Retina MacBook Pro: Solder On

Jason Snell, reporting for Macworld:

If it weren't for the Retina display, this MacBook Pro would seem to be just about what I expected from the infusion of some MacBook Air sensibility into the MacBook Pro line. It seems like there will be a day, in the not too distant future, when there's just a single line of MacBooks from a tiny 11-incher to this larger 15-incher. That day's not here yet - this model is too expensive right now to wipe out the lower-cost MacBook Pro models - but it's coming.

As much as I want to get my hands on one of them (despite the loss of screen real estate a couple of things have thrown me: cost, and the fact that you can't upgrade them.

The base model (2.3GHz) with 8GB RAM / 256GB SSD (yep, flash storage) comes in at $2,499. Double the RAM and you're looking at $2,739. You can't upgrade the SSD on this model. The 2.6GHz model with 8GB RAM / 512GB SSD is $3,199. Maxing out the machine - 2.7GHz / 16GB RAM / 768GB SSD - takes it to a sweet $4,038.

To put it into comparison, you can score a "normal" MacBook Pro - 2.6GHz / 8GB RAM / 750GB 5400-rpm hard drive - for $2,499.

Now here's the catch: from what I've read, plus the heads up from the Mac Centre kids, it seems like the machines are sold to spec. RAM is soldered onto the logic board, as is the solid state drive, meaning you'll need to think about the machine you want to be owning in two to three years time.

Back to the future.