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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

New Retina MacBook Pros Hands-on: Cheaper 13-inch Steals the Show


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Apple has debuted new 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pros in time for the holiday season with cheaper prices and beefier fourth-generation Core processors with Iris graphics. We spent some brief hands-on time with both models, and we’re more psyched about the 13-inch version, which starts at $1,299–or $200 more than the Air.
There’s another reason to be more excited about the 13-inch MacBook Pro. It’s a bit lighter at 3.46 pounds and thinner at 12.35 x 8.62 x .71 inches, versus 12.35 x 8.6 x 0.75 inches and 3.57 pounds for the older Retina MacBook Pro. The 15-inch weighs a heftier 4.46 pounds, but that’s pretty light for a 15-inch notebook 
The 13-inch MacBoook Pro starts with a 2.4-GHz Core i5 CPU, 4GB of RAM and a 128GB PCIe SSD, which will supply plenty of power. We had a blast with the Iris graphics when zooming around San Francisco in the new Apple Maps app. We also expect much better performance when playing games and editing video.
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If you step up to the $1,999 15-inch model, you’ll get a zippier 2-GHz quad-core Core i7 CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. So you’re definitely getting beefier specs for your money. You’ll also enjoy dual stereo speakers that flank the keyboard, thanks to a bigger deck.
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The other difference between the 13-inch MacBook Pro and the 15-inch is the display. The 13-inch makes do with a 2560 x 1600 resolution screen while the 15-inch model goes all the way up to 2880 x 1800. Nevertheless, the 13-inch Pro still has one of the sharpest screens you’ll find on any laptop, and unlike the Windows and Chrome OS competition has optimized apps to go along with it.
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With 9 hours of battery life expected out of the 13-inch MacBook Pro and 8 for the 15-inch, Apple’s new powerhouses should run as long as most Windows-based machines while providing heavy doses of eye candy and power. Stay tuned for our full reviews.

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