MacNN and Electronista Deals for December 22, 2014
Welcome to Monday Deals, and let's face it, Christmas is upon us -- there's not really enough time to buy gifts online and receive them in time for the big day. Maybe you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader, want to use your leftover present-buying cash to get yourself a little or not-so-little something, for all that hard work buying for other people. As usual, prices are correct at the time of writing, but may change at a later time, so check before completing orders. Also remember to check back over the next few days, as more deals may be added at a later time.
temp sensors, old iMacs and Yosemite chats
This week in the MacNN Forums, members discuss temperature sensor issues, hard drive compatibility and more. After a temperature sensor blew on the logic board of a Xserve that is run by "Waragainstsleep," he turned to the forums hoping someone would have some advice on how to repair this, so he doesn't have to replace the whole board. Today, a Dedicated MacNNer was looking for help with moving addresses from Leopard to Yosemite.
Mac minis, SSDs and more
Right now at B&H.com, snap up a great deal on a Mac mini, which has seen a $80 discount -- from $999 down to $919. That discount makes this the best price we have seen on this configuration by about $20. It features a 2.8GHz Intel Core i5 Haswell processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 1TB Fusion Drive. It is backed by Apple's standard one-year warranty on parts and labor.
Apple allows Drafts app to retain Notification Center widget
Drafts 4, a note-taking app for iOS, has received an update bringing back its Notification Center widget, which was axed by Apple earlier this month. The widget allows users quick access to simple tools for opening up the app and create a new note. Drafts v4.0.6 also includes a "New from selection" option, found within the document-creation options, as well as URL action steps now having "URL encode tag output" option. Improvements to background refresh and sync handling are also present in the update. Drafts 4 is priced at $5, and requires iOS 8.0 or later.
Christmas, like winter, is coming. Be prepared!
It's not too late, but its getting close. In fact, it's so close that any helping hand might be welcome to help pick presents for the Apple-centric device lover in your life. Good news! We see every conceivable gadget all year -- use our knowledge to benefit you! This week, Electronista and MacNN have suggestions for the best gift options for the Apple fan in your life.
Two- and four-bay models kick off 50T, 51T lines
Taiwanese network storage solutions provider Asustor launched four new NAS devices today. The two- and four-bay models in each of two new lines come in advance of eight- and 10-bay models, which will be released at a later time. 'The new 50T and 51T series NAS devices feature high performance CPUs that can automatically increase their frequency when needed,' said Asustor Product Manager Johnny Chen, adding that the ability provided reliable transcoding and management under load.
In-line digital thermal sensors allow use of company's drives in 2009 and later iMacs
In a post today on its Rocket Yard blog, Other World Computing (OWC) announced a new in-line digital thermal sensor for owners who want to upgrade the hard drives in their iMacs. The sensor kits are compatible with models from 2009 all the way up to the latest 2014 Retina 5K model, allowing the use of third-party replacement hard drives (which the company conveniently sells), overcoming a troublesome proprietary issue on the machines.
13-inch MBP unresponsive
This week in the MacNN Forums Moderator "Thorzdad" and fellow forum-members have been trying to determine why a 13-inch MacBook Pro has suddenly gone unresponsive. It won't boot, light up or make any sounds after failing to recharge two nights ago. With the holidays fast approaching, the debate continues about which phone is a better choice, the iPhone 6 or the iPhone 6+ in a thread started shortly after the phone was released.
$200 off 11.6-inch MBA, now $900
This week at BestBuy.com, save $20 on the current-generation 11.6-inch MacBook Air, which has been discounted from $1,100 down to $900. That price break makes this the best price we have seen by around $80. Free two-day shipping is included, but sales tax applies for residents of most states. This MBA features a 1.4GHz Intel fourth-generation Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, 256GB of solid state storage, and comes with Yosemite pre-installed. Included is a one-year warranty on parts and labor from Apple.
MacNN and Electronista Deals for December 15, 2014
The rush to acquire gifts is mounting, with Christmas just ten short days away and slightly fewer days remaining to receive a delivery on time for the big day. Today's Monday Deals hopes to offer some cut-price suggestions for what you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader, could pick up cheaply to give to your nearest and dearest. As per previous deals posts, pricing is correct at the time of writing and may change between now and when you read this, so always check the price before buying, and come back to this post as more deals are likely to be added to the list later.
MacNN and Electronista deals for December 12, 2014
[Updated with more deals] Christmas is just 13 days away, and unless you spent wisely during Black Friday, you have just two weekends left to buy presents. Hopefully today's Friday Deals, the post where we list the best online deals worthy of the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader, will provide some gift inspiration for you. As always, deal pricing is correct at the time of publication but could change at a later time, so verify the price before purchasing. Also, remember to check back to this post later, as we will continue to add more deals across the weekend.
