Mac­book Pro with Retina Dis­play

This flag­ship com­puter is sure to be an ob­ject of de­sire, writes Jen­nifer Dud­ley-nicholson

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Gadgets -

Ap­ple, $2499-$4299 ap­ ★★★★

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.

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