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Archive for the ‘Laptops & Notebooks’ Category

by Tom Nelson

Choosing the best Mac for back to school seems like it should be a simple matter. But before you shout out ‘MacBook!” or whichever Mac laptop is your favorite, you may want to take a look at this guide, which delves a bit deeper into which Mac is a good fit for schoolwork and beyond.

Is that MacBook, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro the best fit, or would a desktop, such as the Mac mini, iMac, or Mac Pro, be a better choice. Believe it or not, all Macs can work well in a learning environment, but of course each has its strengths and weaknesses. Some, like the 27-inch iMac, have a bonus benefit: it will also help strengthen your muscles, as you lug it to and from your classes.

Picking the Best Mac For Education & Beyond
One benefit of the Mac that’s sometimes overlooked is longevity. It’s likely the Mac you buy today will still be a productive computer five or more years down the road. Our 2010 Mac Pro is still chugging away, running the latest OS and apps without issues.

As a result, it’s highly likely that the Mac you buy for school will still be running long after you’ve put down your books and watched your school disappear in the rear-view mirror. Your Mac may even see you through your entire education and into your chosen profession. The point is, you may want to spend a little more up front to equip it for the long term. Even if you replace your Mac early in its useful life, you’ll likely be able to get a better return on a well-equipped Mac than a base-level model.

Want to Spend Less?
The prices we mention below are Apple retail prices. There are many sources for discounted Macs, especially if you’re willing to consider used or refurbished models. MacSales.com has an inventory of new, used, and refurbished Macs that are fully tested and inspected by its expert technicians; the Macs come with a 14-day money-back guarantee and a 90-day limited warranty.

Read more on Rocket Yard, The MacSales.com Blog

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by Tom Nelson

Having problems figuring out how much free space is available on your Mac? You’re not the only one. With the arrival of macOS Sierra, Apple changed how the OS calculates free space on a Mac. The change has more than a few folks scratching their heads, wondering what’s going on, and why they don’t seem to have as much free space on their drives as their Macs are telling them they have.

Is It Free Space or Purgeable Space?
One of the easiest, and certainly the most colorful, ways to see the amount of space taken up by purgeable files is to launch About This Mac from the Apple file menu, and then select the Storage tab. You may need to wait a short time while your Mac performs a few calculations, but eventually you’ll see a colorful bar graph depicting how the space on your various drives is being used.

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Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

The bar graph displays the space used by files, divided into categories. With macOS, new categories have been added, including iTunes, GarageBand, and System, in addition to the existing Apps, Photos, and Other. But it’s the last two categories at the far right side of the bar graph that interest us: Purgeable and Free space.

Free space is what it’s always been; storage space on your drive that isn’t currently marked as in use, and is available to your Mac’s file system to use as it pleases.

Free space is what used to show up in a Finder window’s status bar as Available. You can see this for yourself by opening a Finder window and selecting any folder, Desktop, or item. In the status bar (if needed, use the Finder’s View menu to select Show Status Bar), you’ll see the number of items in the current window, followed by the amount of free space available.

With macOS, the amount of available space shown in a Finder window is no longer just the free space, but is instead free space + purgeable space, though the Finder still just refers to it as Available.

Read more on Rocket Yard, The MacSales.com Blog

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by Tom Nelson

The Mac refurb store is beginning to look like Old Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard; mostly bare. Mac minis remain out of stock, and all sizes and models of the MacBook Pro have left the store.

If Mac models don’t start appearing in the refurb store again, it may be a bad holiday season for anyone looking for a Mac at a reduced price.

appletv4

Image courtesy of Apple

Deals of the Week

Our deals this week include a current generation Apple TV; just the thing for streaming TV, movies, and music in your home. The fourth-generation Apple TV brings support for third-party apps, letting you use it for all kinds of entertainment-related fun, including games.

Our second deal is for an ASUS RT-AC68U Wireless AC1900 Dual-Band Router. Apple reassigned the engineering team that was responsible for the AirPort line of wireless routers. With no new models of AirPort routers likely to be seen, you’ll need to turn to third-party networking hardware to meet your needs. The RT-AC68U works fine with Apple products, and includes high-speed connectivity, security, and dual-band options.

Read more on Lifewire: Macs.

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by Tom Nelson

The Mac refurb store is experiencing quite a bit of low stock, with limited numbers of MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models in stock. Mac minis are missing, though I would expect stock to be replenished before the winter holidays.

Even with the low stock, there are still some good deals to be found

MacbookRosegold

Image courtesy of Apple

Deals of the Week

We haven’t had many 12-inch MacBooks pop up in our deals list, but this week, a 2016 model with 1.3 GHz M7 processor, 8 GB RAM, and 512 GB flash storage made its way into our list. Small, lightweight, and with enough storage so you don’t need to worry about bringing along an external drive.

Our second deal is one we’ve seen here before: a 2014 27-inch Retina iMac with a 4.0 GHz Quad-Core i7 processor. This is the top of the line, at least when it comes to processor performance, in the iMac lineup. The only models that can top this one come with large PCIe flash storage, and they tend to cost quite a bit more. The combination of the fast processor and a Fusion drive should meet most advanced users’ needs, without requiring them to take out a bank loan.

Read more on Lifewire: Macs.

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by Tom Nelson

Mac minis are out of stock this week, but I’m hoping that more are on the way to the Mac refurb store in time for holiday buying. That’s an important consideration this time of year; you can’t predict what will be in stock and what won’t, so if you’re buying gifts from the refurb store, be prepared to hit the Buy button as soon as you find a deal you like; it may not be there tomorrow.