Can a Sandforce-based SSD thumb drive be used as a portable OS drive?
USB flash drives dealt the death blow to both the floppy and Zip drives. While still faster than either of the old removable media, speeds are still generally measured in tens of megabytes per second, rather than something more speedy -- despite being on the new USB 3.0 bus. VisionTek is one of a few companies offering SSD-class speeds in a removable package -- in this case, the simply-named VisionTek USB Pocket SSD line of thumb drive-sized SSDs. We've lived with a 120GB version for a while, and have used it for various tasks, including as the carrier for a laptop operating system. See what we thought about it.
Other World Computing announces new Aura SSD upgrades for the 2013 Mac Pro
Other World Computing has announced new 1TB and 2TB Aura SSD upgrades for the cylindrical 2013 Mac Pro. Custom-engineered specifically for the current model, the new Aura SSD offers users capacity and performance for high-speed production workflows in audio, film, photo and graphics. It offers transfer speeds up to 730MB per second, and includes a three-year limited warranty. Included with the Aura SSD for Mac Pro is an OWC Envoy Pro external enclosure for the original SSD to create a USB 3.0 external drive. Pre-ordering is now available, with pricing starting at $900.
First SMR hard disks include 5, 6, 8-terabyte options
Seagate has started to ship drives to retailers using a new technology allowing more data to be placed onto drive platters, increasing capacity without increasing the number of platters used. The first drive to use Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) is an 8-terabyte unit billed as an "Archive HDD," intended for use in long-term storage and back-up situations rather than as a performance drive.
HP Envy monitor, iMacs and more
At Amazon, get the HP Envy 32-inch Quad LED-backlit LCD monitor on sale for $433.82 with free shipping. That's a savings of $65 off the list price of $499, and the lowest price we have seen on this by nearly $70. This monitor features a resolution of 2560x1440, a 7ms response time, built-in Beats Audio speakers, wide 178 degree viewing angles, two USB ports, HDMI input, and VESA mounting capabilities. It is backed by a one-year warranty on parts and labor from HP.
Both new drives deliver well more than 500MB/s read speed
Computer upgrade company OWC earlier this week announced a new 1TB OWC 2.5-inch Mercury Electra 6G SATA SSD. The new drive, offering 960GB of addressable storage, boasts sustained transfer rates of up to 535MB/s read and 443MB/s write, with the company boasting that the drive is specifically engineered for Apple upgrades. The new capacity is available now for $449, which is less than the 50-cents-per-GB threshold that marks it as a good value.
Mac OS X 11
OS X 10.10 has only been officially available for a month now, but MacNN forum goers are already looking to the future and discussing what they would like to see in the next major update, which presumably would be known as Mac OS X 10.11. Earlier today, when Forum Regular "michael180" ran into a puzzling problem with Apple Mail not being able to send an image file that was 31MB in size, he turned to the forums looking for some advice.
Mac mini, 2TB Time Capsule, more
At B&H.com this week, get the Mac mini from late 2014 (model no. MGEN2LL/A) on sale for $629. That's a savings of $70 off the list price, and it's $40 less than the lowest price offered anywhere else. This Mac mini features a 2.6GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive. It is backed by a one-year warranty on parts and labor from Apple.
New card pushes 1.1GB/s, faster than striped RAID 2.5-inch SSDs
Sonnet Technologies today announced the Tempo PCIe SSD PCI Express (PCIe) solid state drive card with a 512GB SSD module as the newest member of the Sonnet Tempo family of high-performance storage cards. The Sonnet PCIe SSD card serves as an alternative to traditional storage solutions, mounting a high-performance PCIe SSD on a card that installs into a computer's PCIe expansion card slot.
best SSDs at the lowest prices
This year for Black Friday, there will surely be heaps of discounts on solid state storage devices, with many of those deals showing up online already. Right now, Newegg has the Corsair 240GB Force LS Series internal solid state drive on sale for $115. That's already a discount of 50 percent off the list price, but a $30 rebate card drops the price further to $85. Just that alone makes this the best price out there by nearly $50. Use coupon code 'NAFVC10' and checkout with Visa Checkout to bag an additional $10 in savings.
LG 34-inch monitor, storage and 3D printer
Save $490 on the LG 34-inch UltraWide LED backlight LCD monitor right now at Newegg.com. It carries a retail price of $1,299, but has been slashed to $899. Use coupon code EMCWWHE25 to drop the price further to $809, making this the lowest price we have seen on this monitor by about $90. The LG UltraWide monitor features a resolution of 3440x1440, an aspect ratio of 21:9, 99 percent color reproduction of the sRGB standard, and is compatible with both Mac and PC.
