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More MacBook details: battery life claims, enviro push, more

post #1 of 79
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When Apple revamped its MacBook and MacBook Pro lineups on Tuesday, the company also quietly changed its methods of reporting battery life and also made clear the eco-friendliness of the notebooks, among other changes.

Although first hinted at in its claimed 5 hours of use for the MacBook Air, Apple has now completely changed its approach to measuring battery life with the introduction of the new MacBook lineup.

Instead of reporting the theoretical peak battery life of each system -- a method sometimes criticized for its at times unrealistic conditions -- Apple now bases the figures supplied for all its notebooks on a "wireless productivity" test. The benchmark assumes a user is browsing various websites on Wi-Fi with the screen set to half brightness. In these conditions, the 15-inch MacBook Pro achieves 5 hours of use, while both the 17-inch MacBook Pro and the regular MacBook run for up to 4.5 hours.

This explains why battery life has, at least superficially, gone down despite Penryn's power improvements over the previous generation. Apple press spokesman Anuj Nayar has informed Ars Technica that, if anything, performance has gone up: previous models often expired sooner in the same conditions.

Apple has in the past regularly conducted three different tests to determine how the notebook runs under ideal, moderate, and extreme conditions, Nayar adds. Previous claims always cited the light-duty "highway test," which was allegedly confusing to users. The wireless productivity test splits the balance between this and a DVD playback test, which is often considered one of the hardest tests thanks to its taxing the energy-hungry DVD drive, CPU, and video hardware.

The new metric is not the only undocumented change by the Mac maker, which also notes that its new systems should be more environmentally friendly than old models -- though not as clean as demanded by Greenpeace and other activist groups. Apple describes the "majority" of either system's circuit boards and internal cabling as free of toxic brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and PVC plastic. In his open letter, company chief Steve Jobs said he hoped Apple would completely eliminate both materials from Macs by the end of this year.

The 17-inch MacBook Pro's new LED-backlit option does continue to meet self-imposed goal of moving to mercury-free displays, though the default display uses a mercury-based cold-cathode fluorescent (CCFL) screen.

Other changes known to have been made to the systems are subtle, but worth noting. Buyers of the 13.3-inch MacBook may be disappointed to learn that the new processors, while faster overall, represent a step backwards in terms of their onboard memory cache: the earlier 2GHz and 2.2GHz Core 2 Duo processors carried 4MB of Level 2 cache, while the new models sport only 3MB each.

Also, Apple has for the first time supplied different versions of Bluetooth with its notebooks: the MacBook Pro supports the more recent 2.1 version of the wireless technology, which permits a far simpler pairing process as well as better security and power use. Standard MacBooks continue to use Bluetooth 2.0. No explanation has been given by Apple for the difference.

Prospective buyers of either system might be disappointed to know that the Apple Remote is now a $19 option for both systems rather than a standard, pack-in feature.
post #2 of 79
I just ordered the 17" with LED backlit high res screen and the 7200 rpm 200 GB drive - the LED backlight was my biggest wish, so: thanks Apple.

Another thing worth mentioning: Apple has adjusted (at least some) of the international prices. My order was roughly 400 EUR (595 USD) cheaper today than the "old" model was yesterday. That is basically: free AppleCare or the biggest part of a 1 TB Time Capsule. This was a great day
post #3 of 79
I can't wait to hear the ranting and ravings about the "Apple" is screwing "us" on the L2 Cache.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dreyfus2 View Post

I just ordered the 17" with LED backlit high res screen and the 7200 rpm 200 GB drive - the LED backlight was my biggest wish, so: thanks Apple.

Hasn't LED backlit available on the 17" MBPs as an option for awhile now?
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post #4 of 79
What do you think of the LED displays?
When I was looking at the macbook air a few days ago, I noticed it has about a 3 degree view angle??? Move your head a few inches left or right, especially up and down, and the color/brightness shifts big time.
Based on what i've seen in the Macbook Air, LED displays are useless to any creative professionals.
post #5 of 79
5 hours. LOL.

My 2.33 ghz MBP has NEVER gotten 3 hours. Not once. The typical operating time is 2 hours. 1.5, if things are heavy.

That's on a new (<1 year old) machine in typical "power user" tasks... such as web browsing, iTunes, and obviously using some backlight as well, in order to see properly.

