Feeds
75%
Apple MacBook Pro 13in with Retina display

Apple MacBook Pro 13in Retina display review

Exorbitant eye candy, anyone?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Pass the port

Battery life was a pleasant surprise. I’d thought that the Retina display might give the battery a hard time, but the intensive PowerMark 11 test squeezed a full 3hrs 45mins out of the MacBook Pro. It also held out for 4hrs 45mins when using Wi-Fi to stream video off the BBC iPlayer, so you should get close to a full day’s work between charges without too much trouble.

Apple MacBook Pro 13in with Retina display

Visual feast at an eyewatering price

I do have some complaints, though. I can live without the optical drive, but the loss of both Ethernet and Firewire ports on this model is irritating, as I still use both in my office. It does gain HDMI and a second Thunderbolt port, and you have the option of buying Thunderbolt adaptors for both Ethernet and Firewire. They’ll cost you £25 each, though, and with a starting price of £1449 for the base model those adaptors really ought to be included as standard.

And, of course, it’s the pricing that brings everything down to earth with a bump. At £1449, the 13-inch MacBook Pro With Retina Display is £450 more expensive than the standard model – which Apple has kindly kept on sale for the hoi polloi – and that £450 just gets you the Retina display, an extra 4GB RAM and the SSD drive. That strikes me as a pretty hefty premium – especially when you look at the 15in MacBook Pro and see that there’s only a £300 difference between the Retina and non-Retina models, and that the 15-inch model also gets 256GB of solid-state storage.

Verdict

In all fairness, the 13in MacBook Pro with Retina Display is undoubtedly a terrific laptop. It provides good performance and battery life, lightweight design, and a screen that none of its PC rivals can even come close to matching. But at almost £1500 it’s very expensive indeed, and I’d have thought that the professional users who can afford that price would be more likely to opt for the 15in model anyway. It’d be a tempting upgrade at around £1300, but at this price I reckon Apple is pushing its luck. ®

More Notebooks Reviews

Apple
MacBook Air 13in
Apple
MacBook Pro 13in
Ten...
Ultrabooks
Apple
MacBook Pro 15in
Retina Display
Apple
MacBook Air 11in

Intelligent flash storage arrays

75%
Apple MacBook Pro 13in with Retina display

Apple MacBook Pro 13in Retina display review

The Retina display is in a class of its own, but the price will be out of reach for many.
Price: £1499 (128GB SSD); £1699 (256GB SSD) RRP

More from The Register

next story
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Back to the ... drawing board: 'Hoverboard' will disappoint Marty McFly wannabes
Buzzing board (and some future apps) leave a lot to be desired
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.