Best computing product of 2013: 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display

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For some time now, the MacBook Pro has been the gold standard among laptops. With strong performance, battery life and a sleek design, it seemed to have it all – including a steep $1,499 introductory price tag that sent many aspiring buyers running for a cheaper PC equivalent. By opting for Windows, buyers could spend as little as $500 for a budget unit, or score a better equipped mobile business and gaming rig for their $1,499. Though Apple MacBook Pros have consistently scored well in reviews, the asking price simply made them less competitive.

This year, however, Apple set out to soften the blow on your bank account while also maintaining virtually every other quality that has made the MacBook Pro such a winner in the year. Though multiple new MacBook Pros were released this past October, our pick for Best Computing Product of 2013 is the 13-inch MacBook Pro 13 with Retina which costs $1,299; a $200 price cut when compared with the previous generation.

There’s more to this package than a price reduction, though. The new 13-inch MacBook Pro 13 with Retina is also slimmer and lighter than the previous version, provides a superb keyboard, and solid components across the board in the form of a 2.4 GHz Intel Core i5-4258U processor, 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. What’s more, it’s battery life results were up there with the best Ultrabooks – 6 hours and 23 minutes in the Peacekeeper browser-based benchmark, and over 20 hours when left idle. And let’s not forget the 2,560 x 1,600 Retina display, which produces images that look extremely sharp and colorful.

All of these attributes and more, combined with the $200 price cut, makes the $1,299 13-inch MacBook Pro 13 with Retina our pick for the Best Computing Product of 2013.

Read our review of the 13-inch MacBook Pro 13 with Retina here.