back to article Retina Display detachment

Those Cupertino Infinite Looping gits have done it again. I don't mean this in an upbeat, admiring, I-can't-believe-it's-not-butter kind of way. I mean it more in a they're-selling-us-less-for-more-cash, not to mention a downbeat now-everyone-else-will-do-the-same, kind of way. As regular readers are aware of me mentioning at …


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  1. EddieD

    50:50 for me...

    Removal of the optical drive - well, it's going to happen, and in this, I'm not too fussed. USB and Networks can fill the gap.

    Removal of the ethernet port - just no. Wrong side of the pillar/Authentication issues/Security...and so on.

    I wonder how long before we get bespoke Apple Thunderbolt-Ethernet adaptors along the lines of the proprietory video adaptors - I've got an entire drawer full of the various types now - the 30 pound extra tax on buying a MacBook as I always called it. I know you can get USB-Ethernet adaptors, but darling, it isn't Apple branded, and so, just won't do...

    1. Mark 65 Silver badge

      Re: 50:50 for me...

      I wouldn't mind them removing the ethernet port if they had the common decency to give you the thunderbolt-ethernet adapter with the £1800 machine you just bought. I can understand perhaps not doing it with the cheaper Airs but not when you're at this price bracket - it's just plain rude.

      1. apt

        Re: 50:50 for me...

        Couldn't agree more!

        Honestly, I've only used the ethernet port on my MBP once or twice, for the rare need to transfer a huge file over gigabit ethernet. It'd be nice if Apple provided a free adapter for the very standard port they just removed, on a device that they are charging upwards of $3000 USD for!

    2. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

      Apple took out the Ethernet port

      Thanks for pointing this out, because in all the hoopla over the new display, mention of this seems to have been omitted.

      I just wanted to reiterate that point, because, unlike the Air, the MB Pros are supposed to be Apple's "you can do actual work on these" machines. I've owned a couple, and, unlike the Air, which is at best an executive toy, or a handy thing to carry slideware around on, these are practical machines that you could work on in place of a desktop. Or they were, at least.

      Before anyone mentions "USB"... if you're working in the sort of industries that do use Macs (creative and advertising, filmmaking and other media), you need gigabit ethernet, just to get your files off the content storage. Imagine trying to work as a programmer when every file in the git repository was at least 30 Mbytes in size, and changed twice a day.

      For others whose work involves travel: how many of you use corporate VPNs with a "no WiFi" policy? How many of your clients' offices disable all access to the corporate network over WiFi (Ironically, Apple's Cupertino campus is one of these)?. So, before considering one of these laptops, consider this:

      Apple took out the Ethernet port.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Apple took out the Ethernet port

        And added a thunderbolt to gigabit adapter instead. It's small and light - put one in your laptop bag and / or leave it connected to the Ethernet cable at work / home etc.

        The sky is falling down, the sky is falling down...

        1. jonathanb Silver badge

          Re: Apple took out the Ethernet port

          Your thin light laptop isn't so good if you have to carry round a bag of adapters to go with it. They may not be very heavy, but trying to find them is a pain.

        2. Anony-mouse

          Re: Apple took out the Ethernet port

          Yeah, right. And now you are lugging around yet another fucking adapter that you can lose or leave somewhere. And don't forget the price premium because of the Thunderbutt interface it uses.

        3. DryBones

          Re: Apple took out the Ethernet port

          I cannot currently find it, but I seem to recall a magazine advertisement for PCMCIA ethernet cards which were fully flush with the case when installed. It featured a Hell's Angel in the middle of a lineup of nuns, and the tagline "Cause things that stick out get busted".

          Cause everything old is new again...

          1. Michael Kean

            Re: Apple took out the Ethernet port

            Sounds like the Xircom PCMCIA combined modem and 10/100 LAN cards that were two cards high. Excellent bit of gear they were back then too!

        4. AdamWill

          Re: Apple took out the Ethernet port

          "It's small and light"

          So what you're saying is it's nice and easy to lose and you'll inevitably end up with six of the buggers down the back of your desk? Good to know.

        5. Peter 48

          Re: Apple took out the Ethernet port

          lovely idea, until you realise, 5 minutes before a meeting that you left it at the other office half way round the globe or it fell out of the bag on the plane and you spend a frantic time asking around if anyone as a spare adapter so that you can connect to the local network without which you can't give that presentation. adapters are fine, but still add another element that reduces portability and introduce an unnecessary point of failure all for the sake of superficial appearances.

