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 2880×1800 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 1280×800 to 1440×900 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.

Comments closed
    • Anarchist
    • 7 years ago

    would it matter if the macbook pro was 0.2″ thicker if it meant it can have normal ram slot and normal 2.5″ hd? Having rams soldered onto mobo and having non standard hd slot means this laptop is completely un-upgradable by user. What jackasses make stuff like these and what id1ots buy these at over$2000 when it will become obsolete in 2 years time?

    • jdaven
    • 7 years ago

    The resolution mistake (typo) in this article is starting to get a little frustrating. It would be okay if Cyril is not reading the comments, had a family emergency, or some other important reason. But if it is ego, arrogance, pissed off, etc. that is not acceptable. Why is this so important? Because the retina display resolution is THE selling point of the new MBP.

    Keeping the article with the mistake is akin to a news site reporting on a murder case and saying that the jury found the defendant guilty when the defendant was found innocent and then just providing a link to the case write-up at the end of the article.

    This is just unacceptable. 🙁

      • cynan
      • 7 years ago

      [deadpan] Oh. The humanity. [/deadpan]

      • Washer
      • 7 years ago

      It’s comical how upset you are over an error. Personally I’d be tempted not to change it just to drive you crazy, but alas I’m not Cyril and I’m sure he simply hasn’t read the comments and no else cared enough to send an email.

      • ludi
      • 7 years ago

      Dude, contact a therapist. This is just weird.

      • DeadOfKnight
      • 7 years ago

      Who cares? This is a PC site, not a Mac site. If you want outstanding coverage on all things Mac, go somewhere else. All this is is an announcement for those who actually care.

      • internetsandman
      • 7 years ago

      So reporting the wrong verdict in a murder case is akin to a typo about laptop resolution?

      • A_Pickle
      • 7 years ago

      Hey!

      And while he’s at it, maybe he could include the little tidbit about the 8 GB and 16 GB models having their DDR3-1600 memory [i<]soldered on[/i<]. It's weird that you're all adamant about correct information when it makes Apple look good, buuut... when it comes to the typical Apple bullcrap, you're more than willing to let that slide.

    • beck2448
    • 7 years ago

    I need a 17″ for my pro apps. 15″ is painfully small.

      • StashTheVampede
      • 7 years ago

      The 15″ Retina display now has more pixels than the 17″ screen. Your pro apps will be fine.

        • Washer
        • 7 years ago

        That’s simply not how this work. You’re implying that applications and content will occupy less physical real estate, however OSX will be employing scaling so it occupies the same space but appear much sharper, basically trying to achieve the resolution increases for the iPad and iPhone. If OSX didn’t use scaling then most people would have a hard time being able to read text let alone numerous other small UI elements.

          • CB5000
          • 7 years ago

          Yeah… I’d rather not try to see microscopic text and hurt my eyes int he process.

            • DeadOfKnight
            • 7 years ago

            That’s not gonna happen, that’s the point. The text is scaled up, with more pixels drawn into the same size image. Just like the iPhone.

    • jdaven
    • 7 years ago

    So what act of God will it take to make Cyril update his story with the correct resolution of 2880×1800? The most important feature of the new MBP is the retina so you want to make sure that is correct and he has a link to the specs which clearly state 2880×1800.

    What can we do to convince you Cyril to correct the story on the most important part?

    • Althernai
    • 7 years ago

    If they got the scaling right, then this is an awesome laptop. The price is typical of Apple, but unlike the previous few versions of the MBP, you are paying not just for the logo and the slightly nicer form factor. The SSD is a nice touch. And not only is the display high-res, but it’s even 16:10! I would be very tempted if I had not bought a laptop last year. Hopefully in a year or two there will be a similar machine for a lower price.

      • pedro
      • 7 years ago

      Yep, 16:10. Folks at this site should be all over it!

        • Beelzebubba9
        • 7 years ago

        I am!*

        *(in theory, I have no plans to upgrade my Air)

    • gmskking
    • 7 years ago

    Way to go, Apple. If it wasn’t for you we would be stuck on low res screens for many more years to come. Keep it up.

      • entropy13
      • 7 years ago

      Apple, once again, with ANOTHER trailblazing product!

