Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Apple MacBook Pro MGX72LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop with Retina Display (OLD VERSION)
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Capacity: 128 GB|Style: 13.3-Inch|Change
Price:$1,349.99 - $5,196.00
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on August 15, 2014
I'm coming to this Macbook Pro 13inch Retina laptop from a 2010 model Macbook Air that I absolutely adored for nearly 4 years. The Air was so light and portable that I reluctantly gave it up, but concerns of weight vanished once I got my hands on this beauty. Yes, it's slightly heavier, but only slightly. What I like most of all is how the body isn't tapered from back to front like the Air. It's a solid piece of symmetrical aluminum, and it just feels so well built.

One of the reasons I eventually gave up and sold my Air in favor of this was the Retina screen. I've never seen one on the Macbooks, so I bought this sight unseen, but I had a vague idea of how it might look because I also own a retina iPad Mini and that screen is lovely. The screen on the mini is out-done by the amazing screen on this Macbook. I can't believe how good it is. And what's more, this Macbook only cost 100 dollars more than the latest Air. Why would anyone not pay the difference for this screen? It's totally night and day between the Air's screen and this one. The Air is by no means terrible, but it cant compete with this.

The audio is also a nice surprise on the Macbook with Retina. It was good on my Air, but it's far better on the Retina. There's no speaker grills either, so I assume they're below the keyboard. Regardless they sound amazing, albeit low on bass.

My Air didnt have a backlit keyboard, so this was a nice surprise. No more hunting and hoping at night in bed. Another nice addition I didnt have before was HDMI-out. Now I can simply connect my Macbook to my HDTV and play Hulu on my TV. No reason to pay for Hulu Plus. On my other computer it wouldnt allow Hulu to output to TV, but its not being blocked on the Macbook for some reason. I wont complain.

Anyway, I'd list some dislikes, but I don't have any. The keyboard and trackpad are Apple's usual brilliant keyboard and trackpad. They're unmatched.

If you're on the fence about getting one, just go for it. I'm one of those people that easily get buyer's remorse, but I have none of that with this laptop. So good.
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on August 5, 2014
I've had some experience with MacBooks throughout my life. I've come to respect them as workhorses that can withstand the test of time. My wife retired her early 2008 Macbook last summer after completing her Nursing degree. The Notebook endured five years of continuous research, word processing and social networking. Outside of a small crack near the mousepad it still worked great. There was one point I needed to replace the ram, and I also updated it with an SSD to give it a needed speed boost. However these types of upgrades were very easy and not time consuming, and never needed an Apple genius to complete them. Seeing a piece of technology like that Macbook still cruising after what is a long time in the technology world is impressive, and that same type of design philosophy carries over to the new Macbook Pros with Retina Display but with some new tradeoffs...

A lot is different about this beast than the 2008 standard Macbook. A heavy plastic body that housed a removable battery, hard drive, ram and an optical drive is replaced with an aluminum unibody design where nothing is intended to be removable. In order to deliver a thin machine with a long lasting battery, Apple also removed the optical drive. In 2008 this would have been crazy, but in 2014 it's a generally accepted drawback. Clearly this new Macbook is a sign of a new generation of technology intended to be maintained solely by the company that sells the product. Apple wants to be your one stop shop from the point of sale to the day you retire the machine. It makes sense, since we do that with phones and tablets. But this will alienate self reliant users who want to save a buck or two. Certainly glued battery, ram modules are enough to turn a few away. I don't suspect this a big tradeoff for most non-techie buyers (That's most of us).

College students needing a machine for school will also need accept that most MacBooks are not gaming machines. So save some extra pennies for a PS4. Budget gaming laptops are cheaply made monstrosities that destroy batteries regardless if you're playing a game or not. And the expensive ones are generally overpriced for what you get, and still provide a poor computing experience.

