Apple Refreshes MacBook Air, MacBook Pro Lines - Unveils Next-Gen MacBook ProCategory: Gadgets
Posted: June 11, 2012 11:06AM
Apple's WWDC 12 is going on right now and the biggest news concerns two pieces of hardware. Apple has announced refreshed versions of both the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, which should make either laptop a lot more enticing. The MacBook Air gets a processor upgrade in the form of Intel Ivy Bridge and will support up to a 2GHz Core i7 chip (Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.2GHz). The Airs will also have up to 8GB of 1600MHz DDR3 RAM, while storage is being expanded up to 512GB. The 11" model now has a 1366x768 screen powered by Intel HD Graphics 4000, the 13" has a 1440x900 screen, and both receive a 720p FaceTime camera. Each MacBook Air will have two USB 3.0 ports as well.
The MacBook Pros get some new upgrades, including one very special type. For starters, the MacBook Pros sport Intel Ivy Bridge processors and up to 8GB of RAM. The 13" MacBook Pro can have either Core i5 or Core i7 dual-core processors at 2.9GHz (Turbo at 3.6GHz), while the 15" MacBook Pro has quad-core Core i7 processors at 2.7GHz (Turbo at 3.7GHz). The 15" MBP will have GeForce GT 650M graphics, which Apple claims is 60% faster than the graphics in past versions. Either size can have 1TB hard drives or up to 512GB SSDs installed, so storage should not be an issue. The MacBook Pros will also have two USB 3.0 ports and a Thunderbolt port, but no mention was made of a 17" model. However, the real star of the MacBook Pro line is a brand new model.
The next-generation MacBook Pro comes in at 0.71 inches thick and weighs only 4.46 pounds, and it packs a 2880x1800 resolution screen. Apple says this is the first Retina Display in a laptop, and at 220 ppi, it is far higher than past MacBook screens. Apple also promises a higher contrast ratio, better viewing angles, and reduced glare compared to other laptop screens, plus all stock Apple apps and some third-party programs will take advantage of the new screen. The new MBP has a quad-core Core i7 2.7GHz processor, up to 16GB of RAM, up to 768GB of storage, GeForce GT 650M graphics, and seven hours of battery life with 30 days of standby. Curiously there is no mention of an optical drive, so it looks like any programs you install will need to be downloaded or done via an external drive.
The MacBook Airs and MacBook Pros will be available to ship today. The basic MacBook Air option starts at $999 and can go to $1,099, while the MacBook Pro starts at $1,599 and goes to $2,199. The next-gen MacBook Pro will also be available to ship today and starts at $2,199 for a 2.3GHz processor, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage.