Posts tagged with "macbook pro"

The New MacBook Pro: Our Complete Overview

At yesterday morning's Hello Again keynote event, Apple announced the long-awaited update to their professional laptop line. The new MacBook Pro comes in two sizes and features a thinner body and upgraded internals. It also comes equipped with Apple's brand new Touch Bar, a Retina touchscreen display which replaces the row of function keys atop the keyboard, and a Touch ID sensor.

These new machines mark the first significant spec advancements for the MacBook Pro since they moved to Haswell processors in 2014, and the first notable hardware changes since going Retina in 2012. As such, it's no surprise that the new MacBook Pro is an improvement in nearly every way over previous models. This is truly the next generation of Apple's flagship laptops.

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CNET Asks: Does the Mac Still Matter?

Apple announced a new line of MacBook Pros today that replace the function keys with a Touch Bar, a touch sensitive strip that includes customizable software buttons and Touch ID functionality. CNET, in an exclusive 90-minute briefing with Phil Schiller, Craig Federighi, and Jony Ive, discussed the new MacBook Pros and explored the relevancy of the Mac in a mobile era.

That the new MacBook Pros are thinner, lighter, faster, and brighter is not unexpected for a laptop that hasn’t been updated for a while. What’s special about the new MacBook Pros is the Touch Bar. In a typically understated fashion, a reticent Jony Ive described the Touch Bar to CNET as:

’the beginning of a very interesting direction’ that combines ‘touch and display-based inputs with a mechanical keyboard.’

Phil Schiller was a little more forthcoming about what Apple hopes its new laptops will mean to users:

’We didn’t want to just create a speed bump on the MacBook Pro,’ he says. ‘In our view this is a big, big step forward. It is a new system architecture, and it allows us to then create many things to come, things that we can’t envision yet.’

The Touch Bar is a fascinating blend of ideas from iOS, such as touch tools for straightening photos, and existing macOS toolbars moved to the keyboard. Regardless of how you feel about how long it’s taken Apple to refresh the MacBook Pro, I’m optimistic about this new approach to the MacBook Pro and the possibilities it opens up to third-party developers.

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iFixit Tears Down the new MacBook Pro with Force Touch

Some fascinating findings in iFixit's teardown of the new MacBook Pro with Force Touch:

Made of wire coils surrounding a ferromagnetic core, the electromagnet in the Force Touch Trackpad is used to create the vibrational feedback you feel.

And:

We're guessing that the four separate coils here are used to vary the feedback given to the user. Turning different sets of the four coils on and off varies the strength and direction of the vibration, and how it feels to your finger.

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Apple Updates 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pros With Retina Displays With 4th-Generation Intel Processors

Having updated their lineup of MacBook Airs earlier this year, Apple has turned their attention to the MacBook Pro lineup, updating the 13-inch and 15-inch models with more powerful hardware while cutting prices for customers. These updates were announced by Phil Schiller at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco, California, during today's Keynote.

13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display:

The biggest complaints with previous generation MacBook Pros is that their hardware couldn't keep up with the Retina display. Many reviewers found the initial 13-inch model to be somewhat lackluster in performance, with laggy scrolling noticeable throughout the OS X interface. With today's update, the 13-inch model is getting some notable improvements.

First up are design changes to the chassis, with the 13-inch model shedding size and weight. It's both lighter and smaller than before, weighing only 3.46 pounds and measuring at only 0.71 inches thin.

Next are the performance improvements. New buyers can expect greatly improved performance thanks to Intel's Haswell processor, and integrated Intel Iris graphics. As the new processor is much more power efficient than what's found in previous models, the 13-inch model now gets up to 9 hours of battery life when web browsing or watching iTunes movies. As Phil Schiller said on stage, you could watch Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy and still have battery life to spare. Just like the new MacBook Airs, the 13-inch MacBook Pro has received PCIe-based Flash storage, 802.11ac for wireless, and updated Thunderbolt 2 ports.

In terms of performance gains, the new processors are 90% faster than the previous generation, wireless throughput is 3x better at similar distances when compared to 802.11n, and flash speeds are 60% faster than before.

The base model 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display has been reduced in price by one hundred dollars, starting at only $1299 with the following specifications:

  • 2.4 Ghz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor
  • 4 GB of 1600 MHz DDR3L memory
  • Intel Iris graphics
  • 128 GB PCIe-based flash storage

15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display:

Unlike it's smaller sibling, the 15-inch model hasn't received any design changes to its chassis. All of the base improvements found on the 13-inch model are found on the 15-model. 802.11 ac wireless, PCIe-based flash storage, and Thunderbolt 2 come equipped in addition to processor and graphics improvements.

