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83 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Laptop
Update: I thought since it's been a couple months, I'd give a quick update. Although there isn't much to add. I still love this machine. Of course any computer you buy now should be the best computer you've owned, but this one feels especially refined. Still very happy I upgraded from the Air to the Pro.

Original Post:
I was operating on a 3 year old...
Published 5 months ago by Ed

versus
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Laptop but beware of some bugs!
Very Solid laptop but comes with some early adopter bugs. I upgraded from a 2009 13" Macbook pro and use a 2010 Mac Mini as my HTPC. The connection between those two via screen share was as close to real time as one could get. Screen sharing from this laptop to the Mini is extremely slow. Based on the apple discussion forums, this is a known issue. I have yet to come up...
Published 5 months ago by Francis Miranda


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83 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Laptop, November 2, 2013
By 
Ed "edshull" (Henderson, NV, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Apple MacBook Pro ME865LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop with Retina Display (NEWEST VERSION) (Personal Computers)
Update: I thought since it's been a couple months, I'd give a quick update. Although there isn't much to add. I still love this machine. Of course any computer you buy now should be the best computer you've owned, but this one feels especially refined. Still very happy I upgraded from the Air to the Pro.

Original Post:
I was operating on a 3 year old Macbook Air last year when I saw the MacBook Pro Retina. The 13" was tempting, in large part because it wasn't much heavier than my Air. But I decided to hold off and see if a Retina Air developed. The answer, as you probably know, was no. So when Apple refreshed the Pro line, I went for it.

I'm on day 2 getting my new machine up and running, and it's amazing. First off, that lag when you lift your lid and wait for the login screen...gone. This thing turns on like an iPad. You lift the lid and you're staring at the login.

Second, the Retina is stunning. Of course when you play movies, or games, you see the big difference, but for me it's the the text. Emails, websites, documents, everything is so much cleaner and easier to read. Much less fatigue.

Third, this thing is fast. Issues that I once blamed Internet speed, or poorly coded Websites, are now mostly gone. I would not have guessed it was the speed of my machine slowing things down. Safari and Chrome run like Ferrari and Lamborghini, respectively, on this new machine. Pages load up very fast.

The new OS X, Mavericks, is a nice upgrade and everything is just a little tighter. I was surprised that I still have to install iWork, but it's free and takes only a couple minutes.

If you're looking at this machine, you're either new to Mac, in which case buy this and don't look back. Or, you're looking at upgrading. If you had an Air, you're not likely to notice the weight difference, and the size itself is actually a little more compact feeling. If you're a MacBook Pro user, this seems like a great update if you weren't already on the Retina machines.

When you factor in size, power and battery life (which is about twice that of my old Air), this is the perfect laptop.
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet Spot for Pricing and Features; Review from First-Time Mac User, November 6, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Apple MacBook Pro ME865LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop with Retina Display (NEWEST VERSION) (Personal Computers)
I looked into purchasing this computer from the Apple Store, from Best Buy, or from Amazon. Ultimately, I chose Amazon because of the fact that I did not have to pay sales taxes (depends on which state you live in). Also, Amazon made it easy to get the appropriate Square Trade warranty with it, which is cheaper than the Apple Care, but based on my readings from other customers, is just as good.

This particular model (256GB SSD, 8GB RAM) is the sweet spot in terms of pricing and features, particularly for the 13" model. The 256 SSD is a bit faster than the 128GB SSD in terms of write speeds, and I believe that if you have an external drive for large files that you do not use frequently (e.g., Time Capsule), then 256GB would be plenty of data for most people.

If you can get Education Pricing from Apple, I would personally recommend that you consider going to the Apple website to purchase the model with 256GB SSD and an upgraded 16GB of RAM, which would cost 1579 plus tax (with the education discount). I could not find a 16GB model on Amazon as of early November 2013. I have found that 8GB of RAM will probably be fine for me, but I am having to be more mindful of how many programs I have open than I would like to be. Plus, who knows what programs will come out in the future that might benefit from more RAM. I am hoping that this computer lasts me at least a few years, and I can never upgrade the RAM. However, I do want to reiterate that 8GB of RAM is working fine for me right now.

