Apple launches 0.71" thick next-generation MacBook Pro with 15" Retina display specs
This is a discussion on Apple launches 0.71" thick next-generation MacBook Pro with 15" Retina display specs within the MacBook Pro forums, part of the Macbook Forum category; Calling it "the most beautiful computer we have ever made," Apple on Monday announced what it has dubbed the "next-generation MacBook Pro," an all-new ultra-thin ...
Apple launches 0.71" thick next-generation MacBook Pro with 15" Retina display specs
Calling it "the most beautiful computer we have ever made," Apple on Monday announced what it has dubbed the "next-generation MacBook Pro," an all-new ultra-thin professional laptop with a high-resolution Retina display.
Unveiled on Monday by marketing head Phil Schiller at Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference, the new MacBook Pro is as thin as the MacBook Air, at just 0.71 inches thick, Apple said. It's also the lightest Pro ever, weighing under 4 and a half pounds.
The new model's 15.4-inch display is said to boasts a resolution of 2,880 by 1,880 pixels which equates to a dense 220 pixels per inch, the highest of any laptop in the world Apple says. Like the iPhone and iPad before it, the new Retina Display has pixels so small that Apple says your eyes cannot discern them from a reasonable distance.
The screen has also been improved with deeper blacks and a higher angle of viewing. Glare has also been reduced by 75 percent, Schiller said.
"Today we've updated the entire MacBook line with faster processors, graphics, memory, flash storage and USB 3 connectivity," Schiller said. "We've made the world's best portable family even better and we think users are going to love the performance advances in both the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro."
In preparation of the Retina Display-toting MacBook Pro's debut, Apple has updated a number of OS X apps including Mail, Safari, iMovie and iPhoto. Professional software like Aperture and Final Cut Pro also received performance bumps to take advantage of the screen's high resolution.
Third-party apps are also being updated for the Retina display, as Apple showed Diablo III running on the device, and said that Autodesk is working on a new version of AutoCAD.
The next-generation MacBook Pro runs exclusively on Intel's new Ivy Bridge quad-core Core i7 processors and can be configure with up to 16 gigabytes of RAM. Batteris have also been improved as the unit boasts up to 7 hours of life under normal load along with a MacBook Air-like 30 days of standby time.
As far as connectivity, the new machine features the usual SDXC card reader, but adds two high-speed USB 3.0 ports, two Thunderbolt ports, and HDMI-out. Due to the lack of an optical drive, Apple had space to include ports on both sides of the device and relocated the SDXC card slot and one USB port to the right of the keyboard flanking the HDMI-out connector. New Thunderbolt accessories announced on Monday give FireWire 800 and Gigabit Ethernet capabilities to the new transfer technology.
On the audio/visual front, a new FaceTime HD 720p camera is joined by dual microphones, and are accompanied by what Schiller said are the best stereo speakers Apple has ever put into a notebook.
Rounding out the next-generation MacBook Pro's feature set is a backlit keyboard, Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, and 802.11n Wi-Fi.
The machine will also sport a new, smaller MagSafe charging port, which Apple has dubbed "MagSafe 2."
Pricing for the next-generation 15.4-inch MacBook Pro starts at $2,199 for a 2.3 gigahertz quad-core Core i7 processor and 8 gigabytes of RAM. The most-affordable Retina Display laptop features 256 gigabytes of flash storage and the NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M graphics card with 1GB of GDDR5 memory. The second-tier 2.6GHz model starts at $2,799 which doubles the SSD size and grants buyers access to the fastest-available 2.7GHz Intel quad-core Core i7 chip.
Size and Weight
Height: 0.71 inch (1.8 cm)
Width: 14.13 inches (35.89 cm)
Depth: 9.73 inches (24.71 cm)
Weight: 4.46 pounds (2.02 kg)
Retina display: 15.4-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit display with IPS technology; 2880-by-1800 resolution at 220 pixels per inch with support for millions of colors
Supported resolutions: 2880 by 1800 pixels (Retina); scaled resolutions: 1920 by 1200, 1680 by 1050, 1280 by 800, and 1024 by 640 pixels
All flash, 256GB in 2.3GHz model; 512GB or 768GB in 2.6GHz model.