If those two tradeoffs haven't turned you away, you probably won't find a better notebook at this price point. Just be careful in the specs you decide on because the option to upgrade is off the table. Here are some killer features:

The Retina display is beautiful. The viewing angles are tremendous and the screen is bright. The panel provides the same pixel density as the iPad with Retina Display (and the Air model), but the panel in the Macbook Pro with Retina is far superior in every way when comparing side by side.

The battery life on this device pushes north of 10 hours with web browsing and other basic uses (usually around 12). Watching video and more intense activities will push it at around 8 - 10 hours with average brightness. Most users who claim more excessive battery drain should be using the built in activity monitor application to check energy consumption of apps. Many Macbook users claim significant battery drain with applications like Google Chrome . It's a much different mindset than those who use a standard Mac and energy consumption really isn't a factor. In short, Macbook Pro users should be mindful of programs they use regularly.

The speed. The new refreshed model comes with 8gb of memory as a base. Most will consider 4gb enough memory for average users, but a week with the new OSX Yosemite beta revealed swap being used as I was exceeding my 4gb on the Mac Mini. This could just be inefficiencies in a beta product, but it did open my eyes to the fact that 8gb should be the new standard for most long term Macbook purchases. The largest part of what makes the Macbook Pro with Retina fly is the SSD built into the machine. The Macbook Pro with Retina Display is easily the fastest laptop i've ever used, and i'll thanking the SSD for most of that performance, but I suspect this machine will stay speedy for a long time thanks to the ram upgrade.

Then there is all the small touches. Backlit keyboard, aluminum body, tight software/hardware integration, sturdy OSX that is resistant to malware, integration with iPhone, iPad and Apple TV. Even if you don't integrate into Apple's iOS ecosystem, it does great in Google's too. Chromecast works 100% with MacBooks, Google Chrome (battery hog) + Google Apps is great, and of course Google Play works well. All of Google's services are mostly browser based, and that gives Apple users the best of both worlds.

I would also say that if someone is debating between the Macbook Air and the Pro with Retina, try to cough up the extra bills. The pro is only slightly thicker, has a slightly lesser battery life but sports a tremendous screen, beefy spec boost and a premium fit and finish. Definitely recommended.
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on November 19, 2014
Don't usually do reviews, but I will on this one because it may help other people. I run windows 8.1 on my MacBook pro Retina with 16gb, 750 ssd. I have run this computer like this for over a year, and cannot even remember my mac OS password. I run windows in boot camp. I am a developer and screen space is critical for me. I don't think you can purchase a better computer to run windows if this is what you want. From my MacBook, I have 2 dell 30 inch monitors hooked in through the thunder bolt ports. Each of these are running in dual dvi 2560 X 1600. The incredible 15" MacBook retina display is running at 2880 X 1800. Sometimes you have to squint a bit, but it is a great and readable display - even at that resolution. Also :), I have a Wacom Cintiq 13HD (pen based display) plugged into the DVI port running at 1920 X 1800. Primarily I use this display for OneNote because I had draw a lot of notes and diagrams. This computer runs all 4 of these displays and just screams! It does not get hot. Many won't believe, so I will try to post a picture.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon February 4, 2015
I’m personally a very big fan of the Retina MacBook Pro, and I highly recommend it to others. It is without question an incredibly expensive machine in a world of many affordably priced and well-built alternatives. However, the MacBook Pro with Retina is a machine of impressive capability & awesome features, and historically it has also been a machine that is built to last. Such a large investment always takes some consideration and, while I cannot say if this is the best choice for others, it was for me. Since this is such a big investment, I would like to share my own personal experiences on a more detailed level than would be given to a less-expensive product.

Reviewing Apple products is always a little difficult. Unlike most hardware makers, Apple’s hardware mainly utilizes their own in-house software, and this makes a connection between the software, hardware, and support for both items. This review will focus mainly on the hardware (the computer), but since software (OS X) affects the functionality of the hardware, it will also give some consideration to the preloaded operating system. As of February 2015, this operating system is OS X Yosemite, version 10.10.2.

