Apple Notebook Strategy?

Recently changed my early 2012 15″ MacBook Pro Retina (quad core i7, 16Gb) for the new 13″ Pro Retina (dual core i7, 16Gb). I passed the 15″ to a student who had more need than me for those two extra cores 😉

A few things struck me in this process:

  1. I did not realize that my 15″ was past 3 years of use. The quality of the construction of these unibody notebook is so good that it still look like new after over 3 years of road trips. Also with the SSD drive, the RAM and the processing power of this unit, it is still a top of line machine in circa 2015!
  2. The battery life of the 13″ Pro model is amazing, while still being quite powerful.
  3. The haptic feedback force touch trackpad is simply amazing. I had to look closely to confirm that it really did not move, telling you how realistic the effect is.
  4. Really liked the reduced weight. Sometimes I even have to look into my backpack more than once to be sure I have really put it there 😉

My two favorite Apple notebooks were the PowerBook G3 (black and white) and the 12” Pro (I started with the 145c for those who remembered as far back, and also had a 5300c). I have to say that the new 13″ Pro Retina is an instant new favorite. Perfect balance of features and power to be used as my main computer and only workhorse.


It is also interesting to look at the pricing scheme of Apple notebook lineup.  In particular comparing the new 12″ MacBook, 13″ Air and 13″ Pro Retina. The table below gives some of the key components and price (in Canadian dollars).

Capture d’écran 2015-05-13 à 18.33.33


Now looking at the MacBook processing power in term of Geekbench 3 scores, I can certainly conclude that the A8X chip in the iPad Air 2 is powerful enough to run OS X; it is just missing enough RAM to do it. At the same time, for 90%+ users, the processing power of either an iPad Air 2 or the new MacBook 12″ is more than enough for all their computing tasks including hobby editing of movies (which can be done quite effectively on an iPhone or iPad). The MacBook scores at 1.1Ghz are close to the 2011 MacBook Air while the top of the line 1.3 GHz give performance almost on par with the mid 2013 MacBook Air (i5-4250U). This might look like a step back but the technological marvel inside is actually quite amazing.


However, the more bang for your buck is clearly the new 13″ Pro Retina. Its CPU Geekbench scores are at least 50% higher relative to the 1.3 GHz new MacBook, while providing a much better GPU and other perks.


Sure you can buy a cheap-o device for a fraction of the price compare to these three models. In fact, I see quite a look of students doing that. Cheap plastic and abuse due to daily transportation in a backpack is doing its toll for these devices. However the quality of Apple notebook unibody process make sure that your investment will not only work for many years to come but still look good and running the latest OSX system. My old 2008 15″ MacBook Pro is still in service running the latest OSX version (10.10).

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