5 hours is a complete load of crap. Nowhere near reality.
post #6 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreyfus2 View Post

I just ordered the 17" with LED backlit high res screen and the 7200 rpm 200 GB drive - the LED backlight was my biggest wish, so: thanks Apple.

Another thing worth mentioning: Apple has adjusted (at least some) of the international prices. My order was roughly 400 EUR (595 USD) cheaper today than the "old" model was yesterday. That is basically: free AppleCare or the biggest part of a 1 TB Time Capsule. This was a great day

Speaking of which, where is Time Capsule? Has it shipped yet? It better not get a push back like the SDK...
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post #7 of 79
From Apple's web site:

LED backlit displays
Both 15-inch MacBook Pro models feature power-saving, LED backlit widescreen displays. And now you can even configure the 17-inch model with the ultimate creative canvas 1920 by 1200 pixels with LED backlighting.
post #8 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

while faster overall, represent a step backwards in terms of their onboard memory cache: the earlier 2GHz and 2.2GHz Core 2 Duo processors carried 4MB of Level 2 cache, while the new models sport only 3MB each.

The tragedy is they will complain - ignoring the result in favour of the theory. We've become a bunch of PC spec-monkeys!!

Any news on when OSX will actually use SSE4?

McD
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post #9 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by bwik View Post

5 hours. LOL.

My 2.33 ghz MBP has NEVER gotten 3 hours. Not once. The typical operating time is 2 hours. 1.5, if things are heavy.

That's on a new (<1 year old) machine in typical "power user" tasks... such as web browsing, iTunes, and obviously using some backlight as well, in order to see properly.

5 hours is a complete load of crap. Nowhere near reality.

In college, I had a 5-hour block of classes. I basically had 4 hours of uptime (there were large breaks in between the classes) I was still able to get back to my room with 10-15% of battery left if I turned off Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and dimmed the screen. I have a 1.33 PB G4, and although those restrictions might seem like a pain, they were prefect for keeping me paying attention in class.
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post #10 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by McDave View Post

The tragedy is they will complain - ignoring the result in favour of the theory. We've become a bunch of PC spec-monkeys!!

hehehe
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post #11 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by rain View Post

What do you think of the LED displays?
When I was looking at the macbook air a few days ago, I noticed it has about a 3 degree view angle??? Move your head a few inches left or right, especially up and down, and the color/brightness shifts big time.
Based on what i've seen in the Macbook Air, LED displays are useless to any creative professionals.

I've written 9 tv scripts, three features. half a novel and lots of pitches and bibles since August when I got my 15" MBP with an LED. If that constitutes being a "creative professional," then the LED's work just fine.
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post #12 of 79
Apple's Bluetooth 2.1 implementation is missing the NFC reader, so it isn't that exciting.

I want touch-to-pair!!!
post #13 of 79
The two biggest piles of BS in the computer word is Battery Life and Hard Disk size. 5 hours in real life use = 3 hours tops and a 200 GB HD is really about 175. I know the Bites thing but it's just another twist. I mean at this point with hard drives being so big why not just say 175GB? We'd buy still buy it.
post #14 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I can't wait to here the ranting and ravings about the "Apple" is screwing "us" on the L2 Cache.


But you don't understand! In Final Cut Pro on my macbook with 4mb L2 cache with 256mb ram an hdv render took 8 hours!!!

Now with 3mb L2 cache with 256mb ram that same render is taking a staggering 11 days!!

Apple has screwed me right in the a***ole!
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post #15 of 79
Didnt see in the article, but Apple removed the Apple Remote from the default set. If you want it you can buy it for $20 if you want.. Not a big thing, just wanted to notify you..
post #16 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecking View Post

But you don't understand! In Final Cut Pro on my macbook with 4mb L2 cache with 256mb ram an hdv render took 8 hours!!!

Now with 3mb L2 cache with 256mb ram that same render is taking a staggering 11 days!!

Apple has screwed me right in the a***ole!

What am I missing here? Where did this data come from? Why do you only have 256 MB of Ram? And why are you trying put 10 lbs. of potatoes in a a 5 pound sack? Don't you know you are supposed to use a Mac Pro for HD video rendering?

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post #17 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I can't wait to here the ranting and ravings about the "Apple" is screwing "us" on the L2 Cache.




