Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch 2015 Review

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How do you make something damn near perfect even better? Try adding a groundbreaking Force Touch trackpad, increased battery life and the newest Intel processors. This is what Apple has done to their 2015 version of the Macbook Pro 13 inch laptop. As Trusted Reviews noted “it combines uncompromised processing power, great battery life and a top-drawer screen in a body that’s genuinely portable. It makes the MacBook Air look kind of pointless and sets a very high bar for rivals to match. Even after three years the Macbook Pro design still manages to give off an aura of minimalist futurism. Using full power processors instead of low-voltage ones, this newest laptop is not a slim as other current generation laptop, but what it loses in overall portability it more than makes up for in performance.

Use the Force Touch

A feature exclusive to this 2015 13-inch MacBook Pro and the 12-inch MacBook, the new Force Touch trackpad is the main improvement of Apple’s laptop workhorse. . Replacing standard click triggers with multiple force sensors in conjunction with an electromagnet, Force Touch pad detects how intensely you push down, revealing more menu options as a result. Apple refers to this as a “Force Click”. This works on all parts of the new trackpad, not just the center. Any time of click strength from light, medium to heavy is registered and adds more precision to this graphical user interface. The harder you press, the faster it seeks from 6x to 20x. Force Clicking on a word also brings up a dictionary definition, and Force click on a link can bring up a preview of it or even cause a map to pop up in response. Though these features are not groundbreaking, they do help the Macbook Pro distinguish itself from other laptop models trying to innovate in this arena.

Display Improvements

There’s a reason Apple includes the words “with Retina Display” in the names of their products. Even though Windows has drastically improved the display capabilities of its operating systems, Apple still handles the 2,560 x 1,600 resolution better than anyone else. Contrast is excellent, the darker hues project deeply and the screen shows the richest, most accurate images possible on any laptop. Even with a non-matte screen reflections are not an issue from any viewing angle. This is true even when the screen isn’t at its brightest.
Even though there is really only a 5% bump in processing power in comparison to last year’s version of this laptop, it’s processing power is buttressed with up to 2x faster flash storage. Apple claims the sequential read and write speeds have been improved to 1.6GB/s and 1.5GB/s, even though these are mainly theoretical projections. This is especially useful for those who do a lot of video and photo editing and work with multiple related apps at one time. For hardcore gamers, this processing power is adequate when not set at the highest visual and frame-rate settings (which is true more most laptop gaming).

Battery Life

Apple’s new MacBook now claims 10 hours of constant web browsing along with 12 hours of non-stop iTunes video playback,9 hours more than last year’s model. These figures depend highly on the type of web browsers and streaming services used and how high you set the brightness levels, but they are more or less accurate. Your battery life may vary if using Netflix or other video services or use it for extended period of gaming time. It should provide up to 10 hours of constant web browsing, this is with only one tab opened and with few sites contain rich content or other added extensions. Otherwise, the 7-10 hour range is more common. So even though it’s not quite an all-day use device with battery life to match, it can tackle most 7-8 workdays with needing an additional charge if the user doesn’t go crazy with multiple apps, multiple web browser tabs and too many extensions being used simultaneously.
The Macbook Pro now has improved connectivity, with AC Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 coming standard on all Apple laptops. You also get two Thunderbolt 2 4K ports with the 2015 Macbook Pro, two additional USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port and a SDXC port. This makes this model infinitely more flexible and easier work work in conjunction with older generation Apple devices as well as different video and photo platforms and devices.
In conclusion, the only barriers to buying the best all around laptop available should be price and necessity. If you don’t need a laptop as powerful and capable as the 2015 Macbook Pro, there are plenty of other manufacturers that can provide adequate performance at an affordable price. They just won’t be as good as this one.

