The 'Book Review

Apple Intros MacBook Pro with Retina Display, Updated MacBook Air and Pro Models, and More

This Week's PowerBook and iBook News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2012.06.15

General Apple and Mac desktop news is covered in Mac News Review. iPad, iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV news is covered in iOS News Review. All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

News & Opinion

Tech Trends

Products & Services

Bargain 'Books

News & Opinion

WWDC 2012

Apple Introduces New MacBook Pro with Retina Display

PR: Apple on Monday unveiled a new 15" MacBook Pro featuring a Retina Display, all flash storage, and quad-core processors in a radically thin and light design. Measuring 0.71" thick and weighing 4.46 pounds, the completely redesigned MacBook Pro (an upgraded current model 15" MacBook Pro also remains available) points the way to where Apple is gong with laptops.

"The MacBook Pro with Retina Display pushes the limits of performance and portability like no other notebook," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "With a gorgeous Retina Display, all flash architecture, and a radically thin and light design, the new MacBook Pro is the most advanced Mac we have ever built."

15" Mid 2012 MacBook Pro with Retina Display
New 15" MacBook Pro with Retina Display

The new MacBook Pro Retina Display is claimed to be the world's highest resolution notebook display with over 5 million pixels, 3 million more than an HD television. At 220 pixels-per-inch (ppi), the Retina Displays pixel density is so high the human eye can't distinguish individual pixels from a normal viewing distance, so text and graphics look incredibly sharp. The Retina Display uses IPS technology for a 178° wide viewing angle, and has 75% less reflection and 29% higher contrast than the previous generation.

Regular MacBook Pro and Retina MacBook Pro screens compared
Regular MacBook Pro and Retina MacBook Pro screens compared.

Featuring a precision engineered aluminum unibody design and an all flash storage architecture, the new MacBook Pro is the lightest MacBook Pro ever and nearly as thin as a MacBook Air. Flash storage that is up to four times faster than traditional notebook hard drives enables the all new MacBook Pro to play four simultaneous streams of uncompressed 1080p HD video from internal storage.1 The flash storage architecture also delivers improved reliability, instant-on responsiveness, and 30 days of standby time.

The MacBook Pro with Retina Display features the latest Intel Core i7 Ivy Bridge quad-core processors up to 2.7 GHz with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.7 GHz, Nvidia GeForce GT 650M discrete graphics, up to 16 GB of faster 1600 MHz RAM and flash storage up to 768 GB. Two Thunderbolt and two USB 3.0 ports allow pro users to connect to multiple displays and high performance devices, and a new HDMI port offers quick connectivity to HDTVs.

The MacBook Pro battery delivers up to 7 hours of wireless productivity, and uses advanced chemistry and Adaptive Charging technology to provide up to 1,000 recharges.2 The MacBook Pro also features a FaceTime HD camera, glass Multi-Touch trackpad, full-size backlit keyboard, dual microphones, enhanced speakers, 3-stream 802.11n WiFi, and a thinner MagSafe 2 power port.

OS X and Apps Updated for Retina Display

OS X 10.7 Lion, iPhoto, iMovie, iTunes, and other Apple apps including Aperture and Final Cut Pro X have been updated to take full advantage of the new MacBook Pro with Retina Display. The updated Aperture 3.3 also includes revolutionary new image adjustment features and now supports a unified photo library so photographers can move seamlessly between iPhoto and Aperture.

The new MacBook Pro ships with OS X Lion. Starting today, customers who purchase a Mac are eligible for a free copy of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion when it becomes available. Mountain Lion introduces innovative features including the all new Messages app, Notification Center, systemwide Sharing, AirPlay Mirroring, Game Center and the enhanced security of Gatekeeper, plus iCloud built into the foundation of OS X.

The 15" MacBook Pro with Retina Display is available through the Apple Online Store, Apple's retail stores, and Apple Authorized Resellers. The 15" MacBook Pro is available with a 2.3 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.3 GHz, 8 GB of memory, and 256 GB of flash storage starting at $2,199; and with a 2.6 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.6 GHz, 8 GB of memory, and 512 GB of flash storage starting at $2,799. Configure-to-order options include faster quad-core processors up to 2.7 GHz, up to 16 GB of memory, and flash storage up to 768 GB.

