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back to article Apple takes blade to 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display

This is getting to be a habit. So far this year we’ve seen £100 lopped off the price of the updated iMac and MacBook Air, and now it’s the MacBook Pro’s turn to get the price-cut treatment. Tsk, tsk: No Retina Display update means it's outdone by new Windows laptops Like the iMac and MacBook Air, this update to the MacBook Pro …

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Facepalm

"should certainly bolster sales in time for the new school term"

Really? A MacBook pro to help little Philippa/Tarquin pass their GCSEs?

My, my, how times have changed. I was happy with a Casio fx82 [goes all misty-eyed]. Kids today, don't know they're born, etc, etc...

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Re: "should certainly bolster sales in time for the new school term"

Yawn. £1000 for a portable, reliable laptop with desktop-class performance can be a perfectly good investment for a uni student over their already expensive multi year studies.

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Re: "should certainly bolster sales in time for the new school term"

"£1000 for a portable, reliable laptop with desktop-class performance can be a perfectly good investment for a uni student over their already expensive multi year studies."

Very true, but university is not school...

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Re: "should certainly bolster sales in time for the new school term"

You really need that level of performance to run MS Office and a browser?

Also you might as well hang a sign round there neck that says "Rich kid, please steal my stuff"

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Childcatcher

Re: "should certainly bolster sales in time for the new school term"

The key is to make sure little Philippa stumps up for at least £300 of it out of their own pocket money.

They tend to last a little longer that way.

If they don't want to then a £300 Toshiba from PC World it is.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "should certainly bolster sales in time for the new school term"

I'm still astonished that pupils are allowed to use calculators in exams or even in basic maths lessons. I am strongly of the opinion that they should get that feel for numbers obtainable only by understanding how sums are done. Too many of all ages just tap a few keys and fail to spot the glaringly wrong answer because of a mistype or bad algorithm.

Anyway, I got my first calculator in the second year of my degree . very advanced - Sinclair with even a square root function and, I think, two memories . £24 in Tottenham Court Road. With too much acceleration the batteries compressed the metal contact so one had to leave it back into shape to make a good contact. Good little machine though.

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Re: "should certainly bolster sales in time for the new school term"

Don't forget that the little darlings get approximately 15% discount at Apple if at Uni, along with AppleCare for an extra £50 ish.

That brings it down to £900, with three year warranty, which isn't bad...

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Re: "should certainly bolster sales in time for the new school term"

A maths teacher worth his salt can pose question in such a way that a regular scientific calculator is as useful as a paperweight of the same dimensions and weight during the exam. It can actually be fun to do this. In my exams I try to keep the answers fairly simple numerically, but tough in terms of algebra and insight required.

Calculators with symbolic equation solving pose more of a challenge to ensure you are testing for insight rather than skill at entering the equations and pressing "solve". The symbolic calculators are most certainly banned at maths exams at our uni.

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Re: "should certainly bolster sales in time for the new school term"

Ac,

Here, here...

My lad is getting quite good at mental arithmetic, which isn't too shabby for a five year old.

Funnily enough his mum is a physicist with a masters in nuclear medicine and also did astrophysics 'cos it was interesting, but. SHE STILL CANNOT COUNT!

Always good for a giggle that is

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "should certainly bolster sales in time for the new school term"

I'm sure these kids are initially taught how to do the maths 'the long way' but what's the point after that - i.e. is it really that important they do maths written out long hand on paper (which is far more time consuming and prone to error) when they can progress and use a calculator which is surely what they would use later in their careers etc.

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Re: "should certainly bolster sales in time for the new school term"

""The only people I know who stubbornly differentiate "school" and "uni" are 18 year olds who are very, definitely adults now, thank you.""

The only people I know who stubbornly differentiate "school" and "uni" are 18 year olds who are very, definitely adults now, thank you.

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bex

2-3 year desposable no thants

I have a 2011 macbook pro that has a battery that though having a weird screw holding it in is replaceable, I have already replaced the battery as it was failing, until they stop their ridiculous policy of gluing in the battery, I will look elsewhere, which is a shame.

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Thumb Up

Re: 2-3 year desposable no thants

All the MacBook Air and Pro Retina models are horrible to upgrade or fix and have fewer ports and no DVD drive. While you might be able to excuse that with the Airs if you use them as an on-the-road machine with long battery life, refurbished MacBook Pros have never looked so good.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 2-3 year desposable no thants

Or why not just take it back to Apple who will fit a new battery for you using a genuine part not some 3rd party one with unknown quality or capacity! I know people who have bought 3rd party batteries only to find they do not match the original for runtime or fail sooner than the original.

