We saw a lot a new things at Apple’s recent “special” event, and one of them is the brand new 13-inch MacBook Pro which his been knighted with an all new Retina display which we first saw back in the summer on the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro. The new MacBook should put itself well ahead of the more popular MacBook Air. As per the next generation regulations, there are also more powerful updated specs. So, let’s see how this this new MacBook Pro looks with that beautiful Retina Display.
Design & Build
The new MacBook Pro has a much thinner design, like the one we have seen before. As usual Apple has gotten rid of legacy technologies like the optical drive, and the FireWire 800 ports and Ethernet port. As an added bonus for the lost ports there’s an extra Thunderbolt port, and the usual SD card slot, 3.5mm jack and USB 3.0 ports. There is obviously that new, less annoying and thinner, MagSafe 2 charging port and HDMI port, which is a second for MacBook Pros, after the 15-inch Retina. The 13-inch MacBook Pro now has speaker grills on the sides of the device instead of flanking the keyboard, like on traditional laptops. The MacBook itself is super slim and 20 percent thinner, than the predecessor, at 1.9cm (0.75 inches) making it almost as thin as the MacBook Air which is 1.7cm (0.68 inches) at its thickest point. The new MacBook Pro is also the lightest MacBook Pro at 3.57 pounds making it super portable and simple to hold. The display’s thickness has also been slimmed down to make the entire package even thinner. The newer fans blow out heat through the speaker grills (or vents). While this new MacBook pro is very thin it’s a little chubbier than its 15-inhc sibling which is 1.8cm (0.71-inches), this was done because there was just way to much to fit into this small framed Mac. This new MacBook Pro is really compact, and that is one of the biggest things that stands out about it, other than the Retina Display.
This is the main part of the entire next generation MacBook Pro line, the Retina Display. This display is hands down the most gorgeous on you will ever find anywhere. That extremely high resolution, of 2560×1600, is matched only by the massive 27-inch iMac and its Windows counterparts, making this a statement housed in this tiny 13-inch chassis. The 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro has a pixel density of 232 PPI (higher than the big brother’s 226 PPI) which is perfect for the average viewing distance of a laptop. As usual Apple has also made a bunch of new upgrades to the display panel to go with that gorgeous resolution.
This resolution is matched only by the that of 27-inch displays
There’s a newer panel with 75 percent less glare thanks to the removal of one of the glass panels in the display, making a tad more vulnerable in that area. The contrast ratio of the display is also up 29 percent from the previous. All these modifications add up to a much better viewing experience with richer colors, less glare and, of course, those indistinguishable pixels. The MacBook Pro Retina has an effective resolution of 1280×800, and not the full 2560×1600 resolution. So, basically 4 pixels act as a single pixel, resulting in super smooth picture and text. If you like to fit more on the 13-inch display you can scale up the effective resolution of 1680×1050 which will give you the screen real estate of a 15-inch MacBook, but it’s a little sad that there’s no 1920×1080 (1080p) option. If you have been using a 15-inch for the extra screen real-estate, you should really take a look at this. I should I also mention that they finally brought over an IPS panel with 178° viewing angles and a 300 nit brightness.
The new MacBook Pro is also christened with some hardware upgrades to replace the older legacy technology. First the spinning hard drive has been replaced by SSDs with up to 768GB of storage, starting at 128GB on the base. The storage upgrades are quite expensive at $300 for 256GB, $800 for 512GB, and $1,300 for 768GB. The processors are roughly the same as the non-retina models with slightly higher clock speeds. The available processors are 2.5 GHz dual-core Core i5 (Turbo boost up to 3.1 GHz) chips with an upgrade to a dual-core 2.9 GHz Core i7 (Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz) chip for an extra $200. The processors are dual-core hyper threaded to result into a virtual quad core chip. Apple has, disappointedly, omitted discrete graphics for the Retina Display and has decided to use the integrated Intel HD 4000 graphics which wouldn’t exactly be my first choice to run Final Cut Pro X on a Retina resolution. Considering that this graphics solutions usually stutters with basic graphics programs, but weirdly The Verge only hit 50 percent CPU utilization when they played a 1080p Iron Man 3 trailer while simultaneously playing back a multitrack GarageBand file and scrolling around a 21-megapixel RAW file in Aperture.
The integrated HD 4000 graphics seem to hold up well with intense tasks
We still need to review it first and put it through its paces to see if those integrated graphics will hold up. The RAM here maxes out at 8GB with no 16GB option, but we’ll probably have it soon when 3rd party manufacturers get there hands on it. The I/O is blazing with 10Gbps Thunderbolt, and a 5Gbps USB 3.0 interface. There’s an SD card slot too. There’s a usual 720p HD FaceTime camera, and new dual mics for FaceTime and voice dictation. There’s also 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0, but I would expect Apple to step it up to 802.11ac soon.The speakers are much improved, partly thanks to the speaker grills/cooling vents. There’s still that world class chiclet-style keyboard and beautiful glass, multitouch trackpad. Even with all the new toys the battery life still holds up with a 7-hour battery life.
You will be able to pick up the new Retina MacBook Pro in two configurations; one for $1,699 with 128GB and another for $1,999 with 256GB. The new MacBook Pro 13-inch with Retina is a truly amazing laptop which definitely rests ahead of the pack of new Windows 8 Ultrabooks which start at around $1,600. The Retina display is truly an amazing piece of hardware which almost justifies the extra $300, but it looks like Apple has taken full advantage of the low power chip which put it over the top. The MacBook Pro with Retina display is shipping today, so you can snag yours now. This is the perfect Mac for a professional looking for a powerful and compact device with a decent price tag.