13-inch Retina MacBook settles in at $1,499 for 256GB

Apple's not-so-hot-selling 13.3-inch Retina MacBook Pro seems to have found pricing equilibrium at online retailers.

Major online retailers are selling the 13.3-inch Retina MacBook Pro for $1,499 with a 256GB solid-state drive -- that's twice the storage Apple is offering at that price.
Major online retailers are selling the 13.3-inch Retina MacBook Pro for $1,499 with a 256GB solid-state drive -- that's twice the storage Apple is offering at that price. Best Buy

At retailers, Apple's 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro has found a happy medium between a fire sale and Apple's official pricing.

Online retailers like MacMall and MacConnection are selling Apple's smallest Retina MacBook for $1,499 -- with a bonus.

That price gets you a 256GB solid-state drive -- a step up from the $1,499 model that Apple offers with a 128GB drive.

And that 128GB model is even cheaper at MacConnection, which now appears to have settled on a less drastic discount of $1,399 after practically fire-selling it earlier this month for $1,299 .

Why all the discounting? Despite boasting an LED-backlit IPS display with stunning 2,560x1,600 resolution, the 13.3-inch MBP hasn't been selling very well.

That was affirmed by Apple when it cut the price $200 to $1,499 in February after widespread discounting from retailers.

And there have been reports from Asia that component suppliers for the Retina MBP have not seen a significant increase in orders, forcing Apple to sit on unsold inventory.

But that's not stopping Windows 8 PC vendors from pricing high-resolution laptops in the stratosphere. On Wednesday, Toshiba announced the Retina-like Kirabook that it apparently intends to sell for between $1,599 and $1,999.

"The high-res screen looked amazing when playing native resolution video content -- as it would on a Retina MacBook Pro or Google Pixel Chromebook," CNET Reviews said.

Is it amazing enough to wow buyers at those prices? Apple's experience might give Toshiba some clues.

Toshiba will try to sell a Retina-like 2,560x1,440-pixel-resolution touch-screen Windows 8 laptop for between $1,599 and $1,999. Any takers?
Toshiba will try to sell a Retina-like 2,560x1,440-pixel-resolution touch-screen Windows 8 laptop for between $1,599 and $1,999. Any takers? Dan Ackerman/CNET
About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.

 

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