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  • blackmagnum - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    New super resolutions are coming to notebook/ laptop computers. Thanks to Apple and their forward looking business sense. Wonder when it comes to PCs..... with Windows 8? Reply
  • Fleeb - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    I don't get it, I mean, what if another manufacturer thought of the idea first. I guess it wouldn't sell then. Reply
  • KoolAidMan1 - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    It probably wouldn't happen since other manufacturers are more focused on cutting corners and driving costs down as much as possible. Great for making their products more accessible but not so good for putting in bleeding edge technology. Reply
  • Johnmcl7 - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Rubbish, there are plenty of other companies who are far more innovative than Apple whose machines look basic in comparison - Sony's older Z series had a very high resolution 13.1in 1080p screen, blu-ray writer, quad SSDs in RAID 0, integrated and discrete graphics card and the fastest of te dual core i7's while still smaller and lighter than Apple's 13in machines and that was a couple of years ago. Apple aren't even close to touching most of its technology and probably never will.

    John
    Reply
  • tayb - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Link to prove the existence of that product? It does not seem possible to put all of that into a 13" chassis that is thinner than the incredibly thin MB. Honestly, it doesn't possible to fit all of that into a 13" model in general. Reply
  • DeciusStrabo - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    http://store.sony.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Ca...

    and that's the third iteration of it, 1080p 13.3" - they did it 4 years ago already.
    Reply
  • tayb - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    That doesn't have 4 SSDs, which was the biggest red flag in my eyes. Reply
  • Turbobusa311Hp - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    I remember that laptop. It didn't have 4 separate SSD's like you are thinking, but individual chips in a RAID 0. The Signature model was like $4700 though. Reply
  • DJTryHard - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    It had quad Raid 0, 4 separate chips.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/news/sony-vaio-z-quad-...

    To summarize:
    Core i7 620M
    13.3inch 1080p matte panel
    256gb ssd in quad raid 0
    6gb ram
    geforce GT 330M w/ 1gb vram
    optical drive

    and all this was in 2010...
    Reply
  • extide - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    i7 620M is Dualcore Arrandale, not Quad.

    Anyways, yeah, that laptop is pretty sweet for it's day.
    Reply
  • DJTryHard - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    No one said it was quad, this is in 2010. Arrandale had higher thermals, and today's version does have quad. Reply
  • OCedHrt - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    Not quad core. Quad raid. As in, 4 separate custom SSD boards connected to 4 separate SATA ports in raid 0. This was before there was 500mb/s raid from SF. Now it's kinda a marketing gimmick because they're not 4 500 mb/s raid that gives you nearly 2 gb/s in raid 0. Reply
  • Totally - Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - link

    learn to read

    quoting op

    "...fastest of the dual core i7's while..."

    no one mentions anything about a quad core cpu
    Reply
  • hkatz - Wednesday, July 11, 2012 - link

    I looked up the current model. Vaio Z: 13 inch display 1920 by 1080, maximum 8 gigs ram, 512 ssd, quad core i7 2.1/3.1 , USB 3. However, no thunderbolt, only integrated graphics and the price for the 13 inch computer as above is $2999.

    Does not compare to the retina macbook pro which has a higher resolution 15 inch display, thunderbolt, significantly faster processor, and discrete graphics with a gig of vram. The price for the better retina macbook pro with the 512 gig flash drive is $2799.

    There is no comparison.
    Reply
  • wfolta - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    The Sony you linked to doesn't have discrete graphics. You have to buy (and use) the docking station to get that.

    If you load it up with 8 GB of RAM (which is the max, while the rMBP goes to 16 GB), a 256 GB SSD, a 10% slower CPU (2.1 versus 2.3 GHz), no discrete graphics, and a "HD" non-IPS display, it costs you $1,950 versus the rMPB's $2,200.

    For the price Sony charges for the upgrade to 512 GB of SSD ($600), you can upgrade the rMBP, to a 512 GB SSD and get a 20% faster (2.6 GHz) CPU thrown in as well.

    The non-IPS display means that even if the rMBP didn't have incredibly more pixels, it would still outclass the Sony display in terms of contrast, viewing angle, etc.

    The Sony weights about half of what the rMBP does, but it also has less battery life and it's about the same size. I guess the VGA and ethernet ports are a big deal for you, though of course you don't get two Thunderbolt ports. Oh yeah, you also get a Sony MemoryStick slot, too!
    Reply
  • OCedHrt - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/5430/sony-vaio-z-wit...

    It is an IPS display, but non-glossy.

    Don't bother comparing the 2 as apples to apples, because they're not comparable. The sony is 2.5 lbs versus 4.5 lbs for the macbook pro retina. You have a whole different power and heat envelope.

    I don't disagree that Sony is overcharging for the high end Z, and now with the retina macbook pro maybe they will lower prices (this is really the first contender, but it is 15" so targets a different market segment).

    However, you can get the last season's models on the Sony outlet store for 40% off - ie $1400 nets you 256 GB SSD, 8 GB of ram, the external dock with graphics and blu-ray, etc.
    Reply
  • maratus - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    Z has never had IPS, it's SE series. Still nice laptop though. Reply
  • OCedHrt - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    I stand corrected, but it is still way better than a TN and not much worse than an IPS (you lose out on viewing angles). Reply
  • Spunjji - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    You're missing the point of why this product was brought up. But hey, good effort for not reading the preceding posts. Reply
  • cptcolo - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    Wow that Sony VAIO Z Series is impressive!
    Personally the laptop I am holding out for is something along the lines of:

    17" 2560 x 1440 (or 2560 x 1600) Matte IPS Screen
    Broadwell Hex-Core, <25W TDP
    Super Integrated Graphics (no graphics card or optical drive)
    32GB RAM on 2 DIMMS
    x2 512GB uSSDs in RAID0 over 16Gb/s interface
    100+ WHr Battery
    Overall size less than a typical 15" via a thin bezel.
    Weight: <4.8lbs
    Thickness: <0.8"
    Excellent Keyboard/Trackpad and great build quality.

    All for ~$2500
    Reply
  • dannyboy153 - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    The Sony Z is more of a "consumer" laptop than a creative laptop. Here's why:

    1) The 1080p (9x16) LCD is great for watch movies but the loss in 1" vertical height is annoying.

    2) No discrete GPU built into the Laptop.

    3) No high res output. VGA and HDMI doesn't cut it. I have no idea why their dock doesn't have DVI or display port even though it's equipped with a discrete GPU. Their implementation of the dock is admirable, but it's filled with bugs. Read the reviews.

    I'll have to admit the MBP is heavier by almost 2x the weight of the Sony Z. But at ~4.5 lbs, it's not overly heavy. MBP advantage:

    1) None of the disadvantages of 1-3 above.

    2) 15.4" screen is HUGE for me (coming form an X200). Also, it's like the best of both worlds for glossy and matte LCDs; beautiful and vastly reduced glare.

    3) The Sony Z has a quad core but the MBP is more powerful. Notice I didn't mention the weaker Quad core of the Sony Z as one of its disadvantage because I believe it's hard enough for them to even offer such power in their laptop.
    Reply
  • ananduser - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    The 2010 VaioZ had discrete video, 1080p screen, quad raid SSD option. blu ray, slim profile, etc.
    The 2012 VaioZ does not have discrete built in, only via external dock.

    So...considering what the Z was for 2010, Anand never sang such high praises for it. Why ? Because he's a macuser and couldn't care less about another company's efforts.
    Reply
  • OCedHrt - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/5430/sony-vaio-z-wit...

    They did eventually do a review of the 2011/2012 Z, however they're not as tolerant of small faults as they are with apple products.

    I remember back in the day when Anand would wipe the floor about keyboards not having enough pitch. But on the macbook pro retina the reduced pitch is just "different" not terrible.
    Reply
  • gstrickler - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    The MBP keyboard doesn't have reduced pitch, it's a standard 19mm pitch. It has slightly reduced key travel. Reply
  • OCedHrt - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    Sorry I meant key travel. Incorrect use of terms on my part. Reply
  • dannyboy153 - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    For 2010, there were plenty of laptops with 1080p. Name one laptop now with the Apple's display. The Z is a great laptop if you're a consumer of media. But for creators, the Apple is superior. Reply
  • Spunjji - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    Name another *13"* laptop in 2010 with 1080p. Go on. We can play this game all day! Reply
  • SanX - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    hdmi can not handle 1080 output? Reply
  • dannyboy153 - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    I don't consider 1080p hi res. At a minimum it has to be at least 1200p in 10x16 format for 24" monitors. For the price of the Sony Z, not being able to do 2560x1600 is a shame. Reply
  • OCedHrt - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    Reading on forums there doesn't seem to be any issues with 1920x1200 external output, but 2560x1600 does not work without a hack for reduced refresh rate. Reply
  • vincbxart - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    u wrong. Because of :

    16x9 is good to show my video work.
    Discrete GPU is for gaming, ivy bridge is powerfull enough to threat with 4k video
    VGA is especially for professionnal, a lot of video projector till get that.

    The weight doesn't determine consumer or creative laptop...

    Why the Z is not a consumer laptop
    The price - pricier than the mb
    The gamut full adobe rvb when apple is bader than the mb 2008... (98% VS 68%...) - you pay a lot for it

    btw both are good. But The Z was greater than the macbook retina 2008 vs 2012
    Reply
  • dannyboy153 - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    1) Showing of your video work is consuming media not creating. Feel free the use whatever you want to create content but I find it easier to do it on a 16x10. Menu bars, navigation panels, etc takes up room.

    2) I'm comparing the Sony Z to the MBP, not some technical fact that Ivy Bridge can do this or that. Does the Z output 2560x1600? No.

    3) I didn't say the weight determine what was consumer or creative.

    4) You can use the Z for creating content. You can use a $400 laptop to create content. But clearly the former is better than the later. Same with the MBP with retina vs the Z...clearly the former is better than the later. But use whichever one you want.
    Reply
  • danrhiggins - Saturday, June 30, 2012 - link

    BTW, I have a 2010 Z with 2 docking stations and the extra battery (the big one) that has been sitting on my desk unused for nearly a year when I switched to a 2011 MacBook Air. I really liked the Z. It was smaller and lighter than the Air. Actually I found the screen a bit too short for me.

    Bottom line is that I fell in love with the Mac OS and gestures. But that is just me.

    So if anyone lives in Colorado and is interested I am going to put the Z on Craigslist. ;-)
    Reply
  • KoolAidMan1 - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Nailed it, the small 16:9 display, thicker chassis, and no dedicated GPU are huge corners that were cut. One can barely compare it with other 13" notebooks, let alone the 15" rMBP.

    Lots of grasping for straws going on here....
    Reply
  • OCedHrt - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    Thicker chassis? The z is thinner than the MBP.

    The 13" is a design choice, not a manufacturing limitation. The goal is a 2.5 laptop. Japanese people don't weigh 180 lbs and don't like slugging around 4.5 lb laptops.

    Barely compare it with other 13" notebooks? Care to list one that can even compete? It was 80% of the MBP retina in an MBA form factor in 2008, and then even lighter in 2011.
    Reply
  • Spunjji - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    Don't bother, you're arguing with an ignoramus. Reply
  • Chava - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    +1 Reply
  • KoolAidMan1 - Friday, July 06, 2012 - link

    The only ignoramus I see are people grasping at straws trying to say that the rMBP has already been done in other laptops before.

    Sad and desperate
    Reply
  • Spunjji - Thursday, November 08, 2012 - link

    Thanks for proving my point. Reply
  • Guspaz - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    I tried out a Vaio Z in a Sony store when I was in the market for an ultraportable laptop (I decided on the first-gen Toshiba Portégé ultraportable, something I somewhat regret). The Vaoi Z was impressively thin, but suffered from three fatal flaws:

    1) Ludicrously expensive. The base model was $2000, and you needed to upgrade it a bunch from there to get the specs respectable

    2) Only shipped with a bilingual keyboard; Sony refused to ship an American keyboard in Canada, even online, forcing consumers to get a strange non-standard keyboard with a funny shaped enter key

    2) Indrecibly delicate. If you poke the screen in the corner with one finger, the whole screen flexes and bends away from your finger. It felt like this thing would shatter if I breathed on it.

    In the end, it was no lighter than the Toshiba, and cost almost a thousand dollars more, but the Toshiba had its own issues.
    Reply
  • OCedHrt - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    1) That's probably Canada. It is $1599 base in US for a while now and I got mine for $1100 after tax.

    2) Another Canada thing. But I agree, Sony is too inflexible.

    3) That is by design. There is a video online with an interview where they explain it. This means you can grab your laptop by the screen and not risk damaging the hinges / screen. If you grabbed your MBP Retina by the display I'd be wary of breaking it.
    Reply
  • ThreeDee912 - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    There's more to a computer than its hardware spec sheet.

    You can rattle off a laptop spec sheet with a good CPU, GPU, SSD, screen, etc., but if they're not integrated very well with everything else, or have mediocre software support, you can't always take advantage of those specs without some tacky workarounds.
    Reply
  • gstrickler - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    ^^^ I'll second that. Also, the right balance of specs matters more than "this spec is greater than that spec".

    If the keyboard, trackpad, or display sucks, you'll hate the computer no mater what the specs say. If it's too fragile, or heavy, or cumbersome, you won't want to carry it. If the software is slow and bloated, it won't matter that you've got 8GB RAM and a quad core i7, it can still feel sluggish.

    The satisfaction with a computer is far more than just it's specs, or individual components, or even it's operating system. It's having the right combination of everything.
    Reply
  • OCedHrt - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    1) This is dependent on user. i don't care about the 1" vertical, it's really the # of pixels that matter.

    2) The previous Z had discrete built in. The purpose of making it external is to achieve the 2.5 lb form factor. Sony once had a 11" 1.6 lb netbook. That is literally the holy grail in terms of weight for a portable laptop. The move to external discrete is really a step in that direction.

    3) You can output more than 1920x1080 on HDMI.

    4) 15" is too big for me, even at 2.5 lbs. Not everyone wants a huge screen on their lap - that's why I have a monitor on the desk.

    5) Yes, at 2.5 lbs and 13", there's limited space for heat dispersion.
    Reply
  • maratus - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    Unfortunately, Z tops at 1920x1200 through HDMI or single link DVI on the dock station. It was a dealbraker. Now rMBP ability to drive 2x 2560x1600 and 1x 1920x1200 is simply overkill for me, I'm still confused why did Sony stuck with HDMI only and didn't even bother to provide DP, mDP or 2L DVI as a second port. Reply
  • OCedHrt - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    That's typical Sony (Japanese) stupidity. Reply
  • Chava - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    That's typical Japanese stupidity...

    Yeah for some reason you thought that was acceptable.
    Reply
  • Solandri - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    The chassis isn't thinner than the 13" 2010 MBP (it tapers from 1.0-1.3" vs the MBP's 0.95"). Its other two dimensions are smaller though (12.4" x 8.3" vs 12.8" x 8.9"), and it's lighter (lighter than the 2010 Macbook Air in fact) at 2.9 lbs (some models were 3.04 lbs, never figured out why). Sony managed this by using a lot of carbon fiber and a really thin screen. So it's not as stiff as the solid block of aluminum that the MBP used. But the keyboard bezel is solid aluminum making it very stiff.

    http://asia.cnet.com/sony-vaio-z-sports-worlds-fir...
    http://www.pcpro.co.uk/reviews/laptops/355384/sony...

    Here's the only marketing brochure I could find for the model being discussed (in French):
    http://www.mgmi.fr/docs/pdfprod/VPC-Z11Z9E-B.pdf
    Reply
  • OCedHrt - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    That's the 2008 Z. 2008. The 2011 Z is a non tapered design:

    13.0" x 0.66" x 8.27" (WxHxD)
    330mm x 16.8mm x 210mm

    The MBP is 50% thicker than the Z. It's understandable given that it is 15" instead of 13".
    Reply
  • Freakie - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    http://www.tomshardware.com/news/sony-vaio-z-quad-...

    Here you go. THIS is true innovation. Sony did amazing work with this version of the Z to get all the functionality of a bigger laptop into a tiny package. It is even more impressive when you think about how old, hot, and power hungry the CPU/GPU was back then. Sony has innovated much more in the laptop industry than Apple has, in my opinion. Though I still wouldn't want a Sony like this just like I wouldn't want an Apple like the rMBP (user upgradability and repairability is virtually non-existant, which is an instant deal breaker for me, it was hard enough buying a laptop with a 540M integrated onto the mobo, could never buy a laptop that didn't even let you upgrade storage)

    Here's a more detailed teardown: http://translate.google.com/translate?js=y&pre...
    Reply
  • OCedHrt - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    He missed another important point. All of that was in 3 lbs. Now, the current generation starting from last summer has an external discrete graphics and optical drive connected via a thunderbolt based connector (because Apple had exclusivity) with the laptop being only 2.5 lbs.

    This isn't going to compare to the retina macbook pro though - at 15 inches 4.5 lbs is pretty impressive though I think if Sony wanted to do it they could do 4 lbs or less.
    Reply
  • deathdemon89 - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    I agree completely, I'm a proud owner of the old Z, and even today it doesn't feel the least bit dated. And the 1080p screen is holding up admirably well, with no signs of pixellation at normal viewing distances. This device was truly innovative for its time. I still don't understand why it received such mixed reviews by the press. Reply
  • Spunjji - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    Mainly the price. Only Apple are allowed to charge that much for a laptop. Also, only Apple can have hot systems. Repeat ad infinitum. Reply
  • mlambert890 - Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - link

    Really ridiculous comment. I can see you are bitter, as is the other mega z fan, but come on already. I worked for Sony for 5 years and love the company. I have owned probably a dozen Vaios including the top of the line last gen Z (with the SSD RAID)

    Instead of ranting and raving you need to ask yourself *why it is* that "only Apple can charge so much" and why "Anand only gives a free pass to Apple"

    You feel what exactly? That there is some grand conspiracy in play? Do you realize how ridiculous that sounds?

    WHY has Sony *lost the ability to charge a premium*? In other words WHY have they *burned all customer loyalty and good will*? I left the company back in 1999 because I saw the writing on the wall.

    You (and the other Z guy) are no different than any other apologist. Companies dont bleed marketshare and fail to sell cancer curing products (you guys are presenting the Z as "truly revolutionary" right?) for no reason. Sorry to tell you there is no "big conspiracy".

    Sony sells super high priced products into a super commoditized market and then they layer on a CRAP TON of bloatware dragging the machine to a stop, make idiot decisions like the HDMI one, and push proprietary crap *worse* than Apple ever has. All of that into the Wintel space which, sorry to tell you, was *always* driven by the cheapest possible parts at the best possible price.

    The PC industry grew *because it was cheap*. Apple *always* occupied a premium niche. I vividly remember the initial release of the Apple I, the Lisa, the Mac 128. These were all always premium products and the competition at the time (be it Commodore, Atari, Ti, or the wintel ecosystem) *always* captured share by being cheap.

    That may annoy you for some reason, but Apple has pretty much *always* held a core premium audience. The only exception was the period of insanity when Jobs had been pushed out and Scully destroyed the company. Even then, the core fans stayed.

    You two make it sound like poor Sony is a victim because the world doesnt all run out and by the Vaio Z.

    Even *without Apple* Sony would be going under, hate to tell you. Sony's problems are Sony's and the whole is *not* the sum of its parts with a laptop.
    Reply
  • solipsism - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    None of that makes sense and is, in fact, rubbish.

    Sony added 1080p because it was it was popular not because it made sense. You have a 168 PPI display on 13" machine which makes text too small to be a good experience for most users.

    They also didn't use a good quality display or add anything to the SW to make the experience good (unlike what Anand talked about in this review), they just added the single metric that was trending because of HDTVs.

    Blu-ray in a notebook has always been a silly option for most users. There is a reason the BRD adoption failed on PCs and it's not because everyone is stupid... except you. ODDs are long overdue for being removed since they take up 25% of the chassis, require them to placed at an edge reducing over 5" of port real estate and restricting design, require a lot of power, are noisy, more prone to break due to the many moving parts, are slow, are just too expensive to be feasible, and add nothing visually that most users trying to watch a movie can discern.

    Quad-SSDs? Really? That's a sensible solution for a consumer notebook?
    Reply
  • EnzoFX - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    and that really is what people don't get. It isn't just about raw specs. The package needs to be complete, polished, what have you. In this case of high dpi screens, is good scaling support, and Apple did it. Support on the software side is something they never get credit for by the Apple haters. All they can see is numbers and think "I've seen numbers like that before". Reply
  • mabellon - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    No Apple didn't do it. Just like on the iPad, they increased resolution by doubling width and height. Their software simply doesn't scale well to arbitrary higher resolution. If it was done right then Chrome would work out of the box - instead the OS 2x scales everything without increasing resolution/quality.

    To the consumer, the choice means a good experience without breaking apps. But claiming that Apple was successful simply bc of software? HA!
    Reply
  • Ohhmaagawd - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Did you actually read the retina part of the review?

    Chrome doesn't work right because they do their own text rendering. Read the review. If an app uses the native text rendering, the app will look good (at least the text portion). They will have to update the graphical assets of course.

    BTW, Chrome Dev builds have this issue fixed.

    Windows DPI setting isn't default, so few use or even know about the setting and devs haven't made sure they work properly in the high DPI settings.

    Apple has made a move that will be short-term painful in having apps that aren't updated look a bit fuzzy. But since they made it default, this will force devs to update.
    Reply
  • OCedHrt - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    What do you mean Windows DPI setting isn't default? You can change it in a few clicks, but the same thing applies - if your app does not read the DPI values, then Windows can't help you. This is because windows UI is not vector based (I don't know about now, but older apps definitely not) and many applications back then were coded with hard coded pixel counts.

    When the DPI is changed, windows scales the text but the UI dimensions is controlled by the application implementation.
    Reply
  • KitsuneKnight - Saturday, July 07, 2012 - link

    On Windows, changing the DPI will generally mean a huge amount of applications will become simply unusable.

    On this Retina MBP, the worst case appears to be slightly blurry text (which was quickly updated).

    Apple's solution is a good one, because it does things in a way that should keep existing apps working fine, while allowing future developers to leverage new APIs to take advantage of the increased resolution.
    Reply
  • OCedHrt - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    Sony can't exactly add better DPI scaling to windows, can they? That's Apple's advantage as being both the OS vendor and hardware vendor - better integration. Reply
  • ka_ - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    "Sony added 1080p because it was popular, not because it made sense"

    What a ridiculously ignorant and biased statement! Sony did surely not place a blue-ray players in the device for a reason neither... To place a 1080p display in the product made perfect sense, retina display on the other hand is a marketing buzzword. I am sure it looks better, but really - you wont find movies or much content that benefit from the retina display - they display will likely slightly distort the movie though you can say the distortion is so small you wont notice... 1080p on the other hand...
    Reply
  • Donkeyz - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Movies are not what the retina pro is targeting. Professionals of video and imaging need screen estate on a portable device as they travel. That is what the retina is for.

    We are talking about a 2012 device not 2008, but Sony use to be the best only because they played by marketing. Giving the best of the best and the looks.

    Why apple works? Because they focus on individual needs and have excellent support, which may be why people are willing to pay excessive $$.

    I own a Sony Z and my sister owns a MBP and I must say that Sony took 16 days to get the Z repaired where as MBP only took 2 days.

    Some people may prefer a bluray drive but I don't use my drive at all. So it really depends, I'm replacing the Z with this MBP retina purely because of the screen estate for work and support.

    Btw, as far as pricing goes, it's not expensive at all. To configure a pc of it's calibre would cost just as much and would most likely be made of plastic.
    Reply
  • Freakie - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    To configure a PC that would handily kick this things ass would be cheaper, actually. To configure a Windows laptop that has a 6 core Desktop CPU and the best mobile GPU (as well as two hard drives) would cost the same as the basic model of this. Throw in 2 more hard drives for a total of 4 hard drives, and add a second GPU in SLI or CrossfireX, and you're at the price of the high end model of this.