Sure it may be a bit more expensive than the cheapest one you can find on an auction site - but probably not that much when you consider how long it lasts and personally I'd rather not take the risk with a lithium battery that a fairly hard life being charged / discharged every day.

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JDX
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The RAM upgrade almost makes it seem attractive. If the disk was larger I think it really would be quite a decent pricepoint, 128 is just a tad too small.

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Meh

and £200 for what's really a £20 upgrade to the 256GB SSD is rather steep.

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ah, but this is a special Apple ssd that's been sprinkled with magic pixie dust. worth every penny and definitely not a ripoff.

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JDX
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Is the SSD also soldered in - raw chips perhaps - to get the required slimness? Or can it be replaced?

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Stop

@jason 7

Really? You'll have to tell me where you can find even SATA SSDs where the price difference between 120 and 256GB is only £20. These drives are PCIe BTW, much faster than SATA, and yes they are replaceable.

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Meh

Re: @jason 7

Erm on Amazon the mean price for a 120GB SSD is around £55 and you can buy a Crucial M500 240GB for £72.99 (hears rush of feet and mouse clicks). I bought a new 240GB SSD for £65 just a month ago from there on Prime.

You are still getting ripped off however you want to sugar coat it. But you carry on guzzling on the teat.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @jason 7

Similarly I bought a 480Gb Crucial mSATA SSD from amazon for £170 (inc VAT) in May. Whatever the SSD versions Apple (and many others e.g. Surface Pro Microsoft) rely on customer ignorance to put crazy markups on storage knowing their fanboyz will defend their actions.

A phenomenon known as 'the big lie'.

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Re: @jason 7

Comparing apples with apples, the Crucial M500 (which is an old model and is on sale apparently to clear stock) is £50 for a 120GB unit and £84 for a 240GB on the Crucial site. If you want a 256GB drive you need the M550, which is £108. PCIe drives are more expensive again.

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Happy

Re: @jason 7

No, I answered your question with a valid answer.

Be more specific next time perhaps.

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Stop

Re: @jason 7

You didn't actually answer my question, as I asked about the price difference between a 120GB and a 256GB drive. You gave me the lowest possible difference between a 120 and a 240GB drive. Not the same thing, and definitely not a £20 upgrade from anyone.

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Anonymous Coward

Premature

"And that’s pretty much it for 2014"

Come on, it's mid August. There is an Apple event on 9 September, there is a chance there might be some new product announcements...

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Re: Premature

There will be new iPhones and new iPads in September and October, as there have been for several years. As for Macs, Intel is late with its next generation (Broadwell) hardware. Until Intel delivers this, all Apple can do is the occasional minor speed bump like this one. Intel is highly unlikely to deliver in significant quantities until next year. There have been a few rumours that Apple has a 12 inch retina display Macbook Air in the works. I suppose it is not unimaginable that they could release this with current Haswell hardware, but they will probably wait.

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JDX
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Re: Premature

We are (over)due a major update to the Mac Mini though.

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Joke

Re: Premature

I predicting a watch and some kind of apple payment system. And two iphones one bigger than the other

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£999

To be honest it actually sounds like a fair deal. I am looking for a new development laptop, although it would be a *nix install instead of OSX [ version name of big cat]. Any care to mention any bad points that I should be made aware of.

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Re: £999

“although it would be a *nix install instead of OSX”

OS X is UNIX

They work very well as mobile workstations. MacPorts is a useful resource to fill in any gaps in your toolset.

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Facepalm

Re: £999

You're a bit behind the times there... the big cats are old hat, it's Californian place names nowadays.

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Re: £999

@William

Serious question - Can you install/run it without the GUI ?

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Re: £999

@dev/null

I suppose I really do not belong to the KoolAid crowd, I had to look up "Mavericks" and I see that it is in fact a surfing spot way in the south of California..

I am way too old and much to Scottish, to start wearing dreads and flowery surfing shorts and saying "man" at the end of every half sentence......... Even when I lived in San Diego I really couldn't get to grips with that look.

From Big Cats to surfing spots - How much cooler can it get </sarcasm>

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Re: £999

@Khapitain

That's not what defines what a *nix is, but since you ask and you're clearly one of those 'iteresting' neck-beards that <i>still</i> eschew GUI's; hold Command-S at the startup bong, and voila! Running without the GUI...

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hold Command-S at the startup bong

whatevs…, perhaps the crucial question might be whether GUI eschewers are way too old or much too Scottish for a startup bong. (My guess is no, but what do I know?)

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Re: £999

Second serious question - who in their right minds buys a laptop one of whose main selling points is a high resolution colour screen - in order to use the command line?

