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164 of 180 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely fantastic laptop and worth every penny. Fast, stunning display and sound.
[6 month update: I still love this computer. Fortunately the Mac comes with Time Machine and I frequently back up to WD My Passport Ultra 1TB Portable External USB 3.0 Hard Drive with Auto Backup - Black. When I managed to mess things up, I restored the system with very little effort. I no longer feel like I have to be an IT admin to use this computer. I wonder why 10...
Published 11 months ago by Sam

versus
17 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Questionable value of the retina display
I'll try to avoid rehashing what's in the other reviews.

I dislike how the retina display is handled in osx. If you're running software that isn't optimized for this, everything looks horrible. Even when you are running retina-ready software, things just look big. Really crisp, but too big. By paying for this really high resolution then, you don't actually gain...
Published 6 months ago by mks55555


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164 of 180 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely fantastic laptop and worth every penny. Fast, stunning display and sound., November 23, 2013
This review is from: Apple MacBook Pro ME294LL/A 15.4-Inch Laptop with Retina Display (OLD VERSION) (Personal Computers)
[6 month update: I still love this computer. Fortunately the Mac comes with Time Machine and I frequently back up to WD My Passport Ultra 1TB Portable External USB 3.0 Hard Drive with Auto Backup - Black. When I managed to mess things up, I restored the system with very little effort. I no longer feel like I have to be an IT admin to use this computer. I wonder why 10 people didn't like my review?]

Aside from an iPod I had purchased some years ago, this is my first Apple product.

First a bit of a preamble:

I have many years of professional and personal experience using a variety of computers and operating systems as a professional and a personal user.

I had no intentions of buying this computer, but I was kinda "forced" into it. Here's why:

I purchased the 13" Macbook Pro with retina display for my wife (her old laptop with Windows XP was becoming a nightmare. (I had to be on 24x7 call as in-house admin, to fix any number of daily problems). But there was a rub. Safari uses black fonts on a dark gray background for the toolbar and tabs (I didn't notice this when I was in the store). I expected that there would be a preference option to change the font, color and background. Incredibly enough, there are no such options. Apple support confirmed this. I installed Firefox and while there's a free extension to change colors and font size, the results were fairly awful. And, of course, Apple does not offer any support if you change to Firefox which is "not their product."

Then the 13" MBP locked up. It literally froze. I couldn't even power down the computer. I called Apple and they told me what sequence of keys I needed to press to restart the computer.

After doing some research, I found that the computer freeze problem was common to the 13" MBP (this problem has since been resolved). With the computer freezing up, and my wife not being able to read that awful color combination, I returned the MBP.

I set up an account for her on my $650 13" Asus Windows 7 laptop (great Daily Deal) and she loves the light-weight computer with the large fonts and easy to read colors (this is after I altered a bunch of preferences).

But now I'm without a laptop and I really don't like using my desktop computer anymore.

I searched Amazon for a computer that had to have these 3 requirements:

1. Illuminated keyboard
2. SSD drive
3. 8 GB RAM

Incredibly enough, only 3 computers met my criteria. One was Apple and the other two didn't have great reviews and were fairly expensive.

So even though I have absolutely no particular loyalty or appreciation of the Apple company whatsoever, I decided to buy the 15" MPB with Retina for myself.

I'm in love.

Computer heaven for the first time in decades.

I was up and running within minutes and learned the basics in a few more days. When installing Windows on other computers, I would have to spend a day to install tons of updates. With Maverick, I simply turned the computer on and registered my computer (optional - not required like Roku). I also enabled the tracking feature so if I misplaced the computer (or if it was stolen), I could find it.

Unlike all of the other operating systems I've dealt with, the elegant level of software integration never ceases to amaze me.

A few simple examples:

* An appointment appears in my email and with a click I can add it to my calendar.
* While reading a newspaper, I press Cmd-I and the article appears in an email (with the link to the article) and all I have to do is add the email address.
* I want to send a person an image from the Internet using iMessage. All I have to do is drag the image to iMessage, add text and I can send the message to the person's iPhone or Mac.

Crazy simple.

