Macbook Pro with Retina Display review

Apple ports Retina Display technology from iOS to the Mac, and the results are nothing short of spectacular

by J.R. Bookwalter

Apple again cemented its reputation as manufacturer of lust-worthy electronics with the introduction of a new 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display before 5,000 jubilant developers at this year’s WWDC keynote. But is the latest model worth the extra dough, especially with several key features missing in action that pro users depend upon?

The answer depends on how deep your pockets are, with the sleek new model starting at $2199 and topping out at $3749 (before tax) including build-to-order options (faster processor, more memory, higher capacity storage). However, if you rely on CD or DVD media, Gigabit Ethernet or FireWire 800, you’ll want to budget $137 on top of that to replace features lost as a result of slimming down the notebook by 25 percent.

Apple ditched the internal SuperDrive, requiring users to fork over $79 for an external model; likewise, $29 will buy back a Gigabit Ethernet port using a dongle that attaches to one of two Thunderbolt ports. (A similar accessory will be available in July to restore the lost FireWire 800 port.) These now optional features are the price you pay for being on the bleeding edge – but unless you’re a dyed in the wool Microsoft fan, need a computer you can tinker with, or do as much gaming as work on your computer – that’s just about where the minuses end.

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