  1. Testing conducted by Apple in June 2012 using preproduction MacBook Pro configurations. For more information visit http://apple.com/macbook-pro/features/
  2. The Wireless Web protocol testing was conducted by Apple in June 2012 using preproduction MacBook Pro configurations. Battery life and charge cycles vary by use and settings. For more information visit apple.com/macbook-pro/features/.

Publisher's note: For our perspective on the Retina MacBook Pro, see The Retina MacBook Pro Value Equation. dk

Apple Updates MacBook Air and MacBook Pro with Latest Processors and New Graphics

PR: Apple on Monday updated MacBook Air with the latest Intel Core processors, faster graphics, and flash storage that is claimed to be up to twice as fast as the previous generation.1 MacBook Air is offered at new lower prices, while the current generation 13" and 15" MacBook Pro have also been updated with the latest Intel Core processors and discrete graphics from Nvidia. Apple's AirPort Express has been redesigned to include features previously available only in AirPort Extreme.

"Today we've updated the entire MacBook line with faster processors, graphics, memory, flash storage and USB 3 connectivity," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "We've made the world's best portable family even better and we think users are going to love the performance advances in both the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro."

MacBook Air

2012 11" and 13" MacBook Air
Mid 2012 11" and 13" MacBook Air

Available in 11" and 13" models, the new MacBook Air features Intel's latest "Ivy Bridge" Core i5 and Core i7 dual-core processors and new integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000 claimed to be up to 60% faster.2 MacBook Air also features flash storage Apple says is up to four times faster than traditional hard drives for instant-on performance and fast access to apps and data. More big news is that the MacBook Air now comes with a more reasonable 4 GB of system memory and is configurable up to 8 GB, also also featuring a new FaceTime HD camera that delivers high-definition 720p

MacBook Pro

Mid 2012 13" and 15" MacBook Pro
Mid 2012 13" and 15" MacBook Pro

The 13" MacBook Pro features the Intel Core i5 or Core i7 Ivy Bridge dual-core processors up to 2.9 GHz with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.6 GHz. The 15" MacBook Pro features Core i7 quad-core processors up to 2.7 GHz with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.7 GHz and Nvidia GeForce GT 650M discrete graphics. Both the 13" and 15" MacBook Pro can be configured with a 1 TB hard drive or SSDs up to 512 GB that Apple says are up to twice as fast as the previous generation.

MacBook Air and MacBook Pro both now feature a high-speed Thunderbolt port and two USB 3.0 ports to easily connect to external displays and high performance peripherals. Apple says the 13" MacBook Air, and 13" and 15" MacBook Pro can deliver up to 7 hours of wireless battery life, and the 11" MacBook Air up to 5 hours and are engineered to provide up to 1,000 recharges.3

The MacBook Air and MacBook Pro ship with OS X 10.7 Lion. Starting today, customers who purchase a Mac are eligible for a free copy of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion when it becomes available. Mountain Lion introduces innovative features including the all new Messages app, Notification Center, systemwide Sharing, AirPlay Mirroring, Game Center, and the enhanced security of Gatekeeper, plus iCloud built into the foundation of OS X.

AirPort Express Gains AirPlay

Priced at $99, the new AirPort Express features a completely redesigned compact enclosure and new wireless and connectivity capabilities. Simultaneous dual-band 802.11n WiFi allows users to easily create a network that delivers optimal performance and range. The AirPort Express also features an audio-out port to connect external powered speakers or an A/V receiver and use AirPlay to wirelessly stream from iTunes on your Mac or iOS device. A USB 2.0 port allows you to share a printer wirelessly over your network, and an additional ethernet port lets you connect to other computers and network devices. Setup is built right into OS X and iOS and can be done in just a few simple steps, and with AirPort Utility 6.0 for OS X Lion and iOS you can access a visual map of your network for viewing and reconfiguring devices.

