Release Date: June 11, 2012
Developer: Apple Inc.
Manufacturer: Apple Inc.
Tech Type: Notebook
Price: $2,199 (base model)
Processor: Intel 3rd Gen. Core i7 2.3 GHz
RAM: 8 GB
Hard Drive: 256 GB SSD
Graphics: GeForce GT 650M, 1 GB GDDR5 SDRAM
Ports: Card Reader slot, 2x USB 3.0, HDMI Output, Headphone jack
Dimensions: H: 0.7 in., W: 14.1 in.
Weight: 4.46 lbs
I got a chance to speed date a Macbook Pro with Retina Display recently. You know how sometimes you see an inanimate object and you’re like “you know, I could have a long lasting meaningful relationship with this?” Well, that’s how I felt about the Macbook Pro with Retina Display before I saw the price tag. This is the first Macbook Pro design change since 2008. Apple kind of outdid itself. This laptop is obviously getting some cues from the iPad and Macbook Air , as well as, its underachieving brother, the regular Macbook Pro (that’s so early 2012). It’s thinner than the other Pros, while holding onto a quad-core i7 processor, GeForce Graphics, and a Retina display.
The third generation Ivy Bridge processor is snappy as hell, powering the 2,880 x 1,800 pixel Retina Display. This thing is like looking into another, clearly reality. I put my hand on the screen, caressing it with my greasy, longing finger tips, several times. The screen is really brilliant but it’s not so crazy High Def that you feel shorted by anything less. If you put your laptop next to the Retina Display, you’ll want to screen punch yours and swipe the Macbook, but if they’re not next to each other, you’ll still love your laptop’s screen like a retarded child.
There are some other notable facets of this new Pro. This is the first Macbook Pro with HDMI output. It doesn’t have an optical drive or Ethernet port (who does?!). While Applecare was recommended with other hardware by Apple, you almost certainly need it with this Macbook. This is insanely hard to fix thanks to ton of glue and embedded innards. The design behind this notebook is that it’s a device not a computer. It’s not meant to be upgraded or fooled with any more than the iPad. Take that however you want, but for myself being able to fix my PC is a real plus.
The Macbook Pro with Retina Display is by far the best Macbook made by Apple. It’s also the most expensive. This notebook is an evolution into something even crazier soon enough. Apple seems to be shooting for a world where PC’s are dead and everything is a stand-alone device with apps, always-on connectivity, super thin, and super powerful. Having said that, this is not that device. It’s not even an ultrabook by size standards. It feels lighter than other Macbook Pros but not as light as most ultrabooks. It’s almost into Macbook Air territory.
Overall, I give the Apple Macbook Pro with Retina Display a 7 out of 10. It loses points for being virtually unfixable and locked down. It’s also a bit frivolous when you consider necessary functionality. This is more about what a display can do and not what it should do.
Even so, the Retina Display is the draw here. If you do lots of graphic work or you are an Apple fanboy that needs this because it’s the latest and greatest, knock yourself out, but a new, better iteration will be out before you can put flowers on Steve Jobs’ grave. As for the majority of computer users, if you have your sights set on a Macbook you may want to save some money and get the regular Macbook Pro for now.