First conference for Apple consultants to take place May 2015 in New Orleans
The first Aces Conference - an independent event for Apple consultants -- is set to be held May 20-21. Located in New Orleans, the inaugural Aces Conference will focus on offering attendees support and information regarding improving a consulting businesses. Some of the speakers confirmed include Victor Agreda Jr. of TUAW.com, and keynote speakers Jeff Gamet of Mac Observer and Jason Womack of GetMomentum.com.
MacNN and Electronista deals for November 17, 2014
Welcome to the first instance of Monday Deals! As the holiday shopping period begins, we are doubling up on the posts where we find deals on gadgets, peripherals, accessories, games, and other items for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader, to make your gift buying time easier. Just like the Friday deals, all prices are correct at the time of publication, but could be different if you are reading this later in the week, so check the deal before purchasing. We're going to keep adding to this until Friday, so check back often!
MacNN and Electronista deals for November 14, 2014
Slowly, like a creeping predator intent on a meal, Black Friday approaches -- but it is not this day! This Friday, like every Friday, we search the Internet for deals on gadgets, peripherals, accessories, apps, and games for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. As usual, all prices are verified at the time of publication, and may or may not be valid if you're reading this at a later date, so check before you buy. Be sure to check over the weekend, as it is likely more deals will be added to the list.
Companion app allows for Camera Roll backups or media steraming
SanDisk has today introduced the iXpand, a new USB flash drive aimed at iOS devices. Unlike most, it incorporates a secondary Lightning connector, allowing owners to plug it directly into an iPhone or iPad. A companion app can be toggled to automatically backup photos and videos from a device's Camera Roll. The app can moreover stream music and videos directly from the drive; compatible movie formats include AVI, MKV, MP4, MOV, and WMV.
Drive brings speed, convenient upgrade for 2012 and 2013 RMBP, iMac models
Apple's Retina line of MacBook Pro notebooks have been impressive, right from their debut in 2012. Thinner than the previous model, they incorporate all of Apple's leading technologies in a slim OS X computing device. The slimness comes with a price: upgradeability is strictly limited. If you didn't buy what you needed initially, you're mostly out of luck. A few vendors have popped up to partially address the situation, among them, MaxUpgrades. The company has recently introduced an aftermarket way to expand 2012 iMac and Retina MacBook Pro computer SSD storage up to 1TB, and we've been living with the 512GB version of their aftermarket storage upgrade for a while -- see what we thought of it!
5K iMac with 3.5GHz i5 processor cut to $2,450
This week at Adorama.com, get the Retina 27-inch iMac on sale for $2,450. That's a savings of $50 off the list price of $2,500, and about $45 less than the lowest price offered anywhere else. This iMac features a Retina 5K display, 3.5GHz Intel quad-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of flash storage, with an AMD Radeon M290X graphics card. Included is a one-year limited warranty on parts and labor from Apple.
Apple Store app currently offering Camera+ app for free
Users of the Apple Store app for iOS can currently access a free download of photography app Camera+. Camera+ is still priced at $3 in its normal place on iTunes, however a free version can be redeemed from the Stores tab when using Apple Store.
MacNN and Electronista deals for October 24, 2014
Its time for Friday Deals! Every Friday, we round up the best deals for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. As usual, all prices are verified at the time of publication, but may not be valid if you're reading this after the weekend, so check before buying. Check back frequently over the weekend, we like to add stuff!
Mac mini from $494, 256 SSD for $135 and more
MacMall.com has already begun dropping prices on brand-new Mac mini configurations. The entry-level Mac mini with a 1.4GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, 500GB hard drive, Intel HD Graphics 5000 and Mac OS X Yosemite has seen a $5 price cut from $499 down to $494, making this the best price we have seen by the same price margin. As always, this Mac mini is backed by Apple's one-year limited warranty on parts and labor, with an optional AppleCare extended warranty available.
Drive can hit over 400MB/s, suitable for operating systems
Accessory manufacturer VisionTek today announced the new VisionTek USB Pocket SSD line of thumb drive-sized SSDs. The USB 3.0 drive can be used with nearly any Windows, OS X, and Linux based system, with performance of up to 455MB/s read and 440MB/s write in a pocket-sized drive.
$120 off 13.3-inch MacBook Pro
Right now at B&H.com, get the 13.3-inch Retina MacBook Pro notebook on sale for $1,280. That's a savings of $120 off the regular price of $1,400, and it is $109 less than the lowest price offered anywhere else. Also provided is a free gift of either security software LoJack or Windows virtual environment software Parallels. This MBP features a 2.4GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of PCIe-based flash storage. A one-year warranty on parts and labor is included from Apple.