        6. TJ 2

          Re: thunderbolt

          So, let me get this right... since this is not 1st April.....

          (A) take out GB ethernet which costs a couple of quid on-board costs...

          (B) give option of additional GB ethernet over thunderbolt as a "PURCHASABLE" add-on.

          How much they charging for this unnecessary thing that you will have to remember to carry with you?

          As for relying on wifi, apple, fuckoff, I work in enterprise IT and I have real world expericen and it don't fucking work you useless bunch of (whats the opposite of innovative?) twats.


          Apple at it's best. Yet another addon upgrade upsell up-yo-ass extra cost.

          Never. Never. Never. Never. Even if I die and come back a thousand times will I buy apple.

          Building your own PC/Linux/BSD box is always the best option. You get exactly what you want and need and don't have to suffer this BS. Plus you get to upgrade whenever you want.

      2. Christian Berger Silver badge

        Maybe it's a test balloon

        I mean Apple probably rightfully expects that people don't care about the actual product. Risking a niche product fail to find out how far they can go might be a good idea. Should they go to far, only a minor product failed, not a major one.

      3. hazydave

        Re: Apple took out the Ethernet port

        They've solved that for you: between Final Cut Pro X and the tiny SSD in these critters, you're going to switch to a Windows PC if you're really serious about video work. The Mac market was only 18% of Apple's business last quarter, and falling fast. They can't really afford to keep up the pace of new model introductions the way other PC companies do. And they've clearly settled on "Air" as the model for all laptops... and perhaps the "laptop for the desktop" model of the iMac as the way for all desktop users. The Mac Pro "update" wasn't anything you couldn't have done yourself... not new system at all.

        I know these thing... I work in video and audio. My main PC has a 1.5TB main drive, a 3TB "small projects" drive, several external SATA bays for large project drives, and an 8TB RAID. And, of course, two 24" monitors. Even with a higher resolution display, a 15" screen isn't for serious video work either. For the more casual video editor, you're going to use an external HDD. But it'll have to be a Thunderbolt drive, since they didn't bother with USB 3.0.

      4. Ron1

        Re: Apple took out the Ethernet port

        Agree about the Ethernet port. The internals image of the retina mac shows the motherboard is not so small as to net being able to squeeze in an Ethernet port on one side and a mic input on the other, so the omission of those ports is clearly a conscious decision not a design / space constraint...

        Also the proprietary SSD looks to be different form factor than MB Air & RAM is soldered, non-upgradeable - a big no-no on a supposedly workhorse machine in my eyes...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 50:50 for me...

      "Removal of the ethernet port - just no. Wrong side of the pillar/Authentication issues/Security...and so on."

      OK first "authentication issues" are part of security so that's two ways of saying the same. Why the bulking up?

      Then please entertain us and tell us what's wrong with WPA2 security? The whole industry would like to know.

      1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

        Re: 50:50 for me...

        Wi-fi? In a business environment? Maybe in reception. The rest of us, and I mean absolutely everyone, uses ethernet. And if they don't they should fire their network admin.

        +1 to the article - we're a mac shop here and the new Macbook Retina isn't even on the radar due to lack of ethernet.

        With the left hand they giveth a screen and a fast SSD, with the right hand they taketh away the means to get data to it.

        1. NogginTheNog

          Re: 50:50 for me...

          "The rest of us, and I mean absolutely everyone, uses ethernet. And if they don't they should fire their network admin."

          Bollocks. I worked for a VERY large services company a while back. The office was 'hot desking' (a pain in the arse at 9:15 in the morning when there were no free desks!). Everyone got a laptop, and apart from a few wired ports the majority of the campus ran on WiFi. I'm not suggesting ALL their infrastructure was like this, but it worked fine in this situation as you could work from pretty much anywhere you could find space (including the canteen and car park!).

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 50:50 for me... (@Nine Circles)

        "...part of security so that's two ways of saying the same. Why the bulking up?"

        It's called amplification. Look it up.

        WPA2? You think the whole world uses WPA2 and that the WPA2 is the sole security concern? What about WPS? What about many Wi-Fi access points that simply do not yet support WPA2, since they are old, yet still functional? Many wifi hotspots still offer WEP as default...

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 50:50 for me...

