The big news about the Early 2015 13″ Retina MacBook Pro is its adoption of the same Force Touch trackpad introduced with the 12″ MacBook. It’s also faster than its predecessor and has improved graphics.
The base model has a 2.7 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 with Turbo Boost to 3.1 GHz, and the better model has a 2.9 GHz i5 with 3.3 GHz Turbo Boost. The 2.7 GHz model can be configured with a the 2.9 GHz i5, and both can be ordered with a 3.1 GHz Core i7 that hits 3.4 GHz with Turbo Boost.
As with all Retina MacBook Pros, it’s built around SSD technology for enhanced speed and ruggedness, not to mention allowing for a slim, cool running design.
As with the previous version, it has USB 3.0. The USB 3.0 specification is over 10x as fast as USB 2.0 and has half the bandwidth of Thunderbolt. There are a lot of USB 3.0 drives on the market, and they are far more affordable than Thunderbolt drives. Best of all, Apple uses the same port for USB 2.0 and 3, while the standard in the PC world is separate ports for each protocol.
Battery life is claimed to be 10 hours of wireless productivity.
This model shipped with OS X 10.10 Yosemite and supports all later versions, which are free updates.
Closed Lid Mode: All Intel ‘Books support “lid closed” (or clamshell) mode, which leaves the built-in display off and dedicates all video RAM to an external display. To used closed lid mode, your ‘Book must be plugged into the AC adapter and connected to an external display and a USB or Bluetooth mouse and keyboard (you might also want to consider external speakers). Power up your ‘Book until the desktop appears on the external display and then close the lid. Your ‘Book will go to sleep, but you can wake it by moving the mouse or using the keyboard. The built-in display will remain off, and the external monitor will become your only display.
To resume use of the internal display, you need to disconnect the external display, put the computer to sleep, and then open the lid. This will wake up your ‘Book and restore use of the built-in display.
- introduced 2014.03.09 at US$1,299 (2.7 GHz dual-core i5, 128 GB SSD) and US$1,799 (2.9 GHz, 512 GB SSD). 3.1 GHz dual-core i7 build-to-order option
- Part no.:
- Model no.:
- Identifier: MacBookPro11,1
- Requires Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite or later
- AirDrop is supported
- Power Nap is supported
- CPU: 2.7 or 2.9 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5, 3.0 GHz dual-core i7 build-to-order option; discontinued 2016.10.27
- Level 3 cache: 3 MB shared cache in i5, 4 MB in i7
- Bus: 1600 MHz
- RAM: 4, 8, or 16 GB from factory, no future upgrades
- Performance, Geekbench 4
- 2.7 GHz i5: single-core, 3427; multi-core, 6478
- 2.9 GHz i5: single-core, 3583; multi-core, 6767
- 3.1 GHz i7: single-core, 3692; multi-core, 6949
- GPU: Intel Iris 6100
- VRAM: uses 1 GB of system RAM
- Video out: HDMI or Thunderbolt digital video port, which is backward compatible with Mini DisplayPort (VGA, DVI, HDMI, and DisplayPort supported with optional adapters)
- display: 13.3″ glossy 2560 x 1600 18-bit 227 ppi color active matrix
- supports 2560 x 1600, 1680 x 1050, 1440 x 900, and 1024 x 640
- allows mirroring to external display or extended desktop mode
- Hard drive: 128 GB to 1 TB SSD
- optical drive: external only
- drive bus: PCIe 2.0 x2 (over 700 MBps real world read and write speeds – 200-300 MBps faster than SATA Rev. 3)
- Thunderbolt 2: 2 ports
- USB: 2 USB 3.0 ports
- FireWire 400: via Thunderbolt adapter
- FireWire 800: via Thunderbolt adapter
- Ethernet: via Thunderbolt adapter
- WiFi: 802.11ac
- Modem: no longer offered by Apple
- Bluetooth: BT 4.0 built in
- ExpressCard/34: none
- SD Card Slot: 1 SDXC slot
- expansion bays: none
- battery: 71.8 Watt-hour
- AC adapter: 60W MagSafe 2
- size: 8.62 x 12.35 x 0.71″ (219 x 314 x 18 mm)
- Weight: 3.48 pounds (1.58 kg)
- Best online 13″ Retina MacBook Pro deals.
