Yes, I bought a non-Retina MacBook in 2015 — and it's awesome
I love the Millennium Falcon. The idea of a junky space ship being faster than all the fancy ones really appeals to me. And in part, I think this is why I love tinkering with my Macs so much.
Recently, my 2012 Macbook Pro started acting up, and I got The Fear. Video glitches, trackpad freakouts, high CPU temps, and random shutdowns. It was clear: I needed to move laptops. And as pretty as the new MacBook is, it's a little too much for my pocketbook right now. Instead, I opted for the thick, "outdated," 13-inch non-Retina Macbook Pro. And I love it.
She's fast enough for you, old man
No, the 13-inch MacBook Pro doesn't have a Retina screen. It doesn't have the fancy form-factor of the new MacBook. It is, by all and rights and means, hopelessly outdated.
But for what I need, this little MacBook Pro is more than enough: For one, it's repairable. I picked up a cheap SSD off Amazon, and replaced the drive myself. Bonus: Now I have a spare 2.5-inch hard drive for backups, and I'm booting off a drive I can remove myself in an emergency.
Another bonus: I can add extra RAM to this MacBook Pro. I put my computer through a lot of RAM-intensive work during the day, and like to have as much available as possible. But were I to go with a machine from Apple's Retina laptop line, I'd have to pony up more than $2000! Instead, I yanked 16 gigs out of an old Mini and this baby was ready to rock — no premium charge necessary.
No Retina does not a piece of junk make
You're probably thinking, "don't you miss all those gorgeous Retina pixels?" Honestly, no. High-density displays are extremely useful on a phone and certainly the future of computing, but they aren't mission-critical for me.
Most of my work is done at a desk with a big monitor, full-size keyboard and an ambidextrous ergonomic mouse / Magic Trackpad combo. (Yep, I use the number pad!) I treat my laptops like Mac Minis that can move between a few different desks depending what I'm working on. And I keep my monitors in circulation for a long time, so the difference in pixel densities would be more of a distraction than anything else.
Am I clinging to a hokey religion that's no match for a good blaster at my side? I dunno. Maybe I could learn to work in coffee shops or on a couch, but this system helps me focus and keeps my wrists in decent condition. After all, we pirates don't get paid when our ship is stuck in space dock.
Who needs hyperspeed?
Understanding what's inside my computer is empowering, and oddly enough, now I feel even more prepared for the future.
Yes, USB-C is coming. But Thunderbolt never really took off, and what's up with the future of Magsafe? I'm on board for our reversible-cables-and-wireless-network future, but right now, I'd rather just use the adapters I own. Not investing in a really expensive computer now means I'm more willing to try the new stuff later.
Now let's just hope I don't break anything when I remove the DVD and swap in a second hard drive...
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Pixel lover and cartoonist. Still have my original Apple IIgs. See more at clango.org or follow him on Twitter @rstevens.
(no discontinued date) Which is a huge bummer, because I too seriously want to get this machine to replace my aging 2010 MBP, but paying $1000 for an almost 3 year old machine is not a good return on my money. I agree in every way with the decisions you wanted to make, but I'm not sure you bought the machine you think you bought.
If you don't understand that, then you don't actually understand much about computers and are really more of an "Apple customer" than a "techie."
I bought this machine specifically to run Mavericks! Who says increased battery life and RAM compression aren't sexy? When I first installed Mavericks I was surprised to see the screen become distinctly sharper! Graphics optimized for Retina, I assume. The display became sharper still when I upgraded to Yosemite, but not as much as before. It's got a nifty superdrive and more than half-a-dozen ports along the left side, most of which I never use!
I do carry this with me everywhere. I mostly use this to 'shine on' the PC laptop users at the library who are all huddled next to power plugs so they can work plugged in. I work at a bare table many yards from the nearest outlet.
I am looking to upgrade the RAM and HD. I'm going for capacity instead of speed. And I'll replace the battery when it's needed. Nothing to it with this machine!
I'll upgrade to the Retina/SSD world when the CPUs advance enough to catch my attention.
"Millennium Falcon", eh, that's a nice name for it. Yes, there are nicer rides out there, but This is my Dream Machine!
"Ships are safe within their harbors, but that's not what ships are for."
