Maryann Tobin

The wait for the redesigned 2012 MacBook Pro will soon be over. Apple's new MacBook Pro is scheduled to hit Apple stores in a matter of weeks, in June.

Apple fans are buzzing over the details of the lineup of new upgrades, which are said to include a slimmer body, USB 3.0, and a faster Intel Ivy Bridge processor. But instead of using just the new Intel 400 graphics, the 2012 MacBook Pro is now said to be adding Apple's high resolution retina display.

"Credible reports emanating from Cupertino based Apple suggest that the New MacBook Pro will ditch Ethernet, FireWire and will get retina display. Its release date is expected to be in June during its World Wide Developers Conference 2012," according to nvnews.

Retina display technology debuted on the third generation iPad, which was released in March. A MacBook Pro with a retina display has the potential to confidently move the 2012 MacBook Pro to the head of the class, as far as laptops displays are concerned.

Apple calls its retina technology, "The best display ever on a mobile device." Its deeper color saturation and enhanced resolution has "a million more" pixels than an HDTV, according to Apple.

But PC makers are not going to let Apple take the lead in laptop displays without offering solid competition. The new 4K displays that will be available on PC's with Ivy Bridge will actually double the resolution of the Apple's retina display, with a pixel density of 4096 x 4096.

There is little doubt that Ivy Bridge is going to level the playing field between the new, slimmer 2012 MacBook Pro, and a whole new generation of PC laptops and Ultrabooks. Both PC's and MacBook's will have native USB 3.0, faster processors, longer battery life, and more mobile computing power.

As for physical styling, PC makers looking to compete with Apple computers are definitely moving toward more solid build quality, and sleeker, sexier styles. The ASUS UX31 Ultrabook has been a respectable rival for the ultra-light Macbook line.

PC's still have the edge over Apple when it comes to color. While the MacBook Pro is available only in silver, PC's from Sony, ASUS and Lenovo can now be ordered in pink, red, gold, orange, blue, white, brown, and of course, silver.

There is yet another sign that the new MacBook Pro release date is just around the corner. Apple stores have not been replenishing their inventory of Sandy Bridge MacBook Pro models, making room on their shelves for the much improved 2012 models. Additionally, some online stores are offering current Sandy Bridge MacBook Pro's at a discount, which is generally unheard of with non-refurbished Apple products.

Make no mistake, Ivy Bridge and all that comes with it is a major update for the MacBook Pro and the entire Apple line, as well as for PC's. Even without higher-end optional upgrades, Ivy Bridge driven motherboards have been benchmarked with 10% to 15% faster processing speeds, and up to a 104% improvement in graphics displays.

The changes coming with Ivy Bridge are not only worth waiting for, they may be worth standing in line for, so you can be the first kid on the block to show off your new computer.

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