    • Firestarter
    • 7 years ago

    Well now that Apple took the plunge, who’s going to do us all a favor and produce a ‘me too’?

    • bhtooefr
    • 7 years ago

    And it’s IPS, too.

    Yup, male multiple orgasm is real.

    (I’ll be going over to the dark side… or is that the light side, given that I’m coming from a 2048×1536-swapped ThinkPad?)

      • bhtooefr
      • 7 years ago

      Aaaaaand… AnandTech found the problem.

      [url<]http://www.anandtech.com/show/5996/how-the-retina-display-macbook-pro-handles-scaling[/url<] 2880x1800 native is locked out, you just get 2x HiDPI modes from 1024x640 to 1920x1200, and then can scale those to the 2880x1800 size. (1440x900 is technically native, because its 2x HiDPI perfectly scales, but I want 1x.) That sucks. (Yes, I'm that guy that wants to make everything zomgtiny.) Hopefully Quartz Debug can fix that.

        • Washer
        • 7 years ago

        You must have absolutely exceptional sight.

        To me this isn’t surprising. For everyone except bhtooefr trying to use a 15″ 2880×1800 without scaling would be impossible. I think most people assumed it would behave like the high DPI phones out there. No more visible pixels but the UI elements occupy the same physical screen real estate.

          • mikehodges2
          • 7 years ago

          It should allow you to set the text smaller (in office/browsers), while remaining legible, vs a standard screen. So technically, you should be able to fit more on the screen, but I guess it’s eyesight dependant.

          • bhtooefr
          • 7 years ago

          Yeah, it’s probably best, given how many people I’ve seen complain about 1920×1200 on a 15.4″ screen.

          But, I’m on 2048×1536 on a 15.0″ screen now without scaling, and I have a DESKTOP 3840×2400 22.2″ monitor (204 ppi, so less than the MBPR’s 220, but you sit further away).

          Side effect of having a lazy eye that requires bifocals, and a 20/20 or better good eye (you have to correct both when you correct one).

    • crsh1976
    • 7 years ago

    Gorgeous design, fantastic display, anemic GPU (for the screen resolution); yep, it’s a Mac alright.

      • gmskking
      • 7 years ago

      I was thinking the same thing. For $2,200 I think a better GPU could be included. Especially with the pixels it will be pushing.

        • Beelzebubba9
        • 7 years ago

        …in a laptop that’s 0.71″ thick?

        Are you people [i<]insane[/i<] or are you just confusing the coolest ultrabook with a 8+lb gaming laptop-ish device with a 2 hour battery life?

      • Washer
      • 7 years ago

      I’d love the impossible too but you’re not going to find a faster graphics option in a case as thin as the Retina display MBP. You could maybe argue that reducing the chassis down to 0.71″ wasn’t wise, but it only weighs 4.46lbs, does have a GT650, has the highest resolution laptop screen on the market by far and a quad core CPU. It’s an incredibly impressive feat of engineering.

        • crsh1976
        • 7 years ago

        No doubt about it, I completely agree with you; where I’m concerned are the trade-offs, the GPU is weak for the number of pixels that need to be pushed, I guess that’s the double-edged feature/issue with the Retina display.

          • Washer
          • 7 years ago

          I don’t see how it will be an issue outside of gaming.

            • DeadOfKnight
            • 7 years ago

            Yeah, and then you can just use 1440×900. A GT 650M is plenty to run games on high settings at that resolution.

      • cynan
      • 7 years ago

      C’mon Apple. Bring out an external Thurnderbolt video card dock.

      [i<]Edit:[/i<] Apparently they are working on these. [url=http://pcper.com/news/Graphics-Cards/CES-2012-MSI-GUS-II-External-Thunderbolt-Graphics-Upgrade-System<]C'mon MSI hurry up[/url<]. This thing will take up to an HD 7850, which while still not quite adequate for gaming at 2880x1400, is a vast improvement.

      • DeadOfKnight
      • 7 years ago

      If you’re buying a Mac to play games then you’re doing it wrong.

    • WillBach
    • 7 years ago

    That is a… beautiful piece of kit. Wish I could afford it. As it stands, my wife will probably buy a new MBA and then I’ll inherit her unibody MacBook. Truth be told, I’m surprised that the estimated battery life of the MacBook Airs didn’t go up, switching from Sandy to Ivy. They did get cheaper, though. Perhaps Apple is spending less on Si, Flash, and Li?

