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moron
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So... Apple released new MBPs today with a technology they supposedly helped Intel to develop called Thunderbolt:

http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2011/02/thunderbolt-smokes-usb-firewire-with-10gbps-throughput.ars

Quote :
"Intel has finally launched its new peripheral interconnect technology—formerly codenamed "Light Peak"—now branded "Thunderbolt." Developed in cooperation with Apple, which introduced Thunderbolt on its newest MacBook Pro laptops on Thursday morning, the new interconnect is designed to bring workstation-class I/O throughput to mobile workflows as well as serve as a next-generation connector for peripherals, including displays, storage, and video and audio devices."


10Gbps throughput, that also supports DisplayPort


It's point-to-point too like Firewire so devices can be chained together (but only 1 display for now). ThunderBolt can carry any protocol, Apple is supporting PCIe over it, so external devices with an existing PCIe driver will "just work" once they have the ThunderBolt controller strapped to them.

Quote :
"A couple storage vendors, including Promise Technology, are expected to announce compatible products Thursday that are set to ship this spring. The full list of those planning Thunderbolt support in future products include AJA, Apogee, Avid, Blackmagic, Universal Audio, LaCie, and Western Digital. Given the clear technical advantages over previous standards, we believe Thunderbolt could achieve wide industry adoption."


Apple also previewed Lion today, where they are bringing some of the iOS features to MacOS that deal with app states, and backgrounding. The Cocoa Document interface now automatically supports versioning and state-saving, apps have similar APIs from iOS to save/resume states, there's a full screen API now for apps to use (for all of you who hate the universal menu bar...), and they are adding more gesture-based features (since the Apple laptops and desktops can do multitouch now).

There's a pretty cool video about the gestures here: http://www.apple.com/macosx/lion/#video-gestures

I'm sure all of this stuff is just marketing though

[Edited on February 24, 2011 at 2:53 PM. Reason : ]

2/24/2011 2:50:07 PM

Shaggy
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i remember back when this was called infiniband

2/24/2011 2:55:33 PM

moron
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you can call this infiniband for consumers then, I guess...

(although it's fairly different...)

[Edited on February 24, 2011 at 3:08 PM. Reason : ]

2/24/2011 3:05:55 PM

Shaggy
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this is where infiniband wanted to end up but they couldn't convince enough people to use it.

probably because it was super fucking expensive

2/24/2011 3:09:11 PM

Stein
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What exactly did Apple innovate here? Thunderbolt/Light Peak is an Intel innovation on an Apple device.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13924_3-10363956-64.html

I think it's funny how Apple is so gungho to implement NextGen technology, while completely ignoring current generation technology like Blu-ray and USB3.0

But they can charge more that way, so I guess it makes perfect sense.

2/24/2011 3:29:28 PM

El Nachó
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Apple is gonna revolutionize the way you scroll.

2/24/2011 4:38:51 PM

Chance
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I just can't really comprehend paying $1200 for a notebook as their lower end offering. Light Peak seems like a good idea but its up to OEMs to adopt it and I imagine somewhere in there will be the decision to eat Intels fees to do it or just use the existing standards.

2/24/2011 5:12:51 PM

Stein
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Quote :
"Apple is gonna revolutionize the way you scroll. "


Slowly but surely they're killing off OSX.

Quote :
"Light Peak seems like a good idea but its up to OEMs to adopt it and I imagine somewhere in there will be the decision to eat Intels fees to do it or just use the existing standards."


The whole thing is just so confusing. You've got a bunch of USB 3.0 devices that have already started to come out, which while half as fast as Light Peak, is still something like twice as fast as current hard drive read/write speeds. And then you've got Apple who, rather than just put Light Peak and USB 3.0 ports on the computer, then decide to put the standard that no one's heard of and that doesn't even have compatible devices yet.

They really just want you to spend as much money as possible while playing within their ecosystem.

[Edited on February 24, 2011 at 5:31 PM. Reason : .]

2/24/2011 5:30:11 PM

Chance
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Can the USB standard do everything except the speed that Thunderbolt is touted as being able to do?

2/24/2011 6:01:44 PM

Stein
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From what (admittedly little) I've read, in a lot of ways, yes. I mean, you have USB sound cards, monitors (though the current ones are low resolution, but maybe 3.0 changes that -- at it's one of those "can do it, probably shouldn't do it" type deals), hard drives, etc.

