MacBook Pro goes Retina: Here's what you get

Retina at last for the MacBook. The highest resolution yet for an Apple device.

Apple announced the 0.7-inch-thick "next-generation MacBook Pro" this morning. And its marquee feature is a Retina Display, making this the first MacBook to get one.

Resolution: The display boasts a staggering pixel density of 2,880 by 1,800. That's 220 pixels per inch and a total 5.18 million pixels. And that beats the 2048-by-1536 resolution on the third-generation iPad.

Apple's Phil Schiller said it's the world's highest-resolution notebook display. He's certainly right if he's talking about 15-inch laptops.

Screen: Higher contrast ratios, better viewing angles via IPS technology, and 75 percent less glare, even though it's a glossy screen, according to Schiller. And note that this is the first MacBook that has an IPS (in-plane switching) screen. iPads and standalone monitors have IPS tech but not the Pros -- to date.

Graphics engine: Nvidia is back in the Mac. This time Apple has tapped Nvidia's leading-edge 28-nanometer graphics processing unit (GPU) tech in the form of the Nvidia "Kepler" GPU, the GeForce GT 650M. The 650M has a total of 384 "shader cores" (image processor cores). "The gaming performance of the GeForce GT 650M equipped with DDR3 graphics memory lies somewhere in the former 2011 high-end category between the GeForce GTX 460M and GTX 560M," says Notebookcheck.

Other hardware: Quad-core Intel "Ivy Bridge" processors, up to 2.7GHz. Up to 16GB of 1600MHz RAM. Schiller noted that this is needed to drive the display. Battery life is up to 7 hours with 30 days of standby time.

A 2,880-by-1,800 display. Pixel density on a 15-inch display doesn't get any denser.
A 2,880-by-1,800 display. Pixel density on a 15-inch display doesn't get any denser than that. CNET
0.7-inch thick next-generation MacBook Pro compared with current MBP.  It's a lot thinner.
0.7-inch thick next-generation MacBook Pro compared with current MBP. It's a lot thinner. CNET
About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.

 

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