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back to article Apple 15in MacBook Pro with Retina Display

You’ve got to hand it to Apple. Having created the first Ultrabook about three years before Intel even got around to coining the brand, it has now taken another step forward with the new MacBook Pro With Retina Display. The 2880 x 1800 screen is certainly a looker, and you can understand why Apple has chosen to focus on that …

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<3 the screen

Has anybody managed to procure the screen separately and get it working in a generic 16:10 15.4" laptop like the Clevo M860TU?

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Re: <3 the screen

Heh, that would be nice. I have the same model of laptop.

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Re: <3 the screen

The real question is if the interface is standard LVDS. I didn't think vanilla LVDS had enough bandwidth to drive 2880x1800. If it is vanilla LVDS, there is a good chance that the screen would "just fit". You might need to change the inverter, but that's not that big a deal. I'd be tempted to try it, but the panel doesn't appear to be available on it's own in the usual places like aliexpress.com. :(

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Re: <3 the screen

Well, I don't think I'll bother screwing with my laptop screen anytime soon. The company that set it up for me went bankrupt a while ago (Kobalt) and it's out of warranty by now anyway.

I'm hoping it lasts quite a while longer so I don't have to shell out another £1000+ for an equivalent custom build.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: <3 the screen

Of course it's not vanilla LVDS. It's 4-lane Displayport.

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Re: <3 the screen

I think its been posted elsewhere that the screen and lid is a sealed one-piece dealy, so you'd have to find a way to bodge that onto the clevo too.

Yep, you'll want a decent laptop bag and sleeve for your shiny new slice of Apple.

And yes, I'm tempted.

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No Thanks...

It may look good, but, With RAM chips soldered to the logic board, and an Apple custom SSD there is zero chance of any upgrade once you bought it, so you'd better think very carfully about what spec you buy.

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Re: No Thanks...

Can't help on the RAM,. but I have heard that there will be third-party adaptors for the SSD so you can fit a normal one.

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Re: No Thanks...

@h4rm0ny:

Helpful to some extent, but not if you'd like any kind of warranty coverage. Which, of course, will be exactly what Apple were aiming for...frontload the purchasing costs and provide an additional "incentive" to buy new machines ("More RAM? You'll have to buy a new one for that").

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Anonymous Coward

@Captain Underpants

Nonsense. What's warranty to do with SSD upgrades? It wasn't never an issue on any Apple machines or specifically Airs.

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Meh

Re: No Thanks...

The SSD, though custom, will at least be offered by 3rd parties & can be upgraded later, but completely agree on the RAM issue. In days of rapidly falling RAM prices (you can get 2x 4GB SODIMM modules for other MBPs for below £30 and 2x8GB of 1600MHz SODIMM for £90 or so) Apple wants £160 for upgrade from 8 to 16GB.

Also, when will Apple drop the aluminum laptop bodies in favor of true high end laptop materials like carbon fiber & magnesium alloys like other manufactures (Sony, Lenovo,...) use on high end & light laptops.

Unibody Alu housing was used by Bang & Olufsen as early as 1996 (Beosound 9000). Alu body (although only 3 pieces are needed for a laptop and can be