Great news for anyone who's lusted after the gorgeous retina display on the MacBook Pro—but has been hesitant to drop $2,200 or make room for a 15-inch laptop. Apple has officially announced a 13-inch version of its portable workstation, with a 2560 x 1600 Retina Display. That's just a slight drop in resolution from the 15-incher.
In fact, with the 13-inch model, you'll only be sacrificing a chunk of resolution that's just 320 x 200 pixels in size. That, and the set of speakers sitting on either side of the 15-inch model's keyboard. In terms of ports, the new 13-inch MacBook Pro has the exact same layout as the previous model: an SD slot, USB 3, and HDMI on one side, and USB 3, MagSafe 2, a headphone jack, dual mics, and a pair of Thunderbolt ports on the other.
Like with previous versions of the MacBook Pro, the 13-inch Retina Display model comes in two base configurations priced at $1,699 and $1,999. The cheaper $1,699 model includes a 2.5GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of memory, and a 128GB SSD drive. And the $1,999 step-up features the same processor plus a larger 256GB SSD drive. Both models can be further upgraded with a whopping 768GB SSD (that won't be a cheap upgrade) and a 2.9GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 processor. And like their larger siblings, they each boast 7 hours of battery life, under ideal conditions.
A little disappointing, particularly for multimedia professionals interested in using the new MacBook Pros as mobile workstations, is the choice to dumb down the graphics card to the Intel HD Graphics 4000 chipset. For comparison, the original 15-inch Retina Display MacBook Pro uses an NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M graphics card with 1GB of memory to power its pixel-packed display.
Both models will be available for order on the Apple website today, October 23, and both are shipping today as well. [Apple]