After clapping itself on the back during a typical firework-sales-figures intro, Apple rolled out an array of new devices at its media event Tuesday afternoon, including the long-fabled MacBook Pro Retina shrink: a svelte, 13-inch, aluminum unibody laptop that brings the revised 15-inch model we saw in June down into MacBook Air country.
“The best [laptop] we have ever created [is] the 15-inch MacBook Pro with a Retina display, and everyone has fallen in love with it,” said Apple senior VP of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller.
Then he delivered a one-line tease: “Our number one selling laptop is the 13-inch Macbook Pro.”
And out it came, a veritable carbon copy of the 15-inch Retina Pro, only smaller and lighter. In fact Schiller said the new laptop is just 0.75-inches thin, or 20% thinner — “a full one-fifth thinner” — than the prior 13-inch MacBook Pro.
How much does it weigh? Just over 3.57 pounds, or almost a pound less than both the older 13-inch Pro and current 15-inch Retina Pro. Schiller called it Apple’s “lightest MacBook Pro ever.”
“In typical Apple fashion, we take our best products and introduce something so much better, so much cooler and more capable,” said Schiller.
As expected, the IPS (in-plane switching) Retina display run at native 2560 x 1600 resolution, which Schiller accurately described as “almost double the picture of an HDTV [at 1080p, i.e. 1920 x 1080], almost two million more pixels.” Like the 15-inch Retina Pro before it, that means richer colors, deeper blacks, a 29% higher contrast ratio, a 75% reduction in reflection or glare, a 178-degree viewing angle and 300 nits of brightness.
Schiller then cued a tongue-in-cheek slide that described the new 13-inch Retina Pro as “the world’s second-highest resolution notebook display” — the highest, of course, remains Apple’s 15-inch Retina Pro, at 2880 x 1800.
Everything else about the new 13-inch Pro is as you’d expect, given this is essentially just a display shrink of the 15-inch model. On the left side, there’s a Magsafe 2 power connector, two Thunderbolt ports, a USB 3.0 port and a headphone/microphone jack. On the right side, there’s an SD card reader, HDMI video out and a second USB 3.0 port.
The laptop itself employs the same Facetime HD 720p camera, stereo speakers, a glass multi-touch trackpad and a backlit keyboard.
How much does it cost? Apple says that in its baseline configuration with a 2.5 GHz dual-core i5 processor, 8 GB memory and 128 GB flash storage, you’ll pay $1,699, making it $500 less expensive than the prior 13-inch model.