Browsing all articles from June, 2014

2014/2015 Retina MacBook Pro – the perfect storm?!

Let me preface this ramble by saying that I’ve recently switched from my trusty old Dell laptop to a top-of-the-line MacBook Pro 15″ with Retina Display… and I’ve been almost in love ever since. šŸ˜‰

Backstory… or: “How this one guy became an absolute Apple fan(atic)”:

(feel free to skip)

When it comes to desktop computing, I grew up on Windows — as many of us did…

When smartphones first came out, I naturally picked up an HTC HD2 that ran on Windows Mobile 6.5. While the phone was amazing for its time, I have to admit the OS sucked pretty bad. Soon enough, though, I was able to flash an Android ROM which essentially made my HTC HD2 an Android phone — and from that point on, I just kept on upgrading to new Android phones because they felt familiar.

I never really questioned any of those two decisions. Windows + Android. It was just the way things were.

Then, back in 2012, I had to wait for someone in the middle of a shopping mall. I was bored. I wandered into an Apple Store and started toying around with the first retina iPad. I loved how silky smooth everything felt. It was a spur of the moment thing, but I though “I gotta see why everyone is making such a fuss about Crapple” so I bought it. My first iPad.

Over the next couple of weeks, I fell in love with it. Everyhing just… well… worked.

Being a clumsy bastard, I soon enough broke the screen of my trusty Samsung Galaxy S2 Android phone that I owned till 2013… which gave me the opportunity to promptly replace it with a brand-new iPhone 5S. Loved it since day 1. And as soon as I could, I replaced my first iPad with a brand new iPad Air, too.

Now, the final step took some extra time. I knew IĀ wantedĀ a retina MacBook Pro. But I kept on finding new excuses not to get one. My Windows laptop was justĀ soĀ familiar, and I was beingĀ soĀ productive with it. And running a software company, it seemed pretty important that I feel comfortable and productive with the only tool I’m using to run my business, i.e. my laptop.

Still, I kept on inching closer and closer to making the jump. Then, watching Apple’s live stream of their annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), I’ve seen them demo the new Continuity features. Making phone calls directly from your MacBook through your iPhone. Sending texts from your MacBook’s comfortable keyboard through your iPhone. Setting up a WiFi hotspot with a single click. That was the final straw that broke the camel’s back for me.

I ran out the next morning and got myself a top-of-the-line retina MacBook Pro 15″. I’ve had it for 10 days now. Every single day it has blown my mind. I never imagined how amazing it would be. The retina screen is to die for. It’s got crazy battery life. It’s thin and light. It’s always silent. The trackpad, oh my god, theĀ trackpad! And custom gestures with BetterTouchTool that allow me to control absolutely everything! I could merge PDFs with Preview right out of the box. I could “print to PDF” right out of the box. There’s the Terminal, with SSH connectivity built right in. My music, photos, and books all sync wirelessly between my MacBook, iPad, and iPhone. Plus, I can easily stream audio through AirPlay to my 5.1 home theater system while I’m chilling on the couch in the living room. It’s heavenly.

I’m hooked now. I’m curious to see what’s next. That’s why I’ve rolled up my sleeves andĀ decided to find out.

2014/2015 Retina MacBook Pro – the perfect storm?!

The more I dive into my research, the more it seems that the next rMBP (retina MacBook Pro) is going to be absolutely amazing. Hear me out.

Intel is on the verge of releasing their next generation of CPU chips, i.e. their Broadwell chips. These chips are supposed to require 30% less battery juice to keep ’em going.

Nvidia is also almost ready with their Maxwell GPU chips. Now, admittedly this is only interesting if you’re thinking about getting a top-of-the-line rMBP with discrete graphics — but again, we’re looking atĀ at leastĀ a 30% decrease in power consumption. Probably 40%. Crazy stuff.

But we’re not stopping there. Apple is now using IGZO technology for the display in iPad Air. Remember how the iPad kept the same 10 hour battery life while gettingĀ wayĀ thinner and lighter? This was in large part thanks to the IGZO technology making the display significantly less power-hungry. I won’t go into details about what the IGZO technology actually is, but if you’re interested,Ā check out this post. I thought it was a great read.

Now, I think it’s time to start using IGZO for the display in retina MacBook Pros as well. Again, we’re looking at a stunning 50% decrease in battery juice required.

Finally, as a rule-of-thumb, let’s assume that since the release of late-2013 rMBPs the technology moved forward in general. I think it’s safe to say that other rMBP components probably became 5% more efficient (SSDs, RAM, etc.) and that battery capacity per pound-of-battery-weight increased 5% over the course of the last year as well.

We’re now ready to do some guesstimating and mental exercising.Ā Warning:Ā a gross simplification ahead. Let’s assume the following power consumption breakdown for the current rMBPs: 35% CPU, 35% display, 10% dedicated GPU (because it’s rarely used), 20% other hardware such as SSD, RAM, etc.

Now, with the power consumption improvements described above, this transforms quiteĀ dramatically: (35% CPU x 70% power consumption because of Haswell) + (35% display x 50% power consumption because of IGZO) + (10% dedicated GPU x 70% power consumption because of Broadwell) + (20% other hardware x 95% power consumption because of general technology advances).

In other words, that’s 25% CPU + 18% display + 7% GPU + 19% other hardware. That’s only 69% of the power consumption of current rMBPs! But wait… it getsĀ even better!

My current rMBP 15″ officially comes with 8 hours of battery life… although this seems like a conservative estimate in my experience — I seem to easily get 9 hours of battery life out of my rMBP on a regular basis.

Anyway, using just 69% of the battery juice, the current 8 hour battery life extends to a stunning 8 / 0.69 = 11.6 hour battery life. But we also assumed battery capacity per lb would increase 5% before the 2014/2015 rMBP comes out. This takes us even further, to 12.2 hours of battery life in the current rMBP form factor.

I don’t think Apple is going to keep the current form factor, though. My guess is, they will ship the next rMBPs with a 10 hour battery life, and cut the size andĀ weightĀ of the battery by 20%, allowing for a brand new & positively stunning form factor.

My guess is we’re going to see a 15″ rMBP that’s .62 inches (16 mm) thin and weighs under 4 lbs (1.8 kg). All this while delivering better performance all around. It’s truly going to be the best MacBook yet. šŸ˜‰

My ramble thusly concludes. It’s Apple’s turn now.


What about… Spin Rewriter… 5.0?!


Could it be…

Are we working like crazy on the next version of Spin Rewriter? And… is it going to knock your socks off?

…We’re not saying. Yet. šŸ˜€

All we can say is, if and when Spin Rewriter 5.0 is released, all Spin Rewriter 4.0 users will be getting a free full upgrade to 5.0! šŸ˜‰

…and yeah, it’s probably going to knock your socks off. šŸ˜€


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