The MacBook Pro Retina (rMBP) arrived on Tuesday afternoon, about 8 days after placing an order for it. The notebook configuration I chose wasn’t the base configuration. Given that the new series of rMBPs can’t be user-upgraded later after it leaves the assembly plant, I went with a 16 GB RAM upgrade, judging that storage is going to be less of an issue with portable harddrives as opposed to onboard system memory. The custom configuration must have factored in the slightly longer time it took for Apple to complete assembly, since some buyers have reported receiving their notebooks quicker than I did.
I’ve posted earlier before of Apple’s streamlined and iconic packaging. The rMBP is no different, coming in the usual white box, black in-trays, the notebook, a small instructional booklet, power adapter and sockets.
Packaging for the MacBook Pro Retina
After spending two days using the new notebook, my feelings are mixed, even though Apple fanboys still tout this as the best notebook yet. The plus points include:
Classy build. No loose parts, no awkward or sharp corners, no question about it. The MBPs’ aluminum unibody chassis helps the notebook cool down when not in use.
Light and slim. After lugging around the 6.3 lbs of Dell every day to and from work, the 4.5 lbs weight of the rMBP makes this feather weight.
Super-high resolution Retina-class screen. It’s a stunning screen alright. With less glare than the Dell XPS.
Very fast SSD storage. Several times faster than the entry-level SSDs I’ve got installed on my home PC and Dell XPS.
But then again:
Super-high resolution Retina-class screen. Outside the couple of browsers and OS 10.8, everything else looks terrible, including Windows and everything else running on it. It’s tolerable once I bring the LCD resolution down to 1920×1200 pixels, but text in turn now looks rather blurry.
Less contrasting screen compared to the Dell. Sorry fanboys but the Dell XPS 16’s RGBLED screen surpasses the rMBP’s Retina screen. Hannah looked better on the Dell.
Windows 7 takes forever to load. The Dell XPS takes about 14 seconds to load up Windows, despite its slower SSD. The rMBP takes nearly a minute with Bootcamp despite its faster SSD. Bleh.
Keyboard is a little fiddly. It displays absolutely no flex (compared to the very slight flex I got on the Dell), but it simply felt better typing on the Dell with its better key travel than the rMBP. I’ll probably get used to speed typing on the rMBP soon though.
Only two USB ports. Gaaah. But at least it’s on opposite sides of the notebook now, compared to the old 13 inch MBP which placed the two ports side by side.
The last two evenings have been spent configuring the rMBP to work with three operating systems: WIndows 7, Mac OS 10.8, and a Linux build that I have been tinkering around. Once I’m fully satisfied that all my work related files and settings have been correctly replicated on rMBP, I’ll be wiping my Dell XPS (*sniff*) and configuring it for Ling to use.
OK; the usual pictures!
From left to right; the Dell XPS 16 (love this machine), the new rMBP, and my workplace’s MBP.
The rMBP is just a wee bit smaller width-wise compared to the Dell XPS 16.
On the other hand, it’s loads thinner! The Dell XPS 16 looks like a 10,000 pound Elephant here.
It’s also thinner than my work MBP too.