PC News Archive

WWDC 2012: Highs and Lows

June 11, 2012 – by Per Christensson

Today's high: Apple released the perfect laptop. That is a quite a statement from me, since for most of my life, I have insisted on using a desktop computer wherever and whenever possible. But today, for the first time ever, I actually felt a desire within my heart to own a laptop.

Apple introduced the new MacBook Pro with a retina display. Just like Apple did with the iPhone 4 and third generation iPad, they doubled the resolution of the 15" MacBook Pro. While the previous MacBook Pro screen had 1440x900 pixels, the new one has a resolution of 2880x1800 pixels. That is over 5 megapixels and is three times the resolution of an HDTV. It brings a tear to my eye just imagining it.

Additionally, the new MacBook Pro with retina display has two Thunderbolt ports, a fast Intel Core i7 processor, and a flash-based SSD drive. It is super light (under 4.5 lbs) and super thin (0.71 inches) and therefore super portable. In summary, I already ordered one.

It turns out I was right with most of my predictions from yesterday, but I missed two of them. Apple did, in fact, update the MacBook Air line, while they did not update the iMac. It's too bad we didn't see new iMacs today, but it gives me hope that the next iMacs will also have retina displays. That would be awesome.

Today's low: The excitement over Apple's new products was tempered by one glaring omission in today's keynote - the Mac Pro. Apple did not even mention the Mac Pro during the keynote. As somewhat of a slap in the face to the Mac Pro faithful, Apple discreetly "updated" the Mac Pro line with a slight processor bump. All the other specs remain the same, including the outrageous prices. The new models don't even include Thunderbolt ports, which means you can't use them with Apple's Thunderbolt displays.

Since I am a pro user who prefers desktop computers, the Mac Pro has always been my first choice. However, last year I felt forced to buy an iMac after Apple didn't update the Mac Pro for almost a year in a half. Now, it has been almost two years and Apple didn't even update the machine. Unbelievable. There are still many pro audio and pro video users that need a high performance desktop computer and Apple is completely ignoring them. I don't understand Apple's half-hearted Mac Pro update, and based on the forums I've read, no one else does either.

I have mixed feelings after today's keynote. I wish I could say my new MacBook Pro might make me so happy, I won't care about how Apple neglected the Mac Pro. But I can't help but think of all the pro users who were waiting to finally, finally update their machines today and instead received a lump of coal from Apple. I'm sorry.

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