James GalbraithMacworld

James is the director of Macworld Lab.

Lab tests: Build-to-order Core i7 MacBook Airs

With the performance reports of the new standard-configuration MacBook Airs already posted, the Macworld Lab has turned its attention to benchmarking some optional, build-to-order (BTO) configurations of Apple’s latest line of ultra-portable computers.

Core i5 MacBook Airs zoom past predecessors

Macworld Lab has received and benchmarked every standard configuration of the new Core i5 MacBook Airs released last week. We’ve found that the new processors push the Airs to new performance heights.

Lab Report: Huge speed gains for new Mac mini

Macworld Lab has received both models of the new Mac mini unveiled on Wednesday. The new Mac mini comes with Lion and new Core i5 processors, and our benchmark results show a great leap in processor performance from the previous generation.

More Thunderbolt speed results

In our ongoing look at Thunderbolt performance, we tested two more configurations, as requested by Macworld readers. The first involves the new Promise Pegasus R6 Thunderbolt array configured as a RAID 0; the second is with Target Disk Mode using Thunderbolt.

Thunderbolt RAID provides boost over eSATA

Macworld Lab recently saw how dramatic an improvement Thunderbolt performance is over FireWire 800. In response to that report, Macworld readers want to see how Thunderbolt performance stacks up against other interface technologies--specifically, eSATA. Our results show that Thunderbolt’s performance boost over eSATA is just as impressive as those found in our FireWire 800 comparison.

Canon Pixma iX6520

For small offices needing to print large, great-looking photos and spreadsheets, the Canon Pixma iX6520 is worth a look. It lacks features often found on office-oriented printers, and its plain paper photo prints were less than stellar, but its price per page and print times were on par with standard letter-sized inkjets.

Thunderbolt RAID dramatically faster than FireWire 800

The first Thunderbolt-based RAID array has finally arrived, and Macworld Lab has some test results for Promise's Pegasus R6 system. As expected, the R6 is pretty darn fast -- and not just by a few measly megabytes per second.

Lab Report: Core i7 SSD iMac is the fastest Mac we've tested

At $2699, it might be expensive, but the 27-inch iMac we customized with a 3.4GHz Core i7 quad-core processor and a 256GB SSD is the fastest Mac we’ve tested to date.

Avid releases Scorch music notation iPad app

Avid on Thursday announced its first iPad application, Avid Scorch. Based on the same engine as Avid’s own Sibelius music notation software, Scorch lets you import your existing Sibelius files or purchase and download sheet music from its own in-app store.

SSD gives new 21.5-inch iMac signifcant speed boost

In our ongoing effort to provide benchmark data to help you choose the right iMac, we now present test results from a 21.5-inch 2.7GHz Core i5 iMac with a 256GB solid-state drive (SSD). You can use these results to compare with the standard-configuration iMacs and two build-to-order (BTO) models with Core i7 processors.

Hear your music as it really sounds

Mixing original compositions in a home studio or on the road presents unique challenges. We did a brief hands-on with a couple of new monitoring devices and found them helpful.

MacBook Air SSD upgrade provides big storage, mixed speed results

If you can afford it, OWC offers storage upgrades to the mid-2010 MacBook Air. The Mercury Aura Pro Express is available in capacities ranging from 180GB for $470 to a 480GB model for $1580, which is $20 less than the price of the high-end 13-inch MacBook Air with 256GB of flash memory.

Difficulties abound when upgrading a 2011 iMac's hard drive

If you've never been under the hood of the aluminum iMac, it's not for the casual user. Here's a quick rundown of the steps involved and how a new hurdle in the 2011 models may further dampen your enthusiasm for DIY upgrades.

Lab Report: New build-to-order iMacs impress with speed

When Apple released new iMacs in early May, the company also made available new build-to-order options in addition to the standard-configuration models. Macworld Lab tested two iMacs with BTO processor upgrades that offer faster speeds and more processing power, and the result show that the additional cost for the upgrades are worth it -- if you run software that takes advantage of the technology.

Canon imageFormula P-150

If you’re in the market for a portable USB document scanner, or just one that requires minimal desktop space, the Canon imageFormula P-150M should definitely be on your short list.