Apple has updated the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display to include a Force Touch trackpad, introduced a new $1,999 configuration of the iMac with Retina 5K display, dropped the price of the original iMac with Retina 5K display, and introduced a new iPhone dock with a Lightning connector.
New MacBook Pro — Although the new Force Touch trackpad will get most of the attention in the updated 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, there are actually a few other changes. Notably, moving from a 95-watt-hour battery to a 99.5-watt-hour battery provides up to an extra hour of battery life (up to 9 hours). And the switch from the Nvidia GeForce GT 750M graphics processor to the AMD Radeon R9 M370X enables the new high-end model to drive up to two external displays at 3840 by 2160 (up from 2560 by 1600) or a single external display at resolutions up to 5120 by 2160. Finally, although it’s not mentioned in the tech specs, Apple claims the flash storage is up to 2.5 times faster than the previous generation. Other specs and prices are unchanged.
That means the new 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display starts at $1,999 and features a 2.2 GHz (up to 3.4 GHz with Turbo Boost) quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, 16 GB of 1600 MHz RAM, 256 GB of flash storage, and Intel Iris Pro Graphics. Build-to-order CPU options include a 2.5 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor ($100) and a 2.8 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 ($300). On the storage side, you can opt for 512 GB of flash storage ($300) or 1 TB of flash storage ($800).
The high-end 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display starts at $2,499 for a 2.5 GHz (up to 3.7 GHz with Turbo Boost) quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, 512 GB of flash storage, and that new AMD Radeon R9 M370X graphics processor with 2 GB of GDDR5 memory (in addition to the Intel Iris Pro Graphics). Build-to-order options include a 2.8 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 ($200) and 1 TB of flash storage ($500).
New iMac — Apple also released a cheaper version of the iMac with Retina 5K display, which originally started at $2,499. The new entry-level model starts at $1,999, but makes three tech spec sacrifices in the name of price:
- The speed of the quad-core Intel Core i5 processor drops from 3.5 GHz to 3.3 GHz.
- The AMD Radeon R9 M290X graphics processor is downgraded to the AMD Radeon R9 M290.
The 1 TB Fusion Drive is swapped for a 1 TB hard drive.
If that’s not a storage trade-off you care to make, you can add the 1 TB Fusion Drive back for $200, or just switch to the higher-end model, whose price has now dropped from $2,499 to $2,299. Other specs on the higher-end model remain the same; for details, see “Apple Launches iMac with Retina Display, Refreshes Mac mini” (16 October 2014).
iPhone Dock — Outside of the Mac sphere, Apple released the white plastic iPhone Lightning Dock, a redesigned iPhone dock that retails for $39. It holds the iPhone 5 and later (including the larger iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus) and the fifth-generation iPod touch. Its design should make it compatible with a variety of cases as well, something that wasn’t true of previous Apple docks. Although it has the imprimatur of coming from Apple, many other iPhone docks feature more interesting materials and industrial designs.