At its WWDC event on Monday, Apple took the wraps off of new hardware in the form of a total revamp across its entire laptop line. The hardware upgrades, which are available today, will better support new features in OS X 10.8, also known as Mountain Lion.
The sought-after Retina Display comes not as an option but as part of a next-generation laptop. Here’s a brief look at the new changes across the models:
MacBook Air and Pro
The new MacBook Air devices stay in the same 11- and 13-inch configuration, but will see new Intel Core i5 and i7 processors up to 2 GHz for each of the two cores. These are the new Ivy Bridge platform from Intel which are paired with the Intel HD Graphics 4000 solution. Models are available with up to 8 GB of memory and 512 GB of flash storage.
USB 3 ports are added — and are backwards compatible with USB 2, of course — and the integrated FaceTime camera jumps up to capture 720p video. Perhaps the best aspect here among the updates: The 11-inch models drop in price by $100 over the prior versions.
Apple’s MacBook Pro also sees new internals, but at the same price points as last year. Intel dual-core i5 and i7 chips power the new 13-inch Pros up to 2.9 GHz while the 15-incher goes quad core i7 up to 2.6 GHz. Traditional hard drives up to 750 GB are on the standard models. The same USB 3 and FaceTime upgrades from the Air are here and screen resolutions are kept at 1280 x 800 and 1440 x 900 for both models. The 15-inch MacBook Pro opts for Nvidia’s GeForce GT 650M graphics.
Wait, there’s a next-generation Pro!
This is the Retina Display model people have been waiting for. The entire design of this MacBook Pro looks like an iPad and keyboard; just 0.71-inches thin. Screen resolution is 2880 x 1800 on a 15.4-inch display, showing 5.148 million pixels. Apple says with the internals, the device can run for 7 hours on a single charge and standby for up to 30 days.
How is this possible? Flash storage up to 768 GB, Nvidia’s Kepler GT 650M graphics, Intel’s quad-core Core i7 processor up to 2.7 GHz and a big power pack. Other features include a 720p FaceTime camera, dual microphons, two Thunderbolt ports, SD card slot, a pair of USB 3 ports, Bluetooth 4.0, backlit keyboard and, of course, multi-touch keyboard.
So how much will the next-generation MacBook Pro with Air-like features cost in a 4.46 pound package? Apple is charging $2,199 to start for the base model with 8GB of memory and 256 GB of flash storage with availability today.
And why would you want the new MacBook Pro? Because some Mountain Lion native apps are optimized for the display and third-party apps are expected to follow. You don’t want to see pixels, do you?