Hasn't LED backlit available on the 17" MBPs as an option for awhile now?

There has been a high res and a glossy option for the previous 17" - the highres option being LED is new. My GF has the 15" with LED and I have been dying to get that in the 17".
post #18 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by rain View Post

What do you think of the LED displays?
When I was looking at the macbook air a few days ago, I noticed it has about a 3 degree view angle??? Move your head a few inches left or right, especially up and down, and the color/brightness shifts big time.
Based on what i've seen in the Macbook Air, LED displays are useless to any creative professionals.

The LED displays are gorgeous - instant on, no colour-shifts during warm-up, wider gamut, no need to re-calibrate every other week, longer life-time... and less power consumption and less dangerous materials used as a bonus. Nothing not to like about them as far as I can see.

You may check Rob Galbraith - http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/con...id=7-8741-9027 if I am not creative enough

Have not seen a MBA in person yet - so I cannot compare, definitely no problems with my GFs 15" MBP. You will see some blue shifts at extreme angles, but that is a general feature of LED displays. At the same extreme angles any CCFL backlit display will show much more severe colour shifts.
post #19 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heymike2 View Post

From Apple's web site:

LED backlit displays
Both 15-inch MacBook Pro models feature power-saving, LED backlit widescreen displays. And now you can even configure the 17-inch model with the ultimate creative canvas 1920 by 1200 pixels with LED backlighting.

From MBP Tech Specs...

Quote:
15.4-inch (diagonal) antiglare widescreen TFT LED backlit display with support for millions of colors; optional glossy widescreen display

I'm a little confused though because I haven't heard anything else about this (besides the quoted post and the page I just mentioned).

Isn't LED supposed to be a big deal? Seems like if this feature is for real it would have been touted a bit more. I'm even more confused because it's being touted as an option on the 17" model. I just bought the new 15" MBP and can't find that feature on any of the receipts, none of the rumor sites... nothing. Just thought I'd put that out there and see what others know. Thanks.
post #20 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by thelocalshredder View Post

Isn't LED supposed to be a big deal? Seems like if this feature is for real it would have been touted a bit more. I'm even more confused because it's being touted as an option on the 17" model. I just bought the new 15" MBP and can't find that feature on any of the receipts, none of the rumor sites... nothing. Just thought I'd put that out there and see what others know. Thanks.

The LED feature has been discussed ad nauseam when the last line of MBPs was released and is standard in all 15" models and the MBA. Anything that is standard will not be listed on a receipt. Nothing has changed about the 15" displays, the only news here is that one can optionally order the high resolution display with LED backlight for the 17" model. So, nothing to worry about.
post #21 of 79
if only Apple took all environmental issues so seriously...


WHY does the packing for third-party Apple Licensed products (e.g. cases, iTrips, software etc) have to be so excessive?

Does a rubber ipod case need to be contained in thick cardboard and plastic packaging yet the ipod itself comes in a tiny cardboard box?!

Apple has the power to dictate to the third party manufacturers (which it licenses) to ensure that they comply with Apple's own environmental policy. And if they don't comply, they shouldn't stock it. The manufacturers will soon full their fingers out...


.
post #22 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecking View Post

But you don't understand! In Final Cut Pro on my macbook with 4mb L2 cache with 256mb ram an hdv render took 8 hours!!!

Now with 3mb L2 cache with 256mb ram that same render is taking a staggering 11 days!!

Apple has screwed me right in the a***ole!

I call bullsh*t.

How do you get 256 MB of RAM in a MacBook? And who in the world would be stupid enough to try?
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post #23 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by bwik View Post

5 hours. LOL.

My 2.33 ghz MBP has NEVER gotten 3 hours. Not once. The typical operating time is 2 hours. 1.5, if things are heavy.

That's on a new (<1 year old) machine in typical "power user" tasks... such as web browsing, iTunes, and obviously using some backlight as well, in order to see properly.

5 hours is a complete load of crap. Nowhere near reality.

That's funny - I get over 4 hours on my MacBook Pro 17". What are you doing that you only get 2 hours? Have you tried calibrating the battery as you're supposed to and possibly dimming the screen a bit? What could you possibly be doing to get 1.5 hours of battery life?
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post #24 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by jawporta View Post

5 hours in real life use = 3 hours tops

I've never had a problem getting the reported battery life. If they say a machine will get 5 hours battery life with the wireless off and the screen at one bar of brightness (Apple's old test), it will. Whether that's useful to you or not is another question, but no one lied to you.

