MacBook Pro 13-inch with Retina display review

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

MacBook Pro 13-inch with Retina display
MacBook Pro 13-inch with Retina display, 2.5GHz Core i5, late 2012

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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