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Dell’s Precision M3800 mobile workstation launched recently, and rejoice Linux lovers! The powerful, flexible MacBook Pro competitor is also available with Ubuntu Linux thanks to Dell’s Project Sputnik endeavor.
If you’d prefer a sleeker Linux laptop, you can still pick up an XPS 13 Ultrabook with Linux, and yes, the latest, super-sleek version of the XPS 13—which PCWorld hardware editor Gordon Mah Ung called a MacBook Air killer—will get a “developer edition” with Ubuntu preinstalled soon, according to Project Sputnik lead Barton George.
Rather than fizzling out, Project Sputnik is taking off—and Dell’s Linux laptops exclude the “Microsoft tax” tacked on tonotebooks that include Windows.Project Sputnik gets a second line of laptops
Dell’s “Project Sputnik” started back in 2012. Dell wanted to create Linux laptops for developers who wanted officially supported Linux systems. These laptops aren’t necessarily just for developers, as anyone can buy them. But many developers do want high-quality Linux hardware that will work without any hassles, and that’s who Dell is targeting with these laptops. After all, even the Fedora is refocusing its Linux desktop efforts on developers.
Dell initially launched a “developer edition” of its well-regarded XPS 13 Ultrabook. That hardware has gone through several upgrades over the years.
Gordon Mah Ung
Dell’s amazingly small, utterly wonderful 2024 XPS 13 laptop will also be available with Linux before long.
But not everyone wants a super-lightweight laptop, so Dell’s line of Linux hardware is expanding. Some people want more powerful, capable hardware—a mobile workstation. Dell’s M3800 targets those people, and it’s also available with Linux preinstalled as a “developer edition.” It’s a solid, powerful piece of hardware with 16 GB of RAM, an Intel Core i7 processors, NVIDIA graphics, and an option for a 4K display.A clean Ubuntu 14.04 LTS system
Like Dell’s other laptops, the M3800 ships with the latest Long Term Support (LTS) release of Ubuntu—that’s Ubuntu 14.04. This does mean the Thunderbolt hardware on the laptop won’t function when it ships, although the Ubuntu 14.04.2 update should add additional hardware support and the newer Linux kernel should enable it. If Thunderbolt is essential to you, you can always upgrade the laptop’s operating system to a newer Linux distribution. The M3800 comes with Ubuntu, but you don’t have to use Ubuntu.
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Unlike previous “developer edition” laptops from Dell, the M3800 ships with a clean, bog-standard Ubuntu 14.04 LTS install. There are no additional pieces of software or drivers provided by Dell, which is an ideal situation. Everything the laptop needs is in the standard Linux software, so it should work well with any Linux distribution. You could just reinstall any version of Ubuntu you wanted on the laptop without worrying about installing any extra Dell software.
Dell provided two software tools on the previous laptops: A “profile tool” to quickly install development software and a “cloud launcher” for setting up small cloud instances on the laptop itself. Some developers may find these nice to have, but most potential buyers just want a solid, well-supported piece of hardware that ships with Linux. Dell may release these tools separately later, but the clean operating system is good to see.Buying the M3800 with Linux
Ordering a Dell M3800 workstation with Ubuntu.
Under the Operating System header, you can choose “Ubuntu Linux 14.04” instead of Windows 7 or 8.1. This actually shaves $101.50 off the price of the laptop, so you can get some nice savings by cutting that Windows license out of your laptop purchase. This blog post lays it all out.
Dell isn’t the only game in town, of course. Companies like System76 and ZaReason specialize in Linux laptops, and then there are the crowdfunding projects like Purism’s Librem 15. If you actually want to buy a laptop with Linux, you can. But you won’t find these laptops at your local electronics store for $200 on sale. If you want a Linux laptop that cheap, you might want to buy a Chromebook and install a full Linux system on it.
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The rumors leading up to the last Apple event 2023 had to offer generated a ton of hype. Word on the street suggested we were about to get a new MacBook Pro that would bring the machine back to its former glory from way back in 2024 when the Touch Bar debuted and the MBP line lost some of its station.
