Apple revamped their MacBook family with updates to the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and the introduction of the Retina display MacBook Pro. Besides that, there were also updates to the Mac Pro and a new AirPort Express. Here’s a quick recap of these updates:
h3. MacBook Pro with Retina display
Hailed as the most advanced Mac ever built by Apple and currently the world’s highest resolution notebook display with over 5 million pixels. The 15.4-inch display supports up to 2880 by 1800 pixels at 220 pixels per inch. The new MBP also are using SSD flash storage, from 256GB and configurable up to 768GB (but at a whopping cost of S$700). The battery life is claimed to be up to 7 hours on wireless web usage and 30-day standby time. It is also thinner and lighter than the previous MBP, at 1.8cm thin and 2.02kg. This is just 0.1cm thicker than the MacBook Air.
Following the MacBook Air, the new MBP does not come with an optical drive and an Ethernet port although you can purchase separately a USB Superdrive and a Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter. It supports 802.11n Wi-Fi network and Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology. There are two Thunderbolt ports, two USB 3 ports, a HDMI port and a slot for SDXC card and for those who still uses Firewire devices, you can also purchase a Thunderbolt to FireWire Adapter. The MBP will come with updated Mac OS X Lion and when OS X Mountain Lion is released in the coming weeks, you can “upgrade to it for free”:http://www.apple.com/osx/uptodate/.
The MBP with Retina display is available for order at the “Apple Store”:http://ad.zanox.com/ppc/?21088955C2062737743T with prices starting from S$2,988 for the 2.3GHz and S$3,788 for the 2.6GHz model and will be shipped in 2-3 weeks.
“Product page”:http://www.apple.com/macbook-pro | “Order here”:http://ad.zanox.com/ppc/?21088955C2062737743T
h3. MacBook Pro and MacBook Air refreshed
The MacBook Air gets new Intel Ivy League Core i5 and Core i7 dual-core processors that comes with the new integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000 that supposedly gives 60% fater graphics. Storage starts from 64GB SSD Flash to a maximum 512GB. Likewise the MacBook Pro spots the new Core i5 and Core i7 dual core for the 13-inch model, and Core i7 quad-core process for the 15-inch model. Both models will have the new NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M graphics processor and the Intel HD Graphics 4000 processor and are running the faster 1600 MHz PC312800 DDR3 SDRAMs.
The 11-inch MacBook Air is available from S$1,388 and the 13-inch model starts from S$1,688. The 13-inch MacBook Pro is available starting from S$1,688 while the 15-inch model starts from S$2,488. All models are also available now at the “Apple Store”:http://ad.zanox.com/ppc/?21088955C2062737743T and will ship within 4-6 business days.
With the announcement of the Retina display MacBook Pro, Apple has also discontinued the 17-inch MacBook Pro. With mobility becoming the norm and such high resolution display, lugging a 17-inch is no longer an attractive option.
“Product page for MacBook Air”:http://www.apple.com/macbookair/ | “Product page for MacBook Pro”:http://www.apple.com/macbook-pro | “Order here”:http://ad.zanox.com/ppc/?21088955C2062737743T
h3. Mac Pro
Yeps after two long years, the grand dame of Macs, the Mac Pro was quietly updated with new processors. The base model now has one 3.2GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon processor while spending more will give you two 2.4GHz 6-Core model with twice as much RAM (12GB). Both models come with 1TB hard drive and a 18x Superdrive.
The Quad-Core model starts from S$3,488 while the 12-Core model starts from S$5,288. There is also a Server model that has two 1TB hard drives and its price will start from S$4,188.
“Product Page”:http://www.apple.com/macpro/ | “Order here”:http://ad.zanox.com/ppc/?15492549C158672770T
h3. Airport Express
Apple has also updated the design of the Airport Express and given it simultaneous dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi support, on par with its bigger siblings, the Airport Extreme and the Time Capsule. This allows the Airport Express to transmit at both 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies which was not possible. So when you pair it with an Airport Extreme or Time Capsule to extend the range, both networks will be supported and the Airport Express will connect to the best available band for optimal performance. The new Airport Express also sport a 10/100BASE-T Ethernet LAN port for you to connect to another device.
What’s also interesting is the form factor of the new “Airport Express”:http://www.apple.com/airportexpress/specs/ matches the “Apple TV”:http://www.apple.com/appletv/specs.html – both measuring 3.9 inches by 3.9 inches and 0.9 inches thick – definitely a cost reducing move straight out from the Tim Cook’s manual.
The Airport Express is available for S$128 and will ship from late June.
“Product page”:http://www.apple.com/airportexpress/ | “Order here”:http://ad.zanox.com/ppc/?15592380C1771401235T
h3. iPad Smart Case
Apple has also released a new iPad Smart Case, which unlike the iPad Smart Cover, also protects the back of your iPad, which for all purposes, should have been the one that Apple first released back with iPad 2. Made from polyurethane, the new Smart Case will provide the all round protection without adding weight or thickness, and it also allows you to personalize it with free laser engraving – which is so much better than engraving on the iPad.
The iPad Smart Case is available now at the “Apple Store”:http://ad.zanox.com/ppc/?15592380C1771401235T at S$68 and comes in six different colors.
That is about all the hardware updates from WWDC 2012. Missing from the list are the iMac (last updated more than a year ago) and the Mac mini (slightly less than a year). The Mac mini will probably get a processor upgrade with little fanfare like the Mac Pro and when SSD drives are even cheaper, there might be a new form factor. As for the iMac, I believe Apple’s working on a new form factor that will make touch a workable solution on a desktop and we probably won’t see it till next WWDC. As for iOS devices – those will come at the last quarter of the year, together with the launch of iOS 6.