Along with the long-rumored iPad Mini, Apple yesterday also refreshed its two best-selling Macs, the 13-inch MacBook Pro and the iMac.
The MacBook Pro got most of the attention, as it followed its larger sibling, the 15-inch notebook by the same name, in adopting a "Retina" high-resolution display.
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"The MacBook Pro is thinner, but still pricey," said Carolina Milanesi, an analyst with Gartner, in an interview Tuesday. Earlier in the day, she had tweeted, "While other vendors are cutting back on notebook screen resolution, Apple continues to invest on Retina display for the MacBook line."
Those prices: $1,699 for the entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina, $1,999 for the upper-end unit. Both prices are $500 higher than the corresponding Apple notebook minus the higher-resolution screen.
The new 13-inch MacBook Pro is essentially a scaled-down version of the Retina 15-inch that Apple debuted last June, weighing in at 3.6 lbs. versus 4.5 lbs. for the larger laptop (and lighter than the 4.5 lbs. for the 13-inch MacBook Pro sans Retina). Its 13-inch display produces resolution of 2,560-x-1,600-pixels, or approximately 227 pixels per inch (ppi), slightly denser than June's pricier Retina 15-inch notebook. The total number of pixels is four times that of the existing 13-inch MacBook Pro.
"Everything on it looks absolutely gorgeous," said Philip Schiller, head of Apple marketing, during the Tuesday launch event.
The form factor is reminiscent of the MacBook Air, but without that ultra-light's tapering case, it's slightly thicker throughout. Like the Air, the new MacBook Pro dumps the traditional platter hard drive and replaces it with an SSD (solid-state drive) composed of flash memory. Standard configurations come with either 128GB or 256GB of storage, but customers can boost that to as much as 768GB for between $1,000 and $1,300.
Both stock models come with 8GB of memory and a 2.5GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor that can be factory-upgraded to a 2.9GHz Core i7.