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on March 2, 2013
I am a first time Apple buyer and I love this machine. It was fast to set up, intuitive features and layout. The Retina Display is crisp and easy to use, the keyboard has a great feel to it, the construction is great, and the machine it self if very responsive. The battery life is actually a little more than 7 hours with the SSD hard drive I average about 7.5 to 8 hours on a normal day.

The only thing to be careful of it the display there are two manufactures for the display, LG and Samsung. The LG display has an image retention problem, while the Samsung display does not. But there is no way to guarantee which machine you are going to get. But Apple will replace the machine if you do get an image retention problem.
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on May 23, 2013
I replace my MacBooks roughly every three years and it has been apparent for a few months now that it needed to be done. This was a big upgrade from my last Mac with a bigger screen and hugely improved functionality.

I spend quite a lot of time on my laptop each day doing various tasks which include reading articles, books and blogs as well as photo editing for my shop and watching movies. I do play a bit of one video game as well. This laptop is amazing. The reduced eyestrain was evident after only a few hours. I find myself wanting to use the laptop over my mini ipad (but once the retina screen is available on that I will get it!).

The detail in watching a very vivid TV show such as Defiance is brilliant. You can see so much more of the background action and it actually made me pause several times to marvel at the surroundings to the plot.

Reading books on this screen is easy and reading articles an being able to click links back and forth without eye strain from changing visuals is fabulous.

The one game that I do play, World of Warcraft, runs smoothly and there is quite a bit more detail in the background. I actually think I might have to turn the graphics down a bit because there seems almost to be too much information for my brain to handle.

The various programs I use are running very smoothly and it was a matter of an hour or so to finalize the update process once I received the laptop and get everything running.

I was a bit surprised to find no DVD drive (didn't actually even think to check this when I purchased) but honestly I watch a DVD movie only rarely and it will be easy enough to purchase a separate drive. The world seems to be moving towards digital download anyway so I'll probably replace most of my DVD collection in time.

Overall I am extremely pleased with my purchase and only wish I had done it sooner.
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SUMMARY: This is a solid computer with a gorgeous display. The integrated solid state memory is incredibly fast, and so far I haven't had a single crash or hang after about a month of usage. If you know you want a Mac laptop, this is the one to get, I think. It's a nice balance of size and power and utility. Consider it a solid desktop replacement with four cores and enough screen real estate (especially in scaled mode) to really get work done. On the other hand, it's not a behemoth like the 17 inch MacBook that, and is very easy to carry.

WHAT'S GREAT (and a few tips):

* High resolution screen. In normal mode, you get crisp letters and pictures, and adequate screen real estate for most tasks. When in scaled mode, you get the equivalent of a 1900x1200 display, great for doing certain tasks like programming or using applications not yet written for the retina display.

* Solid state drive. The integrated solid state drive is amazingly fast, and uses a 6 GB/s SATA connection right on the motherboard. It also allows for the incredibly thin form factor. I'm not sure, but it seems faster than normal solid state drives. The lack of a cabled connection shouldn't matter noticeably, so maybe it's just my imagination. Either way, it's really nice to not have a spinning drive, and liberating to use a laptop without having to constantly worry about how much you're moving the computer and wondering if you're going to damage the drive.

By the way HERE IS HOW TO PICK OUT THE RIGHT SIZE DRIVE: Spend a lot of time figuring out what kinds of things you're going to do, and how much disk space your media will take up, and how those needs are going to grow in the three to four years you own the computer. And then just order the largest drive available. Trust me, you'll thank me later. The integrated solid state drives on these Retina MacBooks can NOT be upgraded later, so it's better to have too much and not need it then have too little and regret it. Even if you never come all that close to filling it, you'll have a faster computer than can do a better job keeping the drive defragmented and you won't ever have to worry about wearing out the solid state drive (they have only so many erase cycles they can handle and this gets exacerbated if you keep the drive close to full and things fragment).

* The OS. This isn't going to matter if you're already a Mac user, but OS X is really starting to hit its stride. I'll be the first to say it was not a great OS for a long time, and was slower and less reliable than Windows. However, it's really come into its own with 10.7 and 10.8. The full screen mode is a great way to reduce screen clutter and the tyranny of resizing and arranging windows, and yet is evolutionary and fits in with existing applications well, unlike the revolutionary and ill-fitting "start screen" of Windows 8. As much as I like what they are trying to do with Windows 8, right now it's a very messy OS that feels like two operating systems competing with each other. The Mac just seems more elegant and well-designed, Windows 8 feels like the middle of an awkward transition.