I briefly owned a Macbook Air when they came out with the new version in June 2013; however, I returned it because I wanted to purchase a computer with a Retina display. I am very happy that I waited until this computer came out. It is only a half of a pound heavier than the Air, it is significantly more powerful, and it has the awesome display. I personally appreciate reading text more on this computer than on non-Retina displays.

I am a first-time Mac owner (except for brief stint with the Air earlier this year), and I am enjoying the transition. For me, the trackpad is my favorite part. Once you get used to the many gestures, it is easy to transition between applications, launch new ones, manipulate text, zoom in and out, swipe back to your previous page, etc. After a week of heavy use, I can definitely see myself sticking with Mac. I will update the review if I change my mind for some reason.

So far, so good. Enjoy your purchase :)

Update 11.9.13: Apple has released an update to fix the trackpad problem that some of the other reviews mentioned.

I continue to use the laptop heavily, and I am definitely impressed by the battery. The actual battery life totally depends on how many programs you've got running. I have found that with several tabs in Safari and maybe one other program (e.g., iTunes), I can get the 9-10 hours that Apple claims. When I've got Safari and Chrome with several tabs, Garageband, iTunes, KeyNote, Pocket, the App Store going, I'm getting closer to 7 hours, which is still pretty good.

As far as the heat goes, I have not actually measured the temperature, but it has not caused me any problems. I personally try to position laptops carefully on my lap (as all guys should per men's health research), but other than that, I have not found myself worrying about it.

The sound quality is pretty good, better than the 13" Air. It's easy to adjust the volume even at night because of the awesome backlit keyboard. The volume buttons are easily accessible. I suggest that you disable the annoying sound feedback that indicates you have changed the volume (it is especially annoying when wearing headphones).

For other first-time Mac users, I suggest that you find websites that give keyboard shortcuts, and that you dedicate time making these shortcuts as well as the trackpad gestures second-nature. The earlier you can get those movements in your muscle memory, the faster you will feel that the laptop obeys your wishes :)
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best laptop among all the others on the market!!! (detailed review attached), November 7, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Apple MacBook Pro ME865LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop with Retina Display (NEWEST VERSION) (Personal Computers)
My choice to get this new Macbook Pro instead of a Windows 8.1 laptop is great!!!
I would like to write this review in detail, hope it will help!

1. Performance
Apple does provide excellent user experience! The turn on/off time is with in 30 seconds! And the fan is so quiet. The body isn't very hot compared with my previous SONY laptop. And it's really fast, also easy to use, you can forget about the mouse! Also, the wake up from sleep is in a second!!!

2. Retina Display
Best screen ever!!! When I watch HD stream video, I can feel the huge difference between Retina Macbook and PC. I can't go bak to the old PC monitor anymore. The words, pictures, videos, are smooth and much more clear. Also small logo or fonts are still clear and easy to recognize. Office 2011 supports retina now, but Adobe PDF reader doesn't, yet.

3. Battery
Wow, this is magic, 9 hours usage time!!! And it is so smart, that this laptop can tell whether you are next to it, so it can shut down the screen to save power. My tips to help you protect your battery's health.
TIPS: When you at home, charge it, and when the battery is 100% full, keep the plug on. Because after fully charged, macbook will separate your battery from use, then use the electricity from adapter directly. But whenever you need to leave home, just unplug, it has long standby time. And remember to use the battery only from 100% to 0% (when macbook automatically shut down) once a month, to keep the battery active!

