MacBook Pro Retina: This fence is getting mighty uncomfortable

Posted on by Mike Evans

Airs a triple, courtesy of Apple

Difficult decisions

Never has it been more difficult to decide what MacBook to buy. As you know, my 2010 MacBook Air continues to provide faultless service, but I realise I am ready for an upgrade. I was all set to buy the latest 11in Air following the announcement on Tuesday, but I am seduced by that retina display on the new MacBook Pro.

Fact is, however, I am totally happy with the 11in Air because of its small size and low weight. These things matter a great deal when you are lugging your stuff around airports. That 15in retina display is so attractive, of course it is. But I wonder how long it would take for the gloss to wear off when it comes to lugging around what is for me a relative monster.

If Apple had introduced a retina MacBook Air at Tuesday’s event it would already be on order. No doubt about it. But I am now totally torn between practicality and desire. 


After several days of vacillation, I really do feel I would regret buying the 15in retina MacBook Pro simply because it is heavier and bigger than I am now used to. Let’s forget the price difference and that stupendous screen. I am sure I would love using it. I would probably declare it the best Mac laptop ever. I could even see it becoming a desktop replacement for my 27in iMac (which is a thought I will definitely resurrect next year when my iMac gets to be two years old).

Yet I do not feel compelled to rush out and buy a new Air, despite having reached this decision. Rumours are already circulating about a retina-display 13in MacBook Pro in October. And who knows when the higher resolution screen will percolate down to the Airs? As M.G.Siegler said this week, “Do you dare buy a new Air when a Retina one must be in the works?”

No, I don’t. I don’t want to commit £1,300 for a built-to-order Air when it could be totally outclassed within a year. I am equally undertain about committing over £2,000 to a MacBook Pro when I know it is currently priced at a premium to catch the early birds. Next year it will be cheaper as retina displays become more commonplace and filter down the line. I am sure many people are thinking like this.

Soldiering on

It would be a different matter if I had no portable Mac, or if the Air were giving trouble. But there is nothing wrong with it, and of course it isn’t my main workhorse so speed is not that critical. I think I can manage for a few more months until Apple’s strategy becomes clearer.

Never say never, though. I could change my mind, a privilege I exercise frequently.

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