back to article Apple's Retina Macs: A little too elite?

Apple loves to be ahead of the competition on the technology curve, but has it shuffled up that curve a little too far? The new retina MacBook is causing angst among Apple's most loyal professional users. The problem isn't the retina display: that's a technological marvel. It's the absence of serious storage. The default …


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  1. oldtaku Silver badge

    Yeah, yeah, yeah, stick a USB3 or Thunderbold drive on it, you sniveling ponces.

    What are you going to do, run Win7 or Ubuntu?

    1. FartingHippo
      Black Helicopters

      Suspicious, me?

      So the top 6 comments are all saying this is not a big deal. On the Reg. Which is full of iHaters.

      *dons bacofoil chapeau*

      1. oldtaku Silver badge

        Re: Suspicious, me?

        It's not a big deal. I am not an iHater or an iLover. I own Apple products, I own MS products, I own Android products. I'm a whore.

        Real Mac Users should be asking where the HELL the Mac Pro upgrade is, since the current upgrade is so goddamn pathetic that they didn't even bother mentioning it at WWDC.

        Tim, when, pressed, said they would have 'something awesome' for Mac Pro users late next year. Which is a total copout, but as a laptop this thing is so far ahead of anyone else that it isn't even funny.

        Please take this in context.

        1. Giles Jones Gold badge

          Re: Suspicious, me?

          I personally think the Pro is Pro-sumer these days, not Professional.

          Besides, there are loads of professionals using much lower spec machine and doing their job okay.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Suspicious, me?

        @Fartin Hippo - Commenter from below here... I wasn't saying it was or wasn't a big deal, I was more saying it's a horses for courses/right tool for the right job sort of thing. If my (theoretical) Caterham 7 has a 1.2l engine, it's not a big problem, it'll still go like stink. However, if my Range Rover (also theoretical) has a 1.2l engine, it's not going to go anywhere at all.

        1. J. R. Hartley

          Re: Suspicious, me?

          An Amiga with a 1.2l engine would be a flying machine.

    2. oldtaku Silver badge

      Whoops - well, sorry for the typo, but the hardware on this is so FANTASTIC that I'm considering buying one just to run Windows 7 on. Apple is so far ahead of the hardware curve now that it's just sad to watch. Even though I have no desire to run OSX because I don't like fake leather or mullets.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Does win7 support scaling like osx does? I.e. you run at 1440x900, but at a scale of 2 so everything is pin-sharp but not impossibly tiny. If not, you're stuck with running it at 1440x900 in blurrovision or running at 2880x1800 and using a magnifying glass to read text. Best to check first ;)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          There are options in W7 should make it tolerable but sure the 3 year old OS is not as tuned as the latest OS X specially configured for the panel.

          OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) and Windows 8 make a better job of high PPI displays than earlier versions of either OS. MBP Retina appears to work best in 1200 nominal desktop layout resolution. I've yet to hear from anyone who has tried W7 or W8 on the new MBP but no doubt people with time on their hands will be sharing experiences online in the next few days.

        2. James Chaldecott

          Windows 8 does



          "There are three scale percentages in Windows 8:

          100% when no scaling is applied

          140% for HD tablets

          180% for quad-XGA tablets"

          1. PaulR79

            Re: Windows 8 does

            I would hope Windows 8 can scale up. I mean scaling tiles up shouldn't be that difficult.

            1. h4rm0ny

              Re: Windows 8 does

              "I would hope Windows 8 can scale up. I mean scaling tiles up shouldn't be that difficult."

              Should I respond to such a gleeful troll, probably not. Am I going to yes, I just can't help myself. ;)

              In case you're actually interested in how Windows 8 handles different DPI screens, there's a very good blog post on the MS site here: Windows 8 DPI. As well as native support for Vector Graphics in applications (no need to use bitmaps anymore), it also has APIs for handling layout and automatic swapping of different size icons in according to the screen resolution. You just define the images when you write the app and it will handle swapping in the right images. Layout APIs will handle a lot of the work of adapting your application to different resolutions and screen sizes as well.

              I'm just highlighting this stuff because I remember programming with Tcl/Tk and all this just makes me want to weep with happiness. ;)

        3. Gordon Fecyk

          Windows since XP does, but many apps, not so much.

          Does win7 support scaling like osx does? I.e. you run at 1440x900, but at a scale of 2 so everything is pin-sharp but not impossibly tiny.

          Windows since XP (and I think 2K even) support scaling of the display in terms of dots per inch. I used to take a ruler and match it to the on-screen ruler that XP provided.

          Too many applications don't like the scaling. The Windows 7 Explorer desktop itself is gorgeous on a high-res display. Many apps that depend on 72 DPI will show funny placement of things, especially a lot of poorly written .NET apps.

          1. Nick Thompson

            Re: Windows since XP does, but many apps, not so much.

            "especially a lot of poorly written .NET apps."

            It's probably not the app developers fault, the automatic scaling in WinForms is absolutely diabolical. Not sure about WPF. I've had to disable auto scaling entirely and do it all manually, which is a lot of work for very little gain.

        4. jonathanb Silver badge

          I believe Windows 7 itself does, but a lot of the software written for it doesn't.

        5. atippey

          Yes, it does and has for quite a while. I put together a computer for my 82 year-old grandma earlier this year and turned the DPI way up on everything — text, icons, and all. Font scaling it straightforward enough. As for the icons, Windows Vista and up support icons sizes ranging from 16x16 to 256x256. Even with a DPI of 220, a 256x256 icons would be over an inch wide.

        6. Blitterbug

          Does win7 support scaling like osx does?

          In a word, yes. A nice slider, in fact...

        7. JEDIDIAH

          Does it?

          When I am really bored I will have to "horse race" this for myself and see how it goes.

          How new of a version of MacOS does this kind of trick need?

        8. Mectron

          um, then what's the point

          Retina Displaye (lousy marking name). runnning at HALF the resolution?

      2. Modjo30
        Thumb Down


        I'm sorry but what Hardware are you talking about? The screen is great yes but all other internal hardware is made by someone else, If you want to run Windows 7 on a mac, you can get hardware a hell of a lot better than what they offer on macs already and at muss less cost, the reason people buy a mac is the software more than anything as it processes music and video mush better than anything else can, the hardware itself is pretty bog standard

      3. Blank Reg

        What's so fanastic about it

        Other than the fruity logo and lack of various ports the screen is the only thing that stands out from a number of other high powered laptops. If I wanted to spend that kind of money on a laptop I'd get something like a Sony Z series, it's thinner and lighter and even includes an ethernet port.

        And it really does not seem well suited to video editing, the screen resolution is all wrong. If you are editing video today for anything other than the web you are using 1080p (or perhaps 4k if you are ahead of the curve). This screen handles neither very well. When you want to preview a clip either you can use the whole screen and have upscaling issues or you view it at it's native resolution and have it fill only 2/3 of the screen.

        And storage is an issue, the machine I built just for video editing at home has 6tb internal and 6tb external and is hooked up to a pair of 26inch 1920x1080 monitors so I can preview clips side by side at full resolution.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      My Dell XPS win7 scales up but has some strange anomalies with other program's. Without the scaling I have to squint to see the shortcuts,


      Using the bigger scaling when using Photoshop does strange things to the cursor. It divideds the thing into three! Apparently this is a known problem.