4. Apps
Beyond your imagination. Really useful, even free apps. And they can make you feel you are using your PC again.

5. Weight and size
Really light. And the thickness is about a ball-point pen! Buy this one instead Macbook Air!!!

===========I give it 10 stars, if possible==========
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing computer, but maybe consider purchasing elsewhere..., November 14, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Apple MacBook Pro ME865LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop with Retina Display (NEWEST VERSION) (Personal Computers)
I won’t let this affect my rating of the product because I realize this is not the fault of Apple or an actual flaw with the computer itself. That said my experience with this product being shipped directly from Amazon was horrible. Foolishly I ordered here to avoid paying sales tax up front. My laptop arrived with a hole in the shipping box and shipped with just two completely deflated air packets to “protect” my $1499 investment during transit. Thus my retail box was smashed in on two of the corners and I had to ship it back. The computer itself may have been fine, but I was unwilling to open the box and find out. I didn’t want Apple to accuse me of damaging it if I needed warranty work, all because Amazon decided to be lazy with their packaging process. In the end I re-purchased directly from Apple and don’t regret that decision.

With that out of the way, I do feel like this computer is worth the money. My previous 15” MacBook Pro needed to be replaced and I was having a hard time deciding between this and the MacBook Air. Reviews of trackpad and keyboard glitches almost scared me towards the latter, but I decided to risk it after researching Apple’s return policy (14 days no questions asked, also read it is extended for the holidays to 1/7/2014 for all purchases made after 11/1/2013). Luckily when I turned the machine on updates were already out to fix the trackpad and keyboard issues so I haven’t experienced it.

While this is in no way the most powerful notebook on the market, it far exceeds what I need my laptop to do. No, it won’t play Battlefield 4 on Ultra settings but that’s what I build desktops for ;). That said it’s still plenty powerful, and the SSD is by far the best I’ve used (and I’ve used several in my desktop). From the startup chime to be fully signed in to a loaded OS X desktop took 11 seconds. Restarting is slower though, but OS X has been that way for me since 10.7 I’m thinking there is a bug Apple hasn’t ironed out.

However the defining factor for me is the battery. I just passed 10 hours on a single charge and still show 18 percent. In this time frame I browsed Safari (roughly 10 tabs), watched videos, worked on documents in Pages, ran backups, encrypted an external drive, etc. more or less simultaneously. I didn’t even dim the screen out of the box and I’m getting this kind of time, so I found that highly impressive.