Rumors promised new custom Apple silicon, a high-refresh-rate screen, a built-in SD card reader, and even the return of MagSafe. As we found out at the Oct. 18 “Unleashed” event, it was all true. The new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro 2023 laptops look like a true return to form for the line if they can live up to the hype.Enter the Apple M1 Pro and M1 Max chips
The M1 Max chip is the fastest in the Apple silicon stable for the moment. Apple
The heart of the new announcements centers around a pair of new Apple chips. The M1 Pro and the M1 Max build off the extremely popular M1 chip that debuted in the 13-inch MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air roughly a year ago. It powers the excellent new iMac.
The new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips augment the typical M1 with similar hardware, just a lot more of it.
The new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips use the same 5 nm technology from the original M1, but drastically increase the number of individual transistors. The M1 Pro promises more than 33 billion transistors, which is more than twice the stock M1. The M1 Max takes that number all the way up to 57 billion. While the Apple silicon approach largely centers on making improvements through efficiency, the company still clearly recognizes that brute force hardware upgrades still make a difference.
The M1 Pro implements a 10-core system, eight of which are performance-oriented and two of which are meant for efficiency. It pairs that CPU with a 16-core GPU. The M1 Max has the same 10-core CPU, but it drastically increases the amount of shared memory in the system (up to 64 GB total), and pumps the GPU core count up to 32.What does all that power mean for users?
This set of features and powerful components addresses some long-standing user requests. Apple
During the presentation, Apple showed charts comparing these hardware configurations to some of the most powerful PC laptops with integrated and discrete graphics. Apple promises to match or exceed that hardware’s performance while drastically reducing energy consumption.
That comparison is especially compelling with a laptop, which runs on a battery. Apple claims it can maintain that lofty performance when unplugged in the field, where other powerful laptops would quickly burn through their battery reserves, even while nerfing performance.
As the name suggests, these really do appeal to “professional” users who deal in resource-greedy processes. This kind of power comes in handy when you’re editing high-res raw video, especially with multiple high-res streams involved. We’ll know just how fast they really are once review units start rolling out, but Apple has made some lofty promises that should appeal to creatives and coders.Look at all the ports!
HDMI? An SD card reader? Yes and yes. Apple
Beyond the computing power inside, Apple has made some upgrades to the MacBook Pro’s connectivity by throwing it back to the old school. The new design once again features an SD card reader, which means photographers, videographers, audio recorders, and other creatives can simply cram an SD card into the side of the machine to dump their take without having to worry about a cable or external reader.
The right side of the machine also has a full-sized HDMI port, so it’s simple to connect to most displays without the need for a dongle. The computers still offer three USB-C Thunderbolt 4.0 ports, which can transfer data as well as power.
If you don’t want to charge via USB-C, Apple has also brought back the old MagSafe adapter, which is a huge deal for clumsy users like myself who frequently trip over cables.
It really does have the feel of those pre-2024 MacBook Pros that were some of the best laptops ever made.MacBook Pro 2023 displays
The display promises to be extremely beautiful. Apple
Both the 14-inch and 16-inch displays now have considerably smaller bezels around the edge. That’s thanks in part to a notch in the top of the screen that’s not unlike the one you’d find in an iPhone. The MBP notch doesn’t contain a FaceID sensor (which would have been terrific), but it does give the upgraded 1080p webcam a place to live.
The taskbar now nestles around the notch, which may cause some early funkiness as apps adapt to it, but it seems like an overall improvement.
The screen hardware has gotten a few serious upgrades. The backlight now comes from Mini LED technology like you’ll find in the latest 2023 iPad Pro and iMac models. Thousands of tiny LEDs are split up into tiny arrays that can turn on and off when needed to maximize contrast ratio and brightness. The new MacBook Pro can sustain 1,000 nits of brightness and hit 1,600 nits at peak levels, which matches the Pro Display XDR. You don’t really need to truly understand what a nit is, just know that these levels are extremely bright so you’ll have no problem working in bright areas. In dark areas, it’ll practically sear your eyeballs.
