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.

    2. Alistair Dabbs

      Yes, a 3.5in floppy disk had a 1.44MB storage limit. When you attach a 1.44MB file to an email, the encoded attachment grows to about 2MB.


  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    My Laptop supports 802.11n, my router supports 802.11n.

    My laptop connects to my router using wireless at 75Mb/s

    Over wireless reports my download speed as 40Mb/s

    My Laptop also supports 1Gb/s Ethernet, My router supports 1Gb/s Ethernet

    My laptop connects with a wire at 1Gb/s

    Over the wired interface reports my download speed as 75Mb/s

    I really hope that others don't see this as a great way to save money and drop the good old fashioned RJ45 connection.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Symbol rates are the new harddrive capacity.

      Expect a new definition to come along soon enough. MeWiBits per second; the bandwidth of a wired connection. Megabits per second; the claimed marketing bandwidth of a radio lan endpoint.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You've fallen for the wireless pitch

      I can do 100MPH on the motorway quite happily if I'm the only one on it, but start adding more cars and it drops - rapidly - because we're all using the same lanes. Same for wireless, and I mean any wireless - Wi-Fi, 3G, whatever. It doesn't scale. Analogy courtesy of an engineer friend in the early days of 3G.

      Where I am in central London I get a constant 750MB/sec from my 1GB ethernet. Wireless around my house is unusable for any large transfer due to interference from the neighbours/microwave/whatever, and I even lose 3G half the time.

      If it's worth transferring, it's worth transferring over a cable.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You've fallen for the wireless pitch

        Yes, this was the point in the OP...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "My Laptop supports 802.11n, my router supports 802.11n."

      802.11n supports several speeds. Sounds like you're at the very bottom.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Wires are good.

      inSSIDer reports 150 aps out the front of my flat and a different 150 aps out the back... And thatignores the 2.4GHz av senders.. Sometimes I cant make a reliable wirelss connection 3m from my ap. So relying on wifi is a bad idea.

  8. Robert Forsyth


    Wasn't Tina the tortoise on Blue Peter?

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: Re-tina

      You're thinking of Freda.


    2. Will Godfrey Silver badge

      Re: Re-tina


      Tina was a rather lovely young lady in a large, framed, fashionable print circa 1965

  9. jonathanb Silver badge

    "He really ought to have torrented some films before catching his flight"

    This being apple, he ought to have bought his films on iTunes, then he can stream them, wirelessly of course, from iCloud.

    1. John Colman

      Re: "He really ought to have torrented some films before catching his flight"

      And in doing so can pay the £4.25/MB of sketchy roaming data as he flies high above the USA's Eastern seaboard...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple have released a thunderbolt to gigabit ethernet adapter and wifi is pretty much a standard in most companies these days - non-issue - move on.

    On almost every laptop I have owned it has had far more space than I actually use - of course this is not going to be the same for everyone but I would rather have a smaller, faster, quieter, (perhaps) more reliable SSD than a spinny disk. The fact is flash / SSDs are more expensive so you are going to get less space for the same cash.

    CD/DVD drive - yes again I have had laptops with them in only to find they get used literally now and then - USB sticks are more convenient / faster and again they do a very small USB CD/DVD drive for the times you do want it. Given the option of having better battery life, a retina screen etc. - which I benefit from all the time I reckon it's a fair trade.

    I'm sure there are plenty of people who use a DVD drive every day and need more storage than you can get on flash - but there are external thunderbolt drives / devices and USB DVD drives - it's not that much of an issue.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Wifi SUCKS and if your corporate IT let you just hammer any machine onto their networks over their wireless, they should be shot! Again WHY should I have to pay £40 for something that should have been included in the bloody thing in the first place. It's £1800!!!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You sound like you're in the perfect demographic for a Mac Book Air , not a Mac Book Pro.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If you started slinging wifi around the office where I work you're likely to have security turn up at your desk and be swiftly escorted from the building, P45 in hand. Removing ethernet from the "pro" machine is absolutely backward.

      1. Andy 115


        I would say allowing a fat RJ45 socket to dictate the thickness of your new flagship model is backwards...

        If you want a MacBook pro with wired Ethernet, it's still available and is cheaper.

        1. AdamWill

          Re: Backwards

          2012 Vaio Z: 0.66"

          2012 Macbook Pro / Retina: 0.71"

          Vaio Z has an ethernet port.

          Next objection please!

    4. Fogcat

      "Apple have released a thunderbolt to gigabit ethernet adapter and wifi is pretty much a standard in most companies these days - non-issue - move on."

      And they are charging £25 for it when the cheapest machine costs £1800! In that price range why could it not be an extra in the box?

      1. Sean Timarco Baggaley

        "In that price range why could it not be an extra in the box?"

        Have you seen how much a fully-pimped Mac Pro costs these days? (Remember: you have to buy a screen for those too!)

        And why don't you make the same argument about cars too? £9K for a small cheap car, but a decent audio system costs a whopping £350 extra? "Leather effect" seats adds £1K! Electrically adjustable wing mirrors? Certainly sir! That'll be just £450+VAT!

        If every f*cker else can—and does—do this, and Apple have never been an exception. Even Dell and HP will nickel-and-dime you when they've a mind to. As will Adobe. And Microsoft. ("Oh, you want that feature? You'll have to buy the Pro Edition then! That'll be another £100 please!)

        It has built-in WiFi—and Apple kit supports the 5GHz band too, not just the cheap seats. It has a bloody PCI bus on a string port. Twice! It even has USB 3 and an HDMI port and an SD card reader.

        No, it doesn't have an optical drive—big whoop; sales of MacBook Airs haven't exactly suffered, and OS X has supported optical drive sharing at the EFI BIOS level for years now.

        No, it doesn't have an Ethernet port as standard either. So what? You're already splashing out the best part of £2K on the machine; is a £25 optional extra really such a bummer? It's not as if you'd notice the weight in your laptop bag. After all, if weight were really such a priority, you'd have gone for the MacBook Air instead.