The 11" MacBook Air comes with a 1.7 GHz processor, 4 GB of memory, and is available with 64 GB of flash storage starting at $999, and 128 GB of flash storage starting at $1,099. The 13" MacBook Air comes with a 1.8 GHz processor, 4 GB of memory and is available with 128 GB of flash storage starting at $1199, and 256 GB of flash storage starting at $1,499. Configure-to-order options include a 2.0 GHz Intel Core i7 processor, up to 8 GB of 1600 MHz DDR3 onboard memory, and up to 512 GB flash storage.

The 13" MacBook Pro is available with a 2.5 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor, 4 GB of memory, and 500 GB hard drive starting at $1,199, and with a 2.9 GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 processor, 8 GB of memory, and 750 GB hard drive starting at $1,499.

The 15" MacBook Pro is available with a 2.3 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, 4 GB of memory, Intel HD Graphics 4000 and Nvidia GeForce GT 650M, and 500 GB hard drive starting at $1,799; and with a 2.6 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, 8 GB of memory, Intel HD Graphics 4000 and Nvidia GeForce GT 650M, and 750 GB hard drive starting at $2,199. Configure-to-order options include faster quad-core processors up to 2.7 GHz, additional hard drive capacity up to 1 TB, up to 8 GB of memory, and solid state storage up to 512 GB.

Publisher's note: For our perspective on the new MacBook Air, see The Mid 2012 MacBook Air Value Equation. For our perspective on the new MacBook Pro, see The Mid 2012 MacBook Pro Value Equation. dk

  1. Testing conducted by Apple in June 2012 using preproduction MacBook Air configurations. For more information visit apple.com/macbookair/features.html.
  2. Testing conducted by Apple in June 2012 using preproduction MacBook Air configurations. For more information visit apple.com/macbookair/features.html.
  3. The Wireless Web protocol testing was conducted by Apple in June 2012 using preproduction MacBook Pro and MacBook Air configurations. Battery life and charge cycles vary by use and settings.

iFixit's Mid 2012 MacBook Air Teardown Reveals New SSD Connector, More

iFixit's Kyle Wiens says:

Hey, guess what - the updated MacBook Air really does have some new stuff inside! That's in marked contrast with the "new" iPod nanos that were released last year, which got us all up in a frenzy over very few changes.

Wiens notes that Apple has tweaked the SSD form factor and switched to a different flash controller - the new unit based on a SandForce SATA Revision 3 controller chip, but stamped with Toshiba markings. He notes that it's still removable, meaning that users will be able to upgrade the drive once third-party components become available, and that while the board bears visual similarities to mSATA, it is not using the same connector.

11" and 13" MacBook Air
11" and 13" MacBook Air

Unfortunately, the RAM is still not upgradeable, and Wiens strongly recommends that anyone purchasing an Air upgrade to 8 GB at purchase time, because you're stuck with whatever it leaves the assembly line with forever.

Another heads-up: The new MagSafe 2 connector won't work with Apple's currently shipping Cinema displays unless you buy their $10 adapter (see below). Wiens also wonders whether Apple will update the Cinema display, start including an adapter with the display, or force people to remember to buy the extra adapter.

"We were expecting that moving to Ivy Bridge would improve battery life," he says, "but it looks like Apple decided to push the Core i7 performance envelope and keep battery life the same. We did see internal evidence of power savings, including moving from 1.5 volt SDRAM to Hynix's lower power DDR3L 1.35v part."

Repair Score: 4 / 10

The SSD can be removed and replaced
The SSD can be removed and replaced.

Wiens observes "The lack of upgradeability makes this a difficult machine to recommend. Proprietary screws on the case require special pentalobe screwdrivers to perform repairs. The Air's RAM and SSD are not currently upgradeable, although SSD options may become available in time. While Apple's continued use of proprietary screws is helping our booming tool sales, it's bad for consumers and bad for the environment."

Wiens says iFixit will be taking apart the Retina MacBook Pro the moment they get their hands on one.

