back to article Apple 15in MacBook Pro with Retina Display

You’ve got to hand it to Apple. Having created the first Ultrabook about three years before Intel even got around to coining the brand, it has now taken another step forward with the new MacBook Pro With Retina Display. The 2880 x 1800 screen is certainly a looker, and you can understand why Apple has chosen to focus on that …


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  1. Gordan

    <3 the screen

    Has anybody managed to procure the screen separately and get it working in a generic 16:10 15.4" laptop like the Clevo M860TU?

    1. Dotter
      Thumb Up

      Re: <3 the screen

      Heh, that would be nice. I have the same model of laptop.

      1. Gordan

        Re: <3 the screen

        The real question is if the interface is standard LVDS. I didn't think vanilla LVDS had enough bandwidth to drive 2880x1800. If it is vanilla LVDS, there is a good chance that the screen would "just fit". You might need to change the inverter, but that's not that big a deal. I'd be tempted to try it, but the panel doesn't appear to be available on it's own in the usual places like :(

        1. Dotter

          Re: <3 the screen

          Well, I don't think I'll bother screwing with my laptop screen anytime soon. The company that set it up for me went bankrupt a while ago (Kobalt) and it's out of warranty by now anyway.

          I'm hoping it lasts quite a while longer so I don't have to shell out another £1000+ for an equivalent custom build.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: <3 the screen

          Of course it's not vanilla LVDS. It's 4-lane Displayport.

    2. kakster

      Re: <3 the screen

      I think its been posted elsewhere that the screen and lid is a sealed one-piece dealy, so you'd have to find a way to bodge that onto the clevo too.

      Yep, you'll want a decent laptop bag and sleeve for your shiny new slice of Apple.

      And yes, I'm tempted.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    No Thanks...

    It may look good, but, With RAM chips soldered to the logic board, and an Apple custom SSD there is zero chance of any upgrade once you bought it, so you'd better think very carfully about what spec you buy.

    1. h4rm0ny

      Re: No Thanks...

      Can't help on the RAM,. but I have heard that there will be third-party adaptors for the SSD so you can fit a normal one.

      1. Captain Underpants

        Re: No Thanks...


        Helpful to some extent, but not if you'd like any kind of warranty coverage. Which, of course, will be exactly what Apple were aiming for...frontload the purchasing costs and provide an additional "incentive" to buy new machines ("More RAM? You'll have to buy a new one for that").

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Captain Underpants

          Nonsense. What's warranty to do with SSD upgrades? It wasn't never an issue on any Apple machines or specifically Airs.

    2. Ron1

      Re: No Thanks...

      The SSD, though custom, will at least be offered by 3rd parties & can be upgraded later, but completely agree on the RAM issue. In days of rapidly falling RAM prices (you can get 2x 4GB SODIMM modules for other MBPs for below £30 and 2x8GB of 1600MHz SODIMM for £90 or so) Apple wants £160 for upgrade from 8 to 16GB.

      Also, when will Apple drop the aluminum laptop bodies in favor of true high end laptop materials like carbon fiber & magnesium alloys like other manufactures (Sony, Lenovo,...) use on high end & light laptops.

      Unibody Alu housing was used by Bang & Olufsen as early as 1996 (Beosound 9000). Alu body (although only 3 pieces are needed for a laptop and can be machined rather than moulded) is thicker & heavier than carbon fiber and I do not understand why Apple is not using it at least for the more exclusive high end Air & Pro models...

      Also the Mac Air being the first ultrabook is arguable...

      Sony Vaio X505 in 2003 had a 10.4" 1024x768 screen, 1.1GHz Pentium M ULV, 512MB RAM... All that at a mass below 2 pounds (825g for the carbon fiber model). Beat thet Apple ;-)

  3. David 138

    "But just as important is the fact that Apple has managed to significantly reduce the size and weight of this Pro model without compromising performance."

    I have never heard such rubbish come out of a hardware review. Yes its a nice screen, yes its pretty. but it has compromised on:


    Optical Drives





    Long term usefulness

    Yes it has a nice spec, maybe a £900 spec not an £1800 spec. its nice for writing your script in the coffee shop pretending to be important, but its not great for professional purposes. Gaming aint gona be great either on a resolution that high, but then you cant really game on a mac. At least Angry birds will look pretty for the morons that drop the cash on this rubbish.

    1. jai

      you still use optical drives? how quaint! please give my regards to 8 years ago.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: you still use optical drives?

        Why, yes. My last copy of CS5 and Quark eXpress came on DVD as it happens, as did the operating system, OSX, I believe it was called.

        1. Volker Hett

          Re: you still use optical drives?

          My Copy of Potoshop CS5.1 came as download as well as OS X 1.7.

          You might run into problems if you want to install 10.6.x on it, it might not support USB 3 and the NVidia Graphics.

          1. jubtastic1

            Re: you still use optical drives?

            @Volker Hett

            It won't run 10.6 at all, as is the norm these days, the earliest supported Mac OS is the one it ships with, which is a complete PITA if it shipped with say 10.6.4 and you don't have the install media, as a 10.6.0 install image won't even boot. All seems a bit redundant here though where there's no drive to replace anyway.

        2. quartzie

          Re: you still use optical drives?

          Just to keep you up to date: OS X no longer comes on rotating plastic. Since introduction of coffee holder-free MB Air, Apple has switched to cute own-branded USB keys. You can even upgrade your installation "media" this way when a new breed of cat comes around.

          As for Creative Suite - Adobe offers complete trial downloads, which can be turned into full software by entering the proper serial number. (Yes, they still provide plastic, but I haven't actually opened my CS6 package except to get the code).

          Quark - oh, well.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: you still use optical drives?

          That's CS5. So 2 years ago.

          Today Adobe would rather you didn't buy on DVD so you'll pay a premium over a downloaded copy.

          I got CS5.5 on DVD. It took so long to arrive that when CS6 came along I opted for a download.

        4. studentrights

          Re: you still use optical drives?

          OSX comes with the laptop and all of the updates and upgrades are digital now.

          All the Adobe stuff too.

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: you still use optical drives?

          Re: you still use optical drives?

          Why, yes. My last copy of CS5 and Quark eXpress came on DVD as it happens, as did the operating system, OSX, I believe it was called.


          TOTALLY OWNED!

          Optical drives are less used these days but they are nowhere near dead... only a stupid consumer or fanboi would dare make such a coment. When you have a job in IT or have at least some real world experience of supporting "stupid end users like yourself" will you see that CD/DVD use is still wide and varied from installing OS's, imaging/cloning, software and updates etc... still supplied on disk.

          Why? because they are quick and cheap. Yes flash/USB media will eventually kill them off but we're years from that.

      2. Bear Features

        "you still use optical drives? how quaint! please give my regards to 8 years ago"

        8 years ago? I assume you were criticising Apple for having it on their notebooks as of about a week ago then? ;o)

        Honestly, I also bet you hate Flash but before Apple criticised it, you had no opinion on it whatsoever.

        Nothing like being told what to think #priceless

      3. illiad

        so HOW are you gonna see your latest Bluray???

        Plug in a player???? WHY, when you already have a much better 50" screen?????

        (exactly how easy is it to rip a brand new disc onto SD card???)

        Oh, and no simple audio input (not even digital, unless you want to add lumps of plastic, making it ugly and cumbersome..)

        Or are you waiting for the 'addon' that only costs another £2000???

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Where's the 15" screened model from a rival with the same resolution then?

      Thought not.

