Top accessories to make designers’ lives easier

Top accessories to make designers’ lives easier

Chances are, you already know the basic rules of creative productivity in the workplace – keep a tidy workspace, and always have the tools you need available. But what gear should you look at to stay as productive as possible?

Designers often rely on a fair few bits of kit to make their day to day lives easier, and this is something we know all about. Having dished out great accessories from leading vendors for over 25 years now, we know exactly how to help creatives do what they do best. We try our wide range of accessories ourselves, so you can rest assured you’re picking up something that’s reliable and beneficial.

Below, we’ve put together our top five recommended accessories that we think will give your creative workflow a boost…

Satechi USB-C Thunderbolt 3 Pro 4K HDMI Hub

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As much as we love the latest MacBook Pro models (they’re great for all kinds of design work!), you might find yourself stuck for ports every now and again. That means you’ll have to root around for the right adaptor to make sure you can use all of your essential accessories at once.

Luckily, there’s a way to combine all of those adaptors into one. The Satechi USB-C Thunderbolt 3 Pro is a slimline hub that clips onto the side of your MacBook Pro, utilising its two USB-C ports. In return, it provides you with an HDMI output, two USB 3.0 ports, an SD card slot and a MicroSD card slot. It even has a pass-through power USB-C port, so you can still charge your device while benefiting from all the additional ports. And the hub is even colour matched to your MacBook Pro, in case you’re fussy about that sort of thing.

Our Product Manager, Taylor, says…

“The Satechi hub is a great companion for a designer’s MacBook Pro (it matches!), and ensures you’ll always have access to the ports you need. So no more picking and choosing which devices to use or charge while you’re hard at work in the studio or on the move!”

Shop now – £66.66 (£79.99 inc VAT)

STM Kings 15 inch / 22L Luxury Laptop Backpack

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Out and about and need to do some design work on the go? We reckon the STM Kings Luxury Laptop Backpack will suit you just right. Store your laptop, Wacom tablet, pens, pads, phone, chargers and documents, as well as anything else you might want or need to cart around – the STM Kings backpack can hold it all.

It also comes with a handy CableReady system, allowing you to route a charging cable through the backpack without getting knotted up – especially useful if your battery is running low and you need it fully charged for when you arrive at the studio. It even comes with ‘The Stash’, a small zippered bag that’s really useful for organising your batteries, cables, pens and other bits and bobs.

Taylor says…

“You can’t go wrong with an STM Kings laptop backpack. Not only is it easy on the eyes and comfortable to carry, it has enough space and built-in compartments to carry everything a designer could need while on the move.”

Shop now – £99.96 (£119.95 inc VAT)

Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Express Dock HD

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Fed up of fighting through a forest of cables in order to get to your desk? Is it becoming a distraction to your creativity? The Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Express Dock is capable of running dual 4K displays, and allows you to connect up to eight (yes, eight!) different devices through a single Thunderbolt connection – perfect for all your charging and accessory needs. Tidy workspace, tidy mind!

Taylor says…

“This Belkin Thunderbolt 3 dock is perfect for making sure all your productivity needs are met, without compromising your desk space with loads of wires and cables. Designers will also find the ability to connect dual 4K displays especially useful, providing plenty of screen real estate.”

Shop now – £313.49 (£376.19 inc VAT)

Griffin Notebook Elevator Stand

griffin_stand

The Griffin Notebook Elevator Stand not only raises your MacBook up to a more comfortable height (important if you’re going to be staring hard at your screen all day), but it also frees up some desk space so you’ve got more room to create with your Wacom tablet and sketchpad, as well as area for your new dock, headphones and three cups of tea that have all gone cold…

Taylor says…

“We’ve got these all over our office – we couldn’t do without them! Not only do they make it easier to look at your laptop screen for long periods of time, but they give you more room to work while at your desk.”

Shop now – £29 (£34.80 inc VAT)

Logitech Slim Combo Case for iPad Pro 10.5″

logitech_slim_combo_case

If you’re using iPad Pro for design work, particularly while you’re on the move, this Slim Combo Case from Logitech is ideal. It’s versatile and multipurpose, and helps transform your iPad Pro experience into something more closely resembling a laptop, so it’s perfect for all the email sending and admin work that’s part and parcel of design workflows. The case’s Smart Connector pairs with and powers the keyboard, and provides four distinct modes: typing, viewing, FaceTime and reading. It also features full-size backlit keys and a built-in Apple Pencil holder.

Taylor says…

“iPad Pro is often the tablet of choice for designers, and this Logitech case helps add a dash of productivity to mobile creative workflows by providing a keyboard that can be used to make writing emails, briefs, feedback and more so much easier.”

Shop now – £99 (£118.80 inc VAT)

For more information, get in touch with the team by calling 03332 409 306 or emailing sales@Jigsaw24.comFor all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Your mini guide to patch management with Jamf Pro

Your mini guide to patch management with Jamf Pro

Patch management is an integral part of application security, so it should be high on your list of priorities when it comes to your Mac estate. IT admins spend hours scouring the web for software updates, but it doesn’t have to be as complex and time consuming as you might think.

