No, the exterior design still hasn’t changed, but under the hood the company is touting new processors and graphics, a higher-res webcam with improved low-light performance and a new audio setup that borrows the “studio-quality” mic array already found on select MacBook Pros. Most importantly, perhaps, Apple is finally (finally) making SSDs standard across the line, for both the 27-inch and 21.5-inch iMacs. As for graphics, the vanilla configurations have either an AMD Radeon Pro 5300 card or Radeon Pro 5500 XT, both 7-nanometer GPUs built on AMD’s RDNA architecture.
So your dad isn't that great with technology -- that doesn't mean you can't gift him tech that will make his life easier. These are our picks for the best tech gifts you can get for low-tech dads.
For the first time in years, Apple has a sub-$1,000 MacBook. Technically, anyway. The new and improved MacBook Air starts at $999, a drop from its old $1,099 base price. Notably, Apple also doubled the entry-level storage from 128GB to 256 gigabytes. Most important of all, though, Apple fixed the keyboard, porting over the same new scissor-style design the company first debuted on last year's 16-inch MacBook Pro. This marks a return to form for the Air, a machine that, until now, we were hesitant to recommend over the similarly priced entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro. But with a lower price, more generous specs and a functional, even pleasant, typing experience, the Air might once again be the MacBook for most people.
Hello from the new MacBook Air. Allow me to answer your first question up front: Yes, the new keyboard is excellent. There's only one problem with it: I've already greased the keys with residue from the peanut butter sandwich I was eating. Work-from-home life, y'all!
We came, we saw, we got hands on. By Thursday, January 9th, CES 2020 will be winding down and Team Engadget will getting ready to pack up and go home. But before we do, we need to unveil to the world the winners in the official Best of CES Awards, which Engadget has been judging since 2014. We'll reveal the winners in 17 categories, including Best of the Best, People's Choice and a new environment-focused Best Sustainability Product award. Check back here on Thursday at 5 PM PT / 8 PM ET to watch a livestream of our awards ceremony, taking place at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Rowing isn't a particularly cool or accessible sport. The real thing -- pulling oars through water -- is an expensive hobby, requiring access to a boat, a crew and a suitable body of water. You could try a rowing machine in the gym, but even rowers who love rowing tend to hate rowing machines. I should know: I rowed all through college, and for a few years after. And yet. Over the past year I've seen at least two connected home-rowing machines that attempt to make this repetitive, sometimes grueling sport feel more fun. First was Hydrow, what you could fairly refer to as the Peloton of rowing machines. Today at CES I had a chance to take some strokes on the Ergatta Digital Rower. The Ergatta is decidedly not a Peloton equivalent, or so the company's founders insist. When you scroll through the ergometer's 17.3-inch screen, you don't see group classes. You see workouts dressed up as games. It's up to you if you want to compete with yourself or other users who have completed the same workout recently.
You may know Withings as the company that pioneered WiFi scales. I know them as the people who make beautiful fitness trackers. At a glance, their watches all look like classic analog timepieces, with leather bands and round screens that never feel too large. The new ScanWatch, which made its debut this week at CES, is more of the same. Which is to say it's pretty, and also can do a lot more than than its timeless design would have you believe. On the back side of the watch is a pair of optical sensors: one to detect arrhythmias, or irregular heartbeats, and another for detecting sleep apnea. That latter feature is particularly interesting. Whereas ECG tests have become standard on smartwatches and some fitness trackers, few today can detect sleep apnea, a sleep disorder that can increase one's risk of various fatal outcomes, including strokes and heart attacks.