TO SUMMARIZE THE LONGER REVIEW…
I think that the hardware is at its best and that it really stands out against others. The Retina display will wow you. The processor & hard drive speeds can tackle big tasks in very little time. The creativity and features are really taken to the max, and it’s just a great overall design. However, the software isn’t quite is lovable. While OS X Yosemite makes some great functional design improvements over previous versions, it is an operating system that has been plagued by functional issues. While all new operating systems have issues, the specific issues that Yosemite has had are pretty major because they can dramatically harm productivity. Historically, OS X has not had functional issues of this severity and since not all have been resolved thus far, this should factor into your consideration of this computer.
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WHEN TO BUY
I am not the person who needs the latest and greatest if making a large financial investment. Rather, I am most concerned with the most reliable and durable. While I really enjoy the reviews from tech agencies that review a brand new MacBook Pro just a few days after it is released, at that point there is absolutely no way of knowing the long-term reliability, and if that machine has design issues that will be problematic down the road. When shelling out almost 3 grand on a laptop, I consider this to be critical information. Therefore, I think the best time to buy is AFTER the new-release nostalgia has ended.

I find that premier releases of a new product are generally not as consistent as the revision of that product, or later productions. This has been my experience with the iPhones I have owned (3G & 3Gs, 4 & 4s, 5 & 5s), the premier MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro’s (for example, the antenna & home button issues with the iPhone 4 were corrected with the 4s, and the LG screen issues with the MacBook Pro Retina was corrected with a different LG screen model only after the Pro had been in production for some time.)

So when it comes to the question of if now is a good time to buy, I feel that if you like the current features of this computer that now is a great time. Most of the hardware quirks have been fixed and the long-term data Apple has gotten back from earlier owners have allowed them make continuing revisions to improve the machine (these computers get small changes all the time…not just with the formally advertised revisions.) With many User Reviews, you now also have a very precise idea of what to expect.
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DESCRIPTION, FEATURES, DESIGN
My specific model is the 11,3 revision (Mid 2014) with the 2.5 GHz i7 quad core CPU (6MB L3 cache), 16 GB DDR3 SDRAM @ 1600 MHz, 2 GB NVIDIA GT750M GPU, 500 GB PCIe flash storage hard drive (high-speed revision made by Samsung), and LG 2nd generation LED backlit retina screen at 2880x1800 resolution with 220 pixels per-inch.

This Retina Pro is approximately 14 inches wide, 10 inches deep, .7 inches thick, and weighs approximately 4.5 pounds. The ports on it include: ThunderBolt 2 (2), USB 3.0 SuperSpeed (2), analog headphone/mic 2-way jack (1), HDMI 4k revision (1), and SDXC Card Reader Slot (1). There are a wide variety of port adapters available, most of which use a ThunderBolt adapter. There is a built-in 720p camera for videoconferencing/pictures, and a built-in dual microphone system with ambient noise reduction.

Like other MacBook Pro’s, the keyboard is LED backlit, a multifunction touchpad is used, and the screen itself is a glossy finish. A dual channel speaker with ‘subwoofer’ is built in. The Bluetooth used is revision 4 (and is quite reliable), and the WiFi revision is 802.11ac (which is stupid-fast.) Included with the purchase is an 85 watt MagSafe 2 adapter, which is NOT compatible with the original MagSafe. The non-removable & non-serviceable lithium ion battery is advertised for about 8 hours of life and has an extended service life and rapid-charge capability. A few common features included on previous MacBook Pros are NOT present, such as the matte anti-reflective screen coating option, DVD-RW drive, FireWire port, Ethernet port, and DVi port.
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A NOTE ON FANS, HEAT, AND HOW THE MACBOOK PRO IS A ‘HOT’ COMPUTER
The usage of aluminum on the MacBook Pro is not just light & strong, but is also great for heat dissipation. This usage of aluminum means that the thermal cooling of the MacBook Pro is very different from a laptop made with a material such as plastic because the MacBook Pro’s own unibody aluminum frame IS its own giant heat sink. This plays a role of passive cooling along with the active cooling of the two internal fans.