Formerly a repetitive manual process, quality device management solutions like Jamf Pro have made it easy for users to ensure their software is up to date and secure. How does it do this? Well, Jamf Pro automatically notifies administrators when third party software updates are released, bypassing the rigmarole of figuring out what needs upgrading and which updates are available. This is especially handy given that so many popular third party applications churn out multiple updates a month.

Figuring out where to take action when new updates are available can also be tricky, as most organisations with thousands of machines and users are likely running different software versions. Identifying potential software vulnerabilities is a must, but thankfully Jamf Pro provides visibility into the software or app version a device is running, as well as the number of devices operating on a specific patch. All the information is compiled in an easy to understand visual, and reports can be downloaded or bookmarked so you can share your findings with colleagues. From there, you can take action as and when you need to, ensuring the security of your Mac environment.

Jamf Pro's Patch Management interface

Jamf Pro’s Patch Management interface

If you’re looking to take patch management one step further, Jamf Pro allows IT admins to automate update deployment by utilising policies and scripts. We’d recommend using a mixture of packaged scripts to guarantee a successful rollout with minimal downtime and interference.

If you’d like to find out more, you can download our Mac Management whitepaper here. Alternatively, give us a call on 03332 409 365 or email solutions@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and reviews, follow us on Twitter @WeAreJigsaw24 and ‘like’ us on Facebook.

 

Buyers’ guide: Apple notebooks

Buyers’ guide: Apple notebooks

Not sure whether you need a lightweight 12″ MacBook, the versatile MacBook Air or the power of the MacBook Pro (with or without its shiny new Touch Bar and Touch ID)? Here’s a run down of the key specs – and some user comments – to help you decide one way or the other.

If you have any questions left at the end, you can always get in touch with our team on 03332 409 306 for more advice, or enjoy a live chat with one of them over on our website.

12″ MacBook

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Apple’s entry-level notebook is the 12″ MacBook. The smallest, lightest and goldest of the Apple notebook range, the MacBook was introduced in 2015 and was the first of the Apple line to feature a range of innovations, including the USB-C standard, the Force Touch touchpad, and a lighter ‘butterfly’ keyboard. The USB-C standard incorporates power, VGA, HDMI and DisplayPort standards into a single, versatile port (you will need to buy an additional adaptor to ensure all your non-USB-C devices can still connect to your MacBook).

This versatility makes the MacBook a great notebook for anyone who has to wear multiple hats, or who is moving between locations and needs to be able to slot in to whatever working environment they find. Its silent, fanless design and light touch keyboard are ideal for anyone who does most of their typing on the train and would to keep things to a polite volume.

As it is the smallest notebook in the range, MacBook doesn’t quite have the power to handle big data or creative tasks, but if you’re mostly going to be doing admin and general office work, you shouldn’t have a problem.

Ideal for: Office and admin work, mobile workers who need functionality beyond that of an iOS device.

Width: 13.1mm.

Weight: 2lbs.

Display: 12″ Retina display with 2304 x 1440 resolution.

Processors: 6th generation Intel Core m3, m5 and m7 processors.

Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 515.

Storage: 512GB flash storage and 8GB RAM.

Battery life: Up to 10 hours.

Cost: From £1035 (£1242 inc VAT)

Buy now

MacBook Air

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The MacBook Air has been with us since 2008 and, though it may no longer be the lightest in the lineup, it’s still got a lot to recommend it to your mobile workforce. With up to 12 hours’ battery life, it’s the most long-lived of all the Apple range, and with a 8GB RAM and Intel i7 processors, it meets the minimum requirements for most creative apps.

Granted, it might struggle to run more than one at once, or handle higher end work, but it’s ideal for managers or those who are more involved in the approvals process than actual creation, but may need to access and annotate native files.

But it’s not just for mobile workers – it’s more than a match for common office and productivity apps, and if you’re called into a meeting, you can just pick up your MacBook Air and head down, hooking up to the room’s display (either wirelessly over AirPlay and Apple TV, or through a wired Mini DisplayPort connection) to share with the group.

It’s worth noting that the MacBook Air is the last in the Apple notebook lineup to not feature any USB-C ports, so perhaps not the best if you want to futureproof your Mac estate. However, the Air’s reliability and lifespan make it a solid investment if having the latest ports isn’t a priority for you.

Ideal for: Anyone who needs to run applications on the move when a tablet just won’t cut it – so salespeople, client-facing consultants and other staff in the field, for example. Will also work for creatives in a pinch.

Width: 17mm.

Weight: 2.96lbs.

Display: 13″ widescreen display.

Processors: Fifth generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors.

Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 5000.

Storage: Up to 512GB flash storage and 8GB RAM.

Battery life: Up to 12 hours.

Cost: From £785 (£942 inc VAT)

Buy now from Jigsaw24

MacBook Pro

The most recently reinvigorated of all the Apple notebooks, the MacBook Pro now comes in three flavours: a 13″ MacBook Pro with no Touch Bar, and 13″ and 15″ models with Apple’s Touch Bar and Touch ID technology built in.

While each model has different internal specifications, there have been a few improvements made across the board. The latest generation of Retina display has a 67% higher contrast ratio and can hit up to 500 nits brightness. It uses the P3 colourspace, which means it can display 25% more colours than standard RGB, giving you access to far more greens and reds.