It's been three years since a smart breast pump stole the show at CES 2017. Since then, Willow has been doing what any tech company would do after it has its first hit: iterate, iterate, iterate. Over the past few years, Willow has made its wearable breast pump easier to operate, and it's also added an optional reusable container for moms who don't like the idea of trashing disposable milk bags. This year, at CES 2020, Willow is unveiling its third-generation pump (and allowing its space to double as a breastfeeding room for nursing mothers attending the show). Though the device looks similar to last year's model, the company is touting some under-the-hood improvements that promise better comfort and a higher milk yield. Specifically, the company claims that moms can expect around 20 percent more milk, on average, per session. (That's based on focus groups with "experienced" users who pumped at least 20 times in testing.) As for comfort, the company has added new suction levels, a slower, gentler pumping rhythm, a "sensitivity" setting and a feature that adjusts the suction settings based on the user's preferences. Of course, the Willow wouldn't be the Willow without some signature hardware features. Like both of its predecessors, it takes the form of two wearable, battery-operated cups -- one of the device's chief selling points has been that moms don't need to sit tethered to a wall outlet while breastfeeding. The pump sends milk straight into a receptacle, whether that be the standard disposable bag or the reusable container, sold separately. The device is also designed to be quiet -- an area where Willow makes progress with each successive generation. Lastly, Willow's shtick is that it promises a design so leakproof you can even do yoga poses while wearing it, though you'll have to take someone else's word for it -- our staff has yet to test that claim. On the software side, the companion app is being updated with personalized pumping tips, onboarding help for new users and what Willow claims is a faster, easier pairing process. As ever, the app tracks volume over time, so women can see how much milk they've produced in various pumping sessions. Willow Generation 3 will be available sometime this spring for $499.99, the same price at which the last-gen model launched. Like its predecessor, it will come with two pumps and 24 milk bags. It will be available in three sizes: a new 21mm, along with the current 24mm and 27mm sizes. The second-generation model will still be sold, also for $499.99 but with a container included. That, too, will be available in the smaller 21mm size, though don't expect the older device to work with the new app; those software features are reserved for Generation 3.
As you may have heard, Team Engadget is spending some time this week perusing Black Friday deals. I was sifting through some sales today, and it turns out my favorite running watch received a temporary price cut. In fact, I'm wearing it on my wrist as I type this. At full price ($400) I might not have recommended the Garmin Forerunner 645/645 Music to everyone; I probably would have suggested most people step down to the mid-range 245. But with a price drop today to $200, the higher-end model suddenly becomes much easier to recommend than it was when we first reviewed it. Like any Garmin (or GPS watch from any brand, for that matter), it'll track your distance, pace and elapsed time. Here, you also get built-in music storage allowing you to stream through wireless headphones, without the need to bring a phone. (Or, in my case, clip on an iPod shuffle that's on its last legs.) There's also a heart rate sensor built in (no need for one of those uncomfortable chest straps) and features that monitor your training in a more long-term sort of way, including V02 Max ratings, workout loads and a so-called performance status. This is a good way to confirm what I often already know: that I'm over- or under-training. As for battery life, I've completed five-hour-plus marathons with plenty of juice to spare. The design has been durable enough for many a run in the rain. The distance tracking is also more accurate than the last several generations of Apple Watches. (Apple Watches tend to say I ran longer than I did, which means my calculated pace is also faster than what I probably achieved.) The Forerunner has admittedly been slow at times to find a GPS signal before I start my run, though a recent firmware update seems to have improved things. There are some more smartwatch-like features on board, but that's not why I recommend this. I never use Garmin Pay, the contactless payment system. And the smartphone notifications are crude and unhelpful. If you want a smartwatch experience (not to mention, something that looks a little more stylish that Garmin's rubbery watches), get an Apple Watch Series 5. (Yes, that's on sale today too.) Buy Garmin Forerunner 645 on Amazon - $200
Engadget is thrilled to once again be judging the official Best of CES Awards. CES 2020 will be our seventh consecutive year curating the winner's list, and once again we'll be presiding over 16 categories (the People's Choice award not included). This year we've added a new category, Best Sustainability Product, and it's exactly what it sounds like: a way to honor the devices and technologies that have the greatest potential to prevent, mitigate or even reverse damage to the environment. That means if Impossible Foods returns to this year's show with an even grander plan to turn the world's meat eaters into herbivores, this would be the award they'd be competing for. But it's not just food science that belongs in the sustainability category -- it's air filters, smog detectors, water filtration systems, reusable materials, smart energy metering and who knows what else? As ever, we're accepting nominations until the night before Press Day kicks off at CES 2020. Our editors will also be researching exhibitors and scouring the show's various venues to find the most promising contenders in each category. On Wednesday the week of the show we'll announce our finalists: two to four per category. And then on Thursday we'll reveal the winners in an award ceremony at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Read on to learn more about our categories, eligibility requirements, submission process and judging criteria.
You may have already noticed, but Engadget has been spending more time lately writing about good deals we find. This week -- nay, month -- has already gotten a little intense in the lead-up to Black Friday, with some brands and retailers having launched "preview" sales the first week of November. Sheesh. Anyhow, you're going to be seeing us pay more attention to price drops going forward, so much so that we thought it was time we created a hub where all of our deals-related posts could be easily discoverable in one place.