    And yeah, things get repaired faster with Apple, though I bet you I could have fixed your Sony in a matter of hours. Difference is you can go to someone in real life for cheap to get your Mac looked at, but if you actually know what the f*ck you're doing, you don't need to take any laptop to anyone.

    And if you are a media editor focused more on screen real estate instead of quality, then you fail miserably. Screen space comes second to color representation, space, and accuracy as well as ease of transitioning between different lighting and color profiles. Do displays that have amazing color representation come in high resolution? Yes! Because they are great things to pair together. Do high resolution displays have great color representation? NO! As is proven by this rMBP, just because you have high resolution doesn't mean that you have great colors. And compared to those color displays that have a high resolution, this rMBP screen sucks royal ass for media editing.

    You'd be much better off getting a faster PC laptop and using the money you save on a screen that will actually enable your media to come out much better (if you are a media editor). Not only that, but your PC will get the work done faster than the MBP (better hardware, cheaper price)
    Reply
  • vegemeister - Monday, July 02, 2012 - link

    >laptop that has a 6 core Desktop CPU and the best mobile GPU (as well as two hard drives)

    Yeah, but that would be retarded.
    Reply
  • mlambert890 - Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - link

    You understand that the concept of a laptop is to be portable right? WHAT are you talking about? The PC you're describing I own - AWM18x. It is 13 lbs.

    This is like saying, essentially, that size and weight (and noise) are irrelevant dimensions in a notebook.

    They are the *only* relevant dimensions. And this is like horsepower. A 600HP car isnt "a mere" 150HP more than a 450HP car. That 150 extra HP is HARD and EXPENSIVE.

    Similarly, people like you, who say "well that PC would "only" be 3 lbs heavier!" are just displaying how clueless you are with what matters in this segment.

    Show me this mythical PC laptop that is 4.5lbs with discrete graphics, SSD, quad core i7 and 15" 1080p screen or greater yet is much cheaper than the MBPr. Let's see it.
    Reply
  • ka_ - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    "Why apple works? Because they focus on individual needs and have excellent support, which may be why people are willing to pay excessive $$."

    Fine, so you say MBP is a niche product, that is meant for niches such as video editing, graphics design and so on. Your CEO, sales teams, financial staff and so on will not go buy it because they have no need for this and will not fall for the hype of having the next buzzword "Retina Scan" which they have absolutely no need for. Sure I believe you...

    1080p on the other hand make much more business sense as Sony not only sell technology like Blue Ray players but is in the Music and Video industries too. They get paid for each movie sold on blue ray too - and 1080p is today mainstream, not niche!

    I highly doubt more than a small percentage of those who will buy the MBP actually get it for a real need and not due to marketing hype...
    Reply
  • OCedHrt - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    That's the issue. When you have a 2880 x 1800 screen, you forget that most of the internet users are on 1368 x 768. and 1600 x 900. What you design may look awesome to you but it does not scale well for your audience.

    For print work, I agree 2880 x 1800 is awesome.
    Reply
  • Ohhmaagawd - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    " retina display on the other hand is a marketing buzzword. I am sure it looks better, but really - you wont find movies or much content that benefit from the retina display"

    Umm. What about ANYTHING with text?

    What about Photos?

    What about ability to edit 1080p in full res with all your editing controls on the screen next to it?

    What about Photoshop?
    Reply
  • Freakie - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    What about photo and video editors that don't use the display on any laptop, period? Media editors want color quality first, not resolution, which this screen fails at. Media editors will still use their $1,000 monitors at their desk to do their edits. Reply
  • Ohhmaagawd - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    It's a first step. There will be retina monitors in the future. Reply
  • Freakie - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    Lolwut... Monitors that have great quality color are already high resolution... They were pushing major pixels before it was popular ;) Reply
  • vegemeister - Monday, July 02, 2012 - link

    With the exception of the (discontinued and originally $10,000) IBM T221 and it's derivatives, no desktop monitor has resolution exceeding 2560x1600, and that resolution is only available in the 30" form factor. Reply
  • Solandri - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    I have the lower-end version of that particular laptop ("only" a 1600x900 screen, 2x64 GB SSD). I wish I'd opted for the 1080p screen. 1600p wide isn't really enough to put two apps side-by-side. I do that all the time on my 1920x1200 external monitor though.

    The screen is a glossy TN panel, but is pretty much the best TN panel I've used. My desktop monitor is IPS so I can see its limitations. But when I'm using the Z in public, the most frequently comment I get is how beautiful the screen is. Sony also does a stellar job with their anti-reflective coatings. it's a glossy screen, but I almost never see reflections (except in sunlight). Colors are a bit too saturated, and the custom color profile I made tones it down. Unfortunately none of the reviews on it tested its gamut. But from photo editing, it's got a wider gamut than most high-end laptop displays I've seen. And it's blindingly bright too - perfectly usable in direct sunlight at max brightness. I rarely run it over half brightness.

    The quad-SSD was because the laptop came out before SATA3 SSDs were available (the SATA3 spec had only been finalized a few months prior). 2.5" SSDs were already hitting the limits of SATA2 (3 Gbps) and the only way to get around it was by putting multiple SSDs in a RAID 0 array. So that's what Sony did. The 4-SSD version benchmarks at 430-500 MB/s sequential read/write. Not too shabby in 2010 using 150 MB/s mSATA stick SSDs on SATA2.

    Optical drives are more a matter of preference. I end up burning a lot of DVDs so it's definitely convenient. But if you don't do that or watch movies, then yeah I can see it being superfluous. As much as I'd like to see media being distributed on USB sticks, their cost of $1-$2 for 4GB vs. a few cents for a DVD means it's not happening yet. Do note that the Z tops out at 2.9 pounds. It's lighter than the first and second gen Macbook Air despite having a DVD/Bluray drive. That's the second most common comment I get - "It's so light!"
    Reply
  • OCedHrt - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    The 1080p panel on the Z is IPS. And it's not glossy - you don't have a glass on your laptop. I believe this is more for weight reasons than anything else. Reply
  • maratus - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    No, it's not IPS. Reply
  • Solidstate89 - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    You have to be the most ignorant jackass I've ever seen. You've basically never even heard of that product until now yet that doesn't stop you from making baseless accusation after baseless accusation.

    Get the fuck over yourself. And Windows has always handled resolution scaling better than OS X, and it still does.
    Reply
  • ananduser - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    In 2010 Sony offered a 13" MBP equivalent with matte 1080p TN panel(like all the other macbooks). It had a BluRay built besides a quad raid SSD option(that still exists). The current Z has the video card inside an external dock, it is as slim as the thinnest ultrabook with a full voltage CPU. Reply
  • OCedHrt - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    Sony offered it in 2008 :) Reply
  • OCedHrt - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    You are not applying the correct context.

    1080p is okay because windows has DPI scaling - though I agree with Anand that this doesn't work with apps that aren't written correctly. But the same applies to OS X. OS X handles it better because of vector based UI.

    It is an IPS display with 92% color gamut that Anandtech called amazing. Don't even try to pretend it sucks: http://www.anandtech.com/show/5530/sony-vaio-z2-ev...

    Blu-ray is not a default option, it is an extra configuration that you'd have to pay for. This isn't Apple were talking about - even Sony has typically more options than Apple.

    Quad-SSDs. Yes. You need to remember that his happened back in 2008 when SSDs were not doing 500mb/sec. This was back when a quad SSD only netted you about 300mb/sec and before TRIM was prevalent.
    Reply
  • seapeople - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    Wow, is that the Sony everyone here has been harping about "outdoing Apple" years ago?

    Reading that review basically says that while the general specs of that Sony are outstanding, every other possible aspect of user experience (keyboard, hinge design, trackpad, thermals, and noise) is completely terrible.

    Oh, and it looks like it costs more than the rMBP and comes loaded with bloatware.

    There's a reason that didn't get an Editor's choice award, and it's not some great conspiracy...
    Reply
  • OCedHrt - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    Not really. You can buy it without the bloatware, you just need to select Windows Pro. They got a review unit from Sony, and Sony shipped them their "consumer" version which is loaded with bloatware (although I agree, that is even more reason to not have bloatware).

    The hinge is by design and something Sony engineers are quite proud of. Not everyone likes it when something is different, especially when it comes to keyboards.

    Simply read the comments (http://www.anandtech.com/Show/Index/5530?cPage=5&a... and you can see only the reviewer had an issue with the hinge that he couldn't even explain very well.

    I have been using the Z1 for 2 years now and the experience is awesome. It may just take some time to get used to a small laptop.

    Trackpad can glitch every once in a while and for noise you can make it silent in the Sony control center (change fan from performance to silent).

    There is always going to be fan noise in a high end laptop when stressing the system. This applies to the rMBP as well (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=13918...
    Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - link

    Moron. Reply
  • mlambert890 - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    Were you two on the design team of the Z? LOL!

    You just called the guy a moron for pointing out why *ANAND* didnt like the Z.

    OK you guys are right. The Z is amazing and it is a crime against humanity that only you and your fellow crusader "get it". Sony should be the #1 PC maker rather than approaching junk bond status and it is only Apples "marketing hype" their ability to "buy off" guys like Anand and the "stupidity" of everyone on earth (except you two) that keeps Apple profitable. What an amazingly arrogant pile of crap that is

    Im a huge Vaio fan and Im 100% sure Ive spent more on them than you two have combined over the years and even *I* think the two of you sound nuts.
    Reply
  • UltraTech79 - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    You're talking out your ass. Reply
  • KoolAidMan1 - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Amazing argument.

    Truth hurts dude, sorry
    Reply
  • KoolAidMan1 - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Nothing you noted is cutting edge, and it is also thicker and heavier than Apple's machines Reply
  • OCedHrt - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    How is 2.5 lbs and 0.66" thick thicker and heavier than Apple's machines? Apple does not have a single laptop lighter and thinner than Sony's Z. Not even the ridiculously slow MBA can compete. Reply
  • KoolAidMan1 - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    Since when were Ivy Bridge i5 and i7 CPUs ridiculously slow? Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - link

    Comparatively? Since forever. Stop trying to undermine people's valid arguments by failing to read them, jackass. Reply
  • KoolAidMan1 - Friday, July 06, 2012 - link

    Please, MBAs have always had good CPUs, and what is happening now with Ivy Bridge is nothing new.

    I get it, in your world, Ivy Bridge is magically low when it is in an Apple laptop, got it.

    Your argument is undermined because you have none, and your name calling only nails down how desperate you are.
    Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - link

    Idiot. Reply
  • KoolAidMan1 - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    16:9 display, who cares? Reply
  • Ohhmaagawd - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    "Rubbish, there are plenty of other companies who are far more innovative than Apple whose machines look basic in comparison - Sony's older Z series had a very high resolution 13.1in 1080p screen, blu-ray writer, quad SSDs in RAID 0, integrated and discrete graphics card and the fastest of te dual core i7's while still smaller and lighter than Apple's 13in machines and that was a couple of years ago. Apple aren't even close to touching most of its technology and probably never will."

    how is any of that innovative? Quad SSDs/RAID 0 is pretty cool - i'll get them that. But other than that? I looked at these things. They have freaking VGA ports. They look like decent machines with above average designs, but that's about it.

    So what's innovative about apple laptops? mag safe. glass trackpads that don't suck (no one else makes a useable trackpad IMO). unibody aluminum case. magnetic latch system is unmatched. event the little prongs on the small power supply are nicer than anything else I've see. ability to sleep and wake up :) (I still haven't used a Windows laptop that consistently can do this). backlit keyboard. thunderbolt connector (first on mac) allows you to realistically use only two connections - thunderbolt for display/data and power. first to have ultra thin laptops (Air). and now the retina display.
    Reply
  • OCedHrt - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    As others answered, the VGA ports is because many projects use VGA still and the target is upper management and enthusiasts. This comes from Japan's management hierarchy. Except Sony to refresh with a dongle of some kind in the future now that Apple doesn't have an exclusive on thunderbolt. Reply
  • Ohhmaagawd - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    Thunderbolt was never mac exclusive: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2380954,00.as...

    And any company could have used display port as apple did previously.

    Answer to the projector prob is a dongle (that's what I do). Or buy a decent projector. Or better yet - just get an HDTV.
    Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - link

    Oh sure, buy a decent projector for every client you're visiting on your business trips. Problem solved!

    Dumbass.
    Reply
  • vegemeister - Monday, July 02, 2012 - link

    >They have freaking VGA ports.

    Er, how is this a problem?
    Reply
  • kmmatney - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    Too bad Sony doesn't have the balls to make a 16:10 display. Reply
  • ramb0 - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    yeah sure. The Finger Swipe security feature is probably the best innovation outside of Apple. I mean, that feature totally took off. It's amazing Apple hasn't caught on yet. I guess they're too busy innovating features that people actually give a fuck about. And by "people" i'm talking about the majority, not little nit pick wankers like you. Reply
  • orthorim - Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - link

    A very high resolution display is not a retina display - totally different thing.

    Retina is a special mode where each logical pixel is made up of 4 physical pixels, and special support for fonts and images.

    It's a huge step to go from 1:1 logical : physical pixels to a different factor. It's like bitmap based fonts vs. points-based vector fonts.

    Maybe a lot of PC manufacturers just don't get that?
    Reply
  • vegemeister - Monday, July 02, 2012 - link

    Apple is not using a PPI independent UI for their high-res displays though. There's a separate set of assets at 2x resolution, and programs that don't acknowledge that they're rendering at 2x resolution get upscaled.

    A real PPI independent UI, such as Gnome 2, uses vector resources for everything and allows applications to query the PPI of the display so they can render at appropriate dimensions.
    Reply
  • maraboshi - Saturday, June 30, 2012 - link

    and still that was FAIL because it runs Windows and not a brilliant OS like the Apple one...when will you stupid Apple haters will understand the fucking difference????? Reply
  • gbanfalvi - Sunday, July 01, 2012 - link

    I have it. It's a piece of crap. It feels like they just stuffed everything they could in this device without thinking.

    The pads on the bottom fell of from the heat.
    The battery died seven months in.
    The trackpad starts glitching regularly (not to mention it's terrible in general).
    The 1080p screen gets lines across it.
    The laptop overheats when I put it in speed mode.

    Evidence: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/245279/Photos/Photo%20201...
    Reply
  • azaat07 - Friday, July 13, 2012 - link

    Hole in your hyperbole...

    Only option is Intel Graphics 4000, shared memory.

    Intel 4k graphics are on par with 2007 discrete.

    Andrew
    Reply
  • woodsielord - Sunday, July 15, 2012 - link

    I have the said computer. I bought it with very high expectations, and the screen is still amazing, but the rest of the hardware keeps causing trouble. I have lived without my computer 3+ months due to repairs, and currently I'm typing this from my girlfriend's Zenbook (which, on the other hand, is zero problems and all play).

    The lack of international Sony support and the proclimity to hardware failure rule out Sony of all my future purchases. Many times I said to myself that I should have bought a MBP instead. If Sony stopped spewing forth so many products and instead tended to the details of flagship products and cared about its customers, it might have worked.
    Reply
  • mark3785 - Saturday, September 08, 2012 - link

    Ok, I'll play the fanboy…

    This is where Apple haters really get pissed (and as an Apple fan from the mid 80s (and a loyalist from the 90 days from bankruptcy days) (if I'm playing the fanboi thing I may as well go whole hog) I really start to chuckle).

    The MacBook Pro with retina display is proof positive that Apple can do things that the windows community can't because Apple has control of both sides of the coin, the hardware and the OS, plus (and this is a really huge plus) they have some very smart people working for them. It's one thing to put a hires display on a computer and an entirely different thing to make that display resolution independent. Sony may have come out with a hires laptop back in 2010, but they didn't do anything interesting with it.

    Eventually 2880x1800 will be run of the mill and higher resolutions will start to dominate. It isn't the number of pixels, it's how the system uses them to it's best advantage. This is (hopefully) the beginning of a new trend.

    BTW, one helluva review! Reviews are boring, though comforting when they state the obvious (yes, you bought a nifty machine, pat on the head) but a review this informative and complete just reinvigorates my interest in the hobby.
    Reply
  • Targon - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    You need to look at the different price points that machines are sold for before you make statements like that. Most manufacturers see far greater volumes in the $500 range than they see in the $1500+ range, and it is that range that the majority of consumers look when it comes to buying a computer, either desktop or laptop.

    The area that manufacturers SHOULD be moving in is to make the move to a 1920x1080 display across their entire range of 14 inch and greater machines as the norm, rather than as an extra feature that people need to pay extra for if you are in the $450+ price range. Higher resolutions should be offered as the norm for higher end laptop displays. Until that happens, the PC side of the industry will seem to be inferior when it comes to display technology.

    If you think about it, display technologies have been fairly stagnant except from Apple, and we have not seen an aggressive attempt to improve what we see out there. 1920x1080 displays have been the norm for too long, and going to 1920x1200 isn't enough.
    Reply
  • OCedHrt - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    Check out the new Sony TT Reply
  • vegemeister - Monday, July 02, 2012 - link

    1920x1080 should be the norm for 11". Reply
  • vision33r - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    When a PC laptop goes on sale, the listed price is never the actual purchase price.

    A $1000 Dell usually end up getting sold for $800 or less after coupons and Dell runs sales all the time. Same goes for HP.

    Apple almost never do a sale until the model is outdated, the only discount is the education one.

    It's a certain that all PC laptop makers have to cut corners to make a profit, competition is fierce. Most buyers are more price sensitive these days then specs.
    Reply
  • duploxxx - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    Many manufacturers allow options in there designs towards more cutting edge technology...

    I have a full HD display in a 15"since 2008, same for my SSD.... just a matter of cutting cost for low profile. This differentiate with apple who already put these in the baseline... call bleding edge wathever you want but I am sure my Laptop cost probably a few 100$ less with eluminated keyb, optimus etc.... but it hasbn't got the shiny apple logo :)
    Reply
  • Johnmcl7 - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Sony have been offering 13.1 1920x1080 screens for a few years which admittedly isn't nearly as high as the new Macbook screen but given Sony have been frequently criticised for offering such a pointlessly high resolution it's little surprise they haven't developed it further.

    When Apple do it however they get praised for their innovation and bringing the market forward when in reality they're a while behind other companies who are genuinely innovative and getting the technology out there.

    John
    Reply
  • Super56K - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    I'm not sure you understand. It's rendered at double the resolution, but presented at the same size as 1440x900 or 1900x1200 on a 15" screen. You gain clarity rather than real estate.

    What other notebooks out there can do that?
    Reply
  • ananduser - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Lol...you just described DPI scaling. The retina mb just offers ready made presets. To achieve the same effect on the Z simply change the DPI scaling within the native resolution. Reply
  • KoolAidMan1 - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Scaling in Windows doesn't work the same, nor is it targeted towards such specific resolutions. Anand talks about this himself in the review.

    Hopefully Windows 8 outside of the Metro UI addresses this.
    Reply
  • OCedHrt - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    That's because Windows only goes up to 1.5 instead of 2. But at 1920x1080, 1.5 gives you 1280 x 720. Do you really want to go that small? Reply
  • ananduser - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    OMG...it's been said 10 times already in the comments. Windows goes all the way up to 200%. Anand does not know Windows setting well enough. Reply
  • ananduser - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    That't the idea, scaling should *NOT* be dependent on specific resolutions. It should be agnostic. That's what Windows does because it's supposed to power the world's computers, macs included. Reply
  • dagamer34 - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    Windows 8 addresses this by providing an easy way to serve up high resolution assets for the OS to use depending on the DPI of the machine. It takes all of the guesswork out of the developers hands with no extra code needed. Reply
  • Super56K - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Maybe talking paper specs on the software side it's 'the same' but really that's not even close. Dpi scaling is flaky in Windows anyways.

    And it's really not the same. It's rendered at double the resolution on a screen that actually has 4x's the pixels at the native 1440x900 res. Nobody else does that. Hell, it's rare to even find a 16:10 Windows laptop.

    I don't own a MacBook anything, but some of you sound ridiculous in here going on about Sony laptops with 1080p screens
    Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - link

    What if I, the user, don't want my laptop rendering the display at a pointlessly high resolution just to scale it back down again? I understand the theory but the execution is utterly ridiculous. Reply
  • UpSpin - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    You're right, it wouldn't sell, because the issue is that Windows DPI scaling doesn't work so well. It also doesn't work perfectly in Mac OS (Chrome best example, they had to update it). And so will many older programs, which don't receive further updates, like Adobe Creative Suite <6 don't scale right (assumption)

    That's one reason that Apple released only one MacBook with a retina display, because the software isn't ready for DPI scaling yet. Apple was brave enough to do the step and force programers to integrate scaling in high res images in their programs because future MacBooks will have retina displays only.

    No PC manuafcturer could have done such a step, they would have been blocked by the lack of proper scaling of Windows, rendering a high res display useless because of display errors. So Microsoft should have made Windows 7 resolution independent (just as all mobile OS are, which rely on DPI instead of absolute pixels), then PC manufacturers could have included high res displays which the customer could have used.
    Reply
  • EnzoFX - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    MS Should have with Win7? Hardly. That was too long ago and there were no retina screens yet. Even 1080p screens were scarce. Remember that 99% were getting 1366x768 in their laptops.

    You're right in that Apple can sort of force developers to update apps for support. I do give them credit for usually implementing a solid stopgap. Their scaling for older apps is usually good enough without it being a bad experience. Forcing them to update is a good thing though, having that ecosystem of active developers is good. It's further easier on them to target simple hardware configurations. The benefits of vertical integration at its best. Now for these retina displays to trickle down to all their displays =P.
    Reply
  • ananduser - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Win7 scales perfectly well for a screen this res. Such an absurd panel jump however is meant as bragging rights. It also serves as differentiation. Instead of going "post PC" like W8 transformer devices at Computex, it adds a huge panel. There's nothing special about the hardware that hasn't been done before, except the impressive panel. Reply
  • Ohhmaagawd - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Exactly what would constitute "special"? Reply
  • dagamer34 - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    Mobile operating systems aren't resolution independent. The iPhone supports 2 resolutions, Windows Phone currently supports 1 resolution, but will support 3 in WP8, and Android supports a variety of resolutions, but is NOT resolution independent. Reply
  • garcondebanane - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Frankly, yes I think so. See "the software side of retina" and "Achieving retina".

    I don't think any other PC manufacturer can realistically be expected to do it this seamlessly.
    Reply
  • UberApfel - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Apple didn't think of the idea. The screens are simply now available and Apple has the resources and reason to push it to market first. Apple also has their own operating system and software engineers to prepare for such.

    Anyone familiar with the market knows that Microsoft is a big kid nurtured by monopoly and ripping off corporations. The 'big game-changing release & failure' every few years just doesn't allow manufacturers to be first-adopters. Only OSX stays up-to-date, and only Apple may use OSX thanks to either IP or special-order hardware.

    If Asus, Acer, or Toshiba were to shell out the cash to get a portion of the first batch and mass-produce some laptops w/ "retina display"; they'd just have a deficit. Apple is a designer; not a innovator. Anyone who makes that mistake is a fool.
    Reply
  • MrSpadge - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    It's not only about thinking about it, it's about building it and reaching out to make people buy it. It's hard to do this without the "Apple hype", no matter how good and innovative the product may be. Reply
  • orthorim - Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - link

    First of all, PC manufacturers are followers.

    Second even if they wanted to do it, how are they going to get Microsoft to fully support retina mode? It's evident from the review that Apple's had to do a lot of work on the software side to make it work, and it's still not perfect.

    That's Apple's huge advantage: They make hardware and software.

    The obstacle for a PC manufacturer would be:
    - Get retina displays in quantity (same issue Apple faces - it's doable but by no means easy)
    - Get Windows to support retina mode - even if MS were willing, no one knows what amount of effort would be involved. I guess it would be extremely hard to do.
    - Get gfx card manufacturers to optimize their drivers to it's fast

    All of this takes time and effort...
    Reply
  • PubFiction - Friday, August 03, 2012 - link

    None of you get it.