Basically, I sort of expect this to (unfortunately) turn out like Firewire. Pushed hard within the Apple ecosystem for the longest time and then existing, but only used every so often on PCs.

It is really cool technology though, it just seems like it's way too ahead of it's time and falling into bed with Apple sort of hints at it's unaffordability.

[Edited on February 24, 2011 at 6:46 PM. Reason : .]

2/24/2011 6:45:57 PM

Shaggy
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OSX and ios will merge eventually macbooks will disapear having been replaced by ipads. Thunderbolt/lightpeak will be the new ipad dock port

Essentially you have a low powered, high battery life device that can be plugged into whats essentially an external pcie bus. So you have a docking station w/ monitor and pcie video card and hdds and whatever else you might need to do more cpu/gpu intensive stuff that you dont need when you're mobile.

2/24/2011 7:33:40 PM

moron
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Quote :
"Can the USB standard do everything except the speed that Thunderbolt is touted as being able to do?
"


Thunderbolt is substantially faster. If you read Apple's site, the applications they have in mind are for higher-end audio/video interfaces. The fact that you can chain thunderbolt devices together makes a difference in these applications.

Other than that, USB would work fine for most consumer applications.

But, this does let Apple bring back target disk mode that the non-firewire machines lost, if they end up putting thunderbolt on all their machines.

The other advantage with thunderbolt is that it is sort-of like having a dock. You plug 1 cable into your monitor, and all your peripherals plugged into the monitor work.

Quote :
"Basically, I sort of expect this to (unfortunately) turn out like Firewire. Pushed hard within the Apple ecosystem for the longest time and then existing, but only used every so often on PCs.
"


Firewire is still widely used on audio and video equipment...

But one difference between this and firewire is that Intel is pushing this. I'm not sure how Intel is going to handle pushing this and USB3, since they have a hand in both though.

And Apple's laptops are the best selling in their class, i'm not sure what you mean by "unaffordability." The towers are a different matter...

2/24/2011 7:54:18 PM

1337 b4k4
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Quote :
"And then you've got Apple who, rather than just put Light Peak and USB 3.0 ports on the computer, then decide to put the standard that no one's heard of and that doesn't even have compatible devices yet."


To be fair, they pretty much did this with the original USB too. Granted, at the time there were a small number of USB devices already in the market but it was still mostly unused and unheard of. They more or less generated the USB market with the iMac. Whether they can do it again with this, or it becomes another ADC connector remains to be seen. Certainly it would be nice to finally get a universal connector for things, and with that sort of throughput, it should last a good few years before anyone is looking to replace it.

[Edited on February 24, 2011 at 11:45 PM. Reason : sdf]

2/24/2011 11:42:44 PM

moron
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Quote :
"8 nanosecond accuracy time sync across 7 devices" for very little delay between operations"


wow, that's really, really low. Audio people are going to love that...

And most sites seem to be saying Apple "collaborated" with Intel for the tech.

This doesn't sound good though...

Quote :
"The new standard is not backwardly compatible with USB 3.0, and Thunderbolt ports can't be added to existing PCs via an expansion card; Intel says the only way to have it is to buy a system or logic board that incorporates the new Thunderbolt controller chip. That's because the Thunderbolt chip needs direct access to both the system's video and PCI Express architecture.
"


http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/11/02/24/intel_details_thunderbolt_as_exclusive_to_apple_until_2012.html

2/25/2011 12:33:37 AM

skokiaan
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USB 3.0 and Blu Ray are going to get leap frogged. USB 3.0 is not good enough to change computers, and blu ray is going to get beaten by streaming video (like it or not).

The end goal for consumers is to reduce and consolidate connectors. Apple has been trying to do this for years, and hopefully they succeed with Thunderbolt. USB 3.0 doesn't help this goal. It's not fast enough, you can't daisy chain, it relies too much on the CPU to have consistent speeds. It's a faster USB. Big damn deal.

Use wireless for peripherals and have one cable that plugs in to your monitor to get power, external hard drives, ethernet, whatever. That's where computers need to be. Actually, everything needs to be wireless, but we aren't there yet.