Photos courtesy iFixit.

iFixit Teardown of Retina MacBook Pro Finds Poor Repairability

iFixit's Kyle Wiens observes that the new MacBook Pro with Retina Display is stunning. Just 0.71" thick with a super-fast processor, and 95 watt hours of battery life, Apple's newest 'Book crams 5.1 million pixels into a 15.4" screen area.

"But even though it packs lots of gee-whiz bells and whistles," says Wiens, "we were thoroughly disappointed when we ventured inside. This is, to date, the least repairable laptop we've taken apart. Apple has packed all the things we hate into one beautiful little package."

Wiens cites teardown highlights (if you can call them that) as:

Just like in the iPhone 4/4S (and the MacBook Air), proprietary Pentalobe screws prevent most users from accessing the machine's internals. You need a special (and hard-to-obtain) screwdriver just to remove the bottom cover.

As in the MacBook Air, the RAM is soldered to the logic board. Either pay Apple another $200 to max out at 16 GB up front or forever hold your peace. There are no RAM slots, so you can't upgrade later on.

Removing the proprietary SSD
Removing the proprietary SSD.

The proprietary SSD isn't upgradeable either (at least yet), being similar but not identical to the flash storage module in the previous MacBook Air. However, it is at least on a separate card, and Wiens says iFixit is hopeful that they'll be able to offer an upgrade in the near future.

The lithium-polymer battery is glued rather than screwed into the case, which increases the chances that it'll break during disassembly. The battery also covers the trackpad cable, which tremendously increases the chance that a user will shear the cable in the battery removal process.

The display assembly is completely fused, and there's no glass protecting it. If anything ever fails inside the display, you'll need to replace the entire (extremely expensive) assembly.

Prying at the battery
Prying at the battery.

Consequently, iFixit has awarded the Retina MacBook Pro a worst-ever repair score of 1/10.

"Laptops are expensive, so it's critical that consumers have the option to repair things that go wrong, as well as upgrade their own hardware to keep it relevant as new technologies roll out," Kyle Wiens contends. Unhappily, he observes, "On top of being glued together, the new MacBook Pro is virtually nonupgradeable, making it the first MacBook Pro that will be unable to adapt to future advances in memory and storage technology."

On the other hand, he concedes that despite its dismal repair score, there's much to be excited about in this computer beyond the Retina Display: new ports, a claimed to be much quieter asymmetrical fan, and a Samsung flash memory SSD. "Oh, and the screws are replaceable," he adds.

Major chips iFixit found on the new MacBook Pro logic board:

  • Nvidia GeForce GT 650M GPU
  • Intel Core i7 3720QM 2.6 GHz processor
  • What appears to be an Intel E208B284 Platform Controller Hub
  • Hynix H5TC2GB3CFR DDR3L SDRAM
  • Intel DSL3510L Thunderbolt controller

Photos courtesy iFixit.

AnandTech's Analysis of MacBook Pro with Retina Display

AnandTech's Anand Lal Shimpi reports that even at the non-integer-scaled 1680 x 1050 setting, Apple's new MacBook Pro's Retina Display looks a lot better than last year's high-res panel, and he observes that by removing the cover glass Apple has reduced the new display's number of reflections and thus glare - but points out that this still isn't a matte display, although he's never been particularly bothered by glossy screens.

He also notes that what happens when you run an app that hasn't been updated to support the Retina Display (that would be most third party software at this point) isn't pretty, although scaling up should be relatively easy since the 2880 x 1800 Retina resolution is exactly twice the 15" MacBook Pro's 1440 x 900.

Apple's Retina Macs: A Little Too Elite?

The Register's Andrew Orlowski notes that Apple loves to be ahead of the competition on the technology curve, but wonders if it's steepened the curve a little too far with the new Retina MacBook that he says is causing angst among Apple's most loyal professional users.

