Apple are calling it “the most beautiful computer we’ve ever made”, and “a whole new vision for the notebook.” And for once, it’s hard to argue with Apple’s PR bluster; the new, next generation MacBook Pro with Retina Display is looking a mighty fine bit of kit.
Key improvements in terms of both hardware and design mean that, despite the continuing push from the Ultrabook PC market, Apple still look to be one step ahead of the game. Here, we pick out five reasons we think their latest MacBook Pro is their best yet.
Perhaps the best thing about the WWDC offering from Apple this year was the fact that the Cupertino company pretty much delivered on all the biggest rumours that had been getting tech fans hopes up over the past few months. A Retina Display in a MacBook was one of the most often rumoured, but many thought it might have been simply wishful thinking. It wasn’t, it was the real deal.
And it looks to be perhaps the killer feature of the new MacBook Pros. Running at a maximum resolution of 2880 x 1800, it’s hitting 220 ppi, or 5,184,000 pixels, or four times the pixels of the last generation MacBook Pro. It’s also 3 million pixels more than you’d find in a full HD TV, and offers improved contrast ratios and viewing angles, as well as considerable less glare in direct sunlight.
Another feature we had our fingers crossed for was a slimmer build for the new MacBook Pro, and again Apple have delivered. It’s just 0.71-inches thick, making it 1/4 thinner than the current Pro, and at 4.46 pounds, it’s the lightest Pro ever too. To pull this off, Apple had to shave off a few features (most notable the optical disc drive), and employ a new manufacturing technique that sees the Retina Dispay actually built within the case, rather than being an extra layer on top of the inside of it.
Better Graphics With Intel Ivy Bridge and NVIDIA Keplar Chip
It’s slimmer than ever, but more powerful that ever too, thanks to a double whammy of an Intel Ivy Bridge Processor (with configurations starting at 2.3GHz quad-core i7s) and NVIDIA’s latest mobile discrete graphics chips. Ivy Bridge offers a 60% improvement over the last generation of Intel’s integrated graphics solutions, while the NVIDIA GT 650M graphics chip inside means that Retina-troubling gaming resolutions shouldn’t be out of reach. Indeed, at WWDC 2012 Apple showed off an enhanced version of Diablo III running at a Retina Display resolution, with touched up graphics to make the most of the higher ppi. Here’s hoping other developers follow sit with their games. 8GB of 1600MHz DDR3 LRAM as standard helps too.
The MacBook Pro with Retina Display may well be dropping the optical disc drive of previous models, but it’s adding some key new features too. Most notably are two USB 3.0 ports and a HDMI input, two connections that have been sorely missing from previous models. As well as that, you’re also getting an SD slot, two superfast Thunderbolt ports, the thinner new MagSafe 2 connection, a 720p Facetime HD webcam, dual mics, 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0. Oh, and a headphone jack too.
Don’t underestimate the importance of having all-flash storage architecture onboard the new MacBook Pros. Having an SSD drive instead of a regular HDD comes at a premium, but for good reason; it allows the machines to be much thinner and lighter, as well as booting up incredibly quickly and allowing for fast application loading times and speedy file transfers. And, with no moving parts, your data is better protected against shock and drop damage, which is great for clumsy types.