Macbook Pro with Retina Display
This flagship computer is sure to be an object of desire, writes Jennifer Dudley-nicholson
Apple, $2499-$4299 apple.com/au ★★★★
APPLE’S new flagship computer is not for everyone. The first new Mac in almost two years is a true media beast, packed with pricey, powerful parts that make it just as comfortable juggling multimegapixel images as playing nine professional video streams at once.
In short, this ‘‘ next-generation’’ MacBook Pro does not pull technological punches.
It even demands sacrifices of its users: namely, a large sum of money and a willingness to do without a built-in DVD drive or wired internet connection.
This powerful new machine became the belle of Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference this month and is now trickling into shops.
The MacBook Pro with Retina display resembles its predecessor, yet is substantially thinner. The profile of this unibody laptop has been whittled down to just 1.8cm and it now weighs 2.02kg.
In spite of its weight loss, power and speed are its greatest drawcards. All models have the top Intel thirdgeneration processor, a Core i7 chip that promises a 60 per cent graphical speed boost.
Each next-gen Pro also packs in at least 8GB RAM for quick multi-tasking and a solid-state drive. This flash storage works four times as fast as a spinning hard drive, making data quicker to pull out of the vault.
The cheapest new MacBook Pro comes with a 256GB drive but keen users can invest an extra $600 for 768GB.
Our $3199 test model arrived with a 2.6GHz Core i7 chip, 8GB RAM, 1GB graphics card and 512GB drive and proved impressive in real use.
Faced with 8GB images, this machine not only loaded them in record time but let us flick between images rapidly.
Video is handled with similar ease, as this laptop comfort- ably cut full HD footage from our Canon 7D without pause or serious rendering time.
Power is not the only benefit of this laptop, however. Apple has added a higher-than-HD screen to this MacBook Pro and it is even more useful on a laptop than a tablet. The 5.1-million pixel display lets users inspect photos in detail other screens cannot deliver. Several of our favourite photos were found to be out of focus after ‘‘ Retina’’ inspection.
Videographers can view every pixel of a full HD video in a preview window within Final Cut Pro. Everyday users will also benefit from this display as it noticeably improves the sharpness of text.
But not all programs will show the benefit of the extra pixels. While Apple has updated many of its programs, others look unfinished. Text in Google Chrome and the Twitter app looks pixelated on this display.
Users will also have to forgo an optical drive or Ethernet port or be willing to buy and carry accessories for their use, though they do gain two backwards-compatible USB 3.0 ports, plus HDMI and two Thunderbolt connections.
The MacBook Pro with Retina display is likely to be an object of desire. Its power is undeniable and that screen could make an upgrade case by itself.