The retina display is astonishingly sharp and viewable from all angles.

This would have been a godsend for my wife but Apple designed the Safari bookmark bar and tab in cool gray on black for those with perfect vision.

What drives me crazy about other monitors is that the contrast and brightness changes at different angles. I used to constantly have to change the monitor angle whenever I repositioned the laptop, hinging it back and forth. No more fiddling with new Retina Mac. No matter what angle, viewing remains consistent.

The sound on the 15" MBP is much, much better than the 13" version. This is the first computer I've owned that doesn't require I use my Shure ear buds in order to hear good sound.

The trackpad is wonderful -- I find that I'm not accidentally touching it while typing and I use a bunch of gestures.

I'm already so spoiled that when using another computer I'm extremely annoyed by having to use something as primitive as a mouse.

Dictation and speaking is surprising good. I downloaded a voice file (free) from Apple that barely sounds robotic at all.

If I come across a word (in any program) that I don't know the meaning of, using the keypad I press 3 fingers over the word and up comes the definition. Press another key and I can hear the pronunciation (I learn better when I hear the word said aloud, and I don't want to sound like an jerk mispronouncing a new word).

I adapted to the new keyboard very quickly and I make a lot less typing errors. Normally, it takes me days or even weeks to become comfortable with a different keyboard.

The computer wakes up instantly. Not almost instantly, but truly instantly. My 'instant on' Asus laptop takes at least 2 seconds.

Unless I'm watching videos, I usually get over 10 hours on the battery -- even more when I'm reading a book with the wireless off, keyboard illumination turned off and the screen comfortably dim. Typically, I only charge the battery just once at the end of the day.

No fan! No noise! I believe that the MBP is using passive cooling. There's a vent at the back of the hinge.

If you're new to Macs, search 'David Cox tutorial macbook' for some great totally free professional quality video tutorials.

Aside from the lack of color and font size flexibility for Safari, the only con that I can think of is that a pop-up doesn't appear when typing in passwords when the caps lock key has been pressed. Also, I would have liked more USB ports. I can't use my external DVD drive since it has 2 USB cables.

The more I use the computer, the more I love it.

After 2 weeks, I haven't felt even a teeny bit of buyer's remorse (this was a major financial expenditure for me). I even bought the 3 year Apple Care warranty (actually, it's 2 years since the first year is covered by the Apple warranty).

Unfortunately, the warranty doesn't cover drops or accidents. When I pulled out the power cord on my Asus laptop, the computer was very quickly repaired at no cost under the normal warranty.

The computer and operating system is a work of art.

Now I'm sorely tempted to buy an iPhone to synch my calendar and notes. I was afraid of this - where does it end?
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63 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome computer, October 28, 2013
By 
Jeremy Fergason (Tucson, AZ United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Apple MacBook Pro ME294LL/A 15.4-Inch Laptop with Retina Display (OLD VERSION) (Personal Computers)
This is a wonderful laptop. It's thin and light but feels extremely solid. The retina screen is absolutely gorgeous to look at. The only down side to retina is that many websites don't have high enough resolution images so they end up looking a little blurry. I just hope those sites increase their image resolutions because the retina display is truly amazing... it makes all my photos look a lot better :)

The machine is very fast with most apps opening instantly. Even heavy weight ones like XCode. The battery life is very good; I haven't really gotten to test if it gets the advertised 9 hours though.

The built in SD card reader is handy. The only thing I miss is an ethernet connection (you can get a thunderbolt to ethernet adapter). I rarely need it but there have been times.

All the stuff I've come to love with Apple in a convenient package. The free copy of Numbers, Pages and keynote are nice too. I highly recommend.
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40 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comparison to the Original Mid 2012 Model, March 1, 2014
This review is from: Apple MacBook Pro ME294LL/A 15.4-Inch Laptop with Retina Display (OLD VERSION) (Personal Computers)
Some background:
I own the original mid 2012 Model with 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, and the GT 650M. Being an early adopter, there were some growing pains such as the stuttering of animations when swiping into mission control or scrolling on certain webpages. Apple has provided over the past year with software updates that have improved scrolling and animation performance. However, the real limit were in the graphics (HD 4000 and GT 650M). Now that the new model rocks the Intel Iris Pro and GT 750M graphics, we'll see how this compares.

