New MacBook vs MacBook Air vs Pro with Retina

Here are my impressions on the New MacBook vs MacBook Air and MacBook Pro with Retina Display. Apple unveiled a 12" MacBook with Retina Display, simply calling it the 'New MacBook'. This new model is thinner and lighter than the 11.6" MacBook Air, has a new trackpad and keyboard design, is fanless, and comes in three color options (silver, space grey, and gold) with a starting price of $1,300. So how does the New MacBook vs MacBook Air and Pro with Retina shape up?

New MacBook vs MacBook Air and Pro

The New MacBook occupies an interesting position in Apple's laptop lineup. It is lighter and thinner than the 11.6" MacBook Air, but adds a Retina Display. That portability comes at a cost though, starting at the same price as the 13" MacBook Pro, which is higher performing and even has slightly better battery life.

The price of portability

It seems the New MacBook is aimed squarely at users who value portability over all else: frequent travelers, coffee shop workers, students, etc. This laptop is designed to be used unplugged, on the go, for email, web browsing, and 'lite' productivity tasks. In other words, more like an iPad than a traditional desktop-replacement laptop.

If that doesn't sound like you, then you may be better off with a different model. The 13" Air has the best battery life and is less expensive. The Pro with Retina has more ports and significantly more power at the same price, but with more heft. The MacBook lineup is full of tradeoffs: price vs performance vs portability. Get more info on the New MacBook here.

One last note on prices... Although these are the prices Apple charges online and in-store, MacBooks can usually be found cheaper from Amazon and other Apple resellers.