      Silly hipsters.

      > Yeah, yeah, yeah, stick a USB3 or Thunderbold drive on it, you sniveling ponces.


      > What are you going to do, run Win7 or Ubuntu?

      That kind of defeats the whole point of the "laptop" thing now doesn't it.

      Although I think the whole concept is ridiculous. Who does video editing on a laptop? That's what something like a Mac Pro is for.

      Sadly though I will probably have thunderbolt running under Linux before it's on the Mac Pro.

      1. Mark 65

        Re: Silly hipsters.

        I don't think it does defeat the point. The whole thing with a portable laptop (rather than fat arsed desktop replacement) is that you are willing to make a compromise of size/weight versus other capabilities. In this Apple are giving you lightning fast storage, hi-res screen and highly capable graphics and CPU. In order to have this in a convenient package you therefore have to accept you cannot get it with terabytes of storage. If they hadn't upped the battery size people would be whining about that instead.

        For video editors to be happy you'd need to max-out the drive which is, on a 2.5" form HD, currently 1TB? In my experience these drives aren't terribly fast, especially when data rates really are an issue such as in video editing. Therefore, as the OP said, it makes sense to use very fast USB3 or Thunderbolt drives containing more capable storage media. In fact the most reasonable complaint about the storage size was from a video editor that stated on another thread that it was his apps that pushed the 256GB boundary (Adobe bloat) and not the data, which he indicated was edited on external media.

        My complaint, which I (naturally) think is more reasonable is the one the article makes about the upgrade prices being too high. Ideally in a "spec it at purchase change it never" machine I'd like the middle-ground of 512GB. The RAM upgrade is now better priced, whereas the SSD is not. So having no spinners - not an issue. Fiscally raping the customer - bit of a problem.

        To answer your question about who edits video on a macbook pro rather than a mac pro - it's normally when editors have to go out on location (conferences etc) and get something done ASAP, so I'm told.

        1. JEDIDIAH

          Re: Silly hipsters.

          > Therefore, as the OP said, it makes sense to use very fast USB3 or Thunderbolt drives containing more capable storage media.

          ...which just gets you back to the problem of the performance of your actual storage media.

          Attaching a fancy over priced external storage bus is not going to make a disk any faster. It's just going to make the thing less portable and more bother to deal with. It might even create an extra bottleneck. An obvious way to get around all of that is to ditch external wires entirely and include really spendy drives if that's really necessary.

          Although I suspect you have no clue how fast any of these devices actually are or how expensive.

          Of course different people have different ideas of what the tradeoffs should be. That's why it's absolutely essential to have a meaningful array of options and it's rather useful for a device to be user serviceable.

  2. ratfox

    Professional video editing... on a laptop?

    How about using a desktop? Y'know, with a larger screen? And more memory?

    1. Thomas Davie

      Re: Professional video editing... on a laptop?

      Which desktop screen (that doesn't cost as much as the laptop including the big SSD) is this high resolution?

      1. bhtooefr

        Re: Professional video editing... on a laptop?

        Cheating a bit, but a used IBM T221 gets close, at 204 ppi (resolution for monitors is a linear measurement, not the measurement of pixel area), and it beats the crap out of it in pixel count (3840x2400, instead of 2880x1800). And you can get one for about a third as much as an entry MBPR, so around $650-800.

        If you're just going after pixel count, plenty of 2560x1440 and 2560x1600 monitors, at 27" and 30" respectively, to get close to the MBPR, and they're between $300 and $1500 (the $300 ones are reject panels, though, as I understand, so you wouldn't want to use them for content creation).

        1. Volker Hett

          Re: Professional video editing... on a laptop?

          But with a 27" Display in my backpack I might look a little weird.

        2. Sean Timarco Baggaley

          Re: Professional video editing... on a laptop?

          No, the IBM T22x monitors don't get anywhere near "close". Their refresh rates suck. The highest they can do is 48Hz, which is useless for video work. 24Hz is only of use for 24Hz 1080p video, but that's a niche within a niche.

          And that's before you start looking at the connections.

          The whole point of the new "Retina" MBP is that you can see full 1080p video while you're editing it, and still have plenty of room for the editing timeline and other gubbins. I've been editing videos myself on my 2010 17" MBP and I ended up replacing the HDD with an SDD (Crucial M4 512GB) last year to cope with the workload.

          I, for one, would cheerfully sell my own family to the Soylent Corporation to get one. But I'm happy to wait until they start coming down in price instead. The SSD upgrade has added a good year or two to the life of the current laptop, and even the first MacBook Airs were over $2000 at launch, so I doubt we'll see Apple sticking to those high prices for more than a year or so. Expect the Retina version of the MBP to become the de-facto MBP model by 2014. Possibly even sooner.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Professional video editing... on a laptop?

      I work for <major world broadcaster>*, and our in-house editing training frequently involves Final Cut on Macbooks, and a lot of editing, especially news in the field and small self-shoot features, happen in quiet corners, on laptops.

      Yes, a lot of editing happens on laptops. My several years old Macbook Pro can edit 1080p reasonably nicely. I tend to store the projects on a big external FW800 drive (to leave the system disk free), mind. That makes having an SSD as a boot drive a non-issue, and possibly even an advantage- so if someone wanted to give me a new retina MBP with a fancy quad core CPU and SSD, I'd not complain.

      * You may cry foul, bullcrap etc. as you like, but the moderators will at least see my IP address and thus where I come from. However, I prefer to remain anon to the rest of ye scurvy laggards :D

    3. DAN*tastik

      @ Ratfox - Re: Professional video editing... on a laptop?

      Have you ever tried going to Starbucks carrying one? Seriously, some people...

    4. Aleve Sicofante

      Re: Professional video editing... on a laptop?

      The critical issue here is uncompressed. You really don't ask for uncompressed on a laptop. Editing compressed video on this thing should be easy.

  3. GettinSadda

    I suspect Apple know what they are doing...

    Apple also sell the following:

    "Apple Recommends For... In-the-field professional video editing"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I suspect Apple know what they are doing...

      That Lacie drive requires an external AC power supply to work so buying for "In-the-field professional video editing" it would be a mistake. The usb3 should be up to scratch though.

    2. Matthew 25

      Re: I suspect Apple know what they are doing...

      That's fine but it needs AC power.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: but it needs AC power.

        So you carry an inverter in your vehicle, or plug-in in a coffee shop. :-)

    3. richard 7

      Re: I suspect Apple know what they are doing...

      And given the number of dead Lacie NAS units we have......

    4. Anonymous Coward

      Re: I suspect Apple know what they are doing...

      £350 for a 1TB drive. I think they saw you coming, mate.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Even the top end machine is still cheap compared to the edit systems Final Cut typically replaced. Although the market may have changed since then.

    There's always thunderbolt external drives or even USB3.0 if you're really desperate.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I don't know any professional video editors who use laptops, I also don't know anyone who would think to do professional video editing on internal storage. It sounds like the person commenting is actually an amateur who has delusions of grandeur.

    I still tend towards real pros using avid with large, usually rack mounted, disk arrays anyway.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Really?