What I like:
+ screen now covers 99% of sRGB.
+ there is about an hour increase in the battery life due to the Intel Haswell architecture
+ the SSDs are now PCIe based and therefore almost twice as fast as the previous generation.
+ Thunderbolt 2 ports are present instead of Thunderbolt 1
+ Upgraded to wireless AC
+ The Intel Iris Pro performs nearly identical and in some cases better than the dedicated GT 650M under NON-GAMING work loads. A lot more information is available if you search online about Iris Pro vs GT 650M
+ The Intel Iris Pro is significantly better than the Intel HD 4000 while having better energy efficiency than the dedicated GT 750M (thus the 1 hour increase in battery life)
+ Scrolling and other animations are smoother than in the previous generation.
+ Windows 7 and 8 run fine if you install via Boot Camp
+ "$200 price drop" - see below

What I didn't like:
- Apple changed the pricing scheme of the two 15 inch models. In order to get the dedicated GT 750M, you are forced to upgrade to the top model with 512GB SSD and 16GB RAM. Before this, you were able to get dedicated graphics on the entry model so the "$200 price drop" isn't really a great deal after all unless you can live with just the Iris Pro graphics.
- This is unfair to those who are just looking for dedicated graphics in the entry model and are now forced to spend $600 more to get it.
- Iris Pro graphics under-perform in games when compared to the old GT 650M.
- You can't connect to Ethernet without paying $30 for an adapter.
- Case scratches easily. I suggest you invest a cover and a well cushioned carrying case.
- Many review sites label this as a "workstation" laptop but be warned! NEITHER Iris Pro or GT 750M are suitable for professional applications like Solid Works, Auto Cad, Maya, etc.

Conclusion:
-If you are into photography, video editing or want a decent gaming laptop then I'd recommend this model to you.
-If you want dedicated graphics but can't stomach the high price, get the refurbished mid 2012 model - they are being sold at great, low prices.
-If you are a professional looking to run applications like CAD along with video editing software, look elsewhere. Platforms better suited to your needs would be the Dell Precision, HP EliteBook W and, Thinkpad W series.
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77 of 93 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely a piece of Art. Light years ahead. Unlike any computer you will ever use., June 2, 2014
This review is from: Apple MacBook Pro ME294LL/A 15.4-Inch Laptop with Retina Display (OLD VERSION) (Personal Computers)
Length:: 4:11 Mins

I am a normal business guy. I grew up on the PC, and I still use a PC with Windows everyday. However, after touching and using a Mac at the Apple Store in Scottsdale, I felt truly captivated with the machine and walked out with one-- the top of the line MacBook Pro.

While I still use the familiar Windows Operating System, I am quickly learning and loving the ease, and effortless genius of the Mac OS.

I see some people nit picking it apart. This technical detail isn't to their liking, etc. Speed, something something or other. Isn't good enough for them. There are always critics, but the truth is that the world could not ask for a more beautiful and elegant solution to computing. What would the world have been like without Apple, or more specifically, the genius of Steve Jobs?

This purchase then even inspired me to read the Steve Jobs biography. My main question was: why does this machine, and all apple products, feel like they are light years ahead of everything else? Why does Apple feel like the only consumer electronics company that makes something not disposable; a piece of art and a solid beautiful object that does more than just complete a task. It is a joy and a pleasure to own, like one of my sport cars or a nice jacket. You feel it. You don't just use it to accomplish things like a PC. You have a connection with the MacBook. When you hold this beautiful computer in your hands, it almost makes you want to cry. Knowing that the genius responsible for Apple has passed away is a tragedy that mankind has yet to fully realize and appreciate.

