The New Apple MacBook – I/O Error from Cupertino?

Apple launched the new Macbook at WWDC 2015, And revealing this latest iteration of the iconic brand has opened a rather large can of worms that could prove to be a big headache for the boys from Cupertino.

We take a look at this, the latest iteration of the MacBook, and the biggest problems that it has created.

USB-C

USB-C. We can't see what you thought was good about just one of these, Cupertino.
USB-C. We can’t see what you thought was good about just one of these.

The MacBook Air has just port that controls everything from USB connectivity and HDMI to delivering power to the MacBook. This means that if you want to do anything other than charge the MacBook, you’ll have to buy a boatload of connectors to get anything done. Thankfully, there is a separate port for your headphones.

The Intel M Processor

Intel Core M - Mobile Only Apple. Meh
Intel Core M – Mobile Only. You forgot that didn’t you Apple?

Apple has used Intel’s Core M Processor for the new MacBook. The Core M series used in the new MacBook are a duo of dual core processors which come with Intel new Iris Pro Graphics built in. What Apple seems to have forgotten here was the fact that these processors are used mainly for mobile devices aka phones and tablets not Laptops. Video editing softwares and gaming will most probably have big issues running on this processor. So basically, it won’t do things that you expect to do using other MacBooks.

The MacBook Air?

The New MacBook will eat into the the MacBook Air line.
The New MacBook(C) will eat into the the MacBook Air(L) line.

The New MacBook is all about slimness and lightness and portability. Um, Cupertino isn’t that the job of the MacBook Air? Something seriously does seem to be going wrong in Northern California if Apple has decided to cannibalize its own range once again. Perhaps, its the wine?

@DennisA_James

Content Editor @ProdNote

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The Apple Watch – 3 Ways that Apple Screwed it Up

I'd rather buy a car. Thank you very much.
The Apple Watch Edition. I’d rather buy a car. Thank you very much.

At WWDC 2015 Apple unveiled its latest personal device, The Apple Watch, to the waiting world and despite Apple’s claims about the Apple watch being “The Watch Reimagined ” it really isn’t the case here. We take a look at how the guys from Cupertino missed their cues this time.

Price

Lets get the facts out of the way first. The Apple Watch Sport starts at $350(about 22,000 rupees) and tops out at $400(approx 25,100 rupees). The Apple Watch(the one with the steel casing) ranges from $549(approx 34,400 rupees)to $1,099 (approx 69,000 rupees.) And the Apple Watch Edition starts off at $10,000(approx 6.27 lakh rupees.)

And what else can you get for that sort of money? Well for around $400 you could get two Asus Zenwatches or get one Moto 360 and save $150(around 9400 rupees).

For the price of the priciest of the steel cased Watches, you could get yourself an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, which can do a lot more than the watch.

And then we get to the insane Apple watch edition. For that price you get yourself a car, one that’ll last a lot longer than any watch and of course is a lot more useful as well. As Asus put it you have to be insane( or be a celeb) to buy the Edition.

Asus are quite right to say this.
Asus are quite right to say this.

 Hello, Cupertino? There’s nothing new here!

Yes, the biggest issue is that Apple hasn’t brought anything new to the game. The Apple Watch does what every other smartwatch in the market does. it can be your health and fitness tracker and it does notifications. Sure, Apple may claim that they doe everything better, and maybe that is true(that’s a big maybe though,) but the fact of the matter is that the only thing you can do with the Apple Watch that other smartwatches cannot is draw a stupid smiley face or some other silly emoji and send it to another Apple watch user.

Really Apple? Emoji? Really?
Really Apple? An Emoji? Really?

Apple’s track record with 1st Generation devices

Apple really doesn’t have a brilliant track record when it comes to 1st gen devices. Take the 1st gen iPhone for example, when it was launched in 2007,  3G was widely available and the iPhone didn’t have that available. The 1st gen iPad was clunky and looked rather weird. 10 months later, it had been replaced by a much slimmer iPad 2.

The problem with  Apple and 1st gen devices is the fact that seem to always be a bit too cautious. Who knows when the next Apple Watch will come out? In a year? 18 months? Whatever be the cycle, you can be sure that the next generation watch will be quite different.

The 1st gen iPad. Proof of Apple's restraint.
The 1st gen iPad. Proof of Apple’s restraint.

@DennisA_James

Content Editor @ProdNote

The Definitive Guide to the New Macbook

Apple launched the new 12 inch MacBook yesterday at WWDC 2015. We take a look at the slimmest of the whole MacBook line.

Design and Colors

The New MacBook is Apple's slimmest ever at just 13.1mm thick.
The New MacBook is Apple’s slimmest ever at just 13.1 mm thick. It has no fan and no moving parts or vents.

The Slim design means that the new Macbook tips the scales at just 2 pounds (about 907 grams)
The Slim design means that the new Macbook tips the scales at just 2 pounds (about 907 grams.) 

The slim design means that the new MacBook only has enough for 2 ports - An audio jack and  a USB-C port
The slim design means that the new MacBook only has enough for 2 ports – an audio jack and a USB-C port.

