Many people are tempted by the low cost of Apple products in Hong Kong compared to all other countries around the world, including USA. They are most attracted to the factory SIM-unlocked iPhones sold through official Apple resellers and Apple HK store online. So they are tempted to purchase one or more of these products while they are travelling to Hong Kong. Making a purchasing decision like this should not be taken lightly. Aside from the cost, for any electronic product there should also be consideration of warrantee.

Fortunately, Apple had changed its warrantee last year for all its "portable" devices (ie. MacBook, iPod, iPhone, iPad, etc.) such that they have a worldwide warrantee coverage. But you need to read the (not so) small print in Apple's warrantee documents. Apple has the rights to request any warrantee services to be performed in the purchased country. Of course, this is less likely if the country where the warrantee requester is in also officially sells the item in question.

In some cases, people who lives in Hong Kong may want to consider purchasing Apple products from other countries. One such example, is the current situation with the iPad, where they were sold out within one day and Apple Premier Resellers have stopped receiving pre-orders because they can no longer promise a date on which to fulfill the backorders. Fortunately, for people who lives in HK, by this Friday (July 30th) Apple HK will be officially selling every Apple released products. Therefore, the chances of Apple HK requesting purchasers to send the warranted item back to purchasing country for warrantee repairs is low. So if you have the means to purchase iPad or iPhone 4 from UK or France, and willing to pay the higher cost due to exchange rates, you can.

Please understand I am not suggesting you purchase from the gray-market sellers in Mong Kok or Wanchai. These resellers are charging approximately HKD1000.00 above List price for iPads and close to 200% more for the iPhone 4 (from UK or France), lower for the ones from USA.

iMac 20091020 346x300Both of the new iMac models announced today capable of attaching an external display up to a 30 inch at a resolution of 2560 by 1600 pixels, but most interestingly is that the 27-inch model's Mini DisplayPort also supports video inputs from DisplayPort equipped devices like the MacBook and MacBook Pro.

Apple Remote 2009The new iMac also has a built-in SD media card slot, enabling quick transfer of videos and photos from camera to Mac.

The 27-inch models now come with Quad Core i5 or i7 Intel processors with 8MB of L3 cache, with the latter i7 version capable of Hyper-Threading.

Along with the new iMac Apple released a VESA Mount Adapter Kit for use with either iMac models and the Apple LCD Cinema Display, allowing the iMac or the Cinema Display to be mounted on any VESA compatible mounting solutions.

Additionally Apple also introduced a brand new Apple Remote at USD19.00, and quietly gave the top of the line MacBook Pro 17-inch 3.06GHz, 8GB RAM, Antiglare model a price cut of almost USD1000.00.

[Updated: Oct. 23, 2009, 23:00] Bellow is Apple's promotional video describing the design of the new iMac (Late 2009).

[quicktime]/wp-content/uploads/imac17-200910.mov[/quicktime]

Posted
AuthorVinko
CategoriesApple Inc-

Apple March 2009 Product Release Apple this morning (US PST) released new Mac Mini, iMac and Mac Pro. The former were not a surprise to me but the latter was. As I had thought Apple will leave the Mac Pro upgrade for WWDC, especially given the current economic climate.

First the Mac Mini, the previously leaked photos, from China, was indeed real. I guess Apple had not place a tight enough iron fist around the Chinese factories manufacturing their hardware. The form factor did not change from the previous model, but inside and the back had.

The new Mac has:

New Model Previous Model
CPU 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo 1.83GHz or 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
System Bus 1066MHz 667MHz
Memory (RAM) Max. 4GB with 2 DIMM slots taking 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM Max. 3GB with 2 DIMM slots taking 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM
L2 Cache 3MB shared 2MB and 4MB shared
Video Card NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics processor Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950
Video RAM 128MB or 256MB shared with main memory 64MB DDR2 shared with main memory
Hard Drive Options 120GB or 320GB 5400rpm SATA 80GB or 120GB or 160GB 5400rpm SATA
Optical Drive SuperDrive across the line Choice of Combo or SuperDrive
Firewire Port 1 Firewire 800 1 Firewire 400
USB Ports 5 USB 2.0 ports 4 USB 2.0 ports
Video Ports Mini DisplayPort & Mini-DVI output DVI output
Wireless (WiFi) AirPort Extreme Card (802.11n) AirPort Extreme Card (802.11b/g)
Bluetooth Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR
Ethernet 10/100/1000BASE-T (Gigabit)
Audio Ports Optical digital audio input/audio line in, combined optical digital audio output

This new Mac Mini with is improved separate video processor and more memory can now be a even better home media center with Boxee installed than before.