Apple changed the fan design with the retina MacBook Pro. These fans are shaped very differently than from the previous generation, and they move a significant amount of air with less noise. For general lighter usage, the fans will usually run right around 2000-2200 RPM, and the computer is only slightly warm to the touch. At this RPM, the aluminum is doing most of the cooling and you cannot hear the fans even if you put your ear right against the computer. With heavier usage that pushes the CPU harder (hence more heat), the fans ramp-up as the temperature increases. They can ramp up to a max of about 6200 RPM under full load, and at this speed they are very noticeable. Hence under a full load that generates substantial heat, the audible noise that sounds like a drone is about to take off from your coffee table is normal (this is not normal if the fans are running like this and the computer is not under high-load/heat.)

The bottom of the computer itself will also get rather warm and this will be seem much warmer than computers made with plastic. Under full load, the palm rests can also get warmer. This is that cooling taking place and this is what allows the computer to keep very low fan speeds during lighter tasks, (hence reducing noise and energy consumption.) If you have not owned a MacBook Pro before, this can initially cause concern that the computer is overheating, but in most cases it is simply working as designed. Despite there being programs in which the user can increase fan speed, this is NOT necessary for a correctly operating machine and generally NOT recommended. The computer has its own thermal production and will shut itself down to avoid damage if it actually does overheat.
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WHAT I LIKE
This is my third unibody MacBook Pro, and my first MacBook Pro with the retina screen. It was to replace a MacBook Pro that was about 4 years old, and to be used for statistical software in which a computer with a quad core i7, a lot of RAM, and a very fast SSD saves time.

The hardware quality of this computer is exceptional. The retina screen, especially the initial LG screen, had some pretty major initial issues, but mine is spectacular. It is the second & newer LG-made model (versus Samsung) and it has absolutely zero issues with image retention, produces extremely sharp images, has excellent white-white and black-black production, has great brightness & a superb angle of viewing, and the integration of moving images is excellent. By that last part I mean that despite having an extremely high-res display, when playing a video the transition is smooth & consistent (versus choppy, inconsistencies in brightness/sharpness, and variations in color…I’ve had those issues in the past with other laptops that had screen resolutions that were extremely cutting edge for their era.) Part of this is probably because the GPU in this computer is great.

Like the MacBook Pro’s from previous generations, the multi-function touchpad is exceptional. This is probably the primary reason I cannot bring myself to buy another hardware brand. Some companies have made awesome UltraBooks, and I like Windows 8.1 just as much as OS X, but thus far I am yet to use a machine that replicates the quality of Apple’s multifunctional touchpads. Given you use this every day for hours upon end, the more functional touchpad can save a lot of time.

The processing capability of this computer is exceptional. The 2.5 GHz i7 is fast as can be, and this generation CPU continues to better optimize multi-core processing that not only means a faster computer, but lower energy consumption & heat generation. Programs such as Stata, which have specific revisions made solely for computers with multiples cores, can crunch ridiculously large datasets in stupidly short times. Between the 16 GB of RAM and a hard drive that can both read and write nearly 750 megabytes of data every second, it’s capable of working very large files without the load times that would occur on most other laptops. For those editing video or massive image files, the very high write speed of the hard drive will likely save you a lot of time. Combined with ThunderBolt 2 and an external SATA 6.0 Gbps SSD, you can move massive files in a fraction of the time needed in years past. (On a side note, some owners have installed the flash memory from a Mac Pro into their MacBook Pro Retina and have reported read/write speeds of around 1 gigabyte per-second.)