    Super resolution is a by product of OLED. Not of apple, not of anyone else. LG says they can make a panel and apple pays the highest price to have exclusive access fo a while. Are you guys really so stupid that you think apple actually makes these panels?

    IF LG does not push IPS displays down in price and up in resolution OLED is quickly going to supplant LCDs as the premium product.

    Let me make it clear to the sheeple, PC companies do not give a shit about you or giving you bette stuff until it becomes neccessary to maintain their business, apple happily sold everyone TN panels with low resolution for years while PC makers were offering IPS, wide gamut in work stations laptops.
    Reply
  • gorash - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Come on, 1080p screens have existed for some time, and obviously it would move to 4k at some point when it's ready. From the performance standpoint, "Retina" doesn't seem to be all that ready. Maybe in the next year or so, it will be. Reply
  • OCedHrt - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Although the reviewers at Anandtech didn't really like the Z, it is the best laptop I have used to date. Reply
  • solipsism - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Even if Apple can these 27" IPS panels made at a reasonable price and quantity you still have to deal with rending all the pixels in a way that adds more pros than cons.

    Remember 4k is 4x the pixels of 1080p. Taking the 27" from 2560x1440 to 5120x2880 is going from 3,686,400 px to 14,745,600 px.
    Reply
  • DeciusStrabo - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    4k isn't 4x the pixels of 1080p. 4k is QFHD, which is 3840x2160 (6.1 million pixels vs. 2 million in 1080p).
    However, since we already have a spec for 8K (7680x4320 ~ 33 million pixels) things to indeed get interesting soon.
    Reply
  • lukarak - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    3840x2160 = 8,294,400
    /
    1920x1080 = 2,073,600
    --------------------------------
    2 x 2 = 4
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    4k is a lot more than just quadHD. I wouldn't be surprised if that ends up being the dominant mass market version; but most current 4k cameras record video at 4096x2304/2160. Reply
  • Ohhmaagawd - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    "emember 4k is 4x the pixels of 1080p. Taking the 27" from 2560x1440 to 5120x2880 is going from 3,686,400 px to 14,745,600 px."

    I really doubt it needs to double to be "retina".

    Not sure what the sweet spot is, but my gut is somewhere around 3500-4000 pixels wide.
    Reply
  • Acanthus - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Apple and their forward looking business sense = buying every factory in the world that can produce high dpi displays. (Yes, they really did that)

    Anticompetitive =/= "forward thinking"
    Reply
  • EnzoFX - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Tell MS to buy them then. Can you really not see how Apple forcing this, makes others want to compete? Reply
  • UberApfel - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    You must be new to economics. Reply
  • ciparis - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Because there were so many 2800-class displays on notebooks before Apple introduced them. Or desktop for that matter.

    Innovating while securing your own future production capacities, even if it means others will have a hard time copying you, is a perfectly reasonable business decision.
    Reply
  • Taft12 - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    Perhaps they really did buy 'em all, but anticompetitive would be preventing any more factories capable of producing high-resolution displays from coming into existence. Now *THAT* would be impressive! Reply
  • OCedHrt - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Already exists on PC. And in 2012 Apple introduces DPI scaling? Windows had this in XP if not earlier. Reply
  • Akdor 1154 - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    yes, and it STILL isn't up to par, even with Windows 7. You can see on the shots in the review how well it performs - titlebars are too small, icons are nastily pixellated (as it can only go up to 1.5x, not a round 2x), and third party support is patchy at best. (As an aside, I would be very interested in an article on the differences on high-res drawing APIs between Windows and Mac OS. )
    Microsoft got there first with a half-done approach, Apple polished it.

    N.B. I'm a happy Windows user, but this particular piece of tech is making me quite jealous..
    Reply
  • internetf1fan - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    " (as it can only go up to 1.5x, not a round 2x)"

    Anand is wrong. They looked at only the preset options given by Windows which are 100%, 125% and 150%. Had they bothered to look at the other options, they would have noticed that you can easily set the custom DPI at 200% to get a x2 behavior you want. This review is seriously shoddy.
    Reply
  • fmcjw - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Yes, never seen Anand totally gushing like this. It's as if he can justify all the non-upgradeable design quirks and incompatibility with existing applications, simply by gazing at the hi-res display. I don't think many can distinguish pixels on a 13" FullHD, or even an 11" 1366x768 at normal viewing distances.

    In his bias and self-deception he glossed over flaws and uses the resolution as the way out of every flaw. Isn't the old matte display better than the new fancy "low-gloss" glossy display? Anand failed to look into the battery type integrated, whether it's one of the 1000-cycle packs. More unforgivably, he glossed over the low color gamut aspect, omitting a common sRGB comparison table.

    Until I see a demo unit, I'll stick to the view that this is just a gimmick to lock in users by favoring proprietary, Retina-optimized applications, while 95% of applications are better off in FullHD/1920x1200 on a laptop.

    This review is proof that even one of the most professional reviewers can be blinded by his own self-deception and pretty looks.
    Reply
  • themossie - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    What proprietary, Retina-optimized applications? You're already running Mac OS X, it's not gonna get any more proprietary :-)
    The maximum selectable resolution on the MBP Retina Display -is- 1920x1200. When you select 1920x1200, it renders at 3840x2400 and downscales the image to 2880x1800.

    Can easily distinguish pixels on an 11" 768p machine - I use one on a daily basis. 13" 1080p from normal viewing distance is much harder to distinguish.
    Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    "New super resolutions are coming to notebook/ laptop computers. Thanks to Apple and their forward looking business sense. Wonder when it comes to PCs..... with Windows 8?"

    Pointless on smaller screens.
    Reply
  • RaygunV - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    Apple has done nothing. Higher resolutions were already in the pipeline before apple released theirs. Apple releases first only so that the public DOES think they are innovative.

    Apple has done nothing special, just using maturing technology like all vendors will.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Intel-Higher-Reso...
    Reply
  • designerfx - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    the same as apple: improving on plenty of things while missing the boat.

    apple: lack of improvements on hardware (not their fault, but raising resolution without a substantially more powerful GPU = things tend to suck if you try to take advantage of the resolution).

    Note all the benchmarks at the scaled down resolution on the GPU testing. You don't even want to know what these games will run at with 28xx by 18xx.

    If 1680x1050 is achieving 60fps, it's not hard to guess that 15fps might be an optimistic answer at 2800x1800.

    Meanwhile, all this "Scale the appropriate elements while letting the rest display full resolution" is an important part of the OS that windows 8 probably will miss, entirely.
    Reply
  • Spunjji - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    Sony, Vaio Z, 13" 1920x1080. Thanks, Apple? :| Reply
  • starburns - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultra_High_Definition...

    Super resolutions have been around since 2005, this retina display is still only half the resolution that other companies have achieved years ago.
    Reply
  • KitsuneKnight - Saturday, July 07, 2012 - link

    Displays that cost enough to buy 5+ of these laptops (if you find them on firesale!). Not really comparable. Reply
  • optics261 - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    One review to rule them all! Reply
  • zappb - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    With 4k resolution screens to bind them. Apple=progress (finally).

    After years of ignoring screen quality Lenovo, dell, hp....thanks pingguo.
    Reply
  • yhselp - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    One Review to rule them all, One Review to show them, One Review to teach them all and in the darkness more objective make them. Reply
  • eron - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    What software was used to measure the frame rate? Reply
  • Spoony - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Quartz Debug. Part of Apple's developer tools. There is a string you can use to expose additional functionality in Quartz Debug such as resolution scaling factor and manual GPU switching.

    $ defaults write com.apple.QuartzDebug QuartzDebugPrivateInterface -boolean YES
    Reply
  • Ushio01 - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otPL8KwKQmw Reply
  • atata - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    >...as it was Microsoft's inaction on the software side that really hurt the PC OEMs over the past several years.

    Care to elaborate?
    Reply
  • DeciusStrabo - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Bad, weak DPI-scaling, no useable Touchpad integration (while Apple's work flawlessly), missing drivers and support for new technologies. Reply
  • ananduser - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Bootcamp is the one with the poor drivers. The driver issue Windows faces on a mac is only due to Apple's shoddy bootcamp. Reply
  • solipsism - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Looks like someone uses 1Password to login to AT. Reply
  • SteveTheWalrus - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    "maximum spinning speeds of just over 6000 RPM" Wait 6000? that is 100 times a second...seems a little fast to me.. Reply
  • dagamer34 - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Yep, and it sounds like a jet engine when it does. Reply
  • tipoo - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    That's actually right. They can go pretty damn fast. Reply
  • Braincruser - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Car engines can go 6000 rpm no problem, why would that be a problem for a small fan? Reply
  • zappb - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    The weakest part of.this laptop is the keyboard (having tried it, it feels a bit squishy and not as good as previous mb pros - imho, Anand - what do u think? Reply
  • parlour - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Hihi, that’s funny. I found the keyboard massively preferable to that of the non-Retina MBP. It seems tighter to me.

    I think the conclusion of this is that you have to try the keyboard before you buy. It’s certainly a high-quality keyboard either way, so calling it “the weakest part” is pretty much nonsense. It may be the weakest part for you personally, but not for everyone.
    Reply
  • zappb - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    I said "squishy" , you said "tighter", are we still talking about a keyboard? is this another marketing thing a la retina?(tm) Reply
  • parlour - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    The old MBP keyboard feels more spongy to me while the rMBP keyboard feels tighter (or less spongy) to me. Hey, this is all hard to describe, we are all using strange words.

    So, no. I do not share your impression.
    Reply
  • Omid.M - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    The key travel is maybe 30% less travel than the regular MBP. It's just like the Air and I can't stand it. You have to change HOW you type, unfortunately because there's little bounce back.

    I'm also disappointed in the GPU. There's definitely lag. I think we have to wait until Broadwell—2014 WWDC?—to see a 3rd gen rMBP that's truly polished.

    The OWC video is totally misleading; there's no way the experience is smooth with 3 displays (4 total including the laptop).
    Reply
  • gorash - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Sounds like yet another overhyped Apple product (screen). "The screen is life-changing! It has changed my life! I can't look at any other screen in the same way now! Now I am more productive, I have more friends, and I've lost 20 pounds, thanks to the amazing Retina Display!". It was the same with the iPad 3. People were overhyping the Retina display, and everybody was saying how amazing and gorgeous and groundbreaking and life-changing the Retina display was. Then I actually saw it and I was like "Yeah it looks a little sharper, but it's nothing groundbreaking or anything".

    So yet again, people are getting overly hyped about yet another Apple product. Sure it may be a good product, but people act like it's the second coming or something... lol.
    Reply
  • lukarak - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    For me, it's not the sharpness, it's the ability to use multiple 'resolutions' (non-native) viably, which provide different levels of screen realestate. I like that part of the equation much better than the increased sharpness, but i guess some people will also have use for it too. Reply
  • KoolAidMan1 - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    On top of increased sharpness, the color and contrast is the best I've seen on any laptop. It honestly competes with some of the best IPS desktop monitors I've seen. Fire up Aperture, it is pretty remarkable.

    The thing is a godsend for photographers and other professionals who work with images.
    Reply
  • lukarak - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    I use macs for software development, so i don't really care about that, but it is still nice to have a better quality screen, sure. Reply
  • DeciusStrabo - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    The Thinkpad T530/W530 1080p is arguably better outside of the resolution - not IPS, but very near the same quality. And it has a 95 % sRGB gamut. Reply
  • inplainview - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Here's and idea for you... Don't buy one.... Now isn't that revolutionary? Reply
  • EnzoFX - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Just let apple push down the high end tech, let it trickle, and let pc manufacturers bring up their game, is it not a win win? Haters gonna hate, so lost. Reply
  • MacTheSpoon - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    I have to say, after having tried one out in an Apple Store, that I was pretty surprised how underwhelming and minor the screen improvement was. I would have thought from all the breathless press coverage that it was going to be a life-changer like apparently it was for Anand, but the fact was that looking at the thing at waist-height on its bench I personally couldn't even tell the difference. I had to stick my nose in it to see a difference. From a normal typing distance I could see a bit more of a difference, but not as much as I'd imagined.

    Maybe it's just that I have crappy eyes, but I didn't see a single other customer in the store looking at the displayed laptops, either. I bet most walked by without even noticing the different display--because laptops are already pretty close to a retina display at normal usage distances. It's not like a phone, where you hold the thing up to your face.

    I also found it disappointing that 1080p stuff looked so small. You had to blow it up to full screen, and then it seemed...well, it didn't seem that sharp. It was pretty underwhelming. My test material was the Big Buck Bunny vid on YouTube. I thought, so I would pay all this money and end up with this subpar viewing experience?

    Honestly I think I would probably prefer a great 1080p display with a full sRGB gamut. I like the black levels and contrast on the MBP, but you can pretty much get that and more on other laptops. And matte, too.

    The thing that I liked most about the machine, when all was said and done, was its looks. I love the thinness. And the lack of the wedge shape, which never appealed to me. But I left the store feeling like I wasn't missing out on anything too amazing by not having that screen. For a pro machine I'd probably want a workstation with full gamut and as much storage as possible. For a multimedia machine I'd probably wait to see how the XPS 15 redesign turned out. It will probably offer better speakers, storage, and color for less than half the price.
    Reply
  • Ohhmaagawd - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    I had exact opposite reaction. I went to the Apple store yesterday and was blown away by the screen.

    But you can't use youtube for your testing, they are all fuzzy.
    Reply
  • Spoony - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Sublime review, as we always relish from Anandtech.

    To follow up, what do we know about the thermal performance of Kepler and IVB in the 2011-style MBP chassis?

    Additionally, does opting for the 2.3GHz model do any significant favors for temperature or battery life?

    Reading this review on a Retina iPad was amusing because all the pictures were fuzzy. The web has a way to go before it looks great at 220+ dpi.
    Reply
  • da1bigkahuna - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    I was wondering if you had any fairly broad comparisons you could make that we might expect from Haswell - and it's successor. I mean something like, "Haswell should be at least 10% faster overall, but the next chip will increase speed far more". Any info would be appreciated, but ultimately speed is the main thing. Next main thing would be if thunderbolt will be a lot better in those future systems. Reply
  • dagamer34 - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    I believe Haswell is another tock in terms of GPU design, and all CPUs are designed for far lower thermal limits. Anand has referred to it as the "ideal" ultrabook CPU, allowing for it to even be in the screen of a computer with a minor increase in thickness. Reply
  • houkouonchi - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    The reason I bought my first Mac. Of course I run at the native 2880x1800 (I ditch the HiDPI).

    The big problem I have had so far is getting it working in linux. Seems like really bad linux support right now. The nvidia driver doesn't want to work and the thunderbolt ethernet also doesn't work. The wireless is also really shoddy which made it a pain in the but to just get my linux installation moved over (probably easier if I installed off a USB cd-rom drive).

    I am coming from a 22.2 inch 3840x2400 (204PPI monitor) so going to a 220 PPI laptop at native resolution was no big stretch for me. On linux I run X at 75 DPI even on those dense monitors. Its all about the desktop real-estate for me.
    Reply
  • houkouonchi - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Just to add its funny that running at the native 2880x1800 is the only way to have third-party apps look good (like word processors/excel/pdf that you can up the font/text size on). Also using safari + google maps the plugin was rendered at 1/4th the resolution. Rendered correctly when running native 2880x1800. Reply
  • krazyfrog - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    I would like you guys to add a webcam test as it will help judge the quality of the built-in webcam and microphones. Otherwise, a fantastic review, as usual. Reply
  • LuckyKnight - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    I hope Apple release a 13" Macbook Pro with dedicated graphics and a slightly better screen!! Reply
  • solipsism - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    it seems that any major changes to their Macs will come with Retina Displays. The question is when that will come because the iMac and ATDs are likely still to difficult to create and the smaller notebooks likely require more powerful GPUs.

    As Anand stated Intel is committed to more powerful iGPUs, which I'm fine with as my only concern is not seeing any visual lag and I don't play games, but I do think it's feasible for the 13" MBP to get a Retina Display once that ODD is removed. The only question I have is how much additional size is required to run an IPS display with 4x as many pixels. Can we assume the same battery capacity scaling between the 15" MBP and 15' RMBP?
    Reply
  • ananduser - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    There is also a price concern. The retina panel on the 15"-er incurs a considerable increase. Lower retina screens on the lesser macbooks will incur themselves a price increase(lower but an increase nonetheless). Reply
  • KoolAidMan1 - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    The logic board on the 13" MBP is tiny, not enough room for a dedicated GPU. As it stands, Apple and other ultrabook manufacturers will be leaning on integrated graphics going forward. It is the only solution with chassis getting thinner and lighter. This is a big reason why Intel has been getting so much pressure to improve their IGPs, and Haswell is looking like a huge step in that direction. Reply
  • ananduser - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Come on...Windows supports 200% DPI scaling. By default you have 125% and 150%, but if you go custom mode you can set the DPI slider way up to 200% and any value in between(not just 100% and 200%.
    OSX' pre-rendering hacks and workarounds do not mean resolution independence. They have achieved a similar result only for their specific configuration. Windows is closer to that ideal as from the start you have the choice to run the native resolution and all scaling can be realized in factors between 100%-200% within that resolution frame. From a software perspective it is more agnostic, therefore more elegant. You're too selfish in your Apple desires that you don't think about custom configurations and myriad of panel choices out there.
    Reply
  • Super56K - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    I would never describe windows dpi scaling as elegant. Reply
  • Taft12 - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    It's quite elegant. Windows software support for DPI scaling is not. Reply
  • Spoony - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Quartz supports fully resolution agnostic layout, transforms, and compositing on a per-object basis. It also absolutely supports real resolution independence at any scaling value you desire. See this image from Mac OS 10.4:

    http://origin.arstechnica.com/images/tiger/scalabl...

    Your move, smartypants.
    Reply
  • ananduser - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    First of all Anand doesn't seem to know Windows well enough to go beyond presets.
    2nd of all, past OSX implementation of scaling was 2nd rate to that of Windows. OSX was unusable on high res screen without magnifying. I don't need to search for a longstanding macrumors post that described the frustrations of being a macuser on high res(and relatively small diagonal) past desktops.
    3rd: internal rendering beyond the panel resolutions and then readjusting is anything but elegant. It is a specific workaround to a specific situation of a specific machine. Apple can't expect the entire world to rework everything to fit their quirky rendering.
    Reply
  • Spoony - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    That's total garbage, and I suspect you know it.

    OS X has gone through various stages of teething with resolution independence. It was generally workable, but not always incredibly pretty. I remember U/I cracks and other uglies aplenty. However, setting to native res on a high-res panel and upscaling to 1.25x or 1.5x was very usable and very crisp, cracks aside.

    Apple has always been interested in doing resolution independence right, from OS X's beginnings and using PDF as the specification template for their drawing layer. The fact of the matter is, Mountain Lion (and Lion for now) is executing a fully resolution independent desktop, and executing it very elegantly. Much more comprehensive and capable than Windows presently.

    Furthermore, Apple has built up a very nice tool set of APIs that allow it (and third parties) to create a slick experience. For now, Windows can't touch it... however, I dearly hope Microsoft fixes this right up promptly. All OSs properly handling dense displays will be a great thing going forward.
    Reply
  • ananduser - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    MS has nothing to fix as W8 is great from all standpoints. It is Anand's lack of knowing Windows settings that makes him state otherwise.

    Apple achieved a "resolution independence" type experience through presets. It only works with their available presets and makes use weird workarounds, while obfuscating panel res choices. If you apply a certain patch on OSX, unlock resolution choice and select the native res manually(or any other res) you'll see how resolution independent OSX is not.

    You're naive if you think that all the possible past and current OSX 3rd party apps will do out-of-bound patches just to match, I repeat, a specific machine and it's specific pre-rendering routines.

    Resolution independence in use is completely panel and resolution agnostic. No matter the native resolution of the panel you can scale the elements by any scale you wish. You do not need to pre-render, then cut the screen to fit your panel. Both os-es lack this effectively but OSX was traditionally worse than Windows.

    Note: The true idealistic notion of resolution independece does not exist. Even ios is not resolution independent, it seems so because ios works only on two, integer scaled resolutions.
    Reply
  • Penti - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    W8 doesn't change anything, having one setting for Metro and one for Desktop that works just like before doesn't cut it. Reply
  • Spoony - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    I don't think you've been understanding what I've been saying.

    Quartz is a fully resolution independent drawing layer. It can map to any pixel density necessary. It is incredibly fast and flexible, especially when tied in to technologies like Core Animation, Core Image, and Core Text.

    It's also worth noting that Core UI exists in OS X, and has done since 10.5. This is a vector/texture baking engine that draws all interface elements in OS X in a fully resolution agnostic way. This is a very nice, and slick piece of software.

    You do make a point, Apple keeps doing this 2x scaling thing. Why?

    As it turns out, U/I scaling is a very complex thing. Not only is it a bit difficult to wrap your head around, it's a bit difficult to code against. Everybody isn't about to go build vector assets for their applications. Apple has to meet developers (and its own internal application teams, probably) halfway. Thus the @2x assets. It is a somewhat limiting, although fairly consistent and simple method for enabling bitmap creation in a resolution independent interface.

    So you're wrong, OS X does have (and has had) support for full resolution independence. You can scale to your heart's content, from a 600dpi printer to a 72dpi display, at any interface factor.

    The question is simply more complex than "does the slider work". Windows does not scale well at all, applications tear, refuse to scale, magnify far too much, render incredibly blurry images and text. The rendering layer is not versatile, nor set up for this kind of usage. Win8 improves matters, but not with as much depth as we'd have hoped.
    Reply
  • ananduser - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    I know that Apple's Quartz engine is scaling capable the agnostic and traditional way. Just was never good at it for extreme scenarios; a common gripe with macusers demanding better implementation. Windows' similar mechanism was always more efficient especially since Vista(XP's sucked).
    3rd party apps that don't scale properly have only their devs to blame. I don't know your particular app use on Windows but I can say that you gripes with it are exaggerated or maybe translated from your OSX experience. Battle of the sliders is ultimately a question of correct dev use. 3dmark for instance makes use of their own trademark GUI that does not make use of Win resources. I've always hated that. So does itunes on WIndows or Safari. These will never work right.

    The 2x scaling is a rigid compromise. It achieves consistency but not resolution independence. As I said before, resolution independence does not exist as it is idealistic in theory, and abstracts constraints such as scaling factors. If Apple pushes ahead with their low/normal/high scaling presets across their entire line-up, and in the process completely eliminates the notion of changing resolution(as in picking a number from a table) they will achieve a consistent experience like on ios; and it will still not be resolution independence "from a technical pov".
    I'm arguing semantics and not the MBP-R which is a spanking machine.
    Reply
  • Spoony - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    Lots of the software I use on Windows fails hard when you crank that slider up. Photoshop, Illustrator, SAP, iTunes (woe is me), Chrome, Office, etc... a vast majority of the software I want to use does not work correctly. Plus Win7 isn't exactly elegant about scaling artwork, even universal widgets get a little weird looking.

    And here I agree with you. 2x is rigid, it is not ideal, we would want to pick a resolution and then pick a U/I scaling value to get exactly the pixel density and U/I size that is ideal for our use. I would like that a great deal.

    Unfortunately that's not the reality of designing interfaces today. We are moving into new territory here from an execution standpoint, and you can't just go vectorize all your assets and FP-define all of your layout coordinates and transforms overnight.

    To make this work, Apple need to meet developers and users halfway. They need to make it simple for the user to select the most comfortable size for elements, while also providing a "we believe this is best" mode. They need to give developers a relatively straightforward way to develop assets for these higher resolution displays, and not force too much layout tweaking.