Apple MacBook Air 2015 Review

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Ever since Apple’s envelope-pushing re-design of their 12-inch MacBook Pro in 2012, the main improvements added to subsequent versions of newer model computers like the Macbook Air have consisted of very little outside new Intel processors and tweaking the ports and internal memory. The main advantages of owning a Macbook Air, like the slimmer design and more affordable price, still keep this Apple workhorse in high demand. So it still matters when Apple launches the 2015 version of one of the most universally useful laptops you can buy. Starting at only $999 for the 13-inch version, the Air also has gained its dependable status thanks to its long-lasting battery life-longer than any other on the laptop market. A minor tweak of Intel’s fifth-generation Core I-series processors gives the Air a performance boost that not only increases responsiveness but extends battery life to a device that already possesses the longest available. This new CPU comes with a speed boost from Thunderbolt to Thunderbolt 2 for the data/video port. The 2015 version worked for 18 hours on a battery drain test using non-stop video. This means it’s virtually an all-day laptop even when using heavier-draining apps like Microsoft Office or your Steam Player. While a Macbook Pro or another Apple laptop may be more appropriate for IT Admins or hardcore games, the Macbook Air is the perfect laptop for the casual-to-moderate user.

Improved Features

The MacBook Air now iconic look hasn’t changed since 2010, with its smooth, aluminum outside and its modern and minimalist look. It still is heavier than the 12 inch Macbook and lighter than the Macbook Pro. It still doesn’t have a touch display and the Macbook Air still has a thicker bezel (the space between the screen and the edge) than the Macbook or Macbook Pro. This only shows how certain design aspects of the Macbook Air are becoming stale. However, other aspects of the Air design are perfect as is, including the keyboard and mouse trackpad. The newer Force Touch trackpad isn’t still not included in the Macbook air, but most users will hardly miss it. Going into the preferences menu to enable all the multitouch options make the Air’s trackpad almost as cutting edge and contemporary as the Force Touch. The back-lit keyboard is a welcome return, however, as the inclination to redesign what already works hasn’t infected Apple as it has other laptop manufacturers. The main letdown in the 2015 version in its display. With a capped resolution at 1,440×900, it’s display capability is well below the HD standard of 1,920×1,080 found on newer laptops around the same price point, even those that display 4K HD. The lack of an accompanying retina display like those found on Macbooks and Macbook Pros makes the Air seem like more of a step down if you’ve owned those other laptops before. Responding to past criticism of too few USB ports, Apple has now installed on the Air a pair of USB 3.0 ports – Thunderbolt 2 which works with HDMI or VGA and a slot for an SD card. This is unlike the newer Macbook Pros with only one USB-C port for everything, including power. Even though it’s easy to foresee this technology rolled out on future versions of all Macbooks, this seems to the be the main advantage the Air has today over Apple’s other two current-gen laptops. – more flexibility with other, older generation devices.

Better CPU, Longer Battery Life

The shift from the older Intel CPUs to this fifth-gen Intel Core i5-5250U will make a significant, if slight, difference in performance in everyday applications like Web surfing, social media, HD video playback and iTunes. The operating systems used is a better determining factor for how any given Apple product performs. OSX Mavericks is currently running faster than the latest version of OSX Yosemite, so having the 2015 Air operate on Mavericks is the best way to get more out of the newest Intel CPU. The actual reason the MacBook Air remains a vital part of laptop production is the battery life, and this is where the new and improved CPU makes its case. The 2013 13-inch Air performed for 14 hours and 25 minutes in a video playback battery drain test. The 2014 version managed 16:26 on the same kind of test. The 2015 has brought the performance up to 1,080 minutes – roughly 18 hours. Even with non-stop HD video, it lasted for about 10 hours. It’s this detail that makes the Macbook Air still one of the best Apple laptops on the market when trying to balance cost, performance and battery life.

Apple releases update for MacBook Pro

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Apple has finally released the EFI Firmware update for the new Core i5 and i7 MacBook Pro portable laptops. These Apple models were released in April. Apple promised its owners that an update would soon be available to fix certain parts of these devices. Now the EFI Firmware update has been released and owners of these laptops can head over to Apple’s official site for the necessary download.

Apple strongly recommends the MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update 1.9 for all the users of these models. The update addresses the errors that some users faced with the Core i5 and i7 MacBook Pro portable laptops. Several Core i5 and i7 MacBook Pro laptop owners have complained that either during startup or while running, the laptop suddenly freezes. With the update, Apple has also added extra compatibility with external displays that previously the 17-inch MacBook Pro couldn’t recognize in certain circumstances. The MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update 1.9 is only a 2.16mb file and can be found on Apple’s official site.