Thursday, 24 October 2013

Refreshed Apple MacBook Pros

Credit : Cnet
Apple's MacBook Pro line has now gotten an entirely expected upgrade to current-generation Intel CPUs, just in time for the holiday shopping season. These new 13-inch and 15-inch models look and feel just like the previous generation, but the promise of longer battery life, somewhat improved performance, faster Wi-Fi, and lower starting prices is enough to make this a significant overall update.

The high-end, high-price Retina Display versions of the MacBook Pro had previously been stuck in an unusual position. While other systems, from budget laptops to premium hybrids, had all moved onto Intel's latest CPU platform, known as either the fourth-generation Core i-series or by the code name Haswell, the MacBook Pro still used last year's processors.
Credit : The Verge
The flagship MacBook Pro with Retina Display retains its very high screen resolution, which results in crisper text and clearer photos (2,560x1,600 pixels for the 13-inch model, 2,880x1,800 for the 15-inch model). Unlike some Windows PCs with higher-res screens, OS X is more interested in scaling your onscreen content to look its best (or what Apple thinks will look best), rather than giving you full unfettered access to that very, very high resolution. The tile interface in Windows 8 does something similar with the handful of higher-res PCs now available.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro starts with 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD, while the 15-inch version defaults to 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD (which Apple described as a "quarter terabyte"). Our review configuration of the 15-inch MacBook Pro is the step-up model (and it's a big step) for $2,599, with a faster 2.3GHZ Core i7, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and the Nvidia GeForce 750M GPU.

Credit : Cnet
The keyboard and trackpad remain essentially the same as seen on the last several generations of MacBook. Other laptops have matched, but not surpassed, the backlit Apple keyboard. And the trackpad, with its multifinger gestures, remains the industry leader, even as Windows laptops move to more touch-screen controls, at least partially to compensate for the hassle of using a touch pad with Windows 8.

The Retina Display remains a main selling point, and crosses over between the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook Pro. Some new and upcoming Windows laptops go for even higher resolutions, and it's not unreasonable to ask when we'll see this trickle down to the MacBook Air line. The Retina screen is at its best when displaying text or professional photography. Videos rarely go past 1080p and most Mac games can't display higher resolutions to begin with.

Credit : The Verge
If you like the idea of investing in a higher-resolution laptop, and can live without an optical drive (a concession that seems more reasonable every day), the updated 2013 version of the Retina MacBook Pro, especially in its 15-inch incarnation, remains an irresistibly powerful yet comfortably portable laptop.