    This is a transitional period. I believe Apple has struck a decent balance. A balance that works and will actually allow this to fly. It isn't the best of all worlds right now, but that day is coming. Certainly what Apple ships today is better than what Microsoft ships today. That difference will also be eroded by time.
    Reply
  • ananduser - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    I noticed Anand's review update. Windows set on 200% increase, makes the desktop similar to OSX' retina setting. And furthermore Anand also stated that under this state Windows faces the same 3rd party related issues as OSX.

    "To make this work, Apple need to meet developers and users halfway. " One modification...Apple needs to meet "their" developers and "their" users.

    "Certainly what Apple ships today is better than what Microsoft ships today."
    I'm not sure you want to go far as to compare 2 different OS architectures based on high res panel support alone. This is first and foremost a subjective discussion before an objective one.
    Reply
  • ananduser - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    Win8 has the best high res support of the market. It's completely panel agnostic(11 inch all the way to Ballmer's wall TV). It's easy to diminish W8, but it is more of a step forward than Apple's traditional "small steps" policy. Reply
  • Spoony - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    Only in Metro mode.

    In "old-style desktop" mode it exhibits the same problems as Win7. So it will require developer effort in the same way Mac OS X will.

    Windows 8 is well known to produce very polar reactions. The direction and momentum of Metro development is highly questionable right now. There are a lot of unanswered questions and not a lot of trust in Microsoft's path.

    On the flip-side, Apple is shipping a high-res hardware product today with a clear and well known path to high-res execution today. They have a defined timeline to their next OS and a price tag attached. Everything is a known quantity here, and developer support is strong.

    Windows 8 will be released in the fall sometime with a presently unknown price and an unknown vector to high-res asset curation.

    This is not a post bashing Microsoft or adoring Apple (none of them were). I am plainly stating the way that two different companies have tackled a very complex issue at this moment in time. I deeply hope that Microsoft, Apple, Linux, and 3rd party developers all put forward competitive support for high resolution displays because they are the future, and I'd like to enjoy them.
    Reply
  • ananduser - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    "Everything is a known quantity here." Apple's biggest advantage.

    "I deeply hope that Microsoft, Apple, Linux, and 3rd party developers all put forward competitive support for high resolution displays" The potential issue is that they all put competitive efforts but different efforts. Each one goes their own way.
    Reply
  • wendoman - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    That's why Intel QuickSync doesnt work on Mac's? LOL Reply
  • Spoony - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    "High-performance H.264 encoding3
    When you select a standard HD export setting, QuickTime Player takes advantage of hardware video encoding for optimal performance."

    "Supported on the following Mac models: iMac (Mid 2011 or newer), Mac mini (Mid 2011 or newer), MacBook Air (Mid 2011 or newer), and MacBook Pro (Early 2011 or newer)."

    http://www.apple.com/osx/whats-new/features.html

    Apple does things when they're good and ready (for better or worse), and by the looks of things with Mountain Lion they're exposing QuickSync underneath AVFoundation or QTKit.
    Reply
  • wendoman - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Coming soon as usual.
    I've been using QuickSync fast encoding for free for over a year.
    Reply
  • Spoony - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    That's really great for you. Fast encoding with QuickSync is nice. I've used it too, and wished it would get OS X support. Happy to see that is is now.

    Side note, all of the Windows-based encoders that execute QuickSync use an application-internal package. OS X will be implementing this at the system level, all software today that asks for an encode from QTKit should get it handed off to the fixed-function encoder. It's a much nicer solution, in my opinion.
    Reply
  • AnotherNetNarcissist - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Well done. Your medal is in the post. Reply
  • Taft12 - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    That makes you and Anand who seem to care. We're up to two! I've yet to meet anyone else that does. Reply
  • iCrunch - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    ...for an amazingly detailed review! This is what I had been waiting for, but nobody else comes even close to the technical knowledge and its applications.

    I have the "entry-level" rMBP (2.3GHz/8GB/256GB "SSD" NAND Flash) and the first thing I did was to remove Lion and install Mountain Lion DP4 with its thus far single major update. No UI elements ever flashed on me and everything seems to render just right in Safari 6 as well as throughout ML's UI elements and text. That's in both the "Ideal" Retina mode as well as WSXGA+ (1680x1050) and WUXGA (1920x1200). In the latter two modi, everything is just smaller, as you'd expect, but I find that under ML and Safari, it looks (virtually) as good as in "Retina" mode (1440x900).

    Have you found any evidence of WUXGA icons in native resolution, for example, as a possible explanation as to why it scales so unbelievably well? I was truly hoping for a second native resolution for SXGA+, which would have entailed an even higher (3360x2100) native resolution, but as I'm typing this in WUXGA, in the highest of the 5 resolution modes, I find everything to appear as though it were native resolution. The crispness of text and images/icons throughout OS X 10.8 ML as well as the absurdly fast Safari 6, or is it all scaling, almost disproving the rule that any display's native (=highest) resolution works best?

    As for the SSD, co-incidentally, I had two 180GB Intel 520 Series SSD's in my now former Late-2011 antiglare 17" MBP. I was happy to read through tons and tons of benchmarks spread throughout various articles right here on Anandtech, and even happier to find out that the Samsung 830 Flash that's in my Retina MBP (the 256GB version) and the Intel 520 (180GB) that I had before seemed to be highly comparable in virtually all categories. I am thinking about getting the 2.6 version with the 512GB Flash, but as seems to be the case with the 480GB Intel 520 Series, the 1/2 TB SSD's seem to be a tad slower than those in the 240/256GB range. Any ideas as to why?
    Reply
  • IKeelU - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    I believe calling this a "revolution in computing" is hyperbole. I/O is evolving, as it always has. Computer density is increasing, as it always has. If anything, the new Mac Pro demonstrates that much improvement can be had in the device itself. It's not just a matter of improving connectivity to more capable devices. Reply
  • DeciusStrabo - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    I agree, but in the last few years we saw a backslide in screen resolutions on mobile devices. We had 1920x1200, IPS years ago. Suddenly we got 1366x768, TN, glare on the large majority of laptops. So the change to larger resolutions again (not only Apple, others too have started to include 1080p screens with their laptops as mainstream option).

    But generally you're correct. We moved from 1024x768 on 15-17" screens everywhere to 27" 2560x1440 IPS being available for as low as 600 USD. Over the next 2-3 years 4k displays will become mainstream for TVs. Technology is moving on, Apple is just one to seize if first here.
    Reply
  • solipsism - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Why is 1080p being compared to this display? Even the display in the iPad being powered by a mobile iGPU far exceeds that of 1080p. Reply
  • DeciusStrabo - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Because it is the mainstream option available to laptops outside of one single one (and some old ones like the T61)? Reply
  • dagamer34 - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    The iPad doesn't have to deal with a window layering system which greatly reduces the amount of overdraw it has to deal with. Reply
  • nikolayo - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    How come that the part "Vastly Improved Thermals" comes with no data about surface temperatures? Reply
  • ringgix - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    dont forget he also doesnt supply any data for the improved noise Reply
  • jjjjj - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    From the screenshots I've seen, also in this review, it seems like text from applications that don't support the retina display is using subpixel antialiasing. You can see this by zooming in on the pixels: if there is any non-gray colored pixels in black text on white background, subpixel antialiasing is used. Subpixel antialiasing makes no sense when the pixels of the rendered fonts are doubled; the subpixels of a 2x2 "retina pixel" are not laid out in the way that is assumed for the subpixel antialiasing to work in an optimal way.

    It would be interesting if someone with an rMBP could comment on the perceived quality of pixel doubled text (1440x900 setting) with and without subpixel antialiasing turned on. You can set this in the System Preferences, under the General tab, by toggling the setting "Use LCD font smoothing when available". Changing this setting will of course also influence text in applications that do support the retina display, but the difference would be much smaller, and in this case you would of course expect subpixel antialiasing to produce better-looking text, as the assumptions required for subpixel antialiasing to work are valid.
    Reply
  • jjjjj - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    It seems like three external screens are actually supported for the rMBP, http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5219#dispnum . "MacBook Pro (Retina, Mid 2012) can support an HDMI-compatible device on its HDMI port while also using two Thunderbolt displays." Reply
  • crazysurfanz - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Thanks Anand for an excellent review as always. Just another reason why I keep coming back to Anandtech.

    Couple of typo's on the GPU Performance page... you've referred to the 6750M (that's what's in the graphs at least) as a 6570M a couple of times (I'm not really that familiar with Mac hardware so not sure which is actually right):


    We’ve already established that NVIDIA’s Kepler architecture is fast, but the GeForce GT 650M used in the rMBP is hardly the best NVIDIA has to offer. The result however is a significant improvement in performance over the Radeon HD 6570M used in the previous generation model.



    Although gaming options continue to be limited under OS X, Diablo 3 is available and finally performs well on the platform thanks to the latest patches. Diablo 3 performance is appreciably better on the GT 650M compared to last year’s 6570M


    One question I had was around running Windows on these - do you have to run the 'bootcamp' drivers - or can you just install the normal Windows NVIDIA drivers for the GT650M?

    With regards to the the lack of dynamic graphics switching / Optimus (in the article you state that only the dGPU is exposed to windows). I take it that it's not quite as simple as installing the normal nvidia drivers and the Intel HD4000 drivers - though I'm not sure what the missing link is here, since there are certainly other Windows laptops with IVB and GT650M that run Optimus - I guess what I'm trying to figure out is - why does the fact that this hardware (IVB/GT650M) happens to be in a Mac mean that Optimus/dynamic graphics switching is unavailable?
    Reply
  • crazysurfanz - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    One other thing, what's the backdrop in these pictures... love the colours... and a high res wallpaper (2880x1800?) of that backdrop would be awesome:
    http://images.anandtech.com/reviews/mac/retinaMacB...
    http://images.anandtech.com/reviews/mac/retinaMacB...
    http://images.anandtech.com/reviews/mac/retinaMacB...

    Also love the camels:
    http://images.anandtech.com/reviews/mac/retinaMacB...
    Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    The current Windows NVIDIA drivers do not work (it's likely just a matter of device IDs), so you need the drivers Apple includes with BootCamp. Reply
  • crazysurfanz - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    So if/when those drivers work - will that then enable Optimus/dynamics graphics switching? Or is there more to the puzzle? Reply
  • chrisledet - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Awesome review Anand. Reply
  • Megatran - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    I don't think you can conclude or suggest that there are "vastly" improved thermals without even using a tool that measures temperatures in comparison to a baseline. That entire page talks more about noise characteristics than "thermal" performance. Reply
  • Sunburn74 - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Didn't Anand often say "there are no bad machines, only bad prices"? Don't you have to consider the asking price when a machine is being looked at and how the competition matches up before anointing it the end all of all creations? Reply
  • solipsism - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Aren't the current 15" notebooks with IPS displays and the same size SSDs — but with worse build quality, worse performance, and vastly inferior displays — currently higher priced?

    An HP EliteBook 8560w — 15.6", IPS display, Intel® Core i7-2670QM (2.20 GHz, 6 MB L3 cache), 8GB RAM — starts at $2189 (with the instant discount) and despite all the other inferior HW comapred to the new MBP only comes with a 500GB 7200 rpm SATA II. SATAII, really?!

    So what am I missing that you think Apple's RMBP is overpriced for it's particular category and market segment?
    Reply
  • DeciusStrabo - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    They are arguably not worse build quality, but better, having shock-protected internals, more interfaces, a option to use a dock, higher level service agreements etc. They are for a different user group (businesses) able to pay higher prices for more (perceived) reliability and flexibility. Reply
  • ananduser - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Your specified model is 1550$. You're wrong.
    http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/us/en/sm/WF06b/3219...
    Reply
  • solipsism - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    No, I clearly specified this model: http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/us/en/sm/WF06b/3219... Reply
  • ananduser - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    Yes...you are correct, but you failed to mention vPro tech(under Processor technology). A crucial feature in business use that does not come on any mac. It is the only difference in the base specs between my listed model and yours. I would say you cherry picked that one. If you choose 8560w and compare you should compare the non-Vpro model(mine).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_vPro A pretty nifty tech, crucial in some areas. Read a little on it and you'll see it's worth the money.
    Reply
  • kmmatney - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    That model doesn't have an SSD (and I'm not sure about the video card as well). Reply
  • teng029 - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Anand, as per usual, you don't disappoint with your product reviews. Thanks. Reply
  • anactoraaron - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    $2200 and they feel the need to nickel and dime me with accessories? No Gigabit - $30 adapter. $10 power adapter for 1st gen Magsafe.

    But Mac's are often the first to implement the latest and greatest - display's, thunderbolt, etc bringing it to the mainstream since most PC manufacturers want to stay on the low end and keep costs down.
    Reply
  • DaveChapin77 - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    I think most folks getting this laptop will also have a 27inch thunderbolt display at home or at work. That sucker has all of the old legacy ports you need including the gigabit Ethernet -- not to mention FireWire and 3 USB ports. That monitor even has a power cable so you can leave your laptop one in your travel bag. Reply
  • crazysurfanz - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Just a pity they're USB2 ports - hopefully they'll bring out a new version with USB3. Reply
  • cioxx - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    Not everyone, perhaps even the majority of users, need ethernet on the MBPs. If Apple were to include a free adapter it would be wasteful and ultimately subsidize the few users who do need it. $30 is not a lot of money for a machine that costs over $2k.

    Think of that adapter as a price cut for the majority, not the other way around. Apple is still going to maintain their margin no matter what.

    It's good to see them eliminate waste and make it optional. I remember getting all kinds of things with my PowerBook G4s which ended up in the landfill. Stuff like brick extensions and VGA, DVI adapters.
    Reply
  • frabber - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    What if the display resolution would be set at 2880x1800 and all apps would be using scalable vector graphics in the future. Would that at least avoid any downscaling and hence improve performance? (no more choppy scrolling for example?) Reply
  • DeciusStrabo - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Sure it would. But it would make a very hard switch for a couple of years until all Apps are using the new model. Although not worse than the model Apple now uses, where everything not made for Retina looks actually worse, not better too. Reply
  • solipsism - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Apple has been working on RI for a long time. I think it was back in first Tiger betas that they first stated that RI would show up in the OS. It silently vanished after that. They then had a secret option that could enable RI but it was incomplete and has remained incomplete ever since.

    I'm guessing that it's just too resource intensive to use vectors over bitmaps for an entire OS that the user experience becomes greatly diminished. Then you have bitmaps you simply can't get away from so that becomes another obstacle.

    I like how MS created the Windows Presentation Foundation that was a viable intermediate option for uses but it's not RI and it never really evolved. It did allow for object scaling in a better way than OS X but what Apple is doing now with double resolution displays trounces MS's stagnant WPF.
    Reply
  • ananduser - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    RI exists in concept. Implementation however is utopic. When we are whining here about it, we're actually referring to the real life, flawed variant. Windows object scaling was always better than the OSX variant. The current unit reviewed here achieves a better result but not with standard scaling, instead with fixed presets and by obfuscating res access. The result is good but it is not resolution independent, it's in fact entirely dependent on a subset of presets which are specially tuned(with pre-rendering and such).

    Now I ask you, will the world devs write apps in two flavors, one to match Apple's quirky retina pre-rendering routines and one that matches W8's different approach ? Out-of-bound patches will be applied to current 3rd party osx apps just to match Apple's current implementation ?
    Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Devs shouldn't need to do anything special for Mac OS X besides making sure their applications are HiDPI capable, which means having suitably detailed artwork and that custom widgets/text are the right physical size at 200ish DPI. In practice this means designing once on a HiDPI display, and tools take over on downresing for older displays (I'd have to check the dev documentation to see if devs need to generate those assets if the OS simply downreses assets at runtime).

    Metro is actually going to be more complex, since MS's guidelines suggests that devs target 100%, 140%, and 180% DPI.
    Reply
  • ananduser - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    I know that itunes/Safari/3dmark on Windows don't ever plan to make proper use of WIndows resources and they will always and forever suck in this aspect.
    Windows is supposed to work on Earth's PCs(macs included). Isn't that an admirable goal?

    I wanted to whine some more about Anand's failure to find the DPI slider in Windows but I read the review's update. Victory!
    Reply
  • andy318 - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Thanks for taking the time to write such a thorough review! You've educated us about the good and bad parts of the rMBP in a very objective manner.

    No one else explained the details about rendering the screen at 1680, 1920 resolutions as well as you did.
    Reply
  • felixneo - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    I know that in previous posts you mention that all the 2012 lineup has 6g ssd's, but apple insist's that the retina models are equipped with these, but is silent about the rest. It is certain that the optional ssd's for MacBook Pro 15' are in fact 6G? Reply
  • solipsism - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Yes. They've been using them for awhile. At least from last year's MBA's, too.

    This screenshot is from the new RMBP.

    http://i.imgur.com/ACyGj.png
    Reply
  • felixneo - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    the question was about the drives themselves, not the chipset.
    and the previous generation ssd's were too slow to compete with OWC offerings but at a higher price.
    Reply
  • felixneo - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    so, does anyone have solid evidence that in the non retina macbook pro 15 2012 the optional ssd's are 6g units? Reply
  • MrCromulent - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    So how's the performance in multi-monitor setups? We've all seem the OWC blog post with the rMBP driving four displays which at first seems impressive... but if scrolling on *one* screen is sub-30fps already, how much worse does it get with three more displays?

    Good review as always.. though I miss surface temperatures and objective noise levels.
    Reply
  • tipoo - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    I'd like to know that also. Doesn't sound good if you can already only scroll a page at 20-30fps, with two, three or even four monitors that would be worse. Reply
  • TEAMSWITCHER - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    "To truly take advantage of High DPI it seems as if Microsoft will need everyone to move to Metro."

    I sure hope this does't happen. I will not give up movable and resizable windows on a large format display for resolution independence. If this this is Microsoft's grand plan, I will abandon the Windows platform for the Mac. My Hackintosh-PC is already spending more and more time booted into OS X rather than Windows 7. For me the transition won't be difficult or costly.

    Reply
  • DeciusStrabo - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Just to think not being able to watch a video in one windows, have a live-blog/chat on the next and browsing/working in the main window causes me nightmares to be honest. It's a direction MS now moves with a lot of force I don't want to go to. That's actually the reason why I for the first time in 20 years consider buying a Macbook instead of a Windows laptop.

    Having a laptop that (which some caveats) is basically resolution-independent is very, very enticing too.
    Reply
  • ananduser - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Win7 will be supported until 2020. If you don't like staying on older software then by all means choose the post-PC mac. Reply
  • DeciusStrabo - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    As much as I like Win7, I don't want a situation like with XP where new technologies were eithe not supported orr supported via hacks and workarounds (TRIM, USB 3).

    Despite all the Skeuomorphism and iOS elements Apple's way of integrating the mobile and the desktop world under the leadership of the flexibility and feature-richness and UX of the dsektop approach appeals to me far more than MS' vision of bringing down laptops and desktops to the limited UX-niveau of mobile systems.

    One example: The Windows-Filedialog was never the greatest thing, but has become very useable with Vista/Winows 7. Seeing that it might be replaced sooner or later with the DOS-like version implemented in Metro simply makes me sad.
    Reply
  • DeciusStrabo - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    You are the first to mention beneath all the raving over the display the drawbacks it brings in terms of scrolling and lag. 20 fps doesn't sound that good to be honest. I'm now really reconsidering if I should buy the current MBPR or if I should wait a year until hardware catches up. 2300 € for a laptop that's not perfect? But the tech is rather enticing... Decisions, decisions. Reply
  • tipoo - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    There's always something better coming in a year...He did also say that Mountain Lion should improve the scrolling performance. Reply
  • Heathmoor - Friday, July 06, 2012 - link

    The greatest downside is the max speed of its Wi-Fi, specially notorious in a high-end laptop that is expected to make heavy use of wireless connection due to its lightweight and long battery life. I don't care if the image sometimes doesn't scroll very smoothly, this won't slow my workflow. In contrast, the internet wireless connection can become the real bottleneck in a few years time, specially while streaming videos, downloading large files or even syncing other devices, what also can take a lot of time. Certainly, most wireless networks won't get upgraded the day one, but my next purchase is intended to last more than 2-3 years, and in that time span the IEEE 802.11n standard will be rendered obsolete due to the hugh difference between the IEEE 802.11n and the forthcoming IEEE 802.11ac standard. Personally, this feature is what makes me wait for the next upgrade, hopefully next year fall. Reply
  • USER8000 - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    For its weight it is impressive how much has been crammed into the laptop!

    However,looking at the test figures,how can the MBP RD display be the "king of displays" if the 11.6" IPS UX21 display has better colour accuracy and is as good or better in all other non- pixel density metrics?? It has a much higher colour accuracy than any laptop display on the market for example:

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/6023/the-nextgen-mac...

    The UX21A has around a 63% improvement in the score although the MBP RD has a 16% improvement in PPI.
    Reply
  • xype - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    I’m pretty sure Apple can come up with an _even better_ display that’s 4.0" display! \o/

    There’s a difference between a 11.6" and a 15.4" display in terms of "serious business" usability. The MBP’s display _is_ the "king of display" if you look at the whole package, but that doesn’t mean it wins out in every metric imaginable. Just like the MBP doesn’t win out in every metric imaginable—but that doesn’t mean it isn’t one of the most, if not the most impressive laptop that you can buy right now.

    Apple usually manages to strike a really good balance in terms of price/performance/features/design/portability. But they only do so because they’re not dick-measuring on one single metric and are rather making a very complete overall package.

    It’s fascinating how few people actually "get" that approach.
    Reply
  • ananduser - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Abstracting the panel, VaioZ has already been there regarding PC hardware. The truly unique feature is the panel. Reply
  • internetf1fan - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    In the bootcamp section you mention Windows doesn't support integer scaling. I am sorry but you should really do more research before spreading such lies. If you had bothered to look beyond the preset options you would have noticed that you can easily set the DPI to whatever you want. Even 200% which would give you the x2 you wanted. Reply
  • DeciusStrabo - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    If you have to resort in a hack I wouldn't really call it an "option". Reply
  • internetf1fan - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    It's not a hack.

    It's right there as another option. Right where the setting for 150% is.
    Reply
  • internetf1fan - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Here you go. It's right there. Not a hack.

    http://i.imgur.com/AAhDp.png
    Reply
  • hyrule4927 - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    I'd say this was a solid and balanced piece. Unfortunately there's one little issue with this review and all of your Mac reviews. Talking about fan noise is only a sufficient examination of thermals if you are writing for an audience of teenage girls. How about putting out some solid CPU and GPU temperature data for a change? Reply
  • wfolta - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    There are only three thermals facts that matter, and the article covers all three:

    1. Does heat throttle performance (CPU, GPU)?

    2. Does heat make it uncomfortable to use?

    3. How intrusive/annoying are the fans used to cool it?
    Reply
  • tipoo - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    Agreed with wfolta, the review does have temperature data for different parts of the surface, and it does show that it does not throttle performance due to temperature over time, both of which have more real world significance. Reply
  • EnerJi - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Haven't read the article yet, just wanted to say we've been anxiously waiting weeks for AnandTech's definitive review. Can't wait to carefully review over the weekend. Thanks! Reply
  • TheTruthHurtsSoMuch - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    So, where are the thermal readings from the case? How can you have an entire section devoted to thermals and omit reading any temperatures? It's insulting to me. Reply
  • ciparis - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    1) There are case temperature readings in the review.

