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MacBook Pro Retina updated with Haswell, longer battery life, now cheaper

Along with new iPads, the Cupertino giant was expected to deliver better hardware for the MacBook Pro with Retina display and Apple TV. Well, while the latter was a no show at the event, the company did refresh its high-end laptop series with beefier components.

Here’s what’s new:

As expected, Apple has designed the new MacBook Pro Retina with fourth generation Intel Haswell processors. The company is still offering it in 13-inch and 15-inch models, both packing high resolution displays powered by Iris graphics which are estimated to deliver a performance boost of around 90% compared to the previous generation laptop. The larger model can be coupled with a GeForce GT 750M GPU with 2GB of video memory for enhanced performance.

MacBook Pro Retina

Even with beefier components, the battery life has been improved. The 13-inch model is estimated to deliver 9 hours of activity which is around 2 hours more than its predecessor, while the 15-inch version can provide an extra hour of usage bringing the total to 8 hours. Other features comprise of PCIe-based storage that’s said to deliver around 60% faster read speeds, 802.11ac Wi-Fi and dual Thunderbolt 2 ports. Additionally, the new MacBook Pros ship with OS X Mavericks.

Price and availability:

The new MacBook Pro Retina has already gone on sale in the US through Apple’s online and retail stores. The 13-inch model comes in 3 configurations, each carrying a dual core i5 chip and Intel Iris graphics. The first one, priced at $1,299, has a 2.4GHz processor with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of flash storage. The second one which is selling for $1,499 has 8GB of system memory, the same 2.4GHz CPU frequency and a 256GB SSD. Lastly, the third option packs a 2.6GHz processor, 8GB of RAM and 512GB of flash storage.

The 15-inch version starts at $1,999 packing a quad core 2GHz i7 processor, 8GB of RAM, 256GB of flash storage and Intel Iris Pro graphics, while the $2,599 model tags along a 2.3GHz i7 CPU, higher SSD space of 512GB, 16GB of memory and a discrete GeForce GT 750M GPU.