Now that the dust has settled since the WWDC keynote, you might be hankering to get the latest Apple Macbook Air or Pro machine. How about the Macbook Pro with Retina display? Good news – Digicape has announced their pricing for the latest Macbooks. Here is a quick rundown of the new range, as well as a few things you should look out for. Our recommendations are in bold. Obviously power users will want to choose the biggest and best they can afford. If your job relies on the speed of rendering things, obviously you can ignore our recommendation. We are merely pointing out the models we feel are better value.
Let’s start with the Macbook Air with Ivy Bridge processor, still available in 11 and 13 inch sizes. Even though it might look the same as before, it now has the latest low voltage Intel processors, USB 3 support, an upgraded camera, and a better Thunderbolt chipset, which should theoretically allow you to connect more Thunderbolt devices. There is also a newer “MagSagfe 2″ plug. For the first time you can now also configure the Macbook Air with 8GB RAM, but that is a special order which will take a few weeks to reach SA. Standard config prices are as follows:
|MacBook Air 11-inch 64GB||R10 499,00|
|MacBook Air 11-inch 128GB||R11 999,00|
|MacBook Air 13-inch 128GB||R12 999,00|
|MacBook Air 13-inch 256GB||R16 499,00|
The standard Macbook Pro also got an upgrade to the latest Ivy Bridge processor, but also a few other changes. The shape stays the same, but it also gains USB 3, 8GB of RAM in the higher end models, more hard drive space, and is still available in 13 and 15 inch sizes. The 17 inch display has been discontinued. Our recommendation? We still love the 13 inch model – buy the base model, then cheaply upgrade the RAM to 8GB (should not cost more than R750). We would not recommend the 15 inch model – its price is just too close to the Retina Macbook Pro, and the speed increase from the SSD is well worth the premium.
|MacBook Pro 13, 2.5 dual core, 4GB RAM, 500GB HD||R12 999,00|
|MacBook Pro 13, 2.9 dual core, 8GB RAM, 750GB HD||R16 599,00|
|MacBook Pro 15, 2.3 Quad Core, 4GB RAM, 500GB HD, Nvidia||R19 999,00|
|MacBook Pro 15, 2.6 Quad Core, 8GB RAM, 750GB HD, Nvidia||R23 999,00|
But then there is the new Macdaddy of notebooks – called the “Macbook Pro with Retina display”. This is a complete redesign of the Macbook Pro, with a thinner, lighter aluminium body, but most importantly, a massively upgraded 15.4 inch Retina display capable of displaying 2800 x 1800 pixels. Obviously to drive that display it is no slouch either. Inside you will find a quadcore i7 processor, a minimum of 8GB RAM, SSD storage, USB 3, 2 x Thunderbolt ports, and HDMI port. The optical drive has been taken out though to make place for all the batteries inside which can still power this laptop for 7 hours. Some disappointment is in store though – this new generation Macbook Pro is not upgradable like the “old” Macbook Pro. The RAM is soldered in, and the SSD is a proprietary type. So you are stuck with what you buy in the store. Luckily it can be ordered with 16GB of RAM. Which we would recommend – but you will be looking at around a R2000 premium.
|“New Generation” MBP with Retina, 2.3GHz, 256GB SSD||R23 999,00|
|“New Generation” MBP with Retina, 2.6GHz, 512GB SSD||R29 999,00|
We are still on the fence on which machine is the pick of the bunch. Needless to say, the new Macbook Pro is the one most people will lust after – but the lack of upgradability and the 15.4 inch only display (never mind that price tag) means it is not yet for everyone. It is pretty clear to see that Apple will be moving the “old” Macbook Pro shape to the new design over time (hopefully with the Retina display), just like they did when they first moved to the unibody build. The “old” Macbook Pro is still terrific, but the fact that it will soon be replaced with thinner, sleeker models means we will wait.
The machine we would go for? A base model Macbook Air 13 inch, with the optional 8GB RAM fitted, would be pretty perfect in our opinion. We were always big fans of the 13 inch Macbook Pro, but now we cannot help but feel like we should wait until a 13 inch Retina display model is available…