    2) Insulting? Really? Stop acting like an entitled twit, you unappreciative, non-contributing zero. </Lewis C.K.>
    Reply
  • TheTruthHurtsSoMuch - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    1) You're right, it appears to have been edited in, I can now see two readings, 49.8C (top) and 41.8C (bottom), rather useless without idle temperatures, but OK it is something, though close to nothing. Three other commenters supports this conclusion, this is what they had to say about temperatures:

    "How come that the part "Vastly Improved Thermals" comes with no data about surface temperatures?"
    - nikolayo

    "dont forget he also [ed: note also] doesnt supply any data for the improved noise"
    - ringgix

    "I don't think you can conclude or suggest that there are "vastly" improved thermals without even using a tool that measures temperatures in comparison to a baseline. That entire page talks more about noise characteristics than "thermal" performance."
    - Megatran

    2) Yeah, it is. Same as for monitor reviews that "forget" to mention anything about AG coating. The message is that you shouldn't worry your little head about dirty, shimmering displays. Same as is in this review then, because this laptop is so hot (50c) it will melt your balls and scorch your fingers.

    Maybe you're to bedazzled by the "review" to care.
    Reply
  • Taft12 - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    Someone capable of such condescension must have quite a list of more comprehensive tech reviews than this one. Care to share a few? If this "review" is worthy of quotes, I'd love for you to link a few that are not. Reply
  • iwod - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    For years we have been crying for something like SSD, I/O were our bottlenecks, because most of our Day to day usage like internet browsing and simple editing of images and documents are not bound by CPU or GPU. But all of a sudden with 4x the pixel and possibly many more times the calculation complexities, we are back to square one again.

    If Apple really wanted the GPU and CPU in 1 Silicon, the GPU inside would have to be better then the current Geforce 650M, Intel 4000HD is at least 2 - 4x away from it.

    And on Pricing. I am surprised NO a single reviews talks about the pricing between rMBP and Top Model MBP. They are the same price, but you get a IPS Retina Display and 256 SSD, both worth more then Non Retina Crappy TN Display and 750GB HDD, Unless you really wanted something on the Old Design there is absolutely no way anyone would buy the MBP Top Model.
    Reply
  • ananduser - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    It's about limiting choice to protect their lineup. The retina mb will not gain traction if you could spec a similar machine, sans the panel, and pay significantly less in the process. Reply
  • javipas - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    By far, the best I've seen anywhere. Congrats for your hard work, Anand. I've tested the rMBP myself and I have some doubts about several areas -screen resolution choices, upgradeability/repairability, and price/configuration choices- but overall the rMBP represents an impressive leap not only for Apple, but for the whole PC industry.

    In fact, As you've said high resolution displays are possible the next big move by hardware vendors on the next few years. Haswell and its sucessors (let's see if AMD can make a difference with their Fusion APUs) promise a lot too, so I think the rMBP is easily the most revolutionary product in the laptop market in years.

    Again, thanks for a formidable read.
    Reply
  • netmann - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Anand, very nice review as always! One picture I was hoping to see is the location of exhaust vents on rMBP. Are the vents similar to MacBook Air discharging hot exhaust air towards the hinge, or are the vent similar to Asus Zenbooks exhausting the hot air through angled grille towards the screen? Thanks Reply
  • Marburg U - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Customers really didn't care about displays.

    Customers have always payed attention or tho the price or to the brand (and that's an exlusive or). And they are doing the same right now. And they will continue doing so in the future.

    I've never bought an Apple product. But i will always be thankful to Apple because they make niches profitable and transform those tiny places in big markets.
    Reply
  • tipoo - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    It's now known this is the first MBP that can use three external displays via the two TB ports and HDMI. However I'm a bit sceptical as this review says things can get choppy even just on its own one display, I'm curious how it does with four. Reply
  • kidconcept - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    "The GT 650M is fast enough to drive the rMBP’s 2880 x 1800 panel at native resolution at playable frame rates, around 18 fps on average." (Concerning Diablo 3)

    I understand that gaming performance is not a concern for most people purchasing the macbook pro, but I think the review of the GPU is downright misleading. The review glosses over higher performance GPU's available on the market, and fails to identify the 650 as a middling performance current gen GPU. The benchmarks are all against older generation GPU's from previous apple products and all in games that aren't demanding performance-wise. What's missing is the top end of the chart and it gives a misleading perspective on the capabilities of this machine.

    Don't get me wrong, I would love to own one of these devices. But I think that if you happened to wander in to buying a rMBP hoping to get good gaming performance, you are going to be disappointed.
    Reply
  • wfolta - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    The quote you have from the article addresses exactly your point. The rest of the GPU info is for people who would be comparing this to previous models, while the quote addresses game playing. As you say, the primary audience for this machine is not hardcore gamers.

    The 650 is "middling" only compared to chips that appear in gaming laptops that generally weigh twice as much and are twice as thick as the rMBP, which means they're simply not comparable machines.

    I'd add that in Diablo III, Normal Act III, I'm getting 20 FPS when battling a few dozen mobs, and more than that otherwise. That's with most settings turned up (I think a couple default to "Medium"), 2880x1800 with AA. I haven't had a chance to experiment with using a lower resolution (1440x900) without AA, but I've read that frame rates to increase substantially. Not bad for an ultrabook.
    Reply
  • sheh - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Would be interesting to know how fast the display is. Pixel response times, lag, RTC, etc. Reply
  • frabber - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Given that Lenovo ships with 170W for "similarly" equiped w530 (cpu 3720qm, gpu k2000m) ?
    Is that 85 watt really sufficient, how does that work?
    Reply
  • umesh - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    The price for the higher end rMBP is $ 2799, and not $ 2699 as given in the article. Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Not sure how that ended up in there...

    Thanks for the heads up. Fixed.
    Reply
  • name99 - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    "Perhaps I was being too aggressive in the prediction of a couple of high bandwidth ports. After all, the next-generation MacBook Pro with Retina Display features four such IO ports (2 x Thunderbolt and 2 x USB 3.0). But you get my point. Gigabit Ethernet and Firewire 800 are both gone. "

    You were too aggressive, but I think the point remains, and remains valid. I look at the rMBP and what strikes me ("irritate" is too strong) is the existence of the HDMI port --- I don't want that and would rather have a 3rd USB3 port or TB port. And I think this is everyone's feeling --- you MUST have an HDMI port, the guy over there MUST have an ethernet port.
    If we could get to the point where
    - the device comes with 4TB ports,
    - a large number of reasonably priced TB devices exist, and
    - a rich set of backward adapters exist (like the, IMHO reasonably priced, Apple ethernet adapter)

    we'd all be better off.

    Personally I have no idea what Apple and Intel thought would be usefully achieved by keeping TB Apple exclusive for a year, but now that that's over, it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

    I do think the path the rMBP has taken (no ethernet, but LOTS of IO available in principle, and with Apple showing how that is useful for ethernet) is a good start, and makes the rMBP that much more desirable a machine --- almost a laptop with slots. But the PC vendors are all in such a screwed up state these days --- making no profit competing with Apple, terrified that MS is stealing their business, uncertain where Android is going --- that I fear none of them is willing to do anything aggressive to try to compete with Apple in this space. Will we see a high end Lenovo or Sony machine that tosses its obsolete ports for TB? Hmm. Given that these vendors seem to believe it makes sense to retain the VGA port, I suspect not.

    The lack of TB hubs, for example, strikes me as a real problem. (To the extent that if I were Apple or Intel, with a strategic interest in pushing this technology I'd be selling my own --- 3rd party vendors have been given over a year to step up to the plate and have not delivered.)
    Reply
  • ciparis - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Personally I'd much rather plug a single TB port into (for example) a TB monitor, which has a bunch of USB things plugged in, than plug in a bunch of USB things every time I move my laptop: point being, 2 USB is plenty for me -- I never want to be plugging that much crap into my laptop (even 2 gets annoying). Reply
  • DeciusStrabo - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    Even better would be a real dock instead of the half-backed version a Thunderbolt display gives you. Reply
  • dagamer34 - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    2 Thunderbolt docks: http://www.anandtech.com/show/5933/thunderbolt-doc...

    Only problem is price, but that will decrease over time.
    Reply
  • Lepton87 - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    What's the point in using such a high resolution if 1920x1200 would be good enough to be called retina display? If you already can't see individual pixel, does it make a difference if you have a higher resolution? Seems like needless load on graphic card. Viewed from 17 inches on a 15'' panel 1920x1200 would be all that is needed to classify a screen "retina" anything higher than that seems like marketing and nothing else. Reply
  • UltraTech79 - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Yeah guys, and whats the point in faster CPUs too? 486 is fast enough for most things if programmed right!

    hurrr
    Reply
  • Lepton87 - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Are you trolling or what? People already can't see individual pixels on a resolution of 1920x1200 on a 15'' panel. What do we accomplish by increasing
    PPI in on already retina display. And that's according to their own calculations involving PPI and the monitor monitor size and viewing distance. So, 1920x1200 15'' would also be retina and it would be far less consuming not only in therm's of graphic hardware but only CPU performance. Why was that not even in the article?

    apple used a panel that has 2.35 more Pixel then a panel that would also be retina. So if both screens are of similar quality (ISP) and both are retina,why would someone pick the higher resolution screen. It just places unwarranted stress on GPU and CPU or components.

    TL;DR

    Why didn't they put IPS 1920x1200 panels. They also would be retina from normal viewing distance for laptons. 2880x1880 Seems like a huge wast of graphics performance and cpu as well.
    Reply
  • jbwow - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    It is apparent from your comment that you have not actually seen the screen in question. You really can tell the difference. Instantly. Reply
  • Heathmoor - Friday, July 06, 2012 - link

    The difference compared to what? Reply
  • wfolta - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    You can clearly see the difference, and in fact I tend to use my rMBP closer to me than I used my previous 17" MBP, precisely because it's so razor-sharp. Reply
  • Lepton87 - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    my previous 17" MBP

    Your previous 17'' had a much lower ppi then 15'' 1920x1200. I'm not saying that it's not an upgrade, all I'm saying this upgrade is a bit over the top. bit over the top. Previous resolution on apple screen were certainly to Small.
    What irks me the most is that there exists a laptop with a higher resolution than my desktop monitor. even macbook LCD has a higher resolution than my desktop monitor. .
    Reply
  • ciparis - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    1920x1200 wouldn't be nearly enough -- which is the entire point of doubling that resolution. Reply
  • Lepton87 - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    You haven't provided any arguments which supports your claim. 15'' 1920x1200 has already so small pixels that your eyes can't see them individually. So it's already an retina display and once we hit retina, what good does adding additional pixels? It certainly has many disadvantages like less smoothness in the OS, needless workload on the GPU and CPU. Reply
  • Lepton87 - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    No they didn't double that resolution. According to what apple calls "retina" displays that res would be good enough on a 15'' screen to receive that monicker, Reply
  • nickersonm - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    It's so they can just double resolutions instead of supporting arbitrary DPI scaling. Reply
  • seapeople - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    The high resolution display offers a number of benefits over 1920x1200:

    1. You get crystal clear "native quality" 1440x900 resolution, allowing you to play modern games without the display looking fuzzy (as it would if you had to run a 1920x1200 panel at a lower resolution).

    2. If your usage, eyesight, or user changes, you can set the panel to multiple effective resolutions and have it still look clear. Gone are the days of gramps setting the panel to 1024x768 and having it look about as clear as 1960's video of the moon landing.

    3. If you sit closer to the screen (such as 12-15") you can easily notice pixelation/text antialiasing on a 1920x1200 panel this size. Someone using the laptop while lying on their stomach could easily be at this distance and would thus benefit directly from the increased resolution.
    Reply
  • name99 - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    "There are a lot of filtering operations at work when doing all of this resolution scaling, so rather than compromise user experience Apple simply wrote its own default filtering routines. Apple’s obsessive attention to detail really made it possible to pull all of this off. It’s just insane to think about."

    What's insane to think about is that the GPU vendors were not ready for this. I mean, guys, you have ONE JOB to perform, and you don't do it properly?

    The phrase "skating to where the puck will be, not where it is" is thrown around a lot, but honestly --- there appears to be one computer company that has its act together (maybe we can add Intel and ARM in) and a whole lot of wannabe's pining for 1995 when life was simple and they didn't have to work too hard.
    Reply
  • ciparis - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    I wouldn't go so far as to call it a failure to do their job. GPUs are planned way in advance of production. This resolution makes sense for Apple because it allows a very developer-friendly simple doubling of asset resolutions; it's not something AMD/Nvidia would have known back when they would have needed to know it. Reply
  • kepler - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Hardware compatibility with Linux? I'm waiting for an 11 inch 1080p Zenbook, but I can be persuaded to grab one of these (...maybe).

    I'm not impressed with what you get for the price, short of the screen. That is all I care about, the rest is run of the mill.
    Reply
  • ciparis - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    You mean software compatibility. It's Linux; it's up to the users to write the drivers for this. Reply
  • DeciusStrabo - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    As long as Optimus doesn't work I would stay away from laptops using it (MBPR and Zenbook UX32VD). Reply
  • CharonPDX - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    "Apple has delivered tightly integrated IPS panels with wonderful performance characteristics as a part of the Retina brand. I do hope that for the years to come Apple does not compromise on these fronts."

    Too late. They use a TN panel on the iPod touch, which they advertise as a "Retina Display".
    Reply
  • ciparis - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    That'll be fixed with the iPad mini (which, if people haven't guessed yet, will be replacing the Touch). Reply
  • EnerJi - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    Thanks for the clarification. Reply
  • Heathmoor - Friday, July 06, 2012 - link

    Wrong. Apple won't pull out the only game console with a size that kids can carry around. Reply
  • dagamer34 - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    "Retina" refers to pixel density, not panel quality. Reply
  • philipma1957 - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    My 2010 mac mini's internal speaker died and since it is under warranty I decided to get it fixed. I spent an hour in Freehold NJ apple store> Very crowded I got to play with a retina model> It really looks good. Now for me My eyes are old 55 and i have had successful double cataract surgery. I see great far I see good medium and i see okay close. So basically I am the lower on the list for loving this type of screen. It has only 5 presets. Apple recomends the middle setting. My eyes prefer the 2nd scale 1 for biggest 5 for smallest. I have owned mac and apple. This is the nicest screen for clarity I have seen. I have owned a 27 inch iMac. It does not suit my eyes> I prefer to use a 46 inch sony led tv in 1080p and sit 10 feet away as I am doing right now. Frankly if you have good close up vision it is quite remarkable. I would be nice to see this on a 46 inch screen playing a super blu ray movie. but that is for the future.

    I would like a 24 inch monitor in better then 1920 by 1200. That is my other work station and it is not sharp as I would like.
    Reply
  • EnerJi - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    What does this mean, on the "Ports & Expansion" page?

    "At a price of $30 Apple is most certainly using Intel’s Port Ridge Thunderbolt controller, a cost effective single-channel TB controller without any support for DisplayPort passthrough."

    Is that supposed to imply that there's a port ridge TB controller in the GigE adapter? Or in the rMBP itself? If the latter, why didn't Anadtech simply test the DisplayPort passthrough or the dual-channel capabilities of the controller?
    Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    In the GigE adapter. Port Ridge is Intel's TB controller for endpoint devices. The rMBP has a 4 channel Cactus Ridge controller. Reply
  • EnerJi - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    Thanks for the clarification. I didn't realize the GigE adapter needed a TB controller chip itself. Is that true of all TB devices? Reply
  • dagamer34 - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    Yes, all devices need a TB controller in them. Reply
  • hyrule4927 - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    I appreciate your effort to add some numerical data to the review, but I still have to ask for a little more. You must admit that Half Life 2 is certainly not maxing out the CPU or GPU, and thus not a good representation of the maximum temperatures a consumer could see. I'd really like to see Furmark testing on the GPU and Prime95 or Intel Burn Test on the CPU, as these are some sure ways to keep the system at one hundred percent load. If you find these tests unreasonable, at the very least, try some more demanding game at a higher resolution. Or perhaps Folding@Home on a full 8 threads and the GPU client as well. If that doesn't push the CPU past 63C and the GPU past 72C, Apple has performed a miracle and created the perfect 24/7 folding system. Reply
  • Megatran - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    I agree, there needs to be a more comprehensive temperature test. The test for Half Life 2 may introduce bias into the results (if it was a CPU dependent game), as it would require less load on the cpu of ivy bridge thus resulting in lower temperatures. This creates a validity problem, as the temperature difference is not isolated to the difference in the design of the enclosure/cooling system.

    As in the above post, Prime95 for CPU and furmark for GPU and testing the maximum temperatures on both the 2011 mbp and the rMBP are good tests for comparison of temperature.

    I am naturally skeptical of the temperature results of even your 2011 MBP test, as a few friends of mine have reported temperatures easily in excess of 85c+ while under full load. Whilst it is common for many people to believe it is "normal" for a CPU to be reaching that temperature and say it is "fine" if it doesn't shutdown, it would appear to have an effect on the lifetime of the said components under heat stress.
    Reply
  • EnerJi - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    I'd love some more details on temperature as well. How does it behave with 50 Chrome tabs open, with Flash running in most of them, etc. Reply
  • wfolta - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    Non-scientific test: I started 8 UNIX "yes" commands, which pegged all 8 virtual cores, sending the CPU A power draw from 9.25 watts up to 13.75 watts. (It was plugged in and charging.) Not floating-point operations of course, and no GPU, but... After 4 minutes the CPU2 temperature was 207-210 degrees F, and the ENCLOSURE temperature was 93 degrees F. The fans were spinning at approximately 5000 RPM. I killed them off and approximately 30 seconds later, the CPU2 temperature was back down to 125 degrees F.

    The CPU A power was 13.75 watts during the test, and 9.25 afterwards.

    Similar results with Cinebench.
    Reply
  • EnerJi - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    Interesting, thanks for testing! When you say the enclosure temp was 93 degrees F, where / how were you measuring? Could you have rested the laptop on your lap for any period of time?

    Also, any comment on the lack of "buttery smoothness" with scrolling that Anand referenced? Is it very noticeable?
    Reply
  • wfolta - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    By "ENCLOSURE" temp, I was literally just reading off of the iStat Menus 3 readings. It's a standard sensor somewhere.

    From what I've noticed, it's more comfortable on my lap than my 2010 MBP 17" has been. I was even able to play Diablo III with it on my lap, which I'd have never attempted with the old MBP.

    The fans don't come on as often, and at lower speeds they're inaudible. Even at higher speeds, their white-noise quality makes them less annoying.

    The scrolling has occasionally caught my eye, but I wouldn't say it's worse than the previous MBP either. More like a thing I noticed once or twice and brushed it off.

    Some people have commented about the RAM. I've been running with 4 GB in my old MBP and it was adequate, but just barely. (Another factor was that my 7200 RPM hard drive failed and I had to replace it with a slower drive.) With 16 GB in the new machine, it means that I have two doublings, which Moore's-Law-wise means about 3 years before I'm back in the same boat. With SSDs, I'll actually be a bit better off. I'll take that.

    If you can wait until next year's model, I hear that Intel's Haswell CPUs will be a noticeable improvement, SSD prices will have dropped significantly, as will retina displays.
    Reply
  • EnerJi - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    Thanks for the subjective temp comments, and good advice.

    I have a late '08 MBP (bought in Spring '09 just before the refresh, and before I knew of the Mac refresh cycle!) and am itching to upgrade. I'm considering the base rMBP model with 8 GB RAM and 256GB Flash.

    When I bought my current MBP 4 GB RAM was more than I needed, but I knew I'd grow into it. 4GB of RAM is starting to feel a bit limited right now (primarily because I keep too many Chrome tabs open), but when I start paging to disk I can usually solve it by closing a few tabs or (worst case) restarting my entire browser.

    8GB RAM should be plenty for my needs, although again, it wouldn't entirely surprise me if in 3-4 years I start bumping into its limitations.
    Reply
  • wfolta - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    To be honest, the machine I got was about 40% over my usual budget, but I also had a gift card that covered half of that, so I splurged. Without the gift card, I would've had to make a very difficult choice.

    Still, I'd lean in the direction of getting 16GB of RAM. You can use external drives and you'll be able to get a larger SSD down the road for a better price. But RAM is RAM and you can never really have too much. (At least for the things I do.)
    Reply
  • hyrule4927 - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    So you managed to push the CPU to 99C? I am rather certain that the CPU will throttle at that temperature. So, it looks like this laptop can deal with single threaded games from 2005 with reasonable temperatures, but can't handle the heat when it has to do some real multithreaded processing. Hopefully a similar test will be added to the review soon. Reply
  • wfolta - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    You did't look at the graphs in the article, did you? They ran CInebench, pushing 8 threads to 100% for 20 minutes without any CPU throttling. Reply
  • hyrule4927 - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    I did, and if Cinebench was pushing the same temperatures you saw in your test, then a lack of throttling is certainly not something to applaud. Nobody likes throttling, but it is certainly better than temperatures on the verge of thermal protection shutdown. Reply
  • jc@home - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    I am testing my rMBP for almost 1 hour so far via Prime95. Got some results below.
    • Environment: 28°C indoor beside window w/o air condition

    rMBP via System Monitor (Mac App)
    CPU@100% : 68~72°C

    rMBP via DesktopMonitor or iStat
    CPU Heatsink@100% : 53~56°C
    GPU : 63°C
    GPU Diode : 68~71°C
    Reply
  • wfolta - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    I haven't read this anywhere else, but just stumbled onto it: In the Get Info window for an application, there is a checkbox that says "Open in Low Resolution". This box is checked for Pages, for example. Unchecking it clears up the text enormously. Why would the box be there and why is it checked for iWorks packages? (And is there any harm in unchecking it and getting clearer text?) Reply
  • EnerJi - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Are the GUI elements still rendered at the same size or are they now half the size? I would expect them to be half size. Reply
  • wfolta - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Oddly enough, in Pages the GUI icons are slightly larger. It's almost as if they simply had to throw that switch and the apps were already ready.

    I've noticed other apps, like Twitter, have the box checked but it's also greyed out so it can't be turned off.
    Reply
  • tipoo - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    Do those have a dust filter or a metal mesh grille on them to prevent stuff getting sucked in? Hard to make that out in pictures, just curious. Also I'm curious if blocking them would raise the temperatures significantly, that was one of the things I liked about the MBP design vs bottom suckers, no worry of blocking airflow. Reply
  • wfolta - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    I can't see any screens from the outside, so I agree it's a little worrisome. Don't use it where dust or insects might get in. (And it does suck the air in through the vents, not out.) Reply
  • drwho9437 - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    Having been a reader since before the Athlon was released, having learned the pencil trick at Ace's in those days, I am saddened by the cool-aid style of the Apple articles as of late. As a regular Apple user I think Anand should co-write these with someone who is not to reduce the subjectivity.

    While I appreciate IPS and higher resolution. For instance we did not see a 17 page piece on the X220 for its IPS display, all be it a lower resolution one, nor the ability to have SSD + a mechanical disc at 3 lbs or run for massively more than a full work day.

    Thunderbolt is neat, but like Firewire it could well be killed by USB 3's legacy and ubiquitous nature. For instance in the mass market most people aren't going to have a PC like monitor with cards in it, because most people don't buy any upgrades to computers, they just buy computers. So while I like myself having PCIe over a cable on a technical level I don't see it being in high demand if it add cost, which such a fast transceiver does, if Intel chooses to put it in everything then it could become established, but assuming the card statement is true most people would have to plug in 3 wires rather than 2 to "dock" (USB 3 -> Hub; power; monitor).

    I guess what I am saying is that articles that make statements like "Apple is successful because its competitors have all been selfishly focused on themselves rather than all coming together to build better computers", which are just opinions are rather pointless, everyone has an opinion. My opinion is Apple's success speaks to the shallowness of people, form over function. The premium price as seen in this latest release allows them to load their products with all the latest stuff but at a price that makes it a BMW and not a Toyota. Are BMWs good cars? Yes. Does their price meet their performance? No. Visit Top Gear UK's review of the BMW 3 series, where they pointed out that BMWs were now more common than the comparable Ford. The point is the popularity was brand driven and that society still thinks it is cool, but when everyone has one, when Apple's market cap is larger than Microsoft's when will people realize there isn't anything exclusive about the brand anymore?

