If you like Apple's products and you're in the market for a new laptop, now is the time to buy. At its Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, the company unveiled new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air notebooks.
We'll start with the news that seems to have everyone buzzing: the new MacBook Pros. There are two versions, one with a 13-inch screen and one with a 15-inch screen. At 0.71 inches thick and just under four and a half pounds, these notebooks have trimmed down to nearly as thin as the MacBook Air.
But it's the display that really captures your attention. The 15-inch MacBook Pro includes a high-definition Retina display, popularized on both the iPhone and the iPad, that weighs in at 220 pixels per inch. The full display measures 2880 x 1800 pixels. While the MacBook Pro's display is still glossy, Apple claims to have reduced the glare by 75 percent. Prices for this model start at $2,199. The smaller Pro starts at $1,000, and does not feature the Retina display.
The processing power inside these machines will come from Intel's Ivy Bridge chips. The base version of the MacBook Pro uses 2.3 GHz, while the higher-spec version boasts 2.6 GHz quad-core CPUs. It also includes 8 GB of 1,600 MHz DDR3 RAM. Its video capabilities make playing Diablo III at full resolution and full graphical details “perfectly playable,” as Engadget noted. Battery life for the 2.6 GHz version reaches nearly eight hours. The base configuration for the 15-inch MacBook Pro includes a 256 MB solid-state drive.
If money truly is no object, however, you can opt for the highest tier model and get all the add-ons. If the 2.6 GHz CPU on the highest tier is not enough, ou can get a 2.7 GHz CPU, 16 GB of RAM, and a 768 GB solid-state drive (that drive alone will set you back $500). Add the extended warranty and your final cost is in the range of $4,100. Rather annoyingly, if you just want that gloriously large SSD, you need to upgrade from the base $2,199 model MacBook Pro to the highest tier $2,799 version, as it's not an option on the base model.
It's worth noting that the new 15-inch MacBook Pro will not include an optical drive, though it does feature an SD slot. That's how Apple made the laptop slimmer – and made room for the extra battery power to support the Retina display. Ethernet and FireWire 800 ports are likewise gone. In their place you'll find two USB 3.0 ports and two Thunderbolt ports. The backlit keyboard hasn't changed from the old MacBook Pro.
The MacBook Air came in for some upgrades as well. It now boasts up to a 2.0 GHz dual core i7 (Ivy Bridge) processor, up to 8 GB of 1,600 MHz memory, and USB 3.0 ports. The Air now maxes out at 512 GB on its solid state drive. Compared to the Pro, the MacBook Air looks reasonably priced, at between $1,000 and $1,500 depending on configuration.
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