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Need a New Laptop? Apple Just Cut Prices and Increased Specs on Retina Macbook Pros

02.19.13 @ 3:23PM Tags : , , , ,

If you’ve been waiting on a Retina Macbook Pro, now might be a better time than ever to take the plunge. Apple recently cut prices on their 13″ Retina Macbook Pro, and also updated its capabilities at the same time. They’ve also brought some spec upgrades to the 15″ Retina Macbook Pro for the same base price, and the Macbook Air saw a price slash of its own. Check out all of the new deals below.

Here is a little bit about what has changed and what you’ll be paying (from Mashable):

The 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro now starts at $1,499 for 128GB of solid-state flash storage, and $1,699 for 256GB of storage. The higher-end model also includes a more robust 2.6GHz Intel Core i5 processor.

The 15-inch model still starts at $2,199, but now that gets you a quad-core 2.4GHz Core i7 processor. If you want the best of the best, you can now get a 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro with a quad-core 2.7GHz Core i7 processor with 16GB of RAM for $2,799. 

In addition to the adjustments to the Retina MacBook Pro line, Apple also took the price of its 13-inch MacBook Air down a notch: The 13-inch model with 256GB of flash storage now costs $1,399.

Originally starting out at $1,700, you’re now getting a $200 savings with the 13″ Retina Macbook Pro — but the same performance as before. Many reviews thought the screen was fantastic, but that the machine was a bit underpowered for all of that extra resolution, so the new model at $1,700 should see a nice improvement in performance.

If you really need something on the go that can readily edit just about anything you throw at it, the newest upgrades for the 15″ Retina Macbook Pro really make it a workhorse — but you’re definitely going to pay for the ability. For $2,200, you’re now getting a 2.4GHz processor instead of a 2.3GHz processor, but the real monster is now starting at $2,800 for the quad 2.7GHz processor, upgradeable to 2.8GHz for another $250 more.

While the 13″ looks like a great deal for a lot of applications, if you need serious hardware acceleration from your video card, the 15″ model will probably better serve your needs, as it contains the NVIDIA 1GB GeForce GT 650M, instead of just on-board Intel graphics.

What do you guys think? Do the price cuts make you want to pull the trigger on a fancy new Retina display?

Link: Apple Online Store

[via Mashable]


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Description image 36 COMMENTS

  • What’s the heating situation like with these under moderate to heavy use? Even the regular MBP can get obscenely hot at times.

    • Pretty great, I have had no problem leaving mine transcoding RED footage for hours at a time, and the machine only gets warm to the touch.

  • Peter Kelly on 02.19.13 @ 3:36PM

    That 15inch with 16 gb ram looks tasty. My advice is wait for the next model to appear and get in to the shops to pick up the now older model if you see what I mean.

    I bought my 17 inch MacBook pro in 2010 and got €1000 off because it was the older design and the shop wanted rid of. Still going strong too!

    • Same thing happened to me. Apple announced the upgrades (this was four years ago) at their morning conference, and I purchased the clearance laptop (which was now out-of-date by 15 minutes) for $400 cheaper than it would have been the day before. Apple ended up sending me the new laptop on accident, and told me to keep it. Said they wanted their customers to have the latest and best products. LOL yeah right but I gladly accepted their mistake! 4.5 years later, a battery replacement, upgrade to to 4GB RAM, and an SSD, and it still runs fantastically. If you don’t need the latest and greatest computer, buying the newly-clearance models can save you a ton of loot and still meet your needs for many years.

  • Andy Kaczé on 02.19.13 @ 3:40PM

    I´m about to hit the “buy now” button. Planning heavily use of Photoshop, FCPX and Davinci Resolve 9. Stay tuned! ;)

  • With (what seems like) so many companies moving away from FCP, is there any reason to get Apple computers? Serious question, not trying to troll.

    I purchased (and still own) a 2010 MBP a few years ago because I was commuting to school and needed home access to Final Cut Pro. I’m still hoping to get at least another 1.5 years out of my MBP, but it seems like you get more bang for your buck on PC. Avid and Adobe products cover enough ground in the creation realm, plus having the actual ports instead of propriety jacks seems like a benefit. And I’m really digging the laptop/tablet hybrid computers that Windows 8 is spawning.

    So yeah…any thoughts?

    • Eric, I’m in the same boat as you. I still use FPC7 and probably will as my main editing program and just use XML to work between it and Premiere for when I need some special plugin like Premiere’s warp stabilizer or advanced keying plugins… but I still don’t see any other laptop designs that are as nice as Apple’s. So even if I move back to Windows, I’d probably still stick with a mac, but that’s just me. I also like OS X 10.6 a LOT, but I’m not so sold on the more recent integration of iOS features into OS X… it’s the same with Windows 7 vs. Windows 8 though. I feel like everything is headed towards this more dumbed down interface with less controls for pro users. In the end, it’s probably a toss up and you just have to decide what you’re wanting to spend money on.

      • You really should move away from 32-bit FCP 7. Seriously. You’re unnecessarily handicapping your editing workflow.