      Laptops are used a lot for dailies on location - but I agree that internal storage a non-issue. It's quite normal to have a separate drive for each day's shooting.

    2. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Really?

      I know one guy who used to decamp to various ski resorts for the ski season, with his MacBook Pro, and would make a living shooting "extreme sports" style DVDs for the Kensington crowd. Spend a day on the piste shooting footage, edit it overnight, burn a DVD for them next day, all for £100-200. Split between a group of friends, it was a nice souvenir.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Really?

      I wouldn't say that only amateurs use mac laptops rather than desktops.

      All those small to medium professional sports teams that use expensive software like Sportscode at £10K per license to do video analysis currently require firewire ports. The adapter for thunderbolt to firewire doesn't exist yet.

      That's the reason all the coaches will have macbooks in front of them if you are watching the rugby. The video analysts will be at work during the game and afterwards processing the video feeds, tagging the video with the players in action

      1. Steve Todd

        Re: Really?

        >The adaptor for thunderbolt to FireWire doesn't exist yet

        Yes it does, it was announced with the Retina MBP, allong with a thunderbolt to gig Ethernet adaptor.

    4. Giles Jones Gold badge

      Re: Really?

      So where's the problem then? the Mac Pro can have tons of discs in it.

    5. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Really?

      I'm a professional video editor and I know lots of editors who use Macbooks. In fact last year I did a gig where the client required 20 editors on site for a day with their own editing kit. All bar one rocked up with a laptop, and the vast majority were on Macbook Pro's of various vintages, the 17" being particularly popular.

      Now granted back at the office I have a Mac Pro Tower that does the heavy lifting. But on location, on the move or at home, what do you suppose we editors use? Laptops.

    6. stu 4

      Re: Really?

      er.. it's a pretty much open secret that the beeb is big on FCP (and now FCP X), and a lot of that is gonna be in field on a MBP.

      Why don't you think pros use laptops ? I have a 27" iMac which is great if I'm editing in the office, but I need something in the field too - I was using a MBP17 until a few years ago, when I found the MBA11 was sooo much faster, more portable.etc. The downside : 1366x800 screen makes for constanting zooming in and out to check certain edits.

      I think you are gonna see lots of editors going for the new MBP15-hiDPI.

      SSD wise, I tend to use external for archives, and can usually fit the project I am currently working on on SSD free space. When I'm done it gets archived onto the HD.


  6. James 51

    Surely you can just open the case and put in a bigger SSD or HDD yourself?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yes, if you're prepared to re-engineer the drive to fit apple's non-standard connector...

      1. Michael Jennings

        To be fair, there are companies who will. Third party solutions are available for previous generations of the Macbook Air. As Apple has just released a new third party connector for their new models, it will be a month of three before these are available, true.

  7. Jayml
    Thumb Up

    Apple has to be ahead of the curve

    Jobs famously said "IMac is next year's computer for $1299, not last year's computer for $999"

    That is the key to their success. It took a while for the Air to catch on but then it left competitors in the dust. Same with Retina. I am amazed that that seriously amped up the power and spec with Retina display yet is half the thickness of my Feb 2012 15" MBP.

    1. Pat 11

      Re: Apple has to be ahead of the curve

      How ironic that the iMac they are selling is last year's model for this year's prices.

      1. Michael Jennings

        Re: Apple has to be ahead of the curve

        Apple never updates its laptops and desktops at the same time. I will eat my hat if updates to the iMac and Mac mini do not come within the next two or three months. Whether there will be a retina display iMac at that time remains to be seen - next year is probably more likely for that - but Ivy Bridge updates at least are surely coming.

      2. Piro Silver badge

        Re: Apple has to be ahead of the curve

        The Mac Pro is the worst, how about a 3 year old mid-range card and a 3 generation old Intel CPU for the price of a modern workstation?

        1. Mark 65

          Re: Apple has to be ahead of the curve

          I'm guessing that, if they're going to stick with it, the Mac Pro will go to the latest and greatest E5 or E7 chips. Perhaps they've be waiting for something suitable to come along or perhaps they couldn't be arsed yet as other sales are going so well. Two 10-core E7s or 8-core E5s would probably go well. Not sure how well the typical editing software threads though.

    2. Greg J Preece

      Re: Apple has to be ahead of the curve

      One post made up entirely of gushing over a new product. Hmmmm...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There's certainly room in the Retina Macs for both.

    From the article: "There's certainly room in the Retina Macs for both"

    There almost certainly isn't. Lets wait for the tear-downs

    1. Rich 30

      Re: There's certainly room in the Retina Macs for both.

      There def isn't enough room.

      Infact, there's such little room the flash storage and ram is soldered in, and cant be swapped. any spare room has been filled with batteries, which from the pics would appear to be approx 50% of the insides.

      1. Pat 11

        Re: There's certainly room in the Retina Macs for both.

        Yes, it's soldered in because there's so little room. That's why. Similarly they have used a non-standard SSD connector.

      2. Robert Sneddon

        Re: There's certainly room in the Retina Macs for both.

        That high-pixel-count display is going to be a power hog, same as the iPad 3's high-def screen was a major reason for the large increase in battery storage from the first iPads. It's not surprising they've stuffed the case of the new Retina Mac with batteries to support the "long battery life" selling point Apple has always used as a marketing bullet point. Finding out how the case design deals with heat dissipation when the CPU gets hammered doing, say, video editing is going to be interesting.

    2. Frank Bough

      Re: There's certainly room in the Retina Macs for both.

      why wait for a tear-down when Apple have done it for you? Apple always show off the build in the promo videos, check their website.

  9. jai

    this can't be the problem that you make it out to be

    use an external drive. thunderbolt offers enough speed to be very nearly as good as an internal drive, surely.

    also, if editing video is that important, surely you're already doing it on a desktop MacPro, or you're using an old-style MacBook Pro with an external large screen. No one is doing this quality video editing on the train on the way the work are they??

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stills too

    Out in the field still picture editing is getting hefty, average full frame RAW image is usually 30MB+ ( medium format is 50MB+ ) , when edited in at 16bit+ in Photoshop with say 15-20 layers you're easily looking at 500-750MB per image file.

    Apple want to make a killing on overpriced external drives. Been a Mac fan for a few years but I moved my desktop back to Windows recently and when my old white Macbook bites the dust that's getting replaced by a bog standard PC laptop too, which I know will have a lot more kick to it than the Apple equivalent.

    Apple kit really is a mugs game these days.

    1. Volker Hett

      Re: Stills too

      HDD size can't be your problem when you're using a white macbook, same with RAM and CPU.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Apple want to make a killing on overpriced external drives.

      Interesting. Apple don't make any external drives, so how exactly do they make a killing on them? And how are external drives for Macs overpriced when the drives actually work on both Macs and PCs and are sold by competing suppliers? Is there an external drive cartel, with agents in the field switching price tags when they intuit that you are a Mac owner?

    3. El Presidente

      Re: Apple kit really is a mugs game these days.

      Ex Apple fanboi (me) states as fact: Apple hardware has been a Mug's game since System 7

      Once you understand a GUI is a GUI and you can work all flavours of them you immediately save 30 to 40% on the hardware and about 100% in the 'iNob' stakes.

