Review: Apple's 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
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Software and wrap-up
As mentioned before, Apple's applications, including iTunes, Mail, and Final Cut Pro X, are all optimized for the Retina display and look great. All new Macs also come with the iLife suite, which includes iPhoto, iMovie and GarageBand.
The MacBook Pro with Retina display also comes with Mountain Lion, Apple's latest Mac operating system. New features in Mountain Lion take advantage of the latest hardware in the MacBook Pro, including AirPlay Mirroring to a networked Apple TV driven by the Ivy Bridge processor, and voice dictation aided by the noise-canceling microphone.
In all, the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display is a compelling package. Anyone considering a high-end notebook should absolutely give it a closer look. But that doesn't mean it's for everybody.
While the cost of the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro was tough to swallow, it's an even more difficult sell with the 13-inch variety. The lack of a dedicated graphics card, coupled with no options for a quad-core processor or more than 8 gigabytes of RAM, make the 13-inch Pro a lesser value than the 15-inch model.
However, the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display does accomplish more than enough to justify its existence and superiority over the legacy 13-inch model, even if it has a harder time justifying its premium price than the 15-inch Retina. It's a well crafted machine with a beautiful display and ample components that make it deserving of its "Pro" title, and the new king of 13-inch notebooks.
Score: 4 out of 5
- Thin unibody design
- Retina display is gorgeous
- Strong battery life, fast flash-based performance
- Plethora of ports, including two Thunderbolts and HDMI
- Does not have a dedicated GPU
- Can't add more than 8GB of RAM or quad-core CPU
How to save when buying
On Topic: MacBook Pro
- Apple to adopt AMD's new Polaris graphics chips in upcoming Macs - report
- Rumor: Ultrathin MacBook update coming in second half of 2016, will feature redesigned hinge
- Macs may go even longer between revamps as Intel kills tick-tock
- MacBook stocks dwindle as rumor pegs new 13" & 15" models for second quarter 2016 launch
- Apple's 2010 15- & 17-inch MacBook Pros, 2009 Xserve become 'vintage'