      1. David 138
        Thumb Down

        I love high res as much as the next man, but wtf you gona use it for? Did you have a problem before? I think you wont find it in a rival machine because of the £1800 price tag!!!! The only company which can get those kind of prices is Apple. Why? Look at its fan base and the poor products they lap up.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Poor products? I've seen Macs and Macbooks remain swift and usable after many years. Anecdotal, I know, but still...

          >I love high res as much as the next man, but wtf you gona use it for?

          Er, desktop publishing and photo-editing. Like Macs have traditionally been used for since the 1980s. Print has always been at a higher dpi than your screen - the closer the screen comes to the printed output, the better. Shirley you can grok that?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          So you've seen this screen for yourself then and taken the time to understand the difference it makes?

          On some scenarios it's not that much better, but start browsing thorough hi-res photos and it's amazing. Head down the Apple shop and have a play about with one. Load iPhoto for example.

      2. AdamWill

        Er, what?

        Um. How does that relate to the OP's complaints?

        He specifically said it has a nice screen, then complained about lots of other stuff. He may be right, he may be wrong. But posting back that no-one else has such a nice screen seems to miss the point spectacularly.

        (On the topic of the screen, it's always worth remembering that Apple's success here is not in technological innovation but in gazumping the supply chain. It doesn't make the screen, it didn't design it. High resolution screens were coming anyway. What Apple is getting very good at is monopolizing the output of new display technologies. Put simply, it buys all the damn screens so no-one else can have any. The only other company that's nearly as good at this is Samsung, and that's only because they actually _do_ manufacture the things themselves.)

    3. Nic Gibson

      Not wanting to be rude here - where are you finding an equivalent spec for £900? I'd be delighted to buy something with the same CPU/chipset for £900. The best I can find is around £1100 for a machine with less RAM and no SSD. Oh, and less competent graphics hardiware.

    4. Anonymous Coward


      Fail. 2x 10GBit Thunderbolt ports, adaptable to be Ethernet and Firewire800, and 2x USB3 ports.

      "Optical Drives"

      Fail. You can buy an external drive, but you can also link to anotehr Mac and use it's drive (with 'Remote Disc")


      When did you last 'upgrade' a laptop..? You can 'upgrade' RAM and your HDD. If you have the money to buy one of these, just buy more RAM and the biggest drive at day one. Seriously - who needs more than 768GB internally..? (Especially as external muti-TB thunderbolt RAID drives are coming).


      Again, if you are going to buy this, you are going to be getting 3x years Applecare with it.


      It's top end. You pay top end. Or can you suggest a competitors product that matches the spec entirely for less money? Thought not.


      ...are you kidding?

      "Long term usefulness"

      As opposed to ... PC laptops that are renowned for their lasting long term appeal? There is a reason that old Macs sell for much more than their generic PC counterparts - they last.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > Fail. 2x 10GBit Thunderbolt ports, adaptable to be Ethernet and Firewire800, and 2x USB3 ports.

        That's great, more adaptors and cables to purchase and lose.

        > Fail. You can buy an external drive, but you can also link to anotehr Mac and use it's drive (with 'Remote Disc")

        Brilliant, I'll just spend MORE money over the £1799 purchase price. Or another couple of grand on another MAC, just so I can watch a DVD or install software without the internet. And, if I go down the external route, an adaptor to plug into the thunderbolt, because it's taking up one of my USB ports. Plus, external drive are not good for portability, and this is a laptop after all.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Ok let's put it this way - one is left to assume that wasting time watching movies on your laptop is your top priority for choosing a machine.

 don't buy one of these.

          Was that really so difficult? Personally I'm very happy to see the loss of the optical drive with the resultant space and weight saving, considering that the only time I've put an optical drive into a laptop in the last few years has been to install software (which I could do over the network or a disk image).

          Laptops are intended to be PORTABLE. Anything that keeps the weight down is a good thing. Sure, some people might need an optical drive, in which case Apple make several other models that are suitable. What is the problem?

          A number of people just like whining for whining's sake.

      2. Chris D Rogers


        Oh the screen, the wonderful screen - never mind day-to-day activities, I'll just look at the screen all day and ask why no competitors can be bothered.

        First, battery life - lets be honest battery technology is not there yet, hence, you get a miserly 5 hours max out of this beast, a beast of a price rather than a beast based on specc's.

        As for AppleCare, not checked the cost out yet, but the Macbook Pro APP is more than £250 and only lasts two years - three years in total from date of purchase - so, you need to purchase all sorts of adaptors to plug into this machine to do work on this machine on the road and yet, without an ability to replace batteries - remember that option, you are screwed.

        To me its a rip-off, cannot be upgraded, warranty cost is excessive, cost of machine is excessive - its a fashion item, a show off toy and not fit for purpose - its brilliant on the Cat Walk though, hence all the nonsense about the display.

        My humble opinion, its too ahead of the curve and until a better battery solution is found, its actually a bit of a joke - ok for those travelling in Business and First Class though, the demographic its actually aimed at!!!!!

        1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

          @Chris D Rogers te Nonsense

          It's not 5hrs max, it's 5hrs under torture testing. Expect 7hrs under normal usage.

        2. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Nonsense

          >miserly 5 hours max

          That was 5 hours streaming HD video on loop, not 5 hours maximum.

          >cannot be upgraded

          Please define 'upgraded'. I can't easily upgrade my CPU or GPU in my DELL laptop. This Macbook effectively has PCIe-onna-cable.

          >Business and First Class

          have power sockets and or beds.

    5. the-it-slayer

      Hello? Get your sensible head on.

      Let's look at the reasons these items have been compromised.

      I have never heard such rubbish come out of a hardware review. Yes its a nice screen, yes its pretty. but it has compromised on:

      "Connectivity" - Do you mean on-board connectivity? There's supplementary adapters and Thunderbolt boxes will expand this for desktop use. Why do you need Ethernet for mobile roaming? Wi-Fi should be primary for a laptop.

      "Optical Drives" - Same as saying, where's the 3.5" floppy drive, 5" floppy drive, ZIP drive? Move on. Again, external CD/DVD drives for desktop use are cheap as chips. And why not remove it when they have an application store now?

      "Upgrades" - Nerds need upgrades, but why bulk the design just to suit the nerd? Buy a spec that you need and stick with it. By the time you'd spend the money upgrading, you might as well of invested initially anyway.

      "Repair" - Undoubtly AppleCare with the Apple Stores cannot be beaten for repairs. Don't worry about self-repairs when others can do it for you.

      "Price" - The OS, support, unique design does bulk the cost, but for a very good reason. If you don't want to invest in a laptop that could easily serve you for 5 years, don't bother.

      "Performance" - There's no lack of performance here. And it isn't a gaming machine. Again, buy a desktop or games console. Gaming on laptops is lame. There just isn't the power without compromising the battery life if you use a more powerful processor.

      "Long term usefulness" - I'm sure there's many more MacBook's out there that are 3+ years old and still marching on compared with an Windows like-for-like. I wouldn't know any stats, but anyone who uses the Mac to it's full potential really abuses it during its life. My music producer friend got an original Intel white MacBook to last 5 years.

      I think that post deserves a Friday beer. Cheers.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hello? Get your sensible head on.

        > "Connectivity" - Do you mean on-board connectivity? There's supplementary adapters and Thunderbolt boxes will expand this for desktop use. Why do you need Ethernet for mobile roaming? Wi-Fi should be primary for a laptop.

        Ever tried to configure a router / AP / other ethernet device without a physical connection?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hello? Get your sensible head on.

          "Ever tried to configure a router / AP / other ethernet device without a physical connection?"

