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Review: Apple's next-gen MacBook Pro with 15" Retina display

post #1 of 94
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Apple's next-generation MacBook Pro represents a marriage between the design of the whisper-thin MacBook Air and the power of the previous MacBook Pro. But it's the feature that sets this notebook apart —?its high-resolution Retina display —?that makes this new notebook decidedly more "Pro" than "Air."

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Overview and design



The new MacBook Pro is priced starting at $2,200 for a machine with a 256 gigabyte flash memory drive, 8 gigabytes of RAM, and a 2.3 gigahertz quad-core Intel Core i7 Ivy Bridge processor. Our test machine was upgraded to a 2.6 gigahertz processor, 16 gigabytes of RAM and a 512 gigabyte flash drive, which places the cost of this machine at over $3,000.

While the new Intel Ivy Bridge chip is the star of the show among the internal components, Apple didn't stop there. The new MacBook Pro has one USB 3.0 port on each side, two Thunderbolt ports on the left side, and an integrated HDMI port and SD card reader on the right side. The HDMI port in particular is a welcome addition, negating the need for users to carry a Thunderbolt adapter if they want to plug in their notebook to an external monitor on the go.

Even legacy FireWire users haven't been forgotten with this Pro machine, as Apple plans to offer a separate Thunderbolt to FireWire adapter that the company says will be available this July.

The forward-facing FaceTime camera has also been upgraded to 720p high definition, which is a nice improvement. The stereo speakers also sound great, and dual microphones allow for improved chat and noise cancelation capabilities.

MacBook Pro


The most glaring omission from the new MacBook Pro is the total absence of an optical drive. In our view, this subtraction is a positive. Ditching the optical drive has allowed the MacBook Pro to become thinner than ever, and Apple's built-in SuperDrives had a notorious reputation for failing. Those who still need an optical drive can plug one in via USB, or if its removal is too big an issue, MacBook Pros with the previous-generation design are still available with built-in SuperDrives.

Specs


While it is noticeably thinner than the previous-generation MacBook Pro, users upgrading from a MacBook Air will definitely feel the additional heft. The MacBook Air maxes out at 13 inches and features a tapered design that gets thinner, while the new MacBook Pro has a larger 15-inch display and a unibody design with a uniform thickness that equals the MacBook Air at its thickest point. But the next-generation MacBook Pro is also 4.46 pounds, compared to just 2.96 pounds for the 13-inch MacBook Air.

MacBook Pro


The reliance on flash memory makes this MacBook Pro a much quieter and cooler machine than its predecessors. Like with the MacBook Air, it's something of a surprise when the silent machine springs to life with the sound of a whirring fan. Apple has said new fan design in the latest MacBook Pro helps to mitigate some fan noise, but it's still noticeable to us when the whirring begins.

Another noteworthy change to the new MacBook Pro design: The product name is no longer displayed below the screen. Instead, it's just a black border around the Retina display. This is yet another design cue taken from the iPad and iPhone, where the front of the device's display has minimal needless distractions and no text, allowing the user to focus solely on what they are doing.

MacBook Pro


The rest of the design is what you'd expect if you've used any of Apple's modern MacBooks: The unibody construction is solid, the backlit keyboard feels great, and the multi-touch trackpad is the best in the business.

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Graphics



That extra size and weight of the MacBook Pro, when compared to the Air, gets you a lot more power, most noticeably the inclusion of a dedicated graphics card from Nvidia. The GeForce 650M mobile GPU, with a full gigabyte of GDDR 5 memory, performs admirably on the most demanding of tasks, making the new MacBook Pro a worthy desktop replacement machine.

We put the GPU to the test with Blizzard's Diablo III, running the new title at the MacBook Pro's native screen resolution of 2,880-by-1800 pixels and all settings on high. Anti-aliasing was turned off, because it's unnecessary with such a high resolution on the Retina display. Even with iTunes downloading high-definition movies in the background and a number of enemies on the screen at the same time, Diablo III still ran at between 25 and 30 frames per second, and the new MacBook Pro more than adequately handled what we could throw at it.

As with previous MacBooks with dedicated graphics, this new MacBook Pro has automated graphics switching, so when you're not engaging in graphically demanding tasks, it relies on the integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000.

The GPU can also drive dual display output and video mirroring. Full native resolution on the main display can be accompanied by screens with up to 2,560-by-1,600-pixel resolutions on up to two displays, driven by the Thunderbolt digital port.

