Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display – Review and Test Report

By Dan Collins on 9 October 2012
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The Apple MacBook Pro with Retina display was introduced this past June alongside the existing MacBook Pro line, which was last updated in 2008. In addition to its 2880×1800 display, the new model is thinner and lighter than the 15-inch MacBook Pro and is only available with a solid state drive (SSD). Apple billed the MacBook Pro with Retina display as a revolution in computing, let alone mobile computing. In many ways it lives up to this promise, but in some respects it does not.

Retina is Apple’s designation for a display with a resolution so high that the human eye does not distinguish the indidual pixels at a normal viewing distance. The iPhone 4 was the first device to use a Retina display, and has a pixel density of 326 pixels per inch while the MacBook Pro’s display has only 220 as it is viewed at a greater distance. The MacBook Pro with a 2880×1800 Retina display compares favorably to the high resolution standard 15-inch MacBook Pro’s 1,680×1,050, which would also cost $400 more than the retina model when similarly equipped with a 512GB SSD drive and 2.6GHz processor.  The iPod Touch and iPad also use this type of display.

In exchange for the thinner 0.71 inch or 1.8 cm form factor (versus 0.95 inch or 2.41 cm on the standard MacBook Pro model) and over 1 pound (0.45 kg) of weight savings (4.42 lbs or 2.02 kg), the Retina display model omits the Ethernet port and Superdrive (DVD-RW). If needed, a Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet adaptor is available for $29 and the computer can either share a networked computer’s disk drive or utilize a separate USB Superdrive ($79). Recovery or re-installation of the operation system is facilitated by a partition on the SSD and Apple’s internet-based recovery system.

Two Thunderbolt and two USB 3.0 ports connect the computer to displays, external storage or other peripherals. Additionally there is an SD card slot, and the full-size HDMI port facilitates simple and high-resolution connections to TVs and other presentation systems. aA 720p Facetime camera enables video conferencing and the full-size backlit keyboard is very comfortable to use.

Click here to continue to Page 2Using the MacBook Pro, Retina Display and Solid State Storage, Putting the Genius Bar to the Test

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