When Apple released its newest edition to the MacBook Pro line in October 2012 with the 13-inch MBP with Retina display, the laptop was the second highest resolution notebook. The only computer with a higher resolution is the 15-inch MBP with Retina display. With a reduction in body thickness, the new notebook weighs nearly one-pound less. However, the 13-inch MBP Retina has lost some of the features and ports that MBP users have long considered standard.
The internal portion of the MBP was updated to 768 GB flash storage and comes with a locked in standard 8GB memory. With Intel HD Graphics 4000, the 13.3-inch LED-backlit Retina display is packed with a 2560 by 1600 pixilation. This means the MBP Retina is loaded with more pixels than most HDTVs. The term ‘retina’ stems from the idea that when looking at the screen the viewer would not be able to identify individual pixels, just as the eye sees when not staring at a screen.
The lithium-polymer battery boasts a 74-watt-hour use time and an updated MagSafe 2 power adapter. While the charger interface is different, Apple has released a converter cable so the older MagSafe adapters work.
Noticeably gone features on the MBP Retina include the FireWire 800 port, an Ethernet port, and the optical disc drive. These lost features are manageable when considering the increasingly wireless-driven Internet. While these features may be missed, they are necessary losses that contribute towards the decreased thickness of the computer body. The MBP Retina is 0.20 inch thinner, changed from 0.95 to 0.75 inch, weighing a total 3.57 pounds.
For what Apple has taken away, they have also added to the MBP with Retina display. There is an addition of an extra Thunderbolt port for a total of two – on the left side of the computer body. An HDMI port is also a new feature that pairs well with the higher resolution notebook.
Features that remain the same on the MBP Retina include two oppositely placed USB 3.0 ports, a FaceTime HD camera, and the SDXC card slot.
The newest notebook from Apple does not come cheap. With a base price of $1699 USD, the 13.3-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display could easily reach the $2000 threshold with only a couple upgrades.
If you are looking for a larger screen, try comparing the 13.3-inch MBP with the larger 15-inch version with Retina display. The increased screen real estate will cost about $500 more. A helpful tip for purchasing your Apple computer: if you qualify, use the Apple Education Discount. On laptops it could save you upwards of $100!