This is my next notebook
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This is my next notebook

I love my mid 2012 MacBook Air is small, light with plenty of power for my on the road needs. I was thinking of upgrading to a 2013 version for the extra battery life and faster SSD. All that changed the minute I laid my hands on the latest MacBook Pro 13 with Retina display(rMBP)…there is a new love in my life.


This latest rMBP is one heck of a notebook as Apple seems to be moving it’s Retina equipped Pros into Air territory. True you will never mistake it for an Air but it is getting there, , the rMBP weighs half a pound heavier than the 13-inch MacBook Air and only .07-inches thicker and it has a slightly smaller footprint.

Even compared to my 11″ Air this Pro looks pretty good.  It is a full pound heavier but I didn’t find that extra pound objectionable on a recent short trip.

MacBook Air & Pro

Then there is the display, a  2,560×1,600-pixel resolution. Gorgeous is the word to describe it, everything is pin-sharp. App icons, small text in ebooks and high-resolution photos all look stunning on this display. Take a look at the side-by-side with my Air, even without magnification you can see how much sharper the image is.

Compare MBA and rMBP

That display is backed by a lot of power too. Under the hood is Intel’s latest Haswell processors combined with Apple’s new PCI Express SSDs for much-improved transfer rates, and 802.11ac  WiFi the rMBP 13 is one speed demon.

rMBP Transfer speed


rMBP Battery lifeIt goes fast for a long time too…up to nine hours on a charge. I started writing this about half an hour ago and still have nearly nine hours of battery life left. A powerful notebook that will last for a full overseas flight is pretty impressive.

Compared to last years model the rMBP 13 is thinner, lighter faster and $400 cheaper too. The base model weighs in at $1299US ($1349CAD) which includes a 2.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5, 4Gb of RAM and a 128GB SSD which is perfect for light on the road use. My review unit is the top of the line model with a 2.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5, 8Gb of RAM and a 512Gb SSD. Pretty impressive but, for most users a bit of overkill at $1799US ($1849CAD) . I would recommend the 2.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5, 8Gb of RAM and a 256Gb SSD priced at $1499US ($1549CAD) for overall performance with a bit of gaming thrown in.

The MacBook Pro 13 with Retina comes with a good complement of ports,  two USB 3.0 ports, along with a full-sized HDMI socket, SDXC card reader, a headphone jack, dual Thunderbolt 2 ports. There s no ethernet port so you will have to buy an adapter if you need that type of connection. Let’s not forget the terrific keyboard and the best in the business trackpad.


With close to desktop power in a very portable package the Apple MackBook Pro 13 with Retina is my choice for on the road computing. On first blush the price may seem a bit on the high side but, when you take a close look at what you get I think you will agree with me this is the best bang for your buck you will find in a notebook computer A great Christmas gift for someone you really really love.





Bob Benedetti

Former RCAF Fighter Pilot Bob worked for CTV Montreal as a Reporter, Producer and Executive producer for 35 years retiring in 2004. Bob started reporting on personal technology in 1995 at CTV and continues today at Home Technology Montreal

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