Along with the new iPad Mini, which you can read all about here, Apple made a few other announcements at its San Jose event including a smaller MacBook Pro, a refreshed Mac Mini and all-new iMacs. Here’s our summary of Apple’s latest and greatest:
A pint-sized MacBook Pro
Apple made waves earlier this year with it’s 15 inch MacBook Pro, which included a revolutionary 15 inch Retina display. Now Apple has added a second Retina-based notebook to the family, only this time in the guise of a 13 inch model.
Like the 15 inch, the 13 inch MacBook Pro now comes in a thinner form factor than the old 13 inch model, and measures just 1.9 cm thick, or At a mere 1.9cm and 1.62kg, the remarkably portable 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display is 20 per cent thinner and almost half a kilogram lighter than the current 13-inch MacBook Pro.
The key feature of the 13 inch model is the option of a super high-resolution IPS-based ‘Retina’ display. This has an impressive 2,560 x 1,600, and while the 15 inch version can display about 5 million pixels, the 13 inch manages an impressive 4 million.
This translates to pin-sharp text, even at very small sizes, along with beautifully detailed photos and graphics. At 227 pixels per inch, it’s nearly impossible to see the individual pixels that make up an image, and the IPS-based display can be viewed from angles up to 178 degrees.
The display also sports new anti-reflection technology, which is intended to show 75 per cent less reflections and 29 per cent higher contrast levels than the previous screen.
From a processing point of view, the 13 inch MacBook Pro version is quite capable, with processors ranging from dual-core 2.5GHz Intel Core i5 to faster 2.9GHz Intel Core i7 processors. Intel HD Graphics 4000 is included, along with 8GB of 1600 MHz RAM, and you can choose up to 768GB of flash storage. It does not appear, however, that there is an option for the quad-core Intel Core i7 processors found in the 15 inch MacBook Pro range, meaning that the 13 inch unit cannot quite match the top-end grunt of Apple’s flagship notebook.
Apple has placed special attention into the battery construction and has spread the battery around the internals, and can produce about 7 hours of charge. The unit features a similar unibody design to other MacBook Pros, resulting in a good combination of rigidity and aesthetic appeal.
Port options are the same as the 15 inch MacBook Pro, only on a smaller device, and include two Thunderbolt connectors, two USB 3.0 connectors, SD card, HDMI and a MagiSafe 2 power connector. As with the 15 inch MacBook Pro, an optical drive has been omitted, along with plug-in Ethernet, although there’s dual band Wi-Fi (802.11n) included.
There are four models to choose from, each with varying degrees of hardware features, although the big distinction in price is because of the Retina screen. Here’s Apple’s latest pricing:
The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display is available with a 2.5 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.1 GHz, 8GB of memory and 128GB of flash storage starting at a recommended retail price of AUD$1,899; and with 256GB of flash storage starting at a recommended retail price of AUD$2,199. Configure-to-order options include faster dual-core Intel Core i7 processors and flash storage up to 768GB. Additional technical specifications, configure-to-order options and accessories are available online.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display is available today through the Apple Online Store as well as Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorised Resellers.
The thinner iMac
Phil Shiller says the iMac is Apple’s number one desktop in the US and the flagship of the Apple desktop range. There have been seven generations of iMac, so the new ones are part of the eighth generation.
And what a generation it is.
The screen uses edge to edge glass, and is set inside a casing that dead on looks super thin with a 5mm edge. Apple says it’s 80 percent thinner than the previous generation, and thanks to some advanced laser welding, it’s super strong and seamless.
Apple has also laminated the display directly onto the glass, making it thinner by removing a 2mm gap of air that existed before. There’s also no optical drive, which may upset some, but gels with Apple’s iTunes streaming media future.
Oh, and there’s this technology called ‘Fusion Drive’ which is Apple’s hybrid hard drive technology combining solid state storage with conventional hard drive technology, allowing you to run the operating system from the super speedy solid state drive, but still keep lots of files on a big one terabyte drive.
As expected, you’ll find Intel Core i5 and i7 processors here, running at quad-core and part of the latest generation of Ivy Bridge 3rd generation Intel Core processors. Two Thunderbolt ports have been included, and USB has been updated to the very latest specification, with the iMac now supporting four USB 3.0 ports.
Only two sizes of the iMac will be available, keeping it inline with what Apple has already available, with the 21.5 inch iMac starting from $1,249 and the 27 inch iMac starting at $1,999.
Apple’s smallest Mac has undergone a revamp with this release, updating the system with third-generation Intel Core processors, and coming standard now with 4GB RAM and at least a 500GB drive.
It’s probably the right time for a refresh, and the ports on the back now include Thunderbolt, HDMI, SDXC card slot, Gigabit Ethernet, Firewire 800, and four USB 3.0 ports.
The Mac Mini is still the least expensive Mac system out there, starting at $699 for a dual-core Intel Core i5 and jumping up to $899 for a quad-core Intel Core i7 with 1TB of storage.