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Image courtesy of Apple

Deals of the Week

Our deals this week are for iMacs with Retina displays. First up is the 21.5-inch Retina iMac with a 3.1 GHz Quad-Core i5, 16 GB RAM and 256 GP PCIe flash storage. This is a nice configuration with plenty of RAM and fast internal storage, just the thing for a budding photographer or videographer.

Next up is the larger 27-inch Retina iMac. This one is a bit older being a 2014 model, but its equipped with a 4.0 GHz Quad-Core i7 processor, a 1 TB Fusion drive and a price below $2,000.

Read more on Lifewire: Macs.

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by Tom Nelson

MacBook Airs, MacBook Pros, and Mac minis are filling up the Mac refurb store just in time for holiday gift giving. I wouldn’t wait if you’re looking for one of these models, as they may not stay in stock for long.

2014MacMini

Image courtesy of Apple

Deals of the Week

A 2015 13.3-inch MacBook Air is our first deal this week. This specific model comes equipped with a Dual-Core i7 processor, a bit of a rarity in the MacBook Air lineup.

If you’re looking for a desktop Mac, then our second deal may be just what you need: a nicely configured Mac mini also with a Dual-Core i7 and 512 GB of PCIe flash storage.

Read more on Lifewire: Macs.

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by Tom Nelson

The refurb store has replenished stock of 2016 MacBooks. The 2016 MacBooks haven’t been in stock for a while, so if this is a model you’re interested in, you may want to check out the store and see if any of the models is the one you’re looking for.

Of course, some Mac models seem to be slipping away, and that’s the story of the MacBook Air, with only some 11-inch base models in stock. I don’t actually recommend any Mac with only 4 GB of RAM, which is how the 11-inch MacBook Airs currently in stock are configured. If you really want a MacBook Air, I recommend waiting for a model equipped with 8 GB of RAM.

2014MacMini

Image courtesy of Apple

Deals of the Week

A 2014 Mac mini with 8 GB of RAM, a 1 TB Fusion drive, and a speedy 3.0 GHz Dual-Core i7 processor make up our first deal this week. That’s a pretty nice configuration that can be used for a wide variety of tasks.

Our second deal also takes us back to a 2014 model; this time, a 27-inch Retina iMac with 8 GB of RAM, a 4.0 Quad-Core i7 processor, and a 1 TB Fusion drive. This Retina Mac also makes use of an AMD Radeon R9 M290X, and can be quite the workhorse for a budding graphics professional.

Read more on Lifewire: Macs.

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by Tom Nelson

The new MacBook Pro models Apple introduced last week did have an effect on refurb pricing. A few models of the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pros saw a price drop, although not a substantial one.

As you can imagine, the two MacBook Pro models with new, lower prices are our deals of the week.

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Image courtesy of Apple

Deals of the Week

Let’s start with the 13.3-inch MacBook Pro equipped with a 2.9 GHz i5 processor and 512 GB PCIe flash storage. Last week, this Mac was offered at $1,529.00; this week it can be had for $1,439.00.

Our second deal is for the 15-inch MacBook Pro complete with a 2.8 GHz Quad-Core i7 processor, 16 GB RAM, and 1 TB PCIe flash storage. It also comes equipped with dual graphics cards. Last week, this Mac model sold for $2,719.00; this week, the price dropped to $2,629.00.

You can find more details about the deals of the week further on in the Mac model listings.

Don’t forget that for any Mac you buy, you should consider an external drive for backup and additional storage, if you need it.

Read more on Lifewire: Macs.

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by Tom Nelson

October is typically an important month in Mac history. It marked the first release of the Mac PowerBook models in 1991 and this October it marked a fundamental change in the portable Mac lineup: the introduction of the new MacBook Pro in 13-inch and 15-inch models, sporting the new Touch Bar and Touch ID.

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Image courtesy of Apple

The new MacBook Pros have some amazing new features, but they’re also shaking up the entire MacBook product line.

Gone is the 11-inch MacBook Air, leaving the 12-inch MacBook as the smallest of the MacBooks when measured by screen size. The MacBook Air 13-inch remains in the lineup, but only as a low-cost entry point into the portable Mac family.

Read more on Lifewire: Macs.

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by Tom Nelson

The Mac refurb store is nicely stocked this week, with every Mac model well represented. Even so, you may want to wait a bit before committing to a refurb purchase because Apple will be making Mac-related announcements on October 27th. I’m expecting 15-inch MacBook Pro updates; there could also be changes in store for the MacBook and MacBook Air lineup.

Less likely are any changes to the desktop Macs, even though on the whole, it’s the Mac Pro, Mac mini, and even the iMac that have the longest times between updates. If you’re thinking, “is that true?” just look at the Mac Pro, which was updated in 2013, then left to languish. The Mac mini isn’t much better, seeing its last update in 2014. The iMacs are faring slightly better, but they’re at risk of falling into the “we’ll get around to them someday” status at Apple.

Thankfully, I do think Apple will get around to the desktop Macs soon, with rumored updates for them sometime in early 2017. That means October will be for the portable Macs.

If you’re considering buying a refurb portable Mac, you should think about waiting until early November; chances are we’ll see some price drops in the current MacBook models in the refurb store.

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Image courtesy of CaDiget

Deals of the Week

The deals this week are for Mac peripherals. First up, a 512 GB SSD in a small portable external enclosure that connects to a Mac via USB 3. This fast SSD is powered via the USB 3 port on a Mac, making this an easy tote-and-go storage solution.

The second deal is for a CalDigit Thunderbolt docking station. This docking station is a great way to provide additional connectivity to a Mac. With USB 3, eSATA, audio, Ethernet, and 4K HDMI you’ll be able to connect your Mac to just about anything, all through a single Thunderbolt 2 port.

Don’t forget that for any Mac you buy, you should consider an external drive for backup and additional storage, if you need it.

Read more on Lifewire: Macs.

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