10 Reasons The Macbook Pro with Retina Display Might Not be For You

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14 Jun, 2012 8:15 pm

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There is no question that Apple’s new flagship device, the 2012 Macbook Pro is jaw dropping in its beauty. A 15 inch Retina display will make anyone weak in the knees.  But if you’re in the market for a new Mac and you can’t buy things “just because” here are 10 things that you should consider before chunking down several thousand dollars on your new precious.

1. Let’s face the cold hard fact that 80% of consumers don’t need a powerful laptop anymore, in fact, many would argue that they don’t need a laptop at all now that they’ve got an iPad! I can’t blame you for lusting after Apple’s hottest product, but it’s just not practical for everyone. If you can’t stop drooling over the retina display, don’t worry this is really just a sign of what’s to come.  

If you are in the minority who actually needs a powerful laptop then keep reading I’ve got some more points for you to consider.

2.  Let’s take a closer look at the most coveted feature, the Retina display.  It’s glorious, no two ways about it, but is it necessary?  If you’re a content creator dealing in high resolution images and HD content, I see your point, but if you’re just consuming content, the question is where are you going to get the content to show off your gorgeous new display? Are Mac developers going to rush to create content and application to support one model? And for now the number of people owning that model is going to be relatively small. Mostly early adopters that don’t mind living at the fringe.

Bragging rights are nice, but I’m not sure if the high price tag that goes along with them are worth it.

3. If the display is the must have feature that you just can’t move past, consider this. The Retina display doesn’t sit behind a pane of glass, Apple says the new screen cuts down glare by 75 percent when compared to the other glossy MacBook Pro displays.If you use your device on the go, then you’ll know exactly how valuable a non glossy display is when you’re trying to get work done under pressure.  If you picked up the regular Macbook Pro sans Retina display you’ll be able to upgrade your unit with a matte screen for 100 percent less glare. This feature isn’t available on the Retina MacBook Pro. Exactly how gorgeous will your display be if you’re having trouble seeing it because of all the glare and reflections?

4.  If you’ve decided the Macbook Pro with the Retina Display is actually right for you (and there will be people that it is a perfect fit for) consider that you’re going to have to do all of your upgrading at purchase.  Grabbing extra RAM when you’ve got the cash is no longer an option. The new MacBook Pro with Retina display starts at $2,199 and can run as high as $3,749 with all the bells and whistles. If you’re spending that much one option that you won’t be able to revisit later is RAM.  It is awesome that you can install as much as 16GB of RAM! It will only cost you an extra $200.  The unit comes standard with 8GB which should be enough for your average user, but this isn’t a unit targeted at the average user. So beware the Retina MacBook Pro is sealed and soldered shut, if you went with the regular line up you’ll be able to upgrade to your hearts content at a later date.

5. If you’re deciding between the regular MBP and the MBP with Retina display and are looking to get the most bang for your buck take a closer look at the processors.  If you’re thinking of getting the 300MHz upgrade take a look at the pricing options on the regular line up over the MBP with Retina display. This upgrade on the premium product is going to set you back another $600!

6. If you’ve been loyal to Apple products for several years, this next one should come as no surprise. First-generation technology from Apple has been known to have glitches.  MacLife points out the following products: “The MacBook Air had fan and overheating issues, the PowerBook G4 Titanium suffered from faulty hinges and paint peeling, and G3 iBook users had display and logic board troubles.” This maybe a reason to opt for the standard Macbook Pro line, it’s already sorted out it’s bugs and shouldn’t give you any trouble.

7.  Disk Space is going to become a consideration if you’re choosing the Macbook Pro Retina over the MBP, the Retina edition comes with an SSD, so you’ve got the speed but you’re sacrificing the space.  The difference in size is pretty substantial, 750GB vs. 256GB.  The other thing you’re going to have to consider is that if you want to expand your memory you can just pop in an SDXC card, but be warned for the larger sizes they can be pretty expensive.

8. There is no optical drive. If that’s important to you than you’re going to need to take that into consideration.

9. No more Firewire 800 and Ethernet port, but you can get an adapter for $29. For this sacrifice you do get a Thunderbolt and HDMI port.

10. For my final point I’m going to refer to Buster over at Cult of Mac who I think asked the best question:

If you’re debating whether or not you should buy the MacBook Pro with Retina display, then ask yourself this question:

I spend most of my computer time:

A) Watching cat videos
B) Sharing cat videos on Facebook
C) Writing about cat videos on my blog
D) Creating cat videos while on an African Safari

If your answer was either A, B, or C, then you probably don’t need a MacBook Pro with Retina display. 

There is no doubt that Apple has knocked it out of the park with the new Macbook Pro with Retina Display! But it won’t be for everyone and if it’s for you, I hope this article has given you a little food for thought.

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Via MacLifeCult of Mac


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  • Fate

    Hi Nicole!
    Great article and I want to point out another reason. It will make you hate everything else. I have a MBPR and all other computers and screens just dropped several notches. Even the best other screens starts looking blurry or worse. Normal screens look like they are coated with a layer of dust and so on.
    /F

  • Harry_Wild

    I already use a desktop with WUXGA and what to have the same on my notebook! Why buy something you hate for a few dollars less is the question I have of the author? You get what you pay for!