Review: MacBook Pro with Retina
Well, this is the “MacBook Pro with Retinal Display”, so why not start by reviewing that. To put it simply, it’s freaking shiny. From the instant I turned the machine on, I could tell the difference in display density. The text on the Retina Pro was just so crisp and clean. I instantly fell in love with the display (much like the iPad 3’s screen). At first the display is simply so much more crisp and (I feel) vibrant. I didn’t realize how much the display was spoiling me until I launched an app that wasn’t retina friendly… the text was all pixelated and stuff… eww.
The interesting part about the Retina display is that while it has massively more resolution, everything on screen looks just the same as it does on other Macs. Apple has done something to scale the entire UI, frankly the entire OS, up in size. Icons, text, and everything else are now twice as large so as to remain readable. You have the option of going into the Display settings and changing the scale size to reflect a number of different resolutions all the way from 1024×640 to 1920×1200. Normally, I leave my machine on the default (middle) setting, but occasionally when I’ve needed a lot more resolution to work on something — I make a temporary adjustment. Takes only a second to flip in and out.
The case itself looks and feels much like most Macs these days. That being said, the Retina Pro is only .71” thick as compared to .95” thickness of the regular MacBook Pros. Apple got some of that slimming figure by skipping the standard optical drive. Much like with an Air, you’ll be annoyed by this occasionally, though for the most part, I don’t use optical media any more these days. Either I can download the software… or I just don’t care.
At the end of the day, the reason you buy a MacBook Pro with Retina… is for the Retina display. You can get power and speed out of regular MacBooks for potentially less cost. The Retina does lend itself to being a more portable powerhouse, but you probably won’t buy it for that. I’ve been carrying the Retina Pro almost everyday now, not because I don’t have any other machines (I’m IT — I can have any computer I want), but because the Retina screen is so gorram sexy. I will gladly accept the extra weight for the screen quality (oh, and the bumping sound system too).