Latest MacBook Air makes it debut

MacBook Air

Today (Wednesday 20th July) saw Apple announce its new line-up of MacBook Air portable computers. Both the 11- and 13-inch MacBook Air now feature the latest generation of Intel processors, the Core i5 and i7. With speeds up to 1.8GHz and faster memory, the new MacBook Air gains up to 2.5x the processing performance over the previous generation.

The new MacBook Air also features the Intel HD Graphics 3000 processor, which includes an on-chip engine for video encoding and decoding. It also comes with the new Thunderbolt port, transferring data up to 12 times faster than FireWire 800 and up to 20 times faster than USB 2.0. You can also use it to connect the new Apple Thunderbolt Display.The new display (more of that later) offers over 4 million eye-popping pixels while coming with the following features:

  • Gigabit Ethernet,
  • FireWire 800,
  • an additional Thunderbolt port,
  • three USB ports,
  • a FaceTime HD camera,
  • 2.1 stereo sound and
  • a built-in microphone.

Instead of a traditional hard drive the MacBook Air is now all Flash memory storage (64GB, 128GB or 256GB), offering reliability, speed and efficiency, as well as up to 30 days on stand-by. It also comes with a full-size keyboard that is backlit, as well as a Multi-Touch Trackpad, making use of the new Multi-Touch gestures in Lion (also released today and available only on the App Store).

The display of the MacBook Air measures a mere 4.86 millimetres (0.19 inch) thin, yet the resolution is so high, you’ll feel like you’re looking at a much larger screen.  The 11-inch MacBook Air features a resolution equal to that of your typical 13-inch notebook, while the 13-inch MacBook Air wows with a resolution equivalent to a typical 15-inch notebook.

Supported resolutions:

11.6-inch (diagonal) model:

  • 1366×768 (native),
  • 1344×756 and 1280×720 pixels at 16:9 aspect ratio;
  • 1152×720 and 1024×640 pixels at 16:10 aspect ratio;
  • 1024×768 and 800×600 pixels at 4:3 aspect ratio

113.3-inch (diagonal) model:

  • 1440×900 (native),
  • 1280×800, 1152×720 and 1024×640 pixels at 16:10 aspect ratio;
  • 1024×768, 800×600 pixels at 4:3 aspect ratio

The new range is available now and ships with Lion OS X. UK pricing is as follows:

  • 11.6-inch model, 64GB Flash Storage – £849.00
  • 11.6-inch model, 128GB Flash Storage – £999.00
  • 13.3-inch model, 128GB Flash Storage – £1,099.00
  • 13.3-inch model, 256GB Flash Storage – £1,349.00

The UK Apple Store is quoting 24 hours free delivery.



Data Rescue3.1 by ProSoft

Data Rescue 3 - For Macintosh

Data Rescue 3.1 by ProSoft is one of the programs available as part of the MacLegion Spring Bundle.


Data Rescue 3 is the best digital data recovery software on the market for recovering files from a problem hard drive or that have been previously deleted. Data Rescue 3 is for computer data recovery and works when other tools fail.

Data Rescue 3 is also completely safe to use since it does not attempt any risky repairs to the drive it’s scanning. Data Rescue 3 is the safest, most powerful software for data recovery. Data Rescue 3 is the same software used by many data recovery services, law enforcement, all major branches of the U.S. Military and major intelligence agencies.

You will need to save your recovered files to either an internal or external hard drive (USB or FireWire), removable media device (such as a Zip or MO) or a networked drive.

You can read more about Data Rescue 3.1 for Macintosh on the ProSoft site. Normally, it retails for $99 so by purchasing the MacLegion Spring Bundle not only do you save almost $50 on this program but you get lots more for free (in effect)!

7-inch iPad by Christmas?

Behold the iPad in All Its Glory
Image via Wikipedia

Rumours are growing that Apple is about to release a 7-inch version of the iPad, complete with a USB port and two cameras. Some sources claim it will be released in time for Christmas, others that it will not be until early in 2011. The inclusion of two cameras indicates that Facetime will be a feature.

The reports have been lent credence by the Taiwanese Chinese-language Economic Daily News financial newspaper, which has a track record of making accurate report. It was the first source to say Apple was developing the iPad when others were convinced it was to be a netbook. The newspaper also claims that several Taiwanese companies will be involved in the production of the iPad 2.

However, we have to remember that Steve Jobs has in the past been somewhat disparaging about tablets with small screens, so one has to ask what the likelihood is of him giving the go ahead for a 7-inch version.



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USB 3.0 comes to Drobo

Hot Donkey, There's a New Drobo Out! Welcome t...
Image by Thomas Hawk via Flickr

Data Robotics has now included USB 3.0 with the Drobo S, it’s five-drive BeyondRAID storage device which can be expanded up to 10 TB of capacity.

Although Apple hasn’t yet introduced USB 3.0 to its devices there are third-party interfaces for the Mac, including ExpressCard/34 adapters for older MacBook Pros.

The 2nd-generation Drobo S  keeps it’s original FireWire 800 and eSATA connections, and usefully, the USB 3.0 connector is backward-compatible with USB 2.0-equipped computers. The new Drobo S starts at a price of US$799, with a 10 TB version available for $1799. UK prices TBC.

More information can be found at

Data Robotics Inc. has garnered lots of industry praise for its product’s reliability and ease of use. It is gaining plenty of supporters in various industries that need plenty of fast and reliable storage that is easy to configure and use. You can mix different drives in the slots, from different manufacturers and of differing capacities. There is even an easy to use online capacity calculator so you can check how much usable storage you will end up with various combination of drives and RAID settings.

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Mac Mini gets a welcome upgrade

new Mac mini

Apple has updated the Mac mini with some welcome new features. These include:

  • HDMI for connecting to HDTV
  • Improved graphics with the GeForce 320M
  • Improved CPU with up to 2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
  • Unibody aluminum construction ( à la MacBook Pro)
  • Easier RAM upgrades via new panel on bottom
  • Now up to 8GB of memory (double previous models)

On the rear the Mac mini has a plethora of connectors available:

Raer of Mac mini showing ports

These include:

  • HDMI
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • FireWire 800
  • 4 x USB 2.0
  • SD Card slot
  • MiniDisplay port
  • Audio in & audio out

The built-in SD card slot, which makes it easy to grab photos and videos from your digital still or video camera, is certainly a welcome feature though of course the key feature is no doubt the HDMI. Many folk have been waiting eagerly for this feature alone, though whether they are happy paying the increased price for the new model is something I doubt. The base model is up by $100. here in the UK the price is £649 and the server model starts at £929 (US prices are $699 and $999 so there will definitely be an outcry from UK buyers about the exchange rate or rip-off!).

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