        Ignoring security. Try working in a production environment with lots of EMI interference. We have shielded containers to test product so that the other electronics devices, electric motors and machine interference in the plant doesn't impact their performance. The limited Wi-Fi that is permitted can be taken down if someone forgets to inform the I.T. dept. that they're moving certain machines around. You're lucky to get a phone signal in the plant's outer hallways (they're technically banned due to cameras and interference with certain blue tooth tests). Shielding an entire plant is far more expensive than laying out physical wiring. Almost every single computer that we have is constantly writing test data. We can't have sporadic usage due to bad connections. That's wasted labor if production has to wait for the system to verify test records (we use separate systems to maintain independent quality control).

    4. petur

      Re: 50:50 for me...

      Indeed... I swapped the optical drive of my dell for a media bay battery years ago, best investment I ever did!

    5. Sel

      Re: 50:50 for me...

      "I wonder how long before we get bespoke Apple Thunderbolt-Ethernet adaptors"

      Not long it is a £25 option.

  2. Eradicate all BB entrants


    ...... and all other Apple users should learn from this guy. While we all have our preferences and favourite shinys some of us are adult enough to point out the faults of said items.

    More of this guy please el Reg

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Awesome.....

      Looking at your history you sure seem to enjoy pointing them out.

      Maybe some of us are just adult enough to know everything has it's pros and cons? There's really nothing perfect you know.

      1. Eradicate all BB entrants

        @ac - Re: Awesome.....

        AC's, bringing pastries to gun fights since BBS was invented.

        And as for pointing out flaws in my fave combo of AMD/Windows, the other 99.9% of commentards here do a bloody good job so I dont have to :D

  3. Thomas 18

    No ethernet

    Is just retarded, until we invent a universal serial port.... wait... an omni connector that works for everything, manufacturers should put as many ports as they can squeeze on. I'd be ecstatic if my phone had micro and mini usb port. Hey stick a regular usb port on and I'd still be happy.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No ethernet

      You are dreaming - so you want one port that can power your phone and also your monitor - how about one that can power your telly. We have different cords / ports for a reason as they have different requirements / speeds / current capacities etc.

      Unless you want to run 240v AC 13 amp down something as thin as a USB cable? Or have something as large as a mains cable to power your iPod...

      1. Thomas 18

        Re: No ethernet

        I said "until we invent" for a reason. Your implication that it will never happen is pretty short sighted. I could easily foresee a time when devices draw power wireless and use a single data connection port/surface for all communication needs.

        1. Bugs R Us

          Re: No ethernet

          I agree, short sighted indeed. Just because physics says we can't do something doesn't mean we can't find ways around the technical challenges. If a hundred years ago someone said there would something like a Mac Book, many would've have said no way because the idea of being able to produce something like it would've seemed impossible using technology of 100 years ago.

  4. Thomas Davie

    I don't get the fuss

    Removal of optical drive: What makes you suppose the guy is any more likely to forget to copy some movies to his computer than he is to forget to pack some DVDs in his hand luggage?

    Removal of ethernet: If you need etherenet, you need to carry around the cable with you as well, because there's *never* one where you need it... Just attach the thunderbolt dongle to the end of your carry around cable, and you're done, it'll even handily protect that stupid plastic clip from breaking.

    Lower storage: uhh... you can buy a 768GB SSD for these things... that's more than apple have ever offered on any laptop (including as a spinning platter).

    1. dogged

      Re: I don't get the fuss

      768GB SSD?

      Well yes, although it will cost you the Netherland's entire Armed Forces budget if you do.

      And I don't carry an ethernet cable and have never been unable to find one on a client site. They pay you to work, not knock one out over how shiny you laptop is and therefore, they find you a bloody cable.

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Re: I don't get the fuss

        Since Macbooks are consumer items first and foremost, lack of ethernet is not going to affect the majority or the target market. Us regular IT types aren't really the demographic, which is pretty obvious when you think how much these cost... an IT grunt on £25k really shouldn't be spending £2k on a laptop.

        1. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

          Re: I don't get the fuss

          > Since Macbooks are consumer items first and foremost...

          Not for everyone.

          I'd class myself as an Apple hater, I hate the "image" they've built around themselves.

          But I'm a pixel junky.

          I could do with replacing my laptop as its become unreliable. The latest generation of HP laptops have cut half the bloody screen off. My circa 2003 laptop came with a 1920x1200 display, my current laptop has failed to improve on that. A new 8760w would drop to a totally unusable 1080 line screen (my job entails running a screen of 1024 inside a window, and with the borders it don't fit on 1080lines so its unusable for me)

          This display is a serious attempt to move displays out of the early noughties. (actually I worked on a Sony system in about 1990 with 1920x1200 screens)

          I was tempted.