          I agree with you in concept (and indeed Apple supply a thunderbolt to ethernet adapter (which I have for my MacBook Air and it works fine) which solves this problem).

          I would however like to point out that the Apple wireless kit really is simple to deploy wirelessly - you simply join the default network and you can configure it from the Airport Utility on the Mac, so no wired connection is actually required. In the event of a cock up, a simple recessed button push is all that is required to reset to defaults. Obviously a number of people might not be using Apple's gear, but for those who do, it's very easy to set up and configure.

      2. Japhy Ryder

        Re: Hello? Get your sensible head on.

        "Long term usefulness" - How about a 2003 vintage Inspiron and 2008 Vostro? Both these machines were well specced from the outset (and upgradeable) while the second was a grand cheaper than equivalently specced MBP (including 3yrs onsite). They are now in the hands of offspring who do not exactly cosset them. Current Vaio will probably suffer a similar fate.

        In my experience, OSX server based environments with tons of apps on the clients are just as messy as equivalent Windows shops, but I guess that if your kit is sleek and shiny it is not quite so unpleasant as you are being shafted.

        Granted finding a laptop with screen res other than 1366x768 is hard these days but not so hard as to make it absolutely necessary to go over to the Apple side.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      The "equivalent" Alienware device is a 14" laptop: Alienware M14x for the cheaper model which costs you £1499, without the retina style display and weighs in at 6.5lb compared to the 4.5lb of this system. So yes the kits is more expensive from Apple as you might expect for a flashy screen. Although you also lose out on a DVDRW

      The more costly MBP can be bought an equivalent of from Dell (with a 2GB graphics chip) for £2,069.

      So the cost for spec seems pretty close to what I would expect.

      1. JonHendry

        Re: Alienware

        "The "equivalent" Alienware device is a 14" laptop: Alienware M14x for the cheaper model which costs you £1499"

        I configured an Alienware M14x as close as I could to the retina-display MBP. Same CPU, same GPU, same RAM, hi-res option on the Alienware, 512GB SSD (no 768 GB option on the Alienware).

        The MacBookPro was $2999. The Alienware was $2549.

        $450 isn't a huge difference, given the MacBookPro has the 2880x1800 screen.

        I bet that if Alienware offered a 768GB SSD, it might have even cost more than the 768GB MacBook Pro.

      2. studentrights

        Re: Alienware

        No rentina display? 1.5x heavier and twice as thick? Small crappy trackpad.

        How is it "equivalent"?

      3. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Alienware

        Yep, and that was Tom's Hardware's conclusion, after some extensive research: A base-level Mac or Macbook is good value and hard to match, component for component. They did, of course, recommend that you upgrade RAM and the like yourself...

      4. Sil

        Re: Alienware

        Comparing an Alienware to a Macbook is like comparing a Ferrari to a Lexus sedans, it makes no sense.

        The first one is optimized for games, the second one will burn your desk or cook your eggs after 3 minutes of Crysis 3.

    7. Steve I

      Poor reading skills abound

      "... without compromising performance."

      I have never heard such rubbish come out of a hardware review. Yes its a nice screen, yes its pretty. but it has compromised on:


      I see that 'performance' isn't in your list of compromised things, and that's *very thing* that the author says isn't compromised.

      So you're in agreement then?

    8. Rampant Spaniel

      How dare you! You are going to make me have to defend a mac. I feel dirty. But frankly you are missing the point. A huge market for MBP's will be indy videogs and photogs. This suits them perfectly. It is a decent size to get on an aircraft (remember we are already carrying more than the carry on allowance of camera gear). The screen obviously is the seller, more pixels will be great assuming clarity & gamut are up to scratch. As for RAM and HDD, if it comes with enough now it won't need an upgrade and should last the 2-3 years before it is due for replacement.

      As for repair, you are buying apple, expect it not to be cheap, also expect it to be pretty well built and not need much by way of repair.

      I am no apple fan, I don't own a single apple product, this may be the first since they came with motorized floppy drives!

    9. ManxPower


      I'm not a huge fan of Apple products, I think they tend to be bit overpriced and not upgrade or repair friendly. However, they seem to push other companies to make better products. I hope the new display pushes other companies to make laptops with better screen resolutions.

  4. Captain Underpants

    It's a lovely screen and the hardware specs are amazing, but the inability to even upgrade the onboard RAM, the loss of onboard ethernet (because God knows we love the opportunity to pay an extra £25 for an adapter to restore access to something that even £150 netbooks have as standard :S), the lack of an onboard optical drive, and the enormous Apple tax on the SSD upgrade pricing have me a bit concerned.

    I will say it's great to see someone finally push for vertical resolutions of substantially more than 1000 pixels on a laptop, but I'm not convinced that any of us actually need (or will benefit, particularly) 220ppi displays...there again, talk of "need" is going to be considered inappropriate when discussing a machine like this.

    1. Rampant Spaniel

      I'm on the fence re the ram. The inability to upgrade the ram when you can buy it with 8 or 16gb (only $200 for the extra 8gb is decent by apple standards, less great by intel standards), but it occured to me that twice in the past I have had to replace the ram in laptops after a couple of years. It might be the heat, humidity of lots of flights and the accompanying xray machines that killed the ram, but it did happen, and on decent machines (IBM thinktank and a Tosh Portege) cheap consumer models.

      Do I need the display, no, I can work now so I will still be able to work, but it would be nice for working on photos to have more detail. There is likely to be a considerable number of photogs and indy folks who buy this as a single machine to do many things pretty darn well. Plus there is a little value in showing up with a nice looking laptop to premeets with clients.

      The ethernet port baffles me, surely it would have been simpler to compress the size of the ethernet port, call it mini ethernet and bundle an adapter which would cost about 2 pebbles to make in China. Given we would all lose them in about 2 weeks they could probably sell them for $10, make a huge profit and not upset everyone. I guess they either figured screw people, or they figured enough people will use wireless (but why not add ac rather than n?) instead of wired?

  5. Roo

    Surely some mistake, the Samsung Q30 was the first Ultrabook ;)

    If Apple "created the first Ultrabook three years before Intel", then Samsung must have created the first Macbook Air at least 2 years before Apple got around to it (Samsung Q30).

    I am still using a 2006 vintage tweak of the Q30, namely a Q40 that has a smaller footprint than *any* Macbook Air - and it's lighter than the 1st gen ones too. For the record Samsung shipped Q30s with SSDs (if you could find one) too, although my Q40 has a boring old 1.8" hard disk. :)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Surely some mistake, the Samsung Q30 was the first Ultrabook ;)

      that hardware you mention doesn't look like an ultrabook at all. it's quite thick and chunky. From specs of q30: Dimension: 287.7 x 197.5 x 18.0 ~ 23.8 mm (without battery).

    2. Tom 38

      Re: Surely some mistake, the Samsung Q30 was the first Ultrabook ;)

      q30 is a netbook, or ultra-portable, with a 12.1" screen, 24mm height and a plastic body.

      The macbook air you are comparing it to has a 13.3" screen, 4-19mm tapered height and an aluminium unibody construction.

      The lower height, larger screen and unibody chassis is what makes it an ultrabook. I'm not saying it is better or worse, just that the macbook air defines the ultrabook category.

      1. Bodhi

        Re: Surely some mistake, the Samsung Q30 was the first Ultrabook ;)

        Sadly you are both wrong, the Vaio X505 was launched in 2004, beating Apple and Samsung by at least a year. I'd still takes its latest the devlopment, the Vaio Z Series, over with the MBA or indeed this new fangled MBP. OSX really isn't for me (far too un-intuitive after 20 years of Windows), and I think the Apple laptops are ugly things personally.

