The Register’s Bob Dormon notes it’s been quite some time since he looked at a new MacBook Pro, but he spends a lot of his time looking at an old one – his first generation Unibody model.
“What a great idea that was,” he observes. “Just unscrew the back for easy access to the RAM and the drive.” [Your editor, who has a first generation unibody MacBook, couldn't agree more. CM.]
Dorman laments that the old Pro’s battery wasnt easily swappable, but you could whip the HDD out with a twirl of just two bracket screws, a major advance from the aluminum-body MacBook Pros and PowerBooks that involved removing layers of circuitry just to upgrade the internal drive.
He says the easy upgrading on the Unibody was one of the reasons he bought it, and checking our Apple’s latest MacBook Pro 13in, the word “upgrade” doesn’t appear anywhere in the user guide, although with the more portly Unibody MBP 13in generation you are lugging around a thicker form factor with extra 500g in weight and no Retina display, but you would’ve been able to tinker with it.
With the Retina MacBook Pro, you buy the configuration you want or can afford and that’s it.
After extensively wringing it out, Dorman concludes that the 13-inch rMBP is fairly decent machine in terms of performance, but he’s not convinced that it merits the Pro moniker, noting that “pro” usually refers to someone who knows what they’re doing and do pros really want to buy into something that’s about as upgradeable as a mobile phone? They might also expect more than two USB ports, and there’s no built-in Ethernet port on board either.
Regarding the marquee feature Retina display, he says he can see how this works nicely on a tablet, but is convinced you’re going to be so great at arm’s length on a laptop, and won’t do you any good when a new, more demanding OS X version comes out and your key apps start to grumble about the stingy 4GB of RAM and you aren’t able to upgrade?
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