Before there were iPads, there were Macs. That's true historically, and it's also true at today's Apple event in San Francisco. Before unveiling its new iPad and iPad mini, Apple ran through some updates to its traditional PC line, including new 4th gen. Intel Core-powered MacBook Pros, as well as that redesigned Mac Pro that the company previewed back in June.
Probably the most eagerly anticipated of today's Mac updates is the MacBook Pro with Retina Display, and its shift to a 4th-generation Intel Core processor (Haswell for the 13-in. model, and Crystalwell for the 15-in. model). That should give the new laptops a big boost in battery life, lasting up to nine hours, according to Apple. The new Retina MBP retains the same basic external design as last year's model, but at least the 13-in. model also got a bit lighter an thinner. It's 0.71-in. (18 mm) thick, and weighs 3.46 lbs (1.56 kg).
The non-Retina MacBook Pro appears to have finally suffered a death by Retina cannibalism, as Apple made no mention of the lower-res models. Well, technically, the 13-inch non-Retina MBP is still available, but it wasn't updated today. The 15-in. low-res model, meanwhile, has truly bitten the dust.
The updated MacBooks start shipping today, beginning at US$1,299 for the 13-in. model and US$1,999 for the 15-in. edition.
Apple also gave us a bit more info on that Mac Pro refresh that the company teased back in June. The desktop workstation has a radical redesign, packs dual GPUs and Intel Xeon processors with up to 12 cores, and delivers double the speed of the previous Mac Pro. It features a central fan-cooled thermal core, which passes air vertically from the center of the device and out of the top.
Desktop workstation enthusiasts have been pining for this potentially game-changing Mac Pro for some time now. Today they finally gave us some pricing and release info, as the new machine launches "before the end of the year," for US$2,999, a $500 boost over the previous model.
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