Not a Retina MacBook Air, but awfully close
The good: The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display has phenomenal battery life, better-than-average integrated graphics, faster Thunderbolt 2 ports, and a lower price than last year.
The bad: Still expensive if you plan to add more storage or RAM; no extra Nvidia graphics option as on the 15-inch version; yes, it’s thicker and heavier than an Air.
The bottom line: There are other high-res laptops out there, but this year’s more powerful and affordable 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro is one of the best of the bunch, and makes a compelling case for upgrading from the 13-inch Air.
Last year’s 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display was a bit of an odd duck. Yes, it was the Retina Display-equipped 13-inch MacBook everyone had been waiting for, but it wasn’t the powerhouse performer the 15-inch version was, and it cost a lot more than a MacBook Air.
This year it’s back in a more powerful, less expensive package that makes a lot more sense: it’s now a Retina laptop that people can actually afford.
The 13-inch Retina Display MacBook Pro always caught my eye, but its price was originally prohibitive; $1,699 was a steep starting price. A year later, the entry point is $1,299, which, in Apple’s laptop landscape, isn’t so bad at all -- and, in fact, is pretty close to what competitors charge for thin 13-inch laptops with super-high-res screens.
|Apple Macbook Pro 13-inch (October 2013)||Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus||MacBook Air 13-inch (June 2013)|
|Display size/resolution||13.3 -inch, 2,560x1,600 screen||13.3-inch, 3,200x1,800 touch screen||13.3-inch, 1,440x900 screen|
|PC CPU||2.4GHz Intel Core i7-4850HQ||1.6GHz Intel Core i5 4200U||1.3GHz Intel Core i5 4250U|
|PC Memory||8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz||4,096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz||4,096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz|
|Graphics||1GB Intel Iris Graphics||1749MB (shared) Intel HD Graphics 4400||1024MB Intel HD Graphics5000|
|Storage||256GB SSD||128GB SSD hard drive||128GB SSD hard drive|
|Networking||802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 4.0||802.11b/g/n wireless, Bluetooth 4.0||802.11a/c wireless, Bluetooth 4.0|
|Operating system||OS X Mavericks 10.9||Windows 8 (64-bit)||OSX Mountain Lion 10.8.4|
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