(As an aside, I also appreciate them eliminating CD/DVD drives from computers. I rarely use mine -- I am more likely to use the internet or USB sticks. Eliminate the waste of space DVD drives and make it smaller or put more battery in there. This is also where we need to be going. I bet that the vast majority of consumers rarely use the dvd drives, as well. It's dying technology, like cassette tapes. The same shit happened with the floppy drive. Apple killed it way before anyone else and had to drag all the Stein-like nerds into the future.)

Apple doesn't give a flying fuck about the decision making processes of everyone else, which is usually to jam every type of connector into a computer rather than trying to eliminate them. Nerds like Stein can't stand this, but the market has spoken. The Apple approach is highly-valued by consumers. Honestly, I would call Apple's position on bluray and USB 3 no-brainers. The contingent who can't see this will always be highly vocal on the internet, but this has no correlation with real life and people who actually buy computers.

Then again, the whole bluray-usb 3.0 shit was brought up by an anti-Apple zealot, so the actual merits of the argument probably don't matter. It's just a troll to take away from the fact that Thunderbolt is really cool and has the potential to change computers a lot.

[Edited on February 25, 2011 at 4:45 AM. Reason : .]

2/25/2011 4:26:52 AM

1337 b4k4
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Quote :
"Use wireless for peripherals and have one cable that plugs in to your monitor to get power, external hard drives, ethernet, whatever."


Well it won't be power yet. From what I'm reading, Thunderbolt only supplies 10W, which really won't be enough for a monitor.

2/25/2011 7:57:34 AM

Stein
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Anything but Stein-like nerds!

I like how skokiaan just went with his typical Tech Talk post of ranting on the topic, not reading the previous posts, and calling anyone who disagrees nerds.

If only there were some type of connector that was universal and existed in one form or another on every computer made within the last 13 years.

IF ONLY!

2/25/2011 8:57:51 AM

quagmire02
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Quote :
"the market has spoken"

while this may be true, what you're forgetting is that the apple computer market is tiny compared to the PC market

2/25/2011 9:11:37 AM

qntmfred
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ok i have no basis of understanding for EE or CPE or whatever domain drives this technology

my question is... what makes usb2 vs usb3 vs fireware vs thunderbolt have different speeds and transfer capabilties? is it the physical material being used? is it the configuration of physical material? i assume it's all just variations on copper wire, right? so is it the hardware controller algorithms that make the speed difference?

2/25/2011 10:18:58 AM

Shaggy
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i think its more the cost of designing the actual controllers that are gonna be used + cost of materials for chips and such. Meaning they decided that they're gonna use this chip for all USB stuff and it has a max processing speed of X. Thats the limiter, not the cabling materials.

im just guessing though. I have no idea.

Thunderbolt is different because its an extension of the entire pcie bus. That bus is designed to handle high throughput so it makes sense to use it. The things I'd be interested in are if you can extend an internal USB controller out to Thunderbolt for use with a USB dongle or if any USB dongles hanging off Thunderbolt will need their own USB controllers.

2/25/2011 10:25:37 AM

moron
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One difference is that USB relies on the processor to handle coordinating the IO, while firewire and thunderbolt both have full controllers which don’t require the CPU to coordinate things. This makes the chips bigger/more expensive, but also makes them faster.

USB is hub-based while thunderbolt/firewire are point-to-point which also aides in their speed advantage since it’s easier to shoot packets from one point to the other without worry about reading tags for routing or anything, each point just takes what it needs.

Based on what little i know about the protocols, i’d guess the difference boils down to tradeoffs made in hardware constraints due to what each protocol was designed to operate at. A signaling protocol designed for point-to-point for 6 devices (thunderbolt) is going to be very different than a hub-based protocol for 127 devices (USB), and is going to give you different peak speeds for a given $$$ of hardware.

If money was no object, they could probably design a USB that ran at 10Gbps.

[Edited on February 26, 2011 at 3:30 AM. Reason : ]

2/26/2011 3:29:30 AM

Chance
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3.0 theoretically goes to 5Gpbs. That should be more than plenty for consumers for the next 5-10 years.

2/26/2011 9:59:27 AM

synapse
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^ whats the real world performance?

2/26/2011 11:17:36 AM

moron
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http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/11/02/26/inside_mac_os_x_10_7_lion_new_dock_finderdesktop.html

Video of some of Lion’s new features.