    The reasons I make these points is not because I dislike Apple (beyond their closed nature), but because I strongly feel that if it didn't say Apple this review would have read:

    Its a great screen but 2200 dollars is a lot for a screen and one that doesn't work properly with all software yet on the market. Add to that that you can't upgrade the laptop and it has no customizable options, and we think you may wish to wait (as per all the tablet/cell reviews) until these resolution panels are adopted across the market.

    Though perhaps I am biased myself, I couldn't in good conscious give an award to something that I can't service, can't upgrade, and doesn't play well with anything but Apple software at the moment. I get the over all excitement, I've had nothing but IPS desktop displays for over 8 years, but yeah I can't help reading this as the review of a Nikon owner who's D700 just got upgraded to a D800, which is to say very shaded by the reviewer's familiarity and own desires for improvements.
    Reply
  • wfolta - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    The Thinkpad X220 was in fact rated the best 12" business laptop, bar none. But it doesn't break any ground. The X220 is a great ultrabook, while the Retina Macbook Pro is a great laptop that they've managed to cram into an ultrabook form factor, including a display that no laptop made can match at any price. That's breaking ground, and perhaps deserves a longer review.

    You do realize that the rMPB is actually thinner than the X220 and only weighs 33% more, even though it's a 15" and has higher internal capacities, right? Once you pump up the X220 to be as comparable to the Retina Macbook Pro as possible, you've saved yourself 33% off of the rMBP, but you've also gotten half of the SSD, a smaller screen (physically and pixel-wise), fewer fast ports, the probable need for a dock, etc, etc.

    The complaint about configuration was based on having two tiers of models instead of being continuously configurable from lowest to highest end. It doesn't mean the machine isn't configurable. You can upgrade the SSD, and you can order the rMBP with twice the RAM that the X220 is capable of holding.

    "Doesn't play well with anything" is a ridiculous statement, when what you evidently mean is that some software is not optimized for it. "Can't service" is also ridiculous: if it breaks you can get it fixed.

    If you want to say, "Hey, for 1/3 less money, I can get a mostly-smaller laptop that is lighter, has better battery life, a pretty amazing screen, and a CPU that's comparable", feel free. But you went way over the top and lost your case along the way.
    Reply
  • vision33r - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    Very few folks in the tech biz today that aren't biased. Anand delivers another unbiased review of a remarkable device.

    I know very few of your readers here have nice things to say about Apple but all I can say is most of the folks are just extremely envious and zealous of Apple.

    There is not one other company out there that is as focused as Apple and the sad part is their focus on consumer devices makes them seem like they only cater to avg Joes but their designs are really cream of the crop.

    It's all in the details where it really matters unlike all the other PC guys that are just doing numbers and spec sheet battles of trivial specs.

    In the end, most consumer that walk in the Apple store will see one and want one.

    All other PC mfg will just copy, copy, and copy... it's the sad truth but it's fine. Competition is good.
    Reply
  • iCrunch - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    Agreed. This review is awesome. I hope he's right about the 4K Retina Thunderbolt display, which I'd buy in a heartbeat. One thing I don't get is why so many people and reviewers alike consider the $2,200 price tag extremely and often times too expensive. You're getting the latest and the greatest processors, both CPU and GPU-wise, a generous 8GB of RAM and I find the 256GB SSD to be plenty. After my two 180GB Intel 520 SSD's, this is the largest single SSD that I have ever owned. The upgrades are fair as well as far as doubling the RAM for $200 is concerned. At Apple no less! A few months ago, any setup of 16GB of RAM in 2 SODIMM's was well over $300 and if you go back a few more months, that amount of RAM set you back over a full grand! As in $1,000+

    I couldn't justify the $600+ price difference for an extra 300MHz in CPU clock and an additional 256GB Flash, though. If the GPU had come with 2GB GDDR5, then maybe, but not as it stands today.
    Reply
  • hyrule4927 - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    First of all, the 650M may be one of the latest mobile GPU's, but it is pretty far from the greatest. It is a midrange GPU forced to drive an insane resolution with only 1GB of VRAM. And 8GB of RAM isn't "generous", to have any less in a laptop this expensive would be ridiculous. Paying $200 to upgrade to 16GB is a scam, especially considering Apple made the decision to prevent consumers from simply purchasing and installing more RAM on their own (you can find 2X8GB SODIMMs for a bit over $100, no idea what planet you were shopping on where that would cost $1000 at any time in the past year). Reply
  • EnerJi - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    I'm sure you can find 8GB of no-name stuff on sale somewhere, but for one example of name-brand memory, Crucial memory goes for $86.99 per 8GB ($173.98 total):

    http://www.crucial.com/store/listmodule/DDR3/list....

    Also, Apple uses low-voltage DDR3-1600, which is lower volume and may be slightly more expensive as a result.

    In that light, while $200 to upgrade to 16GB isn't exactly a bargain, it isn't the typical rapacious Apple upgrade prices.
    Reply
  • Fx1 - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    ARE YOU KIDDING? The 650M is running at 900mhz stock! people are clocking this bad boy well over 1050-1100mhz

    Those are ABOVE 660M GTX Speeds.

    Id say Apple has packed in the BEST GPU possible given the thermal limits and size of this notebook.

    In windows this MBP will run games at very nice settings and maybe the first Notebook that isn't as thick as an encyclopaedia that can run games on high settings.

    Most will never use 8GB of Ram and 16GB is an option so i don't see the issue. Its also custom made which means Walmart RAM prices aren't compatible
    Reply
  • hyrule4927 - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    No, I'm not kidding. Nice capitalization though, it really does wonders for the credibility of your statements. Here are the flaws in your logic. You say that the 650M is the "BEST GPU possible given the thermal limits” with carefully placed capitalization in order to play down the qualifying terms in your statement. Then you suggest overclocking it. If Apple chose this GPU because they were fighting thermal limits, do you really expect it to handle overclocking well? And sure it can run Half Life 2 and Diablo III (an old game, and a game that is hardly demanding by modern standards) at standard resolutions, but users are going to want to game at native resolution on their new retina screen. Too bad Diablo runs at 18 frames per second. It is ludicrous to consider that a playable framerate, and if it can't handle Diablo, it won't be able to handle much of anything at that resolution. Again, that VRAM limitation is a killer. Considering that many popular current games, such as Skyrim, easily consume more than 1GB at 1080p, memory capacity is going to be an enormous bottleneck even when you are nowhere near native resolution. No matter how you want to look at it, a GPU like the 680M is much better suited for that screen, and the 650M doesn't even hold a candle to the performance of that chip.

    As for the system RAM, while I am sure that you enjoy shopping at Walmart, perhaps you should look on Newegg where you can find a 16GB kit from the manufacturer of your choice for just over $100. Of course you have probably never bought a single computer component in your life, so you can be forgiven for not knowing that. And you describe the "custom" RAM as if it is a selling point. Because everyone knows that proprietary format soldered RAM was included with the best interests of the consumer in mind . . .
    Reply
  • iCrunch - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    Hi guys, does anyone have this new rMBP (love the abbreviation) and TOSHIBA "SSD "Flash storage"? You can find this in "System Information" under Serial-ATA and it will say either "Apple SSD TS256E" for a Toshiba drive/Flash storage. If you have a Samsung, it will say "Apple SSD SM256E". Naturally, if you have a 512GB drive, it'll display Apple SSD SM(or TS)512E.

    This should be interesting.
    Reply
  • iCrunch - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    Thank you, Anand, for the single best and exhaustive review of this gorgeous new powerhouse. I picked one up from an Apple Store, so naturally, I only have the 8GB RAM. I have a 2nd one coming, also a 2.3, but with 16GB and then I will sell this one. That is, if I decide that I truly need and want 16GB. At $200 before any discounts, it sure seems like a worthwhile upgrade either way. There had better not ANYTHING be wrong with ANY other part of my new rMBP, though. lol... Reply
  • pxavierperez - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    It's funny how Anand went to great lengths describing, even posting an image as an example, how OSX DPI scaling implementation was superior compared to Window, which really was his point and the point that really mattered to end users, and yet we have Apple haters getting all fumed up just because Anand made one simple typo on the numeric value of Window 7 DPI setting.

    Sure you can set Windows 7 to scale 200% (2x) but it's flaky, dialog box breaks, inconsistency in rendering objects, and just all around not usable. It's not just all about features it's also about how they are wrapped together to make it work so seamless. Here Apple did a far, far better job than Windows. Which was Anand's point.
    Reply
  • spronkey - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    All around, it's not a bad review. But I'm disappointed that you still decided to give it an award despite the massive issues:

    #1 - The soldered RAM.
    #2 - The nonstandard SSD form factor.
    #3 - The price. Not so much of the machine, but of the upgrades more than anything else.

    I'm also disappointed that I didn't see (though may have missed) a bashing of the new MagSafe 2 connector. What a waste of time - just make the chassis ever so slightly thicker. Or, do what other manufacturers do and mould a port around it. Then make it look good.

    However. For a Pro machine to be so bastardised... 8GB is not plenty of RAM. Look at the rate we've been increasing RAM requirements over the past few years - it's speeding up, not slowing down. In a year's time, 8GB will probably be standard on half new machines, and in 2 years it'll be very limiting.

    I'm also disappointed that these points above aren't also factored in to a good bashing about Apple's very minimal warranty, and very expensive AppleCare product.

    I've owned Macs for years - in fact all bar 1 of my portables have been Apple machines; the software/hardware integration just runs circles over the Windows slabs, but I'm really starting to get pissed off with Apple's blatant lockdowns and price gouges. It's anticompetitive and bad taste.
    Reply
  • Ohhmaagawd - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    I wish it had socketed RAM and a standard SSD too.

    But fact is most people don't upgrade their machines (although pro users are much more likely). Apple really wanted the thinnest laptop possible with the longest battery life possible. Those goals conflict with upgradability. And I would guess Apple just doesn't care about upgradability. They don't want people opening their cases.

    The future for apple laptops is clear: you won't be able to upgrade anything. So better buy what you need to start with.

    If you can't deal with that, buy elsewhere.
    Reply
  • spronkey - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    I don't know why people quote this. Who is this "Most People"? The MBP isn't targeted or priced for "Most People".

    In my personal experience, by far and away the majority of people who own computers end up upgrading *something*, or replacing something out of warranty.

    Though, in the lattery category the most common would be replacing a dead HDD, but I don't buy the most people don't upgrade argument. Just look at how large otherworldcomputing is now; and companies like Corsair, Crucial, Kingston wouldn't be producing specific parts for Apple machines if there wasn't a massive upgrade market.
    Reply
  • tim851 - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    I don't think RAM increases have sped up at all.

    My major builds over the years:

    '96: 8 megs
    '98: 16 megs (upgrade)
    '99: 128 megs
    '01: 512 megs
    '03: 1 gig
    '06: 2 gig
    '08: 4 gig
    '12: 8 gig

    I don't think most people, including the creative prosumers Apple is targeting, are seeing much use of >4 gigs. 8+ gig configurations have become fairly commonplace recently because RAM has just been ridiculously cheap. I only got the second 4 gig this year because it's been like 30 Euro. Haven't really noticed any of it.
    SSDs have taken the pain out of disk swapping too.

    Yes, you can cite a lot of anecdotes of people with their multiple virtual machines and huge 4k video projects, but then again Apple has never been trying to satisfy 100% of the market with any product.
    Reply
  • felixneo - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    maybe not everyone need 8+ GB ram but, for example Adobe Illustrator CS6 recommends 8GB ram on the system requirements page, so i don't know if that qualify as an anecdote, but it sure is the target market for such a laptop. If you don't need more than 4GB ram why you buy a Pro and not an Air? a pissing contest? Reply
  • dtolios - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    Its a pissing contest for the VAST (VAST) majority of the MBP buyers, ofc.
    Vanity is what drives (revenue wise) most high end stuff in Computers, and that is exactly what Apple is about, and made it BIG once they realized who to capitalize on it instead of creativity etc.

    Let the romantics and the Jobs is a Saint believers say otherwise.

    It's the same in the sports car market (oh, wait, i though all ppl driving around in expensive superfast cars were racing drivers), smartphones (even before the iPhone, but especially after it), the large screen TV, and the clothing industry. It's all a pissing contest, and lucky the few who actually get to distill the innovations to make more innovations out of, thanks to the above contestants paying for things to move forward, even if companies side-step a lot in order to maximize their profits (and not please the crowd, NEVER forget that).
    Reply
  • EnerJi - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    Screen size, for one. There is no 15" MacBook Air. I'm sure it would sell well if it existed. Reply
  • dagamer34 - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    This IS the 15" MacBook Air for all intents and purposes. In fact, that's why I'm almost certain they didn't label the display with the "MacBook Pro" logo. When the other laptops in the lineup get Retina displays, Apple will only be selling "MacBooks". I also expect for the taper to disappear in what we currently call Airs because of the increased battery size needed for the Retina Display. There will also only be one 13" laptop. Reply
  • spronkey - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    Actually you just proved my point. In terms of megabytes per year, the trend is close to an exponential increase!

    Remember - going from 4GB to 8GB is adding more ram in the space of 4 years than you've *ever had in total before*.

    We're also starting to see operating systems utilise this more through:
    - Caching and prefetch
    - Virtualisation

    aaand let's not forget what's happening in the browser space - websites are now minature applications with their own requirements on memory.

    I'm a software engineer who moonlights as a graphic designer - 4GB isn't enough at all for decent design work - Until I upgraded from 4GB to 8GB early last year, I would often find InDesign and Photoshop eating up all my available memory between them, and 8GB is starting to feel pretty limiting if you want to do a few things with your machine - especially when you start hooking up multiple external displays.

    SSDs may take some of the pain out, but things are only going to get worse.
    Reply
  • wfolta - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    I always use Moore's Law in my plans: a doubling in 18 months. Yes, that's exponential, but when you look at it in terms of "doubling", it's not as crazy as you want to make it out to be.

    The MBP 17" I was using up until last week had 4GB and that was barely adequate. My rMPB's 16 GB is two doublings, which comes out to 36 months -- 3 years. So in about 3 years, I'll be feeling that 16GB is barely adequate.... except with an SSD I'll actually be a bit better off.

    The posting by tim851 shows an increase that's considerably less than doubling every 18 months, which would mean 16 GB would last him even longer than 3 years.

    It's a tradeoff: do you want a laptop that's small and light enough to meet Intel's Ultrabook definition, yet it has a screen no laptop can match at any price, a dedicated graphics controller, great battery life, and incredible build quality, with enough RAM that you don't have to worry about upgrading for 3 years or more? Then nothing touches the rMBP.

    If you want to trade off several cool feature and slip into the cheapest model machine you can afford, planning on upgrading its components every year or so to keep it acceptable? Then the rMBP's overpriced and inflexible. For you.
    Reply
  • spronkey - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    The point I'm trying to make is that it didn't *have* to be a trade-off. They could have engineered two SODIMM slots in that thing, and a standardised mSATA card. Especially given how much better thermally it is than the previous model... Reply
  • SPLENDEUR - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    This was the review I was looking - and waiting - for. It is great that this review goes past the bling factor of the new MBP and goes into the longitudinal nitty gritty.

    The section regarding Safari performance in this higher resolution, how it jitters during scrolling, was of welcome notice - it has given me a second opinion I needed on whether I should readily buy this (the Retina-populated reviews almost had me!)
    Reply
  • Kill16by9TN - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    What I don't understand, how does it make any sense, to use scaling factors resulting in 16:9 (TV/movie) resolutions (2560x1440, 2048x1152, 1600x900) on a 16:10 computer panel with native 2880 x 1800, or scaled down, 1440 x 900 pixels. Reply
  • ImSpartacus - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    They aren't. In OSX, you can have 1440x900, 1680x1050 or 1920x1200. Those are all 16:10. Reply
  • Kill16by9TN - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    Sorry, looks like my bad. I was so baffled by those 16:9 resolutions in the settings window screen shot, that I completely missed that window's "Thunderbolt Display" title and the monitor icon on the left.
    So apparently Anand was using a an external 16:9 monitor for this test and everything is fine again ;-).
    Reply
  • yottabit - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    I just want to take a moment to say thanks for always sticking to the philosophy of not releasing a review until it's ready. Even though other reviews of the Retina display MBP have been up for a while I honestly didn't even read them because I love waiting for what Anand is going to come up with. I still count on Anandtech as my "one-stop-shop" for reviews and I've got to say it does not disappoint.

    I know people are complaining about the lack of upgrade potential on the retina Mac Book Pro, but I think it's Apple's right. Think about it- they now have a product that is truly unrivaled in any category. Until some other competitors can put pressure on them, I don't think we'll see upgradeability come back into play.

    Apple has done something really tremendous here with their retina display panel, I think this is the longest head start they will have ever had on anyone since the iPod. With all the proprietary graphics drivers/GPU scaling, and the development of this custom display at this pricepoint, I really think it will be years before we see a PC with a similar overall package. So long as Apple can maintain exclusivity with it's suppliers (and that's never been a problem in the past)

    This display isn't something somebody can just knock off, it's an engineering marvel IMO. And it's going to be hard for any other OEM to justify the volume to market a display like this.

    Reading about Apple's influencing Intel to speed up iGFX development sent chills down my spine. I can't believe how much Apple has grown.

    I've got to say I think Steve Jobs would be really proud of the launch of this device. I don't think many people realize how big this is going to be!
    Reply
  • shushamen - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    Anybody knows how the Xcode iOS simulator handle the retina display , I meant what happened when you selected iPad retina, does it scale it or use a pixel to pixel.

    Currently I am using an imac 27 for iPad dev and even at 2560 x 1440 I have to scroll inside the iOS simulator when target iPad retina ( I know I can use the sim scale option ), I am hoping that with this new MBRD I can solve the issue.
    Reply
  • Baked - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    How many times do you the cleaning lady come over to dust your mansion? Or do you have live in crew? I'm guessing the latter.

    Must be nice being so filthy rich.
    Reply
  • dtolios - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    People talk about "creative laptops" vs. consumer laptops, innovation etc...
    Apple has been pushing things around for a long time - and failed BIG in the process. And no, not because it was innovative, but because of proprietary stubbornness: be different at all costs. It's not about "creative users"...it's about "wannabees", and that's what 95% or more (guesstimation) of all the MBPs out there are and will be used for. Showing off while browsing FB and tweeting (instead of being creative) in schools and cafes.

    The rMBP is a good start for something great, no doubt, and I am happy that all these vanity addicts will fund more and more of the good stuff to grow and mature (cause obviously the screen scaling application has to work a long way to reach enough potential to be used in creative stuff).

    Till then, I hope the rMBPs with all the proprietary hardware connections/integration won't make a lot of proud buyers to cry with increased reliability issues and zero user-end customization/repair/replace support ( you know, MBPs have been far from the best in this field already, and it looks it will get lost)...I will be waiting for a year or so to hear what Apple service will ask for a blown MoBo.
    Reply
  • robco - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    Huh?

    Apple's sales have outpaced the industry for some time now. Their sales of notebooks has gone up considerably. The MacBook Air is becoming quite popular. If that's failing big, most companies would love to fail that much.

    The standard 2.5" form factor wouldn't fit inside an Air or the new rMBP. So Apple had to do their own thing. That's not Apple's fault. The same is true with SO-DIMMs. As for reliability and service, Apple tends to get top marks there too. I have taken my current 2009 MBP in twice. Once to fix a sticky trackpad that wouldn't click, and once to replace the battery. Both times the machine was fixed, under warranty, quickly. I made an appointment, dropped by the Apple Store and they took care of it. Easy.

    Apple is not stupid. They've been making the new Air for some time now. If they were constantly replacing blown mobos and components were failing all the time, they wouldn't still be making them. I know quite a few MacBook users and they all have found them to be durable, reliable machines. Most people will likely move to the new Air because they don't need the CPU and GPU power of the new rMBP.
    Reply
  • spronkey - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    Listen to what you're saying.

    #1 They designed a machine ignoring existing standards. It's not like they *couldn't* have made a very, very similar machine that used standardised parts. They just chose not to.

    #2. SODIMMs? What about pitching a new standard, then? Or how about adding 1mm. Noone would have noticed, and then in two generations they can thin it out even more.

    #3. Warranty. Perhaps in the US Apple are good with service. Over here in New Zealand they don't exist - we get Authorised Apple Service Providers, who try their absolute hardest to weasel out of fixing anything, and whose first mandate is to never admit design faults like those that exist with the original MagSafe connectors!

    #4. What happens when the machine drops out of warranty? Let's not forget that Apple's 1 year standard warranty isn't exactly generous. Oh wait - Apple want to gouge you some more by offering AppleCare. But it's not just an extended warranty, it comes with all this other crap you don't want, like phone support. And it's four times the price of a retail store's extended warranty.

    How about they put their money where their mouth is and start backing up their "superior" devices with superior warranties. Oh, and while they're at it, they can stop price gouging other countries by picking ridiculously low exchange rates to use...
    Reply
  • robco - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    They do make a similar machine using standardized parts, they still sell the non-retina MBP. It has a standard 2.5" drive bay and SO-DIMMs. It also is larger and heavier. They wanted to slim down the machine and cut down on weight, these were the design trade-offs they had to make.

    As for warranty, AppleCare costs $50USD more than Dell's three-year warranty upgrade for an XPS 15, expensive but not out of line. For major defects that happen out of warranty, it depends. Apple has made repairs and replacements in the past with battery issues and faulty GPUs.

    As for international support, outside major European and Asian countries, it is pretty crappy. It's going to take some effort on Apple's part to improve that. Also bear in mind that we don't have a 15% GST in the US. Our sales taxes vary from state-to-state (some don't have one), so it's not included in the retail price. Here in CA, the price jumps from $2199USD to $2393.92 with $186.92 in sales tax. Not as expensive as the 15% GST in NZ.
    Reply
  • Fx1 - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    Whine Whine Whine.

    In the UK we have the best warranty going thanks to UK Regulations and EU protection. Plus 3 year free on education discounts of which i have bought 2 MBP's and never set foot in a university in my life.

    Just because in NZ you don't have that protection then blame your gov for not passing legislation.

    Also why bitch about Ram? just put the 16GB in and then your good for the next 10 years i expect. £13 a year cost
    Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - link

    You're so full of shit it's bursting out at the seams. The NZ government have imposed much better consumer warranty protection than we have here in the UK. You might know that if you weren't a fucking cretin who spouts off nonsense before thinking. The fact that you seem to think it's his fault that he lives in NZ where Apple give shitty support just shows what a jingoistic little fanboy you are.

    That's also an interesting "£13 a year" theory. It'd be neat if it wasn't a complete and utter crock. If more than 10% of these laptops are used regularly for 10 years, Apple pixie magic included, then I will eat my goddamn chair. Maybe you should have gone to university, they could have slammed some sense into your tiny little skull.
    Reply
  • Solidstate89 - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    "Apple’s impact on the industry has already been felt. The threat of Apple bringing Retina Displays to its entire lineup forced ASUS’ hand and gave us 1080p IPS panels in the new Zenbook Primes."

    Isn't that a little fucking arrogant to say with absolutely no proof to back that claim up? You know better than anyone how much design work goes into producing these products, and just how LONG the process takes. You really think in just a few months time of rumors, ASUS could have completely revamped their product line-up? Or maybe they were just doing it, because they had already started with the higher resolution displays on their tablet line-up? Or maybe they were even trying to match the absolutely superb and high density display that Sony has been using in their Vaio Z series for all these years.

    Claiming just the RUMOR of Apple doing it was UNDOUBTEDLY the influence behind ASUS' IPS, high resolution screens is baseless bullshit. And you know it.
    Reply
  • Iketh - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    what i don't get is how people could care so much to get pissed off like you... get a hobby!

    and i agree 100% with Anand's statement... you're blind to not agree, and i'm a PC developer
    Reply
  • wfolta - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    ASUS may have decided to carry higher resolution displays from their tablets to their laptops, but Apple beat them to the punch with the retina iPad and the rumors of a retina Macbook have been around since at least that far back.