Overall I’d give this product 4 ˝ stars if that was an option. It would have been nice to have quad core and at least IRIS PRO graphics like the base 15 model. However I couldn’t even find a comparable PC with those specifications in this form factor. But I still feel the value is there, and highly doubt I will be making use of that return policy I previously mentioned.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for students, January 22, 2014
This review is from: Apple MacBook Pro ME865LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop with Retina Display (NEWEST VERSION) (Personal Computers)
Mostly, I am a PC user, but a couple years ago I decided to make the switch to Mac by getting the Macbook Air. While I thoroughly enjoyed using it, I got the 11 inch version with 64gb hard drive and it was a little difficult for me to use. It was a little slower than I was used to, and I was having issues playing youtube videos. The screen also was not as crisp and I decided to purchase a samsung laptop with windows 8. Let me just say right now that it was complete trash. The keyboard had issues, the O.S was glitchy, the trackpad worked at its own whim and the wifi disconnected on a regular basis. I immediately sold that hunk of junk and went to purchase this one. I did not buy it at amazon because they do not offer the education discount and have begun charging tax in my state of Massachusetts. I got it tax-free which was nice. When I went on the sales floor at the store that I was going to purchase it at, I did not have my mind set on any specific laptop. I checked out a couple of them, and it was between the Vaio Pro, the Ativ Book 9 Plus and this Macbook Pro Retina ME865LL/A. While the Vaio was a great laptop and the lightest 13-incher I have ever held, it was a little flimsy for my liking. With an asking price of 1249.99, I do not want to see flex on the keyboard, so that was immediately out of the question. It therefore came down to the Macbook or the Ativ 9 Plus.
As some might already know, Samsung is nipping at Apple's heels, and while I used to have a terrible Samsung laptop, I felt that the Ativ 9+ is definitely more premium than the one that I had and maybe I would give it a try. I immediately began playing with the floor model and was met with some stuttering, and a touchpad that wasn't quite as responsive as I would have liked. It didn't even work at times. Yes, the screen was stunning, and yes the look of it is absolutely incredible, but when looking at purchasing a laptop a lot of people believe that MacBooks are overpriced. In comparison with the Ativ 9 Plus, I would have to respectfully disagree. The most enticing features of the Samsung are the insanely high-resolution screen, which does not work that well with Windows 8 and often times must be scaled (which is the reason that the 2014 model will have standard 1080p screen) and the next greatest thing about that machine is the premium feel and unibody build. I purchased this Macbook for 1399.99, the exact same price as the Samsung. Now while that is certainly impressive, Apple also has a beautiful retina display on their machine, and also has a very premium feeling and well-built machine. I never thought I would say this, but the Macbook is actually a better deal. They both have Haswell processors, but apples is a bit better and comes with the Intel Iris 5100 graphics as opposed to the HD4400, which is lagging behind (no pun intended.) This machine comes with 8 gigs of ram, as opposed to 4 on the Samsung, and a 256gb solid state drive as opposed to the 128gb on the Samsung. It breezes through any tasks that you might have as a student or a business professional with ease. And the touchpad is still the best you will find on a laptop. Get this laptop, and you won't feel bad that you did. The resale value is also very spectacular on apple products, so if you are the type of user like me that is constantly upgrading and switching, it might be a good idea to take that into consideration.
By the way, I am not an Apple "fanboy" and do not have an iPhone but rather a Droid. My desktop is self built. The only two Apple products I have are this Macbook Pro Retina and the wireless router (which is also quite excellent.) Sad that I had to make that disclaimer, but unfortunately there is too much "fanboyism" towards this company. I give credit where credit is due.
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Right Balance, October 31, 2013
This review is from: Apple MacBook Pro ME865LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop with Retina Display (NEWEST VERSION) (Personal Computers)
I upgraded from a MacBook Air 11 to this one and could not be happier. 11 inch screen was way too small, narrow (or low?), and its overall quality was just not good enough. This one is just as good as my iPad retina screen, only bigger. The size of this laptop is great too. I would not mind paying extra for a 15 inch version, but after spending about 30 minutes playing with 13 and 15 inch versions next to each other at the store I confirmed my feeling that the 13 inch had it all and adding more bulk to get a bigger screen was not worth it. I do have an older 15 inch MacBook that my work gave me, and when traveling I would quite often take it with me instead of my 11 inch laptop just because I felt that the 11 inch screen was too limiting for serious work. This model seems to hit the right spot between the 11 and 15 inch models: its size and weight do not make it too bulky and its screen is not too small either. Seems like a perfect balance to me: I am enjoying every minute that I am working on it.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally a MAC that has better hardware than windows laptop, December 30, 2013
This review is from: Apple MacBook Pro ME865LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop with Retina Display (NEWEST VERSION) (Personal Computers)
I ended up buying a macbook because it finally has better hardware than other windows laptop. As far as looks no other laptop looks more gorgeous than macbook pro. In addition I couldn't find any windows laptop that has a longer battery life. But this might change in the next year or two but right now I think its the best laptop you can buy. The only drawback is its expensive, but for the hardware you get I think its worth the extra dollars. I think the 256GB offers the best value for the money because it has the same SSD performance as the 512GB and same 8GB ram. Let me tell you that you do need 8GB of ram because OSX maverick use 4GB ram by just turning it on. Sure OSX will work fine with 4GB but it will continuously compress and delete stuff on the memory which could decrease battery life, and performance.

