Apple’s all new 15-inch MacBook Pro: be still, our hearts

Date:23 August 2012 Tags:,

Gorgeous, skinny, desirable. And it computes!

Announced just a few weeks ago, Apple’s all new 15-inch MacBook Pro has just kicked its opponents out of the ring, then stomped on them for good measure. First, there’s the gorgeous Retina display, all-flash storage and quad-core processors. Then there’s the breathtakingly light (it weighs in at a modest 2 kg) and skinny case: at 18 mm, it’s almost as thin as the MacBook Air, for heaven’s sake.

With over 5 million pixels – that’s around 3 million more than an HD television – the display is billed as the world’s highest-resolution notebook display. At 220 pixels-per-inch, its pixel density is so high that the human eye cannot distinguish individual pixels from a normal viewing distance, with the result that text and graphics look incredibly sharp. The display reportedly has 75 per cent less reflection and 29 per cent higher contrast than the previous generation.

Is Apple’s widening adoption of flash storage – which delivers what you need up to four times faster than traditional notebook hard drives – a harbinger of the way things are going? Is the company serious about taking over the world? Future shocks aside, the new MacBook Pro is able to play four simultaneous streams of uncompressed 1080p HD video from internal storage – and that’s a very compelling ability indeed. It ships with OS X Lion (no surprise there).

Now to the engine room. You get Intel Core i7 quad-core processors up to 2,7 GHz (Turbo Boost speeds this to 3,7 GHz), Nvidia GeForce GT 650M discrete graphics, up to 16 GB of faster 1 600 MHz RAM, and flash storage up to 768 GB. Two Thunderbolt and two USB 3.0 ports allow you to connect to multiple displays and high performance devices, and a new HDMI port offers quick connectivity to HDTVs.

It won’t die on you, either. The battery is said to deliver up to 7 hours of wireless productivity, using “advanced chemistry” (!) and adaptive charging technology to provide up to 1 000 recharges. That’s not all; the specs include a FaceTime HD camera, glass multi-touch trackpad, full-size backlit keyboard, dual microphones, enhanced speakers, 3-stream 802.11n Wi-Fi, and a thinner MagSafe 2 power port.

Prices range from R23 999 to a formidable R29 999 for the top-specced model.


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