2.3GHz or 2.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 with 6MB shared L3 cache (configurable to 2.7GHz)
8GB of 1600MHz DDR3L onboard memory (configurable to 16GB)
Intel HD Graphics 4000 with discreet NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with 1GB of GDDR5 memory and automatic graphics switching
Video Support and Camera
720p FaceTime HD camera
Dual display and video mirroring: Simultaneously supports full native resolution on the built-in display and up to 2560 by 1600 pixels on up to two external displays, at millions of colors
Thunderbolt digital video output
Native Mini DisplayPort output
DVI output using Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapter (sold separately)
VGA output using Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter (sold separately)
Dual-link DVI output using Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI Adapter (sold separately)
Connections and Expansion
MagSafe 2 power port
Two Thunderbolt ports (up to 10 Gbps)
Two USB 3 ports (up to 5 Gbps)
SDXC card slot
Apple Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter (sold separately)
Apple Thunderbolt to FireWire Adapter (sold separately, available July)
Teardown of New MacBook Pro's Retina Display Reveals 'Engineering Marvel'
Last week, the teardown experts at iFixit took a look at the new Retina MacBook Pro, noting how Apple used a number of innovations first deployed in the MacBook Air to reduce the machine's thickness but in the process hampered users' ability to repair and upgrade components.
The Retina display is an engineering marvel. Its LCD is essentially the entire display assembly. Rather than sandwich an LCD panel between a back case and a piece of glass in front, Apple used the aluminum case itself as the frame for the LCD panel and used the LCD as the front glass. They’ve managed to pack five times as many pixels as the last model in a display that’s actually a fraction of a millimeter thinner. And since there’s no front glass, glare is much less of an issue.
With the LCD so tightly integrated into the display assembly, iFixit actually broke the LCD in the process of trying to disassemble it, noting that anyone looking to replace their display would need to replace the entire assembly instead of trying to swap in a new LCD panel.
The teardown documents the full range of features used to keep the display slim and light while delivering crisp images on the ultra-high resolution screen, including routing of cables through hinges, 48 LEDs at the bottom of the screen to light the display, and various diffuser, prism, and polarizing sheets to generate the screen's images.
The new Retina MacBook Pro remains in high demand amid tight supplies, with shipping estimates for new orders through Apple's online store remaining at the 3-4 week figure reached less than two days after the machine debuted.
Front of Retina MacBook Pro logic board with CPU (orange), NVIDIA graphics (red), and RAM (green)
At least one of the suppliers for Apple's new high-resolution MacBook Pro Retina display has been identified as LG Display.
The revelation, disclosed by iFixit on the company's Twitter account, should quash rumors that Apple could be using Sharp's IGZO technology for the new 15-inch Retina display. Apple has been known to use numerous suppliers for parts, so it's likely that other MacBook Pro units feature Retina displays from other known LCD manufacturers.
Particular interest has been paid to who supplies components to Apple since its largest supplier, Samsung, has become a fierce rival and legal opponent. Over the last year, Apple has shown signs that it would like to move away from relying on Samsung for components, but the company is believed to have been the only partner who could produce Retina displays for the third-generation iPad at launch earlier this year.
The wedge between the two companies has been driven by competition in the smartphone and tablet markets. Last April, Apple was first to sue, when it accused Samsung of copying the look and feel of the iPhone and iPad, and the two companies are now involved in a number of lawsuits that span around the world.
LG has been a major supplier of LCD displays to Apple over the years, and in 2009 the two companies reached a last year, when LG was said to have lost its status as the leading display maker for Apple's iPad 2, when a batch of LCD shipments were reportedly plagued with quality issues.
Going forward, Sharp is also expected to be a major partner with Apple for screen production. Last year, reports indicated Apple had invested in a Sharp plant in Japan, while this year Apple's manufacturing partner Foxconn bought a 10 percent stake in Sharp to help boost its LCD business.
Given that the non-Retina version has retained the same form factor for a number of years, there are few changes to the internal layout of the components, but a fresh look inside now that the redesigned Retina MacBook Pro has been released offers some interesting comparisons of how Apple is working to reduce the size and weight of its machines.
In particular, iFixit focuses on the hard drive and RAM differences between the two machines, noting that the proprietary solid-state drive used in the Retina MacBook Pro measures only 3.16 mm thick compared to 9.45 mm for the traditional hard drive in the non-Retina version. On the RAM side, Apple has soldered the chips directly to the logic board in the Retina MacBook Pro, while the non-Retina version still retains removable RAM modules in a stacked configuration measuring 9.15 mm thick.