Instead of opting for a dual-core processor, however, Apple is configuring their 15-inch models with a quad-core Crystalwell processor that also comes with integrated Iris Pro graphics from Intel. Optionally, customers can choose to add a discrete graphics solution, Nvidia's GeForce GT 750m, with 2 GB of video memory that's great for editing video or playing games. Despite having all this newfound power, the 15-inch model will get up to 8 hours of battery life when browsing the web or watching movies from iTunes.

The base model 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display has been reduced in price by two hundred dollars, starting at only $1999 with the following specifications:

  • 2.0 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor
  • 8 GB of 1600 MHz DDR3L memory
  • Intel Iris Pro graphics
  • 256 GB PCIe-based flash storage

Both models start shipping today, and can be configured from Apple's Online Store. For more information, see Apple's updated MacBook Pro pages at Apple.com.

For more coverage, check out our October 22 news hub and follow @macstoriesnet on Twitter.


Apple Tweaks Prices and CPUs of MacBook Pro, MacBook Air Lines

Apple Tweaks Prices and CPUs of MacBook Pro, MacBook Air Lines

With a press release published this morning, Apple has announced they have updated the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air lines with new prices and faster processors.

Apple is making the MacBook Pro with Retina display faster and more affordable with updated processors and lower starting prices. The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display now starts at $1,499 for 128GB of flash, and $1,699 for a new 2.6 GHz processor and 256GB of flash. The 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display now features a faster 2.4 GHz quad-core processor, and the top-of-the-line 15-inch notebook comes with a new 2.7 GHz quad-core processor and 16GB of memory. Apple today also announced that the 13-inch MacBook Air® with 256GB of flash has a new lower price of $1,399.

Thanks to @setteBIT, here's a quick rundown of the changes: the 13" MacBook Pro with Retina Display is now $200 and $300 cheaper for the 128 GB and 256 GB (with SSD) models, respectively; the CPU has been bumped from 2.5 GHz to 2.6 GHz. The price difference in Euros is €250 and €350. The 13" MacBook Air with 256 GB SSD is now $100 cheaper (€150).

The 13" MacBook Pro with Retina Display was announced on October 23, 2012 – 113 days ago; the 15" MacBook Pro with Retina display was announced at WWDC '12 – 247 days ago.

In the first fiscal quarter of 2013, Apple sold 4.1 million Macs. It's unclear whether Apple might have been able to lower the prices of Retina MacBook Pro (while offering faster performances) due to possible reductions of component prices (i.e. high-resolution displays), but the timing is interesting: just a few days ago, Apple and other tech companies (such as Adobe) were summoned to appear before the Federal Australian Parliamentary Committee that has been investigating IT pricing in Australia. In response to the inquiry, Adobe promptly dropped the price of its Creative Cloud service.

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Retina MacBook Pro Runs Three External Displays, Downscales Apps Automatically

Retina MacBook Pro Runs Three External Displays, Downscales Apps Automatically

Other World Computing's Mike H. has posted a photo showing the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro running three external displays simultaneously (via MacRumors). Including the built-in Retina display set at "best for Retina" in System Preferences, the new MacBook Pro can run four displays at their native resolutions -- OWC tested two iMacs as external monitors via Thunderbolt, and an additional LG display connected via HDMI. In their tests, "moving images and media didn’t create any lag" and video playback was possible on all four displays.

As noted by Steve Streza in his extensive review of the device, the Retina MacBook Pro is also capable of automatically downscaling apps to non-Retina resolutions even if you move an application's window between two displays:

If you connect a second display, it's probably not going to be a Retina display (at least not yet). Luckily the OS seems to handle this all magically, and downscales the window appropriately and without any input. If you drop the window halfway between the two displays, the one half on the Retina display will be high-resolution, and the other half is downscaled. In other words, it just works.

The Retina MacBook Pro has been well-received among reviewers, albeit computer repair firm iFixit gave the device a low repairability score due to Apple's decision to not make it user-serviceable, causing a controversy that Richard Gaywood elegantly summarized at TUAW.

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iFixit’s MacBook Pro with Retina Display Teardown

iFixit's MacBook Pro with Retina Display Teardown

As expected, the guys at iFixit have posted their teardown of the new MacBook Pro with Retina display, announced by Apple earlier this week at WWDC. With an overall repairability score of 1 out of 10, iFixit notes how the latest iteration of the MacBook Pro makes it harder for repairers to replace internal components and disassemble the machine.

