MacBook Pro 2012: 15″ Retina Display, USB 3.0 and ultra-thin

May 14, 2012
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More and more information has emerged regarding the next MacBook Pros featuring Ivy Bridge chips, and now 9to5Mac has detailed exactly what to expect from the new 15-inch model. They say that Apple is currently finalizing the new laptop, and that it will feature a slimmed down design, drop the optical drive, include a high-resolution Retina display, and most interestingly, have several USB 3.0 ports.

First, 9to5Mac say that the new 15-inch model will be slimmer than current offerings due to the removal of the optical drive. It won’t be as thin as the MacBook Airs, nor will it have a tapered design in order to avoid hinge issues at the larger size. The power button will be removed, instead located on the keyboard as is the case with the current MacBook Airs. The design will otherwise remain the same, and feature the typical MagSafe port, ThunderBolt ports, and SD card reader.

Apple will also reportedly introduce a Retina display with the new 15-inch MacBook Pro, as has been rumored for a while. Cupertino has been adding high-resolution graphics into Lion and Mountain Lion in preparation, with insiders saying that the new display is “jaw-dropping” and “definitely the most important Mac innovation in years.” The sharpness and clarity of the display is said to be on par with the Retina displays found on the iPhone 4/4S and new iPad.

In an interesting twist, USB 3.0 will apparently make it into the new MacBook Pro but won’t replace Thunderbolt, instead running happily side by side. Software strings that have appeared in Mountain Lion back up this info, with references pointing to 5Gbit/s transfer speeds (the maximum USB3.0 supports) and two specific mentions of USB 3.0. 9to5Mac say that Apple has been testing the technology for a while, but the new MacBook Pro will be the first time it hits a shipping Apple product thanks to native Ivy Bridge support.

Finally, while it hasn’t been confirmed what GPU will make its way into the new MacBook Pro, references to the NVIDIA GT 650M have been found in Mountain Lion. It would mark a departure away from AMD, who have provided mobile GPUs for the last few generations of MacBook Pros and iMacs. Ivy Bridge chips will primarily be quad-core i7 offerings, as well as some with improved power efficiency. Sources didn’t indicate when to expect to the new MacBook Pros, or how much they’ll cost, but all signs are pointing to a June reveal.


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