        1. Roo
          Thumb Up

          Re: Surely some mistake, the Samsung Q30 was the first Ultrabook ;)

          Dunno why you got down voted - the X505 looks like a fair comment to me. That said I haven't seen a Vaio I fancied yet - but that's a personal taste thing rather than a technical argument. :)

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

            1. Gary Riches

              Re: Surely some mistake, the Samsung Q30 was the first Ultrabook ;)

              Oh my fucking eyes! I just googled that POS. First ultra book?! Get real, that's a Fisherprice toy.

              1. Roo
                Thumb Down

                Re: Surely some mistake, the Samsung Q30 was the first Ultrabook ;)

                I am real. My "POS" "Toy" has been helping me earn cash since 2006. I bought it so that I could write code anywhere without running out of space for my elbows (eg: train seats, airline seats), preferably without catching fire or burning my nuts in the process. There were very few machines that met those criteria back in 2006. I did actually try a Sony Vaio X505 (maybe you reckon that looked nicer) but I hated the keyboard which is a big deal when you earn your living using a keyboard.

      2. Roo

        Re: Surely some mistake, the Samsung Q30 was the first Ultrabook ;)

        Actually the Samsung boxes have a magnesium alloy underside. As for what defines an Ultrabook (tm), Intel are the people to ask, not Apple.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Surely some mistake, the Samsung Q30 was the first Ultrabook ;)

      `The Q30 was a light and reasonably thin notebook for the time, but not an Ultrabook (defined by Intel as being less than 0.8 inches thick)

  6. Matthew 17

    Want one

    the screen will be amazing for Logic, always have to have multiple large screens to fit everything on, with the extra real estate it'll make making / performing music away from the studio much nicer.

  7. Helix

    no bluraydrive

    Such a gorgeous screen, but no built-in bluray drive??? How are you supposed to play back high quality video movies? Streamed HD movies are compressed so much, they're hardly better than DVD quality.

    1. Kingsley

      Re: no bluraydrive

      Buy them from the itunes store?

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Re: no bluraydrive

      Because as we all know, people mostly buy extremely slim and portable top-end laptops only to cart around their Blu-ray collection with them.

      Is it seriously worth burdening this legacy-free machine with 'moving parts' just in case someone is too stupid to copy a film to their drive or use an external player..?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: no bluraydrive

        How many true HD, not over compressed, full-length movies can you fit on a 256Gb drive? (after the other stuff you have on there, that is)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: no bluraydrive

          "How many true HD, not over compressed, full-length movies can you fit on a 256Gb drive? (after the other stuff you have on there, that is)"

          How many movies are you likely to need to carry around with you at all times..?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: no bluraydrive

            Have you tried flying to Australia with a 2-year old? You'd be surprised just how many DVDs you need.

            It's sad that the valid criticisms of this device - the price, the paltry storage, the lack of built-in connectors - are being lost under the deluge of fanbois screaming that because they would never use it for X, that nobody should ever expect X on a device. There are valid complaints here, no matter how shrilly they're being made.

            Take ethernet connectivity - let's say you're hotdesking in an office and the wifi signal is poor but there's an ethernet connector. You need your adapter (cost £30+).

            Or there's storage - 256GB doesn't go very far, particularly if, as suggested above, you're forced to load films on to your machine because there isn't a dvd drive.

            And it doesn't help that the 'portable' thunderbolt external hard drive (cost £400) isn't portable at all, because it requires an external power supply.

            I'm sure it will sell well to the sort of people who downvote posts criticising its weaknesses, but it is, like most Apple devices, fantastic - if you're going to use it in exactly the way Apple expect you to.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: no bluraydrive

              If you are spending £1800+ on a top end laptop to be used as a DVD player for a two year old you have more money than sense, but hey - its your money.

              I really don't get the problem people are having over this lack of DVD / Blu-ray drive issue. Do you still complain it doesn't have a floppy drive or RS232..? Apple are not forcing this machine on anyone - if you don't want one or it doesn't meet your two year old's requirements, then don't buy it.

              The alternative is that nobody is allowed to own a machine without a DVD drive in it because somebody's kids might want to watch a DVD..? Where does that end?

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: no bluraydrive

                It's not JUST going to be used as a DVD player; only someone determined to miss the point would make such a ludicrous comment. The claim was that nobody could POSSIBLY need to carry around 'that many' DVDs, and I gave a good example of a situation where one would have to. Would you prefer a screaming toddler on a 14-hour flight? I can think of plenty of other examples.

                If a laptop had come out 10 years ago without a floppy drive, I would complain. DVDs and Blu-ray are current technologies. You might not, but out there in the real world everyone still uses them.

                And as for "don't buy one", I don't intend to. I know that fanbois will lap it up, but people capable of looking beyond a shiny case and a badge, like me, won't. That doesn't make my valid complaints any less valid, and it doesn't make the hyperventilating about an overpriced laptop with overpriced accessories any more ridiculous.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: no bluraydrive

                  Your 'complaints' seem based on personal bias rather than having any practical merit. You appear simply intent on simply finding something to criticise. If it had an optical drive, you would no doubt spend your time complaining about it not needing one and how much thinner it could be without.

                  1. Paw Bokenfohr

                    Re: no bluraydrive


                    "Your 'complaints' seem based on personal bias rather than having any practical merit"

                    I think you're missing the point here. His complaints are about practical limitations that he sees with the machine that would affect his use of the machine.

                    You may see no limitations at all, but your view isn't the only valid view in the world - the matter of the usefulness and value of a device like this isn't a question like "is the sky blue" to which there is actually only one correct answer, it's more like "what shade of blue is the sky", some people may say Cyan (yes, I'm that old) and some may say Azure. Others will say other things.

                    FWIW, the lack of Ethernet is puzzling on a MBP. On an Air, I can understand it, but on a MPB I'd have expected the "pro" connectivity - WiFi is great for general use, but if you want "pro" (ie: the best speed and the best reliability), it's GigE, not 802.11n.

                    I too would prefer if it had a BluRay drive on it, or at least a DVD drive, but it's not a deal-breaker.

                    I would like the RAM to be upgradeable (I've never owned a laptop that didn't eventually need this with OS upgrades and so on). But, so long as 8GB remains enough for the lifespan of the device (though I'd probably buy the 16GB version, which is I am sure what Apple would prefer too) then that's not a deal-breaker either.

                    The main deal-breaker for me is that I already have a late-2011 MBP, and although I could wangle one if I really wanted to, the enhanced screen isn't enough for me to do that. But one with a retina screen will be on my list in 3-5 years when my MBP gets donated like the late-2008 one did. [note: both have had memory upgrades; upgrading my new MBP when new with third party memory saved a fortune]

            2. JonHendry

              Re: no bluraydrive

              "And it doesn't help that the 'portable' thunderbolt external hard drive (cost £400) isn't portable at all, because it requires an external power supply."

              Then use a USB3 external hard drive.

              1. Jonathan White

                Re: no bluraydrive

                I have a portable thunderbolt drive that doesn't require any external PSU. There's plenty of them around (and Seagate do an adapter for SATA drives that doesn't need a PSU either). I'd suggest if you're picking holes, you find better ones.

    3. JonHendry

      Re: no bluraydrive

      "Such a gorgeous screen, but no built-in bluray drive??? How are you supposed to play back high quality video movies?"

