13 inch Retina Macbook Pro Review

Recently I finally had the chance to try Apple’s 15 inch Macbook Pro, and here’s what I think of it.

Unlike the 15 inch market, the 13 inch market for Apple is extremely crowded. There’s the ultralight Macbook Air starting at about $1200 and the “ultra-heavy” Macbook Pro weighing in at 4.5 Pounds and also starting at $1200. Then there’s the 13 inch Retina Macbook Pro, a weird combination of the both of them that starts at $1700. As regular readers know, my personal computer is a 15 inch Retina Macbook Pro, and my previous mac was a 13 inch macbook pro. So I’ve got experience on both sides.

“So Should I Buy a 13 inch Retina, Standard Macbook Pro, or Macbook Air?”

The 13 inch Retina Macbook Pro is a pound lighter, around 1/5 thinner, and much faster than its’ heavy legacy cousin. And then of course it has the crisp Retina display. There’s really no comparison. The only advantages of the legacy model are price, a disc drive (not a big loss for me because when I need to load disks, I use another computer as a remote disc using Apple’s application), and swappable RAM and hard drive. In my mind there’s very little competition.

When you compare the Retina Macbook Pro to the Macbook air, it’s a far fairer fight, and a harder decision. The Macbook Air is fantastic. It’s 1/2 a pound lighter than the Retina (1.5 pounds lighter than the legacy MBP) for starters, and a hair thinner. It also has an all flash architecture which makes it lightening fast for basic tasks. Where it falls short is where the retina macbook pro excels. Its limited power makes it less suited for creating things (professional video editing, graphics, etc). It’s also got a much lower definition screen, and only an SD slot, thunderbolt port, and USB port for connectivity. The Retina display 13 inch MBP has an SDXC slot, two USB ports, two thunderbolts, and an HDMI for hooking your computer up to a TV.

The 13 inch Retina Macbook pro is very fast, and everything on the Retina Display looks beautiful, but if you’re just looking for a computer to answer emails, write word documents, and browse the web, you’re better off with the Macbook Air and an extra $500 in your pocket.


Michael Sitver

Michael Sitver is a technology insider who has been blogging about technology since 2011. Along the way, he's interviewed founders of innovative startups, and executives from fortune 500 companies, and he's tried dozens or hundreds of gadgets. Michael has also contributed to works featured in Newsday, The San Francisco Chronicle, and the associated press. Michael also occasionally consults, and writes for Seeking Alpha and Yahoo News.

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