        Also, the term "professional", in this context, is NOT limited solely to "programmers and IT admins". GbE is useless for me when I'm working on video projects. Dumping the file out to a nice Thunderbolt (or, hell, even USB 3!) external hard drive gets the file copied a bloody sight quicker than dribbling it over a GbE wire to a NAS drive when I need to do some archiving.

        Stop acting like your profession is the only one that exists.

    5. Chet Mannly

      "Apple have released a thunderbolt to gigabit ethernet adapter and wifi is pretty much a standard in most companies these days - non-issue - move on"

      Another expense on an already pricey machine, and companies do NOT use wifi as standard - dunno what companies you are working for, but those who are worried about network throughput and security use ethernet.

      As said below, the Vaio Z is much thinner and has an ethernet port, so it isn't a design consideration.

      "On almost every laptop I have owned it has had far more space than I actually use"

      That makes one of you. Every other person I speak to is running out of space. The screen would make it great for photographers, but then they take away all the storage that photographers need, making it completely and utterly useless. Let alone video - what an absolute joke.

      Someone needs to tell Apple that their 'Pro' series is for real workers, not businessmen typing the occasional letter in word, or kids on itunes.

      My MBP is due for an upgrade, was holding out for the hi-res screens, but the writer is right, they've given one thing but made the machine unviable at the same time

  11. Christian Berger Silver badge

    When the iMac came out

    Diskettes already were a thing of the past. Back then people were simply moving files to their FTP-servers, or they were using LANs. Some strange people were even using CDRWs or ZIP-drives, but diskettes were pretty much dead except for some special uses.

    1. Andy 115

      Re: When the iMac came out

      But floppies were still pretty much blindly fitted to every computer.

      It took apples courage to really get their funeral party in full swing.

  12. squilookle
    Thumb Down

    I have a (non Apple) tablet that doesn't have ethernet or an optical drive, but that's ok because it's a tablet.

    Could it be that we are taking ideas from tablets and applying them to other computers, where the ideas don't make sense?

    I currently would not buy a computer without a drive that can read and write DVDs at the very least, or ethernet. Admittedly the DVD drive only gets used for burning and booting Linux images, and ripping/burning the odd CD/DVD. I'm not the target audience of this computer, but I find the idea that others will follow (and they will) very worrying.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Clearly it's not for everyone but that's good as there is this thing called 'choice' - just go and buy the external drive if you want this one or but a different laptop rather than bitchin''

      1. squilookle

        Well I'm not "bitchin'", and you have nailed my point anyway, really. I don't want this laptop, I want a different one. Let's hope we keep the choice to buy a different laptop and not end up in a situation where mainstream manufacturers follow suit with their entire ranges, making different laptops difficult to come by?

        Will that happen? It's not a certainty, but it's possible.

    2. Duncan Macdonald Silver badge


      If a cheap (£119 on ebay - inc P&P) ZTPAD android tablet can include ethernet (using a passive dongle included in the price) then there is no good reason for Apple to not include it in their much more expensive kit.

      (The ZTPAD specs Hardware CPU: Cortex A9 processor, RAM: 1GB, Storage: 8GB NAND Flash (6GB available to use), Display: 10" LCD, 1024x600 pixels, Capacitive MultiTouch Touchscreen, Built In Camera, GPS, Wireless: 802.11b/g/n, HDMI out, USB port, Micro SD slot, Ethernet via included passive dongle.

      Software: Android 4.0 Mobile Operating System with Android Marketplace

      Battery: Li-on rechargeable battery (4~5 hours battery life)

      The ZTPAD ethernet uses a micro-USB type connector on the tablet and the passive dongle is just a very short cable with the micro-USB plug on one end and a RJ45 socket at the other)

      1. Sean Timarco Baggaley

        Re: ZTPAD

        And your point is...?

        An Ethernet dongle using a USB connector? They make no mention of USB 3 compatibility, so...

        ... it's definitely NOT a Gigabit Ethernet dongle!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "you need gigabit ethernet, just to get your files off the content storage"

    Do your homework - they *have* released a Thunderbolt to Gigabit ethernet adapter.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Oh That's alright then -- f'ing fanboi

  14. Jean-Paul

    Mine is the one...

    which has the dongle in the thunderbolt monitor pass through port, one cable to connect and I've got power, external display, firewire, usb, ethernet, external direct attached storage etc...

    If I really really need a DVD Player I just remotely connect to one on the desktop macs or use an external blu ray writer...

    1. oddie

      Re: Mine is the one...

      I've gone one step further and even got rid of the laptop.. now I just directly access the desktop that all those peripherals are connected to ;)

  15. Tom 79


    Careful not to turn too many people off Apple, you'll kill the golden goose revenue-generating-click-through-rate-bitch-a-thon.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Careful

      I reckon far more people will be wanting the retina screen / SSD / faster processor than graphics than will mind losing the DVD drive or ethernet port when you can get small 'external' ones.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Careful

        Exactly - it's all about Starbucks 'cred'. Nobody's actually going to do work on these things

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I use a Macbook Air connected to a Thunderbolt display and it works perfectly - fast, quiet etc. etc.

    It has no optical drive but big deal - I have one in my drawer I connect via USB or could leave it connected to the monitor. If you use a DVD burner all the time carry it with you or get a different laptop - simple.

    However, I benefit from a very small (but not too small) machine with a decent keyboard, screen and only 1kg when I travel. Believe me I have had plenty of laptops in my time and (for me) I'm glad it has no DVD drive - I can't remember the last time I used it (literally weeks ago). Sure a few people burn DVDs or need to install software but realistically most is downloaded or you use a USB drive.

