Apple's Macbook Air May Experience Some Speed Issues For Reasons You Wouldn't Expect

pig with lipstickI feel that it's safe to say that we get way too caught up in the excitement of next generation technology. We tend to see that it is the new model and immediately go crazy for it. Normally this isn't that big of a deal, but what happens when you have new tech that performs a lot like the last generation model you have at your house? This type of issue doesn't normally arise for big name tech companies, as they are usually on top of their game. As fate would have it however, our friends over at Apple may need to check on their new Macbook Air. Sources are saying that it may not be as fast as its preceding model.There are reasons for slight variations in the performance power of your particular Mac. Reasons being, due to the fact that Apple tends to go to different suppliers for their SSDs, or solid-state drives. Naturally, since each manufacturer will create a different drive, the performance of a Mac could vary based off of which brand drive was placed inside the Mac.

To be a bit more specific in terms of performance speed, I'm talking about the read and write speeds of the Macbook. The current 2014 model, utilizing a 128 GB SanDisk SSD, is clocking in at 705 MBps and 315MBps for the read and write times, respectively. Comparatively, the last gen 2013 Macbook Air using a 128 GB SanDisk SSD came up with almost identical read and write times of 711MBps and 316MBps respectively. Now mind you, these are only the speeds of the Macbook Air models using a specific gigabyte capacity and a specific brand, so times could easily change depending on the variables of the driver and its capacity.

Apple has been supposedly doing this for years now, and some buyers are aware of the SSD manufacturer differences. They've gone through competitor companies that some may not expect however. They've bought drives from companies like Toshiba, and their biggest competition arguably, Samsung. Here is the big kicker for purchasing a new Macbook Air; you won't be able to tell what SSD you have until you purchase it, boot it up, and look at your specs through the laptop itself. There is also no way to tell which laptop will be receiving what brand of solid-state driver. You pick your laptop, buy it, and whatever you get is whatever you get, unfortunately.

It's generally hard to comparatively test out the speed between different models because of the random SSDs that will be inside the machine. Macworld did a test of a few different Macbook Airs from 2013 and 2014, but was unable to come up with any solid finding because of the difference in the drives and capacities of the drives that came with each laptop.

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Needless to say, it feels as if Apple is either not caring about what type of drive goes into their machines, or that they are basically rehashing old tech and selling it with a fresh name and fresh coat of paint. If you put lipstick on a pig, it's still a pig (see picture). Hopefully this isn't the case with the new Macbook Air. Hopefully that are some differences between the new model and old model that will justify the new model's $899 price tag.

Acer's New Colorful Line Of Laptops And Tablets

1_IMG_5170_1200Yesterday at Acer's Worldwide Global Press conference, CEO Jason Chen showed off a new series of tablets and laptops that sported a colorful new design. Acer also showed a glimpse of the first Chromebooks to sport an Intel Core i3 processor.

Acer first showed off their new Switch 10 System. It's a hybrid 10-inch Windows 8.1 PC. The keyboard detaches with a special magnetic hinge and snaps back into place quickly, easily, and securely. It is made of aluminum, has two front facing speakers and operates in four modes: laptop mode, tablet mode, display mode, and tent mode.

There were also two different 7-inch Android tablets. The Acer Iconia One 7, which has a dual-core 1.6GHz Intel Atom Z2560 processor, a 1280 x 800 display, and Android 4.2 operating system. It also comes in 10 different vibrant colors and will ship out in June for about $130.

The second tablet, the Acer Iconia Tab 7 is a slick looking all silver tablet that runs on a quad-core MediaTek processor. It has an IPS display with zero air gap, Android 4.4 and has 3G connectivity for making calls and transferring data. Both of the new tablets come with front facing 3 megapixel cameras, but this one has a better camera on the back. It is a 5 megapixel camera, and the Iconia One 7 has a 3 megapixel camera on the back. There is no word on when this will be released in the U.S., but it will be shipping to Asia and Europe in June.

The next item they showed gives users the best of both worlds. The Acer Aspire U5-620 is a 23-inch all-in-one desktop, but it also lays flat like a giant tablet for table-top computing. It features a 1080p display, a full HD webcam, and dual microphones. It also comes with a 4th generation Intel Core Series processor and the option of adding Nvidia graphics. This will, like the other new items, be shipping in June for $999.

One of the most exciting things Acer showed off was the new E Series Laptops. The Acer Aspire E15 and E14 both come with either Intel or AMD processors, touch screens or standard screens, and the choice of standard screen resolution or full HD resolution. They both offer up to 7 hours of battery life and a new touchpad that they promise will have better accuracy for multitouch gestures. They will both be available in multiple different colors and will ship in June starting at $299.

