While the MBP has slimmed down, the case design stays true to its roots. It is a unibody, but by scrapping the optical drive Apple managed to trim a tremendous amount of fat. It is thinner and lighter than ever before.
By now you have probably already heard that Apple threw in a Retina Display – no big surprise there. If one screen is not enough, it has enough graphics processing juice to run two external monitors as well. The display uses considerably more power than conventional screens, which makes battery life a consideration. Apple is claiming that it is good for seven hours of wireless browsing on battery alone, which is not bad at all. Quoted battery lives usually involve having the brightness turned down and WiFi turned off, so it is interesting to see Apple going against the crowd and quoting a more conservative figure than the competition. Seven hours is a good length of time.
As far as processors go, there are no real surprises. Depending on how much you are prepared to pay, you can have either a 2.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz) with 6MB shared L3 cache or a 2.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz) with 6MB shared L3 cache. As with previous incarnations, graphics processing is a hybrid affair: the on-board Intel HD handles the easy stuff, while an NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with 1GB of GDDR5 memory and automatic graphics switching kicks in when heavy lifting is required.
The ports are where things start to get interesting. Apple is not backing away from Thunderbolt, the new MBPs have two ports now – and a couple of USB3 ports to boot (great news for everyone who has gotten tired of waiting for or balked at the prices of Thunderbolt devices). Firewire and LAN are no longer, but Thunderbolt adapters will be available for both ports. Remember the old confusing mini-jack configuration on the MacBook Pros of yesteryear? That’s gone, the only 3.5mm you will find is for headphones.
Also noteworthy is that there does not seem to be a Mini-display port (unless it is hiding around the back somewhere)… there is, however, an HDMI port – good move (they should have done that years ago).
There was some talk earlier about the possibility of a hybrid SSD/HDD storage solution; Apple has put the kibosh on that – the 2012 MBP is SSD, sorry Flash storage all the way. While it would be nice to have a bit of extra storage space, there are two USB3 ports – so external storage is an option.
All things considered, this is the most significant MacBook Pro update that we have seen since the introduction of the unibody – Apple has raised the bar.
Prices start from $2199 for the entry-level version and rise to a hefty $2799 for the 2.6GHz model. As always, if you want to spend more, you can. [Source]