The 17-inch MacBook Pro has always been the domain for a special subset of people: desktop-replacement connoisseurs, fans of higher-res screens, and graphic designers in particular. The spring 2010 17-inch MacBook Pro retains nearly all of the design features from the 2009 version, but the internal components have at last received a significant boost.
As we had expected and hoped, Apple's new 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pros have made the shift to Intel Core i5 and i7 processors, matching a move that the rest of the industry has rapidly made. The 17-inch Pro comes in a single 2.53GHz … Read more
Motorola announced the Motorola H17txt today, and no, it's not an April Fools' joke. The Bluetooth headset has MotoSpeak, Motorola's name for its text-to-speech technology. It is designed to read text messages to you so you never have to take your eyes off the road. Funnily, it also promises to read out acronyms like "lol" and "l8r" as actual words. It will also read out incoming caller/texter ID, plus it comes with a list of autoresponse messages.
Other features include A2DP streaming so you can listen to your podcasts or your phone's … Read more
Google is polishing its Chrome browser with the help of open-source extensions similar to the add-ons that have made Mozilla's Firefox the Web browser to beat when it comes to versatility and options. Lex1's AdBlock+ Element Hiding Helper is a good example. As the name suggests, it blocks various kinds of animated elements, typically advertising, in Google's Chrome. If you haven't tried Chrome yet, here's your chance, and you can do worse than to make AdBlock+ one of your first extensions.
AdBlock+ is easy to use, with a few simple keystroke combinations controlling all the … Read more
As the case of reseller Newegg demonstrates, typos are usually the most visible sign that a chip--or any product purported to be supplied by a reputable company--is fake.
"Initial information we received from our supplier, IPEX, stated that they had mistakenly shipped us 'demo units.' We have since come to discover the CPUs were counterfeit and are terminating our relationship with this supplier," Newegg said in a … Read more
Peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing sites based on torrents have made it possible for users to share and download huge files without the need for large servers to host them. Torrents technology breaks big files down into many tiny chunks, each hosted on the PCs of individual members of the P2P network. There are dozens of file-sharing clients available, most of them free; some promise power and flexibility, and others focus on making the file-sharing experience as easy as possible. Goforsharing's Sharetastic 1.7 is a bit of both. It's designed to make it as easy as possible not only … Read more
AVI-Mux GUI creates new audio and video files from multiple existing audio and video files.
This program has a minimal interface with no supporting drop-down windows or other helpful controls. The top window instructs you to open files via dragging and dropping them into it, so we tried this with two MP3 files and were able to transfer them with no problems. Clicking the Start button at the bottom of the interface prompts the program to create the new file. The program's default format for saving files is the AVI file type, but when our test file finished, AVI-Mux … Read more
Every year product life cycles in the consumer marketplace grow ever shorter and we see ever faster turnover in cameras, phones computers, and so on. On the audio side, the latest and greatest receivers become yesterday's news faster than you can say "HDMI 1.4." It seems like no receiver can stay current for more than a year or so.
Speaker companies show a little more restraint and "refresh" their lines every few years, but even then new models rarely demonstrate actual performance improvements over the previous generations' models. Speaker manufacturer Magnepan doesn't play by those rules; it invests years of development in each of its models before introducing a new speaker. It has to sound better--a lot better--than the outgoing model before it's released to the world.
And not just in the opinion of the designers. New-model Magnepans undergo extensive "blind" listening tests with a wide range of audiophile and non-audiophile listeners (the listeners don't know whether they're hearing the old or new model). The new speaker must consistently score better than the old model before it goes into production.
When I first heard the Magneplanar 1.6 back in 2008 I said it was the best under-$2,000 speaker on the market. Incredibly enough it was 10 years old at the time! The Magneplanar 1.6 has stayed in production for 12 years, but now it's about to be replaced with the new Magneplanar 1.7.
Magnepan, based in White Bear Lake, Minn., builds nothing but panel (boxless) speakers. Not only that, Magnepan designs forgo conventional dome tweeters and cone-type woofers. As I pointed out in my August 14, 2008, blog that's why the company's Magneplanar 1.6 speaker mostly avoids sounding like a speaker. The speaker earned the top position in my Top 10 greatest audiophile speakers blog earlier this year.
The new Magneplanar 1.7 is also a flat-panel design, 64.5 inches tall and a mere 2 inches thick! The new speaker looks a little more contemporary, thanks to its aluminum, wrap-around edge molding. The old model was a two-way design, with a 48-inch-tall aluminum ribbon tweeter and a 442-square-inch mid/bass panel. The Magneplanar 1.7 is a three-way design, with a woofer, tweeter, and super-tweeter. The super-tweeter comes in around 10,000 hertz and is said to produce wider dispersion and better-resolved treble than the Magneplanar 1.6 did.
The other big difference is the Magneplanar 1.7 is a "full-range" ribbon design.… Read more