    In 2-5 years we will probably look back and see CD/DVDs in the same way we would video VHS now.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Bully for you - However, we're talking about the Mac Book Pro not the Air

      I believe that most people could get around the lack of a DVD drive but removing the BUILT IN ethernet port is just shameful.

    2. Tim Walker

      "In 2-5 years we will probably look back and see CD/DVDs in the same way we would video VHS now."

      If that means that within 2-5 years, we'll all have broadband to the home at speeds measured in tens of megabits, and/or reliable, gigabit-capable Ethernet (or WiFi) around our houses, then I'd be inclined to agree with you. Otherwise, "sneakernet" in all its forms (i.e. non-networked physical media) is likely to cling on - more's the pity...

    3. Alistair Dabbs

      I agree with the "2-5 years" thing. But I live NOW - and in 2-5 years, I won't be using this particular MacBook Pro any more. What's wrong with producing computers for people without time machines?


    4. Tim Almond

      Media progression

      "In 2-5 years we will probably look back and see CD/DVDs in the same way we would video VHS now."

      If you're saying that we'll all be on Blu-Ray, possibly. I'm still seriously doubting that streaming is going to take over, though.

      The movie companies are way too protective with DRM and also offering few financial incentives to do it. It costs less for me to buy the Die Hard box set from Amazon than the first movie from iTunes. I can't lend an iTunes movie to my neighbours, resell it on eBay. I've also got to make sure I've got the media device for each TV. Apple TV is £99, a DVD player is about £25. A lot of people are still on sets without HDMI, which means that most streaming devices don't work, while a £25 DVD player will.

      Most cinephiles won't buy iTunes movies because the quality isn't as good as Blu-Ray.

  17. Andrew James

    For those who want ethernet there is an adapter available. At £30 its less than 2% of the cost of the device, so its not like its a disaster.

    I can't understand why its such a deal-breaker for so many people not having a dvd drive either. I literally cant remember the last time i used one on my laptop, at work or at home.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Many corporate offices will not let you connect via WiFi. If you're semi static i.e. one office/home then you'll be ok. However this is a PRO machine not a normal office laptop.

      I wish people would just stop making excuse after excuse for Apple and open their eyes outside of their own limited experience

    2. Fogcat

      So why couldn't they include it for free?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Because they know their users will pay pay pay. Because they're thick thick thick.

        Seriously, Apple make crap products in shiny boxes for stupid prices. They're poorly speced, VERY unreliable, and actually can be quite hard to use. I know they USED to make great products, but that's 20 years and more ago now.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          It's funny actually, after beginning selling Macs since late-last year, the most common thing going wrong is the wireless. I've counted at least a hands worth come back (even though it's quicker going direct to Apple...) with wireless networking issues. It will be interesting to see the unwashed masses blaming me personally because I've wronged selling them only what they've asked for.

          I've already been held responsible because the mac may or may not have had Lion on it and because an external hard drive wasn't formatted for use on macs. I suppose one more piece of straw Apple can pile on their resellers isn't going to break my back...

        2. Dana W

          yeah right

          You live in s shiny world all your own, don't you?

        3. Dave 126 Silver badge


          >crap products

          I've seen Macs remain fit for purpose over many years.

          >Shiny Boxes

          As shiny as anybody else's boxes.

          >Stupid Prices

          See Toms Hardware report. They struggled to built a comparable PC using like-for-like components. If you can, please post.


          Lack of technical IT ability [does not equal] lack of intelligence, just as not being able to cook a beautiful steak does not make you an idiot.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I just don't understand the cachet of being ripped off by some slick salesdrone.

    "That'll be two grand, thanks. Oh, you want to actually use it? Ah, then you're going to need these overpriced optional extras..."

    (customer eventually leaves shop, wetting himself at how cool all his acquaintances are going to think he is...)

    1. Tom 38 Silver badge

      Actually, I think £25 for a thunderbolt network adapter is pretty decent, it just should be included in the price of the laptop.

      Or put it another way, where are the £10 thunderbolt network adapters?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But ... why?

    So if they cause you so much pain and anguish, why the heck do you stick with using Apple's "their choice not yours" products? There are hundreds of laptops you could choose that you could run Windows or Linux on, giving you plenty of choice over whether or not to have an ethernet port or an optical drive. I am genuinely and absolutely baffled as to why people pay over the odds for unsuitable hardware from Apple.

  20. jimsefton
    Thumb Down

    Doesn't make it a bad product

    At the end of the day the screen is very important to a lot of people... not all people, but certainly many.

    If you need an optical drive don't but this... if you need ethernet then either don't buy it or buy an adapter. This mindless bashing of a product just because it doesn't suit you is getting tiresome.

    The BMW Z4 isn't a great car for those with 4 kids, but it doesn't make it a bad car!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Doesn't make it a bad product

      I was waiting for the car analogy but you are right - you don't buy a Porsche if you need to tow a horse box or have 5 kids.

      1. Captain Save-a-ho

        Re: Doesn't make it a bad product

        Problem with the car analogy is that Ethernet isn't like passenger capacity. For the vast majority of users, its more like Apple producing a car without the wheels and charging extra to include them. WTF?

        1. Tom 38 Silver badge

          Re: Doesn't make it a bad product

          It's a flying car. We can add wheels, but that's a £25 extra.

    2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      It's a car analogy!

      A BMW Z4 has two seats to reduce weight and improve handling.

      A Macbook Pro has no ethernet port to... do... help me out here?

    3. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

      Re: Doesn't make it a bad product

      > At the end of the day the screen is very important to a lot of people...

      But not at the beginning of the day?

  21. Jedit

    No NSFW tag?

    Because the gigantic picture of Virtual Valerie warrants one, IMHO.

    1. Volker Hett

      Re: No NSFW tag?

      Are you working in a monastery?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    DVD RIP - you want to play DVDs on a 2880x1800 screen - it's almost a joke as DVDs are 'about' 720p - crayola time. People (cavemen) whinging are like moaning about not being able to use candles when electricity came along - goddammit.