    Considering most manufacturers have reduced pixel density over time, and considering it was Apple that pushed the retina display first to the iPhone, then the iPad, I think the burden of proof is on you to say that these netbook makers were just itching for higher resolution.

    In fact, most of them stopped at the stupid 16:9 1080p (1920x1080) resolution because that's what HD TVs have and they've wanted to tout their ability to play BluRay's at full resolution. There was no concept of making a beautiful display: it was all about a marketing checkbox. And that's what they guy is saying.
    Reply
  • kmmatney - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    I'm a windows developer - have been for almost 20 years now. I also travel a lot so all my development is done on a laptop, across several virtual machines. I'm currently using a 2007 Dell 17" 1920 x 1200, and have not upgraded yet, waiting for another windows 1920 x 1200 laptop to surface. I've run out of hope now - if Apple comes out with a 17" version of this I'll have to try and convince my company to buy one. I've never used a Mac in my life, but will pay the "Apple tax" to get what I need hardware-wise. I currently have about 20 VMs packed onto a Samsung 256GB 830, so I'm good with storage space.

    The Windows laptop makers just don't get it - not everyone watch's movies all day - some of us want to use our machines for real work and want to have extra vertical space. Is it that hard to make a 16:10 screen? An ugraded screen is a "3D" screen - really?! The "True-life" screen on my old 2007 Dell is still better than anything you can get nowadays - I've directly compared it with co-corkers brand-new laptops.
    Reply
  • KPOM - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    Is it possible that Apple's solution for making the rMBP work will scale to the new iPhone? In other words, does it offer Apple a way to increase the screen size without causing a break in compatibility between older and newer apps? Reply
  • gstrickler - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    The iPhone and iPad already handle the HiDPI displays, Apple deployed Retina displays there first. The scaling to non integer resolutions is definitely something Apple could do on the iPhone or iPad, but since it takes significantly more CPU/GPU power and affects both performance and battery life, I would not expect it anytime soon. If Apple goes to a larger screen on either device, it's likely that it will support the same total resolution as the current devices and have slightly lower dpi. If we see a 3.7"-4.3" iPhone display, I expect it to be 960x640, just like the current iPhone with Retina display.

    They already have 4 native resolutions to support on iDevices, 480x320 and 960x640 on iPhone, 1024x768 and 2048x1536 on iPad. I don't believe they'll want to increase that as it has an impact on the hardware, battery life, and every developer, so while it's possible, I think it's unlikely.
    Reply
  • raclimja - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    Ingadget Reply
  • hrrmph - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    This one is *extremely* close to allowing me to replace a full tower workstation and my current laptop. Apple has built a very, very impressive machine that should be a wake-up call to the industry: Move forward, or be left behind.

    Even so, it falls slightly short of my ideal specs. If Apple would make the next one a 17" or 18" version (please make it Retina, I love the foresight there :), add a 10-Key section to the keyboard, upgrade to Giga-WiFi-ac-1.3Gbs, upgrade the quantity of internal drive ports (yes plural - I can use up to 5 immediately, if they will fit), and pretty please give us a standard drive connector.

    While we're at it, can we have all of the drives running at speeds of at least 6.0Gbs? You know, like putting the drives on the current standard mSATA 6.0Gbs connectors, or even hooking them up to a better, newer, smaller, open standard connector at 12.0Gbs.

    That's a lot to ask of course, but if they 'just' managed to make it a 17" Retina display, with three drives, with standard connectors, and WiFi-ac-800Mbs, and managed to do it this year, then I would feel they have done as much as anyone could do in in the time available.

    If they miss out on delivering a 17" model this year, then it becomes more of a wide open competition where almost anyone could deliver a competitive product in the 17"+ space. After all, the display actually only has to be better than 1920 x 1200 to exceed the specs of my current laptop display.

    Right now Apple appears to have the hardware lead and a fairly big one at that. If such a 17"+ machine appears, as described in any of the scenarios above, then it would solidify Apple's hardware lead. With a move like that, Apple would firmly and aggressively cement its position in every laptop screen size category that matters. They could have a compelling position in perhaps 99% of the laptop market.

    It would also satisfy my need to have a portable large display machine that can go on infrequent, but very long trips, where I am sometimes remote, and I often need to be fairly self-sufficient and fault tolerant (ie: fix any of the inevitable data glitches myself).

    It would improve my situation very significantly if there were sufficient physical drives to have separate system, data, and auto-backup drives internally. Also, having extremely capable external ports is important. So both keeping the existing wired ones just released on the current 15" Retina model, and adding the nascent WiFi-ac wireless internal hardware that is debuting this year in non-Apple equipment, would be super helpful for enhancing my ability for doing redundant off-machine data backups - just in case the internal auto-backup gets thrashed.

    In fact if Apple were able to produce such a machine, I would be virtually forced - in a very pragmatic sense - to shell out the cash, move to the dark side, and purchase my first Apple product, ever.

    Yes, after 25 years of computing I would lose my patience with the laggards that comprise the rest of the laptop market. With deep, naughty feelings of dark misgiving, I would both splurge and switch allegiance at the same time. I wonder how many others would do the same?

    If this should come to pass, then I would inevitably wonder if Apple's real intentions are as wicked as I fear: To eventually try to lock all of us as 'sheeple', into a proprietary hell on Earth. You know... like Sony's thankfully failed attempts to force 'works only here' on us. Umm... let's see... MMC Memory Sticks, anyone?.

    Well, back to Apple: Just sayin'... I would do it... even though I know better.

    Hey... isn't Microsoft supposed to be getting back into the hardware business in a big way?

    What do you think the chances are of a company like Microsoft and a machine like that...

    So you're telling me there's a chance... *YEAH!*

    -
    Reply
  • wfolta - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    I insisted on a 17" laptop since the 17" MBP came out, and used them right up until I got the 15" rMBP last week. I'll never turn back. I've got it turned up to "1920x1200 equivalent" right now, and so I get as much screen real estate in a machine that's way, way, WAY smaller and lighter. And the display is so good, I'm impressed every single time I use it.

    At first, that seemed too small. I started with the 1440x900, and the next day tried the next denser step and it was okay, and the next day went 1920x1200 and it's something you get used to fairly easily. Obviously, you couldn't use 1920x1200 on a 6" screen if you had the pixel density to pull it off, but I really don't see the need for a 17" screen anymore.

    (And I use a 30" screen at work, which this laptop could easily drive if that's what I want. Heck, I've read about people driving the internal screen, an HDMI screen, and two Thunderbolt screens with a video running on each simultaneously. You don't need a huge built-in screen.)
    Reply
  • yvesluther - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    I am wondering how I should connect my two Thunderbolt displays to my new Retina MacBook Pro?

    a) Should I chain both displays and use one Thunderbolt port

    or

    b) Should I hook each display to its own port?

    Thanks for any advice.
    Reply
  • wfolta - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    I'm pretty sure you will have to put each display on its own port. You'll be able to daisy chain other devices (disk drives, etc), but I think it's one display each for this laptop at least. Reply
  • Constructor - Thursday, June 28, 2012 - link

    The "classic" MBPs support both displays on the same TB port, so I would expect that to work here as well. It's mostly just a question of convenient cabling, since the displays have TB daisy-chaining outputs anyway. Reply
  • SJdead - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    One issue though is how can the "retina display" [(FYI, 226 PPI is not comparable to the human eye which at 20/20 vision is 426 PPI) that's why I don't like Apple because they treat people like their dumb.] is that there is so much focus on the PPI.

    Ya, it's innovative (in a sense) as Apple knows how to market to the masses. But what about LED - IPS? That's a downgrade from older IPS displays. What about color contrast? Blacks/whites? What about billions of colors instead of millions? What about color accuracy and Adobe sRBG/RGB? What about glossy screens that cause over-saturated colors? Response time in MS?

    All the above mentioned are glaring oversights to the, "Best display I've ever seen..." comment. If that is the case, you should check out a variety of other displays.

    My point is that display resolution isn't everything, there are a lot of other factors that go into a good display. There are far better displays from 5+ years ago that will outperform and look more gorgeous that Apple's current 2012 model. All you have to do is go to Apple's website to see that good specifications are highlighted while poor specifications are not even mentioned.
    Reply
  • wfolta - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    You do realize that you can't make any statements at all about "retina" qualities based solely on PPI, right? "Retina display" is based on an angular measurement, so you need PPI at a specified viewing distance. And the rMBP meets that at its typical viewing distance.

    (On an anecdotal note, I work with video as a profession, so am very sensitive to pixels, etc, and this screen is gorgeous, density-wise.)

    You mention all of those "far better" displays from 5+ years ago... Were they in laptops, or were they expensive desktop options? What manufacturer has continued to make them since then? In fact, most everyone except Apple has headed towards the consumerized, 16:9 1920x1080 (1080p) screen size, which is 15% shorter than Apple's displays. Contrary to popular opinion, Apple has been holding out for the more useful, professional aspect ratio and resolution, while its competitors have chased the checkbox of "Play Bluray DVDs at HD resolution".

    In terms of your actual comments, the rMBP's display is in the top two or three laptop screens for contrast and blacks, basically falling a bit short (top 6-8) in white because Apple just couldn't pump up the brightness without compromising battery life too much. Color accuracy has dropped a bit from older MBP's. Still, the combination of perceivable features is the best most of us have ever seen outside of a calibrated desktop setup.
    Reply
  • wfolta - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    One thing to think about is that Apple's auto-switching between dedicated GPU and Intel graphics is a bit of a mystery. Some programs trigger the dedicated GPU and it's not clear why.

    For example, Eaglefiler (a terrific program) seems to trigger it, even though it's not a graphics heavyweight and even when it's hidden. With a program that you leave running all the time like that, it will drag down your battery life. The author is looking into this, but it's not clear what Apple API is the cause.

    In light of that, I'd highly recommend the gfxCardStatus, which monitors what programs trigger discrete graphics and which don't. It'll at least give you a clue that a program you wouldn't otherwise suspect may be shortening your battery life.
    Reply
  • designerfx - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    okay, so we're looking at a screenshot. 15 FPS in the most uncluttered situations with D3. Can you even imagine the FPS in a normal situation during the game, even on normal difficulty?

    Hint: we're looking at FPS in the 1-3 range, maybe 4 if you're lucky.

    Apple can deliver great displays but if we don't have performance to match then the only main use is photoshop.
    Reply
  • Fx1 - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    If you have any brains you will bootcamp windows and game in there with usually 40% increase in FPS. No one games in OSX. Even OSX fanboys have better sense. Reply
  • wfolta - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    I've said repeatedly in this thread that I get 20+ FPS in Normal Act III, with two or three dozen mobs onscreen. I've read at least one other report of 20+ FPS (perhaps this article mentions that in the text). And this is with settings mostly at max. Cut the res down to 1440x900 and drop a few settings to Medium and I think you could double the frame rate.

    So your speculation is wrong.
    Reply
  • rs2 - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    ...the $2200 one that doesn't include an optical drive and has nowhere to put one. It's not like I want my $2200 device to be usable as an impromptu blu-ray player or anything like that. No, I have money to burn buying extra appliances that do things that my pricey laptop should be able to do, but can't.

    That's what I might say if I had a hole in my head, at any rate.
    Reply
  • rs2 - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    Also, statements like this seem at least somewhat questionable:

    "The absence of an integrated Gigabit Ethernet port will surely bother some, but Apple offers a Thunderbolt to GigE adapter for $30 to accommodate."

    So Apple leaves out a feature that many people would expect as standard in a high-end laptop, but it's okay because they also happen to sell an optional, paid add-on accessory that provides gigabit ethernet connectivity? Same goes for their $10 power-supply adapter cable.

    How about calling them out for trying to nickel-and-dime people to death?
    Reply
  • Fx1 - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    God people like you make me sick.

    95% of people never used the ethernet port. i would rather than 25% shaved off the profile and weight. 10$ isn't much if your one of the sad people to have to use an ethernet.

    Spending £2000 on a laptop I'm not going to care about £7 on a adapter
    Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - link

    Chill. Either you're sick a lot or you're being hyperbolic...

    Putting Ethernet in won't increase width by 25%. There are many, many ways to do it and there are thinner laptops out there that support it, even if using hideous dongles. Furthermore there are a wealth of legitimate reasons for wanting it.

    Basically what I'm saying is, STFU noob.
    Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - link

    Yay for paying for baseline features! That adaptor should come as standard with a laptop this expensive. Their penny-pinching with respect to their actual margins is infuriating. Reply
  • ramb0 - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    Thanks Anand, nice description of what's going on here with the Retina scaling.

    How is it possible that a 600x600 (for example) image looks better on the rMBP than it does on a standard MBP, and occupies the same amount of screen realestate?

    I understand the Backing Scale of 2.0 draws the pixes 4 times more, so therefore appears the same size as on a 1440 screen, but i don't understand how this works for a .jpg image for example.

    If it is just using pixel doubling, wouldn't the quality between the "retina" display and normal display be exactly the same, because it is just multiplying each pixel by 4. So essentially you end up with 4 pixels that are the same as each one.

    Also, on a separate note, it would be great if you could set the text & UI elements in scale mode of 1680 x 1050 or 1920 x 1200, but keep the "work space" elements as native 2880x1800 (Backing scale 1.0).
    Reply
  • wfolta - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    As I understand it, the image will not look better. Images on disk, say, can look better (because you see pixels you couldn't have seen before). Some websites, like Apple's, will feed you higher-density images than if you were browsing with another machine, and obviously those will look better. Reply
  • Lepton87 - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    I can’t completely fault Apple for this one, as I know I subjected the rMBP to a bunch of strange tests over the course of the past week and a half.



    As Thunderbolt was supposed to be as transparent as possible, it’s not surprising that even QoS overhead is nonexistent but it’s something that is clearly necessary. I’m not sure this is Apple’s fault as I’ve seen similar behavior under Windows. I suspect it’s something that Intel is going to have to figure out a way to address.
    Somehow I doubt that you would be so lenient towards any other company, but if there are glitches in apple hardware it's your fault by your own admission or someone else is at fault. Way to stay neutral and impartial.
    Reply
  • Evil_Sheep - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    Wow, a real bronze medal from Anand! Fewer of these are handed out than Olympic bronze medals in odd-numbered years. And all Apple had to do was innovate and ship a completely revolutionary computing paradigm in displays which, in stark contrast to its PC competition, works virtually flawlessly from day one right down to reprogramming minute graphics routines and on a topic Anandtech has been loudly harping on for years.

    But never let it be said that Anandtech is too generous with its awards.
    Reply
  • Freakie - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    Hey Anand, or any other employee of the website, aren't there a few parts of this review that very specifically break your traditional object reviews of products and hardware? I mean, it's fine to be excited about something, as Anand is obviously about this laptop, but I think he is so excited that the website's integrity is a little bit compromised. I realize that anyone from the website reading this will recognize that I don't have any right to speak about the integrity of an article written by Anand himself on his own website, but I feel like it should be said anyways, in hopes of keeping your minds clear and objective.

    It's just things like praising the fact that they got rid of an extra piece of glass on the screen, and how much praise Anand gave for this admittedly stupid thing to point out. As Anand said, this is a matte screen, not a glossy screen, so there being an extra piece of glass in the front would be completely ridiculous, right? The only mention of other matte screens is that those who have used a matte screen in the past are used to not having a protective piece of glass or plastic in between them and when the real LCD starts. Other than that, there isn't anything special about it not having that extra piece of glass. Yet it just baffles me how much Anand goes on about how it has magically been engineered away somehow.

    Sorry if I sound pretentiously opinionated. I just really felt that the integrity and methodical reviews that so many people come to Anandtech.com for feels very lacking in this review >_<
    Reply
  • Fx1 - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    It makes a big difference to the glare when you take away that glass. Why don't you go have a look at a rmbp and see how thin the lid is and you too will be impressed. A LOT of work must going into designing these notebooks. Why don't you spend you time bitching at the windows notebook makers and see how CRAP their designs are. Because they deserve it. Full Stop. Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - link

    Why don't you go and eat a dick, child. Reply
  • gstrickler - Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - link

    It's not a matte screen. Matte screens are etched to diffuse the light in many directions. This makes them slightly less "sharp", and lowers their effective brightness slightly. The Retina display in the new MBP has a low reflectance flat surface, not a matte surface. It's an important difference as an etched surface would compromise the sharpness of such a high DPI display. Reply
  • Spunjji - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    I give up. Too many fanboys on both sides. Reply
  • jjbwbc - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    I bought one of these guys and I really love the display but I cannot for my life see if this is glass or plastic or what makes the outer layer of this display.

    How fragile is it? I mean, it seems like a combination of durable and extremely fragile too. Makes me nervous... can anyone weigh in on how fragile the screen on this guy is compared to regular LCDs?
    Reply
  • Constructor - Thursday, June 28, 2012 - link

    It's definitely glass, and likely of the 'Gorilla' variety. It will still scratch or break if you try hard enough. But with no access to Apple's internal QA information we'll have to wait until someone actually manages to break theirs to really know...! ;-) Reply
  • SimaYi - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    I'm disappointed in this review, as I was very much hoping to get some advice about whether this laptop can run recent games at 2880x1800.

    The only frame rates mentioned for this resolution were Half Life 2 (42 fps) and Diablo 3 (18 fps).

    @Anand, is there any chance you will update this article with some detailed feedback about gaming at 2880x1800, and framerates for running recent Windows games in bootcamp at this res?
    Reply
  • seapeople - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    No, it can't run recent games at 2880x1800. This is not something that needs to be benchmarked; it is obvious from the combination of a middle-of-the-road laptop graphics card and the highest resolution notebook screen ever made. Reply
  • wfolta - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    And you got this idea, despite the article mentioning Diablo III (about as recent of a game as you can get)? It runs Diablo III (Normal Act III) at 20+ FPS, with most settings cranked to max. It runs other recent games fine. Perhaps you should give details of what games you mean when you say "recent"?

    And the fact is you can run games at lower resolutions (which still look better at that resolution than if you only had that many pixels) and drop a few settings and double your frame rate.
    Reply
  • SimaYi - Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - link

    Thanks very much for the feedback!

    Are you saying from personal experience that it runs D3 on High at 20fps? How about if you reduce the settings, say with no AA and lower setttings, can it run D3 above 30fps?

    For most games, 25-30 fps is quite playable. Above 30fps is great.

    As for "recent" games, I would be extremely interested to know the performance at 2880x1800 (on low or med settings), for games like Skyrim, DXHR, RAGE, Arkham City, BF3, Sniper Elite V2, ME3, Risen 2, MW3, Witcher 2, Civ 5.

    Never purchased a mac laptop before and this is the first time I'm seriously considering it, primarily because of the display. However, if I can't run any games at 2880x1800, it seems like a waste.

    Trying to decide between either buying an MBP or a Windows laptop with 1080p display and decent GPU, along the lines of a DV6t (Nvidia 650m) or Envy 15 (AMD 7750m).

    I wouldn't call the 650m necessarily "middle of the road," as it's one of the fastest mobile cards currently available for laptops that are not bulky desktop replacements. Do Mac laptops run games slower on bootcamp compared to Windows laptops with the same card?
    Reply
  • Mumrik - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link


    Anand, on page 4 you categorize the rMBP as a consumer device: "At 220 pixels per inch it’s easily the highest density consumer notebook panel shipping today.", but back on page 2 you made a deal of of calling it a pro "appliance" and pointed out that it wasn't a consumer device.

    Other than that - this DPI improvement really needs to get moving. It's been so many years and we've essentially been standing still since LCDs took over and the monitor business became a race towards the bottom. IPS, high DPI and native support for it in software PLEASE. 120hz would be nice too.
    Reply
  • dwade123 - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    I don't understand why Apple doesn't take advantage of their lead in Thunderbolt. This machine screams for E-GPU with GTX 670! Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - link

    Probably because right now the user experience would be poor. See Anand's comments about sound and USB cutting out when high-bandwidth transfers are occurring. That would be catastrophic mid-game and would definitely lead me to return the hardware as unfit for purpose. Apple have had their slip-ups but they rarely release hardware that is unfit for purpose. Reply
  • inaphasia - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    Does Apple have some sort of exclusive deal (ie monopoly with an expiration date) on these displays, or can anybody (HP, Asus, Lenovo etc) use them if they want to? Reply
  • wfolta - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    In recent years, Apple has been the King of the Supply Chain due to Tim Cook. He's now the CEO. I doubt that there will be many retina 15" screens available for Apple's competitors for a year or more.

    Even if Apple didn't lock up the supply chain, Apple's competitors have been running towards lower resolutions, or the entertainment-oriented 16:9 1920x1080 (aka 1080p), so it will take them a while to pivot towards higher-density displays even if they were growing on trees.
    Reply
  • Constructor - Thursday, June 28, 2012 - link

    Apple has been paying huge sums (in the Billions of Dollars!) to component manufacturers in advance to have them develop specific components such as this one, even paying for factories to be built for manufacturing exclusively for Apple for a certain time.

    It is also possible that Apple has licensed certain patents from various (other) manufacturers for their exclusive use which might preclude open-market sales of the same components even after the exclusive deal with Apple is up, because the display manufacturer may not be able to keep using these same patents.

    In short: The chances for PC manufacturers to get at them just by waiting for them to drop into the market eventually don't look too good.

    After all, none of the other Retina displays have appeared in other products yet. And the iPhone 4 is already two years old.

    So either the non-Apple-supplying component manufacturers or the PC builders will have to actually pay for their own development. And given their mostly dismal profit margins and relatively low volumes in the premium segment, I wouldn't hold my breath.
    Reply
  • Shanmugam - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    Anand and Team,

    Excellent review again.

    When is the MacBook Air Mid 2012 review coming? I really want to see the battery life improvement, I can see that it almost tops out at 8Hours for light work load for 13" MBA.

    Cannot wait!!!
    Reply
  • smozes - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    Anand states: "[E]nough to make me actually want to use the Mac as a portable when at home rather than tethered to an external panel. The added portability of the chassis likely contributes to that fact though."

    I work with an external display at home, and given that there are none yet at this caliber, I'm wondering about doing away with the external display and working only with the rMBP. In the past I've always needed external displays for viewing more info, and I'm curious if this is no longer necessary.

    Has anyone tried doing away with an external display and just using the rMBP on a stand with a mouse and keyboard? Since the display includes more info than a cinema display, and given healthy eyesight, would this setup be as ergonomic and efficient?
    Reply
  • boeush - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    For several years, I've been using 17'' notebooks with 1920x1200 displays. That resolution had been more than enough for the 17'' form factor; having even such a resolution on a 15'' screen is going overboard, and doing it on an 11'' tablet is just plane bonkers. I don't see the individual pixels on my laptop's screen, and I'd wager neither would most other people unless they use magnifying lenses.

    I really don't get the point of wasting money on over-spec'ed hardware, and burning energy pushing all those invisible pixels.

    I'd rather have reasonable display resolutions matched to the actual physiological capabilities of the human eye, and spend the rest of the cost and power budgets on either weight reductions, or better battery life, or higher computing performance, or more powerful 3G/4G/Wi-Fi radios, etc.

    The marketing-hype idiocy of "retina displays" now appears to be driving the industry from one intolerable extreme (of crappy pannels with sup-par resolutions) right into the diametrically opposite insanity -- that of ridiculously overbuilt hardware.

    Why can't we just have cost-effective, performance-balanced, SANE designs anymore?
    Reply
  • darkcrayon - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    Reminds me of comments when the 3rd gen iPad screen was introduced. You have a review which both subjectively (from an extremely experienced user) and objectively from tests shows this is the best display ever for a laptop. Yet people ignore all of that and say it's a waste... I think it would be a waste if it didn't actually... You know... Provide a visibly dramatic level of improvement. And its better to make a large jump bordering on "overkill" than to make tiny incremental steps with something like display resolution- fragmentation/etc being what it is, Reply
  • wfolta - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    You may be satisfied with 1920x1200 on a 17" notebook. But once you try 2880x1800 on a 15" notebook, you will see pixels when you go back.

