Tag Archives: Pro

Upset about the new MacBook Pro? Move On.

MacBook Pro fans and professionals alike are raving about the lack of “Pro” inside of the new Apple MacBook Pro.  The complaints range from a lack of ports to use of old CPU architecture and even too little RAM.  Additionally, Apple has worked in conjunction with LG to create new beautiful 5K displays that are sold at a remarkable price.  Let’s all be honest here, Apple would be selling these SAME displays for $300-500 more — you should be happy — but you aren’t because you want an Apple logo on it.
Too bad!!
This is one of the first times that after an Apple event there has been this amount of backlash from the core supporters.  The interesting thing is that there are other machines on the market, without an Apple logo (gasp), that can get good work done, have all the RAM you want and have more input ports that you could ask for.  Apple is transitioning itself and essentially showing the world that it is the iPhone company — all of their latest feats and improvements have been geared toward the mobile space.  Of course, we hope that they haven’t forgotten about the professional segment; however, while releasing new laptops that only feature USB type C input makes many wonder.  Additionally, those who edit photo or video could easily put 16GB of RAM into a chokehold.
Late 2016 MacBook Pro Touchbar.
Move on.  It is time.  Apple makes excellent hardware, but fortunately for us — there are other OEMs out there that cater to your needs.  Other companies like Dell, Lenovo, ASUS, HP and more are creating machines that have great displays, lots of RAM and (you guessed it) more than just USB type C.  If you feel shut out because of the latest release from Apple, vote with your dollars and do not buy the hardware.  Simple.  Don’t be the person who spends $2500 on a spec’d out MacBook Pro and be dissatisfied with many things and have to carry dongle after dongle to get work done.  That isn’t an “it just works mentality”.
Just move on.

Introducing Microsoft Surface Studio

True power, form and function — Microsoft has been giving us all three since the advent of the very first Microsoft Surface.  Sometimes misunderstood by some, but the value of this category is truly unmatched and unrivaled in many ways.  Yes, friends, our buddies in Redmond have not forgotten about the Pro market.
Desktop, redefined.
(Source: Surface, YouTube)

This product is truly a creative professional’s dream (if you’re a creative and this doesn’t make you tingle… please, rewatch the video).  This is not a product defined by apps, cute emojis or messaging effects, this product is defined by the amount of work you can get done, the different amount of tasks that can be completed and more.  The Surface Studio features a 28 inch PixelDense display that allows for user input right on the screen.  In addition, the Surface Pen staple is standard here with an all new Surface Dial that can be used in many actions across the OS — from changing songs, manipulating color palettes or diving layer by layer into an image using Microsoft Paint 3D.  Note that the Surface Dial will be included with the Surface Studio for a limited time, then will have to be bought separated at $99.  The display on the Surface Studio is entirely unique and will fold down to 20 degrees to allow for input by the user.  One could see this being used by designers, architects and more.
Microsoft Surface Studio declined to 20 degrees.
Microsoft Surface Studio declined to 20 degrees.

Bottom line:  The Microsoft Surface Studio is a big deal.  In a time where many of us in the tech community believe the only companies can innovate are Apple and Google, Microsoft continues to show us that although they’ve been late to the game, the products they are delivering are top notch, work well together and are helping to drive and shape the industry.  One thing that must be noted is that professionals have not been forgotten — way to go, Microsoft.

