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Review

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.

Retina Display MacBook Pro


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



4-stars


The Good


  • Thin unibody design
  • Retina display is gorgeous
  • Strong battery life, fast flash-based performance
  • Plethora of ports, including two Thunderbolts and HDMI

The Bad


  • Price
  • Does not have a dedicated GPU
  • Can't add more than 8GB of RAM or quad-core CPU


How to save when buying



MacBook Pro
13" MacBook Pros w/...
Amazon MacMall B&H Photo & Video OnSale.com Adorama
Discount
2.5GHz 13" (4GB/500GB HDD) $914.99 $1,043.99 $1,019.00+ $1,044.99 $999.00 ! $184.01
MacBook Pro
13" MacBook Pros (20...
Amazon MacMall B&H Photo & Video OnSale.com Adorama
Discount
2.7GHz 13" (8GB, 128GB) $1,299.00 $1,205.39* $1,229.99+ $1,234.99 $1,229.99 ! $93.61
2.7GHz 13" (8GB, 256GB) $1,499.00 $1,396.49* $1,399.00+ $1,349.99 $1,424.00 ! $103.51
2.7GHz 13" (16GB, 128GB) n/a $1,444.52* place order+ n/a $1,474.00 ! $54.48
2.7GHz 13" (16GB, 256GB) n/a $1,656.19* $1,689.99+ n/a $1,689.99 ! $42.81
2.9GHz 13" (8GB, 128GB) n/a n/a place order+ n/a $1,384.99 ! $14.01
2.9GHz 13" (8GB, 256GB) n/a n/a $1,589.99+ n/a $1,589.99 ! $9.01
2.9GHz 13" (8GB, 512GB) $1,799.00 $1,665.99* $1,699.99+ $1,709.99 place order! $133.01
2.9GHz 13" (8GB, 1TB) n/a $2,234.39* $2,279.99+ n/a $2,279.99 ! $64.61
2.9GHz 13" (16GB, 128GB) n/a $1,562.12* place order+ n/a $1,589.99 ! $36.88
2.9GHz 13" (16GB, 256GB) n/a $1,754.19* $1,789.99+ n/a $1,789.99 ! $44.81
2.9GHz 13" (16GB, 512GB) n/a $1,940.39* $1,979.99+ n/a place order ! $58.61
2.9GHz 13" (16GB, 1TB) n/a n/a place order+ n/a $2,479.99 ! $19.01
3.1GHz 13" (8GB, 128GB) n/a $1,567.99* $1,599.00+ n/a $1,579.99 ! $31.01
3.1GHz 13" (8GB, 256GB) n/a place order $1,699.99+ n/a place order ! $99.01
3.1GHz 13" (8GB, 512GB) n/a $1,945.29* $1,984.99+ n/a $1,984.99 ! $53.71
3.1GHz 13" (8GB, 1TB) n/a n/a $2,479.99+ n/a $2,459.99 ! $39.01
3.1GHz 13" (16GB, 128GB) n/a n/a $1,799.00+ n/a $1,779.99 ! $19.01
3.1GHz 13" (16GB, 256GB) n/a $1,842.39* $1,879.99+ n/a $1,879.99 ! $56.61
3.1GHz 13" (16GB, 512GB) n/a $2,136.39* $2,179.99+ n/a $2,179.99 ! $62.61
3.1GHz 13" (16GB, 1TB) n/a $2,616.59* $2,669.99+ n/a $2,669.99 ! $82.41
* Price with MacMall Promo Code APPLEINSIDER01
+ No sales tax collected on orders shipped outside NY.
! Price & purchase after free registration to Adorama's VIP customer program (includes Free LG Super Drive).
MacBook Pro
13" MacBook Pros (2014)
Amazon MacMall B&H Photo & Video OnSale.com Adorama Discount
2.6GHz 13" (8GB, 128GB) $1,228.00 sold out $1,149.00+ sold out sold out $150.00
2.6GHz 13" (8GB, 256GB) $1,349.99 sold out $1,349.00+ sold out $1,229.00 ! $270.00
2.6GHz 13" (16GB, 128GB) n/a sold out n/a n/a $1,399.99 ! $99.01
2.6GHz 13" (16GB, 256GB) n/a sold out sold out n/a $1,499.99 ! $200.01
2.8GHz 13" (8GB, 256GB) n/a sold out sold out n/a $1,569.00 ! $30.00
2.8GHz 13" (8GB, 512GB) $1,569.99 sold out $1,469.00+ sold out $1,499.00 ! $330.00
2.8GHz 13" (16GB, 512GB) n/a sold out sold out n/a $1,889.99 ! $109.01
2.8GHz 13" (16GB, 1TB) n/a sold out sold out n/a $2,379.99 ! $119.01
