For the past two years, several independent Mac software developers have teamed up to put together a bundle of award-winning Mac apps at a vastly reduced price--with 25 percent of the purchase price donated to the charity of your choice (chosen from a list). The whole thing takes place at a very well-designed site called MacHeist.com and over the past two years, thousands of Mac users have snapped up the limited time offer--it's really a great deal! The fun part about the MacHeist offer is the developers of MacHeist make it into a kind of scavenger hunt. They … Read more
We've received a few e-mails since our post last week on Apple's new Mac Pro and its higher-end 3D graphics card option, AMD's Radeon HD 4870. Echoing the comments in the original post, some folks wanted to know how we tested. Others wanted us to test the Mac Pro in Boot Camp. Also, AMD wanted us to show actual test results to back up our claim that the combination of the Mac Pro and its Radeon HD 4870 card was not great for gaming, especially compared with competing Windows desktops.
We're happy to oblige everyone.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer opened his big mouth again. He decided to dish on Apple, saying the company competes by providing little more than a logo and a higher price.
"Apple gained about one point, but now I think the tide has really turned back the other direction," Ballmer said in a keynote speech at Media Summit 2009, discussing Apple's recent gains in the market. "The economy is helpful. Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment...to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be."
Apple fans came out in force, responding to Ballmer's latest bullet. Commenters tried to correct Ballmer, saying, "That extra $500 gets you an OS that doesn't get viruses and allows you to run for the life of the computer without having to wipe the computer and reinstall." Others were more reactionary. Said one, "Ballmer is an idiot...period."
But is he? Sure, he opens his mouth when most competitors wouldn't, but it's hard to argue with his track record as a CEO. Over the past four years alone, he has presided over a staggering increase in Microsoft's bottom line. During that period, profits at the company have risen from $12 billion in 2005 to more than $17 billion for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2008. Revenue has nearly doubled in that time. And shareholder value--a measure of a company's ability to increase its free cash flow over time--has increased since he became CEO of Microsoft.… Read more
In the process of pillorying the intelligence of buying Macs in the recession, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer may have admitted defeat in fighting Linux-based Netbooks. Ballmer said:
Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment--same piece of hardware--paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be.
But if this reasoning is sound against the Mac, doesn't the same apply to Microsoft in its competition with Linux? Glyn Moody thinks so:
This is a very frank analysis of the problem for … Read more
A little more than a year after the launch of the MacBook Air, a new luxury laptop has arrived from Dell. This calls for another look at the notebook versus Netbook argument, the computer equivalent of bourgeoisie versus proletariat. In this case, Air versus Aspire; Adamo versus Eee.
Lightweight luxury laptops have been around for a while (think Sony Vaio and Toshiba Portege ultraportables), but the age of head-turning, ultrathin designs dawned with the 13-inch light-and-wide MacBook Air, the HP Voodoo Envy 133, and the ThinkPad X300.
Now the Dell Adamo joins the stable of conspicuously consumed luxury laptops. The Adamo soars along with Apple's Air in the rarefied pricing altitudes of $1,799 to $2,699.
At the other extreme are Asus and Acer, down-to-earth working-class designs which offer portability for a lot less. Though both companies offer expensive laptops too, they have gained prominence with their inexpensive Netbooks: the Eee PC and Aspire One, respectively. These typically fall into the sub-$500 range.
Dell's entry into the luxury laptop market was replete with all the trappings of a high-end product rollout, including a lavish, overdone Adamo Web site (as in, I couldn't click on "skip intro" fast enough) of beautiful people clutching computers. (And viewing the site, this question comes to mind: Is the Adamo meant more as a Dell showcase item--like a piece of finery set in a vitrine, to be admired but not purchased?)
Juxtapose this with what's happening in the Netbook space: inconspicuous but slow-but-steady creep into a higher-performance bracket. This trend is being driven by better Intel graphics (the GN40 is now capable of 720p HD video), with some Netbook designers entertaining the idea of adding even higher-performance Nvidia graphics. Reports also claim the Atom processor will be ratcheted up to 2.0GHz.
Will one design philosophy eventually prevail? Gravitating to a sweet-spot somewhere in the middle?
Let's do a little comparison shopping. … Read more
It's kind of funny when an Italian-language site breaks a wee bit of English-language-based Apple news, but that's what happened when SetteB.IT spotted a small mention of an $899 17-inch iMac for the education market on Apple's own Web site.
No word on when the "new" 17-incher will arrive (or if it's really new), but we'll await official confirmation from Apple.
Anybody interested? In this economy, … Read more
We promised some more benchmark scores for Apple's new eight-core Mac Pro this morning, and once the Fed Ex delivery guy showed up, we got to work. Apple sent us an ATI Radeon HD 4870 3D card to see how the major graphics card upgrade for the Mac Pro would improve its 3D gaming performance.
As in our review of the Mac Pro, we tested with three different time demos in the Mac version of Call of Duty 4. We set the resolution to a modest 1,680 x 1,050 with 4x anti-aliasing. The results, as you can … Read more
contributed by Ted Landau
Apple's latest version of its AirPort Extreme Base Station (AEBS) supports simultaneous dual-band. As Apple explains, this means that the new Extreme has separate "2.4GHz and 5GHz bands...to ensure top performance for all your devices." As this was a feature I could definitely use, I decided to buy a new AEBS. My intention was to update my existing older and overly-complicated setup. For those of you considering buying a new Extreme, I have some good news and some bad news.
The good news is that, if you have a relatively simple … Read more
What's the difference between aand a PC?
According to comments reportedly made by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer: $500 and a logo.
When asked about Apple's market share growth in computers, Ballmer reportedly responded with a barb to his competitor, according to TechFlash:
Apple gained about one point, but now I think the tide has really turned back the other direction.
The economy is helpful. Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment … Read more
So it's clear, we tested the default, $3,299 eight-core spec with a pair of 2.26GHz Intel Xeon quad-core CPUs, 6GB of RAM, and a 512MB GeForce GT 120 3D card. With the help of our digital-imaging and video production teams, we also put together a few extra tests.
We took Photoshop 4 and timed a batch RAW file treatment, and we also have two Final Cut Studio 2 tests that take an HD video file and prepare … Read more