To complement this, the MacBook Pro range boasts between 103 and 130% faster graphics performance than the previous generation, depending on which model you choose. You’ll also experience up to 76% faster 4K rendering, up to 130% faster realtime 3D graphics performance, and 103% faster performance when you’re gaming – all of which are ideal for creative users.

The MacBook Pro’s speakers have also been given a polish, and have twice as much dynamic range, more than twice as much bass and 58% more volume, so they’ll fit right into any audio workflow.

All models use the new Thunderbolt 3-enabled USB-C standard, which boasts all the benefits of the USB-C standard found on the 12″ MacBook, but also incorporates the high speed (40Gbps) Thunderbolt 3 connection. This means that you can plug your MacBook Pro into any of your Thunderbolt peripherals, including up to two 5K displays, and transform it from a lightweight, portable notebook to the centre of a creative workstation.

However, the most obvious addition to the MacBook Pro is the Touch Bar, a Retina quality touch strip that replaces the function keys. As well as offering a touch alternative to your function keys, the Touch Bar offers contextual shortcuts to make everything from sending email to adjusting settings in Photoshop easier and quicker. You can now keep one hand on the trackpad and the other on the Touch Bar and edit your image without having to break off and use keyboard shortcuts or a tablet.

There’s also added security thanks to the addition of Touch ID, Apple’s biometric authentication system. You can now use two factor authentication, sign in using your fingerprint, or switch users by tapping Touch ID.

13″ MacBook Pro without Touch Bar

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Ideal for: Anyone who’d like a MacBook Air but is worried that it’s not future-proof enough.

Width: 14.9mm.

Weight: 3lbs.

Display: 13″ Retina display.

Processors: Dual-core Intel Core i5 processors.

Graphics: Intel Iris graphics 540.

Storage: Up to 256GB flash storage and up to 8GB RAM.

Battery life: Up to 10 hours.

Cost: From £1199 (£1438.80 inc VAT).

 

13″ and 15″ MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and Touch ID

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Ideal for: Creatives who don’t like to be tied down, heavy duty office and data work.

Width: 14.9mm (13″), 15.5mm (15″).

Weight: 3lb (13″), 4lb (15″).

Display: 13″ or 15″ Retina display with 2560 x 1600 resolution.

Processors: Dual-core or quad-core Intel i5 or i7 processors.

Graphics: Intel Iris 540 graphics (13″), Radeon Pro 450 with 2GB or memory (15″).

Storage: Up to 2TB flash storage and up to 16GB RAM.

Battery life: Up to 10 hours.

Cost: From £1947 (£2336.40 inc VAT).

Buy Now

 

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and reviews, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

Buyers’ Guide: Mac for business

Buyers’ Guide: Mac for business

Looking to refresh your business’s computer deployment? These days, looking to Apple is probably your best option. As well as their power, flexibility and ease of use, they’re also incredibly durable and reliable, so you can count on a better TCO and ROI than with PC counterparts.

Your options are much simpler too – you have a choice of MacBook Air, MacBook Pro (with or without Touch Bar) and the 12″ MacBook, as well as desktop computers in the form of Mac Pro, iMac and Mac mini, which can come with differing internal features depending on your needs. When shopping for PC ‘ultrabooks’ and desktops, on the other hand, there simply isn’t one single contender to match Mac, but a whole universe of laptops and desktops sporting differing processors and screen sizes (not to mention vastly varying build quality), which can get rather confusing.

To make things even easier, we’ve broken down the range below, giving recommendations based on the team’s actual experience using Mac within the business, as well as links to buy. If you are wanting to deploy a raft of new notebooks and desktops, you’ll probably want to talk to us first, as experts in all things Apple, including integration, rollout, management and post-sales support. But let’s take a look at the actual products available first…

MacBook Air

Ideal for: Mobile workers who need long battery life

MacBook Air on Jigsaw24

MacBook Air has been around since 2008, and in that time, Apple have really worked on making its internals match its external form factor. One of the thinnest (just 1.7cm at its thickest point) and lightest (as little as 1.08kg) notebooks around, it is undoubtably good looking, but that stunning design also means it’s incredibly portable. That makes it a great choice for anyone who needs to run applications on the move when a tablet just won’t cut it – so salespeople, client-facing consultants and other staff in the field, for example.

Equally, if we are called in to a meeting, we can just pick up our MacBook Air and head down, hooking up to the room’s display (either wirelessly over AirPlay and Apple TV, or through a wired Mini DisplayPort connection) to share with the group. The 11″ model in particular, can easily be stowed away in your bag and carried around all day without putting your shoulder out.

Another feature that’s bound to be a boon for business is the battery life. Apple say the 11″ model will go nine hours without a recharge, while the 13″ model, which includes larger batteries, tops out at 12 hours. Of course, your mileage may vary depending on what apps you’re running, display settings and other factors, but that’s more than enough to get you through a full business day before you have to plug in again. The fact that they rely solely on solid state flash storage also means MacBook Air is speedy too – 17x faster than a traditional 5400-rpm notebook hard drive, in fact.

The latest versions feature:

11″ MacBook Air

– 11.6″ high-res glossy display.