      • Antimatter
      • 7 years ago

      CPUs on average consume less than 10% of a laptop’s battery so even significant gains in CPU efficiency would not be very noticeable.

        • chµck
        • 7 years ago

        how do you figure that?

          • Antimatter
          • 7 years ago

          According to Microsoft.
          [url<]http://blogs.msdn.com/b/e7/archive/2009/01/06/windows-7-energy-efficiency.aspx?PageIndex=6[/url<]

      • mcnabney
      • 7 years ago

      That display is going to eat the battery.

    • DeadOfKnight
    • 7 years ago

    I wonder why they all didn’t get an ultra slim chassis and retina display option. This seems very un-Apple.

      • DancinJack
      • 7 years ago

      I don’t really think so. Macbook vs Macbook Pro was a little similar.

      • kyboshed
      • 7 years ago

      They had to sacrifice both the Superdrive & the ethernet port to get it that thin, I’m guessing there are many people not yet ready to give those up. (Not sure if the RetinaBook comes with a Thunderbolt-Ethernet adaptor or if it’s something you get to purchase later)

        • Kurotetsu
        • 7 years ago

        USB-Ethernet adapters already exist, and with USB 3.0 there should be plenty of bandwidth even for gigabit ethernet (perhaps thats why they went with 3.0 this time around?). No need to use up a Thunderbolt port for it.

        • questionlp
        • 7 years ago

        The Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet adapter is sold separately. That’s about $110 (SuperDrive + TB GbE Adapter) I’ll have to add to the cost of the system when I’m ready to pull the trigger.

          • adisor19
          • 7 years ago

          Umm, you can just grab a third party USB3 to Gb adapter for cheaper. Why pay extra $$ to Apple for no reason ?

          Adi

            • questionlp
            • 7 years ago

            With my EPP discount, the Apple TB GbE Adapter is roughly the same price (+/- $2) as a decent USB 3.0 GbE adapter.

      • Jive
      • 7 years ago

      I am sure over time the traditional (regular) macbook pro will be phased out within the next 1-2 years.

    • DancinJack
    • 7 years ago

    I don’t know about you guys, but 2880×1400 is too small for a 15″ screen. I imagine there is some kind of magical scaling that Apple has invented to compensate, but that is just crazy.

    e: Apparently it’s 2880×1800.

      • questionlp
      • 7 years ago

      Apple did state that updates to OS X and other applications (including Photoshop) will allow for proper scaling; while other applications will essentially be scaled by a factor of 2x.

      Since I’m now dealing with larger digital photos (18+ MP), the higher resolution will help out as I don’t have any external monitors.

    • IronHalik
    • 7 years ago

    Noo! I want the 1440×900, 0.71″ thick, 13.3 inch MacBook Pro…

    And a pony…

    But seriously, I’m a little disappointed – 15 inchers are too big for me, since I use my laptop to supplement my 3520×1200 desktop.
    The other option is MBA. I guess those Ivy-Bridge CULVs would be enough for some light xcode/eclipse stuff.

    Hmm, a 1650×1050 13.3 inch MBP would have ~150 PPI. Someone correct me, but at 20 inches, that should approach the “retina” angular resolution.

      • mcnabney
      • 7 years ago

      1650×1050@13.3″ = 147ppi
      2048×1560@9.7″ = 264ppi (iPad3)
      960×640@3.5″ = 330ppi (iPhone4)

      My eyes are about 22″ from my laptop display when working, so you are going to have to lean back a little bit for the pixels to blur together like they do when using he iPhone or iPad3.

        • IronHalik
        • 7 years ago

        Yeah, but the distance from an iPhone is considerably smaller then those 22 inches.

      • DeadOfKnight
      • 7 years ago

      I agree, I’d also like them to ditch the optical drive to make room for some discreet graphics.

    • Myrmecophagavir
    • 7 years ago

    2880×1800, not x1400. That would be an ultra-wide aspect ratio…

      • bhassel
      • 7 years ago

      I am glad they are continuing to stick with 16:10 displays. If only other laptop makers would do the same…

        • Antimatter
        • 7 years ago

        Apple does use 16:9 displays on the Macbook Air, though that could be due to its lower cost.