      1. El Presidente
        Thumb Up

        Re: Apple kit really is a mugs game these days.

        6 thumbs up & 4 thumbs down so far ?


        If you disallow the 4 thumbs down votes, clearly from the equally deluded / offended iNobs, move them over where they should be, to the thumbs up column, the iNobs score 0 and the rest of us get 10

        I'd call that conclusive proof that Apple kit is about 40% overpriced.

        Nice screen though.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Apple kit really is a mugs game these days.

          Well, I've just downvoted you. So, by your logic, Apple kit immediately got 9% cheaper. If you get a few more downvotes, they'll be giving it away.

          Thanks for giving us enough information to put your other opinions in context.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Stills too

      > Apple want to make a killing on overpriced external drives.

      But Apple don't make external drives.

      1. El Presidente

        Re: Apple don't make external drives.

        Just the £30 to £50 'official' proprietary connectors ... LOL

    5. toadwarrior

      Re: Stills too

      I don't really believe someone would consider using some cheap and old (given they don't sell the plastic MB anymore) for doing serious video editing. I suspect you'd have more problems than the HD and I doubt the old white MBs come with some awesome killer HD.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    out of touch with the modern times

    for my wife, who is a photographer at the beginning of her career, the Air was the first machine, even though she had an iMac with more power and screen state. having a flash inside means no moving parts so it can be thrown around. she never wanted to have something thicker than that, since it would be a problem on photography hunt trips. if you want storage you can connect a thunderbolt drive (although there are none big enough based on flash). I prefer too to have less space but more reliability and speed. I personally don't want to use harddrives with moving parts in them, except for backup. so the new macbook pro is ideal for her.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I see Apple have pissed around with the SSD connectors so one can't fit a third party SSD on top of their solered in RAM. Despicable way to lock customers in..

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ugh

      Of course you can fit a third party SSD that has the new connector, but yeah that's probably too much thinking to ask from a troll.

    2. Scott Mckenzie

      Re: Ugh

      Not really.... if you don't like the product, or it's not suitable, don't buy it.

      An incredibly small percentage of people actually care about this sort of thing, your average joe has no concept that a hard drive can be upgraded to a larger one. So it really, honestly, makes no difference at all.

      1. atippey

        Re: Ugh

        It seems like Macbook Pro would be one of the few products with a savvy enough user base to care about SSD/HDD and RAM upgrades. If anything, an extra 8 GB of RAM could add a good year or so to an aging laptop's useful life, and it will be dirt cheap by the time it is a year or two old (actually, it's dirty cheap already). Given that the machine cost north of 2K, you probably want to amortize that over as much time as possible. Admittedly, I dislike it because it completely defeats my MO of buying the lowest RAM option available and upgrading it for half the price of the next Apple option up. When my sister bought her Mac Mini, Apple wanted $100 to up the RAM from 2 to 4 GB and $300 to up it from 2 to 8 GB. You could probably get 8 GB of DDR3 1333 online for less than $50.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ugh

      There's 6 extra pins in the new connector so it's likely they'll have some useful purpose that couldn't be met with the old one.

      OWC already said they'd have a third party SSD for these models.

    4. Benjamin 4

      Re: Ugh

      What absolute mug downvoted this? Who thinks it's a good idea to make computers non user serviceable?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Benjamin 4

        I'm not sure you know what user serviceable means.

      2. Eeep !

        Re: Ugh

        Whole heartedly agree that making computers non user serviceable is bad, would go further, a failure of the human race.

        Having talked friends and family through installing extra/replacement memory sticks and extra drives over the phone it does seem something they take a pride in doing and getting a more physical understanding of. Perhaps they haven't fully understood the IDE master/slave difference, or the pairing of memory sticks in banks but they understand that with the right components the task is matter of connection widget A in/on to widget B. Much like their car.

        Talking them through it when actually present is fun; ask them to give you a screwdriver that fits the case screws and then hand it back to them with instruction to open the case. Watch the nervous fumbling with case screws as they start, turn to a pleased and happy pride as the last case screw is replaced after testing the changes worked. (Can't stop them buying from PCWorld though!)

        Must say that laptop/notebook/netbook upgrades are something to do in person, only because in my experience, there is always some ribbon cable connector or motherboard clip/screw not mentioned in/on the maintenance manual or whatever maintenance website can be found for that model. And by "in person" it's me doing and showing them what is being done - never work on someone elses computer without them present, they don't learn anything.

        Everytime a company/manufacturer decides on a non-standard connector it is "shudder time" because it makes simple tasks more difficult for their customers which is normally only driven by the requirement to depriving their customers of something that can be an overpriced solution from the company/manufacturer.

        1. JBFromOZ

          Re: Ugh

          User serviceable YAAAY.

          Obviously you go through static safe precautions with them prior to opening up their case, and ensure they are strapped and grounded, working at an anti static workstation safely with their precious cargo..

          You do.. right??

        2. Bob J.

          Re: Ugh

          The Black Box syndrome is a function of smartphonism and tabletism. No one messes with their smartphones or tablets other than to switch the chips in the former. There's nothing in there to be messed with. Why on earth, then, provide for anyone to modify their computer? Aren't they all digital.

          (The above is sarcasm, of course.)

      3. Mark 65

        Re: Ugh

        If you want user serviceable get a desktop.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ugh

      @AC 13-Jun-12 08:57

      FFS, Don't like it, don't buy it!


    6. toadwarrior

      Re: Ugh

      If you read the article you'd see that Apple has changed connections before when there's a benefit and I suspect you will see third party drives. Not that most people are going to care.

  13. Britt


    Samsung Chronos series 7. uses a hybrid drive, pretty good lookin' too.

    Why anyone would buy a mac for that much I stuggle to understand.

    1. Rich 30

      Re: Samsung

      its certainly a lot of money. But it's also a lot of machine.

      For some people it's going to be for show, like jewelery. (whats the point in diamonds, they are just rocks?)

      For some people, its the excitment of having the cutting edge in terms of tech, which this certainly would appear to be.

      For some people, its not a lot of money, and its a nice laptop.

      For some people, that new display is going to be brilliant addition to their computer lives. (i know photo reviewing on my ipad3 is amazing, thanks to that screen. Really amazing.)

      1. David Cantrell

        The screen (I want 1900-ish by whatever, which it will do) and memory are it for me. Not for video, or photos, but for writing code. Being able to have half a dozen files open at once, all visible, plus run my tests, plus a debugger, will mean I no longer need to attach a huge external monitor. 16GB of memory will mean that I can run several virtual machines at once. Now, all of that is available in PC laptops, but all with niggling little irritations. The Thinkpad W series, which I know will work with Linux, have a clitmouse in the middle of the keyboard. Anything else and it's down to luck whether things like sound and playing videos will work.

        I expect I'll get one of these new Macs in a few months time, once all the idiot fanbois have beta-tested them for me and the last few manufacturing snafus have been ironed out :-)

        1. bhtooefr

          Hey now, some of us prefer the clitmouse.

    2. Scott Mckenzie

      Re: Samsung

      Because of the performance, the portability, the OS..... none of the which the Samsung does to a comparable level.

      I'm writing this on a 6 year old Mac laptop, that's running the latest OS extremely well.... your average six year old windows laptop could probably just about still manage XP with SP3 installed.