Diablo III


Diablo III


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Retina display



The Nvidia graphics card is put to good use in powering the high-resolution Retina display, which packs in the most pixels of any laptop screen ever. The difference is immediately noticeable. Once you boot up your new MacBook Pro and begin the setup process, you'll immediately see how the crisp, high-resolution fonts make reading text a much more enjoyable experience.

At 220 pixels per inch, this screen doesn't pack in quite as many pixels as the iPhone 4S, or even the new third-generation iPad. But Apple says the use of its "Retina" branding remains appropriate, given the distance from which users typically view the screen of a 15-inch notebook.

Any debate over the validity of "Retina display" branding notwithstanding, this screen is in every way the best we've seen on a notebook, period. The extra pixels make text and images look fantastic, the colors on the LCD are bright and vivid, and viewing angles are also worthy of considerable praise.

MacBook Pro


Apple has also said that a new glass-less design on the MacBook Pro screen has helped to reduce glare by 75 percent. This may be true, but glare on the display still remains noticeable in sunlight or near an open window. There is no matte option for the new Retina display, meaning you'll just have to deal with the glare.

To take advantage of the Retina display, Apple's native OS X applications have been updated, and they look great. Apple also issued updates for iMovie and iPhoto to ensure they make the most of the new high-resolution screen. Even Final Cut Pro was given a Retina update at launch.

iPhoto


It's Pro users that will get the most out of the new Retina display. With this many pixels available on the screen, native 1080p video will no longer take up your entire screen. That means you can see every single pixel of a video being edited while having adequate additional room to get work done. The same benefits can be seen for photographers editing super-high resolution images.

The main problem with the Retina display is the same issue previously seen when the iPhone and iPad platforms made the jump to ultra-high resolution: lack of application support. Some legacy applications that don't use fonts built in to OS X look downright horrible on the new Retina display, with jaggy text often accompanies by low-resolution images.

Two applications in particular are sorely in need of an update for the Retina display are the Google Chrome browser and Steam, Valve's digital storefront and launch center for games. Presumably, this and most other software will get the necessary update in due time.

Retina text
Above: Text as seen in Google Chrome. Below: Text optimized for Retina display in Safari.


But for professional users, particularly those who work in graphic design, the lack of Retina support for third-party applications is a glaring problem. It's a big enough issue that some professionals might want to hold off on buying a new MacBook Pro until the software they use most —?Adobe Photoshop, for one prominent example — is updated to appear correctly on Apple's next-generation notebook.

Another downside to the Retina display is many sites on the Web look worse because they do not push enough pixels in their images. Any low-resolution content on the new MacBook Pro immediately stands out as an eyesore.

Chrome


But these issues are temporary matters that will be forgotten quickly as Retina display support becomes the norm. Just as native iPad applications appeared blurry and poor on the third-generation iPad, in just a matter of weeks Retina display support had come to many of the most popular applications on the App Store. Here's hoping the same will happen with the Mac.

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Battery life



Apple says the new MacBook Pro gets up to 7 hours of wireless Web browsing, while with the lid closed in sleep mode, it offers up to 30 days of standby time, with its built-in 95-watt-hour lithium polymer battery.

For our own battery test, we looped 1080p high-definition video through iTunes on the machine in fullscreen mode with Wi-Fi enabled and connected, brightness at the default setting, and no other applications running in the background. Under this scenario, we achieved battery life of about 6 hours and 15 minutes.

In this test, the machine ran quietly and its internal fans never engaged to run the high-definition movies. Remaining cool and silent, the MacBook Pro performed well in the battery stress test, and the numbers suggest that Apple's own estimate of 7 hours of less-strenuous Web browsing is probably accurate.

MacBook Pro


It's also worth noting that the new MacBook Pro also has a new, thinner MagSafe 2 power port, which means users with devices like a Thunderbolt display will need to buy an adapter to allow compatibility with older MagSafe accessories. With the new MagSafe 2 port, the power cable sticks out of the MacBook Pro at a right angle, rather than the previous design that was flush with the machine. We found this design change to be a minor annoyance.

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Software



This MacBook Pro ships with OS X Lion, which has been upgraded to take advantage of the new Retina display. This is the same Lion most users already know and love, but Apple's patchwork updates to the system, adding higher resolution application icons and updating native apps to higher resolutions, are merely a stopgap update to the operating system until the release of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion in July.

Luckily, users who buy the new MacBook Pro (or any new Mac, for that matter) will receive a free upgrade to Mountain Lion when it launches this summer.

