Why I may buy a new MacBook Pro

Why I may buy a new MacBook Pro

Summary: Apple raised the bar for laptops with the new MacBook Pro with the Retina Display. I am seriously considering buying one of these bad boys but one thing is holding me back.


The new MacBook Pro was unveiled yesterday at the WWDC and Apple's next generation laptop has me really tempted to pull out my wallet. Apple pulled out all the stops with the design and construction of the MacBook Pro, and its release comes at a time when I was already considering a new laptop purchase.

My current setup is old but simple. I have a 2008 unibody MacBook, the original 13-inch model that has served me well. I have been using it as both a mobile computer for trips and a desktop system in the office. The old MacBook has worked well for me with a 23-inch Cinema Display at my desk. The two monitor system served me well until the external display died last week.

Since the Cinema Display went dark I have been using the MacBook alone at the desk. Going from a two monitor setup to the single MacBook display has worked better than I though it would, but I do wish I had more screen real estate during the workday in the office.

See also: Apple CEO Cook: Ultrabooks are pretenders Apple’s best asset: Developers and its app economy WWDC 2012: By the numbers WWDC: Siri gets smarter with iPad, Facebook, car integration

The 15.4-inch Retina Display of the new MacBook Pro is a good size that will work much better as a single screen system than the old MacBook. The high-performance it would bring, especially from the SSD, would be a big boost over the old MacBook. I like the ability to change the screen resolution on the fly with the new MacBook Pro for those times when higher resolution would be productive.

Yes, the new MacBook Pro would be a much better fit for my needs than the aging MacBook, but so far I haven't pulled the trigger on the purchase yet. The price of the new laptop is giving me pause as it's a lot of money to drop on one gadget. I think it's a good value for the money compared to existing Mac laptops, but it's still a big chunk of change.

My old MacBook only has a 256GB hard drive, and it's almost full. I would need a 512GB drive on a new laptop to last me for a while, and that means the more expensive configuration of the MacBook Pro which is $2,799. While I think it would make my work time more productive and better than it is now, I am pausing before hitting the Buy Now button. ZDNet colleague Andrew Nusca must have had me in mind when he detailed why the new MacBook Pro is probably not for everyone, primarily due to the high price.

Geek that I am I will probably end up making the plunge before too long, but for now I am tapping away on the old stuttering MacBook. The high price of the new MacBook firmly removes it from the category of impulse buys. The old laptop is still getting the job done so I can take my time and let Apple work all the bugs out of the brand new model. That's what I'm telling myself, anyway.

Topic: Apple

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  • What about?

    What about one of those spiffy new MacBook Airs? Very light, the 13" has the same size screen as your current machine, and a ThunderBolt Display would give you those ports when you're at your desk.

    I know, the pull of that "all new" MacBook Pro is strong...
    • That's tempting too

      I've thought about that. Problem is by the time I max out a 13-inch MBA and add a good ThunderBold display to the mix I end up approaching the cost of the new MBP.
      • I was under the impression that

        the iPad was all you needed.
        William Farrel
      • It looks like you caught him

        @William Farrel,

        Kendrick babbles on questioning the usefulness of Windows 8 hybrid ultrabooks to a lot of people, yet carries around an iPad / portable keyboard arrangement, which is a make shift hybrid system. He also says the iPad is all that he needs, then admits to the usefulness of a high powered laptop. So Kendrick prefers to carry around a low powered hybrid iPad arrangement, as well as a high powered Mac laptop, when Windows 8 hybrid ultrabooks will give users both devices in one - in a much more economical way, in addition to a spanking new OS and overall package, which has better utility, aesthetics, and overall user experience.

        Kindrick and Adrian Kingsley-Hughes like bad mouthing Windows products, and take great delight in trying to take down Windows 8, because they do not like MS, and they make money doing so in blog user clicks.
        P. Douglas
      • Two Screens

        Seems to me that for the same amount of money, you get a better and lighter portable than the one you're currently using and a second screen.