Like other MacBook Pros, the backlit keyboard is an absolute pleasure to use (that now I can’t live without), the speakers do very well for laptop, the quality of the cosmetic fit & finish is top-notch for a mass-produced manufactured product, and the engravings/markings are consistent. The unibody construction allows a computer of a very slim form factor for such a capable machine, and the anodized aluminum is both durable from a cosmetic and a functional perspective. These machines hold up very well to frequent mobile usage (although to protect the cosmetic finish, a neoprene sleeve and/or a snap-on case will help protect your investment.)

Making statements about average battery life is risky business because what the user does can make a huge difference here. For example, if you are browsing the internet on battery life, what browser you use, how long that process has been running for, how many tabs are open, how many active extensions are running, and what the website(s) you are viewing do (ex: is it text, a flash animation, or video, etc.) will all affect this greatly. With that said, I’ve done the standard actions done with OS X needed to optimize power when on battery life and I get about the same time Apple advertises with lighter tasks…which is a ballpark of 7-8 hours. Overall, I am very satisfied that a computer with this kind of display and this kind of processing power, at such a compact size, can do this.
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THINGS I DO NOT LIKE
One of the biggest issues of dislike with the retina MacBook Pro is the lack of user-serviceability. The casing uses pentalobe screws, the RAM is permanently attached, and the flash memory that makes the hard drive can be replaced but it’s tricky business & without many aftermarket options. The screen itself cannot be disassembled easily if a part in it were to fail, and with numerous components located inside of the screen, chances are purchasing one will be very expensive. None of these issues are all that problematic for the first 3 years of ownership if you have AppleCare…however, this is a machine that costs 2.5-3 grand and so you have to also think about after the warranty expires given most people keep their Apple hardware components for a long time. While I am not fond of any of the above, what it comes down to is understanding these limitations (which older MacBook Pro’s did not have) and either accepting them or going for a different hardware maker. My choice was to accept these. I won’t know until 2018 is that was a good choice or not.

After a few weeks of ownership, my MacBook Pro developed a squeaky hinge. This isn’t all that uncommon but luckily it is usually easily fixed by simply removing the bottom casing and retightening. BUT, this was still more of a pain than before as it meant I had to buy a pentalobe screwdriver to do this.

Starting with the Retina MacBook Pro, Apple introduced MagSafe 2. Like the most modern revisions of the original MagSafe, I don’t like the design. The power cord is too delicate, the rubber used to coat the cord doesn’t hold up well if you are on the go, and the adapter head is bulky and easily knocked out of the port. I eventually purchased an aftermarket product that made it harder for the adapter head to be knocked out of the port. Apple needs to revisit this and make something that is more compact and a little more durable. While this isn’t the biggest issue in the world given you can easily replace the power cord, it’s still a pain and a replacement isn’t cheap (like $60-80.)

Finally, I have to address OS X Yosemite given this machine came with Yosemite and that is what you get if you buy one of these, without any alternative. Love or hate the visual flat icons, the operating system has not developed a great name for its functional reliability. When released, Mail didn’t work at all for a ton of users and WiFi would randomly fail. While those are just two of the issues, these issues can render a $3,000 computer useless for the person who needs reliable internet or email (which is like…everybody.) Since then, 10.1 and 10.2 updates have been released, which address some issues but not others. To date, the Mail application has not worked correctly for me, and no one at Apple knows why (while I’m not claiming to be a computer genius, I’m not an idiot, I’ve been around OS X for a while, and it’s not settings related which practically every Apple employee has told me only to realize they were wrong and rather an issue with the OS.)

