Is the 13" MacBook Pro with Retina Display worth the $500 price premium?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by dnkbro, Oct 23, 2012.


Is the MacBook Pro with Retina Display worth the $500 price premium?

  1. Yes

    40 vote(s)
  2. No

    114 vote(s)
  1. dnkbro, Oct 23, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2012

    dnkbro macrumors regular

    Jan 26, 2010
    The 13" MacBook Pro is one of the most popular MacBooks being sold by Apple. The laptop is a more mainstream product than the higher priced 15" MacBook Pro. I, like many, have been waiting on Apple to update the one weakness the 13" has had, it's lower-pixel display. The 1,280 × 800 has grown long in the tooth and was due for a much needed upgrade. Enter the Retina line of MacBook Pros. When Apple first introduced the 15" model I was surprised at the pricing but chalked it up to the upgraded graphics card and other items. Finally with the announcement of the 13", I was extremely disappointed to hear about the pricing. At $1699, the 13" MacBook Pro is priced at least $200 more than what it should be. For $1699, one would expect the latest and greatest technology in all areas. This is simply not the case. I'd rather have an increase in battery life over graphical power, but for $1699, I don't think it's too much to ask for both. On top of all this, people are reporting countless problems with their 15" retina laptops and Apple has given the standard damage control and described the issues as "normal" behavior. Apple didn't raise the price of the iPhone when it upgraded it's hardware.

    I've waited to purchase a MacBook since 2009. It's been over 3 years now. I almost pulled the trigger on the 13" Air but waited because I wanted a laptop with more power. Looks like I'm going to have to wait until new year when the price is hopefully lower and the chips are upgraded to Intel's Haswell line.

  2. MaxPower72 macrumors 6502


    Aug 15, 2012
    Chicago, Illinois, Crooks County
    I've always been concerned more with actual CPU, GPU, RAM and Storage rather than High Def Displays, it seems lately that everybody's concern is the number of pixels instead of the whole hardware architecture and to me this
    Retina MBP 13" proves it: basically same hardware of the classic MBP launched last June with a smaller retina display and a bigger price tag. I'm really puzzled by this choice at Apple and yet my guts tell me that they did it because
    they know that consumers have now swallowed the whole Retina Frenzy and they care more about the display than the actual hardware.
  3. ubercool macrumors 6502a


    Jan 31, 2008
    Las Vegas
    I don't know what you are referring to with "countless problems" but my RMPB is doing absolutely fine! :)
  4. tillsbury macrumors 65816

    Dec 24, 2007
    +1. Been running this rMBP since June, no problems, zooms through stuff... You been reading too many FUD threads?
  5. Irock619 macrumors 68000


    Sep 16, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    You joined this forum in 2008 and you act like a newby, like you've never read a thread on here. Have you not heard of the countless problems with the rMBP?
  6. EwanMcTeagle macrumors 6502


    Mar 26, 2012
    Lodz, Poland
    ALthough the 13" Retina is gorgeous and thin I have some doubts on how it will perform. Like MaxPower said - it's basically regular MBP hadrware with better display and in thinner form, but will it perform well? I too have my doubts.
    I guess the Retina MBP will still sell, but it seems very unreasonable for me. If I would want a small, thin Macbook, I would go with the Air. If I wanted more storage with that I would still go the the classic 13". If power was the option then it's the 15" - then it's the screen - if just for the power, then for me the 15" cMBP wins, if the display is also crucial, then it's 15" Retina. I just don't see 13" Retina winning any argument except an emotional one:)

    Besides the new 13" Retina MBP is $2 494,78 in Poland. Unfortunately in Poland (as in all of Europe) Apple products are more expensive than in the US. Plus wages in Poland are about 1/3 of those in Western Europe.
    And although I make $1300/month, which is almost 2x the average wage, I still can't afford even the regular 13" MBP with my salary (regular MBP - $1768 in Poland) let alone the Retina 13"
    So considering that my MBP (both regular, 2011 models) are doing great and are thin and powerful enough for me - I'm going to stick with them for as long as they are working. And I'll be saving my pennies in the meantime:), since there probably won't be any classic MBP to buy the next time I'm in the market for a Mac.
    But for now the Retina display and the thin form factor are not enough to justify spending that much on a regular MBP in a nicer package.
  7. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Worth is different for everyone.

    Are you rich? Are you poor? Do you have needs to fulfill?

    These questions only you can answer. If you travel a lot then maybe paying a premium is worth it. If you don't travel or your needs are low, than maybe it's not worth it. If you're struggling to pay your bills then it's probably not worth it. If you're flush with cash, then go for it.
  8. dnkbro thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 26, 2010
  9. yanksrock100 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 30, 2010
    San Diego
    On the long run, 4 years or so, I think I will be glad I spent the extra money on a retina display. So yes, I think it will be worth it for that reason. I will use it many hours a day, and I think that it will be worth having a super high res screen over a 1280x800 screen....
  10. MacBook08 macrumors regular

    Aug 10, 2008
    San Jose, California
    There isn't a $500 premium.

    A BTO MBP with 8 GB of RAM and a 128 GB SSD comes out to $1499. That makes for only a $200 premium for the rMBP.

    Of course you can do the upgrading yourself. Crucial has 8 GB of RAM for $46 and 128 GB SSDs seem to be going for $75-100 on Amazon. Still, it doesn't come out to a $500 premium.
  11. DVD9 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 18, 2010

    And if Apple charged $2,499 for it their psychotic posts in defense of Apple's price gouging would not read any differently.

    They are authentic cult members, Jim Jones KoolAid drinkers.

