Reviews of the new MBP with Retina Display are creeping in and the consensus seems to be “looook at that pretty screeeeeeeeen.”
PC Mag bestowed the MBPwRD with their Editor’s Choice “for high-end desktop replacement laptop PCs.” They were enamored with the “brilliant Retina display” the thin design, port selection and speedy storage. They highlighted the expansibility via Thunderbolt ports which support up to seven devices each, and two additional monitors, making the MBPwRD a potential video production powerhouse for the editor on the move. USB 3.0 performance was also impressive with a 1.22GB test folder transferring in 21 seconds, which is half the time it took over a standard USB 2.0 port.
The new Pro fills an interesting void design wise according to Engadget as it “feels considerably heavier than the Air, and not that much lighter than the old Pro.” But, still if your current laptop is the current 15-inch Pro the change in size and weight should feel “refreshing.” Engadget was also impressed with the new MagSafe 2 adapter and the performance of the new onboard speakers. The new display stole the show again though as Engadget called it “Absolutely gorgeous.” More pixels, better viewing angles, contrast boosted, and glare reduced, the new display is the king of the show. Battery life exceeded Apple’s claims with the 2.6GHz quad-core model coming in at 7 hours and 49 minutes in standard battery rundown test.
While the review is written for the less tech savvy, the same praise can found throughout. Beautiful screen, sleek design, and blazing fast internals. However, the author does note that early adopters will have to put up with the technical glitches found in programs not optimized for the new display. Still, the last paragraph is an optimistic outlook that the new MBPwRD is signal of things to come. t’s the most refined, advanced PC that Apple has produced to date. And it’s a safe bet that the ideas it exhibits will be reflected in future models from the company, including ones with smaller screens and smaller price tags. It’s both a great computer, and a preview of great computers to come.
As usual AnandTech goes to great lengths to benchmark and test every single aspect of the new MBPwRD. While their results could support multiple articles strung out over a weeks time, the rundown is this:
Second best black level performance next to the Razer Blade, and middle of the road white level (aka brightness). However, the increase in black performance has pushed the contrast ratio into second place which increases the screens perceived brightness and clarity. Anandtech benchmarked the SSD and USB 3.0 speeds as well, coming away impressed with both. But, again the high-resolution screen
While the general consensus has been overwhelmingly positive, Apple has instituted a number of design features that are likely to peeve some power users off, especially those who enjoy tinkering with their machines.
Apple, in order to fit the massive battery inside the new MBPwRD and shrink the physical size, has gone completely proprietary component wise. The SSD drive isn’t a 2.5-inch drive, and is likely different from the MBA’s. That 8GB of RAM that comes standard is soldered into the logic board (better upgrade to 16GB out of the box). Also, the Display and top part of the case are a single unit and the giant battery inside is glued in. Apple is known for the lengths they’re willing to go to make their products impervious to tinkering (pentalobe screws anyone?), but they’ve reached a new level with the MBPwRD.
Still, it’s tough to judge Apple’s intentions. Were they purposefully trying to restrict user access to the inside of their device, or is the lack of access a byproduct of the design team pushing the boundaries? There is literally no other way Apple could maintain the form factor of the new MBPwRD and make it user-upgrade friendly. The future of laptops in general looks dim for the user-upgrade inclined consumers (myself included).