Apple's just updated its top of the line MacBook Pro with Retina display lineup with speedier chips, right in the middle of the back to school season. New today are three updated 13-inch models, and two 15-inch notebooks that have Intel's newest i5 and i7 Haswell processors. The entry-level 13-inch model now comes with a 2.6 Intel Core i5 chip and 8GB of memory instead of the 2.4GHz Core i5 chip, and 4GB of memory Apple was offering yesterday. Apple's also made a change on the entry-level 15-inch model, bumping the memory up to 16GB from 8GB and the processor from 2.0GHz to 2.2GHz.
Unlike its recent price cut across its MacBook Air line, Apple's mostly stuck with the same pricing for the MacBook Pro with Retina display, starting at $1,299 for the 13-inch model and $1,999 for the 15-inch model. However, the more expensive 15-inch model, which comes with discrete graphics, has dropped from $2,599 to $2,499. Although unaffected by today's spec bump, the standard 13-inch Macbook Pro without Retina display saw a price cut: it's now $1,099, down from $1,199.
The last change to the Retina line of MacBook Pros was last October. That update shaved size and weight from the 13-inch model, and added Intel Haswell processors and Iris graphics chips to both models. Apple also added 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Thunderbolt 2 ports, and faster PCIe flash storage. Today's changes leaked out over the weekend thanks to an in-store iPad display, purportedly from one of Apple's retail stores in China.
The new models come a few months ahead of the next major version of Mac OS X Yosemite, which Apple opened up to one million beta testers last week, and in the middle of its back to school promotion, which runs through September 9th. That software will be a free upgrade to users when it's released in the fall, and brings a new look, an expanded notification center with widgets, and interplay with iOS devices to let users hand off what they're doing from one device to the other — including phone calls and SMS messages.
Aaron Souppouris contributed to this article.