- Protect your notebook against loss, theft, data loss, and security breaches, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2009.08.25. 10 percent of laptops are lost or stolen every year. Tips on preventing theft, securing your data, and recovering from a lost, stolen, or broken notebook.
- Optimized Software Builds Bring Out the Best in Your Mac, Dan Knight, Low End Mac’s Online Tech Journal, 2009.06.30. Applications compiled for your Mac’s CPU can load more quickly and run faster than ones compiled for universal use.
- Avoiding dead and stuck pixels on your LCD screen, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2009.06.22. While CRT monitors would sometimes develop burn-in, LCD monitors may ship with or develop bad pixels.
- Low-end MacBook Pros: SD Card and FireWire in, ExpressCard out, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2009.06.16. The new 13″ and 15″ MacBook Pro have FireWire 800 and SD Card slots, but ExpressCard is gone, left for the 17″ MacBook Pro.
- Low End Mac’s Safe Sleep FAQ, Dan Knight, Online Tech Journal, 2009.06.15. What is Safe Sleep mode? Which Macs support it? How can you enable or disable it? And more.
- The Safe Sleep Mailbag, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2009.06.15. Safe Sleep mode is enabled by default on modern MacBooks. How it works, and how to change how it works.
- Mac ‘Book Power Management Adventures, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2009.05.19. If your ‘Book won’t power up, shuts down while your working, or has other power issues, resetting its internal power manager may clear things up.
- Ubuntu Linux and Boot Camp make it easy to create a triple boot Mac, Alan Zisman, Mac2Windows, 2008.12.24. Boot Camp makes it easy to install Windows on Intel Macs, and Ubuntu now makes it easy to install Linux to a virtual Windows drive.
- Notebooks and blackouts, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2008.12.23. When the power goes out, a notebook computer with long-lasting batteries lets you keep working for hours and hours.
- Why DisplayPort is the video connector for the future, Frank Fox, Stop the Noiz, 2008.12.23. DisplayPort supports multiple displays, combines audio and video on one cable, and costs nothing to use.
- New MacBook trackpad takes some getting used to, Alan Zisman, Zis Mac, 2008.12.22. The large glass trackpad is a joy to use in many ways, but it can be frustrating for longtime notebook users and has issues with Boot Camp.
- The ‘Better Safe Than Sorry’ Guide to Installing Mac OS X Updates, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.12.16. Most users encounter no problems using Software Update, but some preflight work and using the Combo updater means far less chance of trouble.
- Why You Should Partition Your Mac’s Hard Drive, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2008.12.11. “At the very least, it makes sense to have a second partition with a bootable version of the Mac OS, so if you have problems with your work partition, you can boot from the ’emergency’ partition to run Disk Utility and other diagnostics.”
- Software to keep your MacBook cool, Phil Herlihy, The Usefulness Equation, 2008.11.25. Heat is the enemy of long hardware life. Two programs to keep your MacBook running cooler.
- DisplayPort copy protection, trackpad update, netbooks not to be taken lightly, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.11.21. Also Apple set for record sales, 4-finger gestures on original MacBook Air, MacBook Apple’s best consumer notebook to date, Cricket laptop stand, bargain ‘Books from $490 to $2,299, and more.
- Kensington Ci95m Wireless Mouse: Great battery life, smooth performance, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2008.11.13. Kensington’s slim wireless mouse is well built, works smoothly, has great battery life, and avoids Bluetooth pairing and wake-up issues.
- One OS to rule them all, Frank Fox, Stop the Noiz, 2008.10.29. With Fusion or Parallels letting you run Windows at full speed, Mac OS X gives you the best of both worlds.