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OS X without the GUI

Khaptain, OS X isn’t installable without the GUI, but it can be run without it, as whatevs… noted.

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Re: £999

homebrew is better than macports now (well, I prefer it).

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Re: £999

I run my Mac Mini headless - access it via ssh, not used a GUI on it for some time now.

You can access any mac without the GUI by putting your username as ">console" on the login screen.

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Who [ ] buys a laptop [ ] high resolution [ ] .screen - in order to use the command line?

Plenty of people. If you are staring at rows of text all day you don't want jaggies.

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Re: £999

> Serious question - Can you install/run it without the GUI ?

I believe the OS is open source and can be freely downloaded without the GUI (which is not).

But my memory may be playing tricks on me.

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Meh

Re: Mavericks @Khaptain

Actually, Mavericks is off Half Moon Bay in Northern (really central) California, about halfway between Palo Alto and San Francisco, but over the hills on the coast: quoth the Wiki "Mavericks is a surfing location in Northern California. It is located approximately 2 miles from shore outside Pillar Point Harbor, just north of the town of Half Moon Bay at the village of Princeton-by-the-Sea."

I recently shared a table at a Palo Alto Starbucks with a pair of young surfer/coders who had hair way too short for dreads and didn't say "man" at all during the half hour I was there. A few "dude!"'s were heard, but they were actually having a very earnest and intelligent conversation about potential fiance relationships as they typed on their Macbooks. Scottish accents would have ruined the mood...

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Re: Who [ ] buys a laptop [ ] high resolution [ ] .screen - in order to use the command line?

But if you are running a command line and no gui, how do you get rid of the jaggies? This is a serious question, I would like to know the answer.

I've seen plenty of Macbooks running IDEs where the user has small fonts so as to get as much text on screen as possible while retaining legibility. But that was still in the GUI world. How do you get smoothed fonts on a machine which only has a CLI? Does OS X provide this out of the box?

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Re: £999

Using the GPU for bitcoin mining?

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Windows

I bought the last of the non retina range.

Seeing the way Apple want to lock down all the components now; I bought the non soldered and glued non retina models instead. My mum's one got 8 Gb RAM for £38 and will have a nice fast SSD when the HDD dies. My cousin's MBP 13 will get the same treatment when needed.

The main drawback to the newer kit is, you have to hand it back to Apple for any hardware replacement and Applecare is almost mandatory.

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Re: I bought the last of the non retina range.

"and will have a nice fast SSD when the HDD dies."

Oh really? how will you match the PCIe bus speed with that crappy old SATA 3Gbps interface? I've tested mine at 4GB/s on the new Pro which was sustained for 5 minutes while the SATA interface isn't even capable of 400MB/s in ideal conditions. But hey, at least you can swap it out eh? Oh wait, so can I on the PCIe flash module in the Pro Retina...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I bought the last of the non retina range.

Thing is Applecare and Apple parts are not that expensive - friend had a hard drive replaced in an old Macbook (well out of warranty) - they charged him about £20 more than I could have bought the bare drive for but they tested the machine / drive to see if it could have been fixed, fitted it the replacement, reinstalled the OS and showed him how to recover the data from TimeMachine. All with absolutely minimal fuss on his part.

Just looked - for a Macbook Air it's £109 inc VAT to replace the battery if / when it fails - maybe you bought find the part on eBay for half that - probably no warranty, have to fit it yourself, unknown capacity and always a question over the quality of the cells sitting on your lap! When the battery probably lasts 3+ years is it worth saving about £50?

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Windows

Re: I bought the last of the non retina range.

Fast is relative, the "crappy" 6 Gbps (not 3 on the 2011+ models, please do your homework properly) interface still gives a much faster boot time and app launch with an SSD over the original HDD.

Note: I am comparing these 2 items in terms of speed relative to each other.

Furthermore I expect to be able to replace/upgrade faulty RAM and HDDs myself, hence my desire for the older design. The lifespans of these machines are greatly increased by replaceable items at low cost.

Our last repair that Applecare picked up the bill for was £750 worth of logic board failure on a 2007 MBP 15, half the original cost of the Macbook.

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Re: I bought the last of the non retina range.

I've also got a late 2011 MBP, but having fitted a 1TB SSD and 16GB Ram for VMware work, there is a diminishing returns factor and while on paper it has quad core 2.3GHz and 8 cores it overheats quite a bit. I crave a new RMBP but am waiting for the battery to completely die in this one first.

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1000 quid!

For about 3/4 the price you can get a laptop that will outperform this MacBook pro in every area, it isn't a sealed unit and can be upgraded. Source: I just bought one!

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