Logic board of non-Retina Mid-2012 MacBook Pro with CPU (orange), NVIDIA graphics (red), and platform controller hub (yellow)
While the Retina MacBook Pro received iFixit's lowest repairability score ever for a notebook at just 1 out of 10, the non-Retina version receives a score of 7 for its use of mostly-standard screws and its easily-accessible battery, optical drive, hard drive, and RAM. But as evidenced by the popularity of the MacBook Air and the strong reception to the Retina MacBook Pro, repairability and upgradability appear to be taking a back seat to size and weight savings in the minds of consumers as Apple pushes the envelope with highly-customized components fabricated to meet the company's design goals.
When Apple unveiled the new Retina MacBook Pros, one thing they really highlighted was the fact that, thanks to the new solid-state storage and assymetrical fans, the new MBP is the coolest, quietest MacBook Pro yet. That’s not hard to believe, but given how lap-meltingly hot previous MacBook Pros could get, it doesn’t really tell you how comfortable a new Retina MBP is going to be on your lap during a heavy workload. Heat maps to the rescue!
Japanese site IT Media was curious just how hot the new Retina MacBook Pro got, so they put it through a series of tests with a thermal camera. The results affirm Apple’s claims: these are cool machines indeed.
In the first test, IT Media measured how hot the Retina MacBook Pro ran in sleep mode: a cool 30.3 degrees Celsius, indistinguishable from a Retina MacBook Pro that has been completely shut down, with the fans running at an inaudible 30 decibels.
In the second test, IT Media measured how hot the MacBook Pro got after running a QuickTime movie for 15 minutes. Again, the temperature was low, only jumping slightly to 35.1 degrees.
Finally, IT Media decided to run two tests in which they pushed the Retina MacBook Pro to its limits. They ran Cinebench and other CPU-challenging apps, at which point, the Retina MacBook Pro reached a temperature of 48.2 degrees Celsius, with the fans kicking in to 46 decibels. This is about the point when the Retina MacBook Pro ceases to be comfortable for lap use, and should be placed on a desk.
The takeaway? For most uses, the Retina MacBook Pro runs nearly silently and cool as ice, but it’s still something of a toaster oven when it is pushed to its limits.
Retina display image retention reported by new MacBook Pro owners
Some early adopters of the new MacBook Pro with Retina display are experiencing image persistence issues with the laptop's high-resolution screen, prompting Apple to replace any possibly defective units.
A number of users have reported on Apple's Community Forums (via The Next Web) that their new MacBook Pro's Retina display suffers from image retention issues, sometimes incorrectly referred to as ghosting, though the problem is not believed to be widespread.
Mis-titled as a screen "burn-in" problem, the thread contains a number of identical instances of image persistence on the high pixel density IPS panels used in the recently-released MacBook Pro, though the true number of those affected could be greater as the problem may be too subtle for all but the most eagle-eyed users. As noted by forum members, the latent image is only noticeable on light-colored backgrounds and remains on the screen for some five minutes before slowly fading away.
Apple is apparently aware of the issue as Geniuses have ordered replacement units for the malfunctioning screens but in some cases owners have to wait two to three weeks due to high demand for the laptop.
It has been speculated that the problems stems from a "bad batch" of panels since only a limited number of cases have been reported. The reason for the image retention is unknown and Apple has yet to officially comment on the issue. It should be noted that those who purchased the new MacBook Pro have the usual 14 days to initiate a "no questions asked" warranty return if they are experiencing the problem.
Image persistence, otherwise known as image retention, has been seen on other IPS panels is one of the main weaknesses of the display technology. Cheaper budget models are known to suffer from both image retention and ghosting, the phenomenon of having a second "ghost" image superimposed on the main image. Ghosting in digital displays is usually related to either de-interlacing or incorrect interpolation of frame pulldown.
Apple explains MacBook Pro Retina Display settings with support FAQ
A Frequently Asked Questions page on Apple's support website offers detailed information about settings for the new MacBook Pro with Retina Display in an attempt to clear up confusion about the new screen's capabilities in low-resolution mode and Microsoft's Windows operating system.
The page, which was last modified on Tuesday and noticed by MacNN, explains the difference between scaled resolutions and the Retina setting on the new laptop.
Apple also noted in the article that all of its applications included with OS X Lion support the Retina Display.
"Additionally, iPhoto, iMovie, iTunes, Aperture, Final Cut Pro X, and Motion all support the Retina display," the page read.