    Your eyes are literally opened. (Given that you don' have uncorrected vision issues.)

    It's not a waste of money, and if you really believe you can't see the difference, you're free to keep your money in your pocket.

    The rMBP is the most balanced laptop out there. What people keep throwing out as "way better" are in fact unbalanced laptops that are great for gaming but big and heavy, or are tiny and have batteries that last all day but don't have much computing power, or ...
    Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - link

    Is it really? Because seriously, those surface temperatures look unpleasant to me.

    I think the point we're both driving at is that there is no "best laptop" and while this may come closer for many, it's still going to fail to meet some users' requirements.
    Reply
  • kasparsv - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    I mean do they look "bad" only in comparison with the rest of the system or are they actually worse-looking than on older MBPs? Reply
  • Randomoneh@gmail.com - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    I don't know if anyone already said this, but some some studies show that average person can perceive much higher quality than Apple would like you to think.

    Of course, their wording wasn't "You can't perceive higher quality than this." but they pretty much implied exactly that.
    Reply
  • Randomoneh@gmail.com - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    Oh yeah, and I forgot to add that I greatly appreciate what Apple is doing in terms of quality of their products. Reply
  • cdhorner - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    I'm wondering what some of you working professionals with jobs like web/app developers are using as far as external storage.

    I'm looking for the first time to switch over from a desktop/office setup to a MacBook Pro, connected to an Apple 27" cinema display so I can work at a home office, as well as a secondary office location - and still have decent access to external storage. I've been looking at a cloud storage solution, but then the real point of having this in my opinion is to drop files on it - and access them directly through your file system (in OS X finder for example), with the ability to only store files for instance in the cloud and not on your machine as well in cases. Is this possible? I'm using DropBox right now, and at least under OSX it's pretty lacking...

    Do any of you guys have a similar type of setup/requirements?
    Reply
  • Fanfoot - Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - link

    Anand,

    Fabulous review as always. One thing I'd love to see get some of your attention though is the trade-off between display resolution and battery power required. Obviously with the near doubling of WHr in the new iPad and the 23% increase in WHr in the rMBP, these higher resolution displays take quite a bit more power. Now obviously the early rumors that Apple would go with Sharp's IGZO panels for the rMBP turned out to be false, but I assume they're still a possibility for the long run, perhaps MacBook Airs for next year say, where there is less ability to make make the laptop thicker to add more battery and everything else has already been removed or paired down. I've never seen a real analysis of HOW MUCH more efficient IGZO is than IPS say. Would it allow a MacBook Air with 220ppi without increasing the battery size at all? Or is it really only slightly more efficient than IPS?
    Reply
  • Ritchey - Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - link

    Wonderful! 3 external displays, all rendered useless as soon as you decide to click on full screen mode on the internal one... Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - link

    Hehehe... Not a problem worth mentioning in any review though, right? ;) Reply
  • jjjjj - Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - link

    I have heard that Mountain Lion fixes Lion's bad implementation of full screen mode. See http://www.apple.com/osx/whats-new/features.html#s... , although it's not clear from that description that it is actually fixed. Reply
  • darkcrayon - Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - link

    I hear you can work around that by not using that feature ;) Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - link

    this is lost deep in the comments, so I doubt it will get any form of response. Nonetheless, while I feel this review has covered the ground incredibly well, there were some sever omissions that limit its usefulness.

    Where, for instance, are the comparisons to laptops that are not made by Apple? It's all well and good telling me that this laptop is cooler than its predecessor, but the trouble is that I didn't buy the 15" MBP because it turns into an unpleasantly hot and noisy beast as soon as you start gaming on it. Based on the surface temperatures you give, it sounds like this is no better with the new model *relative to non-Mac laptops* and yet I have no real way of knowing this for sure. I'd really appreciate that comparison - the same goes for battery life. In my case I currently use an Alienware M17x and would absolutely love to trade to something lighter with similar capabilities, but I need to know what the usability caveats will be.

    I also feel that this site is asking us to take a lot on faith with regards to Thunderbolt. It's been a year and we can still only really attach storage to it outside of proprietary configurations, and even that doesn't work very well. We are also faced with the possibility that the first-gen tech will *never* work properly, yet it is still primarily mentioned as a good thing, with the rather horrible flaws pointed out deep within the bowls of a lengthy analysis.
    Reply
  • flatform - Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - link

    I am surprised not to see Anand commenting on the SEVERE problem that MOST users have with the Retina Displays -at least those mac users who are able to actually see a problem on their mac-. Advertising reasons maybe???

    Macbook Pro Retina -Plasma-TV-like(!!!!!)- Ghosting/Burn-in Issues
    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4034848?start...

    IPad Retina issues: http://www.cultofmac.com/161495/new-ipads-retina-d...

    Plus, the only reason for apple not to put gigabit is that the port did not fit in the new slimmer UPPER profile, not the case itself, it would had ruined their design lines, that is all!!!!! The 2012 Vaio Z is much slimmer but has a gigabit port, strangely implemented yet still there. Having worked for years with macs, we ALWAYS had the same problem, when you needed that adpter you had bought, it just wasn't -for any reason- there.... humiliating experience in front of clients...

    having not normal SSD and especially no double slot configurable memory is probably just crap, 80% of laptops and desktops receive a hard drive and memory upgrade. just to shed off 100 Grams and 2mm of height?? 2009 Dell's Latitude Z600 was slimmer, 16inch displa, 2.0Kgs, yet had a normal hard drive and memory popped in.

    Anand, with a 4 core/8 Thread Machine 16GB is BARELY enough TODAY, to work with Photoshop, Premiere, After FX and a RAW developer open, and still have free memory so that after fx can use all Threads. And That did not include one or 2 3D applications that a compositor would usually run. 16GB is the minimum, 32GB is the choice for the Video Professional. With so many programs switching to GPU processing, you should really be careful when commenting on the power of any machine with a dedicated graphic card.

    For god's shake just wait and do not buy this crappy notebook. It is even more faulty than the first generation of 13inch Macbooks... wait at least 6 months for a proper revision, up to then Retina PC's will be available as well, with proper RETINA IPS displays with no burn-in issues and upgradeable parts.
    Reply
  • darkcrayon - Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - link

    I like how you mentioned the Vaio Z to bash the rMBP design, and then you went on to bash the rMBP for "limitations" that the Vaio Z also has (soldered RAM, though limited to 8GB, and more. Though off topic, your almost 3 month old iPad retina display problem is a nice touch, considering anyone with the problem could've gotten theres replaced for free. Please let us know which company is making millions of 260 ppi 10" screens with 100% perfect yields... Reply
  • flatform - Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - link

    Comment on Vaio Z was just to point out stupid decisions who take into consideration only the looks of the machine, not direct comparison of the two machines, which are not comparable. Apple could have kept the same upper profile and diminish the lower bevel part. But it would not LOOK as thin. Let's see how professional Photographers -which i work with- will welcome the lack of FW800 and the need to echange 2-3 adapters to do one job, or the presence of only 2 USB's is a total failure when working in production environment. I am a professional industrial designer and compositor, believe me i would really like rMBP to serve me properly (i have been complaining about low-res screens since 2006) but it simply cannot. Replacing for free is the most logical thing to do and does not replace the evident problem. The iPAD is not of topic, it is a High PPI, same technology display which suffers from similar problems, just as the Macbook Display.

    My comment was that if Anandtech was serious about this review -respecting the readers that is- it SHOULD have mentioned -in a separate page with the fullest possible technical description- the problem in a clean and straightforward way, even if their sample did not have it (have they checked for it?)

    When me moved from CRT's to TFT's (degrading our color reproduction, resolution and image quality) we did it because TFT;s had a hell less eyestrain, radiation, consumed less current and desk space. I cannot accepted that shedding off 150 grams (max) and 2mm of thickness from a WORKSTATION laptop is revolutionary and should force professionals to use adapters for the bluddy most used ports of their laptops, while depriving them from the most common upgrade in a notebook: memory and hard disk.

    As for the last question, please let us know which company has developed the screen for apple and how many months later the same screen would be available in pc's as well.

    Good thing Apple made the move, cause it has been FAR BEHIND in displays, (remember they where selling 1440x900 on 17" and 1280x800 on 15", then making it 1680x1050 and 1440x900 respectively, whereas a 1920x1200 15" screen was a common thing in mobile workstations) since they first brought a somewhat proper for graphic use display on their 2003 15" G4 Titanium. Workstation notebooks have IPS monitors for many years now.
    Reply
  • robco - Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - link

    Looking at the Googles, the news stories about the ghosting issues were posted today. Not something that likely would have been found before posting the review. This is a new display manufacturing process and there are going to be some mistakes. Never buy the first version, or at least the first production run, of any Apple product. This is one of the downsides to being an early adopter of almost any new technology. Apple tends to wait and collect data rather than acting rashly (see iPhone 4 fiasco). There isn't any data showing if this is a widespread problem, or only affecting a small percentage of units. But Apple will replace defective units.

    It took a little while, but third-party SSD upgrades are available for the MacBook Air. But on another note, would you expect *every* piece of equipment in your shop to be 100% user-upgradeable?

    Everyone whined when Apple ditched floppies, serial, ADB and SCSI. There were adapters and people, well they adapted as well. I'm sure some will just buy a Thunderbolt dock (a couple are coming in a few months) and hook up all their peripherals and then connect them (as well as gigabit Ethernet) to the laptop with a single cable. Some folks may even be OK with trying desperately to live with only 16GB of non-upgradeable memory and have a bit more room in their bags and a bit less weight to schlep around.

    But the beauty of the free market is that you get to vote with your pocketbook. If you're so terribly unhappy with the new rMBP, the old model, with new CPU and GPU upgrades) is still available. Show Apple your displeasure by sticking with the old design. Or by a fragile Sony laptop. Or a Dell Precision. Nobody is twisting your arm to make you buy this thing. Lots of other people will gladly accept the trade-offs and be happy with their lighter, thinner, quite powerful rMBPs...
    Reply
  • flatform - Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - link

    haha, good one "adapters that people adapted to" hahhaha. A good comment in general, covering most of the topics and dare i say most of the people in this page. Reply
  • wfolta - Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - link

    I stopped reading when you said "most users have", which is obviously not true. Reply
  • flatform - Thursday, June 28, 2012 - link

    Good thing to do, i am sure that made you wiser. Truth is a floating mean point of falsifications. (will not continue because you must have stopped reading already ;) Reply
  • pirloui - Thursday, June 28, 2012 - link

    "SEVERE problem that MOST"

    That would rather be "some" and "some".
    Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - link

    Haven't been interested in anything Apple since the Lisa, but I'm actually tempted to get one of these - which is saying a lot because I'm not a fan of the company at all.

    One thing for sure; I'm sure not interested in buying a different laptop made by someone else with a lousy display! You want my business, I suggest you at least follow Apple's lead here.

    I couldn't agree with Anand more on the state of quality of monitors in general - and the fact that you can buy a (Korean) 2560x1440 monitor now for $300, including shipping from S. Korea, tells the story on affordability there.

    ;)
    Reply
  • orthorim - Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - link

    Compared to this review, all the others out there are more or less a variation of "ohhhh... shiny!".

    Thanks for this fantastic in-depth article, AnandTech!
    Reply
  • darwiniandude - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    Still waiting for mine to arrive, although I've used the rMBP a fair bit in the mean time.

    Not sure why 1/3rd of the comments are about a Sony Z series, and couldn't see mention of real word battery life tests?

    Regardless, 1st gen rMBP is an awesome product, and just like with the 1st MacBook Air, this model will look terrible compared to its 2nd or 3rd gen. Can't wait.
    Reply
  • danrhiggins - Saturday, June 30, 2012 - link

    I have been trying to talk myself into buying the MBR for two weeks now to replace my 2011 17" MBP (to which I added SSD) because the 17" is just a bit too large/heavy to carry around. I use the 17" mostly for my photography hobby.

    The problem is that my main computer is a 13" Macbook air and I jumped on the new 2012 MBA - which I love. So after reading your article I took my 2012 MBA down to the Apple store and put it alongside the MBR on display. Then I brought up ESPN.com and created a couple of matching "virtual" desktops all in full screen mode. (I used MS Excel and one of the included templates for one of the windows as that would be mostly the same on both machines.)

    Then I scrolled up and down and swiped from left to right on both machines at the same time. I wanted to see if any of the issues described here manifested themselves in this admittedly crude comparison. I tried different resolutions on the MBR. (I would not be interested in the "Best for Retina" as I would be looking for more screen real estate.) I also tried it with graphics switching turned on and off.

    Where scrolling on the MBA was very smooth, be it up/down scrolling in Safari or in Excel or side to side scrolling between desktops, the MBR was noticeably jittery in comparison. It reminded me of when my HD cable signal has a bit of interference and can't quite keep up.

    To those coming from older MBP's this may not be an issue. But having grown accustomed to the much smoother operation (IMHO) of the MBA the MBA wins. For now. Yes, they are different machines with different goals. But I don't need the extra I/O ports (1 Thunderbolt and 2 USB 3 is enough given that I use BT keyboard and trackpad) and a Thunderbolt display as a "docking station".

    I look forward to the day that the MBR will have the smooth graphics of the MBA and have addressed any other issues. Then I will get one to replace my 17" MBP. Maybe Mountain Lion and a firmware upgrade or two will clean this up. Or maybe not until the next generation or two. Then the hardware and the software (including 3rd party) will catch up.

    Thanks again for your review. I was going to buy one today. They had what I needed at the Apple Store. But because of your review I did this test and I'm glad I did. Now I'll wait. And there will be one more available for all of those anxious to upgrade.
    Reply
  • marraco - Sunday, July 01, 2012 - link

    The retina display is a waste with that crappy Intel video. Reply
  • Fingalterre - Sunday, July 01, 2012 - link

    I have the Z from 2010. It is still as faster or as fast with its graphics and i620 processor as the latest Air or 13" Pro to which it is directly comparable. What the Z lacks is the multitouch ability and the scalability of the Air or Retina Pro. What I am left with is a computer whose graphics are too small to read and a mousepad too small to scroll with easily. Also, after using Windows and Lion, I think Windows 7 is just not as user friendly as OS X. The form factor of the Air and Retina Pro are also a joy when you travel, which I do much. The Mac App store, though limited compared to the IOS, also is something Sony just doesn't have.

    I have been a Windows user for 20 years after Apple lost me with their limited selection and miscues. I still have my reservations about their corporate culture, but right now, they are producing superior products, a well thought out support network, and works of beauty of art, which distinguish them from all other OEMs. Dell once did this--my wife kept her Dell 5150 laptop for 7 years, only to trade it in for a 17 in XPS which didn't work and which was not well supported,, and then to a Mac Book Air in 2010, which has met her every need (as a high end IT security person). My Retina Pro arrives on July 20 and my Z is going to Ebay to pay for it.
    Reply
  • negativeions - Monday, July 02, 2012 - link

    What is the point in retina? Who cares. I mean it's ok, but the scaling is so utterly stupid it's beyond belief. Why in God's name don't Apple just program proper resolution independence into OSX... Then you could have any bloody user space you want with any resolution. Reply
  • Steelbom - Monday, July 02, 2012 - link

    What's the point? It looks fantastic. And why is the scaling stupid? It's a pretty great way to handle it. Reply
  • gunny2k6 - Tuesday, July 03, 2012 - link

    http://www.eurocom.com/products/index.htm
    check the EUROCOM Panther 3.0

    talk about apple making high end partts in laptops i call BS ... this compnay and many others like Clevo and Lenovo before they bourght IBM's pc hardware side ... have been putting high end things in laptops since the BLOODY Pentium 4 Northwood !!!!

    http://www.clevo.com.tw/en/index.asp
    http://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/notebooks/vortexIII-...

    THEY ALL BEEN DOING IT FOR YEARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! before apple moved to intel !

    yes not for everyone as there big heavy and expensive what jobs did was bring those peoples ides to the masses !! when they moved to Intel .... they kept the high price tag from the PowerPC to the cheaper to make Intel based system and then used that spare cash for R&D to make the above ideas work for the masses !!
    Reply
  • gunny2k6 - Tuesday, July 03, 2012 - link

    for got to say let me guess a years time we will see apple do something like this and all the praise will go to Apple for "inventing it " Reply
  • ragnarokvr1 - Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - link

    I'm utterly sick of reading about macintosh "innovation", it reminds me of people referring to Stracraft "2" as a revolutionizing video game in the series. ANYTHING macintosh does DELL does better, at a cheaper price.
    Comfort of keyboard? That's a PERSONAL TASTE, I personally HATE keyboards that have their buttons separated by spaces in-between, it makes me look down every time I type as if I was laying my hands on a computer for the first time back in 97.
    I have NO IDEA what this writer is on about, all macintosh does is take components from Intel, AMD or NVIDIA, stick them in a lackluster chassis, stick an outrageous price tag on it and call it a revolution. I thought this was a professional website. I guess I was wrong.
    Reply
  • KoolAidMan1 - Friday, July 06, 2012 - link

    Starcraft 2 is one of the best games of the last five years, the laptop industry follows Apple's lead, and you have terrible opinions. Reply
  • ragnarokvr1 - Friday, July 06, 2012 - link

    it's people like you that make this world a living hell Reply
  • KoolAidMan1 - Friday, July 06, 2012 - link

    Look who's mad.

    I'd be mad too if in my world I deluded myself into thinking that overweight housewives were supermodels and vice versa
    Reply
  • ramb0 - Sunday, July 08, 2012 - link

    i hope for your sake you're just trolling. Otherwise, you're never going to be anything more than the loser you are today. good luck sir. Reply
  • Macgurl111 - Friday, July 06, 2012 - link

    Thank you for this review. When placing the 2010 mbp next to the rmbp it does look a bit dated. I have been using this for 2 weeks and so in love with it. Once again thank you for your review. And wow 442 comments on a website? :) Congrats haha Reply
  • tipoo - Monday, July 09, 2012 - link

    Tried one of these in store and the window resize animations were just painful, the frame rate was really slow so the animation was really choppy, and as the review states Safari scrolling was easily below 30fps on some pages. Hope these are fixed. Reply
  • K1 - Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - link

    My RMBP reached 96C when i opened multiple videos in youtube and played all in 1080p resolution. Once i closed them the temperature is immediately back to <60 (in a min or so..). I used 'Temperature Monitor' Reply
  • hummerchine - Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - link

    Steller review Anand...I'm impressed beyond words. This is why your site is on my top-ten list of sites to check on a regular basis. I'm flabbergasted by all of the negative comments...you were so right on! Why in the heck do the negative ones even read your reviews? I mean, seriously...

    FANTASTIC job on everything you do...please keep it up!
    Reply
  • hummerchine - Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - link

    Uh, make that "Stellar"... Reply
  • Manni01 - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    Great review as usual, but I would really like to know how Anand was able to check if Speedstep and Turboboost worked. In the last Macbook review (2011), he used MSR Tools, but I could not get these to work on Lion on my June 2012 MBP 13. He remains very vague about how, although he does confirm this works as expected on the MBP 15r .
    This isn't my experience. I tried using Intel's MacCPUID in Lion, and a few other tools, and it looks like the CPU is locked at nominal speed (2.9GHz in my case), so neither speedstep nor Turboboost seem to work in Lion. They work as intended in Win7/Bootcamp, going down to 1GHz to save battery or up to 3.6GHz when only one core needs more power.
    So here are my questions:
    1) Anand please could you tell us which tools you have used?
    2) Has anyone tested this on the new macs (June 2012), using which tools, and what is the result?
    Speedstep definitely worked in Snow Leopard on my MBP 13 2011, so it must be a limitation in Lion.
    Reply
  • kenancagri - Thursday, July 19, 2012 - link

    It is very good article. I loved it. Thanks for Lal Shimpi. Reply
  • williamsj - Friday, July 27, 2012 - link

    Even the iPhone 4 is physically easier to maintain/upgrade than this thing.

    Check http://www.ifixit.com

    The worst maintainable piece of hardware they have ever looked at!!

    John
    Reply
  • Throckmorton - Tuesday, August 07, 2012 - link

    You didn't address whether pixel doubling is supported for games. IE rendering each pixel as 4 screen pixels. That's very different from upscaling, because with pixel doubling there's no blurring. Reply
  • Dubious1968 - Thursday, August 09, 2012 - link

    I've given up waiting for Apple to refresh the iMac, and am thinking of buying the Macbook Pro Retina instead. My only concern is that Apple should have equipped this laptop with a more powerful graphics card, given it is driving such a high res screen.

    I will be using it for Photoshop and HD video editing along with some gaming.

    Any help appreciated.

    Dubious
    Reply
  • sleddoggin - Saturday, August 11, 2012 - link

    So, I've done my best to read (skim) through all 46 pages of comments for this post, and have been reading other threads on more-or-less the same topic, so forgive me if I've missed something.

    I own a base model rMBP w/ 16mb ram (for safety), and am really quite unimpressed by openGL performance in games that were fluid (30-60fps ANYway) on my old Mac Pro 2006 w/ an ATI Radeon 5770 HD graphics card (I guess it helps, too, that the Mac Pro GPU is sitting in an x16 PCIe lane, not an x8, as with the rMBP). The Mountain Lion upgrade has been some improvement.

    When I first read Anandtech's article, I sort of thought, why not shut the lid on my MacBook Pro Retina, and plug in my old Apple Cinema display when I want to play games (I plan on using my desktop display when I'm at home for most stuff anyway). Then, the discreet NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M wouldn't be overworked by having to render all those extra pixels, right? Wrong. Gauging from the tests I've done, anyway, I'm getting the same choked performance on my relatively low-res external display (with the rMBP lid shut) as I do when I play those games on the rMBP screen (either at native OR scaled resolutions).

    So my question becomes, isn't this a software issue? Shouldn't the Apple/NVIDIA engineers be able to re-route ALL of that sexy mobile GPU processing power to a single, lower-res external display, and save us gamers the hassle of trading in our rMBPs for regular 2012 MBPs?

    This computer upgrade is really a no-brainer for me, otherwise. With the Thunderbolt ports, and the built in HDMI, I've been easily able to retire my old Mac Pro, and still keep my various displays (HDTV, etc.), and extensive array of USB/Firewire accessories fully operational. It just blows my mind that I get better gaming performance from my creaky old 2006 Mac Pro.

    Thanks for reading my contribution to this thread. Does my thought hold ANY water? I sure as heck don't want to give up this beautiful-looking piece of hardware if I don't have to...

    Cheers,
    -SledDoggin' (another reluctant Apple fanboy)
    Reply
  • vml_ - Saturday, August 25, 2012 - link

    Here's what I don't get and haven't seen answered anywhere. If there are performance issues at 1800p, can they be alleviated by downscaling (eg to 1080p)? Reply
  • S J - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    That sounds like great. good effort. Also have seen nice article on http://techinlead.com/apple-introducing-macbook-pr... Reply
  • LookupOEM - Saturday, September 22, 2012 - link

    maybe i'm wrong, but i always thought that OEM means "Original Equipment Manufacturer", a company that makes equipement that is sold by others under their own name.

    Toshiba making hard drives for Apple makes it an OEM, just as Intel, Samsung and others

    but, Apple IS NOT AN OEM, and there is no such thing as a PC OEM !!
    a PC OEM would be a company that supplies parts to build a PC, not the PC maker itself.

    did i miss something here ?
    Reply
  • Penzi - Thursday, October 04, 2012 - link

    Now that Mountain Lion has been out for a bit and several programs have been "retinized" are you planning on updating your review or crafting a mini-review that addresses changes, improvements and new caveats? I, for one, would love to hear about scrolling performance and resolution impact to common software (the OS and iWorks, FinalCut, etc), such as setting the display to "more space" (1920) and clocking the Safari FB news feed, and so on... Reply

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