Oct. 23, 2012 at 1:16 PM ET
Apple unveiled its smallest notebook that uses its highly regarded Retina display, a 13-inch MacBook Pro weighing "just over 3.5 pounds, almost a pound lighter than the previous generation," said Phil Schiller at the company's San Jose event Tuesday.
The laptop, available immediately, starts at $1,699 with a 2.5 GHz, dual-core Intel Core i5 processor, 8 GB RAM and 128 GB of flash storage; with 256GB of flash storage, it starts at $1,999.
The regular 13-inch MacBook Pro, without a Retina display, starts at $1,199.
Schiller said that Apple's best-selling notebook is the 13-inch MacBook Pro, "in fact it's our No. 1 selling Mac." The new model, with the Retina display is .75-inch thin, "a full one-fifth thinner than the old model."
The display itself 2,560-by-1,600 pixels — "four times the number of pixels of the previous generation — that makes it the world's second-highest resolution notebook computer" he said, adding that "our 15-inch" MacBook Pro with Retina display "is the first."
As NBC's Technology & Science editor Wilson Rothman wrote, "Consider that the average HDTV has a 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution. This means that the new MacBook Pro has almost double the pixels of an HDTV."
The Retina display will bring a "29 percent higher contrast ratio, and a 75 percent reduction in reflection or glare," said Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing.
Apple calls its Retina display by that name because its high resolution and pixel density of more than 300 pixels per inch creates a display so realistic that the human eye can't distinguish individual pixels at a normal viewing distance.
The 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display was introduced in June.
The new 13-inch model has 7 hours of battery life, Schiller said, and the new "Power Nap" feature lets the MacBook Pro with Retina display do software updates when it's plugged in, as well as back up the computer using Time Machine.