      You watch what you just recorded on your moby-expensive HD pro gear.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    MagSafe2 - there is an adapter

    "Finally, Apple has changed its MagSafe power connector, for some reason, so any spare power supplies that you’ve bought in the past will be unusable with this model."

    Not exactly true:

    1. Lui-g
      Thumb Up

      Re: MagSafe2 - there is an adapter

      Well spotted - and it doesn't cost $25 either!

      Also, it was mentioned on the keynote that the magsafe had to be shrunk to be able to fit on the new machine - that's why magsafe 2 was made.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The new MacBook Pro - there is an adapter for that!

        See above...

  9. Philippe


    Is that the thing on the PS3 or that overpriced rental at Blockbusters?

    Ah it's both alright then.

    My compressed HD streaming is good enough..

    1. David 138
      Thumb Down

      Re: Blu-ray?

      If you use compressed streaming why spend £1800 on an Ultra high def screen?

      1. Annihilator

        Re: Blu-ray?

        "If you use compressed streaming why spend £1800 on an Ultra high def screen?"

        Because blu-ray is compressed HD too? Uncompressed HD is about 667GB/h.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Blu-ray?

        "If you use compressed streaming why spend £1800 on an Ultra high def screen?"

        If you only want to watch Blu-ray movies, why are you spending £1800 on a laptop..?

        This may come as a surprise to you, but some people actually use computers for things other than watching movies, games and porn.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Blu-ray?

      > overpriced rental at Blockbusters

      My local video shop is the same price for either. Blockbuster has always been a ripoff.

      1. AceRimmer


        Last time I checked: Blockbuster rentals are the same price for DVD and Bluray

  10. Toxteth O'Gravy


    256GB SSD? That's fine for me - it's what I have in my machine right now. Bigger would be nice, but not necessary. Movie files and such are what NAS boxes are for.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: SSD

      Too sensible for this debate, be gone with you.

  11. Arnold Lieberman

    "but using Wi-Fi to stream HD episodes of EastEnders on the BBC iPlayer seemed like torture enough."

    Did you have to watch the programme? That's what I call taking one for the troops...

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    About fucking time

    I am looking forward to everybody and his dog copying that screen and finally killing the low-res crap we've had to put up with until now.

  13. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: iFixit teardown

      Sounds like a load of sour grapes. Replace the battery "every so often"? I've never replaced any laptop battery more than once or before at least 5 years. Plus they're always expensive, think I paid nearly £100 for my Dell one. $200 isn't really that expensive considering this one is much larger.

      Recycling an issue? You can just give it back to Apple who probably have the right tools to do it (since they refurbish them)

      Let's be honest, iFixit is just pissed off that they won't be selling as many of their overpriced repair kits for this one.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Captain Underpants

        Re: iFixit teardown

        Yeah, "sour grapes", that must be what it is.

        Even if you *do* give it back to Apple, any actual raw material recycling is going to struggle if the point is that aluminium fused to glass can't be usefully processed with current processes. With Apple (and other tech firms) apparently steering their entire product line towards "magic box status" (ie nothing inside it that a user is able or allowed to tinker with), this is a non-trivial issue.

    2. scott 30

      Re: iFixit teardown

      Shocking. I've been waiting about 9 months for the new MPB Pro to arrive - now I'm going to seriously reconsider. I have one of the first 2000 original Intel MPB, it has 2gb hard wired - and that it *is* annoying. Still, I run my business from it and am continually impressed that it doesn't look or feel like a 6 yr old laptop.

      It is, however, on it's 2nd Magsafe adapter - the first one broke at the mag plug, needing a whole new adapter when it simply needed a plug/cable replacement. I got a 3rd party copy for less than half the Apple price.

      It is also on it's 2nd battery - which is more worrying. The main reason I use Mac for my business is that I can be sure that in 5 years time I'll still be running the same installation of the OS with the same profile. That's no blinking use to me if in 2 years time I have to secure-wipe it before handing it over to the less than competent repair facility we have here in Belgium. My co-director went over 8 weeks without her 2009 MBP because it had the infamous graphics card fault.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: iFixit teardown

        It's a 6 year old laptop and still works - most windows laptops I have seen are essentially junk after 3 years.

        They have improved the magsafe connector on newer power supplies I believe - a few of the old ones did fail after a lot of use but Apple are pretty good at just replacing them - you should have asked them.

        I would be VERY wary of buying 3rd party power supplies / batteries - they may be cheaper but plugged in 24x7 - perhaps less efficient - perhaps not exactly the same voltage - could have issues for the battery / laptop or even a fire hazard.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: iFixit teardown

      Apple will take it back and recycle it properly at the end of it's life. Making a laptop lightweight and slim requires this type of manufacture - most people I know keep their macs a long time - certainly longer than the average PC laptop.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple's new slogan may as well be "We give you less for more!"

  15. James 51

    which seems like a lot for a relatively modest upgrade, but that's SSD pricing for you.

    which seems like a lot for a relatively modest upgrade, but that's Apple pricing for you.

    There you go, fixed that for you.

    1. Captain Underpants
      Thumb Up

      Re: which seems like a lot for a relatively modest upgrade, but that's SSD pricing for you.

      Yeah, I was thinking that - sure even Orlowski wrote an article about this same machine the other day pointing out that Apple are charging around 3x the market price for some of the SSD uplift options.

      No surprises there, it's long been something you have to accept - they'll give you nicely-integrated leading-edge tech but you'll most definitely pay more for it from Apple than from anywhere else. It'd be nice to see it honestly acknowledged though, rather than hidden behind some FUD based on SSD pricing trends from about 3 years ago...

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lots of down-voting on posts with valid arguments.

    The fanbois are out in force today.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can we please stop calling it the "Retina Display"

    It only encourages the Apple-ites to metaphorically toss themselves off.

    Can't we just call it by WUXGA or whatever it is, just like any other manufacturer would do, when they've made such a small advance in style over content?

    1. ThomH

      Re: Can we please stop calling it the "Retina Display"

      I'd rather we didn't use pointless jargon like WUXGA too. It's about as useful as kibibyte.

    2. Aquilus

      Re: Can we please stop calling it the "Retina Display"

      VGA screen res naming standards are the most retarded thing ever. Just call it 2800x1800. Not QUWEXMGA or whatever superlatives they decide to mash together to represent it.

  18. geejayoh
    Thumb Up

    From the new reg article just posted:

    From the new reg article just posted:

    The retina screen is lovely, it really is, and I also believe that eventually retina-class screens will become standard on all computers. But this retina is blinding you (ho, ho) to what Apple has removed from the MacBook Pro: no optical drive, no Ethernet, half the storage space.

    Apple's promo videos show a smart guy on a plane editing video using his ultra-quiet, retina-screened MBP while his fellow passengers - clearly non-productive dipshit Windows users - try to get some sleep.

    What it doesn't show is the same man deciding to sit back and watch a DVD only to find that he can't because Apple took out the DVD drive. He really ought to have torrented some films before catching his flight, he supposes, but this can take days to complete despite his fast internet connection.

    Even so, he's not sure he can spare enough space for 20 gigs of movies on his half-pint SSD. Later, he arrives at the New York branch but finds that he can't plug into the company network because Apple took out the Ethernet port, so he spends the whole jetlagged morning logging calls in a vain attempt to get a Wi-Fi login, only to have it keep dropping out because he's been given a desk on the "wrong side of the pillar".

    After a few years, all of this will seem trivial. However, unlike Apple PR, I have to live and work in the real world today as well as - one hopes - in a few years from now.