The last device to be shown was the Aspire E11. This 11-inch Windows notebook uses a fanless design and is extremely thin because of it. It has a very nice "rounded" design and comes in 11 different colors. The Acer Aspire V11 is the same as the E11 but comes with a touch screen. Both have a 1366 x 768 resolution, Pentium or Celeron CPUs and up to 1TB of internal storage. These will both be available in June as well. It looks like June is going to be a big month for Acer fans.

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Lenovo Has A New Line Of ThinkPads To Get College Kids Ready For Summer Courses


Lenovo has released a new line of ThinkPad tablets just in time for summer semester, summer quarter, or maybe just that big trade show you have coming up.  The new educational line of laptops is certain to facilitate any need that the typical college student has, including the fact that it doesn't break the bank.

Lenovo kept it pretty quiet, but they actually do have a new line of ThinkPads coming out. It's a continuation on their "Yoga" series. The new line will be coming out in four different iterations of each other. The ThinkPad 11e series will come in only one size of 11.6 inches. Not the best if you are looking for a particular screen size to fit you, but it may make deciding easier as well.

The Windows version will come in two different ways. You can expect to see your typical laptop, meaning basic build and functions. The second version, however, follows the companies Yoga line pretty specifically by adding a touch screen element along with hinges that rotate 360 degrees. Essentially, this will turn your new laptop into something of a tablet without it actually being a tablet with just a connectable keyboard to go along with it.

The other two come to us with a different OS. We all know how the Chromebook is designed and who it's designed for. The budget laptop that still gives you a good product at the end. Well it just so happens that the other two configurations of the ThinkPad 11e series will be with the Chrome OS. Much like the Windows version, there will be a ThinkPad with the Chrome OS that just is your standard laptop with nothing really added to it. The other, however, is going to be an actual Yoga line Chromebook. It will come with the same touch screen and 360 degree hinges that the Windows version comes with. This will be the first Chromebook hybrid to ever hit the market, so definitely something to look forward to.

Since this is the "educational" line of laptops, they are built heavier and more rugged than most typical laptops, saving you money all while making the laptops harder to break. The entire line will be host to stronger hinges than your average laptop, Gorilla Glass IPS displays, and reinforced ports to help make it a bit easier on the laptop with the constant opening and closing, and the constant port connecting. Also, the entire line will be carrying Intel Celeron processors, which will effectively lower the prices. We can expect to see the standard versions of these laptops to run around $349 and the touch screen and "Yoga" hinge model to run around $549.

Being in college isn't cheap, we know. If this is going to be a laptop only needed for these summer classes, why not just rent instead of buying outright? After all, Ramen isn't cheap!

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Lenovo's New B50 - A High End Laptop With A Low Price Tag

Lenovo has always done a good job at keeping us connected and productive for a pretty good price. Now, they have decided that you should be able to get way more out of a budget laptop. They just announced two different super-affordable notebooks that have a ton of features that you normally would only find in high-end models. The Lenovo B50 and G50 both have 15-inch screens, the very latest 4th generation Intel processors, up to 1TB of internal storage, and they both have Lenovo's super popular AccuType keyboard. Already, it's almost impossible to believe that these notebooks start at just $399.

The B50 is the model that is more geared toward the business side of things. It is available with either Windows 7 or Windows 8 and weighs 5.3 pounds. It comes standard with Intel's 4th generation Pentium processor, but you also have the option of upgrading to a 4th generation Core i7 chip and an Nvidia GeForce 820M graphics card if you are looking to get some really serious performance out of this machine. There are even more processor options if you aren't an Intel kind of person.  You may also choose an AMD A8 chip with integrated graphics, or an AMD Radeon R5 M230 graphics card. The 15-inch display is actually touch screen and has a resolution of 1366 x 768.

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As stated previously, you can get the Lenovo B50 with a 1TB hard drive. You can also choose to have a hybrid solid-state hard drive and an optical drive if you want. This laptop is so nice and comes with so many options for such a nicely priced model.

The icing on the cake would be the built in fingerprint reader for added security and the Dolby Advanced Audio V2-powered speakers. There are some seriously awesome features built in to this budget laptop.

The 2014 Macbook Air Might Be Coming With A Few New Surprises

Let's face facts. You'd be lying to yourself if you said that you didn't love some juicy gossip every once in a while. For some this may include something saucy about what of your coworkers around the watercooler. For myself and my fellow techies, we go wild for tech rumors. Hearing about the possibilities of new gadgets and the features that they may include is always a plus for our days. We even go crazy for rumored upgraded models of the tech we already have. What can we say, we like have the the most updated "best of the best". In case you're unaware of the 2014 Macbook Air, allow me to share the rumors that are currently circulating all over the internet. SPOILER ALERT: The rumors are awesome.