Mission Control


The new MacBook Pro launches at an awkward time when Apple's notebook lineup was sorely in need of an overdue hardware refresh, but Mountain Lion is oh so close to launching. While Retina display support is not a new feature in Mountain Lion, the next-generation version of OS X will add new functionality, improvements and refinements that will help take this next-generation MacBook Pro to the next level.

Lion's performance on the new MacBook Pro is greatly aided by the inclusion of solid-state flash storage standard. This gives the next-generation notebook an Air-like lightning fast startup time, as well as instant-on capabilities when returning from sleep. Once you become accustomed to flash storage, there is no going back to a traditional, slower spinning hard-disk drive.

One strange change with Lion on the new MacBook Pro is users cannot select a specific resolution. Whereas before the amount of pixels displayed by OS X could be selected, now users are just given the options of "Best for Retina display," or "Scaled." If users select "Scaled," options ranging from "Larger Text" to "More Space" are available. By default, the middle option for "Best (Retina)" is selected.

Resolution


This change is understandable, as Apple obviously wants to move away from confusing resolution settings that might bewilder the average user. But having said that, this is a notebook with the word "Pro" in its name, and it's fair to assume that some professionals who work with a machine like this might want a greater degree of control over the display resolution.

Aside from this, Lion has been sufficiently modified to support the new MacBook Pro's Retina display. The system fonts, dock icons and native applications will immediately stand out and show off the improvements that the Retina display can provide.

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Wrap up



The new MacBook Pro is the best notebook Apple has ever built to date. Its Achilles' heel, if it could be called such a thing, is its price. Starting at $2,200 for the entry-level model, this notebook is a glimpse at the future, when all of Apple's notebooks will offer power and performance, and a beautiful Retina display, inside a thin-and-light enclosure. That day isn't here yet, which is why there is only one 15-inch model for the new Retina MacBook Pro.

MacBook Pro


But if you want that future today, you're going to pay the price. Consider the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display carries a price tag $400 more than the entry-level 15-inch MacBook Pro with an optical disc drive and without a Retina display. That extra $400 gets you double the RAM to 8 gigabytes, but it also offers half the storage. While the entry-level next-generation MacBook Pro has 256 gigabytes of flash storage, the 15-inch legacy model has a slower but larger 500 gigabyte 5400 RPM hard drive.

In our view, the additional cost and the concessions made for the new design are worth it. The only question that remains is: Can you afford it?

Score: 4.5 out of 5



4.5-stars


The Good


  • The Retina display is gorgeous and very practical for pro users
  • New thin design is aided by finally ditching the optical drive
  • Battery life is h2 even with the demands of the Retina display
  • The Ivy Bridge CPU and Nvidia GPU are h2 enough to justify calling this machine "Pro"
  • Built-in HDMI port is an unexpected and welcome addition


The Bad


  • Starting at $2,200, this notebook is a serious investment
  • Pro users, particularly those who work in design, may want to wait for popular third-party apps like Photoshop to be updated for the Retina display


How to Save When Buying



AppleInsider, through its sponsor MacMall, is offering the lowest prices anywhere on new MacBook Pros with the coupon code

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. The coupon code knocks an additional 3% off the retailer's already reduced pricing, which fluctuates on a daily basis along with the rest of the market. Several other Apple Authorized Resellers are also offering competitive pricing on new MacBooks as well as extending discounts of up to $650 on 2011 models. Full details are available in the Mac Price Guide.



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post #2 of 94
Why do we need six copies of this?

I see I've been overruled… despite another post existing anyway. lol.gif
Edited by Tallest Skil - 6/19/12 at 11:03am

Originally Posted by asdasd

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post #3 of 94

Way cool!

post #4 of 94
Someone said to me today "with apple you're just paying for the 'I' in front of the name." My answer; "sure, like when you buy a Porsche, you're just paying for the badge".
post #5 of 94

The new non-retina MBPs are advertised as supporting dual-link DVI (with an appropriate adapter), but the retina models are not. Yet the retina models are advertised as supporting 2560x1600 pixels on up to two external displays and Apple no longer sells a monitor at that specific resolution. (Apple mini-displayport/thunderbolt monitors are 2560x1440).

 

btw: Can mini-displayport/thunderbolt monitors not be daisychained, in which case the non-retina models might still be able to support two external monitors?

post #6 of 94

Nice review. If I had one of these I would hate MagSafe2, all of cords come out of my Mac and into a socket behind it, not to the side of it. If I got the new cord, it would bend and eventually rip. It's a step back to the old MagSafes.

