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The Apple Buyer's Guide (Part 3) - MacBookPro, MacBook Air

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12/6/2012 3:17:40 PM

The ultimate combination of power and portability, beautifully engineered.

Ram is upgradable later in all MacBook Pros except the Retina

Description: The ultimate combination of power and portability, beautifully engineered.

The ultimate combination of power and portability, beautifully engineered.

Keyboard

Backlit to make it easier to use in low light. The backlighting adjusts automatically according to ambient light

Trackpad

The Multi-Touch trackpad supports OS X Lion’s gestures

Webcam

A FaceTime HD camera is built into the bezel at the top centre of the screen, as with the iMac

Battery life

All MacBook Pro models will last around seven hours on a charge, based on Apple’s example of browsing the web via Wi-Fi. Without Wi-Fi, you could get even longer, but apps that work the processors harder will reduce battery life. Apple’s MagSafe connector ensures you won’t damage your laptop if you trip over the power cable while charging – the lead just pops out.

Ports

The 13in and 15in MacBook Pro each have two USB 3 ports, one FireWire 800, one Thunderbolt and Gigabit Ethernet, as well as 802.11n wifi and Bluetooth 4.0, audio in/out and an SDXC Card reader. The MacBook Pro with Retina Display has two USB 3 and two Thunderbolt ports, HDMI and SDXC, but needs an adaptor for Ethernet or FireWire.

Description: The MacBook Pro with Retina Display has two USB 3 and two Thunderbolt ports, HDMI and SDXC, but needs an adaptor for Ethernet or FireWire.

The MacBook Pro with Retina Display has two USB 3 and two Thunderbolt ports, HDMI and SDXC, but needs an adaptor for Ethernet or FireWire.

Optical drive

All Pros except the Retina have 8x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)

Screen

Like all Apple Displays, the MacBook Pros’ screens have a high-gloss finish. This maximises contrast and sharpness, but reflections can be distracting. The 15in model has an optional higher-resolution screen (more pixels packed into the same area), which in turn has an anti-glare option, at extra cost. The 15in Retina Display has a resolution of 2880 × 1800, the 13in 2560 × 1600

All MacBook Pros can also drive an external Display at up to 2560 × 1600 via the Thunderbolt port. This can act as a Mini DisplayPort to connect to earlier Apple monitors, or connect to DVI or VGA with adaptors from Apple, or to HDMI with third-party adaptors

Configurations

MacBook Pro 13-inch 2.5GHz

·         Price: $1,498.5

·         CPU: 2.5GHz Dual-core Intel Core i5

·         Display: 13.3in 1280 × 800 16:10

·         RAM: 4GB (8GB +$120)

·         Hard disk: 500GB (750GB +$120, 128GB SSD +$240, more options)

·         Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4000

MacBook Pro 13-inch 2.9GHz

·         Price: $1,873.5

·         CPU: 2.9GHz Dual-core Intel Core i7

·         Display: 13.3in 1280 × 800 16:10

·         RAM 8GB

·         Hard disk: 750GB (128GB SSD +$120, 256GB SSD +$480, more options)

·         Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4000

MacBook Pro 15-inch 2.3GHz

·         Price: $2,248.5

·         CPU: 2.3GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7

·         Display: 15.4in 1440 × 900 16:10

·         1680 × 1050 +$120 or 1680 × 1050, with anti-glare +$120

·         RAM: 4GB (8GB +$120)

·         Hard disk: 500GB (750GB +$120, 128GB SSD +$240, more options)

·         Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 650M with 512MB video RAM

MacBook Pro 15-inch 2.6GHz

·         Price: $2,698.5

·         CPU: 2.6GHz Quad-core Intel

·         Core i7 (2.7GHz i7 +$360)

·         Display: 15.4in 1440 × 900 16:10, 1680 × 1050 +$120 or 1680 × 1050 with anti-glare +$120

·         RAM: 8GB

·         Hard disk: 750GB (128GB SSD +$120, 512GB SSD +£1080)

·         Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 650M with 1GB video RAM

MacBook Pro with Retina Display 13-inch 2.5GHz

·         Price: $2,248.5

·         CPU: 2.5GHz Dual-core Intel Core i5

·         Display: 13.3in Retina 2560 × 1600

·         RAM: 8GB (no upgrade options) SSD 128GB (256GB +$375)

·         Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4000 2.5GHz also available at $2548.5

MacBook Pro with Retina Display 15-inch 2.3GHz

·         Price: $2,698.5

·         CPU: 2.3GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7

·         Display: 15.4in Retina 2880 × 1800

·         RAM: 8GB (16GB +$240) SSD 256GB

·         Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with 1GB video RAM 2.6GHz also available at $3448.5

MacBook Air

Quite simply the most desirable portable computer ever manufactured.

Screen

Both screen sizes have a high dot pitch, packing in more pixels. The incredibly slim surround doesn’t flex because it’s made of aluminium, not plastic. A FaceTime camera (not HD) is built into the bezel

Description: Both screen sizes have a high dot pitch, packing in more pixels.

Both screen sizes have a high dot pitch, packing in more pixels.

Keyboard

The full size keyboard is backlit to make it easier to use in low light for example, when taking notes in a darkened auditorium

Battery life

The 11in Air will go for around five hours in general use with wifi on; the 13in will run for seven hours. Standby time is up to a month

Trackpad

Very different from the average laptop pad, Apple’s Multi- Touch trackpad is highly responsive like an iPhone screen and supports scroll, zoom and swipe gestures in OS X

Description: Very different from the average laptop pad, Apple’s Multi- Touch trackpad is highly responsive – like an iPhone screen – and supports scroll, zoom and swipe gestures in OS X

Very different from the average laptop pad, Apple’s Multi Touch trackpad is highly responsive like an iPhone screen and supports scroll, zoom and swipe gestures in OS X

Ports

All Airs have two USB 3 ports and one Thunderbolt. The 13in has an SD Card reader, too. Ethernet needs a $37.5 adaptor

Shoehorned into its slim case, none of the Air’s components is upgradable later, even RAM. 4GB is usable, but consider paying extra for more rather than regretting it later. There’s no built-in DVD drive, and a flash memory SSD takes the place of a hard disk; Thunderbolt allows fast external storage too

Configurations

MacBook Air 11-inch 64GB

·         Price: $1,273.5

·         CPU: 1.7GHz Dual-core Intel Core i5

·         Display: 11.6in 1366 × 768 16:9

·         RAM: 4GB (8GB +$120) SSD 64GB

·         Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4000

Best Deal

MacBook Air 11-inch 128GB

·         Price: $1,393.5

·         CPU: 1.7GHz Dual-core Intel Core i5

·         Display: 11.6in 1366 × 768 16:9

·         RAM: 4GB (8GB +$120) SSD 128GB

·         Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4000

MacBook Air 13-inch 128GB

·         Price: $1,498.5

·         CPU: 1.8GHz Dual-core Intel Core i5

·         Display: 13.3in 1440 × 900 16:9

·         RAM: 4GB (8GB +$120) SSD 128GB

·         Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4000

MacBook Air 13-inch 256GB

·         Price: $1,873.5

·         CPU: 1.8GHz Dual-core Intel Core i5

·         Display: 13.3in 1366 × 768 16:9

·         RAM: 4GB (8GB +$120) SSD 256GB

·         Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4000

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