Dropbox adds TouchID, support for iPhone 6, 6 Plus
Dropbox has released an update for its iOS app today, featuring new features for iOS 8 and support for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The cloud storage service allows users to access and share their remotely-stored files, including photos, documents and videos. Dropbox v3.5 features new support for TouchID, with fingerprint unlocking now available within the app. Also included is a fix for previewing RTF files on iOS 8, and general stability and performance improvements. Free to download, Dropbox for iOS requires iOS 7.0 or later.
$382 off new Retina 27-inch iMac
It's hard to believe, but Expercom has already managed to secure lower pricing on the brand new 27-inch Retina iMac with a 3.5GHz quad-core i5 processor, 32GB of RAM, 1TB Fusion drive and AMD Radeon R9 M295X 4GB video card. This configuration retails for $3,349 from Apple, but is priced at only $2,942 with $25 for shipping. That's a savings of $382. The only difference is the wait time of 10 days to 3 weeks before it ships, versus Apples' 3-5 day shipping time. As always, this item is backed by Apple's one-year limited warranty on parts and labor.
NeatDesk, iMacs and storage
Today only at BestBuy.com, take advantage of a 50 percent price break on the refurbished NeatDesk sheetfed scanner which has been slashed from $400 down to $200. That's nearly $170 less than buying it anywhere else. Free delivery is available, but sales tax applies for residents of most states. This scanner can be used to scan receipts and documents at a resolution of up to 600dpi with 48-bit depth, and it holds up to 1.5 million documents. It is compatible with Windows XP or Vista, and is backed by a six-month warranty on parts and labor from NeatDesk.
Glassboard closing November 1, all users boosted to premium for archiving
Business-oriented discussion service Glassboard is closing down, with the resultant loss of data, on November 1. Starting next week, the company will be converting all user accounts to premium accounts for the remaining few weeks, so that discussions can be exported. New user signups have been disabled, and the apps have been removed from both the Android and iOS App Store.
Electronista and MacNN deals for October 10, 2014
Columbus Day or Canadian Thanksgiving weekend is upon us! Not only that, but its time for Friday Deals! Every Friday, we round up the best deals for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. As usual, all prices are verified at the time of publication, but may not be valid if you're reading this after the weekend, so check before buying. Check back frequently over the weekend, we like to add stuff!
Requires separate software for Blu-ray movies
NuMac has announced the BluDrive Plus, an unusual new Blu-ray drive for Macs. Merged with it is 2TB of onboard storage, rated at 100MBs (for both reading and writing), which can be accessed via a separate USB 3.0 port. The Blu-ray component relies on its own USB connection.
New chip increases data density, will lower costs and power consumption
Samsung today announced that it has begun mass producing the industry's first 3-bit multi-level-cell (MLC) three-dimensional Vertical NAND (V-NAND) flash memory, for use in solid state drives (SSD). The 3-bit V-NAND is Samsung's latest second generation V-NAND device, which utilizes 32 vertically stacked cell layers per NAND memory chip. Each chip provides 128Gb of memory storage, at a lower cost per die than older technologies.
Pocket-sized solid state drive offers quick reads, falls just short of stated writes
USB thumb drives aren't the end all solutions for data transfer and traveling needs. Sometimes people want something with a little more to them, opting for larger external drives that offer greater capacities, and in some cases faster transfer speeds. One example of a bigger, faster drive is the Patriot Supersonic Phoenix. The drive is offered in a pocket-sized format that is more like a portable hard drive than a USB flash drive. But would the Supersonic Phoenix be something that consumers flock to with its SSD-like features, or should they opt for the smaller thumb drive? Find out in our review.
Pair of researchers engineer hack, post code to shame companies into action
Security researchers Adam Caudill and Brandon Wilson have published source code for a theoretically-unpatchable USB firmware bug called "BadUSB." First revealed at at the Black Hat security conference in July, the two researchers who reverse-engineered the original finding say that they published for the public good, and "so people can defend against it." More severe exploits are possible using their method, but Caudill and Wilson are hesitant to release them, fearing more dangerous exploits.
HighPoint Technologies launches RocketStor 6361A Single-PCIe slot Thunderbolt 2 Expansion Chassis
HighPoint Technologies has announced the launch of the RocketStor 6361A, the newest product within its RocketStor 6300 Thunderbolt 2 Adapter series. A single PCIe-slot Thunderbolt 2 expansion chassis, the RocketStor 6361A is designed for Thunderbolt- and Thunderbolt 2-capable Mac platforms, delivering 20GB/s bandwidth for interface cards such as media capture, 10GB/s Ethernet, Fibre Channel, or external storage/RAID controllers.