Needless to say, after years of stubbornly clinging to the PC, my eyes have been opened and I am a convert.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You do not need this computer. Buy it anyway., April 14, 2014
By 
This review is from: Apple MacBook Pro ME294LL/A 15.4-Inch Laptop with Retina Display (OLD VERSION) (Personal Computers)
I confess. I could have spent $600 less on the "base" 15" MacBook Pro and been happy 98% of the time, maybe adding a few hours of waiting to my life over the five years I expect to use this computer. No, unless you do a lot of video editing or photo editing or music recording (I lightly dabble in the latter two) then you just don't need the premium graphics card and 16GB of RAM that differentiates this machine from its muscular baby brother. But it certainly can't hurt.

There is not question to me that this is a five-star product. For anyone who would even consider Apple, this is simply the most powerful laptop you can get. Unless you just can't stand Mac OSX, you will not be disappointed. The display is extremely, unnecessarily crisp. The keyboard is simple. The sound is fantastic. The trackpad is smooth, large, and super responsive. The screen bevels are small. The computer is thin and light for a 15" model.

As for the internal hardware - it renders videos about 3x faster than my 2009 premium level MacBook Pro. There is just no lag in general use - none whatsoever. Boot time is nothing. Of course, except for video rendering, you'd get the same experience on the cheaper model 15" computer.

The battery life is the one and only sticking point, but it's at the level of other premium power laptops. I keep my screen on full bright, can't help it, and get something like 4.5 hours on a charge, sometimes a little more. Unless you plan on doing professional-level video editing through the majority a transpacific flight, you're good.

But like other Apple products, it's battery charges to 100% in about half the time of the competition. This is a stat that doesn't get talked about enough, but that annoys me to no end about my premium Android phone that takes forever to charge.

If you want a computer that is as future-proof as any on the market, with the absolute best processor available, storage to spare, and enough power to handle anything that might come in the near future, this is the computer for you. If you can hold out a year for a fingerprint sensor, USB 3.0, and some other peripherals, do it. But don't expect to need or get a faster computer anytime soon.

That's why I bought this computer. Not because I need it. But because I might, and I know that even while this system ages and components slow, it has the extra juice to stay top-of-the line for years to come. I keep my computers for half a decade on average. I can't imagine that four years on I'll be disappointed by this one.
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43 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Macbook + Parallels + Windows 7 = Awesome!, November 10, 2013
This review is from: Apple MacBook Pro ME294LL/A 15.4-Inch Laptop with Retina Display (OLD VERSION) (Personal Computers)
Update: I've had this for six months now and I have been very happy with it. I'm not a complete convert to Mac because I use applications like Windows Access, Word, Excel, Visual Studio, etc that I already had invested in. But I run them all on my Mac with Parallels. At my desk I hook it up to two ViewSonic LED monitors. Works great!

-----------------------------
I've been a windows user getting close to 30 years. And even as a Windows developer I have been looking for a change because Microsoft just could never create applications that ran flawlessly. So I started to think about Apple but what about all of those applications? Did you know that if you switch to Windows 8 you have the same problem?

So I decided to give this Macbook a try and I found a program called Parallels which allows you to literally transfer Windows from your Windows computer to the Macbook! Exactly as you had it set up, too! So far the only problem I've had was Windows wouldn't recognize the network adapter but after some searching I found Windows was still trying to use hardware from the old computer. Removed that and now it works beautifully! I can literally swipe between OS X and Windows all on one computer!

I use Office, Visual Studio, and a host of other Windows apps that in some cases can't be replaced. Yet I have the beauty of the Retina display and Lightroom 5 for Mac for my photo work and a host of other great Apple products. Plus a lighted keyboard and relatively light and thin hardware.

I recommend the 16gb memory and at least a 512gb hard drive. The only other thing I have debated on is whether the 15 inch is just a little too big. But it has better speakers then the 13 inch. I love everything about this Macbook so I guess I will get used to the extra couple of inches.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Apple laptop on the market, better price than Apple store, April 11, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Apple MacBook Pro ME294LL/A 15.4-Inch Laptop with Retina Display (OLD VERSION) (Personal Computers)
Save a few dollars and buy from Amazon! This laptop is top-of-the-line with 15" Retina display, 512GB PCI-Express Flash drive, 16GB RAM, etc. Ordered from Amazon and received a few days later. Saved a Benjamin versus Apple online store. Apple products are very impressive. Much higher quality than Dell and other commodity Wintel vendors. If you're looking for something comparable in terms of product design, but don't want to go Apple, the next option is Samsung. Sammy laptops, tablets and phones are on-par with Apple, while the software is Windows and Android versus Apple Mac OS X & iOS.