        I like FCP X and think it is superb for short or medium-length projects. I can also see the benefits to using Premiere CS 6 or AVID.

        But FCP 7 is dead. And deservedly so.

    • Very interesting question, and it’s one that I also had up till recently. I was seriously in doubt about getting a MBP mainly because I didn’t like FCPX and Adobe products fit right into my workflow.

      I got the 15″ retina MBP a few weeks ago and I think it’s money well spent. I use Adobe products rather than FCP. I can say that Premiere runs without a hitch on this machine, both when it comes to playback as well as rendering (remember to update to the latest version of Premiere and AE to get CUDA compatibility with the 650m). I can now edit complete weddings on the go (which is the main reason why I got this laptop).

      To get a laptop with similar specs you’ll still forking out a ton of cash, so the way I see it is that it’s better to add a bit more for the a better OS, better screen and better build quality (not to mention the design).

    • If you buy a machine for professional use, the price difference (which is not huge) shouldn’t be very important. If a Mac causes you one less tech support issue over its lifespan than the equivalent Windows box, it’s even. But the Retina screen is where it really shines — even the 13″ has a 2560×1600 pixel screen. There’s nothing else at that size which lets me see the full res of RAW from my Blackmagic Cinema Camera. FCP X and Premiere both support the screen well, so whatever resolution you use the interface at, the video data will be shown at 1:1. It’s great to finally see what you’re working with on a laptop.

      Finally, the ports on a Mac are hardly proprietary: USB3 and HDMI are straight down the line, and Thunderbolt is pretty accepted these days too, with cheap adapters out there if you need them. I really like FCP X, Motion, and several other Apple-only apps, so I’m on Mac for them.

    • Christian Anderson on 02.19.13 @ 5:07PM

      In my humble opinion, a Mac is a whole lot more than FCP. I’ve had years of professional work experience using both platforms and I much prefer to work in OSX. We mainly work with the Adobe suite which is available on both systems. There are reasons why PCs are cheaper and it’s not just about the case design.

      I’m not trying to convince anyone. This is just what personal experience has taught me.

      • I tend to agree with you however I must admit I’ve been surprised with Windows8. It’s remarkably stable as compared to win7. For kicks I installed it on an old laptop and was shocked at the marked performance upgrade. It’s made me rethink getting the MS surface with USB3… I still love the MBP and MBair but MS is surprising me.

    • Guys, it is time to move on to… FCPX.
      I was aghast when FCP7 was replaced by FCPX, and kept going on for one year using FCP7 and looking for an alternative, I used Premiere as I used it before FCP came about, but there are things that it is still terrible, I thought about AVID, but decided to try FCPX before. I went full on, done a 5 day training, and actually loved it, it was version 10.0.6, so, quite a lot has changed from the 10.0. I use it a lot and the whole organization is moving towards it.
      It is a tool movie makers use to tell a story, it has such a functionality that leaves the others far behind.
      When I think about about Premiere or AVID, those are cars made for mechanics to drive, FCPX is for drivers.
      FCP7 still has a place for me as it is the only NLE that can do Native CoDec editing and export. ( without re-compression ) but it is so slow and its lack or metadata and organizing tools makes me run back to FCPX.

      • FCP X is the way to go. I found FCP 7 guys crying when they get a C300 job. Am able to do it with FCP X and a 17 inch Macbook Pro with 8 GB. At 16 gb ram it would be even better. The 64 bit architecture makes it fast. Time to jump on FCPX if somebody hasn’t already.

  • john jeffreys on 02.19.13 @ 6:20PM

    They are overhauling the line in June. Don’t buy right now.

    • Apple very rarely telegraphs their product line updates. The best we’ve had in years was Tim Cook saying a new Mac Pro will be released “this year”. The Retina MacBook Pro was a new design last year, and any “overhaul” will be a processor/GPU bump, not exactly an overhaul. You can always wait for a newer, faster machine, but the 13″ price drops are welcome.

      • john jeffreys on 02.20.13 @ 1:41PM

        You obviously dont pay attention to the Chinese manufacturing scene. iPad shells, for example, get leaked months before regularly.

  • Firesale.

  • I just bought a new MBP 15 (non retina) with the basic 4GB ram, got in touch with Crucial to check out compatible 8GB upgrade, and was told I could go for a 16GB kit instead, they tested and insisted it works.
    It’s a fraction of the upgrade cost from apple.
    Retina Display MPB cannot be upgraded once you buy them, so please note that when making a decision.

  • if red did this we wouldnt hear the end of how its unfair for the people who already bought the computer. sigh. mbp owner. just sayin.

  • Apple will probably now increase the price here in Australa to cover the savings for you Americans. Like adobe products its cheaper for Australians to visit while on holiday buy what we need. (Holiday + Products = savings)

  • Andy Ramsey on 02.19.13 @ 10:56PM

    I struggled with my laptop purchase a few months ago and ultimately decided to bail on the Retina MBP. It’s not user-upgradable at all which isn’t that big of a deal except that you’ve got pay Apple prices for their upgrades to get it edit-friendly. I bought the mid-level non-Retina 15″ and replaced the HDD with a 512GB SSD and the RAM with 16GB of Crucial. Just exported a video chock full of 4k RED footage loaded with Colorista and scaling effects. I recommend it.

