Apple Inc. says its newest MacBook Pro laptop computer will be about as thin as its already-slim MacBook Air. It will also have a sharper display, akin to what the iPhone and the iPad now have.
Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, calls it “the most amazing computer we have ever made.”
The MacBook Pro, with what Apple calls a “Retina display,” comes with a relatively high price tag of $2,199 or $2,799, depending on the configuration.
Apple is also introducing cheaper MacBook Pro models with standard screens ($1,199 to $2,199) and an upgrade to its MacBook Air product line ($999 to $1,499).
All models start shipping Monday with the current Mac operating system, Lion. The notebooks are eligible for a free upgrade to Apple’s next operating system, Mountain Lion, when it comes out next month.
The new Apple notebooks come as makers of laptops running Microsoft Corp.’s Windows operating system push their own thin models, called ultrabooks.
The MacBook Pro with Retina display is 0.71 inch thick when closed, compared with 0.95 inch for the regular models. The Air is 0.68 inch at the thickest point, though it’s as thin as 0.11 inch around the edges.
To slim down the Retina-equipped MacBook Pro to near-Air dimensions, Apple got rid of the DVD drive and the traditional spinning hard drive. Instead, it uses flash memory for storage. The model also lacks an Ethernet port for Internet connections. Those who want to go online have to use Wi-Fi or buy an Ethernet adapter that goes into the laptop’s “Thunderbolt” port. The Air models also lack Ethernet ports, DVD drives and spinning hard drives.
The Retina screen measures 15.4 inches diagonally. The regular MacBook Pro comes in 13.3- and 15.4-inch models, while the Air is available with 11.6-inch and 13.3-inch displays.
The Air remains the lightest of them all, at 2.38 pounds for the smaller model and 2.96 pounds for the larger one. The Pro with the same-sized display as the larger Air is about 50 percent heavier, at 4.5 pounds. The Pro with Retina Display is 4.46 pounds, compared with 5.6 pounds for a comparably sized Pro.
The Air is lighter partly because it uses flash memory rather than a regular hard drive for storage. That means less capacity for the same price.
Air models run from 64 to 256 gigabytes, though Apple’s online store offers a 512 GB option for more money. The Pro with Retina display also uses flash storage 256 GB or 512 GB, with an option to upgrade to 768 GB. The regular Pros come standard with a 500 GB or 750 GB hard drive, though options with a larger hard drive or flash memory instead are available.