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Retina 13in: The nearly perfect MacBook


MG Siegler writes glowingly about the new 13in retina MacBook Pro and calls it the “near perfect MacBook”:

You’ll have to decide if the retina display, slimmer design, and one pound less of bulk is worth an extra $500 to you (the non-retina MacBook Pros start at $1,199). I think it’s a no-brainer. This device alongside the iPad mini are the new standards in my bag.

He makes a good case. As regular readers will know, I dithered over the 15in retina model last year when it was announced; eventually, though, I bought another 11in MacBook Air simply because of its size and weight. The 13in retina Pro raises the stakes and gets me wondering again: It isn’t much heavier than the 13in MacBook Air and is actually not quite as wide. If I had to make a choice between the two 13in computers I the retina Pro would definitely win.

I have only one reservation when considering the 13in retina Pro against the 15in model. That is the 8GB ceiling on RAM that Apple have imposed on the smaller-screened Pro. Sure, the 13inchers have the slower i5 processors, but I am not too concerned about that. I do believe in maximising memory because lots of memory and a fast solid-state disk are the two most significant ways of boosting everyday performance.

If we could have the faster processors and the ability to boost RAM to 16GB, I do believe the 13in Retina would be the perfect MacBook, no nearly about it. We will have to wait until next year.

UPDATE: The i7 processor is available as an upgrade. Sorry about the misinformation above.

by Mike Evans, 19 November 2012