 

 


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post #7 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post

The new non-retina MBPs are advertised as supporting dual-link DVI (with an appropriate adapter), but the retina models are not. Yet the retina models are advertised as supporting 2560x1600 pixels on up to two external displays and Apple no longer sells a monitor at that specific resolution. (Apple mini-displayport/thunderbolt monitors are 2560x1440).

Doesn't that implies dual-link DVI support, since there aren't any Mini DisplayPort monitors of that resolution (are there?)?
Quote:
btw: Can mini-displayport/thunderbolt monitors not be daisychained, in which case the non-retina models might still be able to support two external monitors?

Thunderbolt can (I believe), Mini DisplayPort can't. But that doesn't mean those laptops support said daisy chaining of monitors.

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post #8 of 94

I'm posting this from a MBP Retina, delivered today, took 3 hours for Migration Assistant to finish and now I'm here.

 

I would stress the sound on this is SO much better than my previous MBP, it's amazing, I don't know how they did it but the sound is so expansive and punchy.
 

post #9 of 94

Can someone, ANYONE, please give a solid, plausible reason as why Apple went back to the older style of Magsafe? I just don't get it. I absolutely love the newer version on my Air, not only because it looks a million times better, but it also functions better as well as there's no bend and the cable can be hidden straight behind the notebook. I've never experienced a single issue with the design. It's better in so many ways. Why was it changed back??

post #10 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by logandigges View Post

Nice review. If I had one of these I would hate MagSafe2, all of cords come out of my Mac and into a socket behind it, not to the side of it. If I got the new cord, it would bend and eventually rip. It's a step back to the old MagSafes.

Except that this MagSafe2 is way stronger at the cord plug area. The sheath part that protects the bending force on the cable is longer and stronger than the old "T" shaped version. I think this design will be less likely to accidentally release yet still have the proper threshold to detach in any direction in the event of tripped cord scenario.

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post #11 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

Can someone, ANYONE, please give a solid, plausible reason as why Apple went back to the older style of Magsafe? I just don't get it. I absolutely love the newer version on my Air, not only because it looks a million times better, but it also functions better as well as there's no bend and the cable can be hidden straight behind the notebook. I've never experienced a single issue with the design. It's better in so many ways. Why was it changed back??

Presumably because a lot of people said that the L Magsafe didn't release properly at times.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
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post #12 of 94
Definitely a slick notebook but I'm still surprised they opted for HDMI over a 3rd USB port.



Off topic: I checked out the display manufacturers for the RMBPs in my local Apple Store. They were all 00000610. Anyone knows who that is?

edit: Looks like they are all LG displays. Makes sense considering Apple made a $4B investment with them a few years back and they've had the best quality displays in Macs for years now.
Edited by SolipsismX - 6/19/12 at 11:55am

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post #13 of 94

It irks me that the immediate assumption that the only people the "Pro" moniker applies to is graphics "professionals".

 

What about science professionals or data analyst professionals? Focus on the retina display by all means, but why does every single freeakin' review ignore the fact that this thing can be upgraded to a 2.7Ghz Quad Core i7 CPU, and the nVidia GPU runs at a CUDA 3.0 compute capability (hello? MatLab users?? Software engineers?) 

 

While its hard to ignore the retina display, the computing power in the new MBP is pretty damn impressive in and of itself, but that gets scarce attention.

I guess the assumption is that "Pro" user really is just interested in the shiny things. 

Go, play with your red eye reduction and reflections for your blog posting ... I have real work to do.

post #14 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by tokenuser View Post

It irks me that the immediate assumption that the only people the "Pro" moniker applies to is graphics "professionals".

I'll take that even further and say it obnoxious to suggest that Pro doesn't mean the user is a professional, which seems to apply to a notebook starting over $2k, but instead refers to the after-market upgradability of the machine. i can point out a highly customizable desktop PC that costs under $400 and yet I doubt those same people will call that a Pro machine. What it comes down to is elitist fuckery.

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post #15 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


I'll take that even further and say it obnoxious to suggest that Pro doesn't mean the user is a professional ...<snip>... What it comes down to is elitist fuckery.

Yep. Pro is just a label on the computer, just as SS or GT is on a car.
It says nothing about the user or the driver or the intended purpose of the device.

The label is for the computer, not the person using the computer.

post #16 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


I'll take that even further and say it obnoxious to suggest that Pro doesn't mean the user is a professional, which seems to apply to a notebook starting over $2k, but instead refers to the after-market upgradability of the machine. i can point out a highly customizable desktop PC that costs under $400 and yet I doubt those same people will call that a Pro machine. What it comes down to is elitist fuckery.