The 2014 Macbook Air has an extremely strong chance of being unveiled at the Apple World Wide Developers Conference in June. Rumor has it that we should expect to see the some of the same features on the new Macbook Air that are on the most recent iteration of the Macbook Pro.

Lets just look at the possible display for a second. Two words; Retina Display. That's right. The new Macbook Air will more than likely (at least more so than any of the other rumors) feature the 2560 x 1600 retina display that some of the latest Apple tech features. The current Macbook Air doesn't have a bad display module by any means, but with competing laptops like Sony's VAIO Pro 11 and it's 1920 x 1080 pixel display, the current Macbook Air's 1400 x 900 pixel display just don't match up with the rest of the competition. There is a bit more to the "display" than Apple may be letting on though. I should really be saying "displays", as there is talk of a SECOND screen on the back. Now I know that doesn't like the most practical thing, but the company's explanation of purpose seems pretty legit. Seeing as how Apple already has the patent for the "Electronic device display module", we may be seeing a screen where we normally expect one, as well as one on the back of the laptop. Now the current Air already has pretty good battery life. Naturally, we can expect to see and even better batter for the new model. The icing on the cake for the second display, aside from giving possible updates on things like the weather without having to open the laptop itself, is the possibility of a solar charging panel within the second display module. Let's hope that this is a thing!

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The new Air may also be coming in just one size. The current Macbook Air comes in the 11 inch screen and 13 inch screen. The next gen version may only come out in a 12 inch model. Definitely not a bad call, as it would allow Apple to sell the last gen version sizes at more affordable price points. The new model might also be host to a buttonless touchpad this time around. While most Macbooks have the touchpad that you can "click", the new model will possibly integrate a touchpad that utilizes pressure sensors instead. As long as it remains as responsive as a regular button, it definitely won't be a bad addition to the new model.

Just in case you've not even worked with the current Macbook Air, but you want to just to get the feel of how much more powerful the new version will be, it never hurts to try one out. Obviously you're going to want to save your pennies for the new model, so renting the current Air might be the best way to go if you're interested in the newest model.


The Samsung Chromebook 2 Is On It's Way, And It Looks Nice!

ChromeTrying to keep up in the laptop world today is next to impossible it seems. We are constantly bombarded with laptops from companies everywhere. It's definitely not a bad thing to have the expanded choices, but it can be hard to tell them apart at times. When the market becomes so flooded with new laptops, some get swept under the rug and they all tend to start looking gray. There is nothing really that separates what they are from each other, other than the inner workings. While there is a bit of uniformity for most devices, Samsung has teamed up with Google now in the hopes that they will be able to create something with a bit more identity.

Samsung and Google are looking to make the new Chromebook 2 a bit classier and better than its predecessor.

While the original Chromebooks were looking great for the low budget customer and numbers were looking good, the next generation of Chromebook is going to have to step it up a notch in order to stay afloat. Most of the first Chromebook iterations offered the same things all around. Now the Chromebook 2 is aiming to spice things up a bit, all while maintaining that low budget price that many customers have come to expect from this particular model.

As of right now, there are two models that will be released later this month. Both, the 11.6 inch and the 13 inch models, have gotten some upgrades from their first generation model. In terms of look, the new models will come with a really nice faux leather finish. Something different that what we normally see from EVERY laptop ever. The finish comes with a nice stitched border as well. Nothing more than aesthetically pleasing, and there isn't anything wrong with that. Both of the models will be running with a Exynos 5 Octa chip straight from Samsung itself. As would be expected, the 13 inch model's chip will be slightly faster than the 11.6 inch version. Both of the models are coming stock with 4GB of RAM this time around. The vast majority of the Chromebooks before this sat with only 2GB of RAM. Even with with upgraded chips and RAM though, the internal memory storage of the new Chromebooks will stay at 16 GB. It's a bit frustrating to see this, mainly because some phones offer more storage than this. (We get that it's budget, but come on guys. Would a bit more storage space kill you?)

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Possibly the most notable upgrade comes with the Full HD 1,920 x 1,080 resolution screen seen on the 13 inch model. If the screen is going to be that big, might as well make it full HD right? Unfortunately the 11.6 inch model won't come with the full HD resolution rate, but will instead be a 720p resoultion. Still not bad, just not as good.. The battery life will always be improved this time around thanks to the Exynos chip. We should expect to see about 8 hours of usage from the new Chromebook 2 when it finally drops. The new laptops will also come with some built-in software ready to go for us. All in all not a bad start for the new Chromebook. Both models are still very well price (in my opinion) for what you are getting. The larger 13 inch model will be right at $399 while the smaller 11.6 inch model will sit comfortably at $319. The extra $80 might be worth it for the higher resolution screen.