      1. Jess--

        Re: Samsung


        My 6 year old average dell laptop (from tesco's of all places) is quite happily running win 7 ultimate 64 bit with all the bells and whistles enabled.

        It did run windows XP for a few years (purely to avoid the POS called vista)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Samsung

        @Scott - My G5 is about six years old, IIRC, it's totally obsolete and unsupported by Apple. By comparison, my HP desktop is about five years old and runs Windows 7 better than it did Win XP.

        I'm not saying anything pro/anti either system here, just that making stuff up to support your case is rather tedious.

    3. bhtooefr

      Re: Samsung

      In my case, it's the screen.

      My current machine is a ThinkPad T61p 14.1" 4:3 motherboard, in a T60 15.0" 4:3 chassis, with a IDTech IAQX10N 2048x1536 15.0" IPS panel.

      I've got it maxed out at a 2.6 GHz Core 2 Duo - slower than today's low-end CPUs, and a high-end quad core will blow it out of the water - and 8 GiB RAM. It has a Quadro FX 570M, which is slower than Sandy Bridge integrated graphics - so in 2012, it's a joke.

      This is the most powerful machine that can run this screen, due to chassis changes, too. But, I refuse to downgrade on the screen - it's so much easier to work with stuff when I can have everything on screen at once (I have good eyesight).

      Finally, someone came out with something with higher pixel count, reasonable (for me) density, and IPS. It happened to be Apple, and the bastards seriously hurt expandability of the machine, but I'll still be getting one because it meets my needs better than my five year old frankensteined ThinkPad.

      Granted, Apple did hide the options to get the desktop area of a 2880x1800 normal Mac, but I'm guessing it won't be long before someone finds the hidden switch, and if nobody does by the time I get one, I'll go looking for it myself, if I decide to run OS X as my main OS. (A Japanese site showed that it can be done in Windows easily (just set the display to 2880x1800), so I'm good to go on Windows.)

      1. thomanski

        Re: Samsung

        Any plans on auctioning off your Thinkpad on eBay when you've got the Mac? Please do give us a shout right here then.

    4. toadwarrior

      Re: Samsung

      And I struggle to understand why anyone would buy a Samsung Chronos series 7. But luckily when people buy things they like it doesn't affect me so who cares?

  14. Alastair Dodd 1

    "It's clearly in no rush to pass on the volume savings it makes in buying flash memory to its users in the form of lower margins"

    What company really does this except to gain market share? Never Apple as they are king of the costly option

  15. Scott Mckenzie


    As a part time/occasional editor of video it's also rather commonplace to use external storage - you have the footage you're editing stored locally and you write the final thing to external storage. With the benefits of Thunderbolt too you can easily have large capacity and high speed storage externally.

    If you want to edit video professionally you don't buy a cheap, portable machine anyway!

    The Retina model is actually 'good value' try and build a basic spec 15" normal one to the same spec as the entry level Retina.... aside from the fact you can't change the graphics card, it's cheaper to buy the Retina model than it is to put 8Gb RAM and an SSD into the 'normal' one.

    1. sandman

      Re: External

      External is the way to go - even with a laptop hard drive. We use 2TB LaCie drives plus one or two 23' external monitors. The laptop itself really just holds the software, does the processing and uploads to the online storage system. It also helps to have a portable system to carry to meetings, demos and to show your mother her old 8mm movies when you have transferred and edited them ;-)

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    professional video edit

    With Mac Pro now in Limbo, desktop video edit has no option but switch OS X to Windows for new systems if state of the art performance is required.

    Although portable retina + external storage looks good for many use cases.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I wondered about this too

      But it's not in limbo-they've confirmed new Mac Pros next year after one of the original Macintosh developers complained. See Forbes...

  17. h4rm0ny

    Going in the wrong direction.

    I take the authors point in this, but I reach a different conclusion. The SSD in this device isn't too small, it is too big. If it's mainly for the OS and a little bit of music and stored work documents, it's overkill. If you're using it for media editing, as most of the commentators here seem to assume, then you will very probably want an external drive anyway. So reduce the SSD in this, pop in a bit more RAM if possible or reduce the price instead, and sell it on the assumption that people will buy external storage anyway.

    I'm not quite convinced however, that this level of resolution is needed on a screen that size. It's good on phones where the tiny screen size makes resolution more important because you're going to be peering close to it. But on a screen of that size, we have to be hitting the limits of what is useful now. I have a 1920x1200 24" monitor in front of me. There would be no purpose in going higher than that at 24". The only reason I would want higher than that would be for a larger monitor so I can get more stuff on the screen.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Going in the wrong direction.

      @h4rm0ny. 1920x1200 24" here and text pixellation is visible to me at 24" eye to screen. I'm nearer 60 than 50 and expect artefacts would be more apparent to many younger people.

      Point I'm making is for you there would be no purpose that fine but for those with average or above average eyesight there are benefits from a higher DPI.

    2. bhtooefr

      Re: Going in the wrong direction.

      It also lets them get away with stupid scaling tricks (because they're exceeding the limits of 20/20 human vision at reasonable viewing distances) for making things bigger or smaller.

      Out of the box, it's shipping in a virtual 1440x900 mode, which is actually rendering at 2880x1800.

      In fact, it's only exposing doubled modes out of the box. It scales 1024x640 and 1280x800 doubled modes up to 2880x1800, and scales 1680x1050 and 1920x1200 doubled modes down to 2880x1800 (those will likely hit the GPU hard, especially the 1920x1200 mode, because the GPU is working as hard as if it were driving a 3840x2400 monitor, and then scaling the output down).

    3. the-it-slayer

      Re: Going in the wrong direction.

      You're almost right there. However, do you realise how big media applications are (Adobe Suite, Logic Pro, Final Cut etc)? You'll need that 256GB as a platform to run the applications in the first place and I'd be peeved off if they only made 64GB/128GB as standard for the same price unless they could squeeze in a secondary spinning drive.

      External drives are the future now USB has caught up and Thunderbolt has arrived to match or better SATA speeds.

      I'm seriously thinking of selling my 21" iMac and 13" MacBook (only upgraded last year) and consolidate to this. Especially where I maybe moving out and will have considerable less place to have a desktop machine. To have 15" + retina display is a good trade off without having to have a clunky 17" desktop replacement. All flash integrated into the laptop (without having to replace parts) is the future as long as vendors can support it. This is where Dell/HP/Acer/Asus/Sony will need to rethink how they design their laptops to get to the same same result.

      1. GotThumbs

        Re: Going in the wrong direction. - Apple is the sheep heard of weak-minded fools....IMO

        " All flash integrated into the laptop (without having to replace parts) is the future as long as vendors can support it."

        Flash drives are of course the future. They existed before Apple integrated them into the Air, but Apple's choice is to limit your options. Apple builds into their products...a dependency on them and them alone. Just price out 8 gigs of ram from Apple and the same memory from Crucial or NewEgg. You pay at least twice the cost when you buy from Apple. Apple makes HUGE profits margins because of these controls and the consumers constantly having to buy a completely new product (MacPro, Air, etc.) from them if you want any kind of upgrade. PC manufactures provide more flexibility in upgrades and options. My point is that some of us are NOT ok with working with what tools Apple or any other company thinks we need to do our job. As intelligent and unique individuals...we know best what we need. Apple thinks you don't even know how to hold a phone....what else are they NOT telling you. Sheep.