    The world is moving on - streamed / downloaded media is replacing physical disks and USB drives do a better job than CD/DVDs for many applications.

    Of course people want everything - you want it to weigh 1kg, have a 24hour battery life, twice the speed of your desktop, dual DVD and Blu-Ray drives, 16 USB ports and a 3D holographic display. That's next years model... lol.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Um, you realise a DVD looks just as good on a 4000x2000 13" screen as a regular 720p one? At those screen sizes, regular DVD quality is just fine.

      The world may be moving on, but video is still massive on DVD, it's far behind music in transitioning to download-only as is evidenced by the popularity of DVD box-sets (which still outsell blu-ray versions).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        But not as good as BluRay and even that is 1920x1080 (1080p) if I remember correctly.

        I agree there is a lot of video on DVD but I'd rather have proper HD video now. Basically DVD will look as good (or bad) on the retina screen but you are not getting any / much benefit from your investment in a better screen.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Most "HD" content streamed is barely better quality than a DVD.

      2. Charles 9 Silver badge

        That's because most DVD Box sets are ONLY available on DVD. Indeed, many are for pre-HD shows which wouldn't get any benefit form being on BluRay except for maybe squeezing them all onto fewer discs (as they would still all be 480i/p--depending on whether it was taped or filmed). Unless you can show that DVD box sets for HD shows are consistently outselling their BluRay counterparts.

    2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Re: "DVDs are 'about' 720p"

      Sorry to have to state the freaking obvious. I suppose someone has to do it.

      DVD video contains 480 or 576 lines depending on the broadcast standard. There's no 'about', and no 720p, about it.

    3. Simba7

      You do realize that DVD's are 720x480.. So technically, they're 480p.

      ..and DVDs are last decade.. Try Bluray. The problem is, it'd still not look good on a 2880x1800 display since Blurays are 1080p (that's 1920x1080).

      So.. What's the point of the Retina display?

      1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        Re: Simba7

        All DVDs are 720x480 except for the ones that aren't.

        Also, they're only "p" if they're progressive scan.

  23. Paul F

    Skate to where the puck has been

    The MacBook Airs started as an overly expensive, feature poor laptop - and look at them now. Still feature poor, but affordable, popular, and being copied all over the place.

    You want the industry to stand still? By all means keep on holding to legacy things. That's the reason why XP is still the dominant OS in the workforce.

    Keep skating to where the puck has been, not to where it's going and you'll do just fine.

    I'll get off your lawn now.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Skate to where the puck has been

      Feature poor - if you mean no DVD drive - so what? Mine is plenty fast enough for 'work' and even not bad with games (although Diablo on a 2560x screen does need the detail knocking down a peg or two).

      It has USB ports - tick - it has Thunderbolt - tick - it has enough storage - tick - fast enough - tick - very light - rugged - tick - quiet - tick - lasts a long time on batteries - tick - good screen - tick.

      Any limitations are just a factor of it's size / portability - you want more battery life well then it would be bigger / heavier, bigger screen - same. I plug it in to a Thunderbolt display at work and it's now a fast, quiet desktop with more ports, gigabit wired connection, camera, sound - all through one cable including power for the Macbook (well 1 cable with 2 connectors).

      I'm all for a single machine - saves licensing costs and time - one machine to update etc.

  24. stu 4


    ok, it'd be nice if they were included - but its no different from wanting a mini display port to VGA, etc really.

    And I'd imagine a lot of air users will be upsizing, so used to that + no DVD.

    Personally I can't remember the last time I stuck a DVD into either of my 2 mac minis, 3 iMacs, MBP17 or MBA11. It was years ago that's for sure. Similarly I think Apple got it just right to not bother with blueray media shite.

    I agree it is a bit of a bummer to pay extra for these, however it might be worth pointing out to those considering apple purchases, that discounts are available. For example employee (not of apple - YOUR employer) discounts of around 300 quid can be had on a 2700 quid macbook-retina.

    OK, 2400 quid is still a lot for a laptop I know... but you're worth it :-)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "but you're worth it"

      Shame the laptop isn't though...

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So many people just don't get it

    You paid how much over the odds for the latest Apple shiny kit? And your defence is 'but I can add it for only an extra x £/$'

    Do you not see how silly you sound. You have already paid a very high amount for so-called 'premium' kit and yet your happy to hand over extra cash just to make it work the way it should.

    No wonder Apple have so much money

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So many people just don't get it

      Thats the point - most people do not need more storage space, a DVD drive etc. and after all adding those would just push up the price further. Same as including a Thunderbolt to Gigabit adapter for everyone - half or more may never need one but end up paying for it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So many people just don't get it

        So why pay more for less? Not having these should be making it cheaper not 3x more expensive than something that has all the missing features and only weighs 200g more. If the extra 200g is a problem then you really need to go to the gym more. Would it not be nice for Apple to include these little extras in the box just in case you do need them. With the margins they make it would barely touch their profit but would do wonders in goodwill.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another car analogy - most cars have 4-5 seats as most people need to carry 4-5 people most of the time. Most people buying these do not use wired connections or would just get the thunderbolt connector. Most do not 6Tb of internal storage etc. For the minority there is still a perfectly good solution just as there is with cars and everything else.

    You can't please everyone all of the time.

  27. A knight who until recently said "Ni!"

    Too thin, too light

    All the "just buy adapter X, just buy addon drive Y"... what's the point in making a device like a Macbook Pro so thin if you have to carry around an extra hundredweight (I'm not up with these newfangled Reg measures) in accessories to make it useable?

    I propose Apple Funcionality as a new standard measurement for excess weight.

    1. A n o n y m o u s

      Re: Too thin, too light

      What tripe. You mean IF you need Ethernet you carry around a £20 thunderbolt adapter cable that is about 10cm long and probably weighs 20-30g?

