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

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

  1. FartingHippo
    Facepalm

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

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

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

    1. Kris

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

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

      1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

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

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

        Very true, but university is not school...

        1. Kris

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

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

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

      2. hammarbtyp Silver badge

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

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

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

      3. Oh Matron!

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

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

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

    2. jason 7
      Childcatcher

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

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

      They tend to last a little longer that way.

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

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

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

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

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

      1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

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

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

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

      2. fruitoftheloon

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

        Ac,

        Here, here...

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

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

        Always good for a giggle that is

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

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

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

  2. bex

    2-3 year desposable no thants

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

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: 2-3 year desposable no thants

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

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 2-3 year desposable no thants

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

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

  3. JDX Gold badge

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

    1. jason 7
      Meh

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

      1. thomas newton

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

        1. JDX Gold badge

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

      2. Steve Todd
        Stop

        @jason 7

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

        1. jason 7
          Meh

          Re: @jason 7

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

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

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @jason 7

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

            A phenomenon known as 'the big lie'.

          2. Steve Todd

            Re: @jason 7

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

            1. jason 7
              Happy

              Re: @jason 7

              No, I answered your question with a valid answer.

              Be more specific next time perhaps.

              1. Steve Todd
                Stop

                Re: @jason 7

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

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Premature

    "And that’s pretty much it for 2014"

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

    1. Michael Jennings

      Re: Premature

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

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Re: Premature

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

      2. Mullerrad
        Joke

        Re: Premature

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

  5. Khaptain Silver badge

    £999

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

    1. William Gallafent

      Re: £999

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

      OS X is UNIX

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

      1. Khaptain Silver badge

        Re: £999

        @William

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

        1. whatevs...

          Re: £999

          @Khapitain

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

          1. Irony Deficient

            hold Command-S at the startup bong

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

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: £999

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

          1. Andalou

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

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

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

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

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

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

          2. earplugs

            Re: £999

            Using the GPU for bitcoin mining?

        3. Irony Deficient

          OS X without the GUI

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

        4. Ian F

          Re: £999

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

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

        5. P. Lee Silver badge

          Re: £999

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

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

          But my memory may be playing tricks on me.

      2. Ian F

        Re: £999

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

    2. /dev/null
      Facepalm

      Re: £999

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

      1. Khaptain Silver badge

        Re: £999

        @dev/null

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

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

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

        1. MondoMan
          Meh

          Re: Mavericks @Khaptain

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

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

  6. Colin Ritchie
    Windows

    I bought the last of the non retina range.

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

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

    1. Lusty Silver badge

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

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

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

      1. Colin Ritchie
        Windows

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

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

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

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

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

        1. robin thakur 1

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

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

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

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

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

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

  7. Efros

    1000 quid!

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

    1. William Gallafent

      Re: 1000 quid!

      “Source: I just bought one!”

      … but you are too shy to post a link? :)

      1. artbristol

        Re: 1000 quid!

        Here's one with a 3200x1800 13" display for around £650, depending on how you configure it. https://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/notebooks/optimusV-13/

        1. bex

          Re: 1000 quid!

          still can't put the touchpad where it's supposed to be, in the middle.

          It's not really a macbook killer, it looks kind of clunky and is the touchpad up to the spec of the brilliant apple glass ones, I doubt it.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 1000 quid!

          Yes, but do you really want a laptop that's named after a Transformer?

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 1000 quid!

          That's a clumsily shaped brick. Even the Apple 15" is thinner, not much wider or deeper and weighs only 20 grammes more. The specs, even with customisation, do not seem especially wonderful and running BSD or Linux on it requires reinstallation by me, with all the nuisance that involves of finding drivers, codecs etc.. OSX is BSD based, is fully supported and the hardware is actually a pleasure to see and touch.

          I buy a notebook for its portability/power mixture and like my personal things to look good as well as be good. I use the business equivalent of your suggestion, all day, every day and have to carry it about too. There is just no comparison.

