By Frank Ling
Apple seems to have some sort of clairvoyance when it comes to making new product announcements in San Francisco; the company always manages to hold these events when the weather is sunny and beautiful.
Monday, June 11, was such a day at Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference in Frisco where it unveiled new models of its popular notebook computers – the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.
The MacBook Pro
Heading the big news was the reveal of the 15.4-inch MacBook Pro laptop, which features a 5.1 million pixel LED backlit Retina display with a screen resolution of 2880x1800. These stats make the MacBook Pro Retina laptop the leader for the highest image detail of any laptop computer in the world.
The MacBook Pro Retina notebook also sports up to 16GB of RAM, a standard hard drive or solid state drive up to 768GB in storage capacity, 7-hours of battery life, an Intel i7 quad-core processor, and a thin profile of only .71-inches thick.
Interestingly enough, the 17-inch MacBook has been discontinued by Apple, leaving only the 13-inch and 15.4-inch models to select from.
For anyone who wants to take the plunge for this super-display notebook, prices for the MacBook Pro Retina start as $2,199. Yes, a bit expensive, but for those who need the best display there is on a computer, the MacBook Pro Retina is something worth considering.
The MacBook Air
The MacBook Air is Apple’s solution for a notebook that has absolutely no moving parts. Although this feature is only an option for the MacBook Pro notebooks, the MacBook Air is completely solid state.
The upgrade for these notebooks isn’t apparent to the eye, but is all about the new Intel “Ivy Bridge” i5 and i7 processors. These new 22mm chips promise to increase overall CPU performance by 5% to 15% and integrated GPU performance by 25% to 60%.
Some of the features of the MacBook Air notebooks include either an Intel i5 or i7 dual-core processor, 11-inch or 13-inch display (no Retina available), up to 8GB of RAM, up to 512GB in SSD storage, and two USB 3.0 ports.
The starting prices for basic configurations of the MacBook Air range from $999 to $1,499.
Should you make the jump?
The allurement of not having to deal with a Windows-based computer is enough reason for some people to switch over to a MacBook. System crashes and problems are
virtually unheard of and the iOS is easy to navigate and use.
MacBooks have become the standard for liberal arts professionals such as graphic artists, musicians, and illustrators. The simplicity of the user interface, ease of operation, and good performance all add up to a great user experience.
Other people own a MacBook because it is a cool piece of technology and sets them apart from the Windows dominated crowd. But whatever your reasons are, most MacBook owners will tell you that they are very happy with their purchases.
Frank Ling is the SF Gadgets Examiner. He is a writer, professional photographer, video producer, and video editor. One of his favorite jobs was working at a large video game publisher.