Full screen apps are a good idea, i’m not sure how i feel about the new dashboard though, or Mission Control.

2/26/2011 6:16:38 PM

kiljadn
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suckin hard on the Apple cock ITT

[Edited on February 26, 2011 at 6:41 PM. Reason : iCock?]

2/26/2011 6:40:59 PM

Fry
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inorite? and in an Apple thread no less. heathens.

[Edited on February 26, 2011 at 7:02 PM. Reason : ]

2/26/2011 7:02:15 PM

El Nachó
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^^Someone that hasn't actually bothered to read the thread ITT.

2/26/2011 9:42:27 PM

kiljadn
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nah, i bothered to read it. all I see is a dude jock-riding an intel spec and passing credit along to Apple for it.

2/27/2011 12:22:38 AM

El Nachó
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ah, so it's more of a reading comprehension fail instead of a lack of reading. gotcha.

2/27/2011 12:49:51 AM

moron
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http://www.tidbits.com/article/11993

Overview of Apples implementation of TB

2/27/2011 1:19:12 AM

Stein
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Quote :
"Full screen apps are a good idea"


Welcome to 1990.

2/27/2011 1:57:30 AM

El Nachó
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Hey Stein, I'm starting to think you don't like Apple products, but I'm not quite sure. Do you think you could make several dozen more posts on the subject so I can get a better idea of your opinion on them?

2/27/2011 2:38:57 AM

moron
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^^ ha

nice try, but they didn’t have this in 1990:
http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/11/02/26/inside_mac_os_x_10_7_lion_new_dock_finderdesktop.html&page=3

2/27/2011 2:41:06 AM

Stein
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Quote :
"Hey Stein, I'm starting to think you don't like Apple products, but I'm not quite sure. Do you think you could make several dozen more posts on the subject so I can get a better idea of your opinion on them?"


I'd be happy to do so.

Quote :
"nice try, but they didn’t have this in 1990:
http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/11/02/26/inside_mac_os_x_10_7_lion_new_dock_finderdesktop.html&page=3"


Video doesn't work in IE or Firefox. I suppose I'm missing something revolutionary or magical

2/27/2011 9:26:47 AM

kiljadn
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Quote :
"ah, so it's more of a reading comprehension fail instead of a lack of reading. gotcha."




nah, it's more of a "why the fuck does this thread exist"

[Edited on February 27, 2011 at 9:37 AM. Reason : i'm not an apple hater but this thread is useless]

2/27/2011 9:35:36 AM

1337 b4k4
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Quote :
"I suppose I'm missing something revolutionary or magical"


Not really. I haven't had much of a chance to play with it, but full screen apps seems boring to me. You can already make most apps 99% full screen anyway, and in general I personally don't run any apps other than the web browser (and I don't know why I do it with the browser) in full screen. The whole point of multiple windows on a multi-tasking system is to multi-task. Full screen apps seem to take computing backwards.

2/27/2011 10:38:59 AM

Wickerman
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Isnt the thunderbolt trasnfer speed limited by the internal SATA interface?

3/2/2011 12:35:54 PM

Prospero
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Quote :
"What exactly did Apple innovate here? Thunderbolt/Light Peak is an Intel innovation on an Apple device."

3/2/2011 12:54:43 PM

Stein
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They created full-screen apps. Didn't you read?

3/2/2011 2:56:36 PM

BobbyDigital
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ok, Stein we get it. if you don't have anything relevant to post, just go find the "what are you thinking" thread in chit chat.

3/3/2011 9:25:39 AM

Stein
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Quote :
"Isnt the thunderbolt trasnfer speed limited by the internal SATA interface?"


It's less the speed of the SATA interface and more the speeds of the drives connected to it. Like I said previously before you even get to the "SATA is too slow" portion of this, you hit the "hard drives are too slow" aspect.

SATA2 is rated at 3Gb/s
SATA3 is rated at 6Gb/s
The brand new OCZ SSDs are a little under 4Gb/s.

This also seems completely detached from the SATA ports in that it appears to be more of a direct branch off of the PCIE bus. Like -- if you're editing video in FCP and saving out to one of these new external disks, you'd be able to theoretically save from the memory at something well over 10Gb/s but you're going to be slowed down by the hard drives themselves, not the SATA ports.

