MacBook Pro with Retina Display…Wow!
Regulars here know I really like small lightweight notebooks..I love the Apple MacBook Air 11″ and the Dell XPS 13 for Windows. But, there are times when it takes a full size notebook to do the job..occasions where bigger hard drive, faster CPU and better graphics outweigh then extra weight. A student, for example who may want a computer that can handle school work as well as some gaming. Time to turn to the MacBook Pro with Retina display.
Off the top let me say this is the best..bar none..display I have ever seen on a laptop anywhere. The retina display on the MacBook pro is nothing short of awesome. The computer is no slouch either..take a look at the specs of my test unit which is the base model:
- 2.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i7
- Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz
- 8GB 1600MHz memory
- 256GB flash storage
- Intel HD Graphics 4000
- NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with 1GB of GDDR5 memory
- Built-in battery (7 hours)
It still looks like a MacBook Pro but one that has been to the gym..it is only 0.71 inches (1.8cm) thick while the width is 14.13 inches (35.89cm) and the depth is 9.73 inches (24.71cm). The old model is at 0.95 inches thick while the MacBook Pro with Retina is nearly as thin as the Air, which is 0.68 inches at its thickest. Weight? A healthy 4.46 pounds (2.02kg) quite a bit heavier than the air but still not too heavy to carry. You do pay for that thin profile though..there is no optical drive..which I don’t consider a big deal in this age of cheap USB drives. You should know that like the MacBook Air this computer is factory sealed..so when ordering make sure you take that into consideration when selecting components such as memory and CPU.
The keyboard is comfortable..more like the MacBook Air than the previous Pro..a little bit less travel but still fine for touch typing. This notebook is well equipped with ports allowing you to connect with just about anything..it’s nice to see a full size HDMI port..less nice to see you will require an optional ($29.99) adapter to change one of the Thunderbolt ports to Gigabit Ethernet…for the lofty price of this machine I think Apple could have included it.
Now to the screen..it is gorgeous..no make that really gorgeous…the resolution is 2,880 by 1,800, which sounds like a lot, but text is scaled so it doesn’t look too small. Apple kept the font sizes consistent with what you’d expect and just made them smoother. In contrast, text on a MacBook Air looks smooth from a distance, but the individual letters are still jaggy close up. Text on the this new MacBook Pro looks smooth from both far away and close up, as if it were printed on paper.
The really big deal is media on this screen..photos look like really good printed pictures and high resolution movies are magnificent..like having a HDTV that sits in your lap. There was a drawback to the Retina display for early adopters..non-optimized apps looked less than great but now most apps have been updated..Microsoft Office for Mac just last week…Adobe promises updates for it’s apps by the fall.
This is one heck of a notebook computer…powerful and fast with the best display ever… if you need a serious portable computer then this is the one for you. It doesn’t come cheap though..the base model as tested starts at $2299… fully loaded it comes to a frightening $3799.