Apple's newest laptop is the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro.
While it's another gorgeous piece of hardware from Apple, it's not a laptop you should buy.
The best thing about the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro is the design. It's like a Victoria's Secret model: beautiful, thin, and light.
And like dating a Victoria's Secret model, you're going to be paying a high price for something that's probably not really worth it.
Before I get too deep into a tangled metaphor about dating a model, let me put it simply: i t's hard to figure out who Apple has in mind for an expensive professional laptop with no DVD-drive and sub-par specs.
The baseline 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro retails for $1699 and that gets you a 2560-by-1600 native resolution at 227 pixels per inch. That means the Retina MacBook Pro has a better resolution than your big screen HDTV.
While this is an impressive feat, many apps that the professionals use, like Photoshop for example, haven't yet been optimized for the Retina display, leaving you with a choppy experience that is almost too hard to look at.
Other specs for the base model include a 2.5GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, a 128GB solid state drive, Intel HD Graphics, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0.
Connectivity includes two of Apple's Thunderbolt ports, two USB 3 ports, a SDXC card slot, a full-sized HDMI port, a headphone jack, and Apple's new MagSafe 2 charging port (which renders all of your older charges useless without an adapter).
Physically, the 13-inch Retina is 0.75-inches high, 12.35-inches wide, 8.62-inches deep, and weighs 3.57 pounds.
When you first fire up the laptop you'll immediately notice how sharp and precise the Retina screen is. If you aren't used to a Retina display you'll see that e verything looks clear and frankly better.
Using the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro isn't too different from any other Apple Laptop experience.
The 13-inch Retina comes with Apple's latest operating system, Mountain Lion.
The keyboard feels good to type on and is backlit; the trackpad is precise; and battery life is long (7 hours), just as Apple promised.
Should You Buy It?
The Retina MacBook Pro was supposed to be the "it" computer, unfortunately it isn't.
For consumers that need power in a small package, they'll be able to get away with the regular MacBook Pro. It's much cheaper, starting at $1199, only a pound heavier, uses the same processor, and if you need extra RAM, you won't break the bank.
The Retina's thickness isn't that drastically different from the regular Pro either. The Retina is 0.75-inches deep, while the regular Pro is 0.95-inches.
If you need a true professional machine, I would recommend the 15-inch Retina. You get more screen real estate, a quad-core processor, more storage, and the option to add up to 16GB of RAM. The 15-inch Retina is the real powerhouse.
Perhaps one day the Retina MacBooks will be the only MacBooks, but right now the 13-inch Retina feels out of place.
Sure the screen looks great, and the computer is lighter than a full-sized MacBook Pro, but there isn't really any reason to spring for the 13-inch Retina when the MacBook Air is lighter and cheaper, and the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro is more powerful.
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