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iPad Air, iPad Mini with Retina, New Macbook Pros, New Mac Pro, New OSX Free : Blown Away yet Disappointed Again

The 2013 iPad Air
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Thinner, lighter, faster, more powerful, more beautiful, more robust, more of what matters. The new iPad Air allows you to focus on creating or enjoying content, apps, photos, music, movies, documents, and books. Apple's long string hardware hits continue to come with breathtaking innovation and beautiful designs that inspire. Almost all good news at their latest Oct 22nd 2013 Event, but a critical flaw remains. 

Screwed and Glued Batteries Again :( 

One critical flaw continues to plague their mobile products, a long standing flaw that caused me to stop supporting Apple after I thought about it critically. Apples latest and greatest mobile computers have sealed batteries that are a complete nightmare to change. Changing the battery in a phone, tablet, laptop or other portable electronic device should be easy and simple, as the battery starts to weaken and fail after as little as one year of regular use.

Changing the batteries in newer Apple hardware requires extremely complex device surgery and electronic service specialty skills and special tools where the battery is the hardest component to remove. Apple makes it almost impossible for a normal person to change the battery in their beautiful, durable, well engineered products. This goes against their core claims about making their products environmentally friendly. I will continue to challenge Apple with the "Sealed Battery" problem. Apple will not see another cent of my money until they stop sealing batteries in their mobile devices.

"iPad 5" Called iPad Air 

The new iPad Air is actually the 5th generation of iPad, a product category (two handed tablet) that Apple firmly believes in. The latest iPad is a great device, with a great screen, fast computational performance, solid graphics processing power, excellent user interface, superior multi-touch controls, and an operating system that is well integrated to make best use of all the fancy new hardware.

For $499, the iPad Air is a premium device, and you could probably get a decent low range windows laptop for this price, but the iPad Air is a far more beautiful device overall in terms of build quality, durability, system integration, and holistic design that extends from inside the hardware through the user interface to the touch surface and screen with which people interact directly. With power improvements all around, it offers more performance with outstanding battery life. Optimized audio systems with great stereo speakers makes it a solid device to listen to music with. Excellent cameras combined with all the other onboard sensors and extensive photo applications makes it a power image production tool as well.

The main problem with this iPad is the sealed non user serviceable battery. When the battery eventually weakens, after 1 year of constant overcharging and deep discharging, or after two or three years of more gentle use, the device will stop giving functionally useful battery life, and faced with a $100 battery change, it would likely be fiscally efficient for the end user to just get another one, and that is exactly what Apple is hoping for. Apple makes money selling stuff, stuff that people want, not that people need. They have some of the best marketing in the world, and produce ads that evoke powerful emotions from those who watch the ads, from those who buy into the Apple iOS OSX ecosystem literally, financially, emotionally and psychologically.

iPad 2 / Still $399 ? 

The second generation iPad from 3 years ago is still on sale. iPad 3 and iPad 4 production is over with. Within the consumer electronics sector this is a paradox. Who would spend $399 on iPad technology that is 3 years old with the old A5 processor, low resolution display, etc, etc, dated hardware? This is certainly nice for people like me who own a second generation iPad, as apple continues to extend iOS updates to this older hardware since they are still selling it new.

Faced with spending $400 on a premium tablet would you go with the new high resolution smaller faster 7.9in iPad Mini 2, or the vintage low res 9.7in iPad 2 with technology that is 3 years old? It seems to be almost a foregone conclusion to either get the iPad Mini 2, or spend the extra $100 and get the newest faster and greatest iPad Air (5).

Essentially this older iPad 2 is a solid tablet and I like mine a lot, but faced with spending that much money on a new device for you, you would be much better offer off getting the smaller fresh technology iPad Mini 2 or spending the extra $100 and getting the best one they offer, the new iPad Air.

My wife and I are actually listening to some Christian music by Matthew West "Forgiveness" on the old iPad 2 right now: which Meg finds ironic and funny because of my unwillingness to forgive Apple for gluing and security screwing the batteries into the mobile devices :P 
All of the iPad's have sealed batteries, so no matter which one you pick you will eventually experience a very expensive choice when the battery becomes critically weak. In all seriousness thought I think it is horribly unethical to make the batteries non-user serviceable, as this is tantamount to engineering in time defined obsolescence.

I will state to be fair, that Apple uses some of the most sophisticated and durable lithium polymer batteries in their mobile devices that tend to hold up much better than the easily user serviceable batteries from other companies. Also to be fair, Apple is not the only company sealing batteries into their mobile devices, thin and light has become all the range for smartphones as of lately, and hold out for Samsung, most other smartphone and tablet makers have gone down the evil path of sealed batteries that cannot be easily changed. Doom doom doom. 