Remember that if you aren't sure if this new laptop could be the one for you when it drops, renting it to try it out before you buy it is always the best option!


Toshiba Announces A New 4K Super Laptop

When I think of a "Toshiba Satellite", I think of a piece of trash or a play toy that I would give to a 5- year old to keep them entertained for a bit. Most of the Satellite models are like the one you'll find on sale for $100, buy it thinking you're getting a steal, and then return it because you are so frustrated and can't get it to run anything that you need. Honestly, I didn't even realize there were high end Satellite models until now.

The new Toshiba Satellite P50t actually has a 4K display. 4K resolution is really taking over right now. It has already taken over the TV market and is working on taking over the desktop monitor world as well. Toshiba has taken it upon themselves to take things to the next logical step and slap the technology into their latest laptop.

The company's new laptop will be their first stab at offering this resolution in a 15.6 inch screen. With 282 pixels per inch, every individual 4K display being calibrated by Portrait Displays' Chroma Tune software and being Technicolor Color Certified to finely tune the color gamut, this is going to be a ridiculously incredible tool for any type of designer, digital artist of any sort, or just someone who just wants the best picture they can possibly get.

This isn't a one trick pony though, my friends. Not only does it have one of the best displays that any laptop can offer, but the other specs are really respectable as well. It's rocking an Intel Core i7 processor, an AMD Radeon R9 M265X graphics card, a super respectable 16 gigs of RAM, and a 1TB hard drive. Also super respectable. Its size and weight aren't too hateful either at 4.86 pounds and 1.1 inches thick. Oh, and of course, there is a built in Blu-Ray drive, so you can enjoy your crazy display even more in your free time.

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If you are looking for something just as neat but don't need all of the extra flair, there is a more "stripped down" version of the P50t as well. This version is still very far from being a joke. It has a 1,920x1,080 screen, which is still HD, and probably wouldn't look much different to the human eye at all. Especially considering that there isn't much 4K material out there.

There is no word on pricing yet or an official release date. All we know for sure is that these incredible machines are supposed to be available during the next quarter. Stay tuned for more info.

Google Chrome Apps That Boost Productivity

ChromeGoogle Chrome is becoming an extremely popular web browser. Last year alone it grew by 84%. One thing that draws people to Chrome is the fact that you can install apps that run within the browser. These apps can be quite useful and can even make your life easier and more productive. Here is a list of some pretty helpful Chrome apps that will help you out tremendously.


Springpad helps you remember things when your brain is fried from a stressful work week. It can keep track of notes, bookmarks, pictures, to-do lists and much more. It can even sync to every computer you own and all of your mobile devices, so no matter where you are, you'll never be caught in a slip-up.

Offline Gmail

Gmail has pretty much become the standard choice for most people. Having email is, of course, completely necessary in the business world. But, if you are left without an internet connection, what are you supposed to do? Offline Gmail downloads your mail to a folder on your computer so that you are able to go back and look at important information that you may need to access. It also lets you compose, save, and send emails without an internet connection. Of course, the emails won't really be "sent" until you hit some Wi-Fi, but either way, it's pretty convenient.


Pretty self explanatory. This is one of the most popular Chrome apps. It removes banner ads from websites that you visit, even on social networking sites if you're trying to get in some Facebook time before the boss gets back.

Kindle Cloud Reader

You can use this app to read all of your Kindle books right on your computer. It looks great and even saves the book you're reading so that you can keep reading without an internet connection. Perfect for long flights.


This app is a must have. It is a 100% free alternative to Photoshop that is built right into your web browser. Pretty much every crucial photo manipulation tool that you already know and love comes with the app. If you are in the middle of a big project, this can literally be the biggest lifesaver of all time. Try it out.


To go along with Aviary, this app is like having PowerPoint built right into your browser! It is more modernized, and it even lets you export your slideshows for easy viewing on all devices, even mobile. This is great for presentations and, paired with Aviary, the possibilities are endless.

Write Space

We all know how easy it is to get distracted while you are writing. Heck, I'm distracted right now. Write space is a text editor that requires no internet connection, saves your document every time you type a single letter, and saves the entire thing on your computer so that you don't have to worry about it getting lost somewhere in the black hole that is the cloud. For people like myself, it is easy to get distracted, and anything could happen at any time. This eliminates the risk of losing your work at any given time.

