Apple updated its Retina MacBook Pro line on Tuesday, changing the processors in every model and adding a few new built-to order options. There are new Haswell processors in both the 13-inch and 15-inch models as well as price cuts for selected models.
The 15-inch model is now packing a 2.2GHz chip and the high-end stock version comes with a 2.5GHz Intel processor. The more expensive stock rMBP — the closest thing Apple has to a professional mobile workstation — received a price cut from $2600 to $2500. Both 15-inch rMBPs now come with 16GB of RAM, but unfortunately, the built-in graphics card is still the NVIDIA GeForce 750M, a disappointment for those hoping for an update to the GeForce 800M. Apple also added two new built-to-order upgrades for those looking to max their machines out: an option for a 1TB SSD — costing an extra $500 — and an optional upgrade to a 2.8GHz Intel Core i7.
The 13-inch model now comes with a 2.6GHz Haswell processor in two of the three factory stock models, with a 2.8GHz Intel chip in the most expensive stock model. The entry level 13-inch rMBP has been bumped up to 8GB of RAM, instead of 4GB.
Remember the 13-inch non-retina MacBook Pro? That notebook got a $100 price cut (but no processor upgrade), which brings its price down to $1100. I still believe it’s not as good a value as the 13-inch MacBook Air, which starts at $1000 after a similar spec-bump and price cut earlier this year.
Later this year, Apple will release OS X Yosemite, an updated version of its desktop operating system with a new look and deep integration with iOS calls and texts. Rumor has it that there will be a 12-inch Retina MacBook Air released to coincide with the new hardware, but if you’re shopping for a back to school laptop now, Apple’s current notebook lineup is up-to-date and looking formidable.