You know what they say: you come for the iPad Mini, but you stay for the Retina MacBook Pro (or something like that). At today's iPad Mini event in San Jose, Apple pulled back the curtain on a new (smaller) version of its sexiest Mac, and updates to its two most popular desktop Macs.
The MacBook Pro with Retina Display – previously only available with a 15-inch display – was today released in a 13-inch form factor. Like its big brother, the laptop is thinner than the standard MacBook Pro (which is still around at a cheaper price point), but not as thin as the MacBook Air. Like the Air, it lacks an optical drive, and sports a solid state drive (SSD) in place of a hard drive with moveable parts. The device is 0.75 inch thin, and weighs just 3.5 lbs (1.6 kg).
Its killer feature is its display. The 13.3-inch display packs a resolution of 2560 x 1600, which gives it a pixel density of 227 ppi. Apple heralded the device as the "second highest resolution notebook display," second to its 15-inch cousin.
The base version of the 13-inch model ships with a dual core 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5 processor. Its storage options, however, are a bit different: it adds a smaller 128GB SSD option, in addition to the 256 GB and 512 GB models. The 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro starts at $1,699 for the 128 GB base model. It starts shipping today.
The Mac Mini was also updated, to include dual core Ivy Bridge processors. The base model sports a 2.5 GHz dual core CPU, with 4 GB of RAM, and a 500 GB hard drive, and costs US$599. An upgraded model with a quad core i7 and 1 TB hard drive is marked at $799.
Apple also pulled back the curtain on a new iMac, which brings its first redesign in years. The big feature is its new thinner form factor. Unlike the new MacBook Pro, the iMac doesn't have a Retina Display (that may have to wait another year or so). Apple is touting the all-in-one's improved LCD, which it says is 75 percent less reflective.
Apple also announced a new storage option for the iMac called Fusion Drive. It combines 128 GB SSD with a 500 GB or 1TB HDD. What separates Apple's Fusion Drive from other hybrid HDD/SSD PCs is that OS X Mountain Lion intelligently determines (in the background) which drive to use for which applications.
The 21.5-inch iMac – with 2.5GHz quad core i5, 8 GB of RAM, and 1 TB hard drive – starts at US$1,299, and ships in November. The 27-inch model starts at $1,799, and ships in December.
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