Apple Announces New 15-inch MacBook Pro at WWDC

It’s been a busy day on the Apple beat, with the company announcing updates to many of its products from the stage at WWDC. Much has been speculated about what Apple would do with its MacBook Pro line, but now we have the official word.

There’s a new 15-inch MacBook Pro, and it’s quite an update. For starters, the machine is 0.71 inches thick and weighs in at 4.46lbs and has a Retina display that boasts over 5 million pixels for a resolution of 2880x1800, which purportedly makes the individual pixels indistinguishable to the human eye from a normal working distance. The display is also designed for reduced glare, higher contrast, and a 178-degree viewing angle to enhance the viewing experience that much more.

All that graphical goodness is powered by NVIDIA’s GeForce GT 650M, a Kepler-class mobile GPU, and Apple has brought Ivy Bridge to the new MacBook Pro with quad-core Core i7 processors at 2.6GHz or 2.7GHz (up to 3.7GHz Turbo) for a powerful one-two CPU/GPU punch.

Lest you worry that a slow storage drive will hamper overall system performance, this generation of MacBook Pro is all flash storage. Apple says that its flash storage can handle up to four 1080p HD video streams at once, as well as better reliability, instant-on boot, and standby times of up to a month. Capacity is not an issue, either; configurations start at 256GB and range up to 768GB.

The new machine’s I/O capabilities are a cut above, too, with HDMI, a pair of Thunderbolt ports, and two USB 3.0 ports (that double as USB 2.0), and it has a nice new 720p HD FaceTime webcam.

As if the aforemention features weren't enough for you, Apple also included high-end options for input, wireless connectivity, and audio. There's a glass Multi-Touch trackpad for smooth and comfortable navigation and a full-size backlit keyboard, as well as 802.11n WiFi that can handle three streams and dual microphones and enhanced speakers.

The battery Apple chose to power all the aforementioned components is billed as lasting 7 hours and surviving 1,000 charge cycles, although it’s likely that real-world battery life is a mite shorter.

Although it will ship with OS X Lion, buyers of the new 15-inch MacBook Pro will get a free upgrade to Mountain Lion OS X when it’s available, so there’s no need to wait. Configurations range from $2,199 to $2,799.