In particular, they note how Apple is using proprietary flash memory on the MacBook Pro now, and a fused display assembly without glass that, in case of anything falling inside the display, will need the user to replace the entire assembly. They also noticed a different battery layout:

The lithium-polymer battery is glued rather than screwed into the case, which increases the chances that it'll break during disassembly. The battery also covers the trackpad cable, which tremendously increases the chance that the user will shear the cable in the battery removal process.

Check out the full teardown (with photos and technical comments) here.

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Apple Airs New MacBook Pro Commercial: “Innovation In Every Dimension”

Following yesterday's announcement at WWDC, Apple today aired a new commercial for the MacBook Pro with Retina display during the NBA Finals in the United States. Still not officially available on Apple's website or YouTube channel, we managed to find a recorded version on YouTube.

Perhaps not as emotional as Apple's other commercials for the iPad and iPhone, the ad showcases the "radical new MacBook Pro with Retina display" loading various video streams in Final Cut Pro (which has been updated for Retina) and switching between Lion apps like Mail. The commercial ends with "innovation in every dimension", a subtle hint at the machine's redesigned hardware and software components that take advantage of the new display resolution.

You can watch the commercial after the break.

Update: The commercial is now available on Apple's YouTube channel and website.
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The Next Generation MacBook Pro: Retina Display, Thinner Design, And More

Following updates to the MacBook Air and old MacBook Pro line, Apple's Phil Schiller formally took the wraps off the "next generation MacBook Pro" at WWDC today. Featuring an "architecture for the future", the all new MacBook Pro comes with a new thin and light design that is inspired by the MacBook Air, and carries over the tradition of powerful specs of the Pro family.

To "be bold and embrace new technologies", the new MacBook Pro is a true breakthrough in engineering: it's 0.71 inches thin, and weighs only 4.46 pounds. It's the lightest Pro notebook Apple ever made, and it carries a 15.4-inch, 2880x1800 "Retina" display for high resolution. at 220 pixels per inch, the new MacBook Pro has 5,184,000 pixels and it's the highest resolution notebook in the world. According to Schiller, the quality of the display is "the best Apple has ever made". Glare and reflection have been reduced by 75%, and the display features deeper blacks, higher contrast ratios, and higher view angles. Shipping with Lion, all Apple apps have been updated to take advantage of the Retina display: Mail, Safari, iPhoto have received updates; Aperture and Final Cut are receiving major updates as well. Final Cut, for instance, can show 9 simultaneous streams of pro-res video or 4 uncompressed streams.

Third-party apps will have to be updated for the Retina display on the new MacBook Pro. Apple says it is working with key developers, including Adobe, to have Retina-ready versions of popular apps soon.

The MacBook Pro with Retina display pushes the limits of performance and portability like no other notebook,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “With a gorgeous Retina display, all flash architecture and a radically thin and light design, the new MacBook Pro is the most advanced Mac we have ever built.

The new MacBook Pro features a 2.7Ghz quad-core i7 CPU, with turbo boost up to 3.7 GHz; up to 16 GB 1600 MHz RAM; GeForce GT 650M Kepler graphics; flash storage up to 768 GB. With battery life up to 7 hours and 30 days of standby, the new MBP also comes with SD card slot, HDMI, USB2/3, MagSafe 2, two Thunderbolt ports, another USB2/3 port, and the standard headphone jack.

The MagSafe had to be made thinner to fit into this new design; the machine also comes with a completely new stereo system, FaceTime HD camera, and dual microphones.

The new MacBook Pro Retina display is the world’s highest resolution notebook display with over 5 million pixels, 3 million more than an HD television. At 220 pixels-per-inch, the Retina display’s pixel density is so high the human eye cannot distinguish individual pixels from a normal viewing distance, so text and graphics look incredibly sharp. The Retina display uses IPS technology for a 178-degree wide viewing angle, and has 75 percent less reflection and 29 percent higher contrast than the previous generation.

In a video shown on stage, Apple's head of design Jony Ive suggested the new MacBook Pro may seem like a contradiction. Built for performance but extremely portable, the new MBP features typography sharper than a printed page, and insanely fast performances thanks to solid state storage. One of the most important challenges Apple engineers had to face was designing the new display, which is built into the unibody construction and assembled through state of the art automated robots.

The new 15.4" Retina-ready, 2.3 GHz quad-core i7, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB flash next generation MacBook Pro ships today at $2199. The higher-end version with 2.6 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.6 GHz, 8GB of memory and 512GB of flash storage starts at $2799. Configure-to-order options include faster quad-core processors up to 2.7 GHz, up to 16GB of memory and flash storage up to 768GB.

Starting today, customers who purchase a Mac will also get a free copy of Mountain Lion when it ships later this summer.

Moscone West Photos

Apple is showcasing the new MacBook Pro with Retina display to WWDC attendees.