Business professionals purchasing new 15" MacBook Pro laptops with Retina displays will receive a new upgrade: a Force Touch trackpad. Other new refreshes Apple announced include faster flash storage, improved battery life, and improved graphics performance for 15" MacBook Pros, plus a new $1,999 configuration for a 27" iMac with Retina 5K display. The company also announced a lower price—$2,299—for its high-end iMac with Retina 5K display.
One of several new Mac updates, the Force Touch Taptic Engine adds haptic feedback to 15" MacBook Pro with Retina 5K models. The feature's importance shouldn't be overlooked. The technology senses the pressure the user applies to the trackpad. Similar to the haptic technology that the Apple Watch leverages when changing Faces, for example, the haptic feedback helps confirm when a click is more than a simple selection based on additional pressure being applied. The technology makes it possible to simply press harder on a link to, for example, open a street address within a map or perform other actions. Apple is making the Taptic Engine API available to third-party developers, so expect to see more gestures and functionality begin operating in an increasing number of applications.
The 15" MacBook Pro with Retina 5K models now have 2.5x faster flash storage. Further demonstrating Apple's commitment to making the laptop a top performer, the company also upgraded its Retina discrete graphics. Apple claims up to 80% video performance improvement, thanks to using new AMD Radeon R9 M370X chips. Battery operation has also been tweaked, enabling up to 9 hours of life wirelessly surfing the web.
The high-end laptop wasn't the only model that got a boost. A new $1,999 27" iMac with Retina 5K display boasts a 3.3 GHz Intel Core i5 quad-core CPU, AMD graphics, and a display supporting a 5120 x 2880 14.7-million pixel resolution. The machine also packs 8 GB RAM and 1 TB of storage. The systems can be upgraded to hold up to 3 TB and 32 GB RAM, if necessary.
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Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president of Eckel Media Corp., a communications company specializing in public relations and technical authoring projects.