        As I've been thinking about the MBP-Retina since yesterday, I am coming to the sad realization that I just may not be a power user any more. After all, the UX of QuickBooks is not enhanced by having 5.1 million pixels, yaknowwhatImean?
      • I need a system at the desktop

        I've never said I don't need an office system, the contrary in fact. That's what I currently use my MacBook for, and what I would use a new laptop for. I take them on trips but largely leave them on the desk.
      • I saw this yesterday.

        P. Douglas:

        [i]yet carries around an iPad / portable keyboard arrangement,[/i]

        I was grabbing a bite to eat and this guy comes in behind me with an iPad and a blue tooth Apple Keyboard. Makes no sense to buy an iPad and keyboard to carry around. That's essentially a laptop.
      • @ye

        Translation: Anyone who doesn't do things the way I would is an idiot.
      • Correction


        [i]Translation: Anyone who doesn't do things the way I would is an idiot.[/i]

        Anyone who buys an iPad and an external keyboard to carry around instead of a device which integrates both in a similar form factor is an idiot.
      • What are you suggesting ye?

        [i]Anyone who buys an iPad and an external keyboard to carry around instead of a device which integrates both in a similar form factor is an idiot.[/i]

        But I bought an iPad and an external keyboard and I carry them around instead of a laptop. So what does that make me?*

        *let's see if the children can resist this one.
      • Simple logic

        You can get an iPad 2 for 400$ and a keyboard case for about 90$. Combined total: About 500$.

        You buy a hybrid/ultrabook: Somewhere around 900/1k$.

        It's going to have better hardware, yes, but that wasn't what you were arguing. You were arguing that people were stupid for not buying the hybrid that costs around twice as much.

        How do I know they will cost that much? Just look at what Ultrabooks cost now, it's a good estimate. Of course, some will cost less and some will cost more.
        Michael Alan Goff
      • King Ferrel and Prince Douglas, Lords of the Straw Men

        Although I often differ with the author on factual matters, please cite a SINGLE instance where he voiced the opinion you claim he did.
        You, sirs, are liars.
  • I feel your pain

    I also am interested in one of the new Retina MBPs. I was thinking the 13" model myself. What's holding me back, is the weight. Do I get the new MBP, or do I get a 13" Air, and continue to use my mid-2011 13" MBP for "heavy lifting"?

    Decisions, decisions...
    • Do you have a degenerative muscle disease?

      What's the heaviest laptop you're going to even look at? 6 pounds? This "heavy" tag is getting ridiculous. ESPECIALLY when you have a backpack or tote bag.
      • Be careful now, you are treading on Apple's "thing"

        [i]thin and light[/i] is a huge part of Apple's advertising. If you start trying to convince people that the difference between 4lbs and 6lbs is insignificant (as is the difference between 0.7" and 2", you remove a huge amount of Apple marketing clout. Suddenly, the answer to 90% of Apple's advertising is: so?
      • Spoiled

        Once you get an Macbook Air in your hands and realize, that you get normal laptop performance from this thin and light notebook, there is no going back.

        About the only thing I think Apple needs to address is to remove the fan. When you load the Air, it gets noisy. Funny, you don't hear the fan, as you do on other makes notebooks, but you hear the air raveling via that tiny slots. Ivy Bridge might help a bit.. and it also looks the Retina Macbook Pro employs larger holes that might introduce less noise.
  • Just buy it. You're whipped.

    • Hint

      If you put your "nt" in angle brackets, you don't need to have text in your reply
      • Like this

  • Not interested

    I have my desktop replacement (a huge but very powerful laptop) and I have my iPad (a far more portable computer than the shoulder breaking heavy goliath MBP) so the MBP makes no sense. It is like combining a refrigerator and a toaster: too weak to be a desktop replacement and too heavy to be a portable computing device. The worst of all worlds.

    Nothing on the market today beats my current computing lineup of iPhone, iPad, and Windows 7 laptop. My next purchase may very well be a Windows 8 x64 hybrid. I have very strong arms so I'm very capable of reaching across the keyboard to tap on the touchscreen. I do it every day on my iPad + keyboard combo. Well James, actually, you know exactly what I'm talking about. You do that every day too with [b]your[/b] iPad + keyboard combo.

    Sorry Apple, your new MBP simply isn't good enough.