I always thought the 'Pro' was the machine not the user. It is Pro because it has heavy duty industrial quality components and will perform well for many years in a business environment. Frankly, any laptop/notebook is a complete compromise for doing 'Graphics". In my opinion, if a so called "Graphics Professional" chooses a laptop as their main or only computer, then they are kidding themselves if they think they are a graphics professional because working with a laptop all day in publishing, video or image editing just sucks.

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post #17 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post
We put the GPU to the test with Blizzard's Diablo III, running the new title at the MacBook Pro's native screen resolution of 2,880-by-1800 pixels and all settings on high. Anti-aliasing was turned off, because it's unnecessary with such a high resolution on the Retina display.
The Nvidia graphics card is put to good use in powering the high-resolution Retina display, which packs in the most pixels of any laptop screen ever.
Any debate over the validity of "Retina display" branding notwithstanding, this screen is in every way the best we've seen on a notebook, period. The extra pixels make text and images look fantastic, the colors on the LCD are bright and vivid, and viewing angles are also worthy of considerable praise.
 

It's Pro users that will get the most out of the new Retina display. With this many pixels available on the screen, native 1080p video will no longer take up your entire screen. That means you can see every single pixel of a video being edited while having adequate additional room to get work done. The same benefits can be seen for photographers editing super-high resolution images.
 
This change is understandable, as Apple obviously wants to move away from confusing resolution settings that might bewilder the average user. But having said that, this is a notebook with the word "Pro" in its name, and it's fair to assume that some professionals who work with a machine like this might want a greater degree of control over the display resolution.

Huh? how are you doing to do 1080p videos not taking up whole screen (unless you count black bars).  The screen can only go up to 1200p on OSX.

 

I am going to trust anandtech with this much more than this site for reviews:

here you can see that the screen only goes up to 1200p on OSX. AND it comes at 1440x900.  It is rendered down to whichever resolution you select which makes things sharper however :). 

So tell me again how much space you get with 1080p videos =.=

Also, Diablo III is only run-able early on in the game at high settings, once more here you can see that it runs decently, but it is not very far.  Diablo becomes more demanding the farther you go (and higher difficulty).  Sadly you cannot play in high later with 1800p.  At least not smoothly :(

And than, well.... kinda sadly Windows can use the full resolution.... Although many games/etc do not work very well.

 

PS. i wish i could have one of these. Sadly, i do not have the money :(

PC means personal computer.  

i have processing issues, mostly trying to get my ideas into speech and text.

if i say something confusing please tell me!

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PC means personal computer.  

i have processing issues, mostly trying to get my ideas into speech and text.

if i say something confusing please tell me!

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post #18 of 94

Hopefully they have more in stores soon... I really could use a new laptop before Google I/O

post #19 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by tokenuser View Post

Yep. Pro is just a label on the computer, just as SS or GT is on a car.
It says nothing about the user or the driver or the intended purpose of the device.

The label is for the computer, not the person using the computer.

Just like GT 640s from nvidia.... although that is more an example of crappy naming lol

PC means personal computer.  

i have processing issues, mostly trying to get my ideas into speech and text.

if i say something confusing please tell me!

Reply

PC means personal computer.  

i have processing issues, mostly trying to get my ideas into speech and text.

if i say something confusing please tell me!

Reply
post #20 of 94

The first Mac I purchased cost $2495.  

 

It only had a few apps that ran correctly on it.  MacWrite and MacPaint.  

 

The screen was not exactly "retina" scale.  More like "dot matrix.   And that Mac only came with 128K of memory.  And no hard drive.

 

Do I think it was worth it?   Sure.  

post #21 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


I'll take that even further and say it obnoxious to suggest that Pro doesn't mean the user is a professional, which seems to apply to a notebook starting over $2k, but instead refers to the after-market upgradability of the machine. i can point out a highly customizable desktop PC that costs under $400 and yet I doubt those same people will call that a Pro machine. What it comes down to is elitist fuckery.

I love me some elitist fuckery. ;-)

Any pro worth his or her salt knows damn well that the best machine is the one that suits their need - monikers be damned. And like with everything else in life - different folks different strokes. I had a plumber who swore by the cheapest gear (drills, saws etc). Two reasons, he renewed them every year anyway and when his very beat up and and crappy - (but pro!) van got broken into it wasn't that expensive to replace all the gear. Ask the guy at the PRO plumber store and he'd shake his head at that - but to everybody else the only important question is - can my plumber plumb? Not many pro graphics designer do their main work on a laptop, but what if I design business cards? Am I a pro or not? An to token user ... sure, you are pro... with a $400.- Dell or NMBP retina fandango. It makes no difference. As I keep saying - its all perception and by extension, marketing.

post #22 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

Ask the guy at the PRO plumber store and he'd shake his head at that - but to everybody else the only important question is - can my plumber plumb?


