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on January 20, 2013
The laptop is very well constructed aluminumed cased computer with an exceptional 15" display which is currently the largest size offered by Apple in a laptop. It is quick responding, works seamlessly with Microsoft Office software made for Apple's operating system. It is expensive, but if quality materials are worth it, then go for it.
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on January 12, 2014
For a "used" laptop, I wouldn't have been able to notice a difference, outside of the lack of additional cables, etc. I've been using daily for 4 weeks now and it's worked great. Everything arrived quickly and I am satisfied with my purchase.
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on June 22, 2012
About 4 weeks ago, I purchased my first Mac - the 2011 MBP. I was amazed at how slick the graphics were, how fast it booted up, how fast programs loaded, how intuitive it was to use, and how gorgeous it was compared to the Dells, HPs, and Thinkpads I've owned and used for the last 20+ years. Note that I'm a management consultant and therefore a power PC user, and still use my company-issued PC for work everyday.

So I mentioned how much I loved my new Mac to some buddies who then basically called me a moron for buying a 2011 MBP when Apple was about to update their entire Macbook line in a few weeks. So I used my 2011 MBP for 14 days, then returned it to wait for Apple to launch the new line.

On June 11, I promptly logged onto the Apple website and ordered the MBP with Retina display. I received my unit on June 18. Holy cow - this thing smokes! The quality of the display is unbelievable. I play Diablo III and Starcraft on my PC, and remember how they looked on the 2011 MBP. Let me say the Retina display blows both away. The games are super crisp...I notice things on the game that I never noticed before. Little details. It's like having cataract surgery and finally seeing everything clearly for the first time (not that I would know how someone with cataracts see). In addition, this thing boots up in like 5 seconds. Programs load almost instantly. It's thin and light. Battery lasts almost 7 hours (2 hours when playing games that use the NVIDIA processor).

The only negative I can think of is that it doesn't have a slot with which I can use my cable lock. So if I'm in Starbucks and need to use the bathroom, I have to take it with me. Also, while the fact that this MBP is not upgradeable bothers me slightly, my actual experience with both work and home PCs is that I've replaced them every 2-5 years anyway. In 4-5 years tops, this MBP Retina will be obsolete and ready for an upgrade.

If you can afford it, buy it!

PS. Are there any native Mac RTS games I can buy besides Blizzard games?
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on September 15, 2012
So I just got the new Macbook Pro (I did not buy it). This is my first Mac and I have relatively little prior experience with it. The gesture-rich touchpad requires maybe half an hour to get used to, then it comes quite naturally. Very nicely designed, here is a few things I dont like:

1) Lack of standard ports, the need for a lot of adaptors
- No ethernet port: Although wireless is very ubiquitous, i sometimes need to transfer many gigabytes and ethernet is still the better way as of late 2012.
- No Microphone jack: need a USB adapter for external microphone
- NO CD drive
2) No upgradability
- Memory chip glued to board, so you will be stuck with 8 or 16GB of RAM forever, which is probably the only thing that might need upgrading in the next 5 years.
3) SSD is a big tradeoff. I guess I preferred the SSD thats why I got it, but 256GB is only enough space for a few big programs, and cannot hold many big files that I work with
4) Well, cannot adjust the resolution (like halving it if desired). Looks very nice in native apps, and crappy for other apps...
5) No reparability. I've opened my share of computers through the years, and often successfully fixed them. Just opening this one requires getting some strange screw drivers.
6) the machine is too light, I like getting some exercise hauling things around

I am impressed by:
0) The touchpad is very usable. On any other machine I've used, it is annoying to work them without a mouse. I can actually just use the touchpad without getting annoyed.
1) the screen
2) how quiet it is now with no spinning harddrive, the only thing moving is the fan.
3) download at 20MBps, and install programs in an instant with the fast SSD.
4) Very thin for a powerful machine

Besides those. If you are a former linux user, all the unix commands that you've learned over the years still works here. You can likely adapt quite quickly if you are familiar with Windows GUI, but there is always a few strangeness that takes a while to get used to, and make sure you learn the gestures. This machine still interacts better with all the linux servers than a Windows machine does. And it is just a smoother machine than any linux machines I've used, I still love them, but they just lack the polish to be usable for most consumers without the terminal.