Orlowski says the problem isn't the retina display per se but rather the absence of serious storage, with the base Retina laptop shipping with only 256 GB capacity, which video professionals say isn't adequate for even a day of video work. And while Apple does offer pricey 512 GB and 768 GB upgrades, the upshot is that optimal video editing Mac got a lot more expensive this week.

He also observes that dropping the optical drive on the Pro laptop is a different dynamic than it was with the MacBook Air - the latter typically used as a second machine, but a MacBook Pro more often as a primary Mac and desktop replacement.

Publisher's note: Um, that's why Apple also makes the 15" MacBook Pro with a traditional hard drive and built-in optical drive. And if people really want the Retina Display and lots of storage, there are a host of fast, high capacity USB 3 bus-powered hard drives available that weigh a lot less than the one pound difference in weight between the two 15" MacBook Pro offerings. dk

The Last Laptop?

Slate's Farhad Manjoo says Apple's new MacBook Pro is the greatest, and perhaps final, version of the personal computer.

Manjoo maintains that at this point, Apple isn't really at war with itself, because in many ways the Air is a complement to the iPad, not its enemy. But he anticipates that at some point in the future the two machines will have to collide, and that either the Air or the iPad will win out - or we'll see some novel combination of the two - but in the meantime this much is clear: If the once mighty personal computer is to have any future, the MacBook Air is its last best hope, concluding that the dynamics in play are strange and fascinating to behold, that thanks to Apple, laptop computers have never been better and, also thanks to Apple, laptops have never been more clearly destined for obsolescence.

5 Ways to Spend $2,199 on a MacBook

Cnet's Dan Ackerman notes that the new MacBook Pro with Retina Display isn't the only way to spend a lot on an Apple laptop.

  1. 15" 2.3 GHz quad-core MacBook Pro with Retina Display, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD
  2. 15" 2.6 GHz quad-core MacBook Pro with 8 GB RAM, 750 GB hard drive
  3. 13" 2.9 GHz dual-core MacBook Pro with 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD
  4. 13" 2.0 GHz dual-core MacBook Air with 8 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD
  5. 11" 2.0 GHz dual-core MacBook Air with 8 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD

How to Spend Over $8,000 on a New MacBook Pro System

The 1996 PowerBook 5300ce has the dubious distinction of being the second most expensive Mac laptop ever, listing for a suck-in-your-breath $6,500 at the time. (Number 1: The 1989 Macintosh Portable at a stratospheric $7,300 with 40 GB hard drive.) However Mac 360's Alexis Kayhill demonstrates how you can take a new $2,799 Retina Display MacBook Pro desktop replacement/home office/small business rig well beyond that point by checking items on the option, configure to order, and peripherals lists.

Publisher's note: Kayhill goes a bit overboard, adding $349 for AppleCare (probably a good idea on a brand new model) and then tossing in a Thunderbolt Display, a Thunderbolt hard drive, 3 GB Time Capsule, Apple TV (huh?), and an Epson printer. Without all those extras, a topped-out Retina MacBook Pro comes in at $3,749. dk

Retina Display MacBook Pro Forecast to Be a Bandwidth Hog

WSJ/CIO Journal's Clint Boulton says enterprise CIOs allowing BYOD policies may find their corporate networks clogged should employees bring Apple's newly-announced 2880 x 1800 pixel resolution Retina Display MacBook Pro computers to work.

Boulton observes that the ultra high-res displays require more network bandwidth, noting that that experts told CIO Journal earlier this year that the New iPad, which also features a Retina Display of 2048 x 1536 resolution with 3.1 million pixels, would slow enterprise networks to a crawl and increase data costs from carriers, so consider what a MacBook with 5.1 million pixels will do to increase data traffic congestion in office networks.

Publisher's note: This is the same nonsense spouted about the New iPad - as though just because the screen has 4x the resolution users will be using 4x as much bandwidth. That's patently false, as such high resolution material can be compressed more than at standard resolutions because the Retina Display pixels are so tiny as to be individually indistinguishable. Boulton has updated his article and included the following note:

"CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article incorrectly said that the higher resolution Retina displays of the new iPad and forthcoming MacBook Pro computers would increase consumption of network bandwidth, thus slowing performance of corporate networks. Higher resolution screens do not in and of themselves consume more network bandwidth. Some analysts have suggested that owners of devices with high-resolution screens will likely consume more video and HD video, which would result in higher bandwidth consumption. This article has been substantially recast to reflect this change."