  18. Volker Hett


    the optimal video editing Mac is a Mac Pro and that wasn't updated :(

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: IMHO

      Sure it was, however the update was complete crap. Cook waved it off with "something special in 2013".

  19. ColonelClaw

    Serious Video Editor?

    As someone who works in the industry, I don't know anyone who does 'serious video editing' on an internal hard drive. In my office we have a 12TB Raid-6 disk system connected to our edit station by mini SAS. From what I've seen of other video editor's computers, they also put everything on an external disk, and a large number of them use 15 inch Macbook Pros (connected to big screens when possible, but not always)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Serious Video Editor?

      Indeed. The only time I can think I used the internal drive on my Macbook Pro was a quick edit of a small amount of footage in the field whilst away from power. I had an external HD with me but figured I'd take the performance hit for a precious few more minutes on battery.

      Or just dumping off cards while on the train before copying them across the network when I got back to the office, Just saved me a few minutes.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    People love to moan - take out the optical drive and bump up the battery and that's wrong - leave in the optical drive but less battery and that's wrong. Go SSD - that's wrong. For more people the storage options will be find - for people who need the better screen and more storage - there are no lack of USB 3 and Thunderbolt drive options.

  21. Steve Evans

    "the optimal video editing Mac just got a lot more expensive this week."

    I'm not sure a laptop, even a high spec'ed Macbook Pro could be considered an optimal video editing platform.

    If you perform any kind of rendering, After Effects, Maya etc etc, you need cores, RAM and lots of it.

    So something with at least a couple of Xeons please.

    1. Rampant Spaniel

      Re: "the optimal video editing Mac just got a lot more expensive this week."

      Optimal no, but for an event shooter or indy outfit sure its good. If adobe pp can be tricked into using the gpu with the mercury engine this baby will fly through 1080p.

      For someone shooting 4k native on reds or similar from 4 or 5 cams and trying to put together an entire film or tv show it would be a ballache for sure. I don't even like apple but if the screen is decent (gamut, continuity etc) then it will sell well.

  22. DS 1


    Sorry, but serious video means serious storage, and by that I mean no one in their right mind doing the work the reg whined about on spindle or local SSD storage.

  23. Rampant Spaniel

    Not sure there is an issue

    As a photog who frequently works with video shooters and shoots footage for them I don't believe this would be a concern. In situations where they use a laptop rather than a workstation they normally use an external raid array with two mirrored drives. It is extremely rare these days for them to work on uncompressed hd as well. Normally either the capture format or something like cineform would be used.

    The reason for external drives would be the ability to place a mirrored copy in a drive caddy in a hotel safe or similar. Sdtr is not a huge issue. Bitrates for working data tend to vary between about 20mbps and 200mbps, so usb 2 and firewire can deliver enough bandwidth at least for now.

    I feel most videogs will be wondering if the gpu will play with adobes mercury engine and bemoaning the lack of usb 3.0 (for future 4k footage) and the cost of firewire.

    Fwiw I don't not own apple kit, I don't hate them but my cost benefit maths tend to suggest wintel as the better route but ymmv :-) I am not apple apologist, I am just curious as to why this was picked as an issue? I wonder if this is the authors direct experience or a desperate shot at an anti apple article based on an uninformed forum rant?

    1. Rampant Spaniel

      Re: Not sure there is an issue

      Correction, just found out it does have usb 3 but the ports aren't blue which I think is where the idea came from. My apologies, one more reason its a decent buy if you have the cash.

      For me I'm happy this might prompt hp etc to use a similar screen, come black Friday there might be a wintel quadcore with8-12gb ram, a decent kepler gpu and a similar screen for around 1300. Sounds good to me!

  24. Chad H.


    Buy 2tb Time Capsule. Job done.

  25. P. Lee

    Too focused on the consumer?

    Perhaps they are getting further away from business use. Surely the ssd is going to wear out far too quickly for video editing.

    That said, a single spindle is a bit rubbish for video anyway.

  26. jef_

    Best response to Apple type companies... to buy the previous model. People were making video last week, I'm sure they are still ok this week. The refurb shop is the way to go. If it wasn't for the fact I have an NUS card I'd be buying an 11" Air from the the refurb shop. £639!! Not much more than a Transformer, and lighter + better resolution (although not transformable of course). If you're into video - 17" Macbook Pro for £1419. Stick an SSD in it and move the HD to the optical bay. Sorted (at your own risk, warranty wise...).

  27. Andalou

    Gouging for all

    To be fair, this gouging is not unique to the 'elite' and 'professional'. A home user who just wants a neat one-box entry level iMac will have to pay an extra £370 if they have the temerity to need a bog-standard 2TB hard disk.

  28. MurderMostFowl

    Offline mode not available anymore?

    Old final cut editor here... never used the latest FCP. Do they no longer have the concept of offline editing? I would think if you were not able to keep your firewire drive with you, you could just ingest it all as ProRes Proxy or oldschool offlineRT.

    ProRes Proxy is 45Mbit... so... 20GB or so per hour.

    Not seeing the problem here, even without easy access to external storage.

    1. Rampant Spaniel

      Re: Offline mode not available anymore?

      Exactly. Ingest to cineform, store on mirrored external drives in caddies. Job done. Folks working video on macbook pros are not usually working on uncompressed data. Mercury compatability is far more important, usb 3 a close second. The gamut of the screen is probably a far higher concern. Folks were editing hd footage on laptops back when 256gb was a fair size drive for a laptop. Like many here have suggested, they use cheap external drives. Methinks the author is mistaking his elbow for something else.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  29. lotus49
    Thumb Down

    What's the point of a DVD drive?

    I haven't used one for some time and the last time I did was just to rip the contents so I wouldn't have to use the stupid thing again.

    4.7GB (or 8.7 for an unreliable dual layer disk) really isn't that much (and nothing at all to the video editors to whom the article refers) so what's the point? Perhaps there are still uses for DVDs/CDs but I'm struggling to think what they might be.

    1. Rampant Spaniel

      Re: What's the point of a DVD drive?

      I guess deliver to clients? Although bluray would be better and an external burner iis a cheap option. The most common use onsite would be with weddings, dropping some clips onto disk for the reception (dj screens are common now) but a usb drive would do this easily. A usb 2 dvd burner is maybe 50 bucks. Nothing to cry over.

      The MBP is not cheap, it could have usb 3, but it has decent specs otherwise and what looks like it might be a hell of a screen. If they could scale everything but video / photos so icons etc remained a useable size but I got to display photos and video at full rez this wouldd be the first apple product I have considered buying since they had motorised floppy drives.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What's the point of a DVD drive?

        I won't weep over the loss of the superdrive. Although I do use it, I'd never burn a production master on one. I just have visions of 5000 drinks coasters coming back from the plant!

        Instead anything that is of importance gets burnt in a Pioneer unit I retrofitted into my main Mac Tower. The DVD drives Apple fit are of a standard that would make a backstreet PC builder blush. Both Apple fitted units in my tower failed within 18 months with hardy any use, and the laptops Superdrive just loves throwing out coasters.