Late 2016 MacBook Event Recap

“Hello Again” it’s happy time again in Cupertino with another event from Apple all about their infamous Mac product line.  We’ve been expecting a lot, hearing a little through the rumor mill and more — but what did we actually get?
General Updates
Let’s start with a review of what’s been happening in the world of Apple.  iPhone is doing extremely well with adoption of iOS 10 already at 60%.  Recent updates have enabled portrait mode on the iPhone 7 Plus and Apple Pay in Japan.  Additionally, on October 28th a new Nike branded Apple Watch (announced in September) will be available.  Apple TV now has 8000 apps available to it’s userbase with the popular game, Minecraft, coming to the big screen soon.  New features that are slated to hit boxes before the end of the year are Twitter integration into NFL and NBA coverage, which features a picture in picture styled approached that delivers rich Twitter content regarding the event that’s happening on the large portion of your screen.  A new app called “TV”, which will be coming to the Apple TV, iPhone and iPad seeks to bring into focus all things that you are watching across all of your apps so that you have a centralized “hub” for your media content and new ways to discover content that you may be unaware of.
But you want to hear about shiny new MacBooks, huh?  Well you’ve drug it out of me…
MacBook Updates
The new 2016 MacBook Pro will come in two sizes, 13″ and 15″ featuring a beautiful aluminum unibody design in silver and space gray color options.  As with other items in the Apple lineup, the screen will feature a wide color gamut resulting in a more vibrant and accurate display.  Important to note is that these are some of the thinnest and lightest laptops ever made by Apple with the 13″ MacBook Pro weighing 3 pounds and the 15″ weighing 4 pounds respectively while shaving up to 3 mm of the thickness with the lid closed.
Specs of Late 2016 MacBook Pro lineup as of October, 2016.
Specs of Late 2016 MacBook Pro lineup as of October, 2016.
With new internals that match the sophisticated look, there is also a new feature called “Touch Bar”, which replaces the standard function keys on the two top-end models of the MacBook Pro.  The new notebooks will utilize AMD’s Radeon Pro graphics architecture (15″ model) , which is built to improve upon performance achieved by the last generation MacBook Pro line.  With all of these new features squeezed into a smaller more lightweight body, battery life will not be sacrificed as users can still expect to get 10 hours on the device.  Prices of all MacBook Pro models are shown below.
Late 2016 MacBook lineup as of October, 2016.
Prices of Late 2016 MacBook lineup as of October, 2016.
Touch Bar
Touch Bar is a new spin on the standard row of function keys that we’ve been used to for years — and this spin isn’t a bad one (or at least not awful).
MacBook Pro Touch Bar.
MacBook Pro Touch Bar.
Touch Bar acts as functions keys; however, it is dynamic and shifts to help you control whatever app you are currently in.  If you are editing clips using Final Cut Pro, Touch Bar can allow you to trim clips, scrub the timeline and more.  For those who love to work in Adobe Photoshop, Touch Bar can apply filters, navigate between layers and scrub through all recent changes to your project.  Additionally, for the deejays out there, Touch Bar can completely change the workflow of mixing and take your abilities to a new and different level.  In addition, built into the bar is TouchID, which can be used for Apple Pay.  Finally, for all of the power users, Touch Bar can be completely (yes, completely) customized to your liking by simply dragging a new icon onto the bar from the screen of the MacBook using the trackpad.

Product Video (Source: Apple, Youtube)

Bottom line:  This is a solid update for the MacBook line.  Some are left wondering where are updates to the iMac, Mac Mini and Mac Pro — yes, I am part of that group.  I wonder if the Touchbar wouldn’t be more useful at the bottom of the keyboard so that the user doesn’t have to constantly reach to the top of the keyboard.

Microsoft Surface…things to note

The Microsoft Surface has been shown off to the world this week as a tablet with promise and one that could potentially be poised to take over a tablet market that is dominated by the Apple iPad and the Amazon Kindle Fire.  However, could Microsoft actually pull off creating a tablet to bring it’s deserving mobile device running Windows 8 to the light?

What makes the Microsoft Surface (or any tablet running Windows 8) special?

  • It is Microsoft, the same company that has held over 90% of the desktop market for years and many more years to come
  • Unique interface
  • Intel-based tablets will provide a true desktop experience in the palm of your hands; something that an iOS or Android device will never match

What are potential downfalls of the device?

  • Price.  The Microsoft Surface running Windows 8 Pro will be in the price range of Ultrabooks; which are out of the tablet market.  However, the RT version should fall within the range of other comparable tablets; yet, the user will be limited to the Metro interface.

Bottom line:  If Microsoft plays it’s cards right they could have a real winner on their hands.  However, the pricing of this product with greatly determine it’s success.