Pro:

*very fast PCI express SSD
*Retina screen
*9 to 10 hours battery life
*track pad
*wifi AC
*thunderbolt 2.0

con
*price
*some people reported unresponsive track pad but it hasn't happen on my macbook yet.
*no dedicated graphics

note:
*128GB model has slower write speed than 256/512GB and only has 4GB ram.
*CPU performance increase as the storage size increase(the difference is negligible storage size and rams more important)
*besides CPU, storage, and ram everything is the same on all 13 inch macbook pro(2013)
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44 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Macbook Pro I've ever had, October 24, 2013
This review is from: Apple MacBook Pro ME865LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop with Retina Display (NEWEST VERSION) (Personal Computers)
This is hands down the best macbook pro ever released. I had the 15 inch version from last year, which I loved, but it was stolen. I then decided to go down to the 13 inch version to save a little money. The 2012 13 version was great but the graphics capabilities paled in comparison to the 15. Also, Apple didn't include enough storage in the baseline model (128gb), which at the time was 1499. I highly recommend that anyone looking to buy a new Retina pro upgrade to the midline version inside of the 1299 one because the extra ram and storage make all the difference. I haven't yet had the opportunity to test the graphics it yet with any games, but I can say it streams 4K video flawlessly.

In response to everyone's comments, having had both the old version and the new version, I am getting at least 40% more battery time on the new version updated to Mavericks, and probably closer to 60% more. For example, my battery had 40% remaining after at least 7 hours of document editing and three days stand by time. It's hard to say how much is due to new software versus new hardware, but I was really impressed. As far as screen resolution, you can use a third party app to show the display in native resolution, but I don't because then all the icons and text appear too small. I'm not a gamer, so don't have any games I can test it out with, but if anyone can recommend a free graphics test, I will happy test it out and post my findings. I did see on 9to5mac that they were claiming a 50% improvement in FPS.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Asus to Mac convert, February 16, 2014
This review is from: Apple MacBook Pro ME865LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop with Retina Display (NEWEST VERSION) (Personal Computers)
Upgraded laptop this last fall... was determined to stay with Asus but wary of Windows 8... as I shopped I was surprised to see the newest MBP price out significantly LESS expensive than an equivalent zenbook... so I took a look. Ultimately the MBP won me over. 6 months later I am extremely happy with my decision. Is it perfect? No... but it is easily the best 'traveling' laptop I have owned... and the 'bang for the buck is amazing.
Things I 'love' as a PC-to-Mac convert:
- Have had several 'instant-on' claims on laptops... this is the first that actually feels like it. From off-to-on to working where I left off is almost instantaneous... my favorite aspect of this machine... it just 'works'
- Touchpad... I have 'heard' folks rave over the MBP touchpad... need to use it to appreciate it. The accuracy and the gestures are amazing... I have had multi-touch on others but it was always a bit 'off'... size/feel/usage... this one is near perfect!
- Integration with iOS... i have an iPhone and the integration with iCloud is awesome
- Battery life watching video is amazing... 5hr airline flight of near continuous video and still had 40%+ battery remaining!
- Laptop is basically silent when not under big Gfx load (see below)
Things I don't love:
- Battery life under any real graphics workload is pretty abysmal. Gaming with iris is great for non-GPU laptop... but you get around 2 hrs max when it is working hard
- Fan is LOUD when iris is working hard... surprised me (in a bad way) first time I tried gaming... likely tied to battery life issue
- Delete key and power button are a bit close... results in un-expected 'sleep' sometimes when typing fast... fortunately 'wakeup' is so fast it almost doesn't bug me.
- I actually 'like' Windows 7 more than OSX... I HATE Windows 8 and Metro... but not at total OSX convert yet...

Bottom line: Best traveling laptop I have owned... a few 'nits' but overall an amazing buy. Believe the hype... if you are looking for a laptop to use on the road in the $1500 range... this is the one.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it., January 1, 2014
This review is from: Apple MacBook Pro ME865LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop with Retina Display (NEWEST VERSION) (Personal Computers)
Bought this for my wife for Christmas as our Windows 7 laptop was reaching the 4 years mark. Everything you read and hear about these things are true. Easily, the best laptop I've every used. It does take a little getting use to, but its nothing that will overwhelm you.
I will add, if you are looking to get a MacBookPro....dont go cheap. Pay the extra $300 or so and get the extra memory and HD space...its worth it!
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