The new Mac Pro: First impressions

Macworld by Dan Frakes & Jason Snell

The new Mac Pro is here! Well, not everywhere, exactly—Apple’s shipping them out starting Dec. 19, but orders are already backlogged into February. We were fortunate to get our hands on an eight-core model (retail price of our configuration, complete with RAM, GPU, and SSD upgrades: a whopping $6799) today; it’s currently in the Macworld Lab undergoing as many tests as we can throw at it. In the meantime, here are our first impressions based on opening the box and seeing the thing in person for the first time since the few minutes we spent with it in June.

It’s not black. The color of the Mac Pro’s enclosure is a lot lighter than you’d expect. Apple’s PR videos and images make it look like a dark, metallic gray—almost black. But it’s much closer in color to the new Space Gray finish of Apple’s current iOS devices. In fact, as you can see in our first-look slideshow, when a bright light or sunlight is reflecting off of it, the Mac Pro looks downright silvery.

It’s small and light(ish). OK, so we knew it was going to be small, but when you see it in person—and especially if you’re used to using one of the previous Mac Pro models—its diminutive profile is even more suprising. Rather than a ginormous tower that sits under your desk, this is clearly meant to be something you keep on your desk. (Apple reps told us directly that the company considers this a device for the desk, not to be hidden away on the floor.)

And the “handle” (such as it is, it’s actually just a grabbable rim around the entire circular top of the enclosure) is both convenient and comfortable to use. We may never forget the hand-slicing “handles” of the previous Mac Pro cases, but this will help us recover from them. read more...

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