MacBook Pro gets Retina Display

Apple logoThe MacBook Pro got a widely anticipated Retina Display graphics update today, along with a new design that makes it almost as lightweight as a MacBook Air.

The new 15.4-inch Pro is just 0.71 inches thick, weighing 4.46 pounds, and will start at $2,199 depending on the configuration. Quad-core Ivy Bridge processors going up to 2.7GHz, along with up to 16GB of RAM and GeForce GT 650M graphics cards, are also in the new model. The model will feature all-flash storage, up to 768GB, and have 7 hours of battery life.

An SD slot, HDMI, USB 3.0 and USB 2.0, Magsafe 2, and two Thunderbolt slots are among the ports. The new Pro will have 802.11n (as the newer 802.11ac wireless spec is still being developed) as well as Bluetooth 4.0. A glass trackpad and backlit keyboard will make it look nice and shiny. FaceTime video chats will be in high-definition. There is no built-in Ethernet port or optical drive, but Thunderbolt adapters will allow Firewire 800 and Gigabit Ethernet capability.

Apple MacBook Pro 15.4 Retina

The $2,199 model will get you a 15.4-inch Retina Display, 2.3GHz quad-core i7 processors, 8GB RAM, the GeForce GT 650M video card with 1GB memory, and 256GB of flash storage. The 2880x1800 display sports a resolution of 220 pixels per inch, with a total of 5,184,000 pixels.

Apple refreshed the existing 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pros with the latest versions of Intel's Core i5 and Core i7 processors, but reserved the stunning new update described above for the super-thin 15-inch MacBook Pro. No updates to any 17-inch MacBook Pro models were announced. The thicker 13- and 15-inch Pros do have the benefit of an optical drive.

Apple MacBook Pro 15.4 Retina ports

The premium 15-inch model is even thinner than the 13-inch MacBook Pro, which comes in at 0.95 inches thick and 4.5 pounds. The "low-end" 15-inch MacBook Pro is also 0.95 inches thick, weighing 5.6 pounds, with prices starting at $1,799. While the 13-inch MacBook Pro will offer a 1280x800 display, the low-end 15-incher without the Retina graphics gets a 1440x900 display.

The 13-inch Pro, starting at $1,199, will sport dual-core i5 or i7 processors along with 4GB or 8GB of RAM, the Intel HD Graphics 4000 chip, and a 500 or 750GB spinning disk. The entry-level 15-inch Pro has the same RAM and storage specs, but gets quad-core i7 processors and powerful graphics from the GeForce GT 650M with either 512MB or 1GB of memory.

The MacBook Air gets more powerful

The widely expected update for the MacBook Air is a monster one, with new Ivy Bridge processors, up to 8GB of RAM, and up to 512GB of storage. The big update in specs turns the lightweight computer into more of a powerhouse.

Both the 11-inch and 13-inch models will have dual-core Intel Core i5 processors (1.7GHz for the 11-inch and 1.8GHz for the 13-inch). 4GB of RAM will be standard, and that can be upgraded to 8GB. The Airs keep their previous dimensions of .68 inches at their thickest point, with the 11-incher weighing 2.38 pounds and the 13-inch machine weighing 2.96 pounds.

Apple MacBook Pro 13.3

The MacBook Airs of 2010 were relatively wimpy—although extremely light and portable. The 2011 Airs were upgraded from Intel Core 2 Duo processors to dual-core Intel Core i5 and Core i7 chips, with either 2GB or 4GB of main memory, which could not be upgraded after purchase. The 11-inch model came with a 64GB or 128GB SSD for long-term storage, while the 13-inch had a 128GB or 256GB SSD.

The Airs still lag MacBook Pros in graphics, using the Intel HD Graphics 4000 chips rather than a discrete card from the likes of AMD or NVIDIA. Prices start at $1,199 for the 13-inch and $999 for the 11-inch.

The 11-inch Air will come with 4GB memory and 64GB or 128GB flash storage, while the 13-inch Air comes with 4GB memory and 128GB or 256GB flash storage. The big specs—up to 8GB of 1600MHz DDR3 onboard memory and up to 512GB flash storage—are configure-to-order options available only for the 13-inch model.

Apple MacBook Air

As it turned out, the new MacBook Pros and Airs were the only Macs to get hardware upgrades today. The long-rumored update to the Mac Pro did not materialize, and neither the iMac nor Mac Mini got a bump from their 2011 configurations. Apple has updated its site with the new MacBook Pros and Airs, which are now available for online orders.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: Apple, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, notebooks

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