        The only inconvenience will be having to cart an external on holiday to watch DVD's.

  30. David 138

    essentially then its a fat Mac Book air with a bigger battery. Is a device really much thinner when you have removed half of the features? Surly its just half of its older model?

    A typical Style over substance approach from Apple. Did they actually release a single good product at their show? Or was it all just just minor tweaks and fixes like IOS 6.

    This is why Apple where always second to PC and despite their sales always will be.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "This is why Apple where always second to PC and despite their sales always will be."

      But nevertheless somewhat more profitable, and better looking.

  31. 1Rafayal
    Paris Hilton

    I am far too creative for storage space?

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    for the record

    *Every major broadcaster in the UK has lot's of Mac's running final cut. They use deskptop's and laptops.

    These usually compliment a large deployment of either Quantel or Avid based platforms.

    Considering the budgets involved at these broadcasters and the "creatives" clout within the business. A few grand on a shiny laptop is not going to cause any double takes in management, not when you see how many millions get rinsed on other broadcast equipment.

    The post production kit is a drop in the ocean.

    The real issue here is for the freelance editors who have to fork out for the kit themselves.

    * I'm a broadcast engineering consultant

  33. mt1

    Apple price gouges it users shocker

  34. Anonymous Coward

    A video producer speaks

    Just a word from someone who edits professionally using a Macbook Pro (as in getting paid day in day out)/

    If you use your built in hard drive to edit video from, you are a fool. In the spinning platter world, you take a real performance hit but also you are limited in terms of space. The only exception might be projects that need to be turned around quickly on location with small amounts of footage.

    What you use instead are Firewire 800 external hard drives or even the new fangled Thunderbolt or USB3 (alas my 2008 model doesn't support this). This also makes it easier to quickly get footage onto your main edit suite.

    However the real problem with the SSD for video editors isn't so apparent. We often need to have a large amount of software installed, complete with plugins, templates, etc. These eat up disk space and aren\t really suited to offloading to externals.

    You may also find it useful to have spare capacity if you want to offload memory cards from your camera for quick viewing. In the field you may be on battery so you don't want to be faffing with externals.

    So there is a capacity issue with the entry level Pro, but IMO not for the reasons written about. 256gb is slightly less than my 2008 Macbook Pro came as standard and that was tight as I also have a Windows partition with software installed. I upgraded to a hybrid Seagate 512gb and that does the trick just dandy.

    So for my money, 512gb is the minimum practical size for a HD in a pro machine and I'm quite cross that Apple are evidently trying to make us buy their overpriced 512gb models. Sadly I'll probably end up falling for it.

    1. stu 4

      Re: A video producer speaks

      I'm with you on the 512 - and will probably end up getting one. I'd go for the upgraded CPU (and memory) anyway, so it is an option.

      The 'don't do editing using an internal/system drive' though is waaay too 90s.

      Even FW800 gets around 40-60MB/sec or so tops.

      My little air gets 250MB/sec,

      On my 256SSD I have around 100 gig free and thats with all my pro apps (FCP, FCPX, plugins, adobe creative suite, garageband + all sample packs, etc).

      I manage my photos in Aperture and create a library per project - I can then easily archive the library off the SSD when I'm done.

      I do the same effective thing with my video files, either through archiving the FCPX events, or my own directory layouts.

      To instead be editing your video - reading/writing your video and previews, etc on a FW800 with a super fast SSD internally available would be absolute madness.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A video producer speaks

        Go and work at a 2 day conference on a couple of cameras and then tell me that you have enough space on the SSD.

        Those kind of fast turnaround gigs when you are editing in your hotel room until 4 in the morning to create videos to be shown the next day on the big screen are exactly the kind of job the Macbook Pro excels at. But you'll need the space and the internal SSD is still going to be off limits.

        1. stu 4

          Re: A video producer speaks

          fair point - but there will still be a fair number of cases where an external isn't requred. Especially with the 512MB. I'd have 350 gig or so to play with which should be enough for most shoots.

          Upgrading wise - when I moved from Vegas/Windoze over to FCP/mac about 5 years ago, upgrading was an issue for me.

          What I've found though is that I now tend to upgrade my laptops every 1-2 years anyway which I'd never do on windows. Why ? Because the residuals on the macs are so good, plus the new models have usually had a killer feature you'd never really be able to upgrade to anyway. So I'm not fussed about upgradability really.

          Take the late 2008 MPB I have. 3.05Ghz core duo.

          It had been sitting looking forelorn in a corner since I got the first MBA11 in 2010, and even more since that got upgraded to the 2011 model.

          I swapped out the HD for a 512 SSD, and moved the DVD out and put the 512HD in there as a secondary, upped memory to 8g.

          But it is still about 50% the speed of the i7 air. Stuff moves on so quick, that short of everything being upgradable in trigger's broom fashion, upgrades just don't cut it.

          Take the MBA2010 vs MBA2011.

          Both were specced to max, so around £1200. I sold the 2010 for 700, so cost me 500 to upgrade. I'll get about 700 now for the 2011 one if I decide to go for the MBP15HiDPI.

          That 500 quid, got me, 2xSSD+twice as fast SSD, around 100-200% increase in speed and much better hardware acceleration. That seems a pretty good deal to me.

          MBPs seem to have even better residuals - my 2008 cost me 2200, and after 4 years, the going price is around £1000-1200. 50% after 4 years is pretty amazing for a computer! Not even a BMW can beat that :-)

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    TIny Drive

    The other problem with a small drive is that Macbooks tend to last a long time which means you need to think about "room to grow".

    Upgrading the new models will depend on how easy Apple want to make it for users. I have no doubt people will sell upgrade kits with all the special connectors etc, but how easy is it to get at the HD? I used to work in IT and have had a fair few laptops apart. However upgrading the HD in my 2008 model was much more complicated than any other HD upgrade I've done.

  36. Darling Petunia

    Retina MBPro

    Our town Apple Store had three retina MBPros on display for demo's alongside some new version MBAir 13's. These were only for display, and to the disappointment of at least four ready-to-buy customers, no retina MBPro were in-stock. (The three folks I spoke with were ready to buy the maxed-out version). We were told that there was a several week delay on the retina MBPro.

    As for being able to add memory or SSD's later, iFixit ( did a teardown of the retina MBPro and found that this is the least friendly Apple laptop to fiddle with. Battery glued in, track-pad backside unreachable, new and unique SSD connector and design.

    1. Bob J.

      Re: Retina MBPro

      The Chinese answer to everything: glue.

  37. PassiveSmoking
    Thumb Down

    If you're a proper video editor using a laptop you almost certainly have a big box of disks sitting on your desk anyway. Who wants to do video work on a 2.5 inch drive? That's what the thunderbolt ports are for.

  38. mangobrain

    Retina display

    I really wish people - especially journalists - would stop writing "retina display" in lower case, with no kind of trade mark qualifiers. It's not an accepted technical term, or an industry standard, it's a piece of marketing bull from Apple. Why is everyone so taken in by it? It is not magic, just a display with a high pixel density.