After unveiling the new, 100-percent more cheese-grater-inspired Mac Pro back in June, the company promised it would ship this fall. Apple just narrowed that timeline a bit more: A spokesperson tells Engadget that the machine will arrive in December. As our most pedantic commenters would point out, that means as long as it arrives before the winter solstice on December 21, the Mac Pro is on schedule. That's not terribly surprising -- DJ Calvin Harris recently posted images of the Mac Pro to his Instagram Stories, suggesting the machine was in final enough shape that Apple was comfortable seeding it to influencers and pro creators. Though Apple still won't say exactly what day the Pro will go on sale, it did revise one of its performance claims. A spokesperson now says that the machine can handle six simultaneous 8K streams, up from the previous claim of three streams, made back when the machine was unveiled at WWDC in June. Apple chalks that up to further optimizations from the Final Cut Pro development team, suggesting we're not in for any major hardware revisions ahead of launch. We'll look forward to putting that claim to the test once the Mac Pro becomes available (whenever that is). If laptops are more your thing, though, Apple has just lifted the covers off its new high-end MacBook. The 16-inch MacBook Pro replaces the 15-inch model, and is available to pre-order today.
The rumors are true: Apple has made a 16-inch MacBook Pro. To answer some of your likeliest questions: Yes, it's fast; no, it's not as big or as heavy as you think; no, there's still no SD card reader and yes, there's a new keyboard (hooray!). And, yes, I like it. Quite a lot. Unlike other Apple devices, which are announced one day and released sometime later (maybe half a year later), the 16-inch MBP is available to order from today. As you might have guessed, it replaces the similarly sized 15-inch MacBook Pro. Accordingly, it also has the same starting price: $2,399 for the entry-level configuration and $2,799 for the step-up model. As it happens, I've been testing one for the past 24 hours or so. That's not long enough for me to have written a credible review, in my humble opinion, but I do feel ready to share some early impressions alongside other necessarily details, like specs, upgrade options and Apple's lofty performance claims. Read on, and stay tuned for a proper review sometime soon.
Somehow, it's November. Mid-November. Which means while you might just be gearing up to begin your holiday shopping, we're already done. At least, we're done shopping for you. After months of thinking, curating, photographing, more thinking, we've come up with a holiday gift guide that covers all the bases (and budgets), from laptops and mobile devices, to toys, to the smart home, to book and media recommendations (only on nerdy subjects, of course). All told, there are more than 150 items in our guide, spanning 13 categories, with advice from 25 of our writers and editors. You know, the people testing and reviewing this stuff all year long. And we're not done yet: We have additional picks and buying advice coming throughout this week, including gifts for coffee geeks, shopping for hypebeasts and our favorite wireless earbuds. (Because we expect those to be popular stocking stuffers this year.) To start, we have a guide to the best Switch and Switch Lite accessories. The Switch and Switch Lite itself made our list, too, but in the event your intended already has one, perhaps they could use a more functional d-pad controller? Our staff thinks so.
I'm standing in the middle of my living room. Something resembling a garter belt is wrapped snugly around my left thigh. I'm squatting, fast. I may as well be twerking. I haven't had coffee yet. I'm supposed to be working. But this week, this is my work. It's fair to say I'm out of my comfort zone. After eight-plus years at Engadget, I'm testing my first game: Ring Fit Adventure, a new RPG for the Nintendo Switch that's out today. The game has players completing a series of full-body exercises to make their way through a scenic world. Along the way, you run (jog in place) and fly (flap your arms) to get from point A to B, and you "fight" enemies through a series of moves, ranging from squats to core work to yoga poses.
It's happening a little later in the season than usual, but Apple's latest version of macOS is available to download today. Catalina arrives on the heels of iOS 13, which saw several back-to-back updates after an initially rough launch. For what it's worth, I've been using successive versions of the Catalina beta as my daily driver for months now and can assure you that the latest build is stable enough to safely install. Engadget will publish a full review of the software soon. The reason we're waiting: A couple of key features won't be available to try out until the finished OS ships today. That includes so-called Catalyst apps that were designed for the iPad first and later ported over to the Mac. Some big-name cross-overs you'll be able to download at launch: Twitter, TripIt, Rosetta Stone, Post-It and the game Asphalt 9, among others. Speaking of games, today also marks the first time that Catalina beta users will have been able to play Apple Arcade games. If you're wondering how the heck you'll play those titles from your Mac, it's worth a reminder that many Arcade games support Xbox and PlayStation controllers.