    Until then, feel free to keep reading about stuff that doesn't matter.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: From the new reg article just posted:

      Oh, wow. The only sensible comment I've read that doesn't scream "stop liking what I don't like".

      Good job.

  19. geejayoh

    One last thing. If we must adapt..

    From the tech radar review for the new ASUS zenbook (MacBook Air contender).

    t's a shame there's no Ethernet option, but there's no room for fatties at this party. However, if it's anything like the original Zenbook, there'll be an adapter in the box.

    Adapter in the box.

    Not the £25 rip off piece of plastic and metal from Apple.

    1. Tom 38

      Re: One last thing. If we must adapt..

      £25 for a thunderbolt adapter. The zenbook will come with a cheap USB adapter.

      Guess which one will actually provide gigabit speed?

      1. scott 30

        Re: One last thing. If we must adapt..

        Sorry, at that price bracket for the laptop it should be included in the box.

        No way on earth it costs them 25p, let alone £25 to make the cable.

        I like Apple products, but it's that lack of respect for their clients that genuinely gnaws on my gonads.

        I think I'll wander into my local Apple reseller and say I'll buy one, if they provide the cable for free.

        1. Steve I
          Thumb Up

          Re: One last thing. If we must adapt..

          They'd probably give it to you too.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: One last thing. If we must adapt..

          "No way on earth it costs them 25p, let alone £25 to make the cable."

          I've heard that argument before, but then:

          The Ethernet adapter is probably equally full of active electronics.

          1. scott 30

            Re: One last thing. If we must adapt..

            I stand corrected - it is an expensive "active" cable. The Toms Hardware article + others have now brought me up to speed (10gb/s dual channel in this case).

            The masses will quite rightly compare it to USB3, and balk. It's an interesting technology - much like the Firewire800 on the back of my iMac - which will never actually be used at that spec. At least with that I can use with the small amount of FW400 devices I have (Sony DV Cam, FW external enclosure).

            I'd ask "what are Intel/Apple *thinking*" - but now I've done enough reading, and I think they're setting themselves up for another niche technology. I could be wrong, but unless Intel can get the OEM + retail price down to something palatable (unlikely) - and open up the technology so even the mighty Belkin can get to play (unlikely) - then Thunderbolt will thenceforth be referred to as Thunderpants.

            Active TB cable isn't a clever technology - it's a cludgy Intel work-around.

  20. Steve I

    what they should do..

    is acknowledge that most people will need one or two of the optional accessories and give some king of Apple Store credit (perhaps £30).

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Attention all commentards!

    If you don't like it, don't fucking buy one. OTOH if you want to jizz two grand on a laptop, go right ahead.

    Now *I*'m happy because (as someone else pointed out in one of these recent threads) this all very likely means that other laptop manufacturers will finally get out of the low-res rut they've been in the last few years, so that when I next finally admit that my current laptop [1] is past it, I will once again be able to pick up something ex-corporate on fleabay for next-to-nowt, but with a decent res screen.

    [1] 1.35kg, A4 sized, one inch thick, does for me, and cost less than a hundred quid.

  22. Dr Christian
    Thumb Up

    Beautiful machine, great specs.

    I think I shall have myself one. Thunderbolt is really going to come into itself in the next few years.

  23. BobaFett

    Missing the point.

    A lot of people seem to be overlooking the fact that this is a premium laptop aimed at creative professionals, not your average home consumer.

    Professionals who will most likely want to work on a significantly larger screen (that's larger, not higher resolution) or perhaps two such screens when sat at a desk. (If anyone can find a PC laptop that has the output capability of driving a dual-link DVI resolution screen, please let me know. Many have GPUs that support such resolutions, very few have the necessary outputs for them. I am aware of a Thinkpad that does it.)

    Professionals who will also most likely, want to store and work on their data using RAID-1 disks at a minimum without being hampered by a slow interface. Yes, USB3 is good but Thunderbolt is twice as fast and daisy chainable.

    As for all those omissions people are complaining about. The Apple Thunderbolt Display makes a great docking station for Mac laptops as it provides wired ethernet, a webcam, audio and power (although you'll now need an adapter for the new MagSafe connector which is disappointing). You can also daisy chain a second Thunderbolt display.

    Is there really anything that can compete for the creative professional who wants to concentrate more on getting their work done, than trying to figure out whatever the alternative setup would be in the PC world?

  24. toadwarrior

    As always there's a pile of jealous people upset that apple released a quality laptop while they're stuck on some ratty ass acer. I can't see myself buy this MBP but I'd buy before acting like a tit on the internet because someone likes it.

  25. Gil Grissum

    I'm not in love with it nor desperate to get one. My 2008 Macbook Pro is doing just fine thanks. If it had a 17" screen, then yes. As it does not, then no.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Pretty good testament that a 4 year old laptop is still working fine - Windows laptops tend to be doggy doo after about 3 years. Guess if they sit on your desk it's not so bad but mine goes with me so the better construction / durability of the Apple laptops is well worthwhile.

      I too have a 2008 Macbook Pro and it also works fine - I upgraded it to an Air about 7-8 months ago not because there was anything wrong with it - was just because I started cycling to work and figured the lower weight and SSD drive would be beneficial.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Windows laptops tend to be doggy doo after about 3 years." Yeah but then you stick Linux on them and they're good for another three or more.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The sort of person bitching about the price of this is the one who goes up to his mate who has just got a 20k car (not all that unreasonable) and says - yeah but my 6 year old Ford Focus does basically the same thing.

    Consider there are no other laptops with this screen there is nothing you can accurately compare it to and it seems even it's near rivals (excluding the construction quality, low weight and screen) are getting on for the same price.

    It's the same story as the Macbook Air - others will copy it but you will find the struggle to better it on price or quality. Plus the service and support from Apple is typically far better than I have suffered from Dell and others.

    1. Neill Mitchell


      The inevitable pointless car analogy. Well done sir!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bingo!


        Thank god for Apple. If it weren't for them, I wouldn't be able to buy (not that I have,) a tablet with a screen so hi-res that I can't see the pixels,when instead I'd have to buy a machine with a screen with a lot lower-res that I still can't see the pixels on.

        I may buy one though, in fact I'm may start off my new datacentre, entirely powered by iPads. I'm having a bit of trouble tailoring SQL Server, and Oracle to run on them, even if I can get their own enterprise RDBMS (Apple iRetrieve) working, and of course connectivity's a bit of a problem for the webserver array, or Apple iWebAlot (tm.) But once I've figured out how to get the 3g prefer the wifi (Apple iBroadcast,) over the massively more expensive Apple iCost (tm) connection I'm sure prices will collapse.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There is so much mis-information posted:

    1. there is a gigabit to thunderbolt adapter available now.

    2. there is a firewire to thunderbolt adapter coming soon.

    3. you can get a small adapter to convert magsafe to magsafe2.

    Basically Apple is pushing the market forwards and people seem to just criticise - technically this is a superb laptop - very fast, decent battery life (considering it's performance / screen), lightweight, all flash storage. It's not that expensive but for the spec pretty decent 'value'.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      But admit it, as an Apple fan I'll go first, it'd be nice if they included adapters in the box for nearly £2k wouldn't it?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Adapters that only some people need but everyone would pay for - let me guess they should include HDMI, VGA, composite cables as well - as well as a variety USB cables... just in case...

        1. Captain Underpants
          Thumb Down


          I mean, why do I have to have Firewire, Thunderbolt, *and* USB ports on my 2011-era 15" MacBook Pro!? WHY SHOULD I HAVE TO PAY FOR CONNECTIVITY THAT SOME OTHER BASTARD WANTS THAT I WON'T USE??!?!?!ELEVENTYZILLION!

