Dell’s XPS 13 certainly isn’t wanting for style. Sporting a slick wedge profile that measures .24–.71 inches front to back, the XPS 13 is all matte-silver, machined aluminum up top, with a carbon fiber base. A soft-touch surface on the bottom makes the device easy to grip and two rubber “feet” that run horizontally along the underside will surely hold it in place on any surface and promote airflow. Dell even took care to construct a thin metal door on the XPS 13’s underside to hide the Windows certificate of authenticity sticker and sundry other unsightly logos.
An embedded magnet keeps the lid securely attached to the base when the laptop is closed, but opening it can be a challenge—it’s a two-handed affair. Inside, the XPS 13 continues its logo-free theme (save for the “XPS” on the screen bezel). The black, soft-touch palm rest is void of third-party branding. It’s kept company by a black magnesium clickpad and a shiny black island keyboard, which is backlit. The screen consists of edge-to-edge Gorilla glass. As with the HP Folio 13, it’s 13.3 inches with a 1366x768 resolution. The TN panel displays all the typical weakness—move your head or the screen beyond the narrow sweet spot and see contrast and colors diminished.
While HP’s Folio 13 is sized similarly to the other ultrabooks we’ve tested, sporting a 13.3‑inch screen and measuring 12.54x8.67x.7 inches, it’s a bit heavier than the others, but not by much. With a lap weight of 3 pounds, 4.8 ounces, it’s 3.7 ounces heavier than the Asus Zenbook, although its battery is nearly twice the size and weight of the latter’s.
Aesthetically, the Folio 13 is pleasing. The lid, keyboard deck, and palm rest are all brushed aluminum. Screen bezel, trackpad, and keyboard are black, as is the Folio’s underside, which sports a rubberized finish that makes the laptop nicely grippable. In all, it’s a handsome and well-contructed device.
The Folio 13’s port selection is comparatively generous for this class. Ethernet, full-size HDMI, and a media reader are all welcome inclusions, and one of the two USB ports is a 3.0 variety, although the driver for the Fresco Logic USB 3.0 controller wasn’t installed in our model (d’oh!). When it was, performance for the port was in line with expectations, giving us reads and writes to an external USB 3.0 drive of 217.7MB/s and 184.4MB/s, respectively.
A North Carolina man is in the hot seat as Apple legal representatives are asking him to return a MacBook prototype he purchased on Craigslist several months ago. Carl Frega purchased the laptop for parts to use in his computer repair business, but realized soon after that it was no ordinary MacBook. This device was a riff on the 2007 version of the notebook, but had a 3G radio and magnetic antenna.
An Oklahoma couple is offering a 'No questions asked $1,000 reward' for the safe return of their 13-inch MacBook, a small price to pay for what's contained on the hard drive. According to the couple, there's a possible cure for cancer with years worth of data on the laptop, Oklahoma City's News 9 reports.
"I cannot eat or sleep since last Sunday," said Sook Shin, one of the laptop's owners. "I'm devastated and I feel so guilty.
The couple serve as leading researchers at an OU research lab and have put in long hours trying to find a cure for prostate cancer. Much of that research was saved on their MacBook, which was stolen when someone smashed their car window while eating lunch.
Making matters worse, the couple said the data isn't backed up, nor is there any tracking software on the notebook, like LoJack or Adeona. If it isn't returned, some of that data would be gone forever, other parts of the research could take as long as two years to get back.
We've invited Mac|Life's Senior Editor Susie Ochs to help us take a look at the new super-slim MacBook Air for Maximum Tech. Check out our Video First Look for more info about Apples new fast-booting, ultralight laptop.
We are guessing you read Maximum PC because, like us, you love tearing apart machines to perform your own upgrades or simply do your own repairs. If this description fits you then the new MacBook air would probably be a bad choice if you were on the market for a new ultraportable. Sure its slim, light, and not a bad deal when you consider the amount of built in flash storage, but the machine seems to have been designed from the ground up to be a pain in the butt to disassemble.
Teardown experts from iFixit are reporting that Apple is using 5-point Security Torx screws to try and keep curious souls from venturing under the aluminum unibody. Mechanically inclined individuals with access to a grinder might be able to mutilate a Phillips head screwdriver to do the trick, but it’s certainly an annoying obstacle.
Regardless of your opinion of OSX, it's worth heading over to iFixit to checkout the full teardown of the new Macbook Air. Any way you look at it, Apple has done a pretty impressive job of cramming that much hardware into a pretty small frame.
Seton Hill University in Pennsylvania is a small institution of higher learning with a mere 2,100 students. According to an announcement made by the school today, all 2,100 of those students will be getting an iPad. The school’s iPad page says of the move, “This new program provides students with the best in technology and collaborative learning tools.”
The iPad program is part of the Griffin Technology Advantage Program which also provides students with 13-inch Macbook. Students are encouraged to use the devices in class and at home. The school will replace the Macbooks every two years. No word on replacement iPads though. All items provided as part of the Griffin Technology Advantage Program are owned by the students so they can take everything with them after graduation.
Seton Hill’s programs are geared at developing tech savviness in their attendees. However, it still remains unclear how much the school will use the iPads in a classroom environment. We predict a lot of games of Plants vs. Zombies will be happening in those lecture halls.
According to the company, it was left with no other choice after two years of licensing talks didn’t bear any fruit. “We couldn’t find a common viewpoint with Apple, so we decided we had to take action,” a spokesperson for the company told The NYT.
Elan has accused Apple of violating two off its patents related to touchscreen technology. It maintains that the MacBook and iPhone/iPod Touch violate its patent rights.
According to Engadget, a pair of problems have popped up on Apple's refreshed MacBook line, the first of which has to do with maxing out the RAM. Some users have complained that running 4GB, whether it be from Apple or a third party, is turning their MacBooks and MacBook Pros into pricey paper weights. With 4GB of RAM installed, affected users claim their MacBooks suffer from random freezes and the only solution is to downgrade to 3GB or 2GB. Apple hasn't yet acknowledged any known issues with maxing out the RAM, but forum users aren't the only ones reporting problems - mobile technology blog site jkOnTheRun reports seeing the same thing.
The other issue rumored to be affecting Apple's new MacBooks comes from news and rumor site The Inquirer, who claims that the MacBook Pro's Nvidia 9600M GPU suffers from the same material defect that affected previous MacBook Pros equipped with Nvidia's 8600M GT GPU. As The Inq tells it, to see the problem:
"You would need to buy a MacBook off the shelf, disassemble it, desolder the chips, saw them in half, encase them in lucite, and run them through a scanning electron microscope equipped wiht an X-ray microanalysis system like this. This is exactly what we did."
The Inq posted several pics with accompanying analysis, which it claims proves that at least some current MacBooks are still using older Nvidia chips containing 'bad bumps,' which in the past has led to blank screens and other video errors in some cases.
Apple is finding it extremely difficult to avoid being in Greenpeace’s cross hairs. Nearly a year ago, Greenpeace branded the iPhone as “toxic”. Now, the organization has flayed Apple’s pompous claim that its Macbook line of notebooks are the greenest there are.
The Macbook range of notebooks scored a highly disappointing 4.3 out of a possible 10 points on the organization’s green index. Greenpeace did laud Apple, though very frugally, for doing away with bromide flame-retardants and other toxic plastics. But it clearly believes that Apple should take more steps to substantiate its towering claims.
Greenpeace has put the ball in Apple’s court by asking it “to commit to phasing out additional substances with timelines, improve its policy on chemicals and its reporting on chemicals management.”