Apple Discontinues 17" MacBook Pro

Macworld's Dan Moren confirms that Apple has discontinued the largest member of its laptop line in the wake of its WWDC announcements, observing that with the 17" MacBook Pro gone, it may seem as though Apple has lost some versatility in its portable lineup. However, he notes that the new 15" Retina Display MacBook Pro's 2880 x 1800 resolution display handily outstrips the 17-incher's 1920 x 1200 panel and will be its logical successor.

Why Apple Dropped the 17" MacBook Pro

ZDNet's Adrian Kingsley-Hughes contends that while sales played a part in Apple's decision to drop the larger of the MacBook Pro systems, it wasn't the only reason, saying he's certain Apple sold more 17" MacBook Pros over the last year than it did Mac Pro systems, the more probable deciding factor would be that the 15.4" display on the MacBook Pro has a 2880 x 1800 resolution - much greater than the 17-incher's 1920 x 1200 resolution. He suggests that once LCD panel makers get better at making Retina Display screens and 17" panels start rolling off the production lines at the right price point, he wouldn't be surprised if Apple offers 17" MacBook Pro systems again.

Best Alternatives to the Discontinued 17" MacBook Pro

Cnet's Scott Stein says the sudden disappearance of Apple's 17" MacBook Pro laptop will make some photographers and videographers weep, but the new 15" MacBook Pro with Retina Display has more pixels and will be a great replacement, according to others. Still, 17" Pro laptop fans suddenly find themselves looking for a new partner, and most 17" laptops on the Windows side are "gaming laptops" - clunky, bulky, and leaning toward power over battery life.

According to Stein, the best substitutes for the 17-incher are:

  • Apple MacBook Pro 15" with Retina Display
  • Razer Blade
  • Samsung Series 7 Gamer
  • Asus G75VW-AS71
  • Toshiba Qosmio X775-Q7170
  • Origin EON17-S
  • HP Pavilion dv7-6b55dx

Publisher's note: Although Apple no longer features the 17" MacBook Pro at the online Apple Store, you can still buy refurbished ones from Apple with the same one-year warranty as a brand new MacBook Pro - and prices start at a very reasonable $1,689 (ranging as high as $2,169). Also, many Mac dealers still have 17" inventory. See our Best 17" MacBook Pro Prices for current pricing. Also, it's hard for any longtime Mac user to consider a Windows laptop a real alternative. dk

Tech Trends

Demand for High Resolution Notebook Panels Expected to Increase, but at a High Cost

DigiTimes' Rebecca Kuo and Jackie Chang say that with Apple introducing the new 15.4" Retina MacBook Pro with 2880 x 1800 pixel resolution, panel makers expect increasing demand for high resolution panels as non-Apple firms follow suit in introducing similar products, deducing that even though the new MacBook Pro's retail price has been set at $2,199, the new product is still attractive to consumers.

However, Kuo and Chang note that shipments of notebook panels with resolutions of Full HD and above continue to be low, according to DigiTimes Research accounting for less than 2% of total notebook panel shipments in first-half 2012.

The sources point out that the price of 13" to 15" HD notebook panels is currently around $40-45/unit, while full HD IPS panels, such as ones Chimei Innolux (CMI) supplies to Asustek's new models, run around $90-100/unit, while sources at Samsung and LG Display - panel suppliers for Apple's MacBook Pro - estimate the OEM price of the 2880 x 1800 Retina panels as likely to be above $150/unit.

Products & Services

Apple MagSafe to MagSafe 2 Converter

PR: The MagSafe to MagSafe 2 Converter allows you to use the MagSafe connector on your LED Cinema Display, Thunderbolt Display, or MagSafe Power Adapter to charge your MagSafe 2-equipped Mac computer.

