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04.11.2012

A look at the new 2012 13 inch Retina MacBook Pro

Apple has released another Retina MacBook Pro; a 13 inch model with resolution of 2560x1600 (nearly twice as many pixels as there are in a 1080 pixel width HD TV screen, which is only three quarters of an inch thick and, at just over three and a half pounds, is the lightest MacBook Pro yet.

2012 Retina MacBook Pro, 13 and 15 inch models

Running Apple OSX Mountain Lion, the new model has MagSafe 2, 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, two Thunderbolt ports, two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI out and an SD card reader. There is a choice of either i5 or i7 Intel dual core 'Ivy Bridge' processor, up to 8Gb of RAM, and up to 768Gb of flash/SSD storage. Unlike the existing 15 inch model there is no nVidia graphics accelerator, just the standard integrated card from Intel (the HD 4000). Apple are claiming up to seven hours' battery life.

Faster than non-Retina equivalent...

Independent tests show that even the entry level model (2.5GHz dual-core Core i5 processor, 8Gb RAM, 128GB SSD hard drive for £1,449 or 256Gb hard drive for £1,699) significantly outperforms the 13 inch non-Retina MacBook Pros (even those with faster processors) in some areas, and is also 11% faster than the 13 inch MacBook Air. This is due to the faster data transfer offered by solid state drives as opposed to the 5,400rpm rotating drives in the older models.

... but not as fast as the 15 inch model

However the 15 inch Retina MacBook Pros benefit from quad core processors and additional 1Gb nVidia GeForce graphics cards, and they are up to 50% faster than these new models.

In related news, Mozilla recently announced that the beta version of Firefox 18 supports Retina display, joining Safari and early adopters Chrome.

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