aNew MacBook Pro most expensive disposable computer ever

The MacBook Pro Retina akes me want a Mac less. Highlights:

  • A beautiful display with more than 200 dots per inch (resolution of 2880 x 1800) on a 15.6″ screen. Seriously gorgeous display.
  • HDMI video port
  • Standard SSD/flash storage for higher speed
  • Thinner and lighter than most other 15″ notebooks


  • memory is permanently soldered onto the system board, cannot be replaced, upgraded, or diagnosed
  • storage is a custom flash/SSD, I’d expect Other World Computing and other specialty outlets to have compatible upgrades in a few months but don’t count on it being cheap. The low-end with a NON upradeable 256GB drive is too small. The high-end system with 500GB is about right.
  • Battery is permanently sealed into the unit. Delicate cables are placed in the glue so that you’ll trash the system if you try to replace a battery cell.
  • To crack the system open you’ll need a Pentalobe screwdriver (which unless you’re in the business you won’t have) and a lot more patience than upgrading something like a Dell Latitude or Lenovo T-series.

Our advice

  1. Think twice. You’re buying a $3000 disposable computer. Your average computer shop will not be able to so much as open the case on these. Apple’s track record on new technology rollouts has been worrisome
  2. Don’t consider buying one of these without AppleCare (Apple’s $349 extended/enhanced warranty). Apple’s standard warranty is far below industry norm at 90-days. I don’t expect Apple Stores to do much in the way of on-site diagnosis and repair on these. They’ll hand you a new one and send you on your way.
  3. Avoid the low-end 2.3 unit. The 256G drive is too small and you’ll regret it later.
  4. Buy it with 16GB FOR SURE (which in my opinion is still not enough long-term) and the bigger SSD drive if you think there’s any chance you’ll use it.

Geek out and see the teardown at iFixit’s site here.

If you’re able to wait a few months, Lenovo, Dell, and HP all have interesting new products coming soon. Otherwise the 14″ to 15″ market is filled with good choices in the Lenovo Edge and T series, the Dell Latitude, and HP EliteBook.

If you’re a Mac enthusiast I think the old-style Macbook Pro/NON Retina is a much better value and will be a more reliable and serviceable system in the future.

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  • da bishop  On June 15, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    These are really poor decisions apple are making.

    Myself, I use a 17 inch machine with a large, replaceable battery (unscrew the bottom of the case). I am buying another battery ASAP!!!

    It has also been modded with a removed optical drive to fit a second SSD, giving me close to a terabyte of solid state storage, and also the opportunity to use an SSD combined with a platter based drive.

    I really hope that apple bring out a big laptop with upgradeable features for pro users. This is not a good direction they’re taking. Lots of chickens, one basket.

    What scares me the most is that you can’t pull the drive out, and access it via SATA if the machine dies for whatever reason. It’ll entomb your data!!

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