Of course as time goes by all this will change. Hard drives will get faster, SATA will get faster (or disappear), etc. I do wonder if down the line they could find a way to just get something like this to replace SATA outright.

Quote :
"ok, Stein we get it. if you don't have anything relevant to post, just go find the "what are you thinking" thread in chit chat."


I'm sorry that "full screen apps" being posted in the "Apple Innovation Thread" isn't as funny to everyone else as it is to me I do recognize it's a big deal though, because the little green + never seemed to do what it should have. It was less a "maximize" and more a "just make it a little bigger". It's been a constant frustration whenever I've used OSX, since I don't want a window that just extends from the top bar to the dock and then maybe about 75% of the width of the monitor. I wanted something to respond like it does in Windows when I hit the Maximize button.

3/3/2011 10:22:39 AM

Stein
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INNOVATION ALERT

http://www.engadget.com/2011/05/13/new-imac-frees-you-from-the-tyranny-and-convenience-of-servici/

Quote :
"Letting Apple control most facets of your computing experience is just a fact of life for the Mac faithful, but the company may have gone too far for some with the most recent iMac refresh. Want to swap out that hard drive for a bigger one or replace a dead disk? You've got no option but to go straight to Apple thanks to a new proprietary cable and special firmware. The standard 4-pin SATA connector has been replaced with a 7-pin configuration that keeps you from hooking up just any old hard drive, and without that magical firmware the iMac won't even boot."

5/13/2011 4:28:27 PM

wwwebsurfer
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^they can suck me sideways before I'll buy into that BS. Over the lifetime of an iMac we'll go through at least 1 if not 2 or 3 new drive connections, not to mention the exponential speed growths afforded by SSD's will now have to filter through Apple and enjoy their stupid high cost because they have to develop and test special firmware

5/13/2011 4:32:37 PM

gs7
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Best thread-bump ever.

5/13/2011 10:16:48 PM

1337 b4k4
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Quote :
"The standard 4-pin SATA connector has been replaced with a 7-pin configuration that keeps you from hooking up just any old hard drive, and without that magical firmware the iMac won't even boot.""


Note quite: http://blog.macsales.com/10206-further-explained-apples-imac-2011-model-hard-drive-restrictions#more-10206

It is a new connecter and the drives do have special firmware, but it doesn't prevent you from using a standard SATA drive. The only catch is if you use a regular SATA drive, the fans kick in on full blast because the temp sensor isn't reporting, same thing that would happen if the temp sensor died. Options are to short the temp sensor, splice in a standard temp sensor or use software to control the fans.

5/14/2011 12:07:50 AM

El Nachó
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3/12/2015 12:32:54 AM

moron
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Funny, but the price of the new macbook is in the same range as other fanless ultrabooks.

3/12/2015 1:42:13 AM

neodata686
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You mean like the Asus Zenbook?

http://www.forbes.com/sites/tonybradley/2015/03/10/apple-macbook-makes-a-compelling-pitch-for-asus-zenbook-ux305/

Quote :
"Why is the MacBook a great sales pitch for the Asus Zenbook UX305? The MacBook is great marketing for the UX305 because the Asus ultrabook offers essentially the same specs for almost half the cost.

As amazing as the MacBook is, the Asus Zenbook UX305 is actually six percent thinner at a meager 12.3 millimeters thick. It weighs more than the MacBook at 2.6 pounds, but it also has a larger 13.3-inch display. It comes with the same 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD storage as the MacBook, but also has an audio jack, mini-HDMI port, SD memory card slot, and not one, not two, but THREE USB ports. And one of the three is a USB port that includes USB charge capabilities so it can charge devices 50 percent faster than a normal USB port and it will continue to work and charge devices even if the UX305 is turned off."

3/12/2015 10:45:10 AM

dtownral
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We need a separate thread for when Apple makes things that other people innovated and sells them for more money

3/12/2015 10:51:29 AM

neodata686
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I mean damn that Zenbook is thinner and sure 2.6 lbs (still light) but it has a bigger screen. All the rest is similar specs (more ports) and a regular FHD 1080p screen instead of 2304 x 1440 (what is that even divisible of? 768 by 480?) for only $699.

3/12/2015 11:01:44 AM

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