Koolio

Thoughts & news on technology…well, mostly

Want to save money on a MacBook Pro?


refurbed-mbp.jpgWith new MacBook Pros (& MacBooks) released yesterday you can save some serious cash on the previous generation models. As I’m writing this I see the following in the refurbished section of the online Apple store:

  • MacBook Pro 2.2Ghz Core 2 Duo (matte or glossy display): $1,449
  • MacBook Pro 2.4Ghz Core 2 Duo (matte or glossy display): $1,649

These laptops were originally selling for $1,999 and $2,499 so these are some steep savings…especially on the 2.4Ghz model.

If you’re looking at buying a MacBook you should seriously consider the 2.2Ghz MacBook Pro at this price. I say this because the Intel Penryn processor in the MacBook (& low-end MBP) only has 3MB of L2 cache whereas the previous Core 2 Duo chip (aka Merom) has 4MB. To be honest, I’m not sure if the additional 1MB of L2 cache cache will net any noticeable performance gains but the option to get a MBP for less than the black MacBook ($1,500) it’s definitely worth considering.

There are some additional benefits to Penryn: supposed better battery life (reportedly by 8 – 10%)  and the SSE4 instruction set (this will make application run much faster provided they are designed to utilize it).

Personally, if I were in the market for a high-end MacBook, I would seriously consider getting the 2.2Ghz MBP. In fact, if a friend was going to spend $1,300 or $1,500 on a MacBook, I would most likely recommend getting the refurbished MBP.

Filed under: Apple, Bargains, Deals, Laptop, MacBook Pro, Mobile Computing, Notebook

New iPhone firmware released (v.1.1.4)


Apple has released a new firmware for the iPhone (1.1.4) .  Apparently, all the release notes say are, “bug fixes.”

I don’t know about you all but ever since I upgraded to 1.1.3 (released during MacWorld ’08), I’ve had Safari crash several times.  Prior to 1.1.3, Safari crashed only a handful of times in 6 months.  Maybe this new firmware will make Safari more stable.

[via AppleInsider]

Filed under: Apple, iPhone, Mobile Phone, Smartphone

MacBook Pro & MacBook updates…FINALLY!!


Apple has finally updated the MacBook Pro and, suprisingly, the MacBook.

I’ve been waiting for over 1 year to replace my Powerbook so I am absolutely ecstatic. I placed my order for the $2,500 version of the 15″ MBP and should have it next week. Cost: ~$1,999 (+ tax) thanks to the Apple Dev Connection discount, which is 20% off on MBPs).

Side note: I love how Apple still showcases a Ducati 1098 motorcycle on the MBP product page! 

Filed under: Apple, Laptop, MacBook, MacBook Pro, Mobile Computing

It’s official: HD-DVD is dead…Blu-ray is the victor


bd-hddvd-logo.jpgToshiba officially put the last nail in the HD-DVD coffin – today, Toshiba announced they will cease HD-DVD player production and replication. They will phase out HD-DVD by the end of March 2008. Warner Bros. decision to go Blu-ray exclusive this past January was one nail in the coffin. The second nail was delivered by the retailers (Best Buy, Netflix, and Walmart). After these two it was only a matter of time before Toshiba raised the white flag.

As most of you know, I was an early supporter of HD-DVD but when WB went BD exclusive, I was ready for this format war to end so we can all unite under one HD format. Do I regret my decision in buying an HD-DVD player? Heck no. I bought the Toshiba HD-A1 for it’s excellent ability to upscale SD DVDs to 1080i and looked at HD-DVD as a ‘bonus.’ The HD-A1 was also appr. $300 cheaper than the Denon DVD-2910 that I was contemplating on buying.

Anyways, we’ve already gotten an announcement from Universal Studios (one of the two HD-DVD exclusive studios) stating that future titles and catalog titles will be released on Blu-ray disc. Although Paramount hasn’t officially announced anything it’s obvious they will support Blu-ray (again).

Now, let’s hope the BD association starts lowering the prices of players and movies. The next battle for BD will be against HD movie downloads/rentals.

[via Format War Central]

Filed under: Blu-ray, HD DVD, Home Theater, Movies

MacBook Pro inventory low at Apple Stores?


FWIW, I was at one of my local Apple Stores today and asked them if they had any of the $2,500 version of the 15″ MacBook Pros in-stock.  The answer: no.  Hmm….could the updates be coming this Tuesday or next Tuesday (Feb. 26)??  Man, I hope so!

Post a comment if your local Apple Store is also out of stock.

Filed under: Apple, Laptop, MacBook Pro, Mobile Computing, Notebook, Rumors

Blu-ray Deal: Buy 2 get 1 free


Amazon is having a buy 2 get 1 free deal on select Blu-ray titles. There are approximately 180 titles that qualify – just make sure you view each genre (action & adventure, drama & family friendly, etc.) by clicking on the tabs on top of the page.

I bought Black Hawk Down, House of Flying Daggers, & Underworld: Evolution for $38 ($12.66/title) – a pretty darn good deal.

The price varies so if you’re buying a lot of discs make sure you divide your purchase into separate orders. For example, all $15.95 discs in one order and all $23.95 discs in another because Amazon gives the cheapest disc to you for free.
Not sure how long this deal will last so buy ’em if you can!

Filed under: Amazon, Blu-ray, Deals, Home Theater, Movies

Rumor: Reason why MacBook Pro updates have been delayed?


Here are two interesting posts from someone named “Tailpipe” on the AppleInsider forums (post 1, post 2).

Take it for what it’s worth: a dude posting in a forum for Apple rumors.  😉

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Apple, MacBook Pro, Notebook, Rumors

AppleTV HD video review round-up


promo_appletv_box20080115.pngThis week Apple finally released version 2.0 of the Apple TV software that was demo’d by Steve Jobs at this year’s MacWorld. This is a big deal because it finally makes the Apple TV a lot more functional – adding the ability to buy and/or rent movies (SD or HD) and TV shows. However, the one question I had was, ‘just how good is the HD video quality compared to Blu-ray/HD-DVD?’ Answer: it’s surprisingly good…ranking #2 – right behind Blu-ray/HD-DVD.

It’s def worth reading the reviews as they have screen shots comparing AppleTV, Blu-ray/HD-DVD, HD Cable, and standard DVD:

I haven’t had time to rent an HD movie on mine, yet, but I’ll post a review of my experience when I do.

Filed under: Apple, AppleTV, Digital Movies, HDTV, Home Theater, Movies, Reviews