Something doesn’t sit right with me about the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display. More than the Retina display web image issues. This is the first Apple laptop in a loooooong line of Apple laptops that DOES NOT have the name of the computer at the bottom bezel of the screen.
Take a look at the screen on any Mac laptop all the way back to the original Macintosh Portable Quadra and the PowerBook 100, through iBook, PowerBook, MacBook and MacBook Pro. With all of those models, you’ll see a name on the bottom of the bezel. The only exceptions were the PowerBook 2300C from 1992 and the PowerBook 280c from 1995 which had the name above the keyboard next to the display lid.
It may be a bit conspiracy theorist, but I’m thinking there’s more to the missing screen label on the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display other than Sir Jonny Ive and Co. going for an ultra austere look.
I’d venture out on a limb to say that I think the MacBook Pro with Retina display may have originally been planned as a MacBook Air of some type. The name/family designation probably wasn’t decided on early enough in the production process requiring them to continue production on the glass “sans-moniker”.
It Makes More Sense
As a MacBook Air, the MacBook Pro with Retina display actually makes more sense. Granted, its beefy processor and dedicated graphics card certainly empowers it to “Pro” status, but what if to Apple, the screen being so good pushed them to switch it out to a Pro machine by using a pro level processor and graphics card. After all, if they were thinking truly new and out of the box, why not make it a dual quad processor 8-core machine, dual SSD upgradable laptop, or something like that. There’s certainly battery life to spare.
I’m a huge Apple fan, but I know when something doesn’t smell right. They said they went back and re-created from scratch what they thought the perfect next generation MacBook Pro would be. While a nifty statement, they essentially went back and made it based largely off the MacBook Air, added a Retina display and voilà.
The similarities with MacBook Air aside from the video card and processor are just too apparent:
- The keyboard is a MacBook Air keyboard, with the really short key throw and power button in the top corner.
- The memory design is soldered onto the motherboard and non-upgradable just like the MacBook Air.
- The SSD card/stick design is just like the Air, and the SSD connector is a spot-on match.
- The asymmetrical fan, touted as a new feature for a complete 30 seconds in the MacBook Pro with Retina video, was already in the previous generation Air.
- The entire structure and layout internally has just a lot in common with the Air.
- There is no ethernet port, just like Air
- Conspiracy Theorist Update: just noticed there’s also no sleep indicator light… just like the Air
So, what do you think?
- Did Apple originally make a beefed up Air and decide to switch the name out later?
- Is Apple using the next generation MacBook Pro as a test to see if pros will truly dig a largely non-upgradeable Pro laptop, or do they think Airs are the future and are transitioning the lineup to that?
- Which Apple laptop would you buy in their laptop lineup?
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