Apple's new test is wireless web browsing (presumably with no Flash or Java or Javascript) at half screen brightness. Again, I see no reason to doubt the numbers they quote. If you get a lower battery life, you are doing something more taxing. It doesn't take a genius to work out the less you tax the system, the longer the battery will last.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jawporta View Post

and a 200 GB HD is really about 175.

No it isn't. It's 200 GB or 186 GiB, which are both the exact same number of bytes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jawporta View Post

I mean at this point with hard drives being so big why not just say 175GB?

Because that wouldn't be correct. A 200 GB drive really is a 200 GB drive, in fact you usually get a little bit more than the stated capacity. (My HDD's stated capacity is 100 GB but it's actually 100,030,242,816 Bytes = 100.03 GB).

The real question you have to ask is why does Mac OS X (and Windows) incorrectly report that number of bytes as 93.2 GB? Either the number should be bigger (100.03), or the units should be GiB.
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post #25 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

No it isn't. It's 200 GB or 186 GiB, which are both the exact same number of bytes.

Because that wouldn't be correct. A 200 GB drive really is a 200 GB drive, in fact you usually get a little bit more than the stated capacity. (My HDD's stated capacity is 100 GB but it's actually 100,030,242,816 Bytes = 100.03 GB).

The real question you have to ask is why does Mac OS X (and Windows) incorrectly report that number of bytes as 93.2 GB? Either the number should be bigger (100.03), or the units should be GiB.

I can only guess this was originally a marketing tactic, but with this huge capacities that have come out people are seeing the difference more and more. Yet no one seems to know the difference between the common (10^nx3) and binary (2^nx10) prefixes, much less how to do the math on them.

At this point it's a pet peeve of mind to hear that it's due to formatting or, with the iPhone, it's due to the OS.
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post #26 of 79
Its a let down to know the new MB cache is smaller then the previous MB model, why did Apple change it?

And the $20 Apple Remote is a joke, all laptop manufacturer's are offering their media remote for free, why is Apple doing this stuffs?

They are not getting enough money from the AppleTV and iTunes (which is now ranked no.2)?
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post #27 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelhot View Post

Its a let down to know the new MB cache is smaller then the previous MB model, why did Apple change it?

WHY, GOD, WHY?
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post #28 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelhot View Post

Its a let down to know the new MB cache is smaller then the previous MB model, why did Apple change it?

Intel changed it, not Apple. The L2 cache is part of the CPU die.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelhot View Post

manufacturer's

The plural of "manufacturer" is "manufacturers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelhot View Post

are offering their media remote for free, why is Apple doing this stuffs?

Not everyone wants the remote. It's a good way for Apple to make more money and produce less waste (an unused remote is waste).
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post #29 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelhot View Post

Its a let down to know the new MB cache is smaller then the previous MB model, why did Apple change it?

If you check the Penryn specs (http://www.intel.com/products/proces...e2duo+tab_spec) you will see that they would have to put a 2.5 GHz CPU in to offer more than 3 MB L2 cache - this would have brought the MB's price too close to the MBP, at least for the time being. They will likely have another spec change around late summer and things might be better then - the production of Penryn CPUs is still limited and prices will come down in a while.
post #30 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

What am I missing here? Where did this data come from? Why do you only have 256 MB of Ram? And why are you trying put 10 lbs. of potatoes in a a 5 pound sack? Don't you know you are supposed to use a Mac Pro for HD video rendering?

heeheehee...
post #31 of 79
the led backlight is a huge improvement. I wish my powerbook had one.
post #32 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbay View Post

Didnt see in the article, but Apple removed the Apple Remote from the default set. If you want it you can buy it for $20 if you want.. Not a big thing, just wanted to notify you..

For AppleInsiders readers only:

5% off the $20 price for the remote if you buy one in the next 24 hours for the low price of $19 !!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Not everyone wants the remote. It's a good way for Apple to make more money and produce less waste (an unused remote is waste).

Actually, an unused remote is a paperweight!

