MacBook Pro Retina 2013 review
- Retina display
- Rational pricing
- Powerful specs
- Battery life
- Web looks shoddy
When Apple first launched the first MacBook Pro with Retina display it was clearly Apple at its best, taking something that the public imagined to be impossible and then making it not only possible, but packaging it in such a way that it looked like it had been appearing on laptops for years.
Of course, as with all products that push boundaries (such as the Samsung Galaxy Gear) there are going to be some compromises, and the Retina MacBook was no different.
For starters there was the price, the entry-level model cost an eye-wincing £1,799 and for that you got a 2.3GHz i7 processor and only 256GB of SSD storage, and then there was the battery life.
Even with average use the original Pro threw in the towel after just five hours, showing that while the Retina display was indeed stunning, it was also incredibly greedy.
Thankfully though, Apple loves nothing more than to tinker, taking a concept and then tinkering and fine-tuning to an astonishing degree making gains year on year.
The original iPhone launched with a revolutionary touchscreen, but it had no App Store and couldn't even manage 3G when other smartphones were managing video calls over mobile networks.
Just a few years later and the iPhone 5s now boasts a Retina Display, 4G and a state-of-the-art fingerprint scanner.
That's not to say the rest of the industry have been sat twiddling its thumbs, far from it, above-HD displays are now becoming more and more commonplace on laptops and Apple is now under attack on all fronts.
The question that has to be asked is - now that the MacBook Pro Retina is no longer the only laptop with a Full-HD display, is it still the top choice?
MacBook Pro Retina 2013: Size and build
The first thing you'll notice is how thin the new MacBook Pro is and at 1.8cm it's now beginning to encroach on the MacBook Air 2013 which measures in at 1.7cm.
To put that into perspective you really have to line the two up together. Taking into account how big the foot rests are on the 13-inch Air it actually reaches the point where they look almost identical in height (the Air's wedge design notwithstanding).
Things get even more impressive when you look at their comparative footprints with the 13-inch MacBook Pro Retina fitting comfortably within the Air making Apple's thinnest tablet almost look wide in comparison.
Of course, there's a trade-off somewhere and that's the weight, the Pro Retina has been reduced in weight from 1.62kg to 1.57kg on the 13-inch while the new 15-inch weighs 2.02kg. Yes that's substantially heavier, but considering the non-Retina 13-inch MacBook Pro weighs 2.06kg the achievement become apparent.