      I'd rather carry an adapter / DVD drive for when I needed it and not have the extra weight for the vast majority of times when I did not.

  28. Kimbie

    And the biggest wizz of it all, is you do not get any more screan real estate to play with. If you have "Retina" turned on you get 1440x900 screen, to get the 2880x1800 you have to turn "Retina" off.

    So save yourself a bunch of cash and buy the current MBP not the Next Gen one

    1. AdamWill

      Sigh. Fail.

      Repeat after me: the point of higher display density is not 'more screen real estate to play with'. Once you get past a reasonable minimum DPI - like, that of a calculator - if you value your eyesight, you have exactly as much 'real estate' as you have inches. No matter the density.

      The point of high density displays is to _make things look better_. People understand this with cellphones, why they don't understand it with PCs is quite beyond me.

  29. Volker Hett

    Is that really new?

    In the 90s I had Toshibas and HP Omnibooks with external CD drives, I carried PCMCIA cards with different Dongles so I could use cheapernet as well as twisted pair.

    Or bringing a large postscript file to a lithography service on a syquest and returning to the office as fast as possible to copy it to a 40MB medium since the service couldn't read the 80MB medium, only to find out the next day that his Lino was as old and underspeced as his syquest drive and couldn't print the file :)

  30. the-it-slayer

    The anti-appleists just get wrapped up in the hype as the fanbois...

    Do you guys who simply detest this product see how silly you look? No-one's forced you to buy it and you're just wasting your time venting this and that. As I've already said in the review article, plenty of the said features are there for a particular demographic. CD/DVD wastes space, Ethernet is not the primary concern for the demographic, Thunderbolt takes centre stage for storage. This laptop is...

    a) NOT for your average business user.

    b) NOT for your average home user.

    c) FOR photo/video/music editors that need a powerful laptop that's mobile enough to take around on the go. They don't care about ethernet/wi-fi whilst on the go.

    d) FOR people who have more money than sense.

    People seem to forget Apple products at the higher end of the spectrum are for the media types. Since the iPhone/iPad/MacBook Air/Mac Mini, people think it's a good excuse to slam the same brush on this new product line. Apple are testing the water with this one and no doubt it'll either sink or swim for them.

    Please, just get some beer down yourselves and think with a clear head (rather than that M$/PC mist of yours). And the adapters thing? How many laptop cases have pockets that are never used? Right, case closed.

    1. A knight who until recently said "Ni!"

      Re: The anti-appleists just get wrapped up in the hype as the fanbois...

      I'm a photographer. Its rare that I can use wifi in a clients office, and rarer still that don't have to provide data on optical disc. More generally the only real benefit a Mac offers me is the screen, but thats offset by a crap GPU. for that reason after trialling both went with a Windows desktop and decent monitors for all editing work, a laptop and tablet for working with clients. With decent image software being GPU optimized these days a Mac just can't get close to the performance for anything like the cost. I see the same with a lot of my peers these days, and its interesting to note that a lot of long time Mac using trainers in the graphic design field have long since switched to Windows. Late 64 bit support for Photoshop is a big part of that, I'd imagine.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The anti-appleists just get wrapped up in the hype as the fanbois...

      With 256GB SSD as standard, it certainly isn't for anyone editing videos or a lot of photos.

      1. the-it-slayer

        Re: The anti-appleists just get wrapped up in the hype as the fanbois...

        Maybe you should open your eyes and see that there's something called Thunderbolt. It's super fast and most video/photo editors use external storage for this very reason when they get home to do post-production.

        Don't blame Apple for making a future proof product.

        1. Jediben

          Re: The anti-appleists just get wrapped up in the hype as the fanbois...

          How far ahead is 'future-proof' to an Apple fanboi?

          Is that 'future' as in 'future purchases you are obliged to make because the current product doesn't fulfill even the most basic of requirements?" or 'future' as in the next thing the salesman points to on the accessories stand?

          A future proof product should be one that is at least capable of performing the intended duties NOW without any further purchases. Ergo you are not meant to network this product... WTF?!

  31. Anonymous Coward

    Good troll article

    Much thinner/lighter + retina display + 2 über-fast future proof Thunderbolt ports + USB3 on all ports + much faster SSD is really "less" isn't it.

    Keep your Ethernet port and DVD drive if that pleases you, I know which one I'll be getting.

    1. P Zero

      Re: Good troll article

      You'd be getting the one without internet at my college then. Old building to scare away the nasty mobile data demons and a wifi policy of "Internet access for students? IMPOSSIBLE!"

      I can live without the DVD, I rely on USBs mostly and have a dusty Sony external DVD burner from my old netbook that could see the light of day, but ethernet is an absolute requisite in any business that requires stability and security. Especially in a "pro" machine.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Student? College?

        Do you really need one of these as a student? I did my PhD thesis in a (then) 3 year old Macbook Pro. Get yourself onto one of the computing grids or apply for an Amazon grant if you need more firepower.

        Anyway, you probably won't need real Gigabit either, so any old USB2 ethernet dongle will do. Cost about a tenner these days.

        WiFi with WPA2 is more than secure enough these days. If you can show otherwise there's a well paid career in computer security for you.

        1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

          Re: Student? College?

          WiFi with WPA2 is more than secure enough these days. If you can show otherwise there's a well paid career in computer security for you.

          Depends what you're doing really. I've worked in place that Wifi, of any sort, was an absolute no-no. True WPA2 may be considered 'secure enough' but it's still not particularly wise to transmit sensitive data to all and sundry, no matter how good you consider the encryption to be.

          Accepted, not everyone works in these types of places, but for some of us it's a consideration that's stuck. I don't do any work over Wifi (even when working from home) as a result. The only traffic my wifi sees is the missus on YouTube or me quickly looking some random fact up on my phone.

          It may be secure enough by todays standards, but can you say the same for tomorrows? If the machines in your office are all wifi only, what do you do if a major security flaw is announced at 5PM sunday night? (again, it depends on what you deal with at work I guess).

