Apple Unveils New 13 Inch MacBook Pro At WWDC 2017

Apple last updated its iMacs in fall 2015.

Apple kicked off its annual developers conference on Monday and, in one of the more surprising announcements, unveiled a refresh of its MacBook Air laptop. All the 27-inch models now come with a Fusion Drive as standard, as does the top-end 21.5-inch version.

The version 27-inch iMac I tested out featured an Intel 4.2GHz processor, 16GB of DDR4 RAM and discrete Raedon Pro 580 8192MB graphics card. There's also a new entry-level 13-inch model that retails for £1,249.

However, the iMac comes with what's an expensive option for PCs: the great 5K Retina monitor built-in.

If you were also planning on buying a wired keyboard from Apple, one with an numeric keypad, you've just run out of luck and out of time.

With the latest processors also comes a new generation of integrated graphics, which should better handle streaming 4K media as well as media editing and creation.

Speaking of which, the iMac Pro is just 8 inches thin when you consider the stand, and it weighs only 21.5 lbs.

The real star of the new iMac lineup is a beast of an all-in-one that won't be available until December. I doubt they're significant enough to warrant trading in an existing Retina iMac, unless Thunderbolt 3 is a necessity. The 9.7-inch model has now been removed from the Apple Store.

Visually, you can barely tell the difference.

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It's the upgrade options, not the initial spec, that will distinguish the new Mac Pro. That should improve performance, although likely not by that much.

Starting with the refreshed lineup, the MacBook now comes loaded with Kaby Lake processors up to 1.3 GHz Core i7 with Turbo Boost up to 3.6 GHz and up to 50 percent faster SSD and supports up to twice the memory. The core i5 Kaby Lake 12-inch MacBook starts at $1,729.

Aside from faster and more battery-efficient components, Apple made one important external change.

As you'd expect, there's loads of other tech wizardry crammed into the new iMac Pro, but all Apple really wants you to know about its latest desktop is that it's super-powerful and you can connect it to pretty much anything you want. This new model is called the iMac Pro and will be available later this year.

The iMac Pro is a 27-inch iMac, clad in dark space grey instead of the usual silver aluminum. And if RAM was infinitely abundant and cheap it might be cool to see more of that, as well, but these are fairly minor issues with a machine that was designed fresh from the ground up just a few years ago. This GPU offers 11 teraflops of single-precision performance and 22 teraflops of half-precision. What do you guys think of the iMac Pro? . It also features support for 1 billion colours.

The iMac Pro features a 5K display and, thanks to the added muscle under the hood, can support two additional 5K displays, something Apple says it has never offered before.

The 12-inch MacBook has remained fairly stable over its three generations, with the same slim 2.03 pound body and high-res Retina display. Finally, there is also a 10Gb Ethernet port for fast networking. There are a lot of configurations, so hang on tight. Apple claimed that a comparable workstation would cost about $7000, without a 5K display.

The $1,299 price point is attractive to power users, as that is the point where you'll start to pay for premium features like all-aluminum clamshells, and higher-than-full-HD screens, as well as more memory, storage, and power than budget and midrange laptops. Apparently, that included the iMac Pro. If you need the maximum performance from a Mac, the iMac Pro will provide it.

When the MacBook Pro series adopted a similar flat keyboard a year ago, it at least had an improved Butterly mechanism (the x-shaped trigger under the individual keys on the keyboard), which made the typing experience feel more substantial, even if some people still preferred the old-style traditional MacBook Pro keyboard.

  • Geraldine Cohen