Apple announces MacBook Pro 13-inch with Retina Display

At a special event Apple today announced a new MacBook Pro 13-inch with Retina Display (and four other new pieces of hardware.)
Written by Jason D. O'Grady, Contributor
Apple announces MacBook Pro 13-inch with Retina Display - Jason O'Grady

Apple held a "little" media event today at the California theatre in San Jose that turned out to be anything but "little" -- at least as far as hardware is concerned. Apple announced five (count 'em!) new hardware devices, including:

In this post I want to discuss the new MacBook Pro 13 with Retina Display (press release), my second-favorite announcement of the day. While the iPad mini is my favorite announcement of the day (more on that in another blog post) the rMBP13 has legs because it's a viable competitor to the MacBook Air 13-inch that I've been using as my primary machine for a while now. 

Apple shaved a full pound off the previous MBP13 and at just 3.57 pounds the Retina model is a little over half a pound heavier than the 13-inch MacBook Air. But you get a lot of extra screen real estate for the extra half pound.

The new MBP13s defining feature is obviously its 2560 x 1600 Retina Display that contains more than four million pixels and has 300 percent of the resolution of the 13-inch MacBook Air's comparatively anemic 1440 x 900 panel.

Phil Schiller pointed out that the Retina Display in the new 13-inch MacBook Pro contains more pixels than competitive 15 and 17 notebooks and almost two times more pixels than an HDTV.

Display luminary Dr. Ray Soneira had this to say about the panel in the new rMBP13:

The new MacBook Pro has a 13.3 inch display with 227 Pixel per Inch PPI. With 227 PPI a person with 20/20 Vision won't resolve the individual pixels on the display provided the viewing distance is at least 15.1 inches.

That is Apple's criterion for a Retina Display (not the actual resolution of the Human Retina, which is about twice as high). Since the typical viewing distance for a display this size is around 16 inches or more the MacBook Pro 13 is in Retina Display territory.

Apple is again emphasizing the 75 percent reduction in screen Reflectance. It's nice to see manufacturers paying attention to this finally. I have been measuring Reflectance in all of my mobile Shoot-Out articles since 2005.

See my comments on the MacBook Pro 15 Retina Display - essentially the same issues for the 13 Retina Display.

New features in the 13-inch MBP with Retina Display include:

  • New compact design - 0.75 inches and 3.57 pounds
  • 20 percent thinner and almost a pound lighter than the current 13-inch MacBook Pro.
  • 2560 x 1600 Retina Display
  • 227 pixels per inch (PPI)
  • IPS technology for a 178-degree wide viewing angle
  • 75 percent less reflection
  • 8 percent higher contrast than the current generation

Base prices are, as follows:


  • 2.5GHz dual-core Intel Core i5
  • Turbo Boost up to 3.1GHz
  • 8GB 1600MHz memory
  • 128GB flash storage
  • Intel HD Graphics 4000
  • Built-in battery (7 hours)
  • $1,699.00


  • 2.5GHz dual-core Intel Core i5
  • Turbo Boost up to 3.1GHz
  • 8GB 1600MHz memory
  • 256GB flash storage
  • Intel HD Graphics 4000
  • Built-in battery (7 hours)
  • $1,999.00

 CTO options include:

  • 2.9GHz Dual-core Intel Core i7 [Add $200]
  • 256GB Flash Storage [Add $300]
  • 512GB Flash Storage [Add $800]
  • 768GB Flash Storage [Add $1,300]

It has been confirmed that OWC/MacSales' Aura Pro SSD (for the Retina MBP15) will fit in the new 13-incher, it's a more economical option. OWC charges $580 for its 480GB SSD upgrade, which is $200 less than Apple charges for 512GB and you get to keep the old 128GB stick. 

I ordered a CTO Core i7 MacBook Pro 13-inch with Retina to replace my MBA13 and I'm looking forward to the extra screen real estate. I just hope that the CTOs don't take too long to ship. Apple called the MBP 13 "our most popular Mac" so I'm guessing that you might be taking the plunge too. 

What's your favorite notebook these days?

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