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Does The HP Spectre 13 x 2 Suggest That Hybrids Will Slowly Take Over The Laptop World?

spectreIt can be daunting to see just how quickly power between tech products shifts. Almost anyone of us can remember using a Gateway computer and waiting for the dial-up to connect. We have come a long way from hearing that annoying buzzing sound. We entered into the world of faster computers, faster internet, and mobile devices. The laptop still definitely has it's place amongst all of the other tech devices out there, but the recent introduction of the Hybrid models shows that we are in the middle of a power shift. Both tablets and laptops are now being used as the main computing devices for many people. The adaptation of Hybrids however, might show us how much time laptops have left, or if they are even threatened at all.

HP has just released a new Hybrid from their Spectre laptop series. They have essentially taken a 13' Spectre laptop and let the screen pop off into a very healthy sized tablet. The main goal here is simple; mobility  with more mobility. The option of not having to stick to just a tablet or a laptop offers a huge market to cater to. It doesn't mean anything if the product itself doesn't work up to its standards however.

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If we take a look at what is making this new hybrid tick, we will find a pretty reasonable computer. The new hybrid comes stock with a 128GB SSD hard drive, a 1792MB Intel HD Graphics 4200 graphics card, and an Intel Core i5 processor. The screens resolution sits at a beautiful 1920 x 1080 pixel count. 1080p HD displays are never frowned upon. The screen itself is 13.3 inches and the entire system comes equipped with the new Windows 8.1 OS. However the actual trackpad to the keyboard portion of the hybrid can be a bit lacking in the sensitivity department. It is actually so much so that it can make working with the keyboard quite the hassle . When the device is put together in its laptop form it can also be a little top heavy and feel a bit awkward. However, for only $1,189 you can get both a tablet and a laptop. That is not a bad price for what it can offer.

Again, seeing how these hybrids are slowly gaining speed makes you almost want to re-examine if the laptop will be here much longer. It might be a bit threatening to laptops, however, the hybrid is not without limitations in itself. Keeping all of the inner workings in the tablet part itself means that the size of the display can limit the power of its components. When you have the laptop, you are able to put more into it. Since you are able to keep the screen as just a screen, you have the body/keyboard to place all of the components into. This space offers a lot more room than simply cramming everything into a screen and offering an attachable keyboard. This is not to say that there aren't good hybrids out there, but since the limitations of these can be based off of the size, it should be safe to say the laptop will survive. Instead of moving the laptop out of its place now, the hybrid has simply made its own name when it comes to portability.


Gigabyte's First PC Is A Gaming Game Changer

x7Usually, companies that produce laptops for gaming aren't so worried with the size or weight of their product. Normally they are more concerned with the components capable of delivering the performance needed to produce crazy graphics and incredible speed. While packing all of that power into a laptop, things can get a little heavy!

Teaming up with Razer, Gigiabyte is trying to change the way we look at this side of gaming laptops. Their new Aorus line of gaming devices was announced at CES this year, and their first ever PC is looking pretty sweet. It's a 17.3 inch X7 gaming laptop with an aluminum clamshell sporting dual Nvidia graphics processors into a sleek and sexy 0.9 inch casing that only weighs 6.39 pounds.

Now even though this laptop is pretty thin, and its pretty light for a gaming PC, it is still quite a bit heavier than your usual laptop. The flip side to this though, is that the Alienware 17, which is pretty much the standard, has a starting weight of 9 pounds. When you consider that, the X7 is looking pretty awesome in the weight category.

Just because it's light doesn't mean it's not a beast. It's stacked with a quad-core 2.4GHz Intel "Haswell" Core i7-4700HQ and two Nvidia GeForce GTX 765M and 4GB of GDDR5 RAM that is completely dedicated to video. Then, you have the choice of either 4GB or 8GB of system RAM, 128GB or 256GB of storage, or a 1TB hard drive rated at 5400rpm. It also features 3 USB 3.0 ports, 2 USB 2.0 ports, 2 HDMI ports, mini-display and SD card slots. As if that's not already sweet, you also have two speakers and 2 subwoofers build in, it is sounds great on its own.

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You have the choice between four different operating systems: Windows 8.1, 8.1 Pro, Windows 7 Home Premium, and Windows 7 Pro.

With all of this power packed into such a small space, cooling is one of the most important factors. The X7 is loaded with 5 thermal pipes, 4 vents, and 2 fans. The X7 also has different customizable fan modes including auto, stealth, and turbo.

The X7 has five programmable macro keys. There is also a "LockWin" key so that accidental system calls won't interrupt your gaming experience.

The laptop should be available within the next few months. Pricing will be between 2,100 and 2,800 depending on the configuration that you choose. For more information you can check out the Aorus website.