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This MacBook Pro includes the Touch Bar (units that don’t have this feature tend to be cheaper) but it’s honestly not very useful. It’s great to look at, and that’s about it. Yes, it provides a quick way to scroll through lists and can also be useful if you’d like to scroll through a video, but it is limited by its size. The miniature content previews it displays are helpful but are so small that it’s often hard to tell tabs apart, even with just three or four open. Opening even more tabs renders each of them impossible to tap. Sadly, it’s just not very integral to the MacBook experience.
Finally, this laptop’s battery life is decent. Apple claims it can last for 10 hours on a single charge, and we saw close to that in our high-definition video loop test. Web browsing was decidedly less impressive at eight hours. These numbers aren’t terrible, but we’ve seen better.
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Nvidia has announced the next generation of gaming laptop graphics, the RTX Super GPUs. In addition to these new cards, Nvidia has detailed the next evolution of its Max-Q technology, which allows for supremely thin-and-light gaming laptops.
These RTX Super cards are the same GPUs Nvidia launched in 2019 for desktop, now for gaming laptops. The RTX 2080 Super has 3,072 CUDA cores, while the RTX 2070 Super has 2,560 CUDA cores. Both represent a modest jump in cores from its predecessors.
Will this increase in performance make laptops cost more? Not according to Nvidia. The company says laptops with the new RTX Super cards will compare in price to the current RTX 2070 and RTX 2080 laptops. Nvidia did mention that RTX 2070-powered laptops will remain on the market, and could drop in price to as low as $1,200.
In terms of clock speeds and even TDP, it’ll depend wildly on the gaming laptop in question. On the top end, of course, the Super cards have the ability to clock much higher than the standard RTX 2080 and 2070.Some laptops announced with RTX 2070 Super and 2080 Super so far include the Razer Blade Advanced Model, Acer Predator Triton 500, and the Lenovo Legion 7i.
Nvidia’s lower-powered options are more affordable now, too. Laptops with the GTX 1650 now start as low as $699, while RTX 2060 laptops will now be priced starting at $999. That’s a few hundred dollars less than in the past.
In order to push toward thinner and lighter gaming laptops, Nvidia has developed a set of technologies and standards known as Max-Q. Nvidia is announcing new features for laptop manufacturers to implement under the banner of Max-Q.The first is Dynamic Boost. It’s a feature that allows the system to share power between the GPU and CPU. For example, many gaming laptops are capped at 115 watts, statically limiting the CPU to 35 watts, and the GPU to 80 watts. That might not be the ideal split for certain games or tasks. Nvidia pointed to the examples of The Witcher 3, which bottlenecks the graphics, and Grand Theft Auto V, which bottlenecks the processor.
Dynamic Boost instead adjusts this static limit to get the most out of every situation. To accomplish this, the feature uses telemetry to route power and dissipate thermals on a frame-by-frame basis. Nvidia says the result is somewhere between a 4% and 10% increase in frame rates. It doesn’t require developers to create a profile, which means it will work in current games without a patch, and it can be toggled off in the Nvidia Control Panel.
It does, however, require laptop manufacturers to implement hardware changes. That means it won’t work on older laptops, and not all new Nvidia systems will include the feature. Nvidia says it expects the feature to be widely adopted, as the hardware change is relatively small.
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The MacBook Air is now thinner and lighter than ever, yet still possesses the same power and solid build quality typical of Apple devices. The latest version of the MacBook Air normally retails for $1,000, but right now you can purchase it at Best Buy for $950 – a cool $50 off.
The latest version of the MacBook Air looks almost exactly like the previous one, with a few significant hardware and software upgrades. The older version is outfitted with a single Thunderbolt 2 port and two USB 3 ports; the latest one has two Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports instead. Although both models have a 13-inch Retina screen, the newer MacBook Air’s display is made better thanks to Apple’s True Tone technology. The screen now has the power to adapt to your environment’s ambient light to make images appear more natural, with accurate colors that aren’t oversaturated.
Working alongside an Intel i3 processor, this MacBook Air has 8GB of RAM and 256 GB of internal memory. It proved speedy and performed well when tasked with normal daily workflow, like streaming videos, working in Photoshop, word processing, and web browsing. We did, however, notice a bit of a slowdown when we had multiple browsers, apps, and programs open simultaneously, but not enough to raise concern. Its performance is like that of a Chromebook, except with Mac apps.
A couple of significant upgrades of the MacBook Air are its Magic Keyboard and Touch ID. The Magic Keyboard is responsive, clicky, and features a full millimeter of travel. It’s a delight to type on, quite reminiscent of the much-beloved MacBooks sold prior to the 2016 MacBook Pro redesign that introduced the butterfly switch keyboards. The Touch ID fingerprint sensor, on the other hand, is located on the top right of the function row, and doubles as a power button. It works extremely well, although we think Face login, which works so well on iOS devices, needs to be brought to Mac. Finally, the MacBook Air can last up to nine and a half hours with light web browsing, 10 hours with continuous video playback, and three hours when using heavier applications.
If you’re determined to buy a MacBook but don’t want to shell out too much money, then the MacBook Air is for you. It’s a well-rounded portable laptop that boasts a solid performance and premium build quality. Get the latest version of the MacBook Air for $950 at Best Buy.
The 15-inch MacBook Pro looks almost exactly like its 2017 and 2016 predecessors, save for one significant hardware upgrade: The keyboard. One of the things we disliked about the older model was its low-travel keyboard, which left users feeling like they were typing on a block of wood. Thankfully, Apple has addressed this issue. The keys now have a softer feel and they’re no longer obnoxiously loud. Overall, typing has become a more pleasurable experience.
As usual, the MacBook Pro offers industry-leading display and sound. The 15-inch screen is a thing of beauty, with Apple’s 16:10 aspect ratio (most laptop screens are 3:2) providing more vertical space for a fuller view of your work. Colors are extremely accurate, black levels are great, and images look completely natural, which makes this a great laptop for photographers and creative professionals. In fact, the MacBook Pro is our choice for the best laptop for photo editing. The same goes for its up-firing stereo speakers, which offer an incredibly loud room-filling sound that retains the richness of spoken words and the subtleties of music.
Unfortunately, the MacBook Pro still lacks ports. There are four Thunderbolt 3 ports and a headphone jack. This decision may be forward-thinking as more and more peripheral devices are being outfitted with USB-C, but the lack of an SD card slot is odd since this is being marketed to creatives.
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