Probably one the best machines at the $2000 range. If I am to buy a computer myself, I probably would have bought a very good $1000 PC. But if you have a $2000 budget for a machine, then PCs get expensive very quickly without getting much better (there you should buy memory and harddrive separately). zareason is a supplier of pretty good linux laptops, and you cannot actually get it to be clearly better without going into the 3000s. Samsung series 7 and the good old thinkpad are all good options at the $1300 range. The fanboys/gals obviously dont care about the alternatives, but then, this is review is written for former linux/windows users.
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on June 25, 2012
After owning a slew of previous HP laptops, I finally made the switch to Apple after they released this beast of a machine. Yes, it's expensive, but I believe well worth the money.

First off, the main reason to get one of these MBPs is the Retina screen. The contrast and clarity of this screen is amazing. The native resolution is equivalent to 1440 x 900 (Which is considered optimal resolution), but you can bump the resolution to a 1920 x 1200 equivalent. That's the same resolution as on the old 17" model. Even though it's not the native resolution, because the pixels are so small you can't event tell and it still looks insanely crisp. What's also cool is that since the screen does not have a cover glass, when viewing the screen at a sharp angle, the picture seems to be pasted right at the surface. Even though there's no cover glass, the screen is not any less sturdy or protected. There are also some third party apps that will let you use full resolution (2880 x 1800) if you don't mind tiny UI elements. I will admit that my MBP had a small defect in the screen. It had a tiny light leak in the lower left corner, but after taking it in to the Apple store and having them look at it, they said they would ship a new one out to replace mine (putting a deposit on my cc in the mean time so I wasn't without a laptop).

Components. I have the base model with a RAM upgrade. Those of you who are weary of the lack of upgradability shouldn't be concerned. Ask yourself 2 questions... will I ever upgrade it? and why would I need to? For me, I wanted would have wanted to upgrade myself because I felt the premium Apple was charging for the components was a little steep. I wouldn't recommend a SSD upgrade because the price increase is ridiculous. It's got USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt ports. For less than $500, you can get an external 512GB SSD that runs at full speed on USB 3.0. I upgraded the RAM on mine to 16GB since it's soldered on the main board. At $200 I didn't feel like it was too much more to pay. Getting 2 8GB 1600 RAM sticks will run about $120. It's an $80 premium that Apple charges over your own upgrade. Since most laptops that come with 8GB of RAM will usually have 2 4GB sticks, you'd need to buy 2 8GB sticks anyways, so you'd be paying for 24GB of RAM but only using 16GB (the 2 x 4GB chips that came with the laptop + the new 2 x 8GB chips if you did your own upgrade). And you might have to go through the trouble of faulty RAM or whatnot, so the price Apple is charging is justified.

The whole package. The best part about this laptop is that all this power comes in an amazing package. It's ridiculous how slim the case is. It's incredibly light and easy to carry around and feels very sturdy. The build quality is exactly what you would expect from a $2000+ laptop. The quality of materials is outstanding. I will say that when you close the lid and press down on the center of the laptop (where the Apple logo is), there is some give and the case flexes (still not nearly as much as my 16" HP whose screen is about as thick as the entire MBP), so I wouldn't put anything relatively heavy on top of it when it's closed, but it's still much sturdier than any other laptop I've ever owned. It's portability is amazing. Compared to my last HP laptop (HP hdx1000) of the same size, I think the full thickness of the MBP is just slightly thicker than just the LCD portion of the HP.

Battery life. People complain that the battery is glued into the case and a new one costs $199. It's a big battery and can power the laptop for an average of about 6-8 hours with moderate use. A comparable battery on any other laptop would cost just as much. The battery also has a life rating of 1000 cycles which means it can go through 1000 full charge cycles before it starts losing capacity. You can still use your battery after 1000 full cycles, but with less maximum capacity from the battery. A cycle is a full charge so 2 days recharging 50% of the battery would count as 1 cycle, etc.

Price. It's expensive. But so is a BMW and a BMW does basically the same thing as a Hyundai. Actually, if you do a price comparison with a PC with similar specs, the PC may end up being around the same price if not more expensive. Not quite the same, but they recently spec bumped the Dell XPS 13 ultrabook to match the specs of the 13" Macbook Air, and it was more expensive than the Air. Besides, I don't think there are any other laptops out there right now that can match the specs on a MBP Retina at the moment. Even if you spec bump the brand new non-retina MBP to a comparable Retina MBP, the Retina MBP will come out around $200 cheaper.

