MacBook Pro

The MacBook Pro family currently includes two separate product lines: the MacBook Pro ($1,099 and up from the Apple Store) and the MacBook Pro with Retina display ($1,299 and up). Apple is clearly focusing all its attention on the Retina models, as the standard MacBook Pro hasn’t been updated in years.

Premiered in 2012 as a successor to the MacBook Pro, the MacBook Pro with Retina Display is sold in 13.3″ (2560×1600-pixel) and 15.4″ (2880×1800-pixel) versions, the latter at a $700 premium. Both models are lighter than the regular 13″ MacBook Pro, with the 13.3″ Retina Pro weighing only half a pound more than the 13.3″ MacBook Air. These models require few performance compromises: they have faster Core i5 and i7 processors than any other Apple laptop, much higher-resolution (and more color-accurate) screens, twin Thunderbolt 2 and twin USB 3 ports, plus an HDMI port and dual noise-canceling microphones.

As of the last (March 2015) hardware update, the 13″ Retina MacBook Pro starts with a dual-core 2.7GHz Core i5 processor with 8GB of RAM, and features 10-hour battery life. By comparison, the 15.4″ Retina MacBook Pro was updated in May 2015, sporting a quad-core 2.2GHz Core i7 processor and 16GB of RAM, now with up to 9 hours of battery life. Both Retina models feature Force Touch pressure-sensitive/haptic feedback trackpads, plus 802.11ac wireless, but continue to lack DVD/CD drives and mechanical hard drives in favor of 128GB to 1TB of flash storage.

First released in 2006 and last redesigned in 2008, the non-Retina MacBook Pro was at one time known as the “MacBook,” and is currently available only in a 13″ version. Thicker and 1/3 heavier than the 13.3″ MacBook Air, the MacBook Pro includes a substantially faster Intel Core i5 processor, offset by a much slower 500GB hard drive and a lower-resolution 1280×800 screen. It is now the only Apple laptop with a DVD/CD drive, integrated FireWire 800 port, and Gigabit Ethernet port, all features dropped from the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro with Retina Display. However, while it has two USB 3 ports and a Thunderbolt 1 port, it lacks HDMI output, 802.11ac wireless, and Force Touch, delivering only 7 hours of battery life.

The MacBook Pro with Retina display remains Apple’s best overall performer for the dollar, laptop or otherwise. Though more expensive and a little larger than the MacBook Air, it delivers much more horsepower and a hugely better screen; there are even reasons to prefer the Retina MacBook Pro over an iMac for daily use unless you really need a much larger (and non-portable) display.

Read our full coverage for details.

All MacBook Pro Generations

Release Date Age
May 19, 2015 11 months, 17 days ago

MacBook Pro April 25

AAPL: 105.08

-0.60
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As an owner of a Late 2013 MacBook Pro with Retina Display, it’s slowly beginning to show its age. However, I find that this machine, an i7-powered rig with 16GB of RAM, is still plenty powerful for the applications that I run on a day-to-day basis. For example, with Final Cut Pro X, it’s not the fastest machine in the world (it lacks dedicated graphics), but it’s still plenty competent when it comes to editing and exporting 4K videos.

The biggest bottleneck that I’ve encountered with this computer is its storage capabilities, and that’s something I’ve been trying to deal with since the day I purchased it. With only 256 GB of flash storage, space has been hard to come by since day one. That wouldn’t be so bad if there was a way to upgrade the amount of internal storage, but sadly there has been no upgrade solution…until now.

Back in early March, OWC made a splash by announcing the very first flash storage upgrade solution the MacBook Pro as far back as the Late-2013 product cycle, and the MacBook Air, as far back as the Mid-2013 product cycle. Yes, finally! MacBook Pro and MacBook Air owners with qualifying machines can come out of the storage dark ages with OWC’s new Aura PCIe flash storage upgrade. expand full story

MacBook Pro March 22

AAPL: 106.72

0.81
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Digitimes has a mixed track record of reliability with regard to Apple rumors, but its latest report gels with expectations. The report claims Apple is preparing new 13 inch and 15 inch MacBooks to launch in the summer, by July. Although the publication does not say this, it indicates that new MacBook Pros are on the horizon perhaps debuting at WWDC, Apple’s developer conference.

Given Intel’s CPU roadmap, Apple laptops featuring the new Skylake processors are due. Therefore, it is not that much of a stretch to believe this report. A key feature of Skylake is power efficiency, which would allow Apple to make dramatically thinner laptops.

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MacBook Pro March 8

AAPL: 101.03

-0.84
Stock Chart

Today, aftermarket Mac upgrade specialists OWC announced that the long-awaited PCIe flash storage upgrades for late model Mac laptops are now available. MacBook Pro, as far back as the Late-2013 product cycle, and MacBook Air, as far back as the Mid-2013 product cycle, are eligible to upgrade. Upgrades include a 480GB or a 1TB PCIe-based flash storage solution.

Considering that many of these Macs shipped with anemic 128GB or 256GB SSDs, this can be considered a major upgrade. For instance, with MacBook Airs that featured 128GB of flash storage space, a 1TB upgrade equals 8x the storage space, a significant increase in eligible storage. expand full story

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MacBook Pro March 6

AAPL: 103.01

1.51
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Update: Version 2.92 of Transmission has now been released. This claims to actively remove the ‘KeyRanger’ malware files from the infected Mac.

OS X users have today been hit with the first known case of Mac ‘ransomware’ malware, found in the Transmission BitTorrent client released last week. Infected versions of the app include ‘KeyRanger’ malware that will maliciously encrypt the user’s hard drive after three days of being installed. The malware then asks for payment to allow the user to decrypt the disk and access their data — the ‘ransom’.

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MacBook Pro February 29

AAPL: 96.69

-0.22
Stock Chart

Microsoft is currently running a new series of ads featuring ‘The Bug Chicks’, with each ad directly targeting a weakness in Apple’s Mac operating system. Kristie and Jess, curiously labelled as ‘real people paid for real opinions’, walk through several ways that Windows 10 helps them teach kids about bugs and the microscopic world.

The ad series focuses on several different competitive advantages Windows currently holds over OS X, such as touchscreen-equipped laptops for sketching and drawing, Cortana as a personal voice search assistant and face recognition for hands-free account login. Some of the things Microsoft highlights, like the absence of Siri on OS X are expected to be addressed by Apple later in the year, of course. Watch all four videos after the jump:

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MacBook Pro January 22

AAPL: 101.42

5.12
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