This laptop can run both Mac OS X and Windows (and/or Linux), as it has an Intel CPU. Running Parallels virtualization product now to allow running Windows in a VM alongside Mac OS X, best of both worlds. VMware Fusion and Virtual Box are also available options to run VMs on the Mac, or use Bootcamp to dual-boot between Windows and Mac OS X.

Given the crazy state of cyber security breaches for Windows, recommend moving to Mac OS X, and use a VM to browse the Internet, etc. Reset the VM on a regular basis, ensuring no malware remains present. Don't trust anti-virus and other security products to keep the enemy out.
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35 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerhouse, November 3, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Apple MacBook Pro ME294LL/A 15.4-Inch Laptop with Retina Display (OLD VERSION) (Personal Computers)
This thing is a solid performing development powerhouse, for example a project that used to take a few minutes to build on my old 2010 macbook pro, now builds in seconds. The screen is brilliant and provides plenty of desktop space for actually using serious software like XCode or Photoshop to their full. On the flip side install windows on a boot camp partition and you have one of, if not the most powerful portable steam boxes in the market.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best laptop money can buy, period., March 6, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Apple MacBook Pro ME294LL/A 15.4-Inch Laptop with Retina Display (OLD VERSION) (Personal Computers)
Cannot say enough about this laptop. After using WIndows for 15+ years, the switch to Mac has been night & day x100. I cannot overstate how this laptop is far superior to a Windows product in every sense of the word. Small example:

How often my machines freeze:
With Windows - With only 5 tabs open in Internet Explorer
With Mac - With ALL MS office programs open, Adobe cs6, Firefox with 11 tabs, Calender, Itunes, & Facetime - & guess what, it STILL doesnt freeze then - I have not been able to make it freeze on me

In short, the absolute best $2490 you can spend... you get the fastest hard drive on the market, one of the best CPU's on the market, and the QUICKEST machine on the market, with the most BRILLIANT display on the market. It's a no-brainer. I would never, ever even remotely consider going back to anything WIndows.

Once again, I cannot say enough about this machine.... Absolutely the best, and smartest $2490 Ive ever spent

Also, since buying this machine, I'm able to do so much more with searching for work, doing necessary research for college, and skyping for job interviews out of state - with absolutely no problems. This laptop isn't just a fancy piece of equipment that's fast - it's a time multiplier because it paves the way fro any person or small business to increased it's productivity exponentially. Would buy again in a heartbeat.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful desktop replacement laptop, April 30, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Apple MacBook Pro ME294LL/A 15.4-Inch Laptop with Retina Display (OLD VERSION) (Personal Computers)
The screen is crisp and brilliant. This cannot be overstated. The screen is amazing.
The computer boots up instantly and all the apps start instantly.

I am the owner of an early 2011 MacBook Pro. I upgraded from it because launching apps was slow. I was always staring at the spinning beach ball cursor while the machine worked.

The iPad, MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro can be considered comfortably portable. You can say that you "tote" those devices. This 15-inch model cannot be comfortably "toted". You have to carry/lug this around. This is a desktop replacement laptop. This is not emphasized enough in the reviews. Do not get this if you are a road warrior.

I have seen a lot of reviews stating that you should not get this high end MacBook Pro model unless you are editing movies or only if you need its awesome power. The price is brutally expensive. That said, this model is the only one with a discrete GPU and I felt that it was the only model that I would fully enjoy because I am a PC gamer when I am not coding. If you think the same way then go ahead and purchase this because you will definitely enjoy working and gaming on this laptop for at least five years.

EDIT: 5/1/2014
You CAN comfortably carry it. I was wrong about the weight; it's light. It just looks like you're carrying a dinner tray under your arm because of the width of the laptop.
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