Apple announces complete MacBook refresh, thinner 'Retina' MacBook Pro

By on June 11, 2012, 12:56 PM

As it was widely expected, Apple announced updates to its notebook lineup across the board during its WWDC 2012 opening keynote. First up was the company’s widely popular MacBook Air, which received third-generation Intel processors (aka Ivy Bridge) with Intel HD 4000 graphics, along with increased storage and memory options, an improved 720p ‘Facetime’ camera and USB 3.0 support.

The smaller 11-inch model gets a 1.7GHz Core i5 processor and 4GB of RAM as standard, with the 64GB SSD variant going for $999 and the 128GB option priced at $1,099 — $100 cheaper than its predecessor. Both maintain the 1366 x 768 resolution and have a battery life rating of 5 hours. Meanwhile, the base 13-inch MacBook Air gets a 1.8GHz Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM (upgradeable up to 8GB), and either 128GB or 256GB of flash storage (upgradeable up to 512GB). They’ start at $1,199 and $1,499, respectively, with 7-hour battery life.

The MacBook Pro lineup was also updated with Intel’s latest processors, Nvidia graphics and USB 3.0, while suffering one casualty (the 17-inch model is no more, apparently) and welcoming an all-new, 15.4-inch Retina Display packing model that represents the next-generation of Apple’s professional-grade notebooks.

Whereas the updated 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pros maintain the same profile as their predecessors, the redesigned ‘Retina’ MacBook Pro is an impressive 0.71 inches thin — almost as thin as the MacBook Air’s 0.68 inches — while weighing under four and a half pounds. The display is 15.4 inches across and sports a 220ppi 2880 x 1800 native resolution. Apple claims it has improved viewing angles and reduced glare by 75%.

 

Under the hood is a 2.3GHz quad-core i7 processor paired with 8GB of RAM, an Nvidia GeForce GT 650M graphics cards, and 256GB of flash storage. That’s the base model, which actually starts at the same $2,199 of the higher-end, non-Retina 15-inch MacBook Pro. Optional upgrades include up to a 2.7GHz processor, up to 16GB of RAM, and up to 768GB flash storage — but you’ll have to pay dearly for those.

Other noteworthy improvements include dual Thunderbolt ports, dual microphones “to enable a new generation of voice applications”, better speakers, USB 3.0, HDMI-out (finally no need for adapters), and a thinner MagSafe port, as well as the usual SD card reader, webcam and backlit keyboard.

Applications such as Mail, Safari, iMovie, iPhoto were updated to support the new screen resolution, along with Final Cut Pro which now has room to spare for you to edit videos in full 1080p. All new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models will start shipping today.




User Comments: 28

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captainawesome captainawesome said:

Sux, that means they ditched AMD for nvidia

davislane1 davislane1 said:

What really sucks is the price. I had been considering upgrading from my 2010 13" for the higher resolution display on the newer 15, but as is typical of Apple, they want an arm and a leg for it. Looks like I'm going to have to wait them out.

m4a4 m4a4 said:

USB 3 and HDMI out?!? What madness is this? I thought that no USB 3 and no HDMI were features they liked (and the customer liked too)??

Guest said:

surprised some of the iCry crowd hasn't yelled "apple screens sucks" or something like that yet, they are typically first to comment.

Technochicken Technochicken, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I'm in the market for a 15" laptop right now, and I have to say, that retina macbook is really tempting. If only it was a little bit cheaper.

Guest said:

surprised some of the iCry crowd hasn't yelled "apple screens sucks" or something like that yet, they are typically first to comment.

I see a lot more comments anticipating Apple haters than actual comments from Appler haters...

Guest said:

"I see a lot more comments anticipating Apple haters than actual comments from Appler haters..."

You must never click on apple threads then...

Staff
Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

The new MacBook is premium priced because there's nothing out there with the same resolution to compete against. So if you want that screen, you will have to pay for it. It's not as obscene as the prices Sony used to charge for their admittedly superior crafted Vaio notebooks back in the day though.

The latest 13" Air at $1200 is as tempting as it gets, but in this case many quality ultrabooks appear to be on par already.

MilwaukeeMike said:

Wow... reminds me of a Ferrari. Super fast and spectacular to look at. But so expensive that when you see one you're tempted to take a picture so people will believe you.

MilwaukeeMike said:

The new MacBook is premium priced because there's nothing out there with the same resolution to compete against. So if you want that screen, you will have to pay for it. It's not as obscene as the prices Sony used to charge for their admittedly superior crafted Vaio notebooks back in the day though.

The latest 13" Air at $1200 is as tempting as it gets, but in this case many quality ultrabooks appear to be on par already.

Yes, but if it's too expensive you'll look like a fool for spending the money. Especially if you buy early and Apple drops their price suddenly, which they've been known to do.

Xclusiveitalian Xclusiveitalian said:

For the price, those specs S**k!

Guest said:

"For the price, those specs S**k!"

Did you read ALL the specs? Some of them are untouchable by other companies.