Frankly, OS X Yosemite has some great features, it’s the key to harnessing the power of the CPU, and it integrates better with iOS than the revisions before it. However, Apple’s determination to push an operating system upgrade on almost a yearly basis seems to be harming the functional design in regards to system reliability. A stable release should never have this many issues of this degree of severity. As of February 4, 2015, I am still waiting for Apple to address multiple issues with Yosemite that harm my own productivity, such as how every now and then a sent item in Mail just disappears. While no new operating system is ever perfect, the kind of problems and the potential harm to productivity the problems can cause can’t be ignored. Apple has not historically worked like this and operating system reliability is a reason I moved to the brand. I sincerely hope this changes in the future and that Apple fixes the issues with Yosemite as it has so much potential.
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CONCLUSION
The MacBook Pro 15 with Retina display is a great computer. It’s well made, innovative, functional, and capable of handling resource-heavy tasks. The screen on it is simply incredible…it’s not just high-resolution, but with this high-res it can fit a ton of things on the desktop. It uses a powerful operating system that has some great design features, but it also has some functional issues that can negatively impact productivity. Those functional issues are why I rated this product four stars instead of five, as you can’t purchase this Retina MacBook Pro without the operating system, and there is no easy way to use an alternative version. Overall, I recommend the Retina MacBook Pro.
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on March 16, 2015
The screen coating started wearing off after 1 year of use, resulting in white scratches covering 1/3 of the screen. I've never scratched the screen, and I've only cleaned it very occasionally, with nothing but water and a soft cloth. I rarely close my laptop - it's essentially a home computer - so I'm sure it's not a dirt problem. Many MacBook Pro Retina owners are having this problem and they are saying it's the anti-reflective coating that's wearing off. Apple has been aware of this problem for many months but has yet to address it. It's been a good laptop otherwise, but I expect more when I shell out this kind of money. You can read the MacRumors page on this at http://www.macrumors.com/2015/03/16/retina-macbook-pro-stained-coating/
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on February 18, 2015
I had a 2009 13" MBP before it recently died on me. I replaced my old one with this one, expecting the extra screen size to make it heftier in my book bag. NO. This laptop is super light, very thin, and it turns on within seconds because of its onboard flash memory. I bought it directly from Amazon.com, saving myself an extra $100 compared to the Apple price, and getting it within two days (which really helped for school!).

I love this laptop so much. Literally everything is perfect about it. Currently, I have it dual-booted for OS X Yosemite and Windows 8.1. I've run into no major problems except for initially trying to encrypt my hard drive and then run bootcamp (tip: don't do that!). Seeing as that is a software glitch, I'll let it slide for this review. Some other laptop downsides were the lack of an ethernet port and the lack of a DVD drive. This MBP compensates by providing you with an HDMI port, 2 USB 3.0 ports, and 2 lightning ports.

Read/ Write speeds are phenomenal with the built-in flash memory. Programs download and install rapidly. They open up lightning quick. Even in Windows, the immense speed of this computer is evident.

Graphics are great. I've only tested the graphics on a CAD program in Windows (Creo Parametric 2.0) and Runescape in Yosemite, but it works superbly with both. With Runescape, I was able to run the game at full frame rate and 1080p graphics. I had no issues with pixel scaling. In Creo, there was no lag whatsoever.

The retina display is something you didn't know you need. Before I bought this computer, I thought it was an unnecessary luxury. I was wrong. I use my laptop for a lot more web browsing these days, a lot more news reading, and now I can actually enjoy writing reports. Whenever you open any file on your Retina MBP, what you see on your screen is pretty much what it's going to look like on paper when you print it out. It's great.

I give this a 5/5 all around for its speed, high quality, beauty, excellent battery life, and the nice feeling of satisfaction it leaves inside of me everything I use it.
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on December 8, 2014
We have had two of these units and both within 35 days have had screen failures--per Apple different hardware related issues. We have several other macs, including the large iMac's, and have to say we are disappointed with the failure rate of these laptops. Not sure if we are "unique", but be warned that appears to be a developing issue.