The new displays also come toting ProMotion technology, which means they can run at up to 120 Hz for ultra-smooth motion, then ratchet that refresh rate all the way down to 10 Hz when you’re looking at mostly static images to save battery. If you’ve ever used an iPad Pro, or even the new iPhone 13 Pro models, you know this makes a weirdly tangible difference when it comes to the overall feel of the system.Other notable features
MagSafe is back! Apple
We’re looking forward to testing the new MacBook Pros down the line, but the spec sheet already delivers on most of what people were asking for. The new speaker system still includes six speakers: two tweeters and four woofers. All of them have increased in size and move more air. The woofers give the entire system the capability to produce sound a half-octave lower than the previous models.
Like the M1 MacBooks, the new M1 Pro and M1 Max models promise drastically improved battery life. Apple is still offering up battery specs in terms of continuous video playback (a somewhat outdated and not particularly useful metric). However, the company claims that the 14-inch MacBook Pro gets up to 17 hours of continuous video playback, while the 16-inch version gets up to 21 hours. Those are big jumps from Intel-based MBP numbers, so I’m very curious to see what that means in terms of real-world usage.
The 16-inch model supports fast charging, which allows it to pull a 50-percent charge from a compatible brick in just a half-hour.So when can you order the new MacBook Pro and how much do they cost?
As you might expect from all of the superlatives thrown into this announcement, the new MacBook Pros aren’t cheap. Then again, MBPs have never been cheap.
The 14-inch model comes stock with an 8-core M1 Pro chip, a 14-core GPU, 16 GB unified memory, and a 512 GB SSD for $1,999. You can move up to a 10-core CPU, 16-core GPU, and 1 TB storage for $2,499 as a standard configuration. If you want to get wild and max it out completely, you get a 10-core CPU, a 32-core GPU, 64 GB unified memory, and 8 TB storage for $5,899. It’s worth noting that $2,200 of that upgrade comes in the form of the 8 TB SSD, though.
The 16-inch MacBook Pro base model offers a 10-core CPU, a 16-core GPU, 16 GB unified memory, and a 512 GB SSD for $2,499.
Unlike the 14-inch version, the 16-inch MBP will let you step up to the most powerful M1 Max chip. The base M1 Max version comes with a 10-core CPU, 32-core GPU, 32 GB memory, and a 1 TB SSD for $3,599. The most expensive version of that machine puts you up over $6,000.
See also: 16-inch MacBook Pro review
We also have an in-depth guide to MacBook accessories, which you can check out right here. Also, check out a few of our favorite stands if you still find yourself working from home. Now for the list!
The best MacBook Air cases:
Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best MacBook Pro cases regularly as new options launch.
If you want to throw your MacBook Pro back to the days of the classic iMac G3, the Smartshell from Speck is a great pick. It comes in a rainbow of familiar transparent shades as well as black and clear — although the latter two are currently sold out. Speck’s case is a simple hard shell with redesigned corners that should handle bumps and drops better than previous versions. In addition, the matte finish and rubberized feet should help you keep a solid grip on your new machine.
Urban Armor Gear is one of the toughest customers around, and its Plasma case for the MacBook Pro is as durable as they come. It’s MIL-STD 810G certified for drops, and the rubber bumpers lock to keep the lid closed tightly. Each rubber bumper element is also coated in a tactile honeycomb pattern, so you probably won’t lose your grip no matter what. The UAG Plasma is a heavier option, but it adds 13mm to the overall footprint.
Another option from UAG, the Plyo is ready for your massive 16-inch MacBook Pro. It’s a slightly slimmed-down version of the Plasma, and the rubber bumpers are transparent rather than matte black. UAG kept the tactile honeycomb pattern, and the Plyo is MIL-STD 810G certified to withstand drops and falls. Both front corners also feature the same locking mechanism to keep your lid squared away. The case comes in a transparent gray color that UAG calls Ice.
