Review - MacBook Pro Retina Screen Part 2

My new retina Macbook Pro has arrived! In all its 2.6Ghz, 16GB ram, 256GB SSD glory. It’s lightning fast! Setting it up was a breeze with Time Machine. I am totally blown away by the differences between my old and new Macbook Pro. The retina display is rendering all my apps and text tack sharp. The 16GB ram is allowing me to open all manner of apps all at the same time. Even, the weight of the MacBook Pro is sooo much lighter than my old MacBook Pro. I can’t believe how thin the MacBook Pro is. Starting up is fast, clocking in at under 15s from power off to ready to work.

This is definitely a big upgrade from my old laptop. I am glad I got the new MacBook Pro. Everyone should have a chance to work on a laptop this fast.

Review - MacBook Pro Retina Screen Part 1

I have finally caved and ordered a new laptop. I am finally retiring my Late 2008 15” MacBook Pro after 4 years of service. You have served me well. The new laptop I have ordered is actually a refurbished set. I took the plunge partly because the refurbished set is cheaper and faster than the configuaration I had in mind to get.

My new laptop is a 15” MacBook Pro with Retina screen, 2.6Ghz, 16GB ram, 256GB SSD. Coupled together with the AppleCare, I paid SGD$3357 for them. That’s SGD$11 cheaper than 2.3Ghz 15” base model after upgrading to 16GB ram.

I can’t wait for it to arrive! Will update once I get a hands on.


Apps and me

I’ve only been actively reading tech news very recently. (Thanks to Reeder and RSS) Through that I’ve intent on trying out new and interesting apps.

It started when I was trying to get back into the writing habit earlier this year. So I thought if I got myself a distraction free writing app it might help me. Obviously that didn’t worked out as I planned but that led me down the rabbit hole.

From researching which is the best distraction free writing app on the mac, it spread to iOS. I become bent on buying or rather collecting all manner of writing and productivity apps.

I’ve gone from Byword to Launch Center Pro to 1password to Instapaper to Tweetbot. I was relentless.

That led me to discover many podcasts on the 5by5 and 70 decibels networks. And that to finding more sites to follow and many internet celebrities’ blogs to read. It is a rabbit hole that I am still deep in and very much enjoying.

Side note I highly encourage everyone to check out the apps mentioned above. I don’t get any thing out of you clicking on the links but good apps must be shared.

Review - Ultimate Ears 400

First thoughts

Recently, my Sennheiser CX–300 has bitten the dust after a year of solid use. Instead of just sending the CX–300 in for repairs, I have decided to get another pair of IEM (In Ear Monitors) and keep the repaired CX–300 as a spare pair.

I started trudging through Hardwarezone Forum, looking through reviews and recommendations. I have finally settled down on House of Marley Smile Jamaica and Ultimate Ears 400 as the final 2 contenders for my money. I went down to the ION branch of Stereo to give both a test. I found the House of Marley’s bass rather exaggerated so I picked the Ultimate Ears 400.

I liked the look of the earphones. The UE 400 has silver chrome like material on the ear buds itself and black rubbery flat cables. It comes with a hard case with rubber interior as well as many different sizes of silicone tips and one pair of foam tips.

One month later

I can truly say that the cables are tangle free. They might get twisted but that’s better than tangled. I have been using the silicone ear buds (XS) and they are comfortable and secure in your ears. It has a decent amount of sound isolating properties but not to the point where it’s dangerous.


I heartily recommend the UE 400 to anyone that is looking to replace their Sennheiser CX300.

iPad mini thoughts

I’ve got my 16 Gb slate black iPad mini one week ago from hardwarezone forum at $455 which includes the screen protector. I know, I know, I have been told that I should have asked for a lower price, still I didn’t want to bully the seller. Anyway, my thoughts on the iPad mini is what this post is for.

It was slightly heavier than I thought but not by much more. Maybe I was using a Kindle for my reading needs that’s why I had expected it to be lighter.

The iPad mini was also rather pricey, though which Apple products wasn’t pricey? By paying the Apple tax, you will be enjoying excellent build quality and the immerse iOS ecosystem.

Reading magazines Anyone who has tried to read a magazine on the iPhone and iPad mini at the same time, would know what a huge difference it makes. The extra real estate on the iPad and iPad mini makes what was once impossible on the iPhone into a pleasurable experience.

Reading books I have been using the Kindle to read novels and I have always enjoyed the e-ink screen and the extreme lightness of the device. With the announcement of the iPad mini I was faced with the decision to either let go of the Kindle or use both devices in tandem. After a week of use, the Kindle’s screen still trumps the ability to do everything in one device. And of course, nothing beats the battery life of a Kindle.

The iPad mini is a well designed product, the form factor is just right for reading and portable media consumption. Though the ipad mini doesnt hsve s retinz screen, the average user wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. The best way to tell is to put your eyes up close with the screen and you can tell the texts are not pixel sharp. Personally, I hardly noticed that I was using a non-retina device and I read a lot.

Written on an iPad mini.

Mountain Lion

I bought Mountain Lion via the App Store two days ago. At first, I thought it was the best $26 I ever spent. I loved Full Screen mode, I loved that I can finally get the latest updates on a number of apps. Then, it hit me. My late 2008 MacBook Pro is crawling. Ok, maybe that was because it was still indexing, so I waited. In about a couple of hours, indexing was done and the MBP was still slow.

Opening Disk Utility was slow, opening tabs was a crawl, switching between apps was a nightmare. Oh my god, did I just killed my Mac? I started to verify my disk, repair my disk permissions, resetting SMC, resetting PRAM. This forum discussion helped too. Luckily, my efforts seemed to pay off. It seems to improve on the sluggishness but my Mac still suffers from the occasional slowdown for no discernible reason.

I shall have to trawl through the forums and see what else I can do.