Rumor: 13'' Retina MacBook Pro expected in October


— 9:55 AM on June 15, 2012

I have to admit, I was a little disappointed to see Apple release only one notebook with a high-density display this week. The 15" MacBook Pro with Retina display might be an impressive feat of engineering, but its $2,199 price tag and 15" display size makes it feel a little... well, over-indulgent.

According to AppleInsider, though, the system may soon get a smaller, cheaper sibling. The site quotes KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who says a 13" MacBook Pro with Retina display will debut "in early October, in time for the holiday shopping season." He adds that the system will feature a 2560x1600 display resolution, solid-state storage, a 0.71"-thick chassis, and Intel HD 4000 integrated graphics (sans discrete GPU).

Kuo accurately predicted the demise of the 17" MacBook Pro and the introduction of the 15" Retina system alongside a refreshed, vanilla 15" MacBook Pro, so it's probably safe to trust him about the 13" system, even if the specifics are pretty sparse for now.

The mention of integrated Intel graphics bothers me, though. On the 15" Retina MacBook Pro, scrolling down web pages in Safari feels distinctly less responsive than with Apple's other systems—and that machine has a discrete GeForce GT 650M GPU driving its 2880x1800 panel. The 13" system would have 21% fewer total pixels, yet it would be saddled with a substantially slower Intel IGP. I hope getting a smaller, nimble system won't require heavy sacrifices on the responsiveness front.

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