1) It can troubleshoot problems by swapping out memory and disks. 2) I can update it to the latest SSDs with no hideous Apple pricing. 3) I can upgrade the memory. 4) I can replace the battery without either a) writing off the MBP or b) inhaling toxic fumes as I split the battery while trying unglue the battery (something even Apple service technicians have been told NOT to do!) 5) It has a DVD drive, so when I work away I can take a few DVDs with me, I do not see why I should be buying them all again to make more money for Apple. PLUS, some of my DVDs are not available in the store. 6) It has a Kensington lock facility. One thing I noticed with the new crap is no Kensington, I visit sites and often need to go away from my machine for a while; for example, I don't want to go to the toilet with my MBP, so I lock it to the desk/counter I am working at (this was another reason why I won't EVER get another new retina Macbook of any description). Those are a few that spring to mind. The new Retina Macbook is a joke, what use is ONE connector? Don't forget that Apple have form, they heralded the wonder that is Firewire/400/800 as the future of computing, then Thunderbolt, now they drop both lol One of the craziest things about the new Macbook is the dropping of the Magsafe connector. I thought Magsafe was one of the greatest pieces of thinking since notebooks began, everyone has had a tale of tripping over the cable and either getting hurt, or worse, breaking the Macbook (which one assumes was the reason why Apple come up with it in the first place). Some companies have a Risk Assessment that includes Macs with the Magsafe, now Apple have brought in a trip hazard where there wasn't one before lol Yes I know the USB-C cable has to be pretty secure, it is after all a data cable, but that is exactly the point, the two functions should be completely separate. So Apple are selling a near on $2,000 notebook, with no Kensington lock that is a trip hazard...you can't make this stuff up. No matter what 'innovation' Apple think they've began, success almost always depends on PC manufacturers and vendors, that's why Firewire and Thunderbolt are failing, and USB3 in the ascendancy. USB-C means that on my travels, in order to get the functionality from a Retina Macbook that I can get on my 2012 MBP, I'd need: 1) USB-C to HDMI adaptor
2) USB-C to USB3 adaptor
3) a USB DVD writer [that requires #2 above]
4) a USB-C to RJ45 adaptor (some clients only have RJ45 topology)
5) a 'dongle' that allows me to connect my SDHC cards
6) a safe to put the Macbook in, due to lack of Kensington lock
7) USB-C to Thunderbolt adaptor for my backup drive Of course the performance of the new MB isn't meant to make it a replacement for a MBP, BUT, if this is the way Apple are going, they can stick their expensive notebooks where the sun doesn't shine lol Sure the new MBPs have slightly higher performance, but the dual-cores aren't that much faster, I only think it a shame they don't do the quad-cores in non-Retina anymore, but what is Apple up to? A lot of 'converts' I know got into Macs by 1) my badgering and 2) the Mac Mini. The Mini was great, small enough to hide (and thus less desk clutter) and you could use all your original peripherals, these folks were waiting for the new Mac Mini, then the news that the Quad-cores are discontinued. I mean, Apple, what are you doing? People with a 2012 2.3 or 2.6 i7 have a machine FASTER than the top-of-the-range newer Mini -and again, no self upgrading. I swear Apple are bipolar, their mood swings swinging one way then another...not just gear, everyone remember .mac, iTools, MobileMe before iCloud, Apple were pushing people to them "This is the future" then out of the blue they drop them. How long is iCloud going to be around for? The only way I'll still be buying Apple in five years is IF they still make the 2012 MBPs...lol
My eyes aren't good enough for that to matter anyway.
I currently use an early 08 White Macbook with some upgrades and that is STILL holding up. I imagine this 2012 Pro will have similar longevity, unlike the later "SuperSpec/SuperGlue w/ Retina Display" models
(that prove Apple is now entirely focused on Shareholder's satisfaction over customer)
Got a 13" 2012 MBP on eBay for $499.
Upgraded it with a 480GB SSD ($100) and 16GB ($65) of RAM. I code for a living and am very happy with my new work station :)
Retina vs Non-Retina? Not a factor for me. YMMV.
can you tell me what temperature readings (smcfancontrol) are you getting when for example hooked up to an external monitor (idle/work)?
I have a 2011 macbbok pro 15" and am thinking about replacing it with a 2012 13" macbook pro but hesitant if it would be any better? What year is your "new" macbook pro 13 make, 2012?