          Let's not even get started on the reliability of wifi compared to using a catheter

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Student? College?

            That fear of Wifi is really an antiquated perception from back in the dark days of WEP. Even hospitals use WPA2 protected networks these days.

            Actually GSM/3G is provably much more hackable, yet people seem to have no fear to send just about everything over it.

            I think the point people are missing is that this is a LAPTOP, and in fact a very light/thin one with great battery life. It's not meant to be tied down to cables, thus Ethernet IS rather pointless.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Student? College?

            I'd worry more about the staff member going rogue than WPA2 and data encryption.

            Do you wear one of those tin hats as well... they know what you are thinking.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Good troll article

        Buy the cheap USB or thunderbolt ethernet adapters - this is a non-issue. It's like 6" long and weighs nothing.

  32. Chris D Rogers

    F--K Apple

    Here's another car analogy and one more suitable to the Macbook Pro 'Retina' - by removing the ethernet port and then charging you for the pleasure to utilise ethernet via the Thunderbolt Port with a special adaptor - having already paid over the odds to a under spec'ed laptop, is similar to purchasing a Bentley or Rolls Royce top of the shop with all bells and whistles - no bells and whistles in Apples minimalist craze - and then being asked by the car firm to hand over another £2000 for a set of gold keys to start the bloody thing up.

    Get real everyone, the device is unsuitable for the corporate world, its a fashion item and the only people who will pay over the odds for such low tech devices are those who are in the 1% of societies richest - this is the demographic Apple is now after - hence, no Mac Pro update until next year, the Fanbois then blame this on Intel.

    I'm really sick of people making excuses for Apple, they are cash rich and scrimp and save on everything they now produce, including paying the workers who assemble these rich mens toys peanuts - Apple are just like the bankers!!!!

    1. the-it-slayer

      Re: F--K Apple

      Under-spec'd? You better take off those Windows-tinted glasses and start looking at reality again. If you can find a post-HD screen, custom built aluminium body, two thunderbolts, slick OS laptop with 7 hours of battery life, just give me a nod.

      It's not a corporate laptop. It's for the original market of media types who do a lot of music, video and photos editing.

      Hey, I'd be gutted to be reliant on the "super reliable" Dell, HP and Asian-equiv laptops that flood the PC market.

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: F--K Apple

      Average car costs, say, £15k

      Average Bentley, say £150k

      According to Tom's Hardware, the markup of a base-level Macbook over a PC laptop with like-for-like components is almost negligible, not an order of magnitude.

      And you have the nerve to use the phrase 'get real'. You buy your machine, let other's buy their's. Mine's a refurb Dell, suits me fine. My boss's Mac suit him very well (storms into office to check emails, machine wakes instantly...). It really shouldn't be making you sick- perhaps you should focus your attention on flowers, fossils, arts or literature?

      Oh, and you have concerns over the exploitation of assembly workers and miners of rare resources, buying non-Apple gear isn't going to make much difference. Anyone who can afford a computer and the leisure to to read El Reg is, compared to many of our fellow planet dwellers, very privileged indeed. Remember that, and don't get sick because of other people's IT choices. In fact, the most ethical (or least amoral) policy is to buy a longer lasting (if marginally pricier) product and to use it for longer.

  33. Nigel Whitfield.

    Included adaptors

    I'm on my third Apple laptop of the last decade or so; certainly with the first, and I'm pretty sure with the second - but not with the current 4 year old - various adaptors for the display were included, offering things such as VGA, S video or composite outputs.

    And none of these has been a top of the range model, though they weren't entry level either. Yes, many people may never need an ethernet adaptor, but quite a few will - and I'll wager it'll be a larger number than ever used an S video output from a G4 PowerBook.

    If they'd never been in the habit of including useful adaptors at all, then one could be more sanguine about having to pay extra for ethernet. But it really does seem a shame to have stopped such a helpful practice, to put it mildly.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Included adaptors

      The change came when adapters started becoming active instead of just being two passive connectors with some wires.

      I actually think it's wise to skip out adapters not everyone needs. The world, and my house, don't need more electronic garbage lying around.

      Surely anyone buying a top of the range laptop can pay the extra $25 to get a dongle if one really needs it.

  34. Bugs R Us

    No ethernet, no biggie and here's why:

    First I'm NOT an Apple fan, I don't own and never will own any of their products. I love Windows and my Android mobile.

    I do real work too (developmenty stuff, project managementy things, lots of reading/writing documents, running multiple VMs, etc. - real non Apple execy type work) using only a laptop. I have never needed an ethernet port for the last 5+ years. I work from home but lso spend a lot of time in client environments, typically large corporate offices, investment banks, etc. The reason I don't need ethernet is because they all now provide guest internet access over WiFi and all I need to do is VPN over that. The other thing worth noting is that a lot of business services like messaging and collabortion tools are or can be web based and more often than not these days, accessible from the internet.

    Sure ethernet is great if you regularly need to move large files around. I do too, large virtual disk images or ISO images. A 64GB SD card can be found for a little as £27 and I have a few of them that take up hardly any space in my laptop bag - better than carrying a portable hard drive. And at this price I can expense it without any eye brows raised.

  35. Andy 115

    Many corporates don't allow..

    ...someone to come and plug into their wired infrastructure. So the lack of Ethernet / supplied dongle is really a plus IMHO, the thickness of the laptop isn't being dictated by the need to shove an RJ45 port in the side.

  36. Nya

    Where's the surprise here?!

    And the surprise here is what? Apple screwed it's user base over with the removal of ADB (Apple Desktop Bus) ports and AppleTalk ports back in the day. They then did the same again removal of the FDD as mentioned in the story. And they did it again with changing their own propriety video connection, and needing adaptors for Firewire. And heck, we've all been reading how Apple's busy hiring connector folks to redo a smaller connection for iDevices.