If we can only bring back Hulu on Boxee then it will be ideal.

As for the new iMac there was no design change except the wired keyboard that come in the box. Apple has removed the numeric keypad from the right of the keyboard. I personally think this is not good.

Anyway here are the comparison between the new and previous models:

New Model Previous Model
CPU 2.66GHz, 2.93GHz or 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (Core i7 on the 24" models) 2.80GHz or 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo ("Penryn")
Memory (RAM) Max. 8GB with 2 DIMM slots taking 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM Max. 4GB with 2 DIMM slots taking 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM
Video Card NVIDIA GeForce 9400M with 256MB shared with main memory or NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 with 256MB or NVIDIA GeForce GT 130 with 512MB ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro or NVIDIA GeForce 8800GS
Video RAM 128MB or 256MB shared with main memory 64MB DDR2 shared with main memory
Hard Drive Options 320GB or 640GB or 1TB 7200rpm SATA 320GB or 500GB or 750GB or 1TB 7200rpm SATA
Optical Drive SuperDrive with 4x double-layer burning SuperDrive
Firewire Port 1 Firewire 800 1 Firewire 400, 1 Firewire 800
USB Ports 4 USB 2.0 ports + 2 on keyboard 3 USB 2.0 ports + 2 on keyboard
Video Ports Mini DisplayPort output with support for DVI, dual-link DVI, and VGA Mini-DVI output support for DVI and VGA
Wireless (WiFi) AirPort Extreme Card (802.11n) AirPort Extreme Card (802.11a/b/g/n)
Camera Built-in iSight camera
Bluetooth Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
System Bus 1066MHz
L2 Cache 6MB shared
Ethernet 10/100/1000BASE-T (Gigabit)
Audio Ports Optical digital audio input/audio line in, combined optical digital audio output
Infrared Port For Apple Remote only

The Mac Pro was improved in almost all elements I will not do a comparison here as there are too many, instead you can check them out at Apple's web site for the Mac Pro.

Posted
AuthorVinko
CategoriesNews

iMac 2007As many of your may have heard Apple Inc. released new versions of the iMac line last night (HK time). It had been an upgrade that was anticipated and over due for the past 12 months. In my opinion, they did not disappoint.

They changed the industrial design of the machine but kept the machines the same thickness as the previous versions. There are 4 standard models to choose from, plus Built-to-order (BTO) versions, where you can choose different internal hard drive capacities and memory combinations; with the 24" model able to upgrade the default processor also. You can see the chart below and click on it to see an enlarged version.

As I always say, one should always choose a computer based on what they intend (plan) to use the computer for, rather than choosing based on price and MHz. Having said that I will start off by describing three hypothetical users.

A. A first time computer or Macintosh user

This user will use his computer for general Internet surfing, visiting information sites, online banking sites and photo album repositories. They will have a web based email account. He will download photos from his digital camera and manage his collection of audio CDs on his computer.

B. A user who may have used the Macintosh before but definitely a computer

This user has the same requirements as user A, with the following additions. He will upload and share photos on online repositories (ie. Flickr), he will download and edit videos that he had taken with his DV (digital video) camera.

C. A user who had used the Macintosh before

Like user B, will have the same requirements as A and B, with the desire to use the computer as a primary video viewing platform.

Now based on these three hypothetical users I will now recommend the appropriate iMac (August 2007) for each. In all cases, I would suggest a minimum of 2GB of memory. Depending on where you purchase the new iMac, you can probably find cheaper memory upgrade from reseller other than Apple. If you do choose that route, make sure these memory chips (RAM) come from reliable sources and a respectable manufacture. If you have faulty RAMs that's more problems than you will ever want to deal with.

Let's jump into the recommendations. For User A I suggest the basic model for him. The reason is because he does not have a great need for video and hence quick redraw of the screen for images. As a result the entry level iMac (August 2007) with 2GB of total memory will be sufficient.

For User B I suggest the minimum the 2nd "standard Apple model" of the iMac (August 2007) (aka. "the 20" model with the 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor", since I do not want to emphasis the MHz differences of the models). This is not because of the slightly faster processor, it is mainly due to the much faster (almost twice) video card in this model. Due to this user's need for editing and processing his home videos on his new Mac, this is the minimum configuration I would recommend.