Drobo increases Mini capacity, size grows to 8TB with four drives
Connected Data, the creator of the Droboline of storage solutions, today announced the immediate availability of its new Drobo Mini 8TB Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 drive array. The Drobo Mini 8TB bundle features four hot-swappable 2.5" drive bays, pre-loaded with four Samsung Spinpoint M9T 2TB drives. New drives can be added or swapped on-the-fly with zero downtime, as a result of Drobo's BeyondRAID Technology. The Drobo Mini 8TB bundle is available today at an retail price of $999 through Drobo's website and its select channel partners.
Revised dock has eight ports, pass-through Thunderbolt 2 port
Accessory manufacturer Belkin today introduced the Thunderbolt 2 Express Dock HD with cable, a cross-platform docking solution designed for both OS X and Windows-based computers. Equipped with two Thunderbolt 2 ports, the new dock allows users to take full advantage of the technology's high-speed 20Gbps bandwidth, and provides reliable transfers between laptops and up to eight other devices connected through the dock using a single Thunderbolt cable.
How fast can a quartet of hard drives push data across Thunderbolt 2?
Like it or not, the shift to Thunderbolt is underway. The connection is extremely flexible, allowing for video and data to co-habitate on the fast-speed bus. The problem is that the introduction of new ports doesn't preclude the need to use old ports. Highpoint has a solution for those eSATA drive cases in the Thunderbolt 2 RocketStor 6324L host adapter for eSATA devices. Bridging devices for older connectors can be expensive, and sometimes its worth it to replace the enclosure instead -- does the value equation hold up for this speed-oriented adapter? Check our review to find out.
MBP, refurbished Mac Pro and more
At B&H.com this week, a price cut on the 13.3-inch MacBook Pro with Reina display has brought the price down from $1,379 to $1,279. That makes this the lowest price we have seen on this MBP configuration by about $90. Free US shipping is included, along with a free copy of LoJack or Parallels, and there is no sales tax on the deal outside of New York. Buyers can also save $40 on a Canon Pixma wireless inkjet printer, and $50 on a Timbuk2 commute laptop messenger bag. This MacBook Pro features a 2.4GHz Intel core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of PCIe-based flash storage. Included is a one-year warranty on parts and labor from Apple.
On-the-go drive offers USB 2.0 write speeds with inconsistent results
A vast selection of USB memory sticks means that consumers can often find exactly the size drive they need in a configuration that can suit a specific task. From everyday storage that goes on a keychain to super secure drives that require a thumb scan to access data, there's room for all kinds of devices. For buyers looking for something that can be used on both their Android smartphones and computers, Patriot offers a storage solution with the Stellar Boost XT USB drive. But will users find the micro-USB capable drive useful for transferring to and from their phones, or will it end up being a computer-only drive that doesn't get a lot of mileage? Find out in our review.
Drive doubles the capacity of Samsung's largest drive, handles 10 drive writes per day
Samsung had upped the limits on its solid state drives (SSD) today, announcing a new 3.2TB drive for enterprise operations. The company announced that it was putting the SM1715 into mass production, a non-volatile memory express (NVMe) PCIe SSD that is capable of reads up to 3,000 megabytes per second (MB/s) and sequential writes up to 2,200MB/s.
Maxupgrades boosts blade SSDs for iMac, Retina Macbook Pro to 1TB
Macintosh upgrade purveyor Maxupgrades has boosted its expansion SSD line for the Retina Macbook Pro and compatible iMac models. Newly released are 1TB versions of its Blade SSD for the 2012 and early 2013 13- and 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro, plus the 21- and 27-inch 2012 iMacs, based on the Samsung 840 EVO SSD. The new model retails for $479, and is capable of sequential reads of up to 540MB/s and write speeds of 520MB/s, with up to 98,000 operations per second read. The models mentioned are not normally upgradeable, but the company does not appear to provide instructions on the necessary disassembly of the machines, or the tools needed to do so.
Razer bulks up the new RGB LED mouse version with a 10,000DPI optical sensor
Razer announced some additional details for the new Chroma version of the DeathAdder mouse. On top of the 16.3-million-color adjustable LED lighting that was announced in August, Razer is adding a 10,000DPI optical sensor for the mouse. The new sensor is said to support movement speeds up to 200 inches per second, with 50G of acceleration; the same speed of the older version. Previously, however, the DeathAdder had only a 6,400DPI optical sensor.