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Apple introduces 'next generation' MacBook Pro with retina display

What other company could sell a base model $2,199 laptop?

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In addition to updating its existing MacBook Air and MacBook Pro lines, Apple has introduced what it's calling the "next generation" MacBook Pro, complete with a 15.4-inch, 2880-by-1800 pixel, 220ppi "retina display".

"It's the most beautiful computer we have ever made," said Apple marketing honcho Phil Schiller during the keynote at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco on Monday.

The next-gen Pro is essentially a cross between the svelte SSD-equipped MacBook Air and the more-robust hard drive–equipped MacBook Pro. At 0.71 inches thick, it's significantly thinner than the Pro, but it isn't tapered back-to-front as is the Air. Like the Air, though, it has an SSD, and not a hard drive, with up to 768GB of capacity.

Apple has upgraded Mac OS X Lion, Safari, iMovie, iPhoto, Aperture, and Final Cut Pro X to take advantage of the 5,184,000-pixel display, and Schiller said that Adobe is updating Photoshop for it, as is AutoDesk for AutoCad. Other apps will merely be scaled up, as are iPhone apps on an iPad.

The base model of the new laptop is powered by an 2.3GHz "Ivy Bridge" Intel quad-core i7, and its retina display is lit up by an Nvidia GeForce GT 650M with 1GB of VRAM. It includes an SD slot, an HDMI port, two USB 3.0/2.0 ports, and dual Thunderbolt ports for which adaptor dongles for FireWire 800 and Gigabit Ethernet are available.

Also included is Wi-Fi 802.11n (not 802.11ac, you'll note), Bluetooth 4.0, dual microphones and stereo speakers, a glass trackpad, and a backlit keyboard.

The base mode, with the 2.3GHz quad-core i7, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD is available today for $2,199. Information about higher-level configurations will be available later on Monday on Apple's website.

Bootnote

Apple doesn't allow The Reg into its events – we wonder why? – so we gleaned our info from various live-blog sources.

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