– Up to 512GB flash storage.

– Up to 8GB RAM.

– Fifth-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors.

– Intel HD Graphics 6000 processor.

– From £549 ex VAT on Jigsaw24.

13″ MacBook Air

– 13.3″ high-res glossy display.

– Up to 512GB flash storage.

– Up to 8GB RAM.

– Fifth-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors.

– Intel HD Graphics 6000 processor.

– From £702 ex VAT on Jigsaw24.

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MacBook Pro

Ideal for: Those needing more power from a portable computer

MacBook Pro on Jigsaw24

MacBook Pro is Apple’s powerhouse portable (our designers use it on shoots, and it happily handles rendering and exporting compositions in processor-intensive apps like Adobe Creative Cloud’s Photoshop and InDesign, while they get on with the rest of their workload).

The latest generation of MacBook Pro comes in three flavours: MacBook Pro 13″, MacBook Pro 13″ with Touch Bar and Touch ID, and MacBook Pro 15″ with Touch Bar and Touch ID.

The no-frills 13″ model was described by Apple CEO Tim Cook as “a MacBook Pro for MacBook Air users” and is the lightest and slimmest of the bunch. It’s 12% thinner than the current MacBook Air (at the wide end of the taper, admittedly, but still), and is 13% smaller by volume. Despite this highly portable form factor, the MacBook Pro 13″ still boasts a Retina Display, a 2.4GHz dual core Intel Core i7 processor, 512GB of flash storage and 16GB RAM, to make it the clear winner if you need a combination of power and portability.

The other two MacBook Pro models features Apple’s Touch ID biometric sensor, allowing users to log in, switch accounts and even make purchases simply by scanning a fingerprint. It also means that these models will support biometric security measures and two-factor authentication, so if security is your top priority, these are the laptops for you.

These models are the first to feature Apple’s unique Touch Bar, a Retina-quality display that sits where the function keys used to and offers context-aware shortcuts to common tasks. For example, in Mail, you’ll see keys for sending and replying to mail, while in a video editing app you’ll see your timeline in miniature – great for helping your creatives work more quickly and intuitively.

All three models use the latest USB-C standard which, depending on which adaptor you’re using, can act as a power cable, DisplayPort connection, Thunderbolt 3 port, HDMI port or VGA port, meaning you can use the MacBook Pro as the basis of a much larger workstation with desktop storage and multiple monitors.

13″ MacBook Pro

– 13.3″ widescreen Retina display.

– Up to 512GB flash storage.

– Up to 16GB RAM.

– Dual-core Intel Core i7 processors.

– Intel Iris 540 graphics.

– From £1347 ex VAT on Jigsaw24.

13″ MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and Touch ID

– 13.3″ ultra-thin Retina display.

– Up to 1TB flash storage.

– Up to 16GB RAM.

– Dual core Intel Core i7 processors.

– Intel Iris 550 graphics.

– From £1449 ex VAT on Jigsaw24.

15″ MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and Touch ID

– 15.4″ ultra-thin Retina display.

– Up to 2TB flash storage.

– Up to 16GB RAM.

– Quad-core Intel Core i7 processors.

– AMD Radeon Pro 460 graphics processor.

– From £1947 ex VAT on Jigsaw24.

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MacBook

Ideal for: Mobile workers who need maximum energy efficiency

MacBook on Jigsaw24

The 12″ MacBook joined the Mac notebook lineup in 2015. It was the first non-pro Mac notebook to feature a Retina display and also the first to come in a range of colours. While it’s not as powerful as the MacBook Pro and Air, it’s still speedy, complete with the new Intel Core M processor, up to 8GB of RAM and up to 512GB of flash storage.

Apple say it’s also their most energy efficient computer, using just five watts of power, and doing away with the fan for silent running. Like the MacBook Pro range, it takes advantage of the USB-C standard to combine power, video and ultrafast data transfer into a single cable, so you will want to invest in USB-C adaptors if your staff opt for this model.

12″ MacBook

– 12″ Retina display.

– Up to 512GB flash storage.

– 8GB RAM.

– Core m processor.

– Intel HD Graphics 5300.

– Gold, silver or space grey colour schemes.

– From £1035 ex VAT on Jigsaw24.

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Mac Pro

Ideal for: Video and heavy creative work

Mac Pro on Jigsaw24

Moving on to desktop workstations, we have the Mac Pro – Apple’s workhorse. While you may not need 64GB RAM or 12 cores of processing power for everyday business tasks and systems, if you have an in-house creative team, they’ll thank you for investing in Mac Pro, the industry standard for design work, and video and audio editing.

This latest generation of Mac Pro, released in 2013, introduced a radical new design. Ditching the classic tower form factor in favour of a sleek cylindrical casing, Mac Pro manages to pack all its internals into a 25cm high, 5kg casing that will happily sit on a desk, and it comes with enough ports that you’re able to connect all the displays, storage and peripherals you require. And, if there’s a specific configuration you need, you can add your own RAM, processors and storage with our online Mac Pro Configurator.

Mac Pro

– Up to 2.7GHz 12-core processor.

– Up to 1TB PCIe-based flash storage.

– Up to 64GB (4x16GB) memory.

