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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

June 11, 2012 at 10:19 AM

Apple gives Macs latest Intel chips, high-res Pro laptop

Apple just announced that its Macs are getting the latest Intel processors, the third-generation Core series that Intel announced last week during the PC-focused Computex conference in Taipei.

With dozens of new Windows PCs coming to market this year with Windows 8, Apple upped the competition a bit in the post-PC era by also announcing a new MacBook Pro (shown) with a thinner case and Retina Display technology. It starts at $2,199.

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Apple laptops are also getting USB 3.0, which is becoming a PC standard. The new MacBook Pro doesn’t have Ethernet or FireWire jacks, though; instead Apple’s offering dongles to connect those cables via its optical Thunderbolt ports.

These are nice upgrades to the trend-setting MacBook Air especially, which now starts at $999. But don’t stop the presses just yet.

UPDATE: As previewed by Tim Cook a few weeks ago, Apple’s integrating Facebook into the new version of its mobile operating system, iOS 6, surfacing today and releasing this fall. The Siri voice assistant is coming to the iPad, and Apple’s working with carmakers (other than Microsoft buddy Ford …) to enable Siri to work via an iPhone docked in the vehicle and sync’d with dash controls.

Also being added to the mobile OS is “Passbook,” a sort of wallet for storing loyalty cards and tickets, similar to a feature in Google Wallet that keeps various accounts stored on Android phones.

Apple also unveiled a new mapping system with navigation and location information. It was built in-house, to replace the Google maps the company has been using on its devices.

(I’m not attending Apple’s event at its developer conference in San Francisco but am watching some of the live blogs.)

Comments | Topics: Apple, Gadgets & products, iPad

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