MacBook Pro 2016 Review – It’s going back (Updated)

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Date: Thursday, December 29th, 2016, 15:41
Category: Hardware, MacBook Pro, Review, Uncategorized

My 2016 MacBook Pro is going back.

I can’t think of the last time I returned a new Mac. I’m a textbook early adopter and have always purchased new Macs (especially notebooks) day and date when they come out.

Like most Mac users on the planet, I eagerly awaited Apple’s 2016 MacBook Pro refresh – 500 days in the making. I chose the 13-inch MacBook Pro (over the larger, 15-inch) to replace an aging MacBook Air 13-inch in my fleet.

I ordered mine (MBP 13.3 Space Gray, 256GB, S3136LL/A) on October 27, 2016 and it arrived on November 18, 2016.

My use case

Laptops, like mobile phones, are extremely personal devices. Your mileage will vary.

My 13-inch MBP is primarily for use on my lap. I have a large monitor/keyboard/mouse setup (when I need it) at home and work, so I don’t need the largest screen possible on my laptop.

I also use it on the couch, in my recliner, at the kitchen table, coffee shop, shuttle bus, airplane, train, and Uber. I value light weight over tons of ports. I prefer the 13-inch model over the 15-inch because I commute by bicycle and the 13-inch weighs a pound less:

  • MacBook Pro 13-inch – 3.02 pounds (1.37 kg)
  • MacBook Pro 15-inch – 4.02 pounds (1.83 kg)

While not quite my “weekend/vacation” laptop (the minimalist MacBook 12-inch would be better there), my MBP13 isn’t my workhorse/power user Mac either (I need discrete graphics for that), so it’s somewhere in between. I’m looking for a MacBook with a better screen to replace my MacBook Air 13-inch.

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Apple leads in holiday device activations, down 5 percent year over year

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Date: Thursday, December 29th, 2016, 05:45
Category: Android, Hardware, iOS, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, News, Samsung, Software

The Christmas gifts have been exchanged, the Chanukah ones are being given this week and it looks like Apple is leading the pack in terms of smartphone activations for the 2016 holidays.

This year, 44% of new phone and tablet activations were Apple devices with Samsung seeing 21%. While Samsung is slowly growing in popularity throughout the holiday season, up 1% from last year, Apple devices continue to be the gift to give. Holding the third and fourth positions for activations are Huawei and LG; which is remarkable, as both manufacturers do not have an individual device within the top 35 devices activated. Their high rank is likely due to the fact that they have wide variety of devices and affordable options (hundreds of phablet and medium phones) for consumers to choose from.

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Apple releases first scholarly research paper, discusses use of artificial intelligence to help improve recognition of images in computer vision systems

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Date: Thursday, December 29th, 2016, 05:07
Category: Hardware, News, Software

Apple has entered the world of academia.

Last week, the company published its first scholarly research paper with an article covering methods of improving recognition in computer vision systems, marking a new direction for the traditionally secretive company.

The paper, titled “Learning from Simulated and Unsupervised Images through Adversarial Training,” was submitted for review in mid-November before seeing publication through the Cornell University Library on Dec. 22.

The article arrives less than a month after Apple declared that it would no longer bar employees from publishing research relating to artificial intelligence.

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