– Up to Dual AMD FirePro D700 with 6GB GDDR5 VRAM.

– Support for three 4K displays,

– Six Thunderbolt ports.

– From £1799 ex VAT on Jigsaw24.

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iMac

Ideal for: Creative teams or those needing an all-in-one workstation

iMac on Jigsaw24

iMac has long been the choice of graphic designers and imaging specialists for its power and large display, but it’s perfect for the office too. An all-in-one workstation, all the internals and connectivity are neatly contained within its incredibly slim form factor, so there’s no desk clutter, and it comes with an Apple keyboard and Magic Mouse or Magic Trackpad too. In 2014, Apple also launched a 27″ iMac with Retina 5K display, which is great for seeing content with an increased level of colour and detail, as well as being ideal if you want more screen real estate so you have a larger workspace to fit your toolbars, and work on the content itself.

21″ iMac

– 21″ widescreen display.

– Up to 1TB flash storage.

– Up to 16GB (2x8GB) RAM.

– Up to Core i7 3.1GHz processor.

– From £869 ex VAT on Jigsaw24.

21.5″ iMac with 4K Retina display

– 21.5″ widescreen display.

– Up to 2TB flash storage.

– Up to 16GB (2x8GB) RAM.

– Up to Core i7 3.3GHz processor.

– From £1199 ex VAT on Jigsaw24.

27″ 5K iMac with Retina display

– 27″ 5K Retina display.

– Up to 3TB Fusion storage.

– Up to 8GB (2x8GB) RAM.

– Up to Quad Core i7 4.0GHz processor.

– From £1449 ex VAT on Jigsaw24.

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Mac mini

Ideal for: General office work

Mac mini on Jigsaw24

The smallest of Apple’s desktop options, Mac mini is ideal for the desk, but that doesn’t mean it’s lightweight. With up to 16GB RAM and 3GHz processing power, it’ll breeze through spreadsheets, as well as more processor-intesive tasks, while using up a tiny amount of power. All you need is to hook it up to a display, and add a keyboard and mouse.

Mac mini

– Up to 2TB flash storage.

– Up to 16GB (2x8GB) RAM.

– Up to Dual Core i7 3GHz processor.

– From £395 ex VAT on Jigsaw24.

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Want to know more about MacBook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro? Give us a call on 03332 409 306, email sales@Jigsaw24.com or just pop your details in the form below and we’ll be in touch. For all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

 

Or fill in the form below to find out about our b7 proof of concept trial for executives that lets you see the benefits of Mac – such as improved productivity and lower total cost of ownership – before you invest.

New faster Apple 12″ MacBook with better battery and rose gold!

New faster Apple 12″ MacBook with better battery and rose gold!

iPhone and iPad both got new models at Apple’s Spring Event, so it was only fair they gave their notebooks some time in the sun too. Step in Apple’s newly refreshed 12″ Retina MacBook, with new faster Skylake processors and improved battery life. Oh, and a new rose gold colour option to match up nicely with your iPhone.

Faster processors

Processor-wise, the new 12″ MacBook now sports Intel’s sixth-generation Skylake Core M, and range from 1.1GHz to 1.3GHz. It’s only the second Mac to benefit from Skylake after the 27″ 5K iMac last year. The memory’s had a bit of a bump too, from 1600MHz modules in the 2015 edition to 1866MHz, and the integrated graphics have also been upgraded to Intel’s more powerful 515 module for what Apple say will give 25% better performance.

Better battery

The new 12″ MacBook also promises improved battery performance, supposedly lasting up to 10 hours while browsing the web and 11 hours of continuous movie playback (this is about an hour more than the estimates for the 2015 model). That’s more than enough for the average work day or long journey!

Now in rose gold

For many customers, this is the real biggie: the 12″ MacBook is now available in the rose gold colour option to go along with the previous silver, grey and gold.

Your options

The new 2016 12″ MacBook comes with 8GB RAM as standard, 1.1-1.2GHz (1.3GHz built to order), between 256-512GB storage, and in the aforementioned range of colour options. You can order yours from Jigsaw24.com now!

Want to know more about the new Apple 12″ Retina MacBook? Call us on 03332 400 888 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com, and keep up with all things Apple by liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter @WeAreJigsaw24

Jigsaw24 achieves Jamf Gold Reseller status!

Jigsaw24 achieves Jamf Gold Reseller status!

Joining an elite group of four in the UK, Jigsaw24 has received Gold Reseller accreditation from Jamf. As a Gold Reseller and System Integrator, we’ve demonstrated continued commitment to Jamf, customer service and sport a strong sales record.

In 2015, we sold a cool 7252 Jamf Pro licences and performed 37 JumpStarts (including 42 total JumpStart sales), successfully integrating Apple IT into schools and businesses throughout the UK. Last year, we provided more JumpStarts than any other partner in the UK. A JumpStart engagement accompanies all purchases of Jamf Pro – a certified JumpStart integrator will work alongside your staff to implement your new system, and integrate it seamlessly into your existing IT environment.

Jamf Pro allows businesses and schools to harness the power of Apple hardware and manage it accordingly. Designed with self-sufficiency in mind, Apple Mobile Device Management is incorporated into Jamf Pro providing establishments full control over their Apple hardware and individual user activities – a powerful, unified solution for device management.

