Earlier this morning Apple announced a combination of price cuts and spec updates to its MacBook Pro with Retina Display lineup. The price cuts impact the 13-inch rMBP, while the spec bumps extend across almost all models.

The good news is the price of the base and upgraded 13-inch rMBPs have dropped to $1499 and $1699, respectively. The 15-inch model remains untouched. The upgraded 13-inch rMBP configuration has a slightly faster Core i5 CPU (2.6GHz base clock instead of 2.5GHz, I believe this is a Core i5-3230M). The faster CPUs are nice to see, especially since that's really the only way to improve UI performance at this point until Apple brings some more software tweaks to OS X.

On the 15-inch side, both configurations get a 100MHz faster base clock (i7-3635QM and i7-3740QM most likely). The upgraded 15-inch model now comes with 16GB of DDR3L-1600 by default.

MacBook Pro with Retina Display Pricing
Model 13-inch (base) 13-inch (upgraded) 15-inch (base) 15-inch (upgraded)
Old Price $1699 $1999 $2199 $2799
New Price $1499 $1699 $2199 $2799
Old CPU 2.5GHz Core i5 2.5GHz Core i5 2.3GHz Core i7 2.6GHz Core i7
New CPU 2.5GHz Core i5 2.6GHz Core i5 2.4GHz Core i7 2.7GHz Core i7
Old SSD 128GB 256GB 256GB 512GB
New SSD 128GB 256GB 256GB 512GB

While default storage configurations don't change, SSD upgrade pricing does. The 512GB and 768GB SSD upgrades drop in price a bit depending on what configuration you're looking at. For the upgraded 15-inch model, moving to a 768GB SSD is now a $400 upgrade. That's not a lot for a 768GB drive, but it doesn't take into account the cost of the base 512GB SSD you are paying for but don't get to keep.

MacBook Pro with Retina Display Storage Pricing
Model 13-inch (base) 13-inch (upgraded) 15-inch (base) 15-inch (upgraded)
128GB SSD - - - -
256GB SSD +$200 - - -
512GB SSD +$500 +$300 +$300 -
768GB SSD +$900 +$700 +$700 +$400

Overall these are welcome changes to pricing and specs. It was clear from the start that the MacBook Pro with Retina Display would eventually fall down to more reasonable prices, and this is likely the beginning of that curve. As high DPI displays become more commonplace, we'll see continued decline in the pricing department. These price cuts do come several months before the introduction of Haswell based rMBPs. Haswell's impact on the rMBP should be greatest on the 13-inch model, where the improved GPU performance will be able to make up for the fact that there's no discrete GPU (assuming Apple integrates Haswell GT3e silicon). You'll also see modest gains in idle power consumption, but the big platform battery life gains really come with Haswell ULx chips which we won't see until closer to the end of the year and will be used in tablets/convertibles.

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  • ltcommanderdata - Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - link

    I'm guessing this means that the Haswell MacBook Pro refresh won't be coming until the fall then instead of launching alongside Haswell mid-year.
  • A5 - Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - link

    That's normal. Apple doesn't really have to launch on Intel's schedule.
  • Silenus - Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - link

    "As high DPI displays become more commonplace.........."

    Please....please let this happen. Sooner rather than later. I am dying for high DPI to come to other laptops, and especially to desktop monitors.
  • nerd1 - Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - link

    1080p 13.3" IPS displays are already mainstream among high-end laptops, and even 1080p 11.6" IPS displays are quite common (samsung, asus, acer....)

    Enough is enough. I'm perfectly fine using 15" 1080p laptop - Yes many of my friends have so-called 'Retina' MBP, and I DID compare them side-by-side.
  • nathanddrews - Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - link

    Yes, we should really stop chasing pixel density since you are fine with it. I'm glad we got that out of the way! The industry may now cease in this effort.


    In all seriousness, I really do hope that the industry continues to push pixel density. It will force display makers to innovate ways to shrink pixels, force software makers to build better scaling interfaces, and force GPU makers to get more aggressive with their designs. We'll all benefit from it in more ways than simply having prettier screens.
  • nerd1 - Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - link

    Too high PPI is just a waste of resource and no more than a marketing gimmick. Your eyesight is determined by how much your eye can resolve. If you have 2.0/2.0 eyesight, you can resolve roughly up to 300ppi at 10inch viewing distance.

    And you don't view laptop screen that close. Recent study says the mean viewing distance acquired from 206 University employees is 68cm, or 26 inches. This means even if you have 2.0 eyesight, you cannot resolve more than 115PPI in standard viewing distance. Half that number if you have only 1.0/1.0 eyesight.

    That roughly equals 15.6" 1600*900 display, or 13.3" 1366*768 display.
  • tdktank59 - Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - link

    While I understand that, the higher the density to higher the resolution can be meaning more screen real estate. As a developer programming on a 720p screen sucks since I have gotten used to 1080p and higher.

    Ive gotten used to seeing SOOO much screen that going smaller is not an option. I feel 2560x1600 (or 1440) is about right for anything 17"-~30" and then below 17 should at least be 1080.
  • Death666Angel - Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - link

    Higher DPI will also help things look decent at non-native resolution.
  • nerd1 - Thursday, February 14, 2013 - link

    You shouldn't use non-native resolution at all. The UI should scale to correct size instead.
  • Death666Angel - Thursday, February 14, 2013 - link

    Huh? I mean, I'm all for 1080p gaming and 1440p gaming on extreme settings with every game on every device I own @ 60fps. But I don't see it happening. So I want the ability to play an older game with full resolution (1080p on a tablet) and newer, more performance hungry games with 720p.

    That's got nothing to go with UI scaling, but with hardware power not being high enough in all instances. :)

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