Apple MacBook Pro with Retina vs. standard MacBook Pro

apple macbook pro with retina display 2012  front

There’s no question about it: Apple’s new MacBook Pro with Retina display is a bombshell. A bombshell that comes with its own bombshell: Prices start at $2,199. Even among Apple products, that’s one heady set of quadruple digits.

With that in mind, Apple has taken the unusual measure of preserving an updated version of the previous-generation 15-inch MacBook Pro design in its lineup, priced a significant $400 lower. So you can buy a 15-inch MacBook Air with Retina, or a 15-inch MacBook Pro… well “standard,” we suppose.

With $400 on the line, the choice will undoubtedly give new MacBook Pro buyers pause: Is the revamped version really worth the extra expense? After all, you could pocket that cash and grab yourself an iPad 2.

The answer will have to wait until we get a chance to go hands on (and eyes on) with the new model. But in the meantime, we’ve broken down the specs between both models to take a closer look at what’s really new.  We’ll let the specs speak for themselves, but here are a couple interesting points to check out:

  • The standard MacBook Pro actually has more ports than the Retina model, though you could argue the new one actually has better ports.
  • Both models use the same CPU and GPU, so performance shouldn’t vary significantly if you option the standard model with 8GB of RAM and an SSD.
  • The Retina model has a significantly larger battery, but Apple’s rated battery life remains the same.
Comparing the new Apple MacBook Pro with Retina to the standard model