updated 06:00 pm EDT, Tue July 10, 2012
Bolsters rumors of a Retina display release in fall
Rumors that Apple may release a 13-inch MacBook Pro model with a Retina display got a boost when unverified benchmarks of an unreleased MacBook Pro model running an unreleased build of Mountain Lion turned up in logs for the benchmarking tool Geekbench. The unverified report follows another sighting of such a model on the Mini Battery Logger website with matching specs testing a new battery.
Even taken together and believed to be true, the sightings don't necessarily portend a 13-inch Retina MBP. Apple routinely tests prototypes and devices that may never reach market, but the fact that both reports from two different sites at different times show an identifier of "MacBookPro10,2" would suggest that the notebook is in an advanced stage of testing.
The Geekbench data was noted on June 29, and showed a MacBook Pro with the 10,2 identifier running OS X 10.8 Build 12A2056, according to AppleInsider. The unit was running an Intel Core i7 Ivy Bridge processor clocked at 2.9GHz. The current and recently-upgraded 13-inch MacBook Pro is also available with the 2.9GHz Core i7, and the Geekbench results for the unidentified unit (7,806) roughly match results gathered by Primate Labs through testing of the latest available models (7,841 for the similarly-equipped current 13-inch). The speed is not as high as the score gained by the top-of-the-line 15-inch MacBook Pros (which cracked scores at or near 12,000 in testing) but is a significant improvement on the 6,000-ish score of the 2011 MacBook Pros.
Reports and speculation have claimed for some time that Apple plans to release a 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro sometime in the third fiscal quarter of the year (most reports claim September or October), or possibly in time to catch the "back-to-school" buying season in late August. Such a device would undoubtedly be popular with students, providing Retina display quality at a lower price than the only current Retina Mac, the 15-inch MacBook Pro which starts at $2,200.
The latest MacBook Pro 13-inch carries a 9,2 identifier, with the current non-Retina 15-inch referred to as the 9,1 and the Retina 15-inch as 10,1. [via AppleInsider, data via Primate Labs]