    So why is this a surprise? Apple screws over it's users every few years to either extract a nice wedge on top of the huge amount they've already paid over the odds to be able to use any equipment they currently own. Or be forced to buy all new kit. Apple never loses out of this, it's win win for them every time as very very few ever think bollocks to it, and go elsewhere.

    Meanwhile, we all know Acer and HP have both announced (think it's about 3 months+ back the story now) the removal of optical drives on pretty much all laptops now in the holiday season...which isn't an issue. But none are removing Ethernet. And HP still offer on some of the business spec built to order machines a RS232 port!!!! and I got a lovely i5 off HP last year shipped with *shock horror* a Floppy Drive!!! yes it came at the cost of the card reader, but for the job at hand, it was necessary. Heck, image Apple doing that couldn't you!

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Where's the surprise here?!

      You're right! We really need those RS-232, LPT ports and floppy drives. Won't the manufacturers listen!

      Hell a tape recorder wouldn't go amiss either.

      Change.. meh it's all a scam to screw the users /s

      Mine's the one with the pocket for the 8" floppy.

      1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

        Re: Where's the surprise here?!

        I use the floppy drive more often than I do the CD reader on my work desktop. For some things it is still an absolute requirement. Agreed, most people don't deal with old equipment and so don't need one, but I for one sure do.

        Even some fairly recent kit communicates over RS232 and I often carry a RS232-to-USB adaptor for diagnotic work. I certainly wish my laptop had a built-in RS232 port. I'm actually thinking about buying one (some company still give you the option).

        As for tape... certainly not for a laptop, but are you seriously saying that tape is dead?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Where's the surprise here?!

          RS-232 - jesus - think most people accepted if you want that you use a USB to serial adapter cable - they cost about £5-10. You are the sort that will whinge as it does not support fibre channel, RS-232, SCART and have a thunderbolt port - all internally.

          For 99.9% of people (not just people on here) it's a total non issue. You have a laptop you have a laptop bag - you put your power supply, power cable, ethernet adapter, ethernet cable and another other bits you need.

          Next people will be moaning that you have to plug it in to charge - why can't it charge using solar panels and by leeching wifi signals and where is the pixie dust...

          1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

            Re: Where's the surprise here?!

            > RS-232 - jesus - think most people accepted if you want that you use a USB to serial adapter cable

            A lot of interfaces will not work optimally over such an adaptor. Some will not work at all. That's OK, Aye Hff vayz of makink dem vork anyway. But as I said I certainly wish my diagnostic laptop had a built-in RS232.

            > You are the sort that will whinge

            I am not. I get things done. This post was a response to the guy who implied that floppies, RS232 tape etc are long dead. They are not, and the latter 2 will stay around for the foreseable future (I am likely to retire before they do. Long before).

      2. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Where's the surprise here?!

        RS-232 ports are pretty important if you're trying to hook up to a serial terminal, which still exist in this day and age, especially in isolated hardware where networking is not an option or as a fallback option in case no other option works. Do you know that some Android devices still carry serial terminal lines somewhere in their hardware?

        The same holds true for floppy drives. There are plenty of independent electronics and electromechanical hardware that were built in the 90's and such (in the days before USB was en vogue), so were equipped with a 3.5" floppy drive for receiving instructions.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Where's the surprise here?!

      It's called progress. Apple support their older hardware better than most - but you have to keep moving forward - Thunderbolt is technically miles better than USB 2, Firewire or even USB 3. Firewire was miles better than USB 2 (or 1 at the time) - but you have to move on as things improve.

      Sure spinny disks may give you more capacity but that's likely only an issue for the minority of people - for most people flash is far faster, lighter, uses less power, more reliable and rugged - all good things in a laptop.

      No-one is forcing people to upgrade - if you buy one of these with Thunderbolt it has USB ports, there is a Thunderbolt to Firewire adapter available soon and a Thunderbolt to Gigabit ethernet available now. So keep your old external devices.

      Someone needing a 'floppy drive' in a laptop these days - that's not even 1 in 1000 niche and of course there will be another compromise to make - most people would just carry a USB floppy drive externally.

  37. Trollslayer Silver badge
    Thumb Down


    Is never futile!

    No Ethernet? That is a joke.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    phone analogy

    Landline voice quality is much much better than mobile. But how often do you use a landline these days? Sure, I could plug my laptop into Ethernet most places I use it, but it's frankly too much bother. Far easier to be on WiFi and then my connection doesn't break every time I move.

    Sure, GigE lets me download stuff faster than WiFi, but I don't spend all that much of my time on, and at the end of the day 802.11n performs fine - just stick to 5Ghz to avoid the congestion on 2.4Ghz.

  39. TheOtherHobbes

    At this rate by 2025

    Apple will be charging £10,000 for a small white translucent plastic cube - with logo - that does absolutely nothing except create its own advertising.

    Warranty extra.

  40. Blueworld

    This is just rubbish

    If you need ethernet, the MacBook Pro Retina ships with an adapter for one of it's two Thunderbolt ports..... If you are desperate for DVD's (I can't remember when I last needed to use one) get a dvd drive for the occasion but it's likely to be a one off. Who really needs a terra bite with you always.... no video or audio pro would dream of using the internal drive. For HD no internal drives are big enough apart from for tinkering..... Then there is this laughable stuff when back in the good old days we were all passing about floppies....sod off. There were't iMacs on all the desks individually hooked up to the internet, they were on a network, like they are now. Like now, lazy staff send files by email given the choice because it's what they do on their home computer and increasingly their phones. This is a non-artical jumping on the same old, same old, of what Apple took away and charged more for.... Get real, Apple took away the obsolete because there is a limit to what you can accommodate if you want slim and sleek..... How's that mobile phone going with that dvd drive strapped to the side, or that tablet? It's ridiculous to suggest that dvd is a must have ..... I see most people on flights watch movies on iPads or other devices. Another thing a company can afford to fly you somewhere but there's no WiFi when you get there? .... come on .... It's ludicrous....