The 2013 iPad Mini w/ Retina Display
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New iPad Mini with Retina 

The iPad Mini now comes equipped with a high resolution retina class display. For under $400, the iPad Mini with Retina (2048 x 1536 at 7.9in) display also comes with the newest A7 processor. This second generation iPad Mini is a solid device that compares well againts it large iPad Air sibling.

I will stick to my aging "non retina" iPad 2, as it was just recently cloaked in an OtterBox, and I am just starting to make solid use of it now that it is "protected" :) I dread the day I have to change the battery in my iPad. Thinking about the 26 page long iFixIt manual required to change the battery makes me angry and disappointed with Apple. I know why they sealed the batteries in too, when the batteries fail the polymer batteries swell up, and will render the iPad useless unless the batteries are changed via a complex electronic surgery procedure that will take almost an entire day of time to preform delicately.

When I think about the batteries in the iPad, and what is required to change the batteries, a thought comes to mind: and the thought has curse words in it: and that thought is so strong that I will abstain from buying any new Apple hardware until this sealed battery business comes to an end. Yeah Apple I am talking to YOU! 

New MacBook Pro (4th Gen Intel) Late 2013
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New MacBook Pro

The new MacBook Pro's offer amazing performance, amazing screens, the worlds greatest hardware UI, impressive software upgrades for free, solid battery life, and amazingly thin and robust build quality. At 3.46 lbs and only 0.71in thick, the 13inch is thinner and lighter, but also much faster with 4th generation dual core haswell CPU action from Intel, with improved Intel Graphics that are 90% better than the previous model. At $1299 is also a better buy than the previous $1399 model. PCIe SSD, WiFi ac, and Thunderbolt 2 also featured on the new model.

Unfortunately, the new MacBook Pro's suffer from the same horrid sealed battery problem that plagues other modern Apple mobile hardware. Aside from the battery problem, these new MacBooks are the greatest ones ever, and the only thing missing in my opinion is a 4K OLED screen. If Apple puts a solid OLED screen in one of their future MacBook's, I might be willing to overlook the horrible sealed battery problem. I am a fanatical fan of OLED display technology, and have been dreaming about its commercialization since I was a young teenager. An amazing OLED display is the only thing that would make me overlook a dingle-berry sealed battery design problem. 

The Completely New 2013 Mac Pro
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New Mac Pro

Amazing: Assembled in America with robotic technology that squeaks my inner geek. The industrial design, thermal design, acoustical performance, computing power, power efficiency, everything about this revolutionary high performance desktop is amazing. No batteries to worry about here, this is raw computational power in a functional form that is nothing short of mechanically and electrically sexy, sleek and slick! "It sizzles" says Meg, after watching the production video that you can find in the link below.

Check out the Manufacturing Process for the Mac Pro ; Wow

This Mac Pro is to computers like a Porsche 918 Hybrid Super-car is to other cars : fuel economy that is better than a Prius with performance that blows the mind. After learning about this computer I was left feeling awe struck. It is the most amazing high performance desktop I have every heard of. Powerful and power efficient, nearly silent, and mechanically beautiful, functionally brilliant, with superior nearly silent heat sink optimized cooling technology that makes muti-fan cooled and water cooled boxes of yesteryear look truly dated. 

I would like to send out a Special Thank You to Apple for this one, the new Mac Pro. While this Mac Pro is impressive, its engineering excellence is not enough to make me overlook the unethical sealed battery problem in the rest of Apples hardware lineup, but it is enough to give me every growing enthusiasm and zeal for technological progress. This tubular computer is a $3000 production tool that will blow away the minds of many budding film makers, photographers, music producers and digital artists :) The New Mac Pro is the perfect match for a hot 4K professional video camera or high end DSLR action, music production, digital artists, scientists and others who can make use of the incredible computation power this machine offers its user, some 7 teraflops of performance ^^ Wow

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New OSX Free :) 

With loads of refinement, this latest update to OSX is completely free :) Woot Woot. The refinement is deep down under the skin, but notable in the UI as well. I have not loaded it onto my vintage uni-body mac-book yet, but look forward to some seat time with it. No batteries here to worry about either, they are talking only about software improvements, improvements that make better use of the hardware, to give better ram utilization, better battery life, and a better end user experience, with greater stability, greater security, and improved UI tweaks that make it easier and faster to fly around the OS :) Good work on this Apple. Great Work :) Did I mention they updated iWork and iLife as well, with more open CL action to take advantage of the 64 bit software and hardware architecture.   

I Was an Apple Fan In the Past 

Before you call me an Android Fan, or Apple Hater, understand that I have invested thousands of dollars into Apples hardware in recent history. Starting with an iPod Nano 2nd Gen, I went on to get a second generation iPod Touch, and liked that so much it inspired me to buy a Late 08 unibody Macbook, and I was so jazzed with this notebook I upgraded the ram and put a huge 256GB SSD in it. I added a second generation Apple TV to my AV setup when it launched. When the iPod Touch 4 launched I got one and inspired Meg to get one too, and to this day she uses it regularly. I also have a LunaTik iPod Nano wrist watch. And my last off cycle Apple purchase was an iPad 2, from BestBuy, about 6 months after it launched.

