Premiered in 2012 as a successor to the MacBook Pro, the MacBook Pro with Retina Display is sold in 13.3″ (2560×1600-pixel) and 15.4″ (2880×1800-pixel) versions, the latter at a $700 premium. Both models are lighter than the regular 13″ MacBook Pro, with the 13.3″ Retina Pro weighing only half a pound more than the 13.3″ MacBook Air. These models require few performance compromises: they have faster Core i5 and i7 processors than any other Apple laptop, much higher-resolution (and more color-accurate) screens, twin Thunderbolt 2 and twin USB 3 ports, plus an HDMI port and dual noise-canceling microphones.
As of the last (March 2015) hardware update, the 13″ Retina MacBook Pro starts with a dual-core 2.7GHz Core i5 processor with 8GB of RAM, and features 10-hour battery life. By comparison, the 15.4″ Retina MacBook Pro was updated in May 2015, sporting a quad-core 2.2GHz Core i7 processor and 16GB of RAM, now with up to 9 hours of battery life. Both Retina models feature Force Touch pressure-sensitive/haptic feedback trackpads, plus 802.11ac wireless, but continue to lack DVD/CD drives and mechanical hard drives in favor of 128GB to 1TB of flash storage.
First released in 2006 and last redesigned in 2008, the non-Retina MacBook Pro was at one time known as the “MacBook,” and is currently available only in a 13″ version. Thicker and 1/3 heavier than the 13.3″ MacBook Air, the MacBook Pro includes a substantially faster Intel Core i5 processor, offset by a much slower 500GB hard drive and a lower-resolution 1280×800 screen. It is now the only Apple laptop with a DVD/CD drive, integrated FireWire 800 port, and Gigabit Ethernet port, all features dropped from the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro with Retina Display. However, while it has two USB 3 ports and a Thunderbolt 1 port, it lacks HDMI output, 802.11ac wireless, and Force Touch, delivering only 7 hours of battery life.
The MacBook Pro with Retina display remains Apple’s best overall performer for the dollar, laptop or otherwise. Though more expensive and a little larger than the MacBook Air, it delivers much more horsepower and a hugely better screen; there are even reasons to prefer the Retina MacBook Pro over an iMac for daily use unless you really need a much larger (and non-portable) display.
Apple has officially released OS X El Capitan for the Mac, adding some new improvements as well as bringing parity with changes in iOS 9, released two weeks ago. OS X El Capitan (version 10.11), can be installed on any Mac that runs OS X Yosemite: simply download the free update from the Mac App Store. The release does not feature anything radically new — like the major visual overhaul that came last year — but there are new features as well as a strong focus on overall performance and stability improvements.
Here’s what’s new in Apple’s latest version of the Mac operating system …
$AAPL stock has opened below $100 in the first minutes of trading, erasing any gains since October 2014. Apple’s stock officially opened at $95.12 but has corrected slightly upwards since to circa $101. The fall in share price saw Apple’s market capitalization lose about $60 billion dollars in value today. Although any fall in price is bad news for the company, the 7% fall should not be taken at face value.
The whole market is down with losses across the board: the S&P saw a 5% overall fall — the largest one-day drop for four years. Technology stocks are being affected as much as any other sector. Twitter, Alibaba, Tesla and Netflix all saw falls in the double digits.
Intel recently announced plans to bring its professional-class Intel Xeon processors to notebook computers for the first time. The Xeon family of chips is notably only used by Apple in $2,999 and up Mac Pro desktop computers. According to Intel, the high-performance processor will make its way to portable computers starting with processors based on the next-gen Skylake architecture. Specifically, the Xeon E3-1500M v5 family will be the first to bring contemporary workstation power to portable computers, while Intel promises “the right balance of power and mobility” for the upcoming chips. But would Apple ever use Xeon chips in MacBook Pros? expand full story
Pixelmator for iPhone and iPad has today been updated to version 2.0.2 bringing even more features to the popular image editor for iOS and Mac. This update adds a new kind of brush stroke called Dynamic Touch, which simulates pressure sensitivity by examining the size of the finger input that touches the screen. Larger surface area produces thicker strokes on the canvas. Similarly, using just the tip of a finger results in fine lines in the app.