          This looked like a workable machine to earn a living on.

          But thanks for the warning here.

          No ethernet == no buy

          I'm sure one day someone with make a decent laptop package.

      2. Annihilator


        "They pay you to work, not knock one out over how shiny you laptop"

        Thansk for making my Friday :-)

      3. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

        Re: I don't get the fuss

        Its normally me who has to get the ethernet cable because some git has nicked it (I need my PRF back, damn outsourcing but not outsourcing the providing ethernet cables bit, or I need to put GPS tags on my cables).

        Anyways I also have a problem where because I am cheap and won't buy fancy projectors Apple laptop users often need an expensive adapter to output on to vga (I imagine its the cheaper apple notebook as the larger one must come with one as standard).

      4. Thomas 18
        Thumb Up


        Hmn Netherlands... I propose measuring costs relative to the financial status of Greece e.g. "this pen costs negative 0.005 Greeces".

        1. AdamWill

          Re: Measurement

          Don't be ridiculous. Shirley a pen is worth at _least_ five Greeces right now.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I don't get the fuss

      I have a macbook air to carry around, but at home I use an iMac with ethernet over power because wireless is such a shit medium and I have so many other networks around my flat that the interference makes it virtually useless for anything but the most basic browsing.

      If I'm spending nearly 2 grand on a laptop, I want a sodding ethernet port. Essentially what APple have said is that the new macbook pro is a toy, nothing more. If I want to ass about I use my macbook, if I want to do REAL work, I use a Windows machine.

      I shouldn't HAVE to spend £40 on a USb-Ethernet adapter, which then ruins the lines of the laptop I paid nearly double a windows machine for because it's shiney and sleek, only to have that sleekness ruined by Apples bloody money grabbing.

      I personally think that anyone who ends up with the new Macbook will be CEO and director level twats who will then complain when I refuse to let them VPN into the corporate network with their new wanktoys.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I don't get the fuss

      Just use external hard drives to move your data around.

      Not that big of a deal.

      1. h4rm0ny

        Re: I don't get the fuss

        "Just use external hard drives to move your data around. Not that big of a deal."

        I gave you a mod up because I assumed the above is a funny joke.

        1. Arctic fox

          "I gave you a mod up because I assumed the above is a funny joke."

          I sincerely hope that you are right.

    4. Andalou

      Re: I don't get the fuss

      "Lower storage: uhh... you can buy a 768GB SSD for these things... that's more than apple have ever offered on any laptop (including as a spinning platter)."

      Yes. Only £900 for the 512 extra GB. Bargain.

    5. uncle sjohie

      Re: I don't get the fuss

      It takes a minute or so to get some DVD's to chuck into your laptop bag, but a little longer to download them. :-)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    A fair review of both the limitations of Apple kit and also the way their PR operates. Mind you we have known for years that it's easy to get Apple fans to overlook the flaws in their preferred kit by surrounding it with buzz-words and pointing out how pretty it is.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Wow

      Or rather, Apple fans are typically not using PCs in a way that these are serious problems to them.

  6. Tiny Iota

    email services often imposed a 2MB attachment ceiling

    ...and floppy disks always imposed a 1.44MB ceiling...

    1. bhtooefr

      Not always...

      First, IBM had a 2880 kiB standard, that many PS/2s used. It didn't take off.

      Second, there was always the LS120 and the Caleb 144 MB drive, if you needed a floppy disk form factor. The LS120 was a bit more popular, but not much.

      1. Annihilator

        Re: Not always...

        Third, Winzip (and probably Stuffit, or whatever Mac's used) allowed for spanned disks.. Though granted having disk 68 of a 17 disk set failing a CRC check after laboriously swapping disks often caused me to embed said disk into the wall.

        1. Graham Bartlett

          Re: Not always...

          "disk 68 of a 17 disk set"

          I suspect the clue to why it failed is clear, for those of a numerate disposition. It's an error more normally seen with C/C++ pointers and arrays, although doing it with floppy disks does put a new meaning on "stack corruption".

          1. Annihilator

            Re: Not always...

            My keyboard dyslexia was kicking in pre-pub which is very unusual! "71" was what I aimed at.


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