3.0GHz 13" (8GB, 128GB) n/a sold out sold out n/a $1,499.99 ! $99.02
3.0GHz 13" (8GB, 256GB) n/a sold out sold out n/a $1,699.99 ! $99.01
3.0GHz 13" (8GB, 512GB) n/a sold out sold out n/a $1,879.99 ! $119.01
3.0GHz 13" (8GB, 1TB) n/a sold out sold out n/a $2,399.99 ! $99.01
3.0GHz 13" (16GB, 128GB) n/a sold out n/a n/a $1,699.99 ! $99.01
3.0GHz 13" (16GB, 256GB) n/a sold out sold out n/a $1,899.99 ! $99.01
3.0GHz 13" (16GB, 512GB) n/a sold out sold out n/a $2,069.00 ! $130.00
3.0GHz 13" (16GB, 1TB) n/a sold out sold out n/a $2,519.99 ! $179.01
2.4GHz 13" (4GB,128GB) $1,199.99 $949.00# sold out $349.01
2.4GHz 13" (8GB, 256GB) $1,399.00 sold out sold out $100.00
+ No sales tax collected on orders shipped outside NY.
# Price after MacMall's instant discount and mail-in-rebates.
! Price & purchase after free registration to Adorama's VIP customer program.
15" MacBook Pros (20...
Amazon MacMall B&H Photo & Video OnSale.com Adorama
Discount
2.2GHz 15" (16GB, 256GB) $1,819.00 $1,861.99* $1,819.00+ $1,899.99 $1,899.99 ! $180.00
2.2GHz 15" (16GB, 512GB) n/a yet $2,204.02* place order n/a yet $2,289.99 ! $94.98
2.2GHz 15" (16GB, 1TB) n/a yet $2,694.02* place order n/a yet $2,789.99 ! $104.98
2.5GHz 15" (16GB, 256GB) n/a yet $2,008.02* $2,099.00+ n/a yet $2,089.99 ! $90.98
2.5GHz 15" (16GB, 512GB) n/a yet $2,292.22* $2,349.00+ n/a yet place order ! $106.78
2.5GHz 15" (16GB, 1TB) n/a yet $2,792.02* $2,849.00+ n/a yet $2,889.00 ! $106.98
2.5GHz 15" (16GB, 512GB, M370X) $2,274.00 $2,327.49* $2,274.00+ $2,374.99 $2,374.99 ! $225.00
2.5GHz 15" (16GB, 1TB, M370X) n/a yet $2,880.22* $2,949.00+ n/a yet $2,939.00 ! $118.78
2.8GHz 15" (16GB, 256GB) n/a yet n/a $2,249.00+ n/a yet $2,289.00 ! $50.00
2.8GHz 15" (16GB, 512GB) n/a yet $2,498.02* $2,599.00+ n/a yet $2,589.00 ! $100.98
2.8GHz 15" (16GB, 512GB, M370X) n/a yet $2,596.02* $2,649.00+ n/a yet $2,679.00 ! $102.98
2.8GHz 15" (16GB, 1TB) n/a yet $2,978.22* $2,999.00+ n/a yet $3,089.00 ! $120.78
2.8GHz 15" (16GB, 1TB, M370X) n/a yet $3,086.02* $3,179.00+ n/a yet $3,179.00 ! $112.98
* Price with MacMall Promo Code APPLEINSIDER01
+ No sales tax collected on orders shipped outside NY.
! Price & purchase after free registration to Adorama's VIP customer program.
MacBook Pro (mid-2014)
15" MacBook Pros (2014)
Amazon MacMall B&H Photo & Video OnSale.com Adorama
Discount
2.2GHz 15" (16GB, 256GB) sold out sold out sold out $1,799.99 sold out $200.00
2.2GHz 15" (16GB, 512GB) n/a sold out n/a n/a $2,239.00 ! $60.00
2.2GHz 15" (16GB, 1TB) n/a sold out n/a n/a $2,619.99 ! $179.01
2.5GHz 15" (16GB, 512GB, 750M) $2,388.00 sold out $1,999.00+ n/a $1,999.99 ! $500.00
2.5GHz 15" (16GB, 1TB, 750M) n/a sold out sold out n/a $2,799.99 ! $199.01
2.8GHz 15" (16GB, 256GB) n/a sold out sold out n/a $2,199.99 ! $100.00
2.8GHz 15" (16GB, 512GB, 750M) n/a sold out sold out n/a $2,599.00 ! $100.00
2.8GHz 15" (16GB, 1TB) n/a sold out sold out n/a $2,949.00 ! $150.00
2.8GHz 15" (16GB, 1TB, 750M) n/a sold out $2,699.00+ n/a $2,949.00 ! $500.00
! Price & purchase after free registration to Adorama's VIP customer program.
+ No sales tax collected on orders shipped outside NY.