          Oh, wait, now that my momentary attack of being retarded has passed, I realise that this is the sensible way of doing it (having the connectors on the motherboard so they're available when necessary). Having them as dongles is less good, but given the price of the thing would still be acceptable - or are you seriously trying to suggest that someone willing to drop £1800 on a machine like this is going to balk when they discover that ~£20 of the price tag is for a dongle they may not need to use on a daily basis?

  28. Gil Grissum

    If I didn't have a Macbook Pro already, I'd probably want this one with a couple of those Big Thunderbolt displays and a USB 3.0 Optical drive to install Cubase 6.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "...without compromising performance"

    If Apple had created robust Gigabit WiFi and 1+TB storage, I'd agree. The problem is that these are "Pro" models that lack fast networking and large storage capacities. That puts them more in the category of high performance consumer appliances like the iPad and Air.

    Geeks who carry an iPhone, iPad, and a Macbook Pro in their man-purse probably won't mind carrying an Ethernet dongle and/or external drive. I'll stick with my old laptop for getting work done.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "...without compromising performance"

      Not the case though is it? They don't lack fast networking considering they have 802.11n, thunderbolt to gigabit ethernet adapters available etc. As for 1+ TB storage, which laptop? Single drive capacity of 2.5" is still 1TB not 1+TB. If you had two drives you'd have no battery so a two drive option is a non-starter. Given it's a laptop not a desktop replacement it makes sense to put fast SSD storage onboard and rely on external for mass storage.

      You go stick to your old laptop and creative professionals (photographers, graphic designers, video editors etc) will choose this. Horses for courses. You don't like it and won't spend the money, who f*cking cares? Certainly not Apple. You are obviously not the intended market.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I can't stand Apple.

    And would never, ever own any of their hardware.

    But that laptop is immense.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I can't stand Apple.

      Cut off your nose to spite your face - never say never.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I can't stand Apple.

        I'll stick to never. If I ever had the money to blow on that, I'd go for a cheaper brand and get more bang-for-the-buck. But it's still a lovely piece of hardware.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A different MagSafe connector!?!? Argggghhhh!!!!!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      There is an adapter for less than £10 - no biggie.

  32. Lewis

    "every Mac-loving pro semi-pro user on the planet drooling"

    That sounds about right.

  33. Psycho Flump
    Thumb Down

    As a mac user I won't be buying one

    As a professional web designer I have to say I won't be "upgrading" to the retina display laptop. My current setup (2 year old MBP 15 with hi-res display) has a 128gb SSD. I seem to spend my life moving stuff off the internal disk just so Photoshop stops telling me its scratch disk is full (I thought I was done seeing that alert 14 years ago). I don't use iTunes to store music, or iPhoto for images because it'll be too big a hit to the storage. I've got CS3 and Windows 7 running in Parallels; that leaves me with a whopping 9gb of free space. If it gets too painful I'll end up ripping out the SSD and going back to a standard drive, doesn't look like that'd be an option in this new one though.

    As for the RAM; I've never not stuck in an upgrade a year or so after the initial purchase. Not impressed with the "just buy the fully specced version" comments. Can I also buy some glasses that'll allow me to see through time too? AppleCare is all well and good but being 1.5 hours away from an Apple store that would turn a quick five minute job of upgrading the RAM into a tedious, previously unneeded trip.

    I can see the thunderbolt port being useful, but the lack of included adapters with a high-end system is a disgrace.

    The negatives far outweigh the positives for me to consider this. Whilst I'd stomach these things on the Air that machine is clearly meant as a satellite to your main setup, I'm not prepared to accept them on what would likely be my only machine.

    1. Snapper

      Re: As a mac user I won't be buying one


      Grow some willya?

      Put a bigger SSD in it and put some more cheaper than Apple RAM in it and stop complaining.

      Please note you are running CS3 which is seriously out-of-date and 32-bit. It will run slower on 10.6 than 10.4 because you don't know what you are doing and are cheap!

      Did I mention you are an idiot?

      1. Captain Underpants

        Re: As a mac user I won't be buying one


        How about you stop being a tool instead?

        A number of issues are highlighted here, including:

        1) AppleCare doesn't provide on-site support for laptops so anything that requires Apple Support for installation (eg RAM/SSD upgrade, assuming they'll even offer them, and battery replacement) involves non-trivial travel

        2) Apple's pricing on SSDs remains firmly in the realm of Mass Urine Transportation, and the same is true of their pricing on RAM. I appreciate they need decent margins, but they've outdone themselves in those areas.

        3) If you're using a machine like this for professional purposes, chances are you want warranty cover. Which means no third-party upgrades (Apple aren't the only firm who'll try to use the "unauthorised system modification" line to invalidate your warranty, but they're pioneers in deploying new hardware configurations where replacing memory or the primary system drive is no longer a user-serviceable option).

        It's luscious hardware in certain respects, but to dismiss someone's issues because they don't apply to you is one of many hallmarks of a cretin.

  34. NiKEUS

    Seriously a fashion review again?

    Apple have glued together a machine with half decent equipment (at present) and there is a fanfare?

    Well golly gosh, we have a higher def laptop with higher end equipment like a non generic SSD drive (wow) fairly decent graphics and memory, that's all it is.

    This machine is more about bragging rights to a lot of fan boi's than about actual innovation, sure it looks pretty, but for the amount of time some people need to justify how great it is, it does concern me that technology reviews are becoming more like fashion reviews, if this laptop had a Medion badge on the top of it rather than an Apple logo there would be confusion and people who are saying this is the best thing since sliced bread that this is too expensive and poorly put together internally, budget PC's had things like ram and processors soldered to the board and kids electrical toys are generally glued together and don't cost over £2000.

    Nice screen highest def consumer screen at the mo, decent specs however nothing really ground breaking, too pricey, even software on osx is generally hard to come by unless its mainstream and even then you pay a premium for that logo.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Seriously a fashion review again?

      'Nice screen highest def consumer screen'

      What the wailing christ is a 'consumer screen'? FFS.

  35. Jolyon Ralph

    Microphone input NOT removed

    >Muzos will also be surprised to discover that – apart from the pair of built-in microphones

    >– there’s no audio input at all

    Not true. All they have done (in common with other manufacturers, my 2 year old Lenovo laptop has exactly the same) is combine the two into a single extended socket much the same as is on the iPhone and other mobile devices.

    So you can plug your iphone headphones/mic straight into it and use it. No need for headsets with two plugs on the end. I've found it much more useful when using skype, etc, on my Lenovo that I can plug in my iphone headphones/mic rather than carrying around a headset with two connectors.


  36. Van

    What was wrong with the old screen?

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Wired network users will mourn the loss of an Ethernet port, though Apple is offering this - surprise, surprise - as an option for an extra £25"

    Considering it probably costs pennies per unit to add, £25 is disgraceful.

  38. Anonymous Coward

    Alienware M14x

    A colleague at work had an Alienware laptop, and it simply flew with graphics and development work.

    If I was considering a premium laptop I'd get an Alienware instead. They can have a 1600x900 resolution, blu-ray optical drive, NVIDIA graphics, 6 Gig of RAM for just over £1200.

    Apple products, and the UI are good - but very expensive IMO.

    (At present, I have 2 laptops - a Lenovo T410 and Sony Vaio - the Lenovo is fab for day to day things and battery seems to last forever - Sony is pretty good at video work although battery life sucks)

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dearey me. What a load of dreay whinging from the anti-fanbois. This is a cracker of a machine and I'd love one but I can't justify having two current laptops. My day-to-day machine is a 13" MBA. This new machine is a tad too heavy to lug around all day. In any case, the performance of the new MBA isnt a kick in the arse off this for most things other than hd video.