The iPad 2 was my last Apple purchase. I was reading iFixIt and came across the battery replacement guide for the iPad 2, and after reading the 26 page long guide, I was so angry that I vowed to never give Apple another cent of my money unless they rectified the battery nightmare problem in the battery operated computers. To add insult, they started sealing the batteries in their MacBook line too, and that was the real broken straw that caused me to get an android phone as my first smartphone (Galaxy Note 2). Apple claims to be eco-friendly, yet they make it nearly impossible to change the battery in their mobile devices: sounds like planned obsolescence to me, something I consider highly unethical.

Apple does build some of the highest quality computer hardware available for purchase by normal people. The aluminum unibody designs are efficient at conducting heat away from the hot parts to the cooler parts, effectively handling thermal loads passively in-conjunction with the active fan cooling part. This results in prolonged battery life, as the improved heat management keeps the batteries from being "cooked" at high temperatures. Most windows laptops have plastics cases, or cases that do not act like a heat sink. Many windows laptops experience profound losses in battery capacity after 1 year because they are poorly design in terms of heat management, and effectively fry the battery with constant overcharging and poor cooling technology.

The truth is that you cannot really get a "nice" new laptop for less than $800 in 2013 USD. Well made hardware costs more to manufacture, and hardware that is well thought out all around will draw an additional premium (Apple prices). That said even Apple is lowering the prices of its high end offerings to make the best even more affordable. The multi-touch trackpad on Apple laptops are in a class of their own and make the user interface devices on windows laptops look childish and half baked at best. The slight price premium you pay for laptop from Apple ends up netting you some things that have a value that extends outside of spreadsheet calculations. 

I have a Late 08 Macbook that still works flawlessly. I installed Steam on it recently and have even been playing random rounds of Counter Strike GO :) The old hardware sits on a custom made aluminum block which transfers heat away from the body of the macbook, giving a solid hour of passive cooling. I use SMCbus control to turn the fan up a bit to keep the CPU and GPU chilled during gaming as well. For extend gaming sessions in the past I would even chill the AL block and remove the battery so as to not cook it. The lipo battery in this vintage MacBook is at 358 cycle and still works for more than 2 hours of run time :) I was very diligent about not over-charging or deeply discharging it, and this resulted in a very long net lifetime for the battery, one that I can change easily because Apple was designing the batteries to be user serviceable back then, something that influenced by purchase choice. Actually the user serviceable hard-drive and ram allowed me to upgrade the MacBook twice, when better hardware became available at a resonable price. The 5400rpm 120GB OEM harddrive was replaced with one SSD after two years, and much faster and larger 256GB samsung 840 SSD on its fourth birthday. 8GB of ram replaced the 2GB of OEM that shipped with it. FYI 

My Work: The Sun and Sunsets remind me of God
Hue Pumped Up: Color : Color : Color ^^ 
God Sublime 

Chris August's song "Starry Night" came through my AV setup via the Apple TV on iRadio when I was writing the section about the new Mac Pro. So for a moment I will diverge to talk about something very important. The true inspiration in life comes from Faith in something greater, in progress unimaginable, in super intelligent love that reigns supreme above all else in the universe, that Star breathing, All Powerful, All Knowing, Ever Present God that I worship and adore : the only Entity in existence that causes me to forgive completely, to understand more comprehensively, to feel purpose and meaning when the world speaks of bleak uselessness.

The true inspiration in the world is Jesus Christ. Our God is the only entity that you can trust with every fiber of  your being. He knows everything about you, he designed you, God designed all life, all the planets, every bit of matter and energy in the universe. Everything in existence, known and unknown was designed and created by our star breathing God of supreme glory, power and might.

God is the champion of honesty, truth, kindness and love. God is the champion of compassion and forgiveness. God asks his people to see though eyes of super-intelligent love at everything and everyone they see. We are asked to show all people, all living beings, constant and unwavering love. It is impossible for a human to reach their fullest potential without God. Humans are weak, fear hindered, failure prone, sin prone, small beings alone. Humans only have a little tiny bit of power when we work together. Compared to God, all human powers combined are tiny. God breathes out Stars, some that are millions of times larger than our Sun. How big is God? to know and understand completely the size and power of God would truly blow you mind unlike anything else. When we are operating with love on our minds, and faith in our hearts, and the Biblical Living Word in our Ideas, the Holy Spirit can coordinate with us to make us smarter, stronger, safer and sane. With God on your side you can reach higher than ever, much higher than the world says you can, you can perform impossible acts of kindness, generosity and forgiveness, you can become the greatest version of yourself with God in your life.

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