Apple today revealed updates to its laptop and desktop lines. The 15-inch MacBook Pro and iMac both see under-the-hood improvements, as well as new price points. The change in Apple's lineup arrives just weeks ahead of the company's Worldwide Developer Conference.
Apple's larger, professional-grade laptop scored the company's Force Touch technology in today's minor refresh. With the built-in force sensors, the Force Touch trackpad lets users receive the same feedback no matter where they click. The "Taptic Engine" creates micro vibrations to produce haptic feedback on the pad. The Force Touch trackpad is also capable of registering more minute input from users.
In addition to the improved trackpad, Apple also boosted the MacBook Pro's storage speed, which it claims is now 2.5x faster. The hard drive can now reach throughput speeds of up to 2GB per second. The large laptop gains a new AMD Radeon R9 M370X graphics module, which Apple touts as ideal for editing videos in Final Cut Pro or rendering high-resolution games.
Last -- and maybe most importantly -- the MacBook Pro 15-inch with Retina Display gains an hour of battery life.
Performance doesn't come cheap. The improved laptop costs $1,999 with a 2.2GHz Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of memory, and 256GB of storage. If you opt for the model with a 2.5GHz Core i7 processor, 16GB of memory, and 512GB of storage, you can expect to shell out $2,499. The laptop can be configured with processors up to 2.8 GHz and storage up to 1TB.
Apple dropped the intro price of its iMac with Retina 5K Display by $200, which now starts at $1,999. The display measures 27-inches across the diagonal and packs an eye-popping 5120 x 2880 pixels (that's 14.75 million, in case you were wondering). The 5K iMac has a 3.3 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor, AMD Radeon R9 M290 graphics, 8 GB of memory, and 1 TB of storage. The top-end model, which boasts a 3.5 GHz processor, M290X graphics, and a 1 TB Fusion Drive, starts at $2,299. Both models have four USB 3.0 and two Thunderbolt 2 ports.
"The response to the new MacBook and updated 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display has been amazing, and today we are thrilled to bring the new Force Touch trackpad, faster flash storage and longer battery life to the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "Customers love the groundbreaking iMac with Retina 5K display, and now with a new lower starting price, even more people can experience the best desktop we've ever made."
The new computers ship with Mac OS X Yosemite and come with Apple's suite of software, including Photos, iMovie, GarageBand, and iWork. The MacBook Pro 15-inch with Retina Display and the 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display are both available in stores and online beginning today.
Last, but not least, if you've been hankering for an Apple-made dock for your iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, well, now you have one. Apple began selling one today online for $39, and it includes a Lightning port. It will charge your iPhone as it stands.
[Did you miss any of the InformationWeek Conference in Las Vegas last month? Don't worry: We have you covered. Check out what our speakers had to say and see tweets from the show. Let's keep the conversation going.]Eric is a freelance writer for InformationWeek specializing in mobile technologies. View Full Bio