Me, Shawn Blanc, and Marco Arment all seem to love the retina MacBook Pro. As I’ve said before, my favorite feature is the triple display output on the 1GB video card. Even though it’s only 4.5 pounds, I also have an 11″ Air that I prefer when I’m traveling for long periods. You’d think that I’d be excited about a 13″ Retina MacBook Pro then, right?
One huge difference between the 15″ and 13″ MacBook Pros has been the discrete GPU. When used as a laptop, this doesn’t bother me because I’m not gaming. But when I’m using it as a desktop, I need something that can effortlessly drive as much real estate as possible. With the 15″ Retina MacBook Pro boasting a 1440×900@2X display, I think it’s grandiose to expect the retina 13″ to have that kind of resolution. It will probably have 1280×800@2X display with a “More Space” “looks like 1440×900” mode. 1280×800@2X is 2560×1600, which is the “same” as the 30″ cinema display, which discrete graphics can drive just fine. So Apple doesn’t have much incentive to figure out how to stuff a real GPU in there.
In terms of driving external displays, we’ll probably see a two-display limit. So, let’s say it has a single thunderbolt and an HDMI (most likely option in my opinion), you’ll only be able to use both at the same time if you’re not using the onboard display. Since the 13″ Retina will most certainly be Apple’s best selling laptop, they will put HDMI on it, but of course they’re not dropping Thunderbolt. That’s why I’m not “regretting” getting a 15″ instead of waiting for a 13″… unless Apple proves me wrong, and we always hope they do.