But, I agree that most of the remotes that came with MacBooks are not used and Apple can adjust profitability slightly by not giving them away.
post #33 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I can't wait to here the ranting and ravings about the "Apple" is screwing "us" on the L2 Cache.

The huge caches didn't really seem to help as much as we might think anyway.

Quote:
Hasn't LED backlit available on the 17" MBPs as an option for awhile now?

It's possible, but I wasn't aware of it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rain View Post

What do you think of the LED displays?
When I was looking at the macbook air a few days ago, I noticed it has about a 3 degree view angle??? Move your head a few inches left or right, especially up and down, and the color/brightness shifts big time.
Based on what i've seen in the Macbook Air, LED displays are useless to any creative professionals.

It's LED backlight, not LED display. That's unfortunate that you saw that, but LED backlighting is probably independent of the display substrate type. The MBPro probably uses a different substrate than the MBAir. I haven't seen that in the MBPro LED backlit display.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heymike2 View Post

From Apple's web site:

LED backlit displays
Both 15-inch MacBook Pro models feature power-saving, LED backlit widescreen displays. And now you can even configure the 17-inch model with the ultimate creative canvas — 1920 by 1200 pixels with LED backlighting.

The previous revision of the 15" was all LED backlit too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jawporta View Post

The two biggest piles of BS in the computer word is Battery Life and Hard Disk size. 5 hours in real life use = 3 hours tops and a 200 GB HD is really about 175. I know the Bites thing but it's just another twist. I mean at this point with hard drives being so big why not just say 175GB? We'd buy still buy it.

Hard disk size was never a joke, nor is it inaccurately sold. The problem is that the computer reports sizes relative 2^10, the marketing size of hard drives are reported in terms of 10^3. All retail hard drives tell you in billion of bytes (1 000 000 000) and you were sold that, whereas the computer GB is 1.07 GB (1 073 741 824). The difference isn't even as bad as you say, on 1TB, you "lose" only 60GB, so your number should be reported as 186GB.
post #34 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Not everyone wants the remote. It's a good way for Apple to make more money and produce less waste (an unused remote is waste).

Who sells a product that uses a remote without including the remote? NOBODY!
I can understand not including certain cables but the machine accepts a remote- INCLUDE IT!
This is a bad business policy and hurts goodwill. Not everybody already owns the remote- this is CHEESY.
post #35 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by DCJ001 View Post

But, I agree that most of the remotes that came with MacBooks are not used and Apple can adjust profitability slightly by not giving them away.

How do you know people don't use the remotes? Show me the stats on this - a link perhaps?
post #36 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Who sells a product that uses a remote without including the remote? NOBODY!

A few hi-end HiFi manufacturers do it. And now Apple does too.

The point is that the IR remote control is not the main feature of a MacBook or MacBook Pro. Why manufacture all those remotes just so they can sit around unused in people's homes all over the world and eventually after several years of not being used, end up in landfill?
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post #37 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

A few hi-end HiFi manufacturers do it. And now Apple does too.

The point is that the IR remote control is not the main feature of a MacBook or MacBook Pro. Why manufacture all those remotes just so they can sit around unused in people's homes all over the world and eventually after several years of not being used, end up in landfill?

Who sells a product and it's remote separately? Please name names. Thank you.
post #38 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

The point is that the IR remote control is not the main feature of a MacBook or MacBook Pro. Why manufacture all those remotes just so they can sit around unused in people's homes all over the world and eventually after several years of not being used, end up in landfill?


If Apple is that environmentally conscious then they should include a prepaid envelope to mail back the remote if you don't want it. There should also be a toll free number to return those that already exist if this is such an environmental issue. This is only about making more money.
post #39 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

If Apple is that environmentally conscious then they should include a prepaid envelope to mail back the remote if you don't want it. There should also be a toll free number to return those that already exist if this is such an environmental issue. This is only about making more money.

They should not include it at all and avoid the production and shipping altogether.

They should also only supply the keys that you wish to buy. For instance, I can't recall ever using the Cap Locks, F8, F9, F10, F11, fn or Enter key.
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post #40 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

They should not include it at all and avoid the production and shipping altogether.

They should also only supply the keys that you wish to buy. For instance, I can't recall ever using the Cap Locks, F8, F9, F10, F11, fn or Enter key.

And who needs the iSight camera- if you can't print the picture- right?
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