While the WWDC Keynote was going on and the new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air was being unveiled, the lack of a retina display on the new offerings was disappointing to all, but hey, an Ivy Bridge update was good enough wasn’t it? After all, we had come to expect such a thing from Apple, just small incremental updates, kind of like a project manager embracing rapid iteration, although in this case, not so rapid. After all the notebooks had been announced, in true Steve Jobsian One More Thing fashion, a shrouded silhouette emerged beside the current line. This was it, what we had all been waiting for. Little did anyone know, it would be a heck of a lot more.
Once the shroud dropped from the Next Generation MacBook Pro, gasps, applause and cheers erupted from the audience. The most beautiful computer Apple ever made was staring back at us either on liveblogs, live streams or for some very lucky few, in the flesh. The Next Generation MacBook Pro was incredibly sexy, about 1.8cm thin it was pretty much a MacBook Pro level machine in a MacBook Airesque body. Before you start gathering your credit cards for a massive Apple Store transaction, wait till you hear what’s under the hood.
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Retina Display. 220 pixels are jammed into every inch of that 15.4inch screen, giving you a resolution of 2880 x 1800, which is just about NEARLY double the resolution of my MacBook pro which is its predecessor. This gives the NG MacBook Pro the world’s highest resolution notebook display thus far. Apple has said that most of their apps will be upgraded to take advantage of the bump in resolution, but where you really see impressive gains is in the upgrading of their pro apps. Videographers can rejoice with a full 1080p video window in the 15inch screen and photographers who use Aperture and Photoshop will be pleased to know that it will be updated for the new display too.
Powering this beast, the MacBook Pro’s innards had to be reworked, adding more battery power and a unique new cooling system that is quieter and more efficient than ever before. The base model of the NG MacBook Pro will come with a 2.3GHz Quad Core i7 Processor, 8GB of RAM, 256GB SSD and the GeForce GT 650M with 1GB GDDR5 memory. Of course this powerhouse is upgradable to the 2.6GHz Quad Core i7, up to 16GB of RAM and 768GB of SSD storage (Ouch!).
Making the device this thin doesn’t come without drawbacks. On the new laptop, you will be needing the new MagSafe 2 adapter, so those are not backward compatible. Apple have also done away with the FireWire 800 port and Ethernet port in favor of 2 thunderbolt Ports, 2 USB 3.0/2.0 ports and finally, a full HDMI port. Interestingly enough, there will be adapters sold by Apple to bring FireWire and Gigabit Ethernet back via the ThunderBolt port. The Next Generation MacBook pro also features dual microphones, FaceTime HD Camera as well as the best stereo speakers that Apple have ever put in a notebook. As a nod to photographers out there, Apple also reduced the glare on the display, doing away with the Matte Screen option on the store.
After such an incredible unveiling, it was inevitable that people were tagging on all sorts of prices to this thing. Twitterjaya was calling out prices like RM10,000 base which didn’t seem too unreasonable for what you were getting. Then the bomb dropped. The new Retina Display BASE model MacBook Pro would be going for RM6,799 and the upgraded one with 512GB SSD and 2.6 i7 would go for RM8.699. While it still seems on the steep side for a laptop, creative professionals, who Apple is targeting with this laptop, will be happy just to throw money at Apple for the incredible screen.
IF I hadn’t already bought a new laptop this year (for more than what the base model cost and is now obsolete by a long shot), I would jump on the chance to get one of these monsters. I’m very impressed by this new laptop and I have a feeling there will be a whole lot of second hand MacBook Pros out for sale in the coming weeks. So if you’ve been in the market for a new powerhouse machine, Apple have just delivered, and then some. Clearly Apple’s best laptop ever, it shows that Apple aren’t just in the game of not-so-rapid iterations, but are still able to get that gasp out of you.
The Next Generation Retina Display MacBook Pro’s come out today and are already shipping. Check out the Apple Store for more details and configurations
(Location Picture Credit: The Verge)