Apple announced new and updated MacBook Pro models for 2018 today, bringing True Tone displays and Intel Core i9 processors to the range for the first time.
As ever, you can configure your shiny new toy at point of purchase if you need more storage or RAM, for example. We heartily checked out the store to see how much a maxed out MacBook Pro would cost, knowing the price would be high.
But even we were surprised that it was this eye-watering.
At £6,708.98, the new 15in MacBook Pro in its full glory is a tall ask unless you are a successful professional or Scarface. So why does it cost this much?
Industry prices or Apple tax?
First off, Apple limits what you can do to each MacBook Pro to encourage you to spend more; the 13in Pros can't get 32GB like the 15in can. This isn’t exclusive to Apple mind, and is all part of upselling in the tech industry.
But this is Macworld, and so on Apple our gaze lies.
On the UK store you can pick the high-end 15in MacBook Pro for a cool £2,699. This includes a Core i7, 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD.
Then things get interesting. You can add a Core i9 (for the first time on a MacBook) for £270 and 32GB RAM (also a first) for an extra £360.
The showstopper is storage. 4TB is another first for the MacBook range, but here it adds £2,880 to your bill - £181 more than the laptop itself.
It’s easy to scream at this point, but in fact that price is fairly standard in 2018 for 4TB NVMe storage. Apple isn’t at fault on the face of it.
You can also then add Final Cut Pro for £299.99 and Logic Pro for £199.99 to bring us to the magic £6,708.98 total. That’s £710.98 more than the cost of two Mac Pros, for comparison.
Here’s the breakdown:
- MacBook Pro: £2,699
- 32GB 2400MHz DDR4 memory: £360
- 4TB SSD storage: £2,880
- Final Cut Pro: £299.99
- Logic Pro: £199.99
A bigger bite
That’s maths. What’s less palatable is what happens when you buy the base 15in MacBook Pro.
If you only want 256GB storage, the 15in MacBook Pro will set you back £2,349 rather than £2,699. But if you want all the bells and whistles, Apple charges you more – and it really has no reason to do so.
It charges £350 for the Core i9 instead of £270 and £3,060 for 4TB SSD instead of £2,880. These are the same components, and Apple is charging you £80 more per add-on because you have the cheaper laptop in your basket.
There’s no denying this is the most powerful MacBook ever - that’s always the case when a new MacBook Pro rolls into town.
But with pricing structures that subtly eke every last penny out of the buyer, the MacBook Pro is moving further and further into unaffordable territory, and encroaching more on Apple's own desktop market.
People will still buy this computer - it's just a shame that Apple doesn't keep its pricing structure completely fair.