Apple’s 2012 World Wide Developers Conference was no disappointment to millions of fans hoping for spectacular new hardware announcements. Possibly the most “radical” of them all is the introduction of a new Macbook Pro. The standard “high res” versions of the Macbook Pro will continue to be available, and were given some impressive power bumps while keeping the pricing in place. Apple is apparently aware that the radical new Macbook Pro will not be as ubiquitous as the standard models. There are several good reasons for this.
Mysterious Dual Nature
For one thing, the Retina Macbook Pro is something of a hybrid: it has no hard drive, and uses the same 256gb flash storage found in the Macbook Air. If you really want ultimate storage and performance, you can go all the way to a 768gb flash drive.
Pricing is high for this premium product. The entry level Retina model with 256gb of flash storage starts at $2199 USD, and highest configuration available will set you back $4080 with Apple Care. Of course, this is the ultimate laptop, easily the most powerful in existence at this time. But will Apple fans consider the price difference in a regular Macbook Pro and the new one with Retina display worth the extra investment?
Hard to Repair or Upgrade at Home
Another consideration is the design of the Retina Macbook Pro: this is the least friendly of all Apple’s laptops for do it yourself upgrades and repairs. The display is literally fused onto the metal, with no glass covering it. Breaking it would be a costly mistake since it would require a complete replacement of the entire top of the Macbook Pro. The battery is glued on, so it can’t be unscrewed and replaced in the traditional way. Upgrading your own flash storage isn’t an option anymore, either, because Apple’s is delivered via a proprietary module with a special means of attachment to the motherboard. These are practical concerns many people will find a little daunting.
The Macbook Air is still one of Apple’s best selling laptops, despite its lack of power and storage space, primarily because it is light, portable, and can be very inexpensive if configured at the low end of the range. To find a Windows compatible ultra notebook with comparable specifications is no simple task. There seems to be little danger of sales of the Retina Macbook Pro eating into Macbook Air sales because of pricing.
What do you think about Apple’s latest addition to the Macbook Pro line? Do you plan to upgrade to the Macbook Pro with Retina display? Let us hear your comments.
Melonie McLaurin is a technology blogger. Her favorite topics to cover are Apple, Android, and gaming. In her spare time she enjoys writing fiction and screenplays, and checking out the DirecTV Channel lineup on her iPad. Read more at her technology blog.