As with June’s MacBook Air refresh, the new 13″ and 15″ MacBook Pro with Retina display are both about helping you work faster for longer.
The headlines this time are a bump in battery life (up to a whopping 9 hours of iTunes movie playback!), the inclusion of Intel’s new Haswell processors and, crucially, Intel’s Iris integrated graphics.
In terms of hardware, testing has shown that Haswell processors give you a great speed increase, and this time around Apple have included the latest Intel Haswell 4th generation Core in the 13″ model for even faster performance. Add to that the addition of the brand new Iris integrated graphics, which have been shown to more than double the graphics performance you can get with the current Ivy Bridge processor/Intel graphics 4000 setup that’s found in a lot of Apple’s smaller models.
While the 15″ will have the improved Intel Iris Pro, this vast jump in graphics performance is going to be particularly noticeable for anyone who picks up a 13” MacBook Pro with Retina display, as this has always had to rely on integrated graphics. If you’re looking for a more mobile setup for creative work, a 13” MacBook Pro with Retina display and this new, more powerful graphics setup is definitely an option.
Also giving this generation a helping hand is Apple’s new generation of PCIe-based flash storage, which AnandTech reports can reach read/write speeds of up to 800MBps. Add to that Gigabit WiFi (aka 802.11ac, a new, faster WiFi connection that reaches speeds of – you guessed it – 1Gbps) and Thunderbolt 2, and you’ve got yourself a mobile workstation to be proud of.
On a cosmetic level, the MacBook Prow with Retina display is now slightly slimmer and lighter – both models are now a skinny 0.71 inches (1.8cm) thick, with the 13″ weighing in at 3.46 pounds (1.57kg) and the 15″ at 4.46 pounds (2.02kg). Finally, it’s bagged itself a 2MP 1080p FaceTime camera, surely a vast relief to all of us who hold video conferences or Skype into meetings and are sick of having to do so in 720p.
13″ MacBook Pro with Retina display key specs:
• Retina display
• 2.4GHz dual core i5 (configurable up to 2.8GHz dual core i7)
• 4GB DRAM (configurable up to 16GB)
• Iris Graphics
• 128GB SSD (configurable up to 1TB)
15″ MacBook Pro with Retina display key specs:
• Retina display
• 2.0GHz quad core i7 (configurable up to 2.6GHz quad core i7)
• 8GB DRAM (configurable up to 16GB)
• Iris Pro Graphics
• 256GB SSD (configurable up to 1TB)
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