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  • Cricut Maker review: Extremely versatile machine that needs software innovation

    I had a Cricut Explore Air 2, and used it less than 3 times, before upgrading to a Silhouette Cameo 4. Silhouette Studio is also much more robust, especially if you find a deal on the Pro version (I got mine for a one-time $50). Cricut is very limited, and the pricing is insane for all the better quality you get. The almost-required monthly subscription is another slap in the face to Cricut users.

    When you want to step up in the world of plotters, look into the offerings from USCutter. I had their SC2 28" before our home burned down last November. It was a solid budget machine that's Mac compatible. The included Sure Cuts A Lot Pro (the Mac-compatible app) is very capable, and I upgraded to the latest version at a very reasonable price on their website. When I replaced it, I went with their PrismCut 28", which has WiFi. It's a great pro-level plotter for under $1,000. 

    The only thing made by Cricut that I buy is their weeding tool. Those truly are nice. As for their vinyl? Overpriced garbage. EasyPress? For the money, buy a real heat press. 
  • Apple's macOS Monterey causing problems with some USB-C hubs & docks

    I'm using a Plugable USB-C hub, and all seems fine so far with my M1 MacBook Pro. 
  • Compared: Apple's 16-inch MacBook Pro vs the 2019 15-inch MacBook Pro

    Soli said:
    laytech said:
    davgreg said:
    It surprises me that Apple has not included FaceID in the newer Mac laptops. It does not seem like it would be that difficult a thing to do.

    It looks like a nice laptop if the larger sized units are your thing. I recently bought a MacBook Air which is more to my needs.

    I do doubt the claimed battery life. I have never seen an Apple laptop live up to the claimed battery life and have owned a bunch over the years.
    Yes, I completely agree. Whilst Touch ID is great, the convenience of simply lifting up your screen to be automatically logged in would be a huge benefit. I'd like to see it automatically switch you to your screen if some else is logged in. An odd omission.
    Maybe that's what they're waiting for. Face ID on iDevices can currently only do a single face while Touch ID allowed for multiple fingers to be recorded. Perhaps there's a limitation with multiple faces and multiple accounts, as traditional OSes allow.
    Actually, iOS has had the ability to add a 2nd face for Face ID since iOS 12. In Settings> Face ID & Passcode> Set Up an Alternate Appearance.

    With that said, I’ve been using the new 12.9” iPad Pro since shortly after it’s introduction, and it replaced my 12” MacBook as my primary computing device. Having Face ID has been fantastic, and I’d have a hard time going back to a computer without it. Looks like I’ll keep holding off until Apple adds Face ID to the MacBook Pro line before I make the plunge. Though, in all fairness, unlocking my 12” MacBook with my Apple Watch was pretty good, but still not as good as Face ID. 
  • New 'iPhone 11 Max' case renders back triple-lens camera, Lightning port

    mattinoz said:
    I can't believe so called Apple Experts are presisting with "iPhone11". Apple have rebranded and X will be part faceID iPhone brand for some time to come I'd say.
    I'd put money on it being "iPhone Xt"  for the OLED models and " iPhone Xq" for the LCD.

    It’s pretty clear that you’re in that group that fails to look up information. The iPhone “X” is pronounced iPhone “TEN,” not “ex.” The XS is pronounced “TEN S.” In a world with one thing pretty universal, numbers, 11 comes after 10. iPhone 11, if Apple names as such, will be branded XI - Roman numerals for the number 11. Hey, you don’t have to believe me. Just watch the iPhone keynotes from the past two years where everyone on stage calls them “TEN (S).” 

