October 21, 1991: Apple launches its PowerBook 100 series, the most important laptops in Apple history — and one of the most important tech gadgets of all time.
Making notebooks into a mainstream technology, Apple’s subsequent success in this category — whether it’s the current MacBooks or even the rise of mobile devices like the iPhone — owes a debt of gratitude to the PowerBook 100 series.
How crappy are Windows PCs these days? The most reliable, best performing, highly rated laptop for running Windows on is a frickin’ Mac: specifically, a mid-2012 MacBook Pro 13. That’s the conclusion of a new report released by Soluto, purveyors of a cloud-based PC monitoring and management software suite, sampling data gathered for the first three months of 2013 from 150,000 portable PCs, and awarding them a score according to how many times programs on average crashed or hung, how long it took to boot up, how many background processes were running, and how many times it BSODed (or completely crashed).
As ZDNet’s Ed Bott points out, the laptops that were determined to be most reliable were the ones that ran clean installs of Windows, instead of bloatware-infected OEM installs. And surprise, every Mac running Boot Camp must use a clean install of Windows, making it the king.
With Tuesday’s’s announcement of a 128GB iPad 4, Apple is clearly signaling that the iPad is not only suitable for serious work, but that it can be the primary machine for many users. Most commenters have fixated on fitting extra movies and other consumables into the extra 64GB of space, but they’re forgetting about work.
In fact, I’d say that the iPad With Retina Display, as Apple now insists on calling it, is the new desktop machine, and the iPad mini is the new laptop. Why? Let me explain:
MacRumors received several reports today from Apple customers who have gotten emails from Apple. In the emails, they were told that the Retina MacBook Pros they had purchased on launch day (through Apple’s enterprise site) have been delayed, in some cases by up to a month.
A gang of con men in Manchester, England, have managed to scam unsuspecting customers out of over £3,000 (approx. $4,700) since February by selling bottles of water, cans of Coke, and bags of potatoes which they claim to be iPhones and laptops. In some cases they are taking £1,400 (approx. $2,200) per transaction.
During last week’s earnings call Tim Cook was asked what he thought about Windows 8 being “optimized” for tablets. Cook humorously responded that, “anything can be forced to converge, but the problem is that products are about tradeoffs, and you begin to make tradeoffs to the point where what you have left at the end of the day does not please the user. You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator, but those things are probably not going to be pleasing to the user.
Well, guess what, Timmy? A couple of genius engineers over at The Brydge went out and combined two of the greatest kitchen appliances of our time — the toaster and the fridge — and came up with the glory of The Froaster. Eat those words! Eat them!
Over at the Atlantic, Alexis Madrigal puts the enormous gains in the electric efficiency of computation (or how much power a computer draws) in perspective using the example of Apple’s new MacBook Air.
Imagine you’ve got a shiny computer that is identical to a Macbook Air, except that it has the energy efficiency of a machine from 20 years ago. That computer would use so much power that you’d get a mere 2.5 seconds of battery life out of the Air’s 50 watt-hour battery instead of the seven hours that the Air actually gets. That is to say, you’d need 10,000 Air batteries to run our hypothetical machine for seven hours. There’s no way you’d fit a beast like that into a slim mailing envelope.
When Steve Jobs called the MacBook Air magical, this isn’t what he meant, but after reading this article, it’ll be hard to look at the wafer-thin ultrabook on my desk the same way ever again.