Customer Review

169 of 176 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get one while you can!, 24 April 2014
This review is from: Apple 13-inch MacBook Pro (Intel Dual Core i5 2.5GHz, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, HD Graphics 4000, OS X Yosemite) (Personal Computers)
I bought this Macbook Pro from John Lewis (more expensive, but a free 3 year warranty included) in preference to the newer Retina Macbook Pro or the Macbook Air. While it may seem counter-intuitive to buy an older product while achieving only a 10% price saving, I think there are three very sound reasons NOT to buy the newer model....

Firstly, the display - the Retina is beautiful when you are about 6 inches away from the display, and the quality is amazing. However, when in normal use (sitting at a desk) you are at such a distance from the screen that you won't notice the difference.

Secondly, future proofing. This model of Macbook Pro is the last that is modular i.e you can take it apart and swap RAM and hard drives very easily. The new Retina models have everything soldered to the motherboard - so you will never be able to boost performance in a few years. This Macbook supports up to 16GB RAM and it is a common modification to change the hard drive for a SSD (solid state drive) giving a huge performance increase. You can even remove the Superdrive and put it in an external enclosure, and put a second hard drive inside the machine for increased storage. Such changes are impossible in the Retina or Air models.

Lastly, repairability. A website called gives the Retina 1/10 for repairability, as all the components are glued and soldered in place - a construction method that Apple presumably chose to decrease the physical size and weight of the Retina and Air. If your battery fails in this machine, order a new one, take the bottom cover off and change it. If the same fault occurs on a Retina, you have to battle with very strong adhesive - not really a job for the owner. The same is true for most of the components in this machine - they are easy to obtain as spare parts and easy to replace.

NB - Superdrive - this is almost certainly the last model of Macbook that will come with a CD / DVD drive.

I'm simply delighted with this machine - it's current performance is great and I know I can improve it hugely in the future if I feel the need. Everything just works - printers, internet connections etc all work without the need for install disks, drivers, settings etc. I love this machine!
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 25 May 2014 12:27:07 BDT
PaulW says:
Agree 100% with every word of your review. I have also bought a non-retina MBP (after being an ardent Windows user since the 1st release) - this laptop is awesome with a build quality that surpasses all Windows laptops and I have owned dozens over the years. Upgraded RAM to 8Gb in minutes and now have a 240Gb SSD to install & move the included 500Gb drive to the CD drive bay. No operating system upgrades as OS X is FREE! I am well pleased with my purchase and anyone thinking of buying a modern "soldered-in / glued-in" Mac laptop should think again! Imagine if Ford made a car with a non removable engine?

Posted on 29 May 2014 20:50:34 BDT
John Ryan says:
Hi guys, at the risk of being boring, I've also got to agree. I was just lucky in buying the very last upgradable version of the Mac Book Pro. Already replaced the hard disk with a 256Gb SSD myself, and it's a great tip that you can replace the CD/DVD with a second hard drive as and when needed.

I absolutely love Apple products, but I was really disappointed by the decision to prevent any upgrades - turning the machine into a device with a fixed life-span.

Got to admit I'm rather more skeptical, if the machine can't be upgraded, it will be quickly sold on eBay and replaced by the newer model making Apple even more money. Still - however much I love Apple iPads, iPhones and Macs, they are a profit making multi-national and that's their point.

Delighted with my Mac. I'll add extra memory and SSD space and repair it as long as I can. Love it!
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Location: Deepest North Hampshire, UK

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