    This is a premium laptop meant for folk who earn their livIng with their computers who, generally, get a 20% discount courtesy of HMRC which trumps the Education discount. Then there's three years capital depreciation and suddenly, to be quite frank, spending £2k on a decent laptop is a no-brainer. My MBA is the cheapest laptop I've bought in years. I used to buy fully loaded dells which were at least £2k if not more when £2k was a lot of money. So, where was I? Oh yes, these a bargain. Think I might get two so I dont have to carry it to the office.

    It's such a shame that there are so many cheapskate el reg commentards. Isn't there something el reg can do with http params to keep them out of apple stories? If their screen res is less than full hd send them to a review of some brick of an acer instead.

    1. David 138

      "This is a premium laptop meant for folk who earn their livIng with their computers."

      I have yet to see any "real" professional outside of design who use macs for more than email. HMRC? So really do mean people who do bugger all than try and look good. You sound like the typical moron most of us hear have to deal with on a day to day basis. The manager who can barely open a laptop but always wants the most expensive one available.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Love you too sweet cheeks.

        Actually, I'm a software developer and more than capable of taxing my computers to the max. I'm an experienced UNIX developer which means I can get my fingers dirty under the hood of OS X too as and when necessary. Let me guess: you're some kind of "support engineer". Bless. You're like a nurse to my doctor in that case, wiping arses while I do the more taxing diagnosis. You deal in bed pans while I deal in drugs. More responsibility means higher tech hardware. Winners and losers.

    2. the-it-slayer
      Paris Hilton

      Shame you're anon! (@03:37)

      Your comment makes most sense and I've been putting it in a different way (ultimate pro's will appreciate this laptop - whether heavy media creators or programmers/experts like yourself).

      Cheaptards don't understand the concept of value/bang for buck/investment. Yes, I invested in a £1000+ Dell XPS a few years ago and all I got from Dell in support was continuous refurbed motherboard replacements because their was an ultimate design flaw that burnt out the GPU after 6 - 12 months average usage. Lucky I could sell it on without a problem with the warranty and put that dosh into a MacBook Pro. Hasn't failed on me once.

  40. snarf

    Want one in 13" please, Apple

    Bizarre how many people care enough about this to write posts slagging it off. Don't like it? Vote with your feet... Don't buy it.

    I also find it odd that people are moaning about stuff like the lack of an optical drive or the reduced storage that comes with SSDs rather than spinning disks. The standard Macbook Pro line has been updated as well, so if these are your requirements then just buy one of them. It'll save you a good few quid in the process. Unless, you want all this plus the high res display. Well... as has been stated elsewhere... hopefully the market will respond to this, in the same way that it has to the Macbook Air, and this kind of screen will become the norm over the next couple of years. Kudos to Apple for pushing the envelope.

    Personally I'm hoping they release a 13" version next year... Until then I'm going with the MBA update. I like portability in my laptops and even at approx 2kg, the 15" form factor is a touch on the large side for me.

    Of course, it's not all about Apple. I am looking forward to the Zenbook UX21A when that comes out...

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nice screen, but how much?

    £1799 for a basic model? I felt sick enough after spending £1200 on a near-top spec 13" Air. It's good enough (as in, fine) as a dev machine, I can't imagine spending another 50% for one of these.

    People will though, so that's recession over.

  42. Sil

    A MacBook Pro is not an Ultrabook

    TheReg please stop confusing MacBook Pro or Air with Ultrabooks.

    While both have thinness as a design goal the Ultrabook standard goes way beyond with standardizing technologies for fast boot, fast wake-up, optimized most used files, internet updates while the system is asleep, antitheft technologies and more.

    And while Apple is free to upgrade its product lines however it likes, perhaps dropping or adding i/o devices here and there, the Ultrabook standards are more stringent in what can and cannot be done, which is great for the consumer lost in an infinite choice of notebooks.

  43. bex

    apart from the price

    The problem I have with this is it's the ultimate in throwaway technology with its impossible to replace glues in battery

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: apart from the price

      But they aren't impossible to replace. Send it to apple and they do it for you. Can't imagine keeping one long enough to need to do it myself mind you. These batteries can do 1000 full recharge cycles before noticeable reduction in charge time.

  44. stu 4

    Retina resolutions misunderstanding by author

    The highest out of the box resolution it will do is 1920x1200 NOT 3840x2400.

    Yes, that is the size of the image you will save to the buffer if you save the screen, because that is the resolution the GRAPHICS CARD is running at - but it is then scaling it down to 1920x1200 for display on the 2880x1800 screen - compare the real estate size against a MBP17 for proof.

    This seems to be confusing a lot of journos for some reason.

    You CAN set it native - via switchResX or quartz debug to 2880x1800 though - it's a pity this can't be done on a per desktop/spaces basis though - i.e. it'd be good to have a few virtual desktops at full native res, and some at hiDPI.

    Also, I'm sure it has mic in just like the air - it just uses the same headphone socket for both, just like your phone....


  45. Tony Barnes

    256GB - erm...?

    Given the high end nature of this device, I can only assume high end users will be interested. How much of that 256GB is available after OS, Creative Suite, etc, are dumped on? Video editing is out of the window unless you specialise in 2 minute films, and inability to just hardwire into your network (unless you buy an adaptor, obviously) means relying on wi-fi for shunting stuff to/from a NAS box - assuming Apple let you do that, lmao!

    Thanks, but no thanks. Some awesome additions, well, actually, mainly 1 - the screen, but far too many removals to warrant the cost. Does it even accept a regular SD card????

    That said it will still sell like shit off a shovel because it's shiny and has an Apple logo on it. Sigh.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 256GB - erm...?

      My MBA has 256GB. I've got a full Dev environment for several languages, open office, ms office, numerous browsers, utilities and sundry apps and music in iTunes. My disk is barely half full. An hour of 1080p video is barely 5GB at a reasonable bitrate. I'd think I'd get a far bit in 128GB. As for buying a thunderbolt adapter for Ethernet, that would be a no brainer. I even have this thing called a bag to put it in.

      It'll sell like shit off a shovel because it's currently the best laptop in its class and sensible professionals will be prepared to pay its reasonable price.

      I don't want to buy one but I'm tempted just to rub it in.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gorgeous laptop, but I'll wait until the new one comes out thanks.

    Gorgeous laptop, but I'll wait until the new one comes out thanks.

  47. Jules Wilko

    Wow - Fanboi review?

    Or is it just me?

    1. the-it-slayer

      Re: Wow - Fanboi review?

      Nope, just you. Just telling you the facts of the fab machine. Yes, it has its drawbacks, but the positives crush them instantly when you actually think about how the behaviours are changing (moving away physical media to install software etc).

      Again, Apple is the braviest of them all to make that decision. Still, they're gambling whether the consumer wants it (as Jobs correctly said, the consumer doesn't know what they want until you give it to them). Sales on this could be flop if they've called the wrong shots.

  48. Paul 2

    No audio inputs

    According to the Tech Specs on the Apple site (, the headphone port includes:

    - Support for Apple iPhone headset with remote and microphone

    - Support for audio line out

    which is exactly the same as my 2011 Macbook Air 13"...

    So whilst there's no dedicated audio line in socket, it's not true to say that there is no audio in - for instance, it would be fine use an iPhone headset to make a Skype call on the Retina Pro...

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