I’ve never denied being a bit of an Apple fanboy, and I waited eagerly for the announcement of the new MacBook Pro range. When the announcement came yesterday and I read about my much-hoped-for retina display, it was all I could do not to reach immediately for my credit card.
I’m glad I didn’t. I’ve spent some time looking into the specification in some detail and, sadly, it doesn’t make me happy. Here’s why:
The base-level 15” Retina MacBook Pro costs $2199 and comes with a 2.3Ghz Ivy Bridge i7 processer, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB solid-state disk.
Now, I accept this isn’t a dreadful spec, but I already have that much RAM in my current Mac. Furthermore, 256GB is not enough space for all my existing data, let alone anything new – and that brings me on to the second problem…
The SSD and RAM is permanently installed
Not being able to upgrade my storage or memory on a “Pro” laptop is just daft. If I want 16GB of RAM instead of the supplied 8GB, I have to pay Apple $200 – far in excess of the cost of the RAM.
Even worse, Apple doesn’t seem to offer me an online upgrade to a larger SSD on the base model, so to get the level of storage I need, I have to get the top-end model at $2799 – that’s simply too much for a laptop with no more RAM or storage space than I already have.
The Missing Ethernet Port
I know this might sound pedantic, but, once again, this is a Pro laptop. I am an IT consultant – a “pro” if you will, and I often need to plug my laptop into an Ethernet network or sometimes into a crossover cable to configure a device. I’m not willing to carry a second laptop for this purpose, or to buy yet another one of Apple’s lucrative adaptors.
While I have no doubt that this new MacBook Pro is a wonderful, beautiful machine, I find myself in a position where I simply can’t justify such extreme expense for something that I cannot upgrade.
The permanently soldered components in the new MacBook Pro present a severe problem. In the event of a memory or drive problem beyond the standard 12-month warranty, I can’t replace these parts myself, making additional expense on Applecare all but essential.
For now, then, I’m going to have to make my peace with the fact that Apple have pitched their new laptop in such a way that buying it cannot work for me. As it stands, I cannot change any parts, connect to all my client’s networks or even fit all my music on the base model. I can do all those things on the one I’m typing on now.
I’ll just have to avoid looking at that beautiful new retina display when I next visit the Apple store. Some things are not meant to be.