We are the UK’s No. 1 Jamf Pro reseller, having sold 10% more than any other partner in 2015. Jamf are dedicated to providing the hottest Apple tech to businesses and educational institutions all over the country, offering some of the best IT implementation and integration solutions around. Our engineers work in conjunction with Jamf to JumpStart Jamf Pro, and deliver refreshed, reliable IT infrastructure.

Gold Resller status and being a system integrator reaffirms our strong relationship with the guys over at Jamf, and our commitment to delivering high-quality IT solutions and system integration services to our customers.

We can now add a Gold Reseller badge to our growing list of industry-recognised qualifications, which also includes Avid Elite Reseller, Adobe Platinum Reseller and Apple Premium Service Provider accreditations. We’re pretty good at what we do.

If you’d like to know more about Jamf and Jamf Pro, call us on 03332 400 888, email sales@Jigsaw24.com, ‘like’ us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter @WeAreJigsaw24

 

Buyers’ Guide 2016: MacBook for Creatives

Buyers’ Guide 2016: MacBook for Creatives

With efficient, dependable mobile working capabilities, the Apple MacBook range is more popular than ever among creatives. Built to edit, process, administrate and develop, MacBook notebooks deliver at the high standard you’re accustomed to. Despite fierce competition, MacBook stands out with three distinct models: MacBook Air, MacBook, and MacBook Pro. Each notebook would fit well into any creative environment, but which one is right for you and your work?

Creatively, MacBook computers are there to accommodate you, providing the apps you love and unmatched portable performance you won’t want to go without. If you’re looking to upgrade your existing MacBook or make the jump to Mac for the first time, it’s always handy to know exactly what you’re jumping into – so we put together this guide below to point you in the right direction.

MacBook Pro

MacBook Pro

The cornerstone of Apple’s notebook range, MacBook Pro is the technical juggernaut of the gang. With as much RAM and CPU power as you could want, your creativity has no limits on MacBook Pro. And with Apple’s gorgeous Retina display available in 13″ or 15″, it’s ideal for seeing your creations up close and personal in vibrant high definition colour. MacBook Pro is perfectly suited for creatives both in the office or on the move, so if videography, design or picture editing is your game, this may be the teammate just for you. With a variety of different ports, including Thunderbolt 2, MacBook Pro delivers the functionality you’ve come to expect.

Your favourite apps are right at home on MacBook Pro, which has sturdy technical foundations perfect for running Adobe Creative Cloud software. Premiere Pro, Photoshop and After Effects operate comfortably on MacBook Pro, utilising its processing and graphics capabilities to ensure a smooth ride from start to finish. And, of course, it’s great for documents and spreadsheets, too!

MacBook Pro doesn’t quite match MacBook Air when it comes to portability, but don’t let that deter you. Despite its superior spec, MacBook Pro is still easy to carry around weighing in at 1.58kg for the 13″ model and 2.02kg for the 15″ version. Resource-demanding creative work on the go has never been easier!

If you’re looking for a bargain on the MacBook Pro, why not take a look at a previous generation model?

The specs:

13″ MacBook Pro

– 13.3″ high-res glossy display.

– Up to 512GB flash storage or 1TB hard drive.

– Up to 8GB RAM.

– Fifth-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors.

– Intel HD Graphics 4000 processor.

From £742 ex VAT.

13″ MacBook Pro with Retina display

– 13.3″ ultra-thin Retina display.

– Up to 1TB flash storage.

– Up to 16GB RAM.

– Fifth-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors.

– Intel Iris Graphics 6100 processor.

From £827 ex VAT.

15″ MacBook Pro with Retina display

– 15.4″ ultra-thin Retina display.

– Up to 1TB flash storage.

– Up to 16GB RAM.

– Fifth-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors.

– Intel Iris Graphics 6100 processor.

From £1299 ex VAT.

 MacBook Air

MacBook Air

MacBook Air is Apple’s lightest, thinnest notebook. A mainstay of Apple’s product lineup since 2008, it’s a highly portable, surprisingly powerful machine designed with manoeuvrable working in mind. The notebook has all its internals hidden away inside its slim casing (1.7cm at its thickest!), and its light weight, just 1.08kg, meaning you can carry it around all day long.

Shining in speed and efficiency, the 11″ MacBook Air lasts for nine hours, while its 13″ counterpart slogs it out for a total of twelve depending on how you use it. MacBook Air packs solid state flash storage, ensuring quick boot times and no lagging so you can crack on with creating.

MacBook Air is perfect for showing off your creative content too – pick it up, head into a meeting and stream your creativity via AirPlay or Apple TV. Portability is key – you can take your material anywhere with MacBook Air, view it, stream it and edit it on the go with minimal hassle.

Grab a bargain on a previous generation MacBook Air from us!

The specs:

11″ MacBook Air

– 11.6″ high-res glossy display.

– Up to 512GB flash storage.

– Up to 8GB RAM.

– Fifth-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors.

– Intel HD Graphics 6000 processor.

From £549 ex VAT.

13″ MacBook Air

– 13.3″ high-res glossy display.

