Apple unwraps 15'' MacBook Pro with Retina display

Folks were expecting Apple to unveil a Retina-imbued MacBook today, and for the most part, the company didn't disappoint. At the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco this morning, Apple took the wraps off its next-generation MacBook Pro, a 15.4" laptop with an ultra-slim chassis and a mind-boggling 2880x1800 display resolution. Apple's website hasn't been updated with details about the machine yet, but all the dirt is out on WWDC liveblogs from The Verge and Engadget.

Apple has really gone all-out with the Retina MacBook Pro. In its base config, priced at $2,199, the machine squeezes a 2.3GHz quad-core Ivy Bridge processor, 8GB of RAM, GeForce GT 650M discrete graphics, 256GB of solid-state storage, and a seven-hour battery into a chassis that's only 0.71" thick—and weighs a scant 4.46 lbs. The non-Retina 15" MacBook Pro, for reference, tips the scales at 5.6 lbs. Connectivity on the new system includes dual Thunderbolt, dual USB 3.0, HDMI, 802.11n, and Bluetooth 4.0. There's an SD card reader, too, and Apple outfits the system with stereo speakers, a backlit keyboard, and a high-def FaceTime webcam.

Users somehow not satisfied with this package can beef up the notebook with a 2.7GHz Core i7 processor, up to 16GB of RAM, and 768GB of solid-state storage. Apple doesn't quote a price for that config, but I suspect the SSD alone will bring the price up considerably.

Apple says it's updated not just OS X, but also its consumer and professional applications to take advantage of the higher-DPI screen on the new machine. The Mac maker is working with third-party developers to Retina-ify software like Photoshop and AutoCAD and games like Diablo III, as well. Good thing, too, because people will start toting Retina MacBook Pro laptops at your local Starbucks soon—the machine should be available today.

Sadly, those hoping for a cheaper Retina MacBook didn't get their wish. Apple has updated the existing MacBook Air and MacBook Pro families with Ivy Bridge processors and USB 3.0 connectivity (and, in the case of the regular 15" MacBook Pro, GeForce GT 650M graphics), but display resolutions still range from 1280x800 to 1440x900 depending on the system. Prices haven't really budged, either. The 11.6" MacBook Air is still the cheapest Apple laptop at $999, and the company still charges $1,799 for the 15" MacBook Pro sans Retina display or ultra-slim chassis. There is one notable exception: the 13" MacBook Air, which seems to have gone down a hundred bucks to $1,199.

Update: The product page for the 15" MacBook Pro with Retina display is now up on Apple's website.

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