Setting geeky hearts aflutter (mine included), the keynote presentation at the Apple WWDC 2012 today launched a number of new products. Sadly, there will be no floating iPhones just yet, but there were some exciting announcements. Regardless of whether or not you think high pixel counts and USB 3.0 ports are exciting, here's what you as a consumer need to know about Apple's latest offerings:
It also used to be very clear. If you were a regular Joe, you bought a MacBook, and if you had more serious computer needs, you got a MacBook Pro. Then the Macbook Air entered the scene and confused the whole game. With a solid state drive and enviably small form factor, many who would normally go for a MBP wound up with a MacBook Air. Even after Apple phased out the MacBook, it was still a confusing choice. Until today.
The new MacBook Pro with Retina Display was undoubtedly the nerd highlight of the day. With this new, thinner model, Apple once again has a laptop truly worthy of a "Pro" label. The new MBPs are almost as slim and light as the Air, but with a new Retina display (featuring the largest amount of pixels of any laptop on the market), more flash storage, and more RAM, Apple is very firmly settling any questions about the future of the line. The MacBook Air is the consumer-level laptop and the MacBook Pro is the professional-level.
Now, to the real question, to buy or not to buy? Well, the Retina display 15" MBP is not cheap, with prices starting at $2199. On the other hand, for those Mac geeks who've been waiting for the next game-changing Apple laptop, this computer is certainly drool-worthy. If you aren't in the market for a computer over $2K, playing the waiting game may be your best bet. The Retina Display MacBook Pro is slimmer and lighter, and I'd expect to see that carried over to the rest of the MacBook Pro line eventually.
As anticipated, the MacBook Air got a refresh today, with new processing chips and a USB 3.0 port, and an HD Facetime camera in addition to other incremental updates. The baseline prices are dropping by $100 across the MacBook Air line, so you'll be getting more computer for less money today than you would have yesterday. If you don't need the newest chips and ports, look for price drops on the older model MacBook Air refurbs to reflect the pricing on the new line.
Apple announced OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion today, as anticipated. What came as a surprise is the price drop. Apple's recent OSs have run $29.99, but Mountain Lion is being priced at $19.99, and you can upgrade all of your Macs with just the one purchase. Mountain Lion brings some iPad features, like Messages, Reminders, Notification Center, and Twitter to the Mac OS. It also offers improved iCloud integration and AirPlay mirroring for Apple TV devices. Any reason not to buy today? Yes! It hasn't actually been released yet. Look for Mountain Lion next month. Ready to buy a Mac today? Upgrades to the new will be free on models that are shipping now.
All you iPhone and iPad users out there, don't get too excited. Even though Apple announced iOS 6 with "over 200 new features," iOS 6 won't be hitting your device until Fall. But as with previous iOS updates, this one is expected to be free.
Will you be ordering a new computer in the next few days? Are you chomping at the bit to get your hands on Mountain Lion and/or iOS 6? Let us know in the comments below! And if you want great deals and the latest tech news like this delivered to your inbox daily? Sign up for Brad's Daily Alerts!