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Apple refreshes 13in and 15in MacBook Pro with Haswell silicon, OS X Mavericks and lower prices

Cupertino denies the MacBook Air a Retina display but both Pro sizes get a hearty update for 2013. Click on to see if it's an essential upgrade

On cue, Apple’s updated its MacBook Pro models in 13in and 15in sizes but amongst the expected power and battery life improvements, it’s pulled an absolute shocker out of the bag: the new Retina MBPs are launching with cheaper prices than their predecessors did. 

We know, we know – is Apple feeling OK? I mean, it just announced that its new OS X Mavericks 10.9 is free too. While we calm down from the shock, check out the specs on Apple’s new beastly laptops. It’s worth noting that the non-Retina Pros haven’t been updated at all so it looks like they’re being phased out. 

Thinner, Lighter, Haswell-er

First up, the 13in MacBook Pro keeps its gorgeous Retina display but adds 4th generation, dual-core Intel Haswell chips to its equally impressive insides with integrated Iris graphics that Apple reckons are up to 90% faster than the previous MacBook Pro.

Battery life also gets a boost with Apple quoting an ‘up to nine hours’ time, which we’re looking forward to testing out. That would make it a true all-day MacBook Pro, impressive with that hi-res screen.

2013’s shiny MacBook Pro also comes with Thunderbolt 2 support, a 1080p FaceTime camera, faster 802.11ac “Gigabit” Wi-Fi and though the form factor stays put, it’s lighter and thinner than its predecessor at 0.71in skinny. Of course, it comes running OS X Mavericks too. We only have US prices for now but with a Core i5 chip, prices start at US$1299.

Now over to the 15in 2013 MacBook Pro. This rocks a quad-core Intel Crystalwell processor (see box-out) alongside Iris Pro graphics, the same faster 802.11ac Wi-Fi as the 13in model and faster PCie Flash storage. Battery life comes in at a reported, and respectable, eight hours. Prices in the US for the 15in MacBook Pro start at US$1999.

UPDATE: We now have UK prices for the whole 2013 MacBook Pro range. The 13in model starts at £1100 for a 2.4GHz i5 processor and 128GB of storage, the 256GB model takes you up to £1250. With a 2.6GHz i5 plus a stonking 512GB of Flash storage, the 13in MBP will set you back £1500.

Now onto those beastlier 15in models which rock Core i7 power. For a 2GHz quad-core i7 model with 256GB of Flash storage, Apple wants £1700 and for the top-of-the line 2.3GHz i7 machine with 512GB of storage it’s £2200.