$9.99

WaterField Waxed Canvas & Leather Outback Tote & Apple Laptop Sleeves for New Retina MacBook Pro and Other Apple Laptops

PR: WaterField has announced their new Outback Tote and Outback Sleeve for Apple laptops. The Outback line combines durable waxed canvas with sturdy leather for a relaxed, professional look. Outback Laptop SleeveThe Outback Weekender and the Outback Daily are go-everywhere, hold-everything Tote bags that double as travel bags or briefcases. The Outback Laptop Sleeve provides protection with a sophisticated, rugged look that can go from office to field.

"The Outback represents one of our new styles," explains Gary Waterfield, company founder. "It has a masculine look and a patina that changes over time to give every bag a unique character. Its muted waxed-canvas color and distressed leather make the Outback sophisticated enough for work, and functional enough for play."

The Outback Tote comes in two sizes; the medium Outback Daily for commuters, and the larger Outback Weekender for travelers. The sturdy canvas can hold heavy items and the leather strap length allows Outback Toteusers to carry it by the handles or over the shoulder. A large, interior zippered pocket keeps passports, wallets, keys, and other essentials out of sight. The facing side includes a pocket sized to hold an iPad (and in the Weekender, one additional pocket for more items). The tote can be zippered shut or kept open to haul oversized items.

The Outback Laptop Sleeve provides the same degree of protection as the WaterField SleeveCase line. Shock-absorbing neoprene and a waxed canvas shell combine for a custom-fit for any Apple laptop. The sleeve can be used alone or stashed into the Outback Tote, the Muzetto Outback, or any other WaterField bag.

Outback Tote Features:

  • Brown, waxed-canvas body that develops its own character with use
  • Distressed, vegetable-tanned, leather accents in choice of two colors: Chocolate or Grizzly
  • Two handles long enough to wear over a shoulder and short enough to hold like a briefcase
  • Discrete zippered top closure
  • Interior iPad-sized pocket
  • Interior self-locking, zippered pocket with organizational sections
  • Gold ripstop nylon interior lights up contents of bag
  • Two sizes: the medium Outback Daily and the large Outback Weekender

Outback Laptop SleeveOutback Laptop Sleeve Features:

  • Custom-fitted sizes for each Apple laptop, including new MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models
  • High-grade neoprene padding wrapped in a waxed-canvas shell
  • Distressed, vegetable-tanned, leather trim in choice of two colors: Chocolate or Grizzly
  • Vintage artisan snap closure
  • Horizontal or Vertical orientation for totes and briefcases, or backpacks and vertical bags
  • WaterField Designs also offers all of its existing laptop sleeve options in custom sizes for the new 15" MacBook Pro with Retina Display.

Pricing & Availability

Outback Tote

  • The Daily: Price: $149; Dimensions: 13 to 19 x 14 x 5 inches.
  • The Weekender: $159; Dimensions: 18 to 24 x 13 x 6 inches.
  • Colors: brown waxed canvas with vegetable-tanned, leather trim in choice of Chocolate or Grizzly.
  • Available for preorder now at http://www.sfbags.com
  • Shipping begins week of June 18, 2012.

Outback Laptop Sleeve

  • Price: $49.
  • Custom-fit sizes for every Apple laptop, including new MacBook Pro 15". Snap closure.
  • Colors: brown waxed canvas with vegetable-tanned, leather trim in choice of Chocolate or Grizzly.
  • Available for preorder now at http://www.sfbags.com

MacBook Pro with Retina Display Outback Sleeve shipping to begin within one week from Apple ship date. All other models shipping begins June 15, 2012.

Bargain 'Books

For deals on current and discontinued 'Books, see our 13" MacBook and MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, 13" MacBook Pro, 15" MacBook Pro, 17" MacBook Pro, 12" PowerBook G4, 15" PowerBook G4, 17" PowerBook G4, titanium PowerBook G4, iBook G4, PowerBook G3, and iBook G3 deals.

We also track iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, iPod classic, iPod nano, and iPod shuffle deals.

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