Mid 2012 was when the non-Retina MacBook Pro last received an update. Since then Apple has religiously updated the MacBook Air lineup every year and launched and updated Retina MacBook Pros. But the non-Retina model has been ignored like a stepchild.
Thankfully this overlooked MacBook hasn’t (yet) been discontinued. Although the heart beating within it is over 2 years old (which in technology world is as long as a decade), MacBook Pro, with some upgrades, is still our preferred choice amongst the lavish line-up.
Outdated, but Not Dead
Anyone who has used any MacBook will tell you that a five year old MacBook works at par, if not better, than the latest PCs. Yes, the technology on paper is outdated, but never judge an Apple product by it’s specs. Their perfect hardware-software integration gets more juice out of their devices than you can imagine. For a light user, especially with pre installed Mavericks OS (it’s slow in handling the latest Yosemite OS), MacBook Pro is a robust machine by any standards.
The non-Retina MacBook pro is the only surviving Apple laptop that allows RAM upgrade at user’s discretion. It comes with 4GB Ram, which we agree is on the lower side. However, you can easily upgrade it to 8GB, or even 16GB (while Apple doesn’t recommend it, we’ve personally discovered it works just fine). Again, if you wish to use your laptop primarily for Internet browsing and Microsoft office applications and don’t crave for the newest operating systems then the pre installed RAM will be enough for you.
Hard Drive Flexibility
This is where the oldest MacBook Pro really wins our hearts. It comes with the standard 500 GB hard drive, while the much higher priced MacBook Airs and Retina MacBook Pros start from 128 GB hard drives. Such is the disparity that a 500GB version of Retina models (MacBook Air isn’t even available in 500+ GB hard drive) costs almost double this model.
Yes, we know that those models have SSDs (Solid State Drives), which are much faster than the conventional hard drives, but hey, you always have the option of installing SSDs in this model as well. Moreover, if you are tech savvy, you can replace the DVD drive bay with additional hard drive slot and have 2 hard drives – one SSD to install all your software and one standard drive for data capacity as high as 2TB!
We can see you laughing. Who needs DVD drives these days, you must be thinking. But we would like to draw your attention to the ignored stack of movie and other media DVDs that you disowned only because you didn’t have players left for them. Even to rip DVDs you need to use a drive. Then again, like we mentioned, you can always replace it with hard drive. Its always good to have an option.
This is another killer blow to the Mac siblings. Every year Apple makes its MacBooks more and more closed for achieving slimmer designs. Those sleek looks very quickly lose their appeal when you see the hefty repair bill. Our simple, yet beautiful, old school MacBook is the best of both worlds.
More Bucks for the Bang
The best way to summarize our undying love for non-retina MacBook Pro is by calling it the ‘best-value-for-money’ Mac, and that too by a huge margin.
A maxed out 2012 MacBook Pro, with 16GB RAM, SSD & HD and external bay for it’s DVD drive, will still cost you lesser than a 128GB only Retina MacBook pro. Add to that the flexibility of swapping hard drives and RAM on the fly and easy repair options, and you will struggle to find a better deal, even if you take into account Windows based laptops.
The difference in the performance of the latest SSD-based, better processor driven Retina MacBooks and the older MacBook Pro after RAM & SSD upgrades is hardly noticeable. In fact, some users claim that it works faster! In the looks department, this old school MacBook will still get enough love from you and onlookers.
The MacBook Pro might not be the latest, but in almost all departments it is still the greatest. Old, in this case, is well and truly gold, my friend!
PS: Apple has recently made the MacBook Pro an even more appealing deal but giving it a big price cut in India.