Best Buy Sales Event Includes $300 Off Retina MacBook, $125 Off iPad Air 2, and More

Best Buy today introduced a new deal into its Apple-centric „Holiday Event,“ giving customers the chance to get $300 off of the entry-level Retina Macbook, along with free two-day shipping for last minute holiday shoppers.

Originally priced at $1,299, the deal reduces the new Gold, Silver, and Space Gray MacBook to $999, rivaling that of the entry model 13-inch MacBook Air. College students also have the opportunity to get the MacBook as low as $949, thanks to a $50 student discount offered when ordering either a MacBook or an iMac. The $1,599 version of the 12-inch MacBook, with increased flash storage, isn’t available in Best Buy’s current sale.

The Apple Holiday Event began earlier in December at Best Buy, and all of its deals are still running in the lead-up to Christmas. When activating on a two-year contract, the retailer is offering the 16GB versions of the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus for $1 and $99.99, respectively. The iPad Air 2 has been cut by $125 for both cellular and Wi-Fi only options. A similar deal is running for the iPad mini 4, which has been reduced by $100 on each of its versions. The Apple Watch is also still available at a $100 discount.

Related Roundup: Retina MacBook
Tag: Best Buy
Buyer’s Guide: MacBook (Neutral)
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This is how much it costs to upgrade from Apple zero to Apple hero

Assume, for a moment, you’ve always been an Android guy but yesterday’s spintastic Apple Watch presentation sent you over the edge. Now you’re a freshly minted Apple fanboy with money to burn, and you want to go from zero to…Read more ›



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Retina MacBook’s ‘butterfly’ keyboard feels a bit buggy

Today’s media presentation was billed as an Apple Watch event and even its name, “Spring Forward,” had the press preoccupied with time and wrist-based computing. But journalists in attendance were just as excited to learn about a completely reinvented Retina…Read more ›



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Transcend Debuts JetDrive SSD Upgrade Kits Up To 960GB for MacBook Air, Retina Macbook Pro

Transcend has introduced new JetDrive SSD upgrade kits designed for the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro with Retina display. The upgrade kits offer up to 960GB of internal storage capacity and come with both installation tools and instructions.

JetDrive kits also ship with an aluminum USB 3.0 enclosure, which allows upgraders to reuse their original SSD, and all kits include a five year warranty.

Stop shuffling around your files and fretting about storage space. Transcend’s JetDrive SSD upgrade kits offer up to 960GB of storage capacity. Upgrading your Mac to a JetDrive SSD ensures you’ll have plenty of space for all your favorite music, videos, and photos.

The JetDrive SSDs are able to take advantage of JetDrive Toolbox monitoring software, which keeps track of the health of the drive and enables TRIM support for optimum write speeds and SSD life. JetDrive SSDs also have maximum read speeds of 495MB/s and maximum write speeds of 495MB/s.

The company has three separate products for early MacBook Airs, mid–2012 MacBook Airs, and mid-2012 Retina Macbook Pros, in multiple capacities. While mid–2012 MacBook Airs and Retina MacBook Pros can be upgraded with 240, 480, or 960 GB of storage space, earlier MacBook Airs (late 2010 and mid–2011) are limited to 240 or 480 GB. Transcend’s JetDrive kits are not PCIe and are not compatible with the most recently released 2013 MacBook Airs and Retina MacBook Pros.

Transcend’s JetDrives can be found on Amazon.com, with prices ranging from $190 for the lower end upgrade to $600 for the higher end upgrade. Ordering information and specific links can be accessed on Transcend’s website, but the 960 GB SSDs have yet to make their way to Amazon.




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Teardowns of Late 2013 Retina MacBook Pros Reveal No Improvements in Accessibility

iFixit has performed more of its traditional high-quality teardowns on both the new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro and new 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro, revealing various improvements to the components of both that enhance performance, but also unsurprisingly make both harder to manually repair.

One of the more interesting changes relative to the new 13-inch model is that Apple has apparently reversed its decision to move the 13-inch model’s battery away from the trackpad as seen in the previous generation of the laptop, instead choosing to glue the entire battery assembly into the case. This design is very similar to the battery of the original 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro, which was heavily criticized by iFixit for being extremely difficult and time-consuming to remove without puncturing the cells.