    I’d bet you’re on of the ones who calls it Mac OS “ex,” instead of “10,” aren’t you? It’s ok, as many of us made that mistake at some point. 
  • Benchmarked: Razer Blade Stealth versus 13-inch MacBook Pro with function keys

    deminsd said:
    doggone said:
    Sure parents will generally not spend a lot on a kids computer.  They can buy any laptop for less that $500.  It will likely be heavy, easily get loaded with Malware and fall to pieces after a few years. Go ahead and get a PC if that is for you.
    Every Mac I have bought has lasted over 5 years.  And I don't have to worry about software, OS or security. Their longevity and staying power seems to be increasing over time.  My 1st gen rMBP has lasted for 6 years and is still as fast as it was when I got it.   The 2016 MBP is even better because it has a smaller footprint and is 50% lighter with the same screen size.  
    HD die a lot faster than SSD, especially those for laptops.  SSDs are a lot faster and are no longer a huge bottleneck.  How often does a motherboard die, and even it is does a Time Machine back up can restore everything if you have it set up properly.
    If you are using a MBP for professional applications then wouldn't you have a external monitor, keyboard, mouse etc. The 15 inch MBP has 4 TB3 ports that allow you to configure externals how you like.  I got a dock that provides all the back compatibility I need and can charge from either side. Way more flexible that in the past.

    The way I see your math, a $500 Windows laptop lasts "a few years"...a few means at least 3 (or it would be a couple).  $500 for 3 years.  Then another $500 for a newer machine, faster, later tech, etc. for another 3 years.  At this point, your $1500 6 year old MBP is looking pretty old and SLOW compared to that $500 Windows machine.  And that Windows machine can be upgraded.  Bigger SSD's, more memory, etc.  Your stuck with whatever Apple has glued into your MBP.  Forever.  Or until you shell out another $2000 to replace it.

    I get people religiously want macOS.  But it's a losing argument when it comes to hardware, value and the ability to cheaply upgrade the performance and capacity of a Windows PC.    And, reliability these days isn't even an issue with Windows PC.  It's all the same hardware now!

    I’ll help you with your value equation a little. And, no... it’s not all the same hardware. Apple doesn’t use many off-the-shelf components. Most are custom designs, and Apple designs their own logic boards.

    When it’s time to sell that 3 year old, barely running, $500 Windows computer, if it can be sold, it might be worth $50 - $100, if you’re lucky. To buy new, you’re basically forking out the whole cost. You might replace it with another $500 machine, with $100 back in your pocket from selling the old one, meaning it’s now $400... x 2 cycles (6 years), so $900... plus the cost of maintenance software (anti-virus etc.), and the dreaded update Tuesdays that take several hours of production time away while it forces you to do updates. Let’s not forget Microsoft’s cut for a major OS update, so that could be another $100 or so. You’re at a minimum of $900 investment to use the Windows machine for 6 years. Then, when you sell that one to start your next 3 year cycle, you’re up to $1,300 out of pocket so far. If you’re spending a lot more on the Windows PC, the return on investment gets much worse (see below).

    My case? My last PC was a custom ordered $1,400 Dell back in 2007. Vista killed it for me and Windows, so it was sold a little over a year later. The winning bid on eBay was $325. I bought my first MacBook for $1,600, and never looked back. 

    When it’s time to sell that 6 year old, $1,500 MacBook Pro, it’ll still be worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $600 - $800. Now it’s time to upgrade to another $1,500 MacBook Pro... We’ll average it out to $700 returned on selling the used one. You’re out of pocket cost to start year 7 is effectively $800. Overall investment for 7 years is $2,300. The more these upgrade/selling cycles happen, the more it levels off over the years. The next upgrade cycle, starting year 13, is about $3,100 total investment. 

    I had my first ($1,600) MacBook for a little over 2 years, and sold it for $1,150. 

    As I always tell people, the biggest expense is the initial upfront investment for the Mac. After that, when considering resale value, it gets a lot more affordable to upgrade to a newer model.  

    Let’s try this with more expensive Windows machines, which a LOT of them are going the MacBook route with soldered, non-upgradeable parts.

    $1,500 initial purchase. 
    $300 resale after 3 years.
    $1,200 out of pocket for the next 3 years.
    $300 resale after 3 years.
    $2,400 overall investment starting year 7. 

    $300 resale after 3 years.
    $3,600 overall investment starting year 10. 
    $300 resale after 3 years.
    $4,800 overall investment starting year 13. - You’re now at $1,700 more expensive to own Windows PCs compared to similar Macs for the same amount of time. 

    It just keeps sucking you dry as time goes on. I won’t even get into overall stress levels of Windows versus MacOS. You can put a price on that... doctors and meds...