- How to clone Mac OS X to a new hard drive, Simon Royal, Tech Spectrum, 2008.10.07. Whether you want to put a bigger, faster drive in your Mac or clone OS X for use in another Mac, here’s the simple process.
- Apple Trumps Microsoft in Making the 64-bit Transition Transparent to Users, Frank Fox, Stop the Noiz, 2008.09.18. To use more than 4 GB of RAM under Windows, you need a 64-bit PC and the 64-bit version of Windows. On the Mac, OS X 10.4 and later already support it.
- Does running OS X system maintenance routines really do any good?, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.08.26. Mac OS X is designed to run certain maintenance routines daily, weekly, and monthly – but can’t if your Mac is off or asleep.
- Tricking out your notebook for superior desktop duty, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2008.07.29. For desktop use, you don’t need to be limited by the built-in trackpad, keyboard, and display or a notebook’s compromised ergonomics.
- Free VirtualBox for Mac now a virtual contender, Alan Zisman, Mac2Windows, 2008.07.21. A year ago, the Mac version of VirtualBox lacked some essential features. Over the past year, it’s grown into a very useful tool.
- Win the depreciation game by buying on the low end, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2008.06.24. The worst depreciation afflicts high-end models. By buying a less powerful version, choosing certified refurbished, or picking up a used computer, you’ll come out ahead.
- 16:9 computer displays: Let’s not go there, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2008.06.17. “…there’s no reason our computer displays should match the proportions of our television displays.”
- SheepShaver brings Classic Mac OS to Intel Macs and Leopard, Alan Zisman, Mac2Windows, 2008.05.20. Mac OS X 10.5 doesn’t support Classic Mode. Neither does Leopard. But SheepShaver lets you emulate a PowerPC Mac and run the Classic Mac OS.
- Windows on Macs: Three paths for integration, Jason Packer, Macs in the Enterprise, 2008.05.14. Mac users have three routes for running Windows apps: Run Windows using Boot Camp or virtualization, or use a compatibility layer such as WINE.
- Restore stability to a troubled Mac with a clean system install, Keith Winston, Linux to Mac, 2008.01.15. If your Mac is misbehaving, the best fix just might be a fresh reinstallation of Mac OS X – don’t forget to backup first.
- We need more than 2 USB ports in MacBooks, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2008.01.14. There’s something wrong when you can’t plug a flash drive, mouse, and printer into a notebook computer at the same time.
- Does a college freshman need to run Windows on a MacBook?, Al Poulin, My Turn, 2007.07.24. While you can run Windows on today’s Intel-based Macs, is there any reason most college students would want to or need to?
- 1 core, 2 cores, 4 cores, 8: How Much Difference Does It Make?, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2007.04.10. Geekbench scores make it possible to compare the newest 3 GHz 8-core Mac Pro with the 1.5 GHz Core Solo Mac mini – and all the models in between.
- Simple ergonomics for the road warrior, Ed Eubanks Jr, The Efficient Mac User, 2007.01.16. The benefits of external keyboards and mice, laptop stands, typing gloves, and anti-RSI software for notebook users.
- To AppleCare or not to AppleCare?, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2006.11.20. Consumer Reports, which generally recommends against extended warranties, says AppleCare makes sense. But does it?
- Better laptop performance: What’s the best upgrade?, Andrew J Fishkin, The Mobile Mac, 2006.10.09. Memory, CPU, bus speed, and hard drives all impact performance and battery life. Which upgrades will give you the most up time in the field?
- Drive matters, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2006.06.14. There’s more to picking the right hard drive than size, spindle speed, buffer size, and price. But how can a 5400 rpm drive ever outperform a 7200 rpm drive?
- Power strategies for using your ‘Book in the field: Batteries and AC adapters, Andrew J Fishkin, The Mobile Mac, 2006.06.05. One or two extra batteries and at least one spare AC adapter can be essential when you’re traveling and need to get hours and hours of use from your ‘Book.
- MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Early 2015) – Technical Specifications, Apple