As expected Apple was ready to announce a refresh to its MacBook Pro line of laptops today. Both 13-inch and 15-inch Retina laptops will receive a speed bump thanks to the Intel Haswell + Intel Iris graphics update, but most importantly they are bound to get a much improved battery life due to the new hardware and the OS X Mavericks upgrade that is focusing heavily on power consumption optimization.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro gets slightly thinner and lighter. At 3.46 pounds it's barely any lighter than the previous model but the reduction in thickness down to 0.71" seems more relevant considering this is what the 15-inch model already measured -- the 13" used to be the thicker model before.
Both 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pros receive upgraded PCI-e based flash storage. Apple is claiming a huge 60% performance boost which sounds a bit extreme though we're sure a decent performance increase will come with the change.
The base 13-inch MacBook Pro has received a price cut down to $1299, which sounds pretty competitive in my book, for that price you get the high DPI display, a 2.4GHz dual-core i5 Haswell CPU, 4GB RAM, Iris integrated graphics and a 128GB SSD.
The new MacBook Pro 15-inch is fitted with Intel's quad-core Crystalwell processor (a variant of Haswell) that adds Iris Pro graphics and 128MB of eDRAM on-package. On the new base $1999 15-inch MB Pro you get no discrete graphics, showing that Apple feels more confident about driving the high DPI panel with the upgraded integrated Intel graphics. An optional GeForce GT 750M (2GB) discrete GPU will be offered as well.
The 15-inch model remains the same on the outside, and like its smaller sibling gets upgraded to PCI-e based flash storage, Thunderbolt 2 and WiFi 802.11ac.
Although a formal announcement was not needed, this launch marks the end of the legacy non-Retina MacBook Pro line moving forward. In fact, as of today the legacy models were removed from Apple's website.
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