Users experiencing "functional or visual issues" with applications are instructed to go into Finder to switch the application into Low Resolution mode.
"Some applications work best using the Low Resolution mode. Other applications will only run in Low Resolution mode," said the FAQ.
For applications, such as 3D games, that want to use their own resolution settings, Apple recommends the 1440 x 900 resolution. Blizzard's "Diablo III" game is one of the few titles that supports full 2880 x 1800 resolution on the new MacBook Pro with Retina Display, though the studio is working on further optimizations that should improve the performance.
Apple provided a detailed response on options for using an external display with its high-end laptop. It also offered a hint that users can hold down the Option key when clicking the Scaled button to get more resolution choices in extended desktop mode.
Windows users will be relieved to know that installing Windows 7 via Boot Camp is supported on the Retina Display. The article did, however, note that Windows on the new MacBook Pro will automatically start up with small icons because it defaults to the maximum dpi supported (144 dpi, or 150 percent magnification). Users can adjust their settings in the Windows Display Control Panel.
As the first of Apple's Mac models to sport a Retina Display screen, the MacBook Pro is leading the transition to high-dpi resolutions on OS X. The laptop has received largely positive reviews, with special praise reserved for the screen.
The new screens are not without problem, though. Scattered reports have emerged that users are experiencing image retention issues on some MacBook Pro models. Apple Genius technicians have reportedly been instructed to replace the screens, but crushing demand has left some owners waiting for up to three weeks.
If recent reports are to be believed, Apple could add another Retina Display-equipped Mac this fall in the form of the 13-inch MacBook Pro. Though some rumors have suggested that Apple would also upgrade its iMac all-in-one desktop to a Retina Display, multiple sources recently told one blogger that it would not happen until 2013.
9 Fantastic High-Resolution Wallpapers for the Retina MacBook Pro
Looking for some beautiful ultra-high resolution wallpapers to dress up your snazzy new MacBook Pro’s retina display? You’re in the right place, here are nine great images that come in at least 2880×1800 resolution, perfect for the humungous pixel density of the retina Mac. Of course, being such a high resolution means these wallpapers will work great as desktop backgrounds on just about every other Mac or iOS device too.
Note: for images hosted on InterfaceLift, remember to select the resolution of your device and then click the download button.
Retina MacBook Pro Pushes the Limits of its Graphics Capabilities
Retina MacBook Pro at 21 frames per second while scrolling (See meter at top left)
Just after the launch of the Retina MacBook Pro earlier this month, AnandTech provided a first glimpse of the machine's display performance, noting the various resolution options available to users and examining how its color and contrast compares to other notebooks.
After having more time to analyze the new machine, AnandTech last week published its full review of the Retina MacBook Pro, bringing its thorough and technically-detailed perspective to the report. While the whole review is definitely worth a read, the section on graphics performance bears special attention.
With the integrated Intel HD 4000 and discrete NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M graphics units responsible for driving 2880x1800 pixels in standard Retina mode and as many as 3840x2400 pixels before downscaling to display 1920x1200 at its highest non-Retina resolution, Apple is clearly pushing the limits of the machine's graphics capabilities.
At the default setting, either Intel’s HD 4000 or NVIDIA’s GeForce GT 650M already have to render and display far more pixels than either GPU was ever intended to. At the 1680 and 1920 settings however the GPUs are doing more work than even their high-end desktop counterparts are used to.
AnandTech goes on to assess this graphics performance, noting that the Retina MacBook Pro at times struggles to maintain a "consistently smooth experience".
At 2880 x 1800 most interactions are smooth but things like zooming windows or scrolling on certain web pages is clearly sub-30fps. At the higher scaled resolutions, since the GPU has to render as much as 9.2MP, even UI performance can be sluggish. There’s simply nothing that can be done at this point - Apple is pushing the limits of the hardware we have available today, far beyond what any other OEM has done.
Focusing on browser scrolling behavior, which also involves substantial CPU load, AnandTech notes that the resource-intensive Facebook news feed pages can display at over 50 frames per second on a 2011 MacBook Pro, but that the new Retina MacBook Pro struggles to hit 20 frames per second as it pushes so many more pixels.
The report notes that OS X Mountain Lion will help address some of these issues by leveraging Core Animation, but in AnandTech's testing it was still only able to achieve 20-30 frames per second under Mountain Lion. Further improvements in performance will have to wait for hardware capabilities to catch up with demands imposed by these new ultra-high resolution displays.