Going Retina – First Impressions

So, work has kindly equipped me with a brand new Macbook Pro with Retina display. Here are some initial thoughts.

  • The display is gorgeous, and this is coming from someone who’s already been well accustomed to the two other Retina displays out on the market (iPhone 4, iPad 2 and later). Like I mentioned to my colleague the day this product was announced, this screen is going to make every other screen in the world look horrible, and then the rest of the world will have to play catch up. Think full 1080p vs standard DVD.
  • It is very slim too. Granted, a bunch of compromises had to be made to get to this thickness. Because of its reduced thickness, the height to width-length ratio harks back to the 17″ Macbook Pro’s of yesteryear.
  • As far as compromises go, they’ve left out the optical drive, the Ethernet port and shortened the travel on the keyboard. It also only comes with two USB ports – one on each side. Two Thunderbolt ports have included as what I believe to be “wildcard” ports to soften the blow. This is Apple leaving out the floppy drive and dropping the serial/parallel ports in favour of USB in the iMac all over again. Except, USB is going to put up a much tougher fight.
  • There is no longer a Kensington Security Slot, which would have afforded me the option of leaving the laptop at work.
  • Another thing they’ve left out is the external battery charge indicator. I suppose this is the last nail in the coffin to the notion of the battery as an entity independent form the computer. There is no longer battery, only a computer that runs untethered.

While there is a lot more heft to the 15″ Macbook Pro compared to my personal 12″ Thinkpad X201, it is quite something to be able to hop on my daily commute, plug in a 4G dongle and bang away at an experience that come pretty close that of working at a desktop.

For more thorough reviews, lookup “macbook pro retina”