* It's light. Ridiculously light. If it were any lighter, it would start to feel "cheap".

WHAT'S BAD (and a few rants):

* No power or battery indicators! What the heck is Apple thinking? This is supposed to be a "professional" level computer and they screw us out of a battery or power indicator! These used to be on all MacBook Pros. Is there a level above Pro I don't know about? Sometimes it's nice to know if your computer is off or just asleep, and it's ALWAYS nice to be able to see how much charge the computer has without having to turn it on or wake it up.

* The screen isn't terribly bright. It's generally not a problem, but in a room with bright sunlight, the screen can be hard to see. Evidently the retina MacBooks suffer from the same problem the retina iPads initially did, which was that the pixel density resulted in a screen that transmits much less of the backlight than a standard resolution screen.

* The iSight camera is terrible. They call it upgraded, but I'm not sure what camera is worse than this. It's noisy, has terrible low-light performance, and if it's HD, I'm not sure where they are getting the pixels from. The driver also isn't smart enough to figure out how to expose for a central subject, so if you try to do a video chat near a window, the person on the other end will get a great picture of what's outside of your window, with your pitch black silhouette just there to just add drama, I suppose. Again, what is wrong with Apple that my iPhone has a better camera than my $3000 computer?

All in all, though, I'm very happy with the machine and very glad I purchased it. If they didn't cheese off on some of the components above, it would be an easy five stars.
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on August 4, 2013
I got this machine to compliment my 27" Mac desktop. I needed a portable workhorse for working in Adobe Creative Suite and simple animation programs and for manipulating photography. The solid state processor is lightening fast and does not heat up. The screen gives brilliant sharp details and renders text clearly and crisply, which is excellant for writing. There are computer users whose main use for a computer is downloading music and accessing the Internet. These guys are often gamers, and want good video and speed. This machine provides that. But for Graphic Artists and those creatives using CC Creative Suite software, on the Cloud or with Corel or Bryce or Toon Boom, using a WACOM tablet its the response to your input and the color accuracy for print that counts. If you are working on a graphic novel, in Illustrator or InDesign or creating a character in Mudbox, or designing a house in VectorWorks or doing digital painting in Photoshop, this machine handles all those tasks smoothly and quickly and elegantly.
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on March 24, 2013
Purchased through Apple directly to get the corporate discount, since my state charges tax on Amazon purchases anyway. I've had a number of Apple laptops over the years, and (not surprisingly) this one is the best. It is slim, speedy and well constructed. No image retention problems that I've seen. Resolutions at 1440x900, 1680X1050 and 1920X1080 all look fantastic, allowing you to choose between more display space (with a little interface lag) and a standard amount of display space (with no lag). Text is crisp at all resolutions. I noticed at first that the fans were spinning up with some regularity, but since a recent firmware update I haven't noticed them once. To be honest, I just haven't seen the variety of problems mentioned in another review.

I can absolutely recommend this machine to anyone who wants or needs a prosumer level laptop. For home use, a Macbook Air is probably a better bet...its lighter and substantially less expensive. Just don't look at the retina MBP's display, because you WILL want it!
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on May 12, 2013
I like this new Model of MacBook Pro. The design of appearance is perfect, and the display is really amazing. I have used it for 1 month, and it works very well in all the functions, but I feel the life of battery is a little bit shorter than what I expected. If you watch a video or other flash stuffs with the Retina display all the time, it will only run for 3 hours. However, if you just do some writing stuff or surf online, it will last for more than 5 hours. Basically, it is a wonderful product~
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on April 27, 2014
I'm a gear-head by nature and live somewhere between art and computer science. I've adminstrated herds of iMacs and Mac Pro workstations, built Hackintosh machines and until I bought this machine I favored my beasty Lenovo D20 workstation with dual Xeon's and 2 GB ATI Firepro GPU and a BDRW drive on Windows 7 Ultimate above all others.

This little slim macbook changed that.
1. The size and weight- I rarely miss an optical drive but every time I stick this notebook in my backpack, I love the almost non-existent weight and feel of it.

2.The display is gorgeous and the high resolution provides a lot of flexibility. For me, I like to keep text and buttons as small as possible. the Retina display affords me huge real estate on a 15 inch screen. otherwise, in the recommended settings I doubt you'll see a clearer picture any time soon.