    They ran out today to at a minimum buy an iPad Mini to add to their Apple "shrine " and then it's time to make a new video of their shrine and upload it to YouTube.

    Those legions of "waiters" for the Retina MacBook or an iMac can see no other option but to pre-order immediately and start attacking everyone who sees that they are flat out crazy.
  12. colloc macrumors member

    Jul 27, 2012
    Still too much of a premium for us. Apple will have to price it down, soon, for sure. Wait and see.
  13. whiteonline macrumors 6502


    Aug 19, 2011
    California, USA
    Worth it?
    That's depending on what you value.

    If you ask me, I would say I have no buyer's remorse.
    It was a compromise; sacrifice some horsepower for the form-factor.
  14. terraphantm macrumors 68040

    Jun 27, 2009
    Arguably it should cost less.

    Take for example a 15" cMBP with a 256GB SSD, 8GB RAM, and the high-res display. It costs $300 more than the base rMBP. So the 13" is overpriced a lot in comparison.

    That said, if Apple priced the 13" as aggressively as the 15", there would be no room for the MBA.
  15. Saturn1217 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 28, 2008
    I voted no because right now I don't think it is worth the premium...

    BUT I just went to the apple store to finally check one out. It is one sexy computer :eek:

    Apple FINALLY ditched the huge bezel on the 13" rMBP and it looks fantastic! I would be willing to pay a small premium just for the form factor alone forget about the retina!

    And the scaling was pretty neat. I could not tell a difference in image quality between the "1280x800" setting and the higher scaled settings. They all looked nice. My only concern is that I can't live on the bleeding edge of software just to make sure I can get the most out of the retina display.

    But for $1999 (because 128gb of space is too small for me and I suspect anyone else who uses their laptop as their only computer) I can't justify it right now. I am praying that next year is the year Apple finally ditches the 128gb option for all but the $999 11inch MBA and gives us a reasonable amount of storage for base configs.

    But that's fine. My trusty 2009 13-inch MBP might not be as cool but it still works great. I will however have a very difficult decision next year when I finally upgrade. 13inch rMBP or MBA??? I hope Apple considers reducing the foot print (huge ginormous bezels!) of all their portables.
  16. dnkbro thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 26, 2010
    In my eyes, $1699 is unreasonable. $1999 is just insanity. The computer is beautiful and a good machine but it is simply priced too high. Obviously they couldn't hinder the growth of the MBA but still, the computer is priced at least $200 more than it should be.
  17. CausticPuppy macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2012
    Compared to the non-retina MBP13, the $500 gets you a retina display, 128GB SSD, and 4GB more memory.

    So the retina version is a $200 premium over a similarly spec'd non-retina version.

    Of course you can always get the non-retina version and add your own ram/SSD.
  18. Naimfan Suspended


    Jan 15, 2003
    Yes it does. The base cMBP lists for $1199. The base rMBP lists for $1699. That's a $500 premium over the cost of the cMBP.

    As for the differences? The cMBP has four times (!) the storage of the base rMBP, and you can change the storage options on the cMBP where you cannot on the rMBP. The cMBP can be upgraded to 16 GB RAM. The cMBP comes with ethernet, Firewire 800, and an optical drive, none of which are available on the rMBP.

    Perhaps most telling, while it's possible to configure a cMBP like a rMBP (outside of the screen), it is impossible to do it the other way around.

    Whether the rMBP is "worth" it is an entirely subjective opinion. For me, and for many others, the answer is no.
  19. ssn637 macrumors 6502

    Feb 12, 2009
    With the first reviews coming in, I'm a bit worried about battery life. Performance seems to be more or less on par with the 13" MBA, but MacWorld reported it has the shortest battery life of all the current Apple laptops (4 hr 40 min compared to the MBA's 5 hr 24 min). That would be a deal breaker for me, but I'm waiting for Anandtech's review before making my decision between the 13" or 15" rMBP and the 13" MBA.
  20. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    Worth is subjective. Polling isn't the way to determine what it's worth to you.

    ...though it seems like you've already answered for yourself.
  21. CausticPuppy macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2012
    For some people, speed is more important than space. With an SSD you trade off storage space for insane speeds.


    I guess some people need approval or validation from random strangers on the internet before making a purchase. :eek:

    I think I'm going to walk into an Apple Store, go up to the people playing with retina macbooks, and say "RANDOM INTERNET STRANGERS TOLD ME NOT TO BUY ONE OF THOSE BECAUSE INTEGRATED GRAPHICS!"
  22. Naimfan Suspended


    Jan 15, 2003
    Or you can trade lots of money and get both, like $2,799 for a 1 TB OCZ, compared to around $100 for a 1 TB HD or $229 for a Seagate 1 TB 7200 RPM HD.

    I don't work with anyone who could get away with 256 GB, let alone 128 GB. While "faster" is always nice, at the end of the day a SSD doesn't connect you to the web any faster, or allow you to create documents or Excel spreadsheets or powerpoint presentations any faster, etc. It's great when you're restarting (for the one time a month you need to) and for opening applications (for those rare times when you actually close and then reopen an application), but for most day to day tasks most people will never know they have an SSD or a HD.
  23. mankar4 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 23, 2007
    Depends how much $500 is to you. I love this thing.
  24. bogatyr macrumors 65816

    Mar 13, 2012
    I believe he is pointing out the fact that while there are some threads about rMBP issues - the majority of people have none with their rMBP. Most people who receive their rMBP and have no issue are either A. not a member or B. not posting to tell the world about their flawless laptop. Which leaves the view on the forums skewed.
  25. CausticPuppy macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2012
    Probably one of the funniest posts I've read here in a while.

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