My Mac experience 2+ years later

posted in: Editorials & Features | 0

apple-logo.pngI can’t believe it’s been nearly two years since I purchased this 11″ Macbook Air. I enjoy it just as much (if not more) than I did the first time I booted it up. The hardware is still functional and each OS X helped improve my Mac experience whether it was through improved performance, battery life or functionality. The only thing that would convince me to upgrade would be a 12″ Macbook Air w/ Retina Display.

Succumb to Safari. It’s good for you.

One of the first applications that I installed on my Macbook Air in 2011 was Google Chrome. I didn’t even consider the possibility that it would be an power hungry monster that would drain my battery quicker and heat up my Macbook. I thought my Macbook was operating as intended.

It wasn’t until OS X Mavericks and the inclusion of the “Energy Impact” column in the Activity Monitor that I realized Google Chrome was the culprit. As soon as I switched to Safari, my Macbook Air now lasts up to an hour longer and it no longer heats up like it used to.

I still keep Chrome installed for edge cases but this little revelation helped me realize the importance of tight software and hardware integration. If I were on a Windows laptop, I’d consider the effects of battery life between Chrome and Internet Explorer as well.

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About the Nexus 7 (2013) & Chromecast

posted in: Technology News | 0

google-logoA couple of notable Google products were announced last week, the Nexus 7 (2013) and the Chromecast. With reviews hitting today for both products, I thought I would share a few opinions on what Google brought to the table and whether or not I would buy them today.

Nexus 7 (2013)

At $229.99, the new Nexus 7 is a tough tablet to beat if you have no ecosystem bias. I’m very impressed with the specifications bump Google & ASUS pulled off. More memory, faster processors and dual band wi-fi are all appreciated. I didn’t feel the increase in screen resolution was necessary but I will take it nonetheless. The old Tegra 3 Nexus 7 felt sluggish at times but I never complained about the screen.

Some pitfalls with the latest Nexus 7 is the smaller battery. With everything else being bumped up, something had to give and Google & ASUS chose battery size which ultimately resulted in lower battery life. It’s slightly disappointing.

Chromecast

The only reason I would get an AppleTV is for AirPlay. And what would I be doing with AirPlay? Not playing games but watching videos on the big screen. The $35 Chromecast will give any HDTV with an HDMI port the ability to accept wireless broadcasts from any Chrome web browser. Google maximized their potential audience by enabling this dongle for Chrome and not just Android. A very wise move.

While Google should be lauded for their newest piece of hardware, I am waiting for 2014’s model. Early reviews have pointed out some performance issues and the highest resolution to be 720p. I don’t necessarily need my YouTube videos to render at 1080p but I would like a smoother experience.

A Tablet, An Orb & A Jar of Jelly Beans

posted in: Technology News | 0

android-4-1-jelly-bean-logo

Google I/O isn’t as exciting as an Apple event but there are still notable announcements and reveals to mull over.

Android 4.1 aka “Jelly Bean” has been described as Android all grown up and if Project Butter actually bears fruit, that would be an accurate assessment. The UI on Android has always been notoriously choppy. And every release since Froyo and Gingerbread, Google has been promising a silky smooth experience and have yet to actually deliver on those promises. I sincerely hope Google finally pulls it off with “Jelly Bean”.

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The Search for a Netbook OS

posted in: Gadget Impressions | 3

the-search-for-a-netbook-os

I’m going to replace my Dell Mini 9 with a new MacBook Air. I want one powered by Sandy Bridge and if rumors are to be believed, I won’t have long to wait. In the meantime, I’m on a quest to transform the Dell Mini 9 to what it is and that is a netbook; a laptop made for surfing the web.

Windows 7 is a fine OS. It works well with the Dell Mini 9, but it’s a bit much for what is ostensibly an internet machine. What I want is Google Chrome, but I can’t have it because Google is only shipping it with Chromebooks. There are Chromium builds, but I’ll get to that later.

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