  39. Donald Miller

    Bubbly flash

    Hey A.O., don't you read your own rag? Concerning your last para,

    And when using near-full flash, the shuffling algorithm has a hard time. I remember trying to shut down a 40mb hard drive PC (probably about the time a bunch of these readers were born) that had to save a 1.5mb picture file (HI-Res for a $600 BubbleJet!) into maybe 3mb of free space. Took over an hour!

  40. toadwarrior

    This is an article in need of a problem to talk about.

  41. Latent

    Would be cool if someone made a docking base for it

    You could make a thunderbolt (or USB3 maybe) base for this laptop. It just clips onto the bottom and houses say 2x 2.5inch bays which you can add in your own SSD's or Hard drives. It adds thickness back to the laptop but this is fine since it is so thin to begin with. Without the base its just like a MacBook Air and then you add on your base and its a full workstation with extra storage. You can also taper the base so that its only thick at the back where the drives will be and slopes to the front like the Air does. The only things you have to deal with is a right angled thunderbolt (or USB3) plug sticking out the side a little and the issue of making it not overheat the laptop (extra fan or use of heat transferring materiel).

    Other options would be to make it not taper and then it could house extra things like extra ports, an optical drive or a second battery.

    End result is seamless conversion between average weight portable workstation to high speed MacBook Air.

    1. Latent

      Re: Would be cool if someone made a docking base for it

      Ok another quick idea to make it even more ridiculous is to add a fold out display to the base that uses the thunderbolt's built in display port signal to add a second display to your portable workstation. It would need to be light so that it can be supported from a single hinge in the back corner. because thunderbolt supports two display port displays you could even add one each side of the built in display. maybe half width portrait ones so they can both fold underneath for transport while limiting thickness.

  42. nick47

    Not an issue really

    You wouldn't usually do a large edit away from the studio anyway. So even without external storage there's plenty of room for most jobs. You'd never keep the stuff on there after working with it, it would be archived and the space freed up for the next job. If you're editing a feature length film, you're unlikely to be doing it on a laptop without any access to external storage.

  43. John Ford

    Ego-feeding price tags.

    All manufacturers need a flagship piece of kit so that the self-important PHDs/MDs can get 'the best' laptop money can buy in order to run basic power point presentations and spreadsheets. It's foolish not to service this demand with a huge mark-up. Fit for purpose doesn't come into it. See also the type of car these pr*cks invariably drive.

  44. Bob J.

    This is what happens when smartphone and tablet champions take over a computer company.

    Everything that's not accessible via an "app" or a text, that isn't something to be sold or gotten via localization and maps, is given second shrift. It's beyond the Device worshippers' ken.

    Mountain Lion looks cut in the same mold. Perhaps it will work out, but it had better be a world more effective and more in a computing, not a smartphone mold.

    Lastly, Retina display: doesn't that shrink the visual appearance of fonts? I already cannot easily use my MacBook Air without donning a pair of special reading glasses. But wait, this is all about pre-packaged graphics, right? Who computes anymore?

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    flash choices?

    On Tuesday evening, first time I configured a new MB Pro Retina at the UK Store, I swear it showed 3 flash options: default 256GB, another 256GB for £199.99, then a further 256GB for another £199.99; just as Andrew Orlowski reported in his article at the top. A few minutes later there was no choice, and if you look at the Apple UK Store now, there's no options on the flash, you get 256GB and that's it.

    Or am I dreaming?

  46. R Cox

    desktop mac

    I am unsure why you would do high end editing on a laptop when you could could get a desktop mac, for basically the same price, and upgrade hard disks and memory to relatively astronomical levels. Base Mac Pro is 6gb and a terabyte. One apparently have three free bays and one free ram slot.

    That said, I used to make hour long movies recorded on mini DV, imported firewire, on one of the early Macbook Pros. It had 2gb of memory and 256 GB HD, in a word less capable overall than my Macbook Air. I was not doing incredibly processor intensive stuff, but the HD could hold the move and export to DVD was quick. If I had room for a desktop, I would certainly buy one as opposed to the current models of Macbooks, which are increasingly become high end consumer devices. That is, the compromises are increasingly being made to satisfy casual users rather than professional users.

  47. Paul RND*1000

    Flash! Aaa-aaah.

    "Spinning platters will soon seem as quaint as recorded music being distributed on shellac; flash prices will fall and capacities increase."

    I notice you didn't bother to mention anything about reliability here.

    When I can put all my data on an SSD that is large, cheap *and* won't shit its pants every few months because the number of write cycles was too much for it to handle, we can start talking about how quaint spinning platters are.

    That said, SSD makes sense as a laptop main drive for most purposes. If you really need mega capacity and heavy write activity (editing video has just those requirements) add an external unit with those "old-fashioned" spinning platters.

    As for the optical drive, that's no big loss at least based on my own personal experience. I can barely remember the last time I had to use optical media for anything other than installing an OS on a "clean slate" machine, that could not have been done just as well from a net-enabled installer file. If my ancient laptop could boot from USB or firewire I would have no need at all for a built-in optical drive. More battery capacity on the other hand *is* something I could use all the time.

  48. GotThumbs

    Not surprised as Apples arrogance is only exceeded by its greed.

    I'm sure no one in the tech field is surprised by Apples arrogance in demanding such a ridiculous triple price over market prices. We know there will be those Fanboys who will pay. Apple is the drug dealer/cult leader of the tech world. Once you start down the Apple road...there's no turning back. Your locked into dealing with only Apple products. There are no other choices accessible to those who have only general knowledge. Now for those techies who do have the know-how, they will find a way. Although they risk upsetting the great OZ and a lawsuit will ensue.

    I'm just sitting back and watching the sheep.

    I wonder if there will be an increase in the Hackintaosh systems out there. Why not just buy a PC/Laptop with similar specs and install Max OS X on it? If your really using it for work, then who cares if its got the trendy apple logo on the cover. Posers of course will avoid not being part of the tech fashionista crowd.

  49. DeMello Video

    Retina Macs SSD choices are Just Fine ...

    The choices for SSD are just fine. As a REAL video editor, I NEVER keep video on my boot drive, as it kills the performance for editing / rendering. If your video software (no matter what it is) is fighting for access to the same device as the OS, it will slow down.

    Pretty much all professional video editors follow this rule. Given that there are 2 Thunderbolt and 2 USB3 ports, there will be plenty of bandwidth for many full motion video streams on external devices.

    The ONLY stuff that should reside on your OS Boot drive are your apps and email. I also keep my dropbox on my boot drive ... that's it!

    1. stu 4

      Re: Retina Macs SSD choices are Just Fine ...

      Not anymore DeMello, that's one of the benefits of SSD. Along with no defrag issues.

      So the old mantra of 'never set your data/scrub/temp' to same drive as boot drive is nonsense now.

      Unless you are planning to plug another SSD into your USB3 or thunderbolt you are going to slow things down far far more using an external HD rather than using the system disk.

  50. Robert Flatters
    Thumb Down

    Apple is well gready

    Apple needs to wise up big time, they cannot continue with this minamilist idea of removing optical drive.... how the hell are you to export the work....let me guess the cloud....aint happening. I want to burn my stuff on to a dvd or blue ray cd. I want a bigger hard drive without getting screwed for the privaledge. Get it Tim Cook i want those thing, give them too me.

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