Channel 5

Apple MacBook Pro (Retina Display)

Monday 09 July 2012


Rating of 4

The basics

The latest 15-inch Apple MacBook Pro is now fitted with Apple’s Retina Display. The LED backlit display features IPS technology and a 2880x1800, 220 pixels per inch resolution. The MacBook Pro with Retina Display comes in two versions, with a 2.3GHz and 2.6GHz Intel Core i7 processor, and 256GB or 512GB flash storage. The MacBook Pro with Retina Display also has a 720p FaceTime HD camera for video calls, HDMI port, SDXC card slot and a 7-hour battery life.

The good

The highlight is the Apple MacBook Pro’s Retina Display. It’s the sharpest screen you’re ever likely to see on any laptop or desktop. To call it the best-looking computer screen you’ll lay eyes on is an understatement. It’s gorgeous. text and images look incredible, without a stray pixel in sight. The only downside is it makes non-Retina Display screens look inferior in comparison. You’ll not look at another display the same way. Performance-wise either of the new Retina Display MacBook Pros deliver very quick performance and fast boot times of less than 20-seconds. In fact performance is exceedingly nippy throughout, even when diving into video editing packages, making the MacBook Pro a great laptop for creative types and those partial to a slice of the Apple pie. A decent battery life of around seven hours is about enough time many will need during the day. You could comfortably take the MacBook Pro on your commute without feeling the need to take a charger with you. Of course if you are planning to use the MacBook Pro all day, you will need the charger if doing any video editing, playing games, or using any power-intensive programs. The new MacBook Pro is also thinner and lighter than its predecessor, making it even better to lug around.

The bad

As glorious as the Retina Display is, for now you’ll only see the benefits on Apple’s on board programs and apps tweaked to make the most of the new display, but look at regular web pages apps not designed to work with Apple’s Retina Display, and you’ll see how tatty they begin to look. The Retina Display is so good that others have yet to catch up, making everything else look worse. Retina Display applications are so much clearer. It is both a blessing and a curse. Apple’s hardware comes at a premium. The cost of the new Retina Display MacBook starts at £1,799 for the ‘entry’ level model, and £2,299 for the higher-specced 2.6GHz model. There’s also no optical drive, if you want to watch a DVD or play a CD you’ll need a external drive.

The bottom line

The Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display is an amazing laptop that once again sets the benchmark for many laptops to follow. Its performance is exemplary, and the display is a thing of beauty, but the price will for many be difficult to justify.
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User comments (9)

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mark winn

You neglected to mention the concurrent upgrade to the 'older' macbook i7 processor..more ram..more usb3 ports...better specs all round for the 13 and 15 inch models...the downside?..the discontinuation of the 17 inch model!

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i have this mac it is amazing nothing comes even close to how good it is it is 5 years ahead of everyone else

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Jordan Heath

For the price, you are better off getting a custom made laptop. I can get one made with 8gb ram, 500gb hard drive (7400 rpm), GT640M graphics card for less than half the price! Granted you arent stuck with a poor OS and a glowing apple on the back, but i think you will be able to cope.

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i know apple think that we can just download stuff now so there is no need for an optical drive but it just seems daft, what about getting your cd collection on to your apple ipod or iphone? were not gonna download them as we already own them. i love my old mac, it always performed well, its just too old and beyond upgrading now and i need a new one. wont be a new mac though. silly apple

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How do you enter an online completion anyone got a link?

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I jumped at the chance to own the MacBook Pro Retina and haven't been disappointed, far from it, what an amazing machine.! OS X is really easy to navigate around and for Video & Pictures nothing comes close.. The quality of the Retina screen has to be seen to be believed.. Best of all, I can run Windows 7 simultaneously, at the windows rating of 7.3.. The machine is Ultra thin and light, it is ultra quiet.! The battery life is quite amazing, having come from a windows based laptop.. The only thing I would change is to upgrade the secondary graphics card, 2gig is great but....

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