Twelve South Book Book
If you want to make your MacBook Pro feel like a master of disguise, the Twelve South Book Book case is your best bet. It looks like a well-aged novel, thanks to the full-grain leather construction. You can either trust the case as a sleeve or strap your laptop in for full protection. Twelve South’s Book Book is available for any sized MacBook, though it looks very similar to a library book, so you may not want to leave it unattended.
Fintie MacBook Pro case
There are tons of high-end, feature-packed cases on the market, but a simple hard shell is often all you need. The Fintie case is a perfect example, and it doesn’t come close to breaking the bank. It offers 360-degree protection with just two snap-on pieces, and you can choose from four sleek finishes. A fully ventilated bottom panel should keep you working hard for longer, but you’ll have to make sure you grab the right size case. Check out each option carefully:
Hardshell cases aren’t for everyone, and if you’re just looking for protection while you travel, then a sleeve might be a better fit. This option from Mujjo is a luxurious felt and leather creation, and it’s sized for the 15-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros. You can choose from either brown or black leather to pair with the black felt. The durable snap should keep your laptop safely inside, and a handy storage pocket is perfect for your charger or other accessories.
Amazon Basics sleeve
Although Mujjo’s sleeve is about as luxurious as they come, this Amazon Basics option might fit your budget a bit better. It’s a simple zipper sleeve that comes in various colors and just about any size you might need. There are no extra pockets or premium materials, but Amazon’s simple case should offer all of the protection you really need. You can also buy the sleeves in packs of up to 10 if you’re shopping for a classroom or another group.
Apple MacBook Pro leather sleeve
Apple doesn’t offer its own hardshell cases, but if you want protection from the source, then you’ll have to try the leather sleeve. It comes in three shades of premium European leather with a microfiber lining for added protection. Of course, you’ll have to be ready for the Apple Tax — this leather sleeve costs nearly $180. You won’t find a storage pocket or anything like that, but the case does allow you to charge your MacBook Pro without exposing it.
While Apple skips hard cases of its own, the Cupertino company does offer an option from InCase if you’re interested. It’s a straightforward shell that comes in three shades with a texturized dot pattern. InCase’s offering is well-ventilated and offers easy cutouts for all of the ports and buttons. You won’t be able to grab the InCase shell for your 15-inch MacBook Pro, but it’s available below for both the 13-inch and 16-inch versions.
Tech21 Evo MacBook Pro case
Tech21’s Evo MacBook Pro case offers slightly more protection than the InCase option, thanks to its hybrid design. It relies on a soft bumper around the edges to absorb impacts, while tough polycarbonate panels sandwich the top and bottom. While it’s slightly more expensive than the InCase option, it’s your best bet from Apple if you have a slightly older laptop. The Tech21 case is crystal-clear and should resist UV yellowing to help show off your device.
I reviewed Woolnut’s previous-generation MacBook Pro Sleeve last year and concluded that it was at least as good as the official Apple one – better in a couple of ways – for half the price. The latest version, the MacBook Pro leather Folio, improves on the protection via a two-sided zip closure but costs more…
The original sleeves are now a bit cheaper:
13-inch MacBook Pro/Air Sleeve: €72.50 ($81)
15-inch MacBook Pro Sleeve: €82.50 ($92)
16-inch MacBook Pro Sleeve: €90 ($100)
While the new Folios are a bit more expensive:
13-inch MacBook Pro/Air Folio: €112.50 ($126)
15-inch MacBook Pro Folio: €122.50 ($137)
16-inch MacBook Pro Folio: €130 ($145)Look & feel
Much is unchanged. The aniline-dyed full-grain leather exterior still looks great, though there is now a green option in addition to the black and cognac colors. I’d say its somewhere close to British Racing Green. The cognac remains my favorite, however.
The overall design is still very simple, with just a discreetly-embossed logo and name. The stitching still looks great. You can still see the wool felt lining on two sides, while there’s now a high-end zip on the other two sides. For zip aficionados, it’s a YKK Excella, which the company describes as its ‘highest grade metal zipper with fully polished elements.’ A protective strip of leather protects the MacBook from direct contact with the zip.