– Up to 512GB flash storage.

– Up to 8GB RAM.

– Fifth-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors.

– Intel HD Graphics 6000 processor.

From £702 ex VAT.

MacBook

macbook

The 12″ MacBook is available in a variety of colours, complementing its colourful Retina display. It’s thinner and lighter than its siblings and still packs a punch with some impressive specs for such a small machine. It’ll breeze through presentations and spreadsheets, great for getting your admin work done and dusted.

It’s all for one with the MacBook, which provides a USB-C port used for all peripherals. Charge, transfer and connect from one port, but remember to purchase additional adaptors if this isn’t enough. USB-C transfers content quickly, 5Gbps to be exact, excellent for shifting those video and picture files across devices.

Make a saving on the sleek and portable MacBook with this offer on the 12″ 8GB Dual Core 1.3GHz model.

The specs:

12″ MacBook

– 12″ Retina display.

– Up to 512GB flash storage.

– 8GB RAM.

– Core M processor.

– Intel HD Graphics 5300.

– Gold, silver or space grey.

From £866 ex VAT.

Want to know more about MacBook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro? Give us a call on 03332 409 306, email sales@Jigsaw24.com or just pop your details in the form below and we’ll be in touch. For all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook


Apple annual roundup 2015: All the news and highlights from Cupertino

Apple annual roundup 2015: All the news and highlights from Cupertino

Apple’s hardware and OS refreshes for Mac, iPad and iPhone have become highly-anticipated annual events. You could say this was an even more landmark year than usual though, with the 12″ MacBook, iPad Pro, a long-awaited new Apple TV, plus brand new ventures into the world of wearables and music streaming in the form of Apple Watch and Apple Music.

MacBook and more

While it was all quiet on the Mac Pro front this year, all eyes were on new Mac on the block, the 12″ MacBook, in March 2015. Thinner and lighter than MacBook Air, it features a brand new faster Intel Core M processor, up to 8GB of RAM, up to 512GB of flash storage and a swanky 2304×1440 resolution Retina display. It also features a new edge-to-edge keyboard design, a Force Touch trackpad and sports just one USB type-C port and a headphone jack. Oh, and it was also the first MacBook model to be available in gold, which is great if you need your notebook to match your neckwear.

As well as the new 12″ MacBook, the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro also got a refresh at the Spring Forward event. With new fifth-gen Intel processors giving a significant speed boost, a Retina display, and more efficient storage architecture, the 13″ MacBook Pro now also features Apple’s latest Force Touch TrackPad too, as announced on the 12″ MacBook.

There was good news for iMac users in 2015 too. As well as getting bumped up to Retina 4K display with 4096 x 2304 resolution, the new 21.5″ models also feature new colour display technology that widens their colour gamut by 25% and include Intel’s Broadwell processors.

Buyers’ Guide 2015: Mac for Business

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iPad updates

On to September’s Hey Siri event, which focuses on mobile devices, and there was a whole raft of new iOS goodness. Analysts and Apple fans had been predicting this was the event that Tim Cook would unveil a new, bigger iPad Pro, and they weren’t disappointed. The largest iPad to date, iPad Pro features a stunning 12.9″ Retina display, 5.6 million pixels, the latest iOS and new 64-bit A9X chip, giving it enough power to rival most portable PCs.

iPad mini also got a face lift, with a new 18% thinner (at just 6.1mm) profile, and slightly lighter, and is powered by a new A8 processor chip, finally bringing it in line with the power of iPad Air.

What’s the verdict on iPad Pro?

– Apple announce new iPad Pro and iPad mini 4

Buyers Guide 2015: iPad for Business

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iPhone 6s and 6s Plus

It didn’t take Nostradamus to predict that Apple may continue their run of annual iPhone refreshes at the Hey Siri event in September and, true to form, they unveiled iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, while discontinuing the colourful iPhone 5c. As Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, said at the time:

“The only thing that has changed with iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus is everything – 3D Touch lets users interact with iPhone in entirely new and fun ways, and the innovative Live Photos brings your pictures to life. These are the most advanced iPhones ever, with 7000 series aluminum, ion-strengthened glass, the new 64-bit A9 chip, 12 megapixel iSight and 5 megapixel FaceTime HD cameras, faster Touch ID, LTE and Wi-Fi. Customers are going to love them.”

Buyers’ Guide 2015: iPhone for Business

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OS X El Capitan and iOS 9

Back at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June 2015, the assembled crowds of devs were treated to first glimpses of both the new Mac operating system, OS X 10.11 El Capitan, and Apple’s mobile OS for iPad and iPhone, iOS 9.

The focus of OS X 10.11 El Capitan was really on user experience, with new gestures, improvements to Safari and a new, more powerful Spotlight. A few of the new features we’ve found most useful in El Capitan have been: being able to shake your mouse or a finger on the trackpad to locate your cursor; Split View in full-screen mode; being able to pin tabs in Safari; swiping to delete messages in Mail and muting individual tabs in Safari.

iOS 9 meanwhile, saw Siri become 40% more accurate and 40% faster, with new additions like starting your music player when you plug in your headphones, adding invitations to your calendar automatically, and advising you on the time it will take to get to a meeting based on realtime traffic info. She can even suggest who a caller might be by trawling your email for phone numbers hidden in email signatures. Other highlights included Apple Pay, meaning you can now pay for a coffee with your iPhone, better battery life, the News app replacing Newsstand, and more.

