Apple's new MacBook Pros: thinner, lighter, cheaper, faster

Apple's new MacBook Pros: thinner, lighter, cheaper, faster

Summary: The company's high-end laptop models get a refresh. Here's a look at the new specs.

TOPICS: Hardware, Apple, Laptops
Photo courtesy Apple

Apple on Tuesday announced a refresh of its popular MacBook Pro family of laptop computers, installing new processors and graphics in each model and doing away completely with lower-resolution displays.

The 13-inch model is lighter, at 3.46 lbs., and thinner, at 0.71 inches thick. It will have Intel's "Haswell" fourth-generation processor and Iris graphics, which together allow for up to nine hours of battery life, Apple global marketing SVP Philip Schiller said. It will only be available with the company's "Retina"-branded display.

The 13-inch model will start at $1,299—slightly less than the $1,499 of the previous model.

The 15-inch model does not have new dimensions, but it includes updated innards—including Intel's "CrystalWell" processor and Iris Pro graphics. Together, that allows for up to eight hours of battery life, Schiller said.

The 15-inch model will also have the company's "Retina" display, and will now start at $1,999, rather than the previous $2,199.

Both models will carry OS X Mavericks, the latest version of the company's desktop operating system, and are available to order today.

Topics: Hardware, Apple, Laptops

Andrew Nusca

About Andrew Nusca

Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. During his tenure, he was the editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation.

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  • Yawn, intel did all the work

    still no touch screen, still no active stylus
    • Yeah and still not thinner and lighter than the competition that has

      since leap frogged them. The Cook era is looking pretty devoid of innovation on all fronts.
      Johnny Vegas
      • Yet...

        ... yet everybody is talking about Apple, and nobody is talking about their competition. They must be doing something right.
    • Funny thing,

      I am not interested in even owning a laptop with an active stylus or a touch screen, regardless of the OS. Even Ed Bott uses a mouse and keyboard with his Surface tablets. I want my laptops to have a keyboard and touchpad. Apple is not marketing the Macbook as a "hybrid" or "convertible".
      • Truly and agreeable...

        .......Apple is not marketing its laptops as the products of the 21st Century, but as those of 20th Century! Well done Apple.
      • wow no active stylus is critical

        you would buy something you can't use one/ever note properly with?
        • no stylus

          My MacBook runs Evernote just fine, thank you.

          I don't need stylus, when I can use an smart pen that syncs all by itself with Evernote. I hate fingerprints, too.
          • What do fingerprints have to do with this?

            Seriously, what do fingerprints have to do with a complaint about no active stylus?
            Michael Alan Goff
  • Tim, Remember to dance with the one who brought you

    Apple seems to be abandoning those of us who have been here from the beginning, so what's new?

    The Apple tax on memory is just ridiculous and not being able to upgrade the memory is just dirty pool, and it does not need to be that way, it is a choice.

    Not having the ability to change out hard drives when I want is a little to much like governmental control as well.

    Apple will do well with the new models because people have short memories and will forget about what we have lost as soon as they see the new shinny trinket, but we have lost choices and life extensions for older laptops, and the new low end price is higher than the old low end price, lest we forget... which is a little like big oil.

    It may be time to look into a hackintosh laptop.
    • Well...

      While I also hate the idea that RAM can't be upgraded, there's a reason they do it. First, it's cheaper to build that way. Second, it's easier to make things smaller when you you can integrate everything. It's one of the reasons Macbook Airs and the new Macbook Pros are so much thinner. I would personally perfer a chunkier laptop that I can upgrade, but that doesn't seem to be in the cards. Maybe I'll be concerned in a few years when my current Macboko Pro finally craps out on me. Damned if those things don't last for forever...
      • I was thinking the same thing

        The amount of RAM and the hard drive you buy this with is it. You will not be able to upgrade anything in it. Apple also did away with the optical drive. I understand there is less need for them but how would you rip your CD's if this was your only computer. What if you want to install software from CD/DVD? Buy an external drive is an option but I like that built in.

        Haswell chip is damn nice but I think I've bought my first and last MacBook Pro.
    • Battery?

      The battery is probably glued in place. (Would any glue in the device be resistant to heat and humidity, long term? -- I wonder)

      I wonder what it would cost to replace the battery at the Apple store.
  • Are these new Macbooks not upgradeable?

    Any new MacBooks from now on -- will the hardware be upgradeable?
    Is the RAM soldered to the board?
    And is upgrading the hard drive (SSD only?) not be officially supported?

    This is not a welcome design choice for a "Pro-User"/"Tech-afficionado" laptop.
    • Back to the future...

      Remember those dark days of early consumer laptops?

      CPUs soldered to the systemboard - tick
      RAM soldered to the systemboard - tick
      Non-standard storage drives - tick

      Apple are taking us back to the bad old days of 15 + years ago and calling it 'innovation'.

      Apple buyers are fools.
      Lord Minty
      • Thanks!

        oh great and wise Lord Minty for informing me of my fool-dom. I had no idea I was such an idiot. I shall forthwith condemn myself to the nearest insane asylum where I can be protected from my own ignorance.
      • ....Back to the Future

        So .... Lord Stinky, if you think Apple buyers are fool, then what are you doing on an Apple products site? Salivating on something cannot afford?
      • As much as I agree they're leading the way...

        The largest portion of the thin and light haswell chips are soldered on. The ram is kind of bullshit, but not that out of line with having to pry keyboard off or disassemble the motherboard to get at stick 4 of 4.

        The only thing I think they're really sucking on is the hd speed, I had to use an rMBP for work for about a year. I was the only real developer, and the bottlenecking that ensued with their pitiful was controller was atrocious. Maybe the pci-e x4 ssds will fix that? I know that the air can run at 746mb/s, I still wouldn't buy one. I trust them about as much as I trust dell.
        BridgeT Roll
    • Macbooks not upgradeable

      And if you dont like that, you dont have to buy it. I'm sure Apple will survive without you.
  • Surprised ...

    Frankly, I'm quite surprised that Apple Fans themselves aren't very pleased with this "new" rollout.
  • Hmmm

    As much as I'm thrilled to see the new Haswell-infused 13", if I had known they would drop the price, I would not have bought a fully-loaded MacBook Air recently.