The difference between a Pro and Proseur.

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post #23 of 94

Not to knock this machine too much (it really is an amazing notebook), but I would point out a couple of other items for the 'Bad' column:

 

~ The ram is not user upgradeable. In fact, it isn't upgradeable at all, with exception for the BTO option. Unless you opt for a built-to-order machine with maxed out ram (16gb), you're stuck with 8gb for life. Not terrible, but people working in motion graphics, video editing, etc., will want to take heed. So now it becomes a $2400 notebook, minimum.

 

~ Apple has doubled the price of battery replacement for this machine from $100 to $200. Not a huge deal since the kind of folks that will be dropping this kind of coin for a 'Pro' machine will likely upgrade before their 3rd year of AppleCare runs out. Still something to think about if you're the kind of person who thinks they'll be using the same machine in 5 years.

 

~ I'd reiterate that for graphics work (and particularly for the web) the retina screen might actually work against you until Adobe updates their suite to support it. I fired up Photoshop and Illustrator at the Apple Store on this thing the morning they had them on display. Aside from the obvious (UI elements), the output looked pretty bad and would be difficult to work with when trying to create 'pixel perfect' designs (vectors were jaggy, bitmaps were blurred a bit). I'm no expert, but I'm guessing that the entire rendering engine of Adobe's suite (and any other visual software) will have to be updated to support. This will likely take months at the minimum, and may depend on how fast Apple migrates this screen to the rest of their lineup. An obvious solution would be to output to a monitor (which many Pros already do), but this sort of defeats the purpose of paying extra for a retina display. 

post #24 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


The difference between a Pro and Proseur.

Which is why I DIY in a suit. I'm a PRO Proseur.

post #25 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by CPatterson View Post

~ I'd reiterate that for graphics work (and particularly for the web) the retina screen might actually work against you until Adobe updates their suite to support it. I fired up Photoshop and Illustrator at the Apple Store on this thing the morning they had them on display. Aside from the obvious (UI elements), the output looked pretty bad and would be difficult to work with when trying to create 'pixel perfect' designs (vectors were jaggy, bitmaps were blurred a bit). I'm no expert, but I'm guessing that the entire rendering engine of Adobe's suite (and any other visual software) will have to be updated to support. This will likely take months at the minimum, and may depend on how fast Apple migrates this screen to the rest of their lineup. An obvious solution would be to output to a monitor (which many Pros already do), but this sort of defeats the purpose of paying extra for a retina display. 

This is the second mention I have read about less than ideal image display with CS on MBP Retina. When I went to the Apple store to check them out I was more interested to see how they handled the the size and ratio of device pixels to image pixels. I really didn't focus on the image display quality at all and didn't even open Photoshop only inDesign and Illustrator. I did look at some typesetting and it seemed fine when viewed at 150% (which is close to 1:1 actual size).

 

Did you happen to notice if the image blurring and jaggies were present when viewed at 150%?

 

I even notice some of that on my Cinema Display when the Illustrator art is viewed at less than actual size. At actual size or greater it should view much better, at least I'm hoping that is the case.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #26 of 94

Glossy screens are like tinnitus. Yes you can ignore it but it will consciously or subconsciously put a strain on your brain. Please Apple give us a screen without this awfull mirror reflection.
 

post #27 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by msimpson View Post

The first Mac I purchased cost $2495.  

 

It only had a few apps that ran correctly on it.  MacWrite and MacPaint.  

 

The screen was not exactly "retina" scale.  More like "dot matrix.   And that Mac only came with 128K of memory.  And no hard drive.

 

Do I think it was worth it?   Sure.  

Yeah and double that figure for inflation. But some things cost less now days, and some things cost more, relatively speaking. Computers have come way down is cost since then.

 

 I remember buying 1 meg stick of RAM for $1100

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post #28 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by CPatterson View Post

Not to knock this machine too much (it really is an amazing notebook), but I would point out a couple of other items for the 'Bad' column:

 

 

~ I'd reiterate that for graphics work (and particularly for the web) the retina screen might actually work against you until Adobe updates their suite to support it. I fired up Photoshop and Illustrator at the Apple Store on this thing the morning they had them on display. Aside from the obvious (UI elements), the output looked pretty bad and would be difficult to work with when trying to create 'pixel perfect' designs (vectors were jaggy, bitmaps were blurred a bit). I'm no expert, but I'm guessing that the entire rendering engine of Adobe's suite (and any other visual software) will have to be updated to support. This will likely take months at the minimum, and may depend on how fast Apple migrates this screen to the rest of their lineup. An obvious solution would be to output to a monitor (which many Pros already do), but this sort of defeats the purpose of paying extra for a retina display. 