          • adisor19
          • 7 years ago

          I think it’s more to do with fitting the keyboard on the 11″ Air than with Apple trying to lower costs.

          Adi

          • questionlp
          • 7 years ago

          The MBA 11″ does use a 16:9 display, but the MBA 13″ is 16:10 (1440/900).

          And yes, I am very happy that Apple stuck with a 16:10 ratio for the MBP w/ Retina Display.

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 7 years ago

    I thought this is what the combination of Ivy Bridge quad-cores and “ultrabooks” would bring, not spammed clones of last years’ models.

    This is planet erf, hailing every non-Apple OEM. Do you copy?

      • jpostel
      • 7 years ago

      If a wicked high rez thin MBP is what it takes to kick the competitors in the pants, then so be it. I would rather have the choice of three high-end brands for this kind of thing. Right now, I feel like we have Lenovo for bullet-proof business grade awesomeness, and Apple for the high-end consumer sexiness.

      Is there anyone else really pushing the envelope?

        • DancinJack
        • 7 years ago

        The new Asus Zenbooks aren’t bad. I’d still rather have a Lenovo.

          • Decelerate
          • 7 years ago

          I’d also go Lenovo if they didn’t have lackluster screens and godawful trackpads (nub is good, but not gamechanging vs the Apples), and this is from a guy that used to have a X200s and a U350.

            • Washer
            • 7 years ago

            I personally owned a ThinkPad T420 that I sold because I wasn’t impressed with the screen and the trackpad was awful. I started a new job and they gave me a T420 on the first day. I could be experiencing some crazy placebo but I swear the new work supplied T420 has both a better screen and trackpad. It makes no sense. My personal T420 had the 1600×900 matte screen, so does this one. My personal T420 had the bumpy trackpad, so does this one (though it feels the bumps are much less raised and a lot smoother, it does still suck but it is usable unlike to my personal one). The only difference between the models is my personal one had the NVS4200M graphics option, the work one is just integrated graphics. As well I had kept Windows on my personal one (because of the switching graphics and at the time the open source solutions were not stable if they even are now) while work runs RHEL 6.

            I honestly can’t explain it, but the work T420 makes me sorely miss my old T420. The T420 has the best keyboard I use on a regular basis and when I’m at home I wish my keyboard had a nub. A nub can’t replace a mouse but it sure does reduce unnecessary arm movement, especially when you only need the cursor to move a few pixels.

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 7 years ago

            I think what screen you get in a Thinkpad varies wildly and is just luck of the draw.

        • OneArmedScissor
        • 7 years ago

        [quote<]Is there anyone else really pushing the envelope?[/quote<] Samsung Series 7 and Series 9 were getting there. The Ivy Bridge update will be interesting to see, as Apple has now set the bar much higher, and we've seen how much they love each other as of late.

          • cynan
          • 7 years ago

          Yeah, close. But as I recall, the Samsung series 7 didn’t use IPS screens – which is quite a letdown considering they got everything else just about right for the money.

    • grantmeaname
    • 7 years ago

    My god, that’s an expensive laptop.

    In other news, the Ars livebloggers is speculating that the 17″ Macbook Pro has been killed off. It was just totally not mentioned onstage when they were talking hardware.

      • DeadOfKnight
      • 7 years ago

      New MacBook Pro vs. Razer Blade?

        • DancinJack
        • 7 years ago

        MBP. And I’m a Windows user primarily.

      • tanker27
      • 7 years ago

      I had a 17″ 2 gen ago. It was really too big to lug around daily. As a full desktop replacement sure but not being mobile. I have since “downgraded” to a 15″ i7 this past gen.

      • tcunning1
      • 7 years ago

      I’m actually surprised it’s not more expensive; for once you seem to be getting what you pay for in a Mac. Still out of my range, though.

      • internetsandman
      • 7 years ago

      Considering its Apple, and considering the hardware you’re getting, 2.2 grand isn’t bad at all, for 8 gigs of RAM and a GPU that can actually push all of the pixels on screen (even during games if I understand correctly) and a quad core i7 CPU. Knowing that my current MacBook cost me over 3 grand for far less than this, I’m seriously considering selling it for 1500 just to get most of the cash to buy this machine 😛

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