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Hands On with Apple's New 13-Inch Retina MacBook Pro

Following the introduction of the new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro at its media event, Apple invited attendees to spend some time with the machine. Overall, the early hands-on impressions are favorable, with the reduction in thickness and weight making a significant difference for professionals on the go, but the high price tag associated with the Retina display and solid-state storage mean that it likely won't quite be able to inherit the non-Retina model's popularity just yet.

Engadget:
For starters, it's wildly thin. No, not manilla envelope thin, but thin enough to slip into most briefcases and backpacks without the consumer even noticing. Outside of that, it's mostly a shrunken version of the 15-incher let loose over the summer. The unibody design is as tight as ever, with the fit and finish continuing to impress. In my estimation, this is Apple's most deliberate move yet to differentiate the 13-inch MacBook Pro from the 13-inch MacBook Air.

TechCrunch:
It’s clear that Apple wants this new version of its top-performer to take over as a product that redefines the laptop category, and judging by limited hands-on experience, there’s good reason to believe they’ll eventually get their wish, though not just yet. [..]

As for how it performed, it was very much like using the 15-inch rMBP, which is my main machine currently. In the hand, however, it feels significantly lighter, at about a pound lighter than the bigger model. That’s a big difference for a machine you carry around with you all day, and alone might sway some users, price considerations aside.
SlashGear:
Freshly announced today, and falling under our eager fingers straight after Apple’s San Jose launch event, the new notebook follows the successful route of its bigger brother. Gone is the optical drive, in comes the super-high-resolution screen, and wide open pop our wallets.

The screen size may be smaller – and lower resolution, too, at 2560 x 1600, though for an overall higher pixel density of 227ppi – but actually the 13-inch model is slightly thicker, at 0.75-inches. In contrast, the 15-inch Retina version is 0.71-inches thick. You don’t really notice the difference, however, and the advantage in weight, with near a full pound dropped, more than makes up for it.
The Verge:
The resolution settings for the display are just like the larger MacBook Pro — but the maximum allowed resolution is 1680 x 1050, unlike the 1920 x 1080 setting offered on the 15-inch model. Still, 1680 x 1050 is a tremendous option on a display of this size, though at the "best for Retina" setting the screen offers an effective 1280 x 800. If you've been using a 15-inch MacBook Pro for the screen size, the 13-inch just got a ton more attractive.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)

20 months ago
Well, I'm sure I'll be attacked for this, but I'm gonna say it anyway:

Tiny harddrive, barely enough RAM (and not upgradable to the "enough" level), no dedicated graphics, only dual-core processors. It certainly isn't bad, but Apple just took the "pro" out of the 13" line. And come on - it's freaking expensive. If you upgrade the SSD to 512gb and get an i7 (still dual-core - WTF?) processor, it's only 99$ cheaper than the mid-level 15" rMBP, which packs a heck of a lot more power. What gives???

the 13" is NOT a pro device in my opinion. It's more like a beefed-up and slightly heavier Macbook Air. For that, it just costs way too much.
Rating: 43 Positives
20 months ago
They should add this sticker next to the keyboard:

WARNING!

Intel HD Graphics Inside. Avoid scrolling, zooming, dragging windows and other graphically intensive activities.
Rating: 35 Positives
20 months ago
With no discrete graphics card, what differentiates this from a MacBook Air [if they were to drop a Retina display in it?] :confused:
Rating: 22 Positives
20 months ago
In my opinion, the price isn't justified, especially considering the HD4000 graphics.
Rating: 19 Positives
20 months ago

There are 329 reasons for the AAPL drop...


I'd say 30 reasons, the first 299 would have been fine, the extra 30 are just greedy
Rating: 10 Positives
20 months ago

Apple Inc.'s shares are down 1.8 percent to $622.34 in afternoon trading. The stock is down 12 percent from the all-time high of $705.07 touched on Sept. 21.
:(


If I was a shareholder then I'd be worried after seeing that keynote.
Rating: 9 Positives
20 months ago

They should add this sticker next to the keyboard:

WARNING!

Intel HD Graphics Inside. Avoid scrolling, zooming, dragging windows and other graphically intensive activities.


Tell me, have you ever used a 30" ACD connected to a MacBook since the switch to MiniDisplay Port in 2008 ? Because I've not had any issues with running 2560x1600 pixels on integrated graphics before...
Rating: 8 Positives
20 months ago

Love my 15" rMBP.

What's up with AAPL?


There are 329 reasons for the AAPL drop...
Rating: 7 Positives
20 months ago

They should add this sticker next to the keyboard:

WARNING!

Intel HD Graphics Inside. Avoid scrolling, zooming, dragging windows and other graphically intensive activities.


This. Intel HD integrated graphics = PASS.

For this price, I refuse to invest in another Intel chip as they try to figure out how to get their act together and make a GPU worth a damn. Oh yeah, and it is now driving a higher resolution screen which means it is taxed even more than regular leaving even LESS performance left on the table.

I will wait until official benchmarks are out but it isn't looking like too good of a deal as of right now.
Rating: 6 Positives
20 months ago

If I was a shareholder then I'd be worried after seeing that keynote.


I am a share holder and I'm not worried.

After every keynote, the people here moan about how Apple sucks, their products are under spec'd, the technology they using is old, etc.

But then the following quarter, we get the numbers and find out that Apple had another record earnings.

Seeing Apple stock drop, really doesn't mean much to me (but then again I bought before the split at $14 a share). I remember a decade ago when Steve Jobs blasted Wall Street speculators for causing Apple's stock to drop, even after they reported decent earnings.
Rating: 6 Positives

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