  41. Doug Bostrom

    My SO was just nailed by the ethernet cost-savings/Apple shareholder advantage program on the Air, on her last trip. Sheraton in Huntsville, Alabama: no wifi in rooms. It never even occurred to us to check the Air to see if it had an ethernet port before this; -all- reasonable equipment does, right? Nope. My wife was terribly thrilled and pleased that Apple helped her "Think Different" and stand out in the crowd by doing her do her email etc. down in the lobby of her hotel.

    On the other hand she just took off on another trip this morning, equipped w/the $30 Apple super-duper speed retarding USB-ethernet adapter so at least somebody's smiling (not us, shareholders of course...).

    No ethernet is stupid, only slightly less so than the people who return to buy this stuff a second time after the first go 'round. Once the Air dies we'll "switch," just like Apple would like.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Why not buy her a small portable Wifi AP, I never leave anywhere without one. Great for smartphones too.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      What sort of hotel does not offer wifi (in the rooms) these days and what sort of person does not take the '2 seconds' to 'see' the Macbook Air does not have an ethernet port or realised that when they bought it - guess what it does not have VGA or eSata or god knows whatever other ports either. Suppose you did not realise it did not have a DVD drive etc. and now that's also a big shock to you.

      You bought the 'Air' as you wanted an ultra portable laptop - a tiny size comes with some compromises - had you bought another similar sized ultraportable you may have found it also did not have an ethernet port.

      Try looking at the thickness of the macbook air (lower part - i.e. not the screen) - it's THINNER than an ethernet port - it's barely thicker than a USB port!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Thumbs down for stating the obvious that if you have a laptop thinner than an ethernet port that may be a decent reason why it does not have one... sheesh there are some real Apple haters out there blinded by their hatred.

        What next - they should fit dual ethernet ports as you may want to run it as a router - or YOU wanted the port on the left and they dared put it on the right.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Take a look at the Macbook Air - cutting out an Ethernet port is not about cost savings - it just would not fit - the think is TOO THIN. Also there is an Apple store at:

      320 The Bridge Street

      Huntsville, AL 35806

      (256) 327-8800

      ... pop in there and spend about $25-30 on the USB or Thunderbolt to ethernet adapters - problem solved - it's only about 10 minutes down I-565.

      1. Simba7

        Good for you.. Try finding an Apple store within a 500mi radius of Billings, MT.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Once the Air dies we'll "switch," just like Apple would like."

      You might be waiting a long time - Apple kit is typically well made - I know people with 4-6+ year old MacBooks that still work well and look pretty much 'as new' unlike most normal laptops that are plastic / less rugged and seem to be knackered after about 3 years.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        "What sort of hotel does not offer wifi (in the rooms) these days"

        it's always excuses with fanboys, isn't it? If the rest of the world doesn't join in with whatever vision Apple has then, they're wrong, not Apple.

        Try working in a warehouse with wifi, where there is metal everywhere. You either have to fit some specialist antennae or switch to wired internet. Or try using wifi in an old country house hotel with great big thick walls.

        The thing with us dinosaurs with our Thinkpads is that we know that the world is imperfect. We know that we might only have ethernet, that we might have to bring some spare batteries because we won't have power for 3 or 4 days (good luck doing that with the new soldered-in MBP battery), that some guy might hand us something on CD, that if it breaks down almost anywhere in the world, that we can get it fixed (any Apple stores in Algeria or Rwanda)?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @AC 08:43

        "Apple kit is typically well made..."

        Tell that to my ex-colleague who brought her Air back to the Apple store when the keyboard broke and was told "You're not supposed to use it *every* day" she bought a MBP instead, for about twice the price, which *is* apparently designed to be used regularly.

        A fool and her money, if you ask me. Only Apple could get away with that, though...

  42. This post has been deleted by its author

  43. Dick Pountain


    Why can't people in this forum get it through their heads that this gizmo is not for computing - it's a super photoframe for showing off the aerial zebra videos from your last safari in the Maasai Mara.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Zebras

      or for doctors analysing CT scans.. Oh wait that sorta is computing isn't it?

      Get a clue dude, computing isn't just the stuff you do on a 80x25 RS-232 terminal...

      1. Simba7

        Re: Zebras is when I'm configuring a Cisco device.

        I need an RS-232 port. It's a pain just to get my USB-RS232 adapter to work correctly without locking up.

  44. Dave 142

    If it takes you that long to torrent a film you need to get a better internet provider.

  45. Mussie (Ed)

    How To Fix The World

    1) round up all apple users

    2) put them on a tropicle island

    3) apply neclear weapons

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How To Fix The World

      Get a diksheenry (sic).

    2. the-it-slayer

      Re: How To Fix The World

      Shame your world of no Apple would consist of extremely boring plastic cases of tat. Why does it hurt to have a bit of colour and creativity in technology?

    3. BorkedAgain

      Re: How To Fix The World

      Waste of a good tropical island, if you ask me...

      (Plus it'd need to be quite a large tropical island. And the logistics would be a hassle. Also, I know some apple users who are actually quite nice folks; some are very enthusiastic about their platform of choice and yet they're really very decent types indeed. In fact, you know, the more I think about this the more I suspect this is actually quite a poor plan to fix the world compared with, say, proper research into Thorium-based power and space elevators. Also your spelling is not good.)

  46. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    Ethernet via Thunderbolt eh? I seem to remember being told that Thunderbolt has exactly the same security issue that Firewire does - Direct Memory Access. Still, I'm most certainly not Apple's target audience. I just hope makers of real computers don't try to jump on the bandwagon.

    As for the retina display, my eyesight is crap so it wouldn't be any benefit at all.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If it's an issue / concern for you get the USB version.

  47. This post has been deleted by its author

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