Inside, there’s now a couple of slots, one for a few business cards or a couple of credit cards, the other a size that would accommodate a passport and boarding pass or similar. The company says you can also fit any iPhone in the larger slot, which could be a good option for passing through airport security.
As with the original, the Folio feels lovely. Buttery-soft leather, with the wool felt providing protection from scratches and a little extra cushioning.
The zip slides smoothly when both opening and closing, and by opening on two sides it’s easier than the sleeve to slip the MacBook in or out.In use
The Folio is, like the original sleeve, comfortable to carry, lacking the hard edge of the official Apple sleeve.
It adds very slightly more bulk than the sleeve, but still fits into all the same laptop slots in my bag, including the tightest one, so this is unlikely to be an issue for anyone upgrading. However, not knowing I’d be getting the 16-inch MacBook Pro at the time these arrived, I haven’t been able to see how that size compares.
You can charge the MacBook while inside the case simply by leaving the zip partially undone, another drawback of Apple’s sleeve, whose horizontal access doesn’t allow in-sleeve charging.Conclusions
Even with the price premium over the plain sleeves, the Woolnut MacBook Pro leather Folio is still excellent value, offering better protection, comfort, and practicality than the official Apple leather sleeve. You will need to allow for shipping from Sweden, but it still comes in very comfortably below Apple’s pricing.
The original zipless sleeves are still available, as are ones for the current-generation iPad Pro models, in both 11- and 12.9-inch sizes.
The Woolnut MacBook Pro leather Folio is available from the company’s website for the current-gen 13-, 15- and 16-inch models. The 13-inch version also fits the current MacBook Air. Prices range from €112.50 to €130.
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Over the past few days, reviews for Apple’s latest iPad Pros, MacBook Air, and Mac mini have started rolling in. While we’ve rounded up all of the written reviews for each of the new products, there are also a slew of video reviews available as well…Retina MacBook Air Video Reviews:
Leading the way today is the new Retina MacBook Air. For CNET, Dan Ackerman takes a close look at the differences between the latest MacBook Air, its predecessor, the 12-inch MacBook, and the 13-inch MacBook Pro. He also touches upon the third-generation Butterfly keyboard, which also includes Touch ID support despite the lack of a Touch Bar.
Meanwhile, iJustine walked through the unboxing experience of the new gold Retina MacBook Air. Like earlier unboxing videos showed, the MacBook Air includes color-matched Apple stickers, as well as a 30W power brick. iJustine also offers a neat look at how the new MacBook Air compares to the old 11-inch model.
Jason Snell’s look at the new MacBook Air is also worth a watch, as he offers a detailed look at the sizing differences between the new model and its predecessor.
Here are a handful of the early Retina MacBook Air video reviews to hit the web:iPad Pro Video Reviews:
Early iPad Pro reviews have also started hitting YouTube over the last few days. One of the more interesting videos comes from Ian Barnard, who unboxes the new iPad Pro and Apple Pencil and then takes a look at how the new devices work for an artist. For instance, he notes that the double-tap functionality on the Pencil to switch between brush functionality is useful in theory, but it’s not always reliable for in-the-moment use.
In his unboxing and setup look at the new iPad Pros, YouTuber Karl Conrad offers a close look at how the 12.9-inch and 11-inch models compare in size. Conrad also shows off the new 18W power brick included with the iPad Pro, as well as the lack of color-matched Apple stickers.
In CNET’s review, Scott Stein notes that the new iPad Pro “doubles down” on what it’s good at, but says it’s still not perfect, nor is it designed for everyone. Perhaps most notable is Stein’s comparison between the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro and the last-gen model. The difference between the two in terms of size and bezel is incredibly jarring.
Here are a handful of the early iPad Pro video reviews to hit the web:Mac mini Video Reviews:
Last but certainly not least is the brand new Mac mini. In his video review of the new Mac mini, Marco Arment does an excellent job of explaining how the Mac mini’s target market has shifted in recent years, further detailing the many different use cases for the machine.