The new MacBook come in three color variants - Space Grey, Silver and Gold
The new MacBook come in three color variants – Space Grey, Gold and Silver. 

The Display

The display is a 12 inch retina display with a resolution of 2304 x 1440  pixels.
The display is a 12 inch retina unit with a resolution of 2304 x 1440 pixels. It’s the thinnest display ever found on a Mac, at just 0.88 mm thick.

Keyboard and Trackpad

All keys are individually backlit
All keys are individually back-lit and the whole keyboard is 40% thinner than normal laptop keyboards.

This thinness is achieved through the new Butterfly mechanism
This thinness is achieved through the new Apple-designed Butterfly mechanism which Apple claim improves precision and accuracy. 

The new Force thrust
The new Force Touch trackpad uses a capacitve glass surface and a vibration motor and the new Taptic engine found on the Apple watch. You can even customize the feel of the trackpad by changing the amount of pressure needed to register each click. 
You can even customize the feel of the trackpad by changing the amount of pressure needed to register each click. The Force Touch trackpad also enables a new gesture called Force Click, a click followed by a deeper press, for tasks like pulling up the definition of a word, quickly seeing a map or glancing at a preview of a file.
The Force Touch trackpad also enables a new gesture called Force Click, a click followed by a deeper press, for tasks like pulling up the definition of a word, quickly seeing a map or glancing at a preview of a file.

Battery

The new MacBook features a stacked battery set which allows for a battery unit that can last through a day of use.
The new MacBook features a stacked battery set which allows for a bigger battery unit that can last through 9 hours of wireless web browsing and up to 10 hours of iTunes movie playback.

Variants and pricing

The New Macbook has two different variants which feature the same processor running at two different speeds and two SSD options (256 GB or 512 GB)
The New Macbook has two different variants which feature the same processor running at different speeds and SSD options (256 GB or 512 GB.)

@DennisA_James

Content Editor @ProdNote

All You Need to Know about the Apple Watch

The New Apple Watch
The New Apple Watch – Sport(L), Edition(C), and Steel(R)

When Tim Cook said those three words – “One More Thing” – at Apple’s November launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, he lifted the veil of the prototype of Apple’s most personal device till date – The Apple Watch. Fast forward a few months, and yesterday at WWDC, he finally removed the prototype  tag from the Apple Watch and made the rest of the smartwatch market turn green in envy.

Apple announced three variants of the Watch – the entry level Apple Watch Sport, the high end Apple Watch and the extreme High End Apple Watch Edition, all of which come in two different sizes, 38 mm and 42 mm.

The casing for the Apple Watch Sport is made from anodized aluminium and the face is protected by strengthened ionX glass
The casing for the Apple Watch Sport is made from anodized aluminium and the face is protected by Apple’s patented strengthened Ion-X glass

The entry level Apple Watch Sport starts at $350(approx 22,000 rupees) and the pricing goes up to $400(approx 25,100 rupees) and features a lightweight frame made from anodized aluminum which comes in two colors – silver and space gray. The display conforms to Apple’s Retina standards and is protected by Apple’s patented lightweight and strengthened Ion-X glass. The band is made from fluoroelastomer band which comes in 5 colors.

The Apple Watch
The stainless steel casing for the Apple Watch is strengthened by almost 80% through a specialized cold forging process.

The Apple Watch collection features cases in either highly polished stainless steel or a space black stainless steel. The Retina display is protected by sapphire crystal. The Apple Watch collection comes with a choice of three different leather straps, a stainless steel link bracelet and Milanese loop, and a black or white Sport Band. Pricing ranges from $549(approx 34,400 rupees)to $1,099 (approx 69,000 rupees.)

The Apple Watch Edition features cases specially crafted from custom rose or yellow 18-karat gold alloys developed to be twice as hard as standard gold
The Apple Watch Edition features cases specially crafted from custom rose or yellow 18-karat gold alloys developed to be twice as hard as standard gold

The Apple watch Edition is aimed at the super luxury market and with cases specially crafted from custom rose or yellow 18-karat gold alloys developed to be twice as hard as standard gold, a Retina display protected by polished sapphire crystal and a choice of uniquely designed straps and bands with 18-karat gold clasps, buckles or pins. The Apple Watch Edition starts at $10,000(approx 6.27 lakh rupees.)

The Apple Watch includes fitness tracking, Apple Pay and Siri
The Apple Watch includes fitness tracking, Apple Pay and Siri.

The Apple Watch enables you to send messages, read mails and answer calls to your iPhone right from your wrist. The Taptic Engine alerts you about important notifications with a gentle tap. You can also use Apple Pay as well as communicate with Siri. Among the sensors built in are the accelerometer, a built-in heart rate sensor and GPS, so that you can track your runs and workouts easily on your wrist.

However, the Apple watch despite its elegant looks may struggle against the current crop of smartwatches from other platforms due to its rather high prices.

Check out our views on the major competition for Cupertino’s first ever smartwatch.

@DennisA_James

Content Editor @ProdNote

The Very Best Point-and-Shoot Killers Around

Smartphone camera have come a long way from where they started out oh so many years ago. Today, the shooters fitted to the back of your daily drivers have sent what was once a staple in almost every place, the point and shoot cameras, to the retirement home.