Final verdict. If you're on the fence of whether you should get one or not, do it. It's well worth the money and Apple support is excellent if you ever have problems.
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on January 28, 2013
This is my first mac, and it's simply great. It's very fast for turning on and opening applications. As I needed Windows for my work, I've installed it with Bootcamp and it was easy - no troubles.
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on June 23, 2012
Got this laptop to replace my older macbook pro. I have had this laptop for about a week and I love it so far.

- The improvement in speed due to better hardware spec (CPU, memory, SSD,...) is a given. Duh :)
- Retina display. Lots of people said about this already, but I really loved the sharpness. Diablo 3 looks much beautiful for example
- Thinner and lighter. Easier to carry around
- Not sure if this is due to the OS or the laptop itself, connecting to wifi is much faster.
- HDMI output. This is a big plus for me, I can stream to my tv directly

- Apple claims this laptop should be quieter than the older model due to the new fan design. I found it to be as loud on heavy load.
- Not missing the DVD drive, but I am missing the ethernet jack. The adapter cost $29 and it takes 1 out of 2 available Thunderbolt port. I could use those ports for other purposes (external HD + Mini DVI)
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on June 26, 2012
Reason why a bought it:

- Retina Display: It works great, love to edit pictures with this kind of screen.

-SSD Drive: Incredibly fast, it takes 14 seconds to boot (that's incredibly fast) writing and reading speeds are incredible.

-3rd Generation Intel Processors (Ivy Bridge): Haven't been able to test it's limits, yet geek bench gave it a score of 12878.

- Video Card, works good, I've tried a few games and have no regrets, great for video and photo editing. You can connect up to three displays to this one (2 thunderbolts and 1 hdmi - this talks about the capabilities of this Macbook).

- Weight: It is very light considering it is a 15 inches Macbook Pro

- Audio: This went beyond my expectations, MacBooks have never been famous for their integrated speakers, but these ones sound much better than the ones integrated in previous versions.

It's been almost a week since I have it and haven't found a reason to regret paying extra for the retina display, logically is a high price, but considering this is the first Macbook which integrates this technology I will say it is a fair price for being the first ones in having such a nice piece of engineering.

I still have some concerns about certain applications that don't look good with the retina display but for now I solved it using those apps on my secondary display.

Another advice: if you are planning to upgrade this macbook, you can't (at least not the RAM memory), so if you can pay extra US$ 200.00 for having 16 GB I strongly recommend you do it.
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on June 23, 2012
First of all, yes, I do own one. This laptop deserves 4.5-5 stars for several reasons, even though it might have a couple drawbacks. All the other reviews have mentioned most of the benefits of this laptop with good clarity, so I won't bore you with telling you how awesome it is besides two critical points I mention below:

First, I'd like to comment about the price. Apple always gets hate for having a premium price, but in my opinion the product you buy is always worth the price. You are paying for the design, engineering, premium components, screen (especially in this case), etc. What's more, with this particular laptop, when you put things into perspective, it really isn't "more expensive". If you want to buy an old style 15" MacBook Pro with the same specs as this new 15" MacBook Pro with Retina Display, you would be paying $300 more for it! Sure you'd get an optical drive, but you'd also add a pound of weight and get less resolution. It's a no-brainer to get this over the old style MacBook Pro.

Next, I'd like to comment about the weight. Yes, it's heavier than most ultrabooks, but it's also a lot more powerful than them--this is a "Pro" laptop, with pro specs. For once I was satisfied with a laptop's factory specs. I have no desire to upgrade anything because this thing flies as it is. I might have wanted more hard drive space on the base model, though (it comes with 256GB and you can't upgrade the base to 512GB, you have to buy the higher model of the computer). I've had the older 15" MacBook pro before Apple went unibody and this thing is thinner and lighter than that (it's obviously also lighter than the old design unibody). In other words, for me, it is noticeably lighter and light enough to carry around everyday. How "heavy" something is, not in terms of actual pounds, but how it feels to carry something around differs from person to person. For me this thing feels light, especially compared to other 15" laptops of this power on the market. The point is, weight (the feel of it) is relative and you have to hold this thing to decide if it's light enough for you.

If you're in the market for a laptop and this one is in your budget, I'd highly recommend it (at least check it out for the retina display ;-)

Thanks and hope this helps!
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on March 5, 2014
I am satifised with the purchase. I was surprised to recieve the box wiht the laptop indise in the apple box and very little packaging material, the box was bouncing around inside. Everything works fine and the transaction was effortless.
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