Tech Corner: Did the Apple and Microsoft Events Beat the Made By Google Event?

November 4th. 2016

Between the Made By Google event, Apple’s most recent Keynote, and Microsoft’s “Creators Update” event, we have many new products to look forward too! After seeing what Google has in store for us, let’s dig into the Apple and Microsoft events: Will they have products worth going out and purchasing?

The Apple keynote focused on the Macbooks and the company’s vision for the future of the Apple TV. Overall, it was a small event with not a lot of new products coming out of it but that the new Macbook Pros will have a new feature called the Touch Bar.

It marks the 25th Anniversary of the Powerbook, Apple’s first laptop. It made it a perfect time to announce an update to the Macbook Pro, but it seems as if the update did not fulfill exceptions. In this update, they revealed how the function keys have been replaced with an OLED touch strip called the Touch Bar.

The touch bar is a retina display bar that responds to touch and gestures. Depending on the software or program you are using, the face will change to match. For example, if you are on safari, your bookmarks will appear on the touch bar, as well as options to add a new tab, move between tabs, or navigate to a different website. I guess the hotkeys, or shortcut keys, was not helpful enough. Professional applications, such as Final Cut Pro X, will experience upgrades to interact with the Touch bar as well.

Oh, and there will be touch ID to unlock your Macbook through the touch bar now.

Overall, the laptop is thinner; Apple said it is 14-17 percent thinner and almost a half-pound lighter than its prior generation. It will be available in both 13 and 15 inches, in either silver or gray colors. The 15-inch model will have a quad-core i7 processor, AMD (Advance Microdevices) Radeon Pro graphics card with 4GB of video memory, and up to 16GB of RAM. The 13-inch version will only offer either a Core-i7 or i7-processor and an Intel Iris GPU (graphic processing unit, also known as a type of video card). 

Both books have four USC-C Thunderbolt-3 ports. They also did away with the SD card slot from the former generation but kept the 3.5mm headphone jack, something their phones no longer even have. Speaking of their iPhone 7, the phone cannot be plugged into this computer unless you get a dongle to convert the wire. It can use the wireless connection and the cloud to transfer files from the two, but that can only work for certain things. 

While it seemed that Apple was trying to remain in their “revolutionary” image and keep moving forward by eliminating wires and adding a shiny screen bar to the keyboard, they actually lost touch with the people who primarily use their expensive computers: artist, content creators, and business professionals. None of us want a bag filled with converters and dongles just to remain active on the computer while on the go. But, at least they kept the headphone jack!

Microsoft, on the other hand, did keep the artist and content creators in mind for their event, unveiling multiple creative-mind products, including a major Windows 10 upgrade called the “Creators Upgrade” and a new PC called the Surface Studio.

The Windows 10 upgrade, “Creators Update”, will include the addition of the new 3D creation tools, live-streaming, and updates to the Xbox app, all while focusing on communicating with close contacts using the “Windows experience”. The executive Vice President of Microsoft Windows and Devices says he wants Windows 10 to have the effect of the Gutenberg [printing] press on the next wave of computing.

Microsoft made a big revival by revamping and relaunching the classic Paint app. Paint will now focus on 3D, being able to easily turn photos into 3D “memories”, doodle in 3D, and make anything into an interactive object. Users will be able to view their exports in a VR headset or upload directly onto Facebook.

Another thing they announced was the Surface Studio, a touchscreen all-in-one desktop computer that is only 12.5mm thick. The Studio has a 28-inch PixelSense display, GeForce 980M (GPU), an Intel i7 processor, and up to 32 GB of memory and 2TB of storage.

The GPU being a  GeForce 980M is in the same family as the previous card they used in their last model: GTX 980M. It is a minor upgrade, but an "M" being labeled in a GPU means it is still a mobile version of it and not the full version, which would be a lot more powerful. If only they sacrificed size a little to put the full-sized card in this computer. The non-mobile GPUs would have a huge difference in size but would also has a huge difference in performance. 

The Studio will also have a “zero-gravity hinge” which means it will allow the screen to tilt down at a sharp angle, allowing it to move from a traditional computer design to a drafting board for drawing and other creative work. Preorders began and start at $2,999, which makes this desktop more expensive than the 15-inch Macbook. 

There will also be the Surface Book i7, which is not new but just an upgrade from last year’s model. It will include Intel’s i7 processor, have a 16-hour battery life, and have even more graphic power and an extra fan to keep it from overheating. The Surface Book will be available in November and go for $2,399 (same price as the 15-inch Macbook). 

We want to hear from you! Are you interested by any of the products announced in these events, or did the Google event still overpower all with announcements? Based on that answer, vote in the poll for which event are you going to be purchasing from? VOTE BELOW!

Which event are you most likely going to purchase items from?

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