Apple MacBook Pro with 15-inch Retina display coming soon: report

Apple MacBook Pro

Apple plans to release an updated 15-inch MacBook Pro laptop with a high-resolution “Retina” display, according to a report from 9to5Mac. The upgraded MacBook Pro is also said to sport a new “ultra-thin” design, and a variety of top-shelf hardware.

“Trusted sources in Apple’s supply chain” tell 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman — a regular source of Apple rumors — that the next-generation MacBook Pro will not have the same design as early model MacBook Airs, as has been speculated. Instead it will have a “thinner” design than previous MacBook Pro models, but still be “more robust” than the MacBook Air.

The most notable external feature will, of course, be the Retina display, which one of Gurman’s sources describes as “jaw dropping.” Other sources say that users will be able to adjust the resolution of their Retina MacBook Pro so the icons, windows, and other graphical features of OS X will appear to their liking.

Apple’s Retina display most recently made its way onto the new iPad, measuring 9.7 inches, with a 2048×1536 resolution. The Retina display also comes on the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S.

Other alleged upgrades include the arrival of USB 3.0 ports, which allow for data transfer speeds of up to 5Gbps. Thunderbolt ports, an SD card slot, and other USB ports will also reportedly make an appearance. (No surprise there.)

In addition to Gurman’s sources, a pair of benchmark results from Geekbench have leaked onto MacRumors. One, entitled “MacBook Pro9,1,” indicates that at least one new MacBook Pro model will come loaded with Intel’s 2.70 GHz, quad-core Ivy Bridge Core i7 processor, and 8GB of RAM. Another benchmark test indicates that the next version of the 27-inch iMac will come loaded with an Ivy Bridge Core i7 quad-core processor running at 3.40 GHz.

At least the new MacBook Pro model is expected to be released sometime this summer, following Apple’s 2012 Worldwide Developers Conference, which takes place during the middle of June.

Pictured: 2011 MacBook Pro, 17-inch