Apple released two new Macbooks yesterday with a bevy of new features. Interested in buying one when it becomes available at the Apple Store? Here are the top five reviews you need to read about Apple’s latest laptops.
Now it’s time to talk storage and speed. For most people, a 256GB flash drive should be more than enough — especially if you have an external hard drive. If you don’t, may we suggest you get one. Externals are cheap and are a better investment in the long run. To go with that, you’re going to want 16GB of RAM. Seriously, load that puppy up because you can’t upgrade it later. And for processor speed we’re going the opposite way: 2.4 GHz. You really won’t notice that big difference by paying $100 or $300 more for the slightly faster dual-core i5 and i7 chips. Bang. You’re done.
Now back to you processor-intensive types. You need the 15-inch, and we’re going all the way: 2.6GHz processor and a full terabyte of storage, baby. Yes, that bumps the price up over $3,000, but hey, you’re a big shot and need all the power you can get. Do it.
Honan fawned over the new computers in which he was particularly impressed with the processing speed and memory. The price may be high but he thinks both computers are worth a purchase.
The biggest changes are to the 13-inch model, which is now just 0.71 inches thick and weighs 3.46 pounds. That’s slightly thinner and lighter than the outgoing model, but it’s also faster — much faster. Where the old model would stutter and lag on web pages and while working with images, the new model’s Haswell processor with upgraded Iris graphics was totally smooth. Obviously we didn’t get to test it too harshly, but if it holds up when we review it, the 13-inch Pro just reentered the conversation in a big way — especially since the base price is now just $1,299. Unfortunately, that $1,299 doesn’t buy you as much as you might hope: with just 128GB of storage paired with 4GB of RAM, you’re likely to run out of space pretty quickly.
Patel was proud of the speed but was critical of the memory. She didn’t think there was ample storage to hold programs.
Outwardly, differences between the late-2013 Retina Pro’s and their predecessors are minor. The display – which can be used in true “Retina” mode, where clusters of pixels are used for incredibly smooth graphics, or at a setting closer to the native resolution of the panel itself, to fit more on-screen at any one time – is still great to use, and the familiar unibody metal chassis is reasonably lightweight and certainly well made.
The main differences are the Thunderbolt 2 ports – which are marked exactly the same – and the pinprick addition of new microphone holes on the left side, just down from the headphone socket.
Davies was a little underwhelmed with the refresh Apple gave to the Macbook line. He felt it was still a great computer to use but thinks that they should have updated the gadget more.
The MacBook Pro updates showcased here are as much about software as hardware, since most of the improvements to the laptops lie in bumped-up specs that are hard to see in a quick demo. Still, Apple has added an hour to its laptop battery life while lightening the weight, a welcome improvement for products designed to be portable.
With OS X Mavericks, the computers gain new apps such as iBooks and Maps, which both run smoothly on the souped-up devices. I’m a little skeptical that users will start dropping their tablets in favor of reading or navigating on a larger computer device, but they still have the option.
Tsukayama thought the battery power was another segment that was the most improved. She considered the reduced weight a nice touch too. OS X Mavericks refined a considerable amount of apps and the writer thinks these changes were subtle but needed.
What isn’t in the new MacBook Pro? The optical drive—which had already been dropped from the Retina-equipped models—is nowhere to be found. If you still have software and media on CD or DVD, you’ll need to pick up Apple USB SuperDrive.
And though all of the new MacBook Pro offerings come with Retina display, there is one hold out for standard 720p – the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Ivy Bridge. Don’t expect it to hang around much longer, with a new low price of $1,199, it looks like it’s priced to sell out old inventory.
Westover points out what may be missing in the new computers. However, he doesn’t think some of these features are a huge loss.