          As for the price: you get what you pay for and, as I tend to keep my kit for several years, skimping to save three or four hundred now makes no sense. Of course, with a cheap notebook, one skimps as it will almost certainly need replacing or upgrading after one to two years, espeically with the bloating effect of Windows patches and upgrades and even Linux new releases.

          Thanks, you removed any doubts I had, though I shall upgrade to either a top end MBA or the 15" mac pro.

          1. Fink-Nottle

            Re: 1000 quid!

            > As for the price: you get what you pay for and, as I tend to keep my kit for several years, skimping to save three or four hundred now makes no sense.

            It's important consider total cost of ownership. The estimated resale value is just as important as the purchase price, and Apple products retain their value well. I've recently sold my Late 2011 Macbook Air for £100 less than it's original cost and 33 beer tokens per annum for a laptop is pretty hard to beat!

        4. Alan Edwards

          Re: 1000 quid!

          > Here's one with a 3200x1800 13" display for around £650

          Or £808 with a quad-core i7, nVidia GTX-860M, 8Gb RAM, 120Gb mSATA SSD + 500Gb hard disc and 1080p screen. That's a nice machine.

          I wouldn't go for the 3200x1800 screen yet, it's too high to be readable at 100% and the scaling isn't quite there yet in Windows.

          1. Volker Hett

            Re: 1000 quid!

            I'm happy with a dual core i5 3xxx and whatever Intel GPU which comes with it, I'm all in for longer battery life.

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 1000 quid!

          With the same overall specification as my own i7 laptop but with the high res screen, it's £939 including VAT, which is so impressive that I want to know where the catch is.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: 1000 quid!

            With the same overall specification as my own i7 laptop but with the high res screen, it's £939 including VAT, which is so impressive that I want to know where the catch is.

            The catch is think about the company making the product and think about how many people you know who own one of their laptops compared to say a high volume laptop maker that's been in the game for a while and can't match that price. If it sounds too good to be true it usually is.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 1000 quid!

      For about 3/4 the price you can get a laptop that will outperform this MacBook pro in every area

      With a 3/4 of the resolution. Enjoy 1366x768

    3. Aitor 1 Silver badge

      Re: 1000 quid!

      I will weight more.

      The base model has an OK pricing. I would say maybe even good.

      The problem comes with the "upgrades".. it is plain stealing...

      My missus dropped water on her laptop, and I was able to repair it buying a new (all integrated) keyboard on amazon.. 18 quid as it is an OEM part (the "equivalent" was just 8). Good luck with that problem and an Apple laptop.

      Also, my mother in law has had many problems with her iToys.. apple refuses to honour US battery recalls in europe, for example.

    4. chris 17 Bronze badge

      Re: 1000 quid!

      @Efros Yes i see, its exactly the same but cheaper.

      I'm reminded of that VW add where the car sales man says it sounds just like a golf, and teh daughter looks at him like he's crazy!!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 1000 quid!

        chris 17 "VW add"

        VW + ?

        advertisement -> ad (2 letters)

        addition -> add (3 letters)

    5. Volker Hett

      Re: 1000 quid!

      Which one? I need one! It should work well with Linux and Windows 7, a big touchpad is a must and I like a HighDPI Display, too.

    6. robin thakur 1

      Re: 1000 quid!

      Which laptop would that be? I'd still prefer a RMBP to virtually any other windows laptop, even if I end up running Windows on it. The service of Apple is peerless compared to the horrible non-existent service offered by the average PC vendor and nothing else looks as pretty quite frankly. I appreciate good design when I'm developing in Visual Studio, the two are not mutually exclusive.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No problem at all.

    There's no problem at all. For a cheap Macbook follow these steps:

    1. Order a refurbished one from the US site to your or a relatives hotel in the US.

    2. Bring the laptop back.

    Curreny-, tax-, and refurbished effects will bring down the price significantly. As an alternative, if you go to a state that has sales tax, just buy the laptop from ebay instead.

