Hands On With The New 2013 Retina MacBook Pros

Apple has updated its 13- and its 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro laptops today, with changes that make both machines more powerful under the hood and that actually result in a size and weight savings for the already-svelte 13-inch Retina Pro.

The core of each update is the Intel Haswell processor, which adds considerable benefits in terms of battery life. This means that, combined with the OS X Mavericks release, the 13-inch model gets a more impressive nine hours of battery life, while the more powerful 15-inch version stays steady at an advertised eight hours.

Playing with both reveals little immediate observable difference for the 15-inch version, though it does seem speedier and generally more responsive. The 13-inch version is a big change, however – the 3.46 lbs compared to the 3.57 of the last generation may not feel like much, but combined with a thickness of just 0.71 inches, it feels like a lot, and will probably be even more impressive if you’re carrying one around with you every day.

Before this release, the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display was essentially the best notebook on the market. Now, with a $200 price cut and an even slimmer profile, not to mention two Thunderbolt ports (which are gen 2) instead of just one, I’d say it stands a very good chance of retaining that crown.