It only renders up to 1200p on OSX :)

 

Which still defeats the purpose of the retina display IMHO.... 

 

you can see my earlier post for the link to resolution info.

PC means personal computer.  

i have processing issues, mostly trying to get my ideas into speech and text.

if i say something confusing please tell me!

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PC means personal computer.  

i have processing issues, mostly trying to get my ideas into speech and text.

if i say something confusing please tell me!

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post #29 of 94

I was hoping for a haptic touch retina display and track pad with integrated cuticle groomer. Oh well, it's still an OK piece of hardware.

post #30 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by rune66 View Post

Glossy screens are like tinnitus. Yes you can ignore it but it will consciously or subconsciously put a strain on your brain. Please Apple give us a screen without this awfull mirror reflection.
 

I rather like the glossy screen. It seems more vibrant. Probably the colors are not as true but it is rich and beautiful. The problem with reflections is so easy to fix on a portable by just tilting or angling the screen ever so slightly. Perhaps it is less than ideal if you are trying to share the view with someone since you can't tell if they are getting a glare or not but for individual users it is a total non-issue. Glossy desktop screens can be a bit more of a challenge since the reflection angle is not as easily adjusted.

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post #31 of 94
....and $2000 for a 1 gb external HD for my Mac Plus to do audio recording (Digital Performer) in the early nineties!
post #32 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by CPatterson View Post

Not to knock this machine too much (it really is an amazing notebook), but I would point out a couple of other items for the 'Bad' column:

 

~ The ram is not user upgradeable. In fact, it isn't upgradeable at all, with exception for the BTO option. Unless you opt for a built-to-order machine with maxed out ram (16gb), you're stuck with 8gb for life. Not terrible, but people working in motion graphics, video editing, etc., will want to take heed. So now it becomes a $2400 notebook, minimum.

 

~ Apple has doubled the price of battery replacement for this machine from $100 to $200. Not a huge deal since the kind of folks that will be dropping this kind of coin for a 'Pro' machine will likely upgrade before their 3rd year of AppleCare runs out. Still something to think about if you're the kind of person who thinks they'll be using the same machine in 5 years.

 

~ I'd reiterate that for graphics work (and particularly for the web) the retina screen might actually work against you until Adobe updates their suite to support it. I fired up Photoshop and Illustrator at the Apple Store on this thing the morning they had them on display. Aside from the obvious (UI elements), the output looked pretty bad and would be difficult to work with when trying to create 'pixel perfect' designs (vectors were jaggy, bitmaps were blurred a bit). I'm no expert, but I'm guessing that the entire rendering engine of Adobe's suite (and any other visual software) will have to be updated to support. This will likely take months at the minimum, and may depend on how fast Apple migrates this screen to the rest of their lineup. An obvious solution would be to output to a monitor (which many Pros already do), but this sort of defeats the purpose of paying extra for a retina display. 

 

Nothing personal, but this whole post just comes across as personal bitchyness to me.  

 

Your complaints are all deeply hypothetical situations that most users simply don't care about and probably won't occur anyway.

 

I mean you're actually (seriously!), dissing the thing for having too good of a screen.  And it comes with more stock RAM than any previous model, that can be upgraded to even more, and yet you criticise it for some hypothetical situation with not enough RAM that the user *might* get themselves into years down the road?  That's just lame.  

post #33 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by rune66 View Post

Glossy screens are like tinnitus. Yes you can ignore it but it will consciously or subconsciously put a strain on your brain. Please Apple give us a screen without this awfull mirror reflection.
 


Except this is not a glossy screen. I accidentally broke the glass on my work iMac last year and never replaced it; the bare LCD, like the new MBPwRD, definitely has less glare. You all should seriously consider trying the screen before you bash it.

post #34 of 94

I wish all the reviews of this wouldn't just have D3 as the exclusive game test, that is a very forgiving game. Even my three year old laptops 4570M can run 35FPS on 1920x1080. How about something like Skyrim in Boot Camp (even that's not that demanding, but I want to know if it can run at native on this) or Starcraft 2. 

post #35 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by tokenuser View Post

It irks me that the immediate assumption that the only people the "Pro" moniker applies to is graphics "professionals".

