupertino-based company never officially acknowledged any of these issues, this morning Apple released an update that is said to repair all of these problems. After scanning a few forums and doing a couple searches, it appears that this new update has indeed washed these bugs away forever. If you have a new MacBook Air and have not downloaded this update yet, head over to Source #2 below for the full download.
A report from Dutch website Tweakers.net just arrived that says Dell may be working on a laptop that will compete with Apple's top-of-the-line MacBook Pro with Retina display. The report says that a 15.4-inch Dell Precision mobile workstation is in the works and features a whopping 3200 x 1800 display. This is a pixel density much higher than the 2880x1800 Retina display featured on the MacBook Pro's.
Reportedly named the "Precision M3800," the device will feature a matte black surface with aluminum edges. The device will be powered by an Intel Haswell Core i7 4702MQ, 16GB of RAM, and a 1TB HHD or 512MB SSD. Graphics crunching duties will be handled by an NVIDIA Quadro GPU, and the entire device will weigh in at just 4.5 pounds.
Engadget was able to confirm the existence of the Precision M3800 from Dell, but the company declined to reveal any other details saying that everyone can "stay tuned for more information in the coming weeks." The report from Tweakers.net suggests that the new device will cost between $1699 and $1999 which puts it in at $200-$800 cheaper than the equivalent Apple device.
Today, Samsung announced the US launch date of its highly anticipated ATIV Book 9 Lite. The ATIV Book 9 Lite is built around the same strikingly beautiful design features as the ATIV Book 9 but is designed for customers on a budget. The ATIV Book 9 Lite comes in a stylish white marble finish or black ash trim for a sleek and modern look.
"With the ATIV Book 9 Lite, we created a device that fits the needs of a larger consumer base, while preserving the remarkable design and overall experience delivered by the Book 9 lineage," said Mike Abary, senior vice president of consumer IT product marketing at Samsung Electronics America. "To further streamline the computing experience and offer convenience to users, we built an integrated solution, SideSync, to bring together the mobile and PC ecosystems."
The ATIV Book 9 Lite features a touchscreen LCD that is able to receive input from up to 10 points at once as well as a quad-core processor and a 128 GB SSD. The device weighs in at just 3.5 pounds and measures in at under an inch thick. The ATIV Book 9 Lite is available for pre-order now through major online retailers at a pricing point of $799.99. In-store purchasing will begin on July 28.
If you've been waiting for another Haswell-based Ultrabook option, Dell might just tickle your fancy with their refreshed XPS 12 Ultrabook. The XPS 12 launched last year and was one of the first Windows 8-based notebooks that could double as a tablet.
Dell refreshed the XPS 12 with Intel's fourth-generation Core processors, with the company claiming that this boosts the XPS 12's speed by around 1.6 times and the battery life by 2.5 hours. Dell have also pumped NFC into the refreshed XPS 12 and have a starting price of $1,199. This is up from the original XPS 12 which started at $1,099.
For $1,199 you'll receive the XPS 12 with an Intel Core i5-4200U processor, 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. For an extra $200, you can bump it up to the Core i7-4500U processor and 8GB of RAM, totaling in at $1,399. This is something I'd recommend for sure. For $1,999 you can opt for the crazy 512GB model, but I think that is a bit crazy. $1,399 for the refreshed XPS 12 doesn't sound too bad at all to me.
Digital Storm unveils 13.3-inch VELOCE gaming notebook, features a balance between power and portibility
Earlier this morning, Digital Storm unveiled its new VELOCE gaming notebook, which is being touted as the ideal balance between power and portability. The 13.3-inch gaming notebook packs a serious punch while weighing in at only a mere 4.6 pounds. Digital Storm says that the 1.26-inch thick VELOCE is ready to go to battle anytime, anywhere.
"VELOCE is the gaming notebook the industry has been waiting for," said Rajeev Kuruppu, Digital Storm's Director of Product Development. "The notebook strikes the optimal balance of power and portability without sacrificing gaming performance and is the first Haswell based slim gaming notebook to offer a stunning full 1080p HD display."
The VELOCE features an Intel Core i7 4800MQ Haswell processor, 8GB of RAM, an NVIDIA GTX 765M GPU, and a 13.3-inch full HD 1920x1080 display. Other key features include room for two storage drives (mSATA & 2.5") with RAID capability, a dedicated internal network port, SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports, HDMI 1.4, VGA video out ports and Bluetooth connectivity.
The MacRumors and Adobe support forums are firing up with users reporting severe flickering when using some 2013 13-inch MacBook Air models in Photoshop, especially when larger brush tools are used.
Chris Cox, an Adobe representative, posted on the Adobe support forums, saying he believes it's a driver or GPU issue, going as far as stating that it could be a problem with the LCD driver circuits. He has said that Adobe haven't reproduced the issue, so it could just be a particular run of MBA models that are having these issues.
It would appear that Apple is attempting to independently verify and solve Wi-Fi issues that have been reported to be occurring on the latest MacBook Air released a few weeks ago. Apple has instructed Geniuses and AppleCare Advisors to capture affected MacBook Air models so Apple can research the issue further.
We're still hoping that it is a simple software issue rather than a hardware issue. However, by Apple getting affected units, Apple will hopefully reach the solution sooner rather than later. AppleCare has replaced captured units and even tossed in complementary USB-to-Ethernet adapters so that the Airs can connect without Wi-Fi.
While only a temporary solution, it at least shows that Apple is willing to take care of its customers when faced with another potential antennagate.
Lenovo have just unveiled a heap of new laptops, which are all running Windows 8 and are touch-capable. We have the Lenovo Miix, which is a 10.1-inch tablet that feature a "quick-flip" detachable folio case with an integrated AccuType keyboard that converts it into a full-fledged Windows 8 laptop.
But there are so many other new models, too, including the IdeaPad S400 Touch, S500 Touch, S210 Touch, U330 Touch and U430 Touch. The Lenovo Miix features a 10.1-inch 1366x768-pixel IPS display that works in both tablet and laptop mode. It features a Intel Atom-based dual-core processor, with 64GB of built-in eMMC storage which is expandable through a microSD card slot. The Miix weighs just 1.2 pounds and is just 0.4 inches thick. There's Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi and/or optional 3G-GPS connectivity. The Miix should feature around 10 hours of battery life and will start at around $500 when it launches in the summer.
According to several posts on Apple's support forums and a report by Gizmodo, your new Haswell-powered MacBook Air could be suffering from wireless connectivity issues. Gizmodo reports that several thousand users have taken to Apple's forums to complain of the problem with their new MacBook Air.
The report also cites an anonymous source at London's Apple Store that say returns of the new MacBook Air have been "well above average." The issue, as reported, is that the new MacBook air will connect to a wireless access point without any trouble, but will drop the connection after a few minutes. The only recourse to get the connection back is a full reboot.
The issue is more pronounced when the system is on a desk, suggesting we might have another antennagate on our hands. The new Air makes use of a new 802.11ac wireless chip, so it could be a hardware issue. It could also just be a software issue, which is the preferable thing as Apple can fix it without having to replace hardware.
We'll update you when Apple responds to the issues.