Revealed: Macbook Pro with Retina Display

Category: Apple-Mac

Apple's flagship laptop, the MacBook Pro, got a makeover just in time for the company's Worldwide Developer conference in June, 2012. Some of the changes are pretty dramatic...

Review of the New MacBook Pro

The new MacBook Pro is here, announced by Apple on June 11th. Is it the best computer ever? Or just another laptop? Let's take a look at what's new and exciting in the 2012 MacBook Pro announcement...

The new MacBook Pro comes with an amazingly crisp Retina display -- the same type that comes with the latest iPads. Its resolution is a staggering 2880 x 1800 pixels, or about 2 million more pixels than you'll find on an HDTV screen. The Retina display even beats an iPad's pixel count in 16:10 aspect ratio. The Retina screen boasts higher contrast ratios, IPS technology, and 75 per cent less glare despite its glassy screen finish. Incidentally, the name "Retina" is derived from the idea that the screen resolution is so high, that the human eye is not able to notice any pixelation, or ragged edges on the display.

Another big change is that traditional magnetic hard drives are gone from the MacBook Pro. Mass storage is now 100 percent solid-state drive, with a capacity up to 768 GB. The MacBook Air already used SSDs exclusively; maximum capacity of Air SSDs was doubled to 512 GB. Apple's iDrive cloud storage service is now standard with every laptop the company makes.
MacBook Pro 2012

And thin is in, for all Apple laptops now. The new MacBook Pro looks more like the Air model now, with a finger-width thickness of 0.7 inches. The weight of the new MacBook Pro is just under 4.5 pounds, making it a quarter-inch thinner and a pound lighter than the older model.

More of This, Less of That

Quad-core Intel i7 Ivy Bridge processors join the MacBook Pro for the first time, putting this laptop on a level with many high-end gaming systems. The base CPU runs at 2.3 GHz and can be ramped up to 3.3 GHz. The system includes Nvidia GeForce GT 650M graphics, a FaceTime HD camera, and two microphones.

Apple added more ports to the MacBook Pro, including an SD card slot, HDMI, twin USB 3.0 ports, two Thunderbolt ports, and a headphone port. There is no Ethernet or Firewire port; however, either can be purchased in dongle form. Also notable is the lack of an optical drive. That means you can't play music or movies from a CD or DVD disc, or burn a CD for data storage.

The new MacBook Pro starts at $2,199; that includes a 2.3 GHz CPU overclocked to 3.3 GHz, 8 GB of 1600 MHz RAM, 256 GB of SSD storage, and Nvidia GeForce GT 650M graphics with 1GB DDR5 memory. The $2,799 version bumps the processor up to 2.6GHz and increases flash storage to 512GB.

Of course, when any Apple product is announced, there is the requisite rejoicing, singing and dancing in the streets. This is accompanied by weeping, gnashing of teeth and ominous prognostications of the demise of all other forms of computing. Some pundits are already predicting the demise of the UltraBook, which I find a bit silly. The irony here is directed at those same experts who last week were predicting that tablets would take over the world, leaving desktop and laptop computers in the dustbin of history.

The new MacBook Pro looks like an awesome laptop, especially for business travelers. But it's not exactly a game-changer. It may well be "the best computer Apple has ever made," but it's also one of the most expensive laptops on the market. Its high price puts it in a relatively small niche, and it will be competing with Windows-based Ultrabooks selling for under $1000. But the new MacBook Pro does raise the bar for laptop specs, and that challenge will be felt throughout the industry.

Are you planning to buy a new MacBook Pro? Post your comment or question below...

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Most recent comments on "Revealed: Macbook Pro with Retina Display"

Posted by:

12 Jun 2012

I just bought a New iPad, and was considering buying a new MacBook Pro because I want the keyboard attached, and the ability to get to the operating system, file and folder system, full scale software, etc. However, for $2200, I'll pass on the new Pro and try to get an older 13" Pro before they become extinct.

I do prefer Apple products overall because they work. I am forced to use Windows all day at work and find it clunky, buggy, and crude.

Posted by:

R Lennox
12 Jun 2012

No mention that the Apple ultrabooks, macbook airs, dropped in price, or that you may choose to get a traditional macbook pro (with spinning hard drive & no retina display) less expensively... This is a beast of a different stripe... a mash up of the best from ipad (retina display, instant-on flash memory & battery life) combined with the networkability (multiple ports) & power of traditional laptops, along with the paradigm of integrated iCloud computing (no CD/DVD drive). indeed costly... it is a choice that was unavailable ANYWHERE at ANY Cost just yesterday. The retina display is crucial (more desirable than anything else on the marker) to some of us (photographers, designers, readers) so IF we can afford it ... we WILL.

Posted by:

Rick Lanier
12 Jun 2012

Our daughter is going to Scotland in September to hopefully earn her Master's degree and she wants a new Mac. She uses a MacBook now, but we were going to get her a Pro before she leaves. My concerns include: 1. No optical drive, but I guess we can get an external which would plug into the USB port; 2. No ethernet socket. This is how the dorm rooms connect with the internet and the school network, so we'll get the dongle. It's a mystery why the college doesn't have wireless.

Posted by:

12 Jun 2012

I'm on my second MacBook Pro 17" now, and on both units I added all the bells & whistles which brought the price tag pretty darned close to $3000 on each. So this pricing on the newest MBP is not surprising me in the least. Macs are sold to people who want Macs, and I don't think you'll ever see any widespread defection based on the price difference between Apple & Windows products.

What IS concerning me, is Apple quietly discontinuing their 17" MacBook Pros. For my needs, I will not be happy with a 15" screen, and can only hope that the larger MBP's are back on the market by the time I'm due to upgrade my equipment.

Posted by:

13 Jun 2012

I purchased a Macbook Pro 4 months ago. It also was very expensive but I am satisfied with the speed and performance. The improvements in the new Macbook Pro are significant but not essential. Apple keeps coming out with improved products to stay at the front of the pack. For someone with a laptop that is more than 4 years old it is a worthwhile consideration if you have the money!

Posted by:

Andrea R
14 Jun 2012

What it will be sure, this notebook will lasts in your hands at least for next 5 years, without the need to 'improve' anything and maybe it is not so expensive in the long run, as long as ordinary notebooks does not lasts so much without noticing the drawbacks of the ever improving technology. The missing DVD drive, I think it is not an issue, because you can attach external ones, and when I'm on the road, it is already some years I am using flash keys in place of cd or dvd. About buying this, I think I do not need something so fancy, and I will go for a dropped-in-price old series, and then replace HDD with a SSD drive myself. What is interesting, is the USB3 connection: it makes your external drive performing as your internal one.

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