Macbook Pro Retina – A Review

By Will Murphy

MBP Retina

Almost 2 years ago I wrote a review of an 11″ Macbook Air that I had just bought.  At the time I stated that the Macbook Air was the best computer I’d ever owned.  Today, almost 2 years later I stand by that statement.  Over that last 2 years I never had a single problem with that little computer.  It has been the best computer I’d ever owned…until now.

Just a couple of weeks ago I sold my Macbook Air on eBay (for almost 60% of its original value) and bought a Macbook Pro with Retina display.  I chose the 13″ model with a Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 512GB of flash storage.  I have to say…this thing is amazing!

While I did love the Macbook Air, and it never did let me down once, there were some minor aspects of the smaller model Air that I grew to regret.  I did love the portability of the 11″ model, but there were times when the screen was just a bit too small.  I found that I needed to “auto hide” the dock so that I could take advantage of the available screen space.  Also, as a photographer, I wished that the 11″ model had a built in SD card reader like the 13″ model does.  My biggest regret was the limited storage space on my particular model Air.  128GB of flash storage is fine for some people but as someone who is an amateur photographer and who shoots in RAW, I need a little more storage.  This was my primary reason for upgrading.

Those regrets have all been remedied with this new Macbook Pro.

I spent a lot of time deciding on this particular model.  I knew immediately that I wanted a 13″ model so that part was easy.  I also knew that I wanted at least 500GB of storage.  So then I went about deciding whether I should go with a standard Macbook Pro, a larger Macbook Air, or the Macbook Pro with Retina display.  Either of those could offer me what I wanted, with the standard Macbook Pro being the least expensive.  This was a difficult decision that I toyed with for months.  I spent several weekends in the Apple retail store near me comparing all 3 models.  But I just kept being drawn back to this Retina display.  It really is amazing.  Retina2Of course, I have a retina display on my iPhone, and I’ve seen iPads with Retina displays before, but seeing it on a notebook and working with high resolution photos is just one word…breathtaking.  When you look at a really amazing photograph on this display it’s almost as if you are looking through a window into another time and place.  Like you are actually looking at whatever is in the photograph.  I can only hope that any photograph I capture and process on this machine is worthy of this display.

gallery2_2256_2xSize wise, this Macbook Pro is not much thicker than a Macbook Air.  At it’s thickest the Macbook Air is .68″, while the Macbook Pro with Retina is .71″, a difference of only .03″ or just less than 1 millimeter (.76mm)!  For comparison, a US Dime is about 1.35mm.  The Macbook Pro is about a half pound heavier than a comparable Macbook Air but the difference is still negligible.  This is still a very portable computer and easy to use anywhere.  And speaking of portability, the battery life on this Macbook Pro is amazing…9 hours!  My previous Macbook Air had an impressive battery life of almost 5 hours but I can now go days without needing to charge this.

retina_one_screen_2xAfter using this now for a solid couple of weeks I can honestly say I now have no regrets.  This really is an excellent computer and I would say it’s worthy of its price tag. For anyone looking to get a seriously solid mobile computer, I can’t recommend this highly enough.  Especially for photographers and graphic designers, the display alone is worth the price.  You won’t regret it.


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