Apple Takes Orders for New Mac Pro

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Despite the success of the iPhone, iPad and MacBooks, Apple (AAPL) hasn't given up on desktop computers. Instead, it's launched the idea into the 21st century. Beginning Thursday, consumers can order a brand new Mac Pro which looks more like a time capsule than what we've come to know from desktop computers.

The all-new Mac Pro reminds us more of Star Wars' "R2D2" robot rather than the ominous monolith from "2001: A Space Odyssey." It's shape is somewhat reminiscent of the Android logo too. The Pro is cylindrical -- it's only 9.9 inches high, 6.6 inches deep and weighs 11 pounds.

Looking at the specifications, Apple is right using "Pro" in the computer's name.

The base configuration offered provides users with a 3.7 GHz, quad-core Intel (INTC) Xeon E5 processor (with "turbo boost" to 3.9 GHz), 12 GB of super-fast memory, dual Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) FirePro D300 graphics processors (with 2 GB of RAM for each), 256 GB of flash-based storage plus the ability to connect as many as three 4K and six Thunderbolt displays.

There are also four USB 3.0 ports, two Gigabit Ethernet connection, a HDMI 1.4 UltraHD port plus 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.0 wireless.

The next model up offers six-cores of 3.9 GHz Intel Xeon processing power, 16 GB of RAM and dual AMD D500 graphics chips.

Prices start at $2,999 for the base model and $3,999 for the six-core computer. Checking all the boxes on the order page will quickly raise prices to as much as $10,000. And that's without any kind of monitor, keyboard or pointing device.

Consumers can order a new Mac Pro online beginning Thursday. The computers are being assembled in Apple's new facility in Austin, Texas. Apple said it will begin shipping Pros by the end of the month.

-- Written by Gary Krakow in New York.

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