Finally, for User C I recommend he purchase the 3rd "standard Apple model" of the iMac (August 2007) (aka. "the 24" model with the 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor"). This is because his need for using the computer as the primary video viewing device. With the 24" it has the screen pixel resolutions to support full HD (High Definition) video content.

Speaking of HD video content, the new line of iMacs all have video capabilities to playback protected HD video (HDCP).

I am sure your needs and computing requirements will be different than User A, B or C, but I hope you find this useful and if you need, please feel free to contact me with your specific "computing requirements" and I am happy to brainstorm the perfect Mac for you.

iMac 2007 SpecsiMac (August 2007) hardware specifications

Posted
AuthorVinko
Categoriesopinion
OneMoreThing

At this very moment (October 12, 2005, 10:00am PDT) in California Theater, San Jose, California, USA, Apple is making their "One more thing..." announcement to the members of the press.

In the past week everyone had been speculating what Apple will announce at this event. These included:

  1. video iPod
  2. radio feature on a 5th generation iPod®
  3. new revamped PowerBook
  4. even a "tablet Macintosh"

So what Apple will actually announce will have to wait until Apple finish its event.

Stay tune...

[Update: 01:35] - from MacRumors on Site

  • New thinner iMac® with built-in iSight
  • FrontRowRemote


  • New Apple application called "PhotoBooth"
  • New Apple media software called "Front Row" with an infrared remote. Having only 6 buttons to control all the video functions compared to the various versions of Microsoft Media Center's 40+ buttons remotes
  • FrontRowRemote
  • New 5th generation iPod® Video 30GB/60GB with 2.5in TFT display displaying 320x240 pixels and realtime decoding of MPEG4 and H.264 video. Both the "5G iPod® Video 30GB/60GB" are 31% thinner than the current "iPod® Color Display 20GB" priced at USD299 and USD399 respectively
  • New iTunes® 6

So it looks like Apple is definitely getting into Digital Media Center in a way, and began to sell Music Videos on iTunes® Music Store (iTMS).

[Update: 01:59] - from iLounge on Site

  • Alleged photos of the new "5G iPod® Video 30GB"

[Update: 02:00] - from MacRumors on Site

  • TV shows will be available for purchase at USD1.99 each episode. So far ABC, Disney and Pixar are on board to sell their content. Making "Desperate Housewives", "Lost" and more available
  • All videos purchased from iTMS will have Digital Rights Management (DRM) software built in.

[Update: 02:01] - from Apple Here are the details of today's announcement in the form of an Apple press releases:

Posted
AuthorVinko
CategoriesNews

iMac

The latest iMac (2004) is the thinest All-in-one Macintosh ever produced by Apple.

This is also the fastest iMac ever produced by Apple since the its introduction in 1998; when Apple brought the world the candy colours Macintosh. Then it shock the world with the half-moon 360° movable LCD screen iMac. Apple later speed bumped the processor and up the size of the iMac screen to an unbelievable; for this class of computer, 20" LCD.

Now, September 2004, Apple introduced a LCD panel with the computer built-in and a lightning speed PowerPC G5 processor that was previously only available in Apple's top of the line desktop computers.

Aside from its quick IBM's G5 processor, it also comes with 2 different LCD sizes (17" and 20" ) to choose from plus a full collection of connection ports (USB, Firewire [a.k.a. iLink, IEEE 1394]) you ever want.

iMac

  • • All systems come with 256MB of RAM with a maximum of 2GB occupying 2 SIMM slots;
  • • A choice of either a slot loading Combo (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) or Super Drive (DVD-R/CD-RW);
  • • A NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Ultra with 64MB, which is good enough for most graphic needs;
  • • An optical audio out so you can view your DVDs with true 5.1 Surround sound;
  • • Optional Bluetooth and WiFi built-in wireless connections.

With all this power and options starting at HKD10,300 to approximately HKD15,300, that's a very good deal. With the built-in Bluetooth option you can take advantage of Apple's Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, and with the built-in WiFi (802.11g/b) you will not have any wires to the iMac accept for the power cord.

If anyone wants a low cost machine this is definitely the one to consider; particular for those who do not need the convenience and portability of a notebook.

Posted
AuthorVinko
CategoriesNews