June 16, 2012, 7:48 AM — Apple took a big leap ahead of competing PC makers Monday introducing a new 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display that borrows from the design concepts of the MacBook Air. The new laptop isn't cheap, but for its class it is very thin (0.71 inches) and light (4.46 pounds) thanks to losing the optical drive, FireWire port, Ethernet jack, and offering nothing but flash storage. Putting this device over the top, however, is its impressive new LED-backlit display with 2880-by-1800 resolution at 220 pixels per inch.
Critics have long expected Apple to merge the Air with its MacBook lineup and that process begins now. Apple called the new MacBook Pro with Retina display its next-generation MacBook Pro.
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That said, can Apple's new Retina MacBook Pro rain on the PC laptop or Intel's Ultrabook parade? Or will Apple, once again, inspire another flood of PC clones as it did with the MacBook Air and the ensuing Ultrabook onslaught.
Next-gen MacBook Pro: Hard Sell
For the moment, this next-generation laptop is not going to appeal to the current generation of laptop buyers - be it PC or Apple. The base model alone for the new MBP is priced at $2200 for just 256GB of hard drive space and a quad-core 2.3 GHz Core i7 processor. Compare that to the $1500 Asus G75VW gaming laptop featuring the same processor, six times the storage space (hard drive, not flash), and a 17-inch screen with 1920-by-1080 resolution.