Jason Snell offers a look at the wide-array of ports offered on the new Mac mini, which include Gigabit Ethernet, four Thunderbolt 3, HDMI, 2 USB-A, and a headphone jack. Snell also notes that the Mac mini is identical to its predecessor in terms of form factor, which is crucial to those who use the machine in modular setups.
Lastly, iJustine shows off editing using Final Cut Pro on the new Mac mini. She also offers a great look at how the Mac mini works paired with Apple’s space gray Magic Trackpad and Magic Keyboard, as well as LG’s 4K USB-C display.
Here are a handful of the early Mac mini video reviews to hit the web:
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$400 off this 14 inch Apple MacBook Pro on Cyber Monday
This fantastic Apple MacBook Pro provides everything you can ask for and more
You can’t argue against saving $400 as we get into the festive season, so check out this Apple MacBook Pro 14″ deal happening right now on Cyber Monday. Their iconic brand and design is familiar to many, and you won’t be disappointed with the power on offer either.
READ NOW: So many more Apple deals are out there this year
So, if you’re in the market for a new laptop, you just have to consider this MacBook Pro deal. This 2023 model is just as relevant in 2023 – even more so thanks to the amount of cash you can be saving. It’s usually hard to get your hands on Apple tech for cheap, so act fast this Cyber Monday.
READ NOW: We’re also showcasing deals from the iMac range
Apple MacBook Pro 14″ Cyber Monday deal
Top Apple MacBook Pro deals
Apple MacBook Pro 14″ (2024) (M1 chip)
2024 Apple MacBook Air (M1 chip) 14-core GPU 14-inch Liquid Retina Display, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD
SAVE $400 @ AMAZON
Apple MacBook Pro 16″ (2024) (M1 chip)
2024 Apple MacBook Air (M1 chip) 16-core GPU 16-inch Liquid Retina Display, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD
SAVE $400 @ AMAZON
Apple MacBook Pro 13.3″ (2024) (i5-1035G7)
2024 Apple MacBook Air (i5-1035G7) 13.3-inch Liquid Retina Display, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD
SAVE $300 @ AMAZON
Apple 16.2-inch MacBook Pro, M1 Pro 10-core CPU, 16-core GP, 3456 x 2234 (Late 2023)
Apple 14.2-inch MacBook Pro, M1 Pro 10-core CPU, 16-core GP, 1TB SSD, 3456 x 2234 (Late 2023)
Apple 13.3-inch MacBook Pro, Intel Core i5, Iris Plus Graphics 645 with Retina Display 2560 x 1600 (Late 2023)
Apple MacBook Pro 16″ Display with Touch Bar – Intel Core i9 – 16GB Memory – AMD Radeon Pro 5500M – 1TB SSD
Apple MacBook Pro 13″ Display with Touch Bar – Intel Core i5 – 16GB Memory – 512GB SSD
There’s really no doubt about it. The obvious answer to this question is an emphatic yes! To add to that, let’s just delve into what exactly you’re getting for your money. The discount is nice, but the specs really add to that all-important great value.
Compared to a 2023 model also on offer, this is a nice step up, thanks to the Apple M1 processing chip which delivers 8-cores to work with. You can’t complain about a boost in speed – and this 14″ MacBook Pro is here to deliver it. In addition, you also receive a powerful the 14-core GPU and 16GB of RAM, so you’re free to use this MacBook for a multitude of tasks, all at the same time.
This model provides a massively powerful performance without being too power-hungry. There’s up to 17 hours of battery life available from this particular MacBook Pro. On final thing to touch on is the ultra-fast SSD, which provides spacious 512GB storage to work with.
Is the Apple MacBook Pro 14″ worth getting on Cyber Monday?
This is where we place our final verdict. If you’ve been looking for a high quality laptop with all the specs you can ask for, while still being easily portable, then this is a great choice for you. It’s well worth getting this 2023 edition MacBook Pro 14″ while the offer still lasts. Apple are always out to deliver high quality partnered with their iconic and unique designs. This purchase is doubly worth getting if you’re already a fan of Apple and really want to add another device to your collection.
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