13-inch Retina MacBook Pro
As Apple stated during its press event, the new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro now uses faster PCIe flash storage, but is still proprietary as seen in the previous generation and does not allow for easy replacement. Other changes to the new version of the laptop include Intel’s i5 Haswell processor and Iris Graphics, the inclusion of only one fan as opposed to two in the last generation, a rearranged cabling system, and a slight update to the MagSafe 2 connector.

15-inch Retina MacBook Pro
Meanwhile, the new 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro reveals a similar internal layout to the 13-inch model, but includes higher grade components such as Intel’s i7 Haswell processor and Iris Pro graphics. The glued-in battery system and the soldered RAM as seen in the previous generation are also still included, which indicates that no improvements have been made to the accessibility of the new model.

Overall, the teardowns of both new Retina MacBook Pros otherwise yield few surprises compared to the previous models, and the similar challenges of proprietary pentalobe screws, soldered RAM, an integrated display, and glued-in battery system have led iFixit to award each of the new 13-inch and 15-inch models a repairability score of 1 out of 10. Compared to the teardowns of last year’s models, the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro has scored one point lower than the last generation, while the 15-inch MacBook Pro scored the same as the previous model.




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2012’s Biggest Mac Leaks and Rumors

The iPhone and iPad tend to dominate the rumor scene for a number of reasons. Most signficantly, the total audience for iOS devices is larger and growing more rapidly than for Macs. Apple’s Mac line has of course also been growing, but at a much slower pace. Also, given the maturity of the line, changes in the Mac line tend to be more incremental.

Still, looking back, we’ve seen a fair number of Mac-related leaks that preceded each product launch.

Perhaps the most reliable leaks have been from benchmark suites such as Geekbench, as we’ve seen benchmark leaks of unreleased Mac products several times now. These have all turned out to be accurate predictors of final Mac releases, sometimes with a several month lead time.

Here are some of the photo leaks we saw in 2012 for the Mac:

13″ MacBook Pro


13.3″ MacBook Pro Specs – June 2012
This pre-WWDC 13″ MacBook Pro leak revealed that the 13″ MacBook Pro would see little in the way of upgrades. Despite many comments about the easy fake-ability of the leak, the image turned out to be accurate. The 13″ MacBook Pro wouldn’t see Retina upgrades until later in 2012.

15″ MacBook Pro

15″ MacBook Pro logic board – June 2012
This 15″ MacBook Pro logic board shot showed that Apple was switching to NVIDIA GPUs ahead of the launch. It also showed hints that Apple was keeping the current MacBook Pro design around, as the layout was identical to existing models.

iMac

iMac internals and design – October 2012
This was the first we heard of the newly redesigned iMac, which was described as „considerably thinner than the current form factor“.

The redesigned iMac is said to be considerably thinner than the current form factor, with the machine’s thickness almost impossible to gauge when viewed from the side. The curved rear shell is also said to appear more like a water droplet than the squared-off design seen in the current model.

13″ Retina MacBook Pro

13″ Retina MacBook Pro images – October 2012
This was our first look at the thinner 13″ Retina MacBook Pro and showed the various ports and 2560×1600 resolution of the new machine.

MacBook Pro and Retina Lineups

From an informational perspective, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has shown that he has had a clear view of Apple’s timeline and has been able to report accurately on that topic. Kuo was the first to suggest in June that Apple was going to create a separate line of MacBook Pros with Retina displays while keeping the existing product line in place.

Some of the responses in the discussion thread at the time were of disbelief:

That’s stupid.

If the new Macbook line is as powerful as the Pro line, WHY keep the Pro line? What advantage does the Pro offer? A CD drive? Not exactly tempting in today’s day and age. I’d rather take thinner and retina over a stupid CD drive, especially since it looks like it will be priced cheaper than a pro.

Just Axe the old Pro line and rebrand the new Pro line as this thinner/Retina one.

Of course, Apple did splinter the line by introducing a new (more expensive) „Retina“ line of MacBook Pro products. Kuo also predicts that Apple will reintegrate the line in 2013, offering a single 13″ and 15″ MacBook Pro line with Retina displays and doing away with the non-Retina Macbook Pros that are currently being offered.

Mac Pro: Not Dead Yet

Finally, perhaps the most encouraging bit of news from the year for some was the promise that the Mac Pro will see an update in 2013. Tim Cook even responded to a an email from a concerned Mac Pro user. In the email response:

Our pro customers are really important to us…don’t worry as we’re working on something really great for later next year.


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