MacBook Pro 2012: What you need to know

As expected, Apple has announced a big update to its Macbook Pro range, and we've pulled together the bits you really need to know about the next gen notebook...

A sizeable portion of Apple's 2012 WWDC keynote was dedicated to the significant updates being made to it's MacBook range. Not only are both the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air being upgraded across the board, Apple - as usual - had something exciting in store for all of us.

Firstly, both the current Air and Pro models will be getting Intel Ivy Bridge chipsets, along with 8GB RAM, 60% faster graphics capabilities, USB 3.0 compatibility and importantly, both will still have optical drives. The MacBook Pro specifically will get up to 3.7GHz in processor speed using turbo boost, and packs a Nvidia GeForce GT650M GPU, putting it on par with the monstrous Alienware M14X for power.

Then came the real excitement as Apple unveiled another MacBook Pro - one that Phil Schiller went on to describe as, "without doubt the very best computer that we've ever built."

 

New MacBook Pro: Power

 

Also fuelled by Intel Ivy Bridge, the new MacBook Pro packs up to a 2.7GHz quad-core i7 and backs it up with up to 16GB RAM. At top spec, that makes it just about the most powerful notebook Apple, or anyone else for that matter, have made thus far.

Gamers and designers will be kept happy with the Nvidia Kepler GT650M GPU, and with an enormous 768GB solid state drive, you'll have plenty of room for those big game/software installs.

Normally the issue we have with high-power ultrabooks is that they heat up very quickly, and the fans have to go at full blast just to keep the thing from melting. But Apple claims that the new fan is  much quieter - so much so that it's "nearly imperceptible". If that means that it keeps things cool and quiet, then we're sold, but we'll believe that when we see it. Or hear it. Or don't hear it. Whatever.

 

New MacBook Pro: Design

At just 0.71 inches (1.8cm), the new MacBook Pro is nearly as thin as the 0.68-inch (1.7cm) MacBook Air. Frankly, it is dwarfed by the current generation MacBook Pro both in size and weight, with the new MacBook Pro is just 4.46 pounds (just over 2kg) compared to the old 2.5kg model.

The new-look Pro also includes a thinner bezel around the screen, a screen which is built into the casing, rather than being set inside, so there is no longer a physical rim around it. This is a bit of a godsend, especially if, like us, you hate dirty screens.

 

New MacBook Pro: Screen

The answer we've all been waiting for arrived, and yes, the new MacBook Pro will have a Retina display. It weighs in at 2880 x 1800 pixels, giving it a pixel density of 220ppi, by far the highest resolution screen of any notebook on the market.

Apple showed off the new screen with some updated software (Final Cut Pro, for example) and pointed out that software would have to be updated to match the resolution of the Retina display.

At the same time, they promised better viewing angles, higher contrast ratios and reduced glare, so outside of the fact that this screen looks incredible, it's now easier to look at, and easier to clean.

 

New MacBook Pro: Connectivity

The new MacBook Pro comes with an SD card reader, HDMI, USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt connections, as well as the standard audio ports and the Magsafe power connection.

Clearly, there isn't a great amount of space for ports with such a small frame, but Apple has squeezed in what it could, and optional extra such as RJ-45 ethernet and firewire are still accessible via a Thunderbolt adaptor.

Also, there was no mention of an optical drive, and we'd be very surprised (and moreover, impressed) if there was room for one in that tiny body.

 

New MacBook Pro: Price

Available in variety of models, the new MacBook Pro will start at £999. If you got to the highest spec model, expect to shell out £1,799 for a Pro sporting  a 2.6 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB of memory, Intel HD Graphics 4000 and NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M, and 750GB hard drive.

 

How impressed are you by this new MacBook Pro, and more to the point, do you feel inclined to shell out on one? Let us know via the comments section below, or get in touch on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

 

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