February 15, 2013
Apple Cuts Prices On Its MacBooks, Gives Them Boost In Speed
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
It doesn't happen often, but Apple announced this week in a statement that it is making its MacBooks more affordable and giving them a much-needed boost in the speed department.Apple said they have dropped the price of their 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display as well as giving it and the 15-inch a speed boost. The smaller of the two slim and high-def laptops now starts at $1,499 while the 15-inch will keep its same price with a faster processor. Apple also gave their top of the line MacBook Air a modest price reduction; the 256 GB 13-inch version now costs $1,399. These prices were effective immediately following Apple´s announcement on Wednesday.
With these changes, the entry point for Apple´s latest and greatest portable machine has become slightly more accessible. Featured in the Apple Store, the lowest-priced MacBook Pro with Retina Display now ships in the same configuration (2.5 GHz i5, 128 GB Flash, 8 GB RAM) only receiving a $100 price cut. The upper-end 13-inch MBPR, on the other hand, receives a slight processor upgrade (from 2.5 GHz to 2.6 GHz) and now starts $300 cheaper than before, at $1,699.
The larger members of the Retina laptop family are priced the same, though they´ve received modest processor upgrades. The 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display still starts at $2,1999, but now ships with a 2.4 GHz processor rather than the previous 2.3 GHz Intel i7 quad-core processor. The most expensive of these laptops also received a slight processor upgrade (from 2.6 GHz o 2.7) but also gets double the RAM, from 8 GB to 16 GB.
There´s now only a $100 difference between Apple´s most expensive laptop, the MacBook Air, and their cheapest MacBook Pro with Retina Display, asking their customers to make their decision essentially based on size. For instance, the 13-inch Air does have twice the amount of Flash memory and a slightly faster processor, but for $100, they get twice the RAM (from 4 to 8 GB) and that beautiful display. The real deal breaker in this decision will likely be the Air´s thinness, and even here there´s only a .07-inch and less than a pound of difference between them.
Apple´s pricing is often the topic of debate, with some claiming that Apple nudges customers towards one line and cannibalizes sales of another.
Apple´s new 128 GB iPad, for instance, starts at $799. For $200 more, customers can buy the entry-level macBook Air.
Perhaps more significant, the cheapest 13-inch MacBook Air now costs the same as the entry-level MacBook Pro with Retina. The size dilemma is best seen here, as the MacBook Pro meets or beats the Air in specs on every level. For the same price, users can buy a thicker and heavier machine, but also get a faster processor and more available memory. In real-life performance, however, the Air, with its solid state setup, likely trumps the MacBook Pro with its spinning drives.