    1. Tom 38 Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: No problem at all.

      What if neither me nor none of my family own hotels in the US?

      1. Michael Jennings

        Re: No problem at all.

        Some of us really like a £ symbol above the 3, too.

        1. Aitor 1 Silver badge

          Re: No problem at all.

          Is it worth 300 quid?

          1. Michael Jennings

            Re: No problem at all.

            Clearly not, no.

        2. SteveK

          Re: No problem at all.

          Ok, the UK model has a pound printed there but just using the UK keymap will put it there even if there's no graphic.

          And don't need to worry about other keys being shown in the wrong places as Apple are 'special' in not following the normal UK keyboard layout and just forcing the US layout on you anyway.

      2. Alan Edwards

        Re: No problem at all.

        > What if neither me nor none of my family own hotels in the US?

        Have a holiday in Boston (or New York, Atlanta, Orlando, wherever flights are cheaper) and have it delivered to the hotel you are staying.at.

        1. Tom Wood

          Re: No problem at all.

          Right, if you want a very expensive macbook (with a free holiday, and free fingerprint scanning on entry to the US).

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: No problem at all.

            my daughter wanted a new (well it would've been refurb) MBA

            but instead I bought a refurb Acer ChromeBook on Amazon.com (from $169...really! - tho' I paid $209.99 for the Touchscreen 'Moonstone White' 32GB variant) got it delivered to BUNDLEBOX virtual USA address, who then shipped it to me within 2 days to the UK & they sorted the vat/documents.

            Total landed price in UK was £207.66 (listed on Amazon.co.uk upwards of £500 from scalpers, tho' sometimes the 16GB is available for around £250)

            Upshot is, apart from anticipating the TTIP by buying cheap yank PCs, is that daughter PREFERS the 'Chrome Browser in a touchscreen-box' to the MacBookAir, and I get the satisfaction that the NSA TAO will have to spend the next year watching 'Pierce the Veil' videos for steganographic messages!

    2. Fink-Nottle
      Paris Hilton

      Missed Opportunity

      > 1. Order a refurbished one from the US site to your or a relatives hotel in the US.

      If ever there was a comment that deserved the Paris treatment ...

  9. SteveK

    When did this reduction happen?

    Price (both academic and public) seem the same as they were a fortnight ago, as I had someone ask me about buying one. Looking at his email, he was seeing the list price on the Apple UK store as £999 then, so assuming this reduction isn't something that's just happened?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh, can't I get one of those Retina displays in an Acer, Vaio or Asus?

    Pretty please?

    It's the only thing that really outmatches the available stuff in my whole country. I will get in my touch with my Chinese suppliers...

    None of the available will have even 1920 x 1080 for less than 10,000 local currencies. And in the local currency 10k can buy you a motorcycle.

  11. Andy Roid McUser

    Upgrade the display ??

    I'm a little surprised that you think not upgrading the retina display is a demonstration of Apple missing a trick. Got to ask you , have you actually used a retina 13" macbook pro ? well I can tell you that 2560x1600 pixels on a 13" inch screen is plenty, I have mine dialled back to 1920x1200 using SwitchResX . I'm not much fussed about the font smoothness, just wanted the real estate on a small device. The brightness and colours are perfect , if they changed a thing on the MBP display I'd be suspicious.

    1. William Gallafent

      Re: Upgrade the display ??

      “I have mine dialled back to 1920x1200 using SwitchResX“

      Why not just alter your resolution towards “more space” in System Preferences instead of using a third-party utility? This way you keep all your pixels but scale the UI to improve the amount of real estate.

    2. handle

      Re: Upgrade the display ??

      Yes, the whole point of the "retina" marketing is that the eye cannot discern the individual pixels, so putting in any more is a completely futile exercise.

      Whoops Apple - might have backed yourself into a corner there!

