MacBook Pro 13-inch with Retina display review

Apple's incredible Retina screen comes to its smaller MacBook Pro

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The 13-inch MacBook Pro's Retina display boasts a 2560x1600 pixel resolution. It crams in four times as many pixels as a standard 13-inch screen. It has more pixels than any competing 13-inch or even 15-inch notebook, and two million more than an HDTV.

The Retina display also has a 29% better contrast ratio and a 75% reflection reduction over the standard model's screen.

The late 2012 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro uses the latest Intel dual-core Core i5 processors, running at 2.5GHz.

MacBook Pro 13 inch with Retina display

Hyper Threading means each of the processor's two cores can run two threads simultaneously, for a total of four virtual cores.

At times of heavy need, the chip's Turbo Boost feature reallocates unused resources to temporarily increase its clock speed to up to 3.1GHz.

Buy from the Apple online store and you can upgrade the processor to a dual-core 2.9GHz Intel Core i7, which Turbo Boosts to up to 3.6GHz.

The 13-inch notebook's logic boards are too small to support discrete graphics, but the integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000 chipset is surprisingly powerful, and can handle 2560x1600 pixels on up to two external displays, at millions of colours.

MacBook Pro 13 inch with Retina display

The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display uses solid state storage instead of a hard drive. 128GB and 256GB are available off the shelf, or you can upgrade to 512GB or 768GB if you buy on the Apple online store.

The storage chips take up much less room in the notebook than a hard drive.

Together with the optical drive being dropped, this has allowed for a much thinner, lighter design than the standard 13-inch MacBook Pro. The 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro has 8GB of 1600MHz DDR3L onboard memory, but unlike the 15-inch model, you can't configure it with more if you buy online.

The new notebook has a comprehensive range of expansion ports too.

There's two high-speed USB 3.0 ports, one on each side of the MacBook.

On the right-hand side it's joined by an HDMI port and an SDXC card reader, and on the left, there's two Thunderbolt ports, a headphone socket and dual mics.

Apple's famous magnetic power supply plug has been redesigned to fit the thinner form factor. Known as MagSafe 2, the connector disengages when tugged or pulled, so if your dog runs into the power cable while you're charging, it won't pull your notebook off your desk.

MacBook Pro 13 inch with Retina display

There are no FireWire 800 or Ethernet ports, but if you need these protocols, you can get adapters that fit the Thunderbolt ports.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display uses Apple's high-quality 720p FaceTime HD camera for video chat.

It also enjoys the famously long-life battery, which gives up to seven hours of wireless web surfing, enough to last the whole day between charges.

Apple s incredible Retina screen comes to its smaller MacBook Pro

Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Green CompliantYes
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelHD 4000
Wireless LANYes
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
Maximum Battery Run Time7 Hour
Solid State Drive Capacity128 GB
Backlight TechnologyLED
Product FamilyMacBook Pro
Keyboard BacklightYes
Keyboard LocalizationEnglish (US)
Operating SystemMac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion
Brand NameApple
Processor Speed2.50 GHz
Processor TypeCore i5
Screen Size33.8 cm (13.3")
Screen Resolution2560 x 1600
Standard Memory8 GB
Weight (Approximate)1.62 kg
Cache3 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityENERGY STAR 5.2, EPEAT Gold
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Display Screen TechnologyRetina Display, In-plane Switching (IPS) Technology
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0
Total Number of USB Ports2
Memory StandardDDR3-1600/PC3-12800
Height19.1 mm
Width313.7 mm
Depth218.9 mm
Screen ModeWQXGA
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
ManufacturerApple, Inc
Product ModelMD212B/A
Product Name13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
Pointing Device TypeTrack Pad
Product LineMacBook Pro
Aspect Ratio16:10
Manufacturer Part NumberMD212B/A
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing InformationWith great power comes great capability.

MacBook Pro with Retina display changes the entire notebook experience. What you see onscreen is unbelievably sharp. Everything you do is lightning fast. And if you can imagine it, you can create it. Welcome to the future of pro performance.

Faster than the sum of its parts.

The latest dual-core and quad-core processors help you power through the most complicated technical computing tasks. Next-generation graphics let you take on GPU-intensive rendering. State-of-the-art I/O like Thunderbolt and USB 3 makes it possible to expand your workspace in a matter of seconds. And at the center of it all is an entirely flash-based architecture that makes everything you do incredibly fast and responsive. Specs like these define a whole new standard for notebook computing.

Battery ChemistryLithium Polymer (Li-Polymer)
Package Contents
  • 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
  • Lithium Polymer Battery
  • 60W MagSafe 2 Power Adapter
  • AC Wall Plug
  • Power Cord
  • Accessory Kit
Limited Warranty1 Year