Apple TV

It had been three years since Apple updated their standalone set-top box, so Apple TV was well due an upgrade when the all new model was announced in November 2015. Apple TV now has its very own App Store (which, as of December 2015, features BBC iPlayer, which is very welcome news for anyone in the UK), plus a brand new touchpad remote with Siri integration. There’s now support for games too, using the touchpad remote as a game controller. You can also pick up a very fetching Wii-style optional strap for more active gaming, or serious gamers can opt for a third-party MFi game controller.

Apple launch next generation Apple TV

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And the rest…

Earlier in the year, health, fitness and fashion freaks welcomed Apple Watch with open arms. Apple’s first wearable let users track fitness, receive notifications, messages and mail directly from their wrist, and came with a number of different options (we’re still holding out for an Apple Watch Edition from a very loving relative this Christmas). It then got an update to its operating system at WWDC, watchOS 2, which was paired with WatchKit, a set of tools allowing developers access to hardware and software to create native Apple Watch apps.

The same conference also saw Apple unveil a new music streaming service, Apple Music. As well as listening to your own iTunes library, you can stream any of the 30 million songs Apple has access to, or listen to carefully curated playlists based on your tastes.

Anything we missed that was top of your Apple list in 2015? Anything you’d like to see from Apple in 2016? Let us know in the comments below… 

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and reviews, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

Make your own TV channel

Make your own TV channel

Educational Youtube-style projects are quickly becoming a popular way to incorporate creative technologies into curricular and extra-curricular activities, and it’s easier than you may think to set up your own channel. 

There are many companies offering schools the equipment, platforms and training required to create a multimedia broadcasting station that allows users to upload content for viewing and rating by students and teachers. Sites are completely customisable to each school, from the colours and branding to security levels so that only those with a valid username and password have access.

One school using this technology to great effect is Wildern School in Southampton. Katie Broadribb, a teacher at Wildern, spoke at BETT about how the school was looking for a way in which they could develop an innovative project they called ‘EduTube’ – a safe and secure website where the students could upload video, audio and photography to share with fellow students. Wildern were winners of the Becta Best Whole School (Secondary) award in 2007, and had received funding from DCSF’s Innovation Unit to develop this idea as part of a project to bring web 2.0 technologies to schools.

Displaying students’ creative talents

Wildern School enlisted the help of Trilby Multimedia’s ‘Trilby TV’ platform and, in 2007, set up Wildern TV. The site acts as a platform for the students to display their creative talents and also helps to develop students’ (and teachers’) understanding of ICT, media skills, team work and real world issues encountered in the creative industries, such as copyright and funding.

Trilby TV is a fully managed system; the Trilby team take care of any hardware or software issues. When it comes to website content and moderation, the school has the freedom to decide on the best approach. Wildern School decided that Wildern TV was to be a site for the students by the students, and so set up an extra-curricular group called ‘The Wildern Moderators’ who decided what could or could not be uploaded.  Training was given to the moderators by local production companies and regional TV & Radio stations. The students also formed a separate extra-curricular group called ‘The Wildern Producers’, who were all given training in production, lighting, editing and sound.

Engaging students

Since setting up Wildern TV, the school has reported high levels of student engagement and it is even capturing the imagination of disruptive students. It is a platform that anyone in the school can contribute to and its popularity amongst the students means that new content is constantly being submitted.

If you do decide to invest in equipment to set up your own channel, it is important not to leave your teachers in the dark about how to use it. Get everyone involved, from all faculties, and show them how your TV channel can benefit their department. At Wildern School, the students were given a (probably well deserved) inset day, whilst the teachers were split into their subject faculties and set the task of making a film about their own department. This not only taught the teachers how to use the technology, but also demonstrated how fun it can be to make a film; the teachers could now relate to the students’ enthusiasm for multimedia-based projects.

Wildern TV has just reached the end of its first full year of broadcasting and, to celebrate, the school held their very own ‘Wildern Oscars’, a full-on glitzy award ceremony honouring the best films that had been submitted over the course of the year. This could be the start of a great annual tradition at the school and has been well received by the students. With the new incentive to work towards next year’s awards, the standard of film making can only get better.

If you are interested in introducing a project like this to your school, all you need is a dedicated server to run the unique web platform software and store uploaded footage, a suite of powerful machines suitable for video and audio work, and students with a streak of creative flair. If you want to add that little bit extra, why not also look at displaying some plasma screens around your school so that your TV channel can be broadcast throughout the day for all to see? The Apple Macbook and iMac are ideal for producing high quality content in schools. They come pre-installed with Apple’s acclaimed iLife suite, which makes the Mac a movie-making, audio-producing, photo-editing, website-creating, DVD-authoring machine straight out of the box.

To find about more about how to set up your own TV channel, give us a call on 03332 409 333 or email us at learning@Jigsaw24.comFor more news on technology in Education, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter and ‘Like’ Jigsaw Education’s Facebook page.