Today we look at the five shooters who are currently ruling the roost in the smartphone market.

5. Samsung Galaxy Note 4

SM-N910_Charcoal Black
Samsung Galaxy Note 4

The 16 MP main camera is the best camera that has graced the back of a Samsung device till date. If you’re a fan of vibrant, larger than life colors, then this is the camera for you. Images shot are sharp, full of detail, and even low-light photography is quite nice thanks to Optical Image Stabilization (OIS). Videos shot are also quite brilliant and the ability to shoot in 4K is as always a welcome addition.

4. iPhone 6 Plus

iPhone 6 Plus
iPhone 6 Plus

Yes, the one with the much hated bump. The iPhone 6 Plus totes an 8 MP iSight camera with OIS (the reason for the bump) which, combined with software tweaks, makes this one of the best cameras around. Shoots are highly detailed and low-light photography is also very good. Ultra-slow-mo video (120fps at 720p) is also present here.

3. Sony Xperia Z3

Sony Xperia Z3
Sony Xperia Z3

The best camera on any Android device till date. Sony has been using the 20.1 MP sensor for a while now and they’ve tweaked to perform at its absolute best here. Shots taken in daylight are full of detail with true-to-life colors. Low-light shots are also quite impressive despite the fact that the Z3 lacks OIS. Videos are also quite brilliant thanks to Sony’s excellent software stabilization and the ability to record in 4K is brilliant. The ability to take photos and videos and videos underwater is a party trick that really takes the Z3 to a whole different level of cool.

2. Nokia Lumia 930

Nokia Lumia 930
Nokia Lumia 930

Nokia’s photography prowess has really shone through with the Lumia line of Windows devices. With the 930, Nokia once again made the smartphone optics department its stomping ground. The 20MP camera with OIS is a brilliant shooter in any lighting condition. Pictures are sharp and extremely detailed with vivid colors. Low-light shots are also extremely good. Video capture is top-notch.

1. Nokia Lumia 1020

Nokia Lumia 1020
Nokia Lumia 1020

Zoom Reinvented. With these words, Nokia changed the way modern smartphones were viewed , especially when taking photographs. That 41 MP camera is a behemoth and can easily give DSLRs a run for their money. This is a phone that’s built for one thing: taking brilliant photos.

@DennisA_James

Content Editor @ProdNote

The Nexus Story: Is the new Nexus 6 really worth the price it commands?

HTC Nexus One
HTC Nexus One

The Nexus line of devices when they first started out with the Nexus One by HTC was directed at the developer crowd. However, lawsuits and a rather humongous price tag of $529 saw it getting shelved in a rather small period of time.

Samsung Nexus S
Samsung Nexus S

However, less than a year later, Google teamed up with Samsung to bring the Nexus S to life. It featured a larger screen(4.3 inches versus 3.7), and the other specs matched the flagships around the mobile world, it was the first device where we saw Google really concentrating on Android as a UI.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus
Samsung Galaxy Nexus

The next device in the line-up was the Galaxy Nexus, another collaboration with Samsung, saw the arrival of Android 4.0 ICS, which saw Android really change its look to something we see today. Also the screen size increased once again, from 4.3 inches to 4.65 inches.

LG Nexus 4
LG Nexus 4

The arrival of Jellybean saw the arrival of the Nexus 4 from LG. Borrowing heavily on the Optimus G it featured another increase in screen size, a glass sandwich construction and the appropriate specs. It was however built to be an affordable hi-end smartphone. This saw the Nexus line change its spots, bringing the average Joe to the Nexus family thanks to the aggressive pricing of the Nexus 4.

LG Nexus 5
LG Nexus 5

The Nexus 5 continued in the same vein as its predecessor, bringing power-packed specs in a larger frame along with a larger and better display at a price that made its rivals quiver in fear and also brought about the rise of an upstart (the OnePlus One.)

Motorola Nexus 6
Motorola Nexus 6

However, all that changed with the arrival of the super-sized Nexus 6, made with the help of a former Google company, Motorola. Based on Motorola’s 2014 version of the Moto X, the new Nexus bad boy was a far cry from the previous two generations. Instead of leveling with the crowd, it steamrolled past them as it went for the jugular of its rivals from Cupertino, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

Boasting a huge 5.96 inch Quad HD display, a top of the line Snapdragon 805 with 4 Krait 450 CPU’s steaming about at 2.7 GHz aided by the Adreno 420 GPU and 3 gigs of RAM, the behemoth was a brick through the window of Apple’s hallowed grounds. It was Google telling them in the most unsubtle of ways that anything you can do, we can do better.

And those of you cribbing about the price should remember that the cheapest of the iPhone 6 family is still a few grand more expensive than the 64 GB version of Mountain View’s behemoth. Comparing the two is like comparing chalk and cheese. The  more you look at them, the more you wonder, if the fruity thing really is worth that much more.

We’ll leave that for you to figure out.

@DennisA_James

Content Editor

@ProdNote