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple Macbooks

    This seems expensive for a 13" non-dedicated graphics laptop.

    I've seen a touchscreen Asus laptop (i5 based - although slow CPU) with a dedicated Nvidia GT 745M in for £612. Upgradable to 16GB of RAM. SSD and RAM easily accessible.

    I'm currently looking at a 15" screen MSI gaming laptop for £799 - again - easily upgradable and with a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M graphics chipset in it.

    I went into the Apple shop (I do like them however) and looked at the 15" MBP's and to get similar I was looking at £1599.

    I'm sure that the Flash drives/SSD, OSX and build quaility are all great but the whole thing just seems overpriced.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Apple Macbooks

      Of course it's expensive in pure "match the basic spec".

      1)Apple charge nothing for the OS so they have to make more on the hardware than other vendors

      2)You are paying for the design

      3)More tangibly (if you don't care about looks) you are paying for every cubic inch and gram you AREN'T getting!

      1. ThomH Silver badge

        Re: Apple Macbooks

        For certain niche professions, it's a huge benefit that Thunderbolt exposes full-speed PCIe to outside lets you add arbitrary expansion devices when docked. E.g. Sonnet sell a box that lets you attach a regular PCIe card. I'm told it's quite the thing for pro audio.

        For the rest of us? The build quality is usually good*, the battery life usually superb.

        * no, your three anecdotes plus the times it has actually been newsworthy because the build quality wasn't good don't disprove that assertion. Though my anecdote doesn't exactly prove it either...

        1. ThomH Silver badge

          Re: Apple Macbooks

          Replying to myself on the reliability issue, having tried to source more objective numbers...

          Per Squaretrade — http://www.squaretrade.com/htm/pdf/SquareTrade_laptop_reliability_1109.pdf — an insurance company that you might expect to want to amplify total numbers but that probably has no reason to be disingenuous about the manufacturer spread, 17.4% of Apple laptops fail within the first three years. The industry best was Asus at 15.6%, worst was HP at 25.6%.

          So the worst big supplier produces machines that are 24% more likely to break than Apple and 64% more likely than the best. Apple's are only 11% more likely to break than the best.

          Apple is also beaten by Toshiba and Sony but it's objectively amongst the good build quality guys.

      2. Flatpackhamster

        Re: Apple Macbooks

        4) You're paying what the market will bear, which is about 20% more than it should be due to the trendiness of the Apple brand at the moment.

        1. robin thakur 1

          Re: Apple Macbooks

          You assume too much. I'm as technical as they get and could afford any laptop, pc or mac and still choose a RMBP because of the design and the support and because all of the components (not just some of them) are great and are balanced against battery life. The trackpad build quality and capabilities on their own are something where an equivalent simply does not exist in the PC laptop market even now and has been available on Mac for a decade. Even running Windows on them is a far nicer experience and once you've used one, it's very hard to go back to the whole race-to-the-bottom, cost-conscious, flimsy PC alternatives which change with the seasons depending on which desperate sales gimmick MS decides to unveil, and I say that with love as an MS developer.

  13. requireddata

    "One talking point ahead of this update was the possibility of an upgrade for the Retina Display, as there are now several Windows laptops available that provide even higher resolutions."

    There are also rockets that can travel to Mars. That's about 54.6 million kilometers which is a seemingly higher number than 2560*1600. They are quite different units but who the *** cares. They are also not 13" inch but we wanted to point out that Apple sucks since their laptop can not enter even the most modest of orbits. They are they only ones that have a 13.3" inch screen at this resolution though (which actually is weird, or everyone else realised that VERY FEW ppl needs it) ... but ... fuxx that.

  14. The New Turtle

    And windows can't rescale effectively for QHD?

    "The Mac operating system also handles scaling of text and graphics more effectively than Windows – just try running Photoshop on some of the "quad-HD" Windows laptops that are currently available"

    I have. It works fine. As does pretty much everything else under windows that I've tried.

    Factoids. :p

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