 

What about science professionals or data analyst professionals? Focus on the retina display by all means, but why does every single freeakin' review ignore the fact that this thing can be upgraded to a 2.7Ghz Quad Core i7 CPU, and the nVidia GPU runs at a CUDA 3.0 compute capability (hello? MatLab users?? Software engineers?) 

 


Most of those would be using Quadros and maybe Firepros, would they not? The current Kepler chips actually have cut down DP performance compared to Fermi

45193.png

 

 

http://www.anandtech.com/show/5699/nvidia-geforce-gtx-680-review/17


Edited by tipoo - 6/19/12 at 2:22pm
post #36 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by tipoo View Post


Most of those would be using Quadros and maybe Firepros, would they not? 

Not if they are mobile. I offload most of my processing to a high availability cluster ... but running code locally during development is vital too, and it is far more impressive to pop open a laptop running a simulation than showing a time lapse video or lugging in a desktop. 

 

Quadros top out at 2.0 (compute capability), but they do have the advantage of being able to load multiple cards in a machine.

 

The power here isnt graphics. That is the visible tip of the iceberg. The power is the floating point processing and ability to pump large matrices of data through the GPU. I'm adapting code to run natural language processing through the GPU, other are doing FFT work through the GPU. That is the power. Running D3 at max settings is just a nice bonus.

post #37 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


I'll take that even further and say it obnoxious to suggest that Pro doesn't mean the user is a professional, which seems to apply to a notebook starting over $2k, but instead refers to the after-market upgradability of the machine. i can point out a highly customizable desktop PC that costs under $400 and yet I doubt those same people will call that a Pro machine. What it comes down to is elitist f*****y.

 

Please, there may be elitist shenanigans going on, but your language sounds like dock worker droll. If you wish to be taken seriously I suggest you use different words. Nobody is going to take a dock workers opinions about pro-level laptops or "pro" branded laptops. Not that there is anything wrong with being a dock worker, it is just that that kind of language outside of the waterfront is very inappropriate, especially in professional settings.

 

I agree with tokenuser, those of us who are pro-level users who are not in the graphic arts fields are just as legitimate pros as Photoshop pros are. Although, I blame the press for this assumption, as the only pro-level users that the press pays attention to are the photoshop jockeys in their own publishing rooms.

post #38 of 94
Anyone using the retina iPad simulator on a regular basis will love this new MacBook Pro. No more scroll bars!

Of course, that's only when Xcode and the simulator are willing to talk to each other - which isn't very often. :P
post #39 of 94

Not one word in the entire review about heat dissipation for the Retina model. "Runs cooler" than the older Pro is hardly helpful.

post #40 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

 

Nothing personal, but this whole post just comes across as personal bitchyness to me.  

 

Your complaints are all deeply hypothetical situations that most users simply don't care about and probably won't occur anyway.

 

I mean you're actually (seriously!), dissing the thing for having too good of a screen.  And it comes with more stock RAM than any previous model, that can be upgraded to even more, and yet you criticise it for some hypothetical situation with not enough RAM that the user *might* get themselves into years down the road?  That's just lame.  

 

 

I'm not bitching. I'm just pointing out a couple of useful things that were left out of the review. They really aren't complaints, since I don't intend to buy this machine or any other machine with a retina screen until the software catches up for the reasons I pointed out. I love the screen, and it really is a beautiful machine, I just can't use it for my work at the moment. And I'm sure others will disagree and it'll work for fine them. At any rate, "Most" users will buy a Macbook Air (they already do). The rest of us so-called 'Pro' users that use these machines as tools to make a living will take everything into consideration, including price and flexibility among other things. I don't work so I can buy computers, I buy computers so I can work.

 

My issues are not hypothetical (deeply, or otherwise) for the kind of users looking at a high-end Apple computer. While it does come with a generous amount of ram, 8gb may not be what it used to be 3 years from now, just as 4 doesn't quite cut it like it did 3 years ago. But I'd rather buy ram as needed (at competitive market prices) than shell out a premium from Apple from the get-go. Most of us know to buy our ram upgrades elsewhere. For this machine, this is not an option. Case in point, I just got a new iMac last week that shipped with 4gb. I immediately doubled that with a pair of sticks I found on Craigslist from a lady (photographer, film editor) who had ditched her new iMac's stock ram for a 16gb upgrade from Crucial. I did this for $20. Apple wants $100. Later down the road I'll want 16gb (After Effects is a hog), possibly 32gb. The upgrade will be cheaper, and I'll have that option. 

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