At its annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, Apple this week released the new 15″ MacBook Pro with Retina Display. The new laptop bridges the gap between the existing MacBook Pro line and the MacBook Air line of ultra portables.
The chassis has become significantly thinner at the expense of losing the optical drive and despite the addition of a larger battery the unit is a fair bit lighter than the standard MacBook Pro. In terms of specifications the base model comes with a quad core i7 processor clocked at 2.3GHz which is configurable up to 2.7Ghz. 8GB memory comes as standard and the Pro now comes with solid state storage from 256 to 768GB of space.
USB 3 has finally been added to the Mac line and the laptop also comes with two thunderbolt ports, SD card reader and for the first time in a Mac portable, an HDMI port. The big selling point of this laptop though is of course that very impressive “Retina” display. With a resolution 2880 x 1800 and 220PPI it is by a long way the best screen available right now. All of those pixels are powered by integrated Intel HD 4000 graphics and an NVIDIA Geforce GT 650M GPU when required.
With specs like that and a starting price point of £1799 the new MacBook Pro is definitely targeted at the professional market, specifically photographers and video editors who can take full advantage of the incredible display. The initial stock sold out within hours and there’s now a 3-4 week wait if you want to get your hands on one.
Few disagree that this is probably the best laptop available on the market right now but Apple has as always managed to annoy at least a few people. As usual the guys at iFixit got their hands on one of these as soon as they could and took it apart to get a close up look of the insides. To their annoyance and the annoyance of many others around the world they discovered that the laptop is basically impossible to upgrade or repair.
The screen construction has been done in such a way that it would be very difficult to replace just the panel, the battery packs have been glued in place instead of using screws and the flash storage and even the ram have been soldered to the logic board. This is basically a first in the electronic manufacture of laptop computers and has led to the new MacBook Pro being dubbed as “the most unrepairable laptop ever”.
It’s unlikely that these minor annoyances will particularly effect many people though and the machine will likely go on to sell very well with a 13″ model expected to come later in the year.