Amazon and Apple have been good about returning the first one and then repairing the second, but the time lost (as a professional photographer), has been very disappointing. I use this machine while on site shoots as well as for portability in the evenings (away from our office and connected to our NAS). Now on our third screen, I am leery of trusting this machine / model.
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on August 21, 2014
Excellent laptop. I bought this on the apple store for $100 off. I have the new model with 15'' retina display 2.3GHZ i7, 16gigs RAM, intel iris pro graphics, 250gig SSD. I am coming from a 2011 macbook pro 13 inch and the difference is amazing. First i'll start with the differences. The first is the screen. I honestly didn't think id notice the difference because I thought my previous laptops screen was great, but wow. The clarity is incredible, and the screen size is perfect. I am using this laptop as my main computer and it's just right. The second difference is the keyboard. Right away I noticed less keyboard travel than the non retina pro, and I prefer the previous models keyboard. But the retinas keyboard is still excellent. Next are speakers. These are freeking excellent. Im still astounded by these things! Sounds great all the way through. Fourth is speed. This SSD smokes my old HDD. Literally 10X the speed. Processor is strong and graphics work well. In terms of build quality, this thing is top notch. Feels sturdy and well built. No disk drive kinda sucks, but well worth the form factor in terms of thinness. So if you are considering dropping the cash on one of these, I would. Absolutely incredible.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon September 27, 2014
This is my main work computer, purchased for me by my office (16GB RAM, 512 GB SDD model). I'm the lead web programmer for a major cosmetics firm and part of my job is to make sure our site works on all platforms and devices, so I develop and test on both Macs and PCs. Despite the Apple commercials, it doesn't have to be an either/or world of "I'm a PC" vs. "I'm a Mac". As a long-time dual Mac and PC user, the two have happily co-existed in my world for over 15 years. Certain tools are just better on Windows, and certain other tools are better on the Mac. Most major software is available on both systems, so the PC at the office is really just for checking email.

Gosh, I must've owned about 20 computers over my lifetime, desktops and laptops all counted. This is my 7th or 8th Mac. For graphics work, I much greatly prefer the Mac. My previous Macbook Pro is now about 7 years old and needed replacing. I use this mainly for web development (HTML/CSS/JavaScript/JQuery) and testing, and there's plenty of power to run all of it. My daily load is pretty heavy: Photoshop, Eclipse IDE, Microsoft Office, Dreamweaver, and sometimes Adobe Flash simultaneously. Occasionally, I have to transcode video from one format to another for posting to YouTube.

A lot of things have changed and a lot haven't. The overall design of the Macbook Pro family has not changed much. The power adapter is still MagSafe so accidentally snagging it won't send the laptop crashing to the floor. The keyboard is still backlit for night time so you can see the keys. Load times are phenomenally fast due to the solid-state memory. Photoshop and Dreamweaver, both giant resource hogs, each takes less than a second to load. On magnetic disk harddrives it can take more than 10 seconds. Usually, it's 20 seconds or more. For gaming performance, I don't know, because my company has locked down the system. The screen feels smooth like glass, unlike my older MacBook Pro which has a plasticky feel to the screen.

One thing I don't like is the removal of the Ethernet port. You'll have to use one of the Thunderbolt ports with an Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter. This is not normally an issue if I have WiFi, but for certain times, I want a hard line. For instance, if I'm at a hotel and the WiFi is horrendously slow or if I'm transferring very large files over the network or internet. At the office, if I want to connect to the network, I have to be hard-lined. Otherwise, going through WiFi means I have to dig out my RSA security keyfob to join the VPN. The lack of a built-in Ethernet port means having another adapter to tote around and potentially lose. They are $30 to replace. To get to its size, the MacBook Pro also jettisons a CD/DVD drive. You'll have to buy the SuperDrive separately.

I do like the inclusion of an SD card slot. It makes it very easy to transfer photos back and forth between my camera and also the printer. Many printers these days also have built-in SD card slots.

The battery is internal, so forget about replacing it yourself. Or adding RAM. Battery life is very good. I can get about 6 hours out of it between charges. In real world conditions, it means I can have this unplugged for most of the work day. When running on battery however, sometimes the screen sleep doesn't come back fully. The cursor will be shown but the rest of the screen is black. I have to jiggle the keys for a short while before everything comes back. It takes about 2 hours to charge from empty to full battery. The aluminum skin offers excellent heat dissipation. The bottom does get warm, and only a few times have I noticed it getting uncomfortably hot for my lap.

