It’s been just three weeks since Apple issued refreshes to its MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, and already they’re on sale at Best Buy, with up to $140 off the MSRP. That means you can pick up the base model MacBook Pro with Retina display — with a 2.3GHz Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD — for $2,089.
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If you’re planning to upgrade the flash storage in your 2010 or 2011 MacBook Air, don’t just discard your old module or let it go for pennies on eBay. With the Aurora Envoy enclosure from Other World Computing, you can turn that old flash storage into an external drive that’s designed to match your MacBook Air perfectly.
Amazing: I just liberated 10GB of space on my MacBook Pro’s harddrive that was being held prisoner by backups of iDevices I used to own, but had long since gone. And frankly, I’m not sure I would have found and freed up the space without the $10 DaisyDisk app.
SSDs are great! They make your computer run as if they were filled with greased lightning. That spinning beach ball stops spinning quite so much, and those apps struggling to load quit doing so much bouncing. Your computer gains instant-on functionality, better battery life, and ridiculously quick boot times. Win-win!
There’s only one problems: SSDs (like those found in the Retina MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iPhone or iPad) don’t have the same high capacity as physical spinning drives. That’s a problem if you’re the kind of user who carries around a terrabyte of media with him at all times. Luckily, it looks like SSDs limitations when it comes to capacity sizes is about to change.
Forget RAM, forget a faster CPU, forget a beefier graphics card. If you are still running a Mac with a spinning, physical hard drive, the best upgrade you can possibly make is to drop a solid-state flash drive into the machine. The immediate effect on perceived performance is stunning: it’s the difference between seeing a spinning beach ball every hour and not seeing one for months at a time.
Unfortunately, for a long time, what has kept most people from making this update to their older Macs has been price. SSDs are more expensive than physical HDDs. That’s still true, by the way, but it’s less so now than it ever has been, making this a perfect time to finally take the plunge.
The MacBook Air has never been a slouch in terms of performance, but with the 2012 model, SSD performance is scoring a whopping 217% higher than ever before.
In tests run by OSXDaily, read speeds reached a maximum of 461MB/s, and write speeds hit 364MB/s, a dramatic increase over the 2011 model, which scored just a modest 145MB/s read speed and a 152MB/s write speed.
Apple really wants you to buy into their beautiful Retina display future. So much so, that if customers want to buy an old style MacBook Pro with the same specs as the new MacBook Pro with Retina display, they’re going to have to pay an extra $300 to get it. That extra $300 comes with an optical drive, one extra pound of aluminum, and a lower resolution screen, just so the fatty MacBook Pro can keep up with its slimmer sister everyone’s drooling over, but hey, at least you’ll still have an Ethernet port.
iFixit has described Apple’s new MacBook Pro as the “least repairable laptop” it has ever opened up, and subsequently gave the device a repair score of 1/10. However, just like the MacBook Air, you’ll be pleased to know that it is possible to upgrade the new MacBook Pro’s solid-state storage yourself.
Before the vast majority of us have even had the pleasure of signing for our new MacBook Pro delivery, iFixit has torn the notebook apart to reveal its internals. Although this is undoubtedly Apple’s best portable yet — what with its stunning Retina display, super speedy solid-state storage, and Intel’s latest Ivy Bridge processors — iFixit describes it as “the least repairable laptop” they’ve ever taken apart.
“Apple has packed all the things we have into one beautiful little package.” For consumers, this means incredible expensive repair bills, and little to no upgradeability at all.
Following those specifications for the new Mac Pro and the new MacBook Pro that we reported on earlier, the specifics for the Retina display MacBook Pro and the new MacBook Airs have now also been leaked. In addition to Intel’s Ivy Bridge processors for all models, highlights include up to 8GB of RAM and up to 512GB of SSD storage for the MacBook Air, and up to 768GB of storage for the MacBook Pro.