Guest said:

"Yes, but if it's too expensive you'll look like a fool for spending the money. Especially if you buy early and Apple drops their price suddenly, which they've been known to do."

Some like certin things more then others. For some, ordering a steak in a restaurant see,s logical and worth it, bt to me anything more then a burger is a waste, does that make people that order steak fools? No. Just because you buy what you like doesn't make you a fool. Just means you have choice and some cash.

davislane1 davislane1 said:

Wow... reminds me of a Ferrari. Super fast and spectacular to look at. But so expensive that when you see one you're tempted to take a picture so people will believe you.

Reminds me more of an A8L W12 - All the price of a Ferrari, but half the performance (like classic Apple). It's a bit of a shame too because they are generally very nice computers. The $2k-$3k price tag, on the other hand, is about as ugly as it gets. I'll be happy to snatch one up in a year or two when they've dropped several hundred off the price tag. Until then...

Guest said:

Now if it only came with win 7..............:)

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

You can put Win 7 on it if you like.

m4a4 m4a4 said:

You can put Win 7 on it if you like.

Yeah, but the drivers apple made for it are a joke

Guest said:

Quote: "Yeah, but the drivers apple made for it are a joke"

So apples windows 7 drivers are joke... hmm...maybe you are getting them from the wrong company ;)

slh28 slh28, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Yeah, but the drivers apple made for it are a joke

Have you actually used Windows 7 on a Macbook?

Arris Arris said:

I like it. Didn't like the retina screen resolution(H x W) for the ipad as I don't view it as that useful a productivity tool, but on the Macbook it will be fantastic for those working on the move with large resolution media.

Acid said:

No-one seems to have noticed that they've quietly removed the ethernet port, now requiring you to use one of those dual thunderbolt ports with a £25 adapter if you want one...

DanUK DanUK said:

I hear mention that they've dropped all optical drives too? Although I guess they're going the way of the dinosaur anyway..

davislane1 davislane1 said:

I hear mention that they've dropped all optical drives too? Although I guess they're going the way of the dinosaur anyway..

Yep. The optical is gone and the extra space is now utilized for the HDMI port, an extra USB port, an SD slot, and (allegedly) a larger battery.

m4a4 m4a4 said:

Yeah, but the drivers apple made for it are a joke

Have you actually used Windows 7 on a Macbook?

I haven't needed to, as a bunch of my friends have had problems with their Windows 7 installations on their macbooks. One of them even bought it just to use Windows 7 and he is regretting the waste of money. My friends and I with non-apple pc's have had it just fine.

Not like I would believe that apple would make perfect drivers for their competitors OS anyways...

slh28 slh28, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I haven't needed to, as a bunch of my friends have had problems with their Windows 7 installations on their macbooks. One of them even bought it just to use Windows 7 and he is regretting the waste of money. My friends and I with non-apple pc's have had it just fine.

Not like I would believe that apple would make perfect drivers for their competitors OS anyways...

Maybe you should gain some first hand experience before bashing things...

I don't know how your friends are setting up Windows 7 but I dual boot using Bootcamp and it runs absolutely fine. The drivers are all packaged together so it's not like you have to find and download stuff individually.

Uvindu said:

Yeah, but the drivers apple made for it are a joke

Have you actually used Windows 7 on a Macbook?

I haven't needed to, as a bunch of my friends have had problems with their Windows 7 installations on their macbooks. One of them even bought it just to use Windows 7 and he is regretting the waste of money. My friends and I with non-apple pc's have had it just fine.

Not like I would believe that apple would make perfect drivers for their competitors OS anyways...

Well just being hypothetical:

The next version of Mac OSX is apperently going to go on for sale at around just $20.

At this price, I would imagine that apple would put the effort to make good windows driver's in order to sell the machine (to windows fan's) and lose a little revenue in term's of the Apple OS than to make bad windows drivers and driving away a "windows fan" who likes the machine for its specs. I imagine the profit margin on the Machine itself would be much higher than the profit margin on the Mac OS.

If we take the Windows Fan Demographic: Apple has a better chance of selling the Mac OS to them if they buy the machine thinking they are going to install windows, than if they don't buy at all.

This is all hypothetical though, and I've never used windows on an Apple Machine so I don't know what the technical experience is...

yukka, TechSpot Paladin, said:

My technical experience is that the installation of the drivers for Windows when setting up bootcamp is painless except a work around for 64bit Windows 7 and Snow Leopard bootcamp which meant you had to launch a different file to the setup.exe which would refuse to run on an "unknown version of windows" otherwise.

Main annoyance for me however was the trackpad drivers. Lovely smooth response using multitouch to scroll in Snow Leopard. Complete jerky horrible nightmare in Windows using the same hardware. Basically forces you to use a mouse with your laptop or put up with an obvious downgrade of performance you can feel all the time. Very annoying.

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

I will second that yukka. The very elegant and awesome trackpad on OS X suddenly turns into a 15 year old track pad when you run Win 7.

That goes away if you use a USB mouse, but of course many people want to run Win 7 on a laptop rather than an iMac or MacPro.

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