on October 28, 2013
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.
on March 1, 2014
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.
-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.
on April 14, 2014
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.
on April 11, 2014
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.
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.
on April 30, 2014
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.
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.
on March 6, 2014
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.
on November 3, 2013
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.
on January 15, 2014
I stayed away from the MacBooks for years, because they seemed to be overpriced inferior laptops to me. When the Retina version of this laptop came out, the MacBook finally had something the competitors didn't have - the most gorgeous screen I have ever seen on a laptop.
Something that wasn't clear to me before purchase is how light and thin this laptop is compared to similarly equipped laptops. The thickness of this laptop is amazing. It's thinner than my 4th Generation Ipad in a leather case. Albeit, a little bit heavier.
You'll definitely want a lap desk if you use this thing on your lap to watch video or play games, because it gets VERY hot. This is to be expected because of all the high end hardware squeezed into this. It's more of a desktop replacement laptop, in the form factor of a travel friendly laptop.
on May 30, 2014
I know the headline sounds fanboyish, but what can you say? If you've owned a Mac before, you know what to expect. If you never have owned one, let me tell you. From the packaging to the construction of every last part of the machine, Apple builds these things to the highest standard. You won't find a more solid machine out there. The unibody construction feels sturdy, and it's very light. The hardware is the best you can get at the time of construction. Whether you love Apple or hate them, there's simply no denying the quality. Yes, you can buy a similarly spec'd laptop for far less. But similar specs, does not make an equal machine overall. Let me explain why:
1) Future proofing. When you buy a Mac, yes it costs more. But rest assured, you won't need to upgrade again for at least half a decade or more. This is my first MacBook upgrade in 6 years, and the previous machine was only just starting to get slow enough to warrant replacement. It could probably easily have been stretched another year minimum. The only issue we had with the other one in all that time, was the hard drive died. That could happen with any laptop, and was a cheap/easy replacement. Macs are built to last. It's a big expense, but you won't need to spend money on another laptop for years.
2) Quality. Through my work I have worked on a lot of laptops, and desktops. Even in the $1,000 and above PC market, I've yet to find a Windows machine built to the standard of a Mac. They feel better in hand than anything else. The wear and tear is less than anything else. Though it must be said, aluminum scratches and gouges easily, however that can be said of plastic too. When you pick this thing up, it's extremely light, but also manages to feel SO sturdy. There's no flexing, creaking, etc.
3) Apps. This is purely personal. Everyone feels different about operating systems, applications, how they like to do their work on a computer. OS X just works better than any version of Windows I've ever used. It's intuitive, beautiful, reliable, safe. The applications available, both through Apple and third parties, are just far more carefully done. Everything screams quality, ease of use, but also workhorse. There's a reason Macs are the go-to in anything media related, and are fast becoming the same for everything from word processing and beyond. Most big name games are even being made for Mac now. The few areas they were behind Windows on, they are now easily on par, or exceeding by quite a large margin.
4) THE DISPLAY. My goodness. You hear people talk about Retina, and how beautiful it is. Words can't really explain it. You have to see it to believe it. The deepest blacks, brightest whites, absolutely NO light bleed, you cannot see pixels to save your life. The resolution is so high you can't even stand to use another machine after looking at it. The glossy display on this model is far better than my old one. My old one had high quality, but nowhere near this. You can look at this screen from any angle now, any distance, and it's crystal clear. It's just stunning.
5) Battery life. Apple advertises 8+ hours on this laptop in particular. It delivers. Of course that depends on what you do. I mean, if you watch YouTube videos naturally it will go down faster than if you're composing emails or working in Pages. But casual web use, word processing, and a bit of photo editing, it easily meets the advertised battery life. That was with brightness on auto, all settings as far as display and energy saver on default. If you "power saved", turned brightness all the way down, keyboard backlighting off, etc... You could probably easily exceed the advertised by a noticeable amount. It charges fully from completely dead in about 3 hours. As far as degradation over time, I can't say yet obviously. However on our old MacBook (6 years old mind you) the battery still is about half as good as it started. So I am not worried about this one at all.
You won't be disappointed. Some things to note however. Apple has moved to the "App Store" format completely. There are no discs with this device. Everything is done via the app store. It does come with iWork, iLife, Mavericks, all free, but no discs. There isn't a disc drive on this device at all. Personally I like it. I can't remember the last time I used a disc anyway. If you need to restore OS X simply download it from the app store, create a USB from it with Apple's included software for that, and install from USB. You can buy an external DVD/CD drive though if you like. It is supported.
There's a lot of hype with Apple products. There's a reason for that. They deliver.