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13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display: $1,699, 20 Percent Thinner, 3.6 Pounds

The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display is official, giving notebook shoppers a more affordable option than the 15-inch Retina model. Of course, $1,699 isn't cheap, but you get a class-leading Retina display and a design that's 20 percent thinner (.8 inches) and weighs only 3.6 pounds. 

The new Retina MacBook packs a 2560 x 1600-pixel resolution, which is double the sharpness you'd see from an HDTV. Other highlights include two Thunderbolt ports, two USB 3.0 ports and dual speakers for more powerful sound. The starting configuration is powered by a 2.5-GHz Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD.

Apple says you can expect up to 7 hours of battery life from the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display. What may disappoint some is that this notebook doesn't include discrete graphics; you'll have to make due with Intel HD 4000 graphics. However, we do expect the combination of the flash memory, fast CPU and plenty of RAM to offer zippy performance. 

Is this $1,699 machine the 13-inch laptop to beat? It could be the Ultrabook to beat. 

Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.