Weight-wise, it's very light and I can comfortably hold it with one hand and program with the other, for up to half an hour. Why? Because sometimes I need to! During crowded commutes when I don't have a seat, I sometimes need to make the maximum use of my time, especially when I'm facing deadlines. In these situations, I put the laptop against my stomach (like a guitar), cradle the bottom with one hand, and type with the other. It looks weird, but it works. When I'm not programming standing up, I keep it inside my backpack. It's very slim and fits nicely in a Tucano neoprene skin.
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on February 27, 2015
I will be honest with you right here. I love windows 8. I decided to buy this computer purely as an experiment to see just what people thought was so amazing. Some things I'm impressed with others I'm not.

Students:
As a student in computer engineering this computer will never satisfy my needs at school. There are too many windows programs I need to run, and it will never be a note taking machine in my technical classes. I never bought it for such a use but I feel I need to talk about it because people are so determined to compare it to the Microsoft Surface Pro. They are completely different machines and there is no good direct comparison. My Surface Pro 2 is my daily driver in school for note taking and windows programs and I honestly would have never bought this laptop if I didn't have the Surface. This laptop is extremely nice for writing reports and research papers. It all depends on what you need but it is an undeniable fact that the Surface Pro does note taking in a way that this computer can't touch.

Build Quality/Usability:

Excellent build. This is what I love most about this computer. The body feels extremely solid and it looks great. The touchpad also feels great and is large and extremely comfortable to use. The keyboard is very nice and has a great feel when typing. Being able to choose the exact brightness for the backlight on the keyboard is awesome. The screen integrates into the lid in a very attractive way and the lid itself is extremely thin which I like.

Now the thing I hate the most about this computer. The charger. I have never been so frustrated by just a charger. The smallest thing touches it and the magnet is too weak to really keep it connected to the computer. Sometimes I like to put this on the charger overnight so it is ready for school the next day but I found I can only do that on a table. If I put it on a couch or anything similar chances are the plug will rock right off of the port on the computer and leave me with dead battery. I wish the design was closer to the surface pro 2 charger end.

Another thing that bothers me is the fan. The fan curve for the fan in this computer is very poor, it avoids running the fan hard at all costs. I was concerned when my computer was getting extremely hot while running certain things and the fan was barely running. Apparently Apple chose to have the computer run hot rather than have the battery life reduced and extra sound of the fan pushing a lot of air. I had to download smcFanControl so I could manually change the fan speed when needed.

Sound:

Good for a thin laptop. About the same quality as similar thin laptops from other brands I have experience with.

Operating system:

Not a fan. There are too many small annoyances that get me every day. The green button (that is maximize in windows) is one of them. Before the Yosemite update that button would either change the window to some other random size or do nothing. Now it goes to full screen in Yosemite. I can't help it but I find maximize much more useful than either. One piece of advice, buy BetterSnapTool. It should be functions that are already included but it is just the way things go.

OS X has been just as buggy as windows. This one surprised me. I have common occurrences of it just hanging at spots like the log in screen and navigating files and every once in a while in the system preferences. It is very similar to small issues I would have in windows. I think the biggest comparison issue is when people compare cheap windows computers vs macs. I see it far too often that people say they are just going to spend the extra money for a mac. No. Comparisons should be made at the same price range. Staying in the same price range gives about the same reliability in my experience.

Not all of the programs I need run on OS X. As I said before many school programs don't run on OS X and software I use at work doesn't either. Although it is nice to have a unix operating system for basic programming.

Battery life:
Battery life is excellent and will definitely get you through a lot of use. On average I get about 9 hours.

It is a very nice computer as long as you know what you need and make sure the features of this computer fit the best.
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