3. the Mac interface was the primary reason I wanted to get into the ecosystem- It's amazing what a big difference a little thing like a touchpad can make. I have gestures configured for just about everything- launching apps, viewing all windows, viewing all windows from a specific app, switching desktops and/or fullscreen apps- it's a very fast, tactile navigation system that's all done on the touchpad. I t does take some getting used to but every minute you spend getting used to it you'll get back tenfold not having to alt+tab+tab+tab+tab through windows. It still can't beat the Windows 7 launch bar for mouse navigation but it makes up for it in touchpad nav- which you can use with or without an external mouse. I use it to great effect drawing paths in Photoshop and Illustrator. It's not as fast as a mouse but when you're sitting on a long flight to Hong Kong, the touchpad lets still lets you do the kind or precision work normally done with a mouse.

4. Power- this little thing is a BEAST and can do everything I need mobile. Rendering 60 FPS in Cinema 4D, sure. Rending Cinema 4D in After Effects along with Cineware in a big comp- no problem. It does start to slow down when re-rendering heavy comps in After Effects, especially when Particulate is involved but it can very nearly keep pace with my workstation, which is impressive.

5. all the builtin stuff works gives lets me do what I need when I need. the bluetooth is crystal clear, and pairs in a second, wifi is (mostly) fast - well get back to that in the cons- and time machine, omfg, saves my life on a monthly basis.

CONS
No machine will escape them

1.Wifi issues- there is a LONG standing complaint from A LOT of people about the wifi in OSX 10.9 taking a long time to connect after coming back from sleep and just not generally being that stable- sometimes it will go slow or disconnect for no reason. This has a lot to do with the type of router you're using and the channel. some people have to turn off bluetooth to get wifi to connect- Apparently life's great if you have an Apple Airport. I have not bought into that crap but I've mostly resolved my issues with it. If it's really bad there's nothing a return to OS 10.8 can't fix either when it comes to wifi.

2. The screen is TOO clear- all my other screens look awful now. The 2048 X 1152 that had been my main screen forever- pixelated garbage with poor color and worse contrast next to the retina. This, undoubtedly, is a strategy to get you to buy a thunderbolt display in the future.

3.lack of ports- Bluetooth takes care of my mouse, headphones and most other peripherals but it would be nice to have an extra USB port or 2. My workstation's 12 ports are full so you can imagine that just 2 on this machine is a bit of a constraint.

4 THE BIG CON: YOU CANNOT UPGRADE THIS COMPUTER. Well, you can, sort of- but new MacBooks do not use standard SSD drives. They stripped out the bulk of an enclosure and a Sata connection and the hard drive itself looks very much like a RAM Dimm. If you'd like to upgrade it at the moment there's only one manufacturer who makes upgrade drives and those will set you back $500 for 512 GB worth of storage. also- YOU CAN"T UPGRADE THE RAM AT ALL. Again to save space, The ram is soldered to the board. What you buy is what you get. I highly recommend getting maximum everything.

Even with its defects this machine has become my go-to machine for daily use. Except when I want to work on something heavy or play Windows games, this machine does it all. A quick note about games- I have 70 games in my Steam Library. 33 of them are Mac compatible- all the Valve stuff and most of the indy titles I picked up. If you're big into AAA titles you may want to either stick with Windows or consider bootcamp. It pairs instantly with a PS3 Controller- so keep that in mind. I got a ton of use out of that on 24 hour+ flights.
Otherwise, if you're on the fence, get this laptop (or the newer one) I've owned a lot of laptops since 2009 and this is the only one that makes me want to hang on to it forever.
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on August 22, 2013
First of all,The retina display is absolutely stunning.there aren't enough words to describe it.everything looks super sharp.
This Mac has a phenomenal processor that can handle anything thrown at it and more.The graphics card is very powerful running most my games with no hiccups.I recommend getting the ME665LL/A just for the extra RAM and larger HDD.
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on July 1, 2013
The Retina MacBook Pro is simply an incredible computer. I was more than a little hesitant to plop down two grand for a computer, let alone a laptop, but I have come to accept the MacBook as one of my favorite purchases ever. It's beautifully designed and actually feels like you'd expect such an expensive computer to feel. It's very sturdy and after about five months of ownership has remained completely damage free. The display is as beautiful, if not more so, than the hype that surrounds it would lead you to believe. It is truly a premium experience.

I could go into more detail, but it'd be a waste as it has all been said. If you want the best laptop experience available and don't mind shelling out the cash, then buy this computer.
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on August 15, 2013
The screen is fantastic, and that's why you're looking at this product. However, be warned: the battery life doesn't last anything near the 7-hours claimed.

This is an authentic Apple Macbook Pro with Retina Display, and runs at high speed. Maybe that's why the battery sucks.
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