    I was on a Windows laptop (Asus G73JH) for about 3 years and, when it comes right down to it, there just isn’t a PC-based laptop that holds a candle to Apple’s. I wish that weren’t the case but it is. Their design and battery life must be the result of some blood sacrifice Jobs made to the heat-and-power consumption gods because it’s not even close.

    Towers are a different story- now that CS6 is crossgraded via Adobe Cloud, my next tower may well be a wicked PC built for pennies on the dollar vs. whatever $4000 behemoth Apple may or may not deign to release upon the unsuspecting masses this fall.

    • David J. Fulde on 02.19.13 @ 11:19PM

      I did the same. I recently bought myself a 13 inch MPB: And went with the non-retina due to the fact that it was specced better, not to mention my resources can go to things that AREN’T the screen. (bought it for a DMT station so a small size was important)

  • Where the poop is my 17” MBP!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously, go big or go home.

    For a desktop, I’m fine with a Hackintosh. But for a laptop, I have yet to find a laptop that works as well as my macbook pro. The touchpad alone is worth $500 to me, as I don’t need to worry about the hassle of an extra mouse.

  • I’m looking to start editing some basic videos that I’ve shot on my hacked GH2 – need a new laptop. Was thinking of going for a non-retina 13” macbook pro … would the screen be simply too small? I can’t afford the extra dollars for the 15”, but down the line intend to get an external monitor. Is this an idiot plan? Thanks guys.

    • Yes, I think you’ll find the resolution is too small. I use the 15″ with the hi-res 1,680 by 1,050 (not retina) LCD, and that’s about as small as I’m comfortable editing with when mobile. Even the standard 15″ res feels cramped, IMO.

      The 13″ is nearly unusable in a crowded NLE environment.

    • john jeffreys on 02.21.13 @ 4:40AM

      the 13″ is fine for viewing dailies on set…and thats about it.

    • Try it out. If it’s usable or not depends entirely on your eyes. My MBP is my mobile Mac, but I’m on a desktop at home, and it’s hard to leave the screen behind when you get used to it.

      Make sure you get the free QuickRes app, which lets you use any resolution up to and including the 1:1 2560×1600 res. My eyes must be better than I thought, because I can actually use that. You might prefer 1680×1050 to strike a balance between interface usability and size, though.

      Remember that if an app is optimised, like FCP X and Premiere (and Lightroom, and Aperture) are, then you’re only resizing the the interface — image and video are always shown 1:1.

  • trackofalljades on 02.20.13 @ 8:37PM

    I’d love to hear user stories from anyone that edits with CS6 on one of the recent MBP models with the 1GB version of the NVIDIA 650M GPU?

    I know it’s supported for CUDA acceleration in MPE, but I’ve been curious just how usable it is? I know it’d never be “desktoplike” but is it, you know, usable? I have a nice 5770 card in my desktop Mac right now, but simply because it’s not CUDA my Adobe apps grind painfully (almost unusably) compared to other stuff.

  • The retina screen is a big plus, and I realize that battery life is a big deal for many, but really, MacBooks may have a great design (I wish pc laptops were as pretty), but technically they simply don’t cut it when compared to say, an ADK laptop for video editing. Just the lack of discrete drives for source/render is a major drawback, and the graphics card offered is scarcely the latest, not to mention the memory options and CPU. Do a comparison, google ADK videoediting and check (I have no connection with these guys, being on a different continent!). And I’m sure there are other examples.

  • Did they restore the Kensington lock slot? Without this these expensive laptops are a joke for any working professional who uses this as a desktop machine for a working day. It’s fine for casual users who wear them like jewellery and take them to the washroom. But serious users will want the convenience of portability without the burden of practically inevitable theft to worry about.

    I bought the previous edition of this only to return it on the basis of not being fit for purpose, after posing the above argument. Any kind of work environment where you cannot guarantee the integrity of everyone is just a countdown to theft without any way of securing this. The Kensington lock was adequate as a basic deterrent and is on all laptops way way way cheaper than these. So I sincerely hope that Apple start realising that excluding essential features is not going to wash with their professional business customers

  • Nishant Balgovind on 03.11.13 @ 10:17AM

    Hi All
    I want to buy a Macbook Pro but at the same time I am confused with the iMac Desktop. My problem is I am new to Mac World and want to Edit my work on FCP on my own. Will someone please guide me what to take.

    I am confused because many people says that Laptop will get Hot on long run while doing editing in FCP, whereas the Desktop will be able to do good on long run editing. Laptop will give me the access of Online editing while shooting to other location. While the desktop will bring me home to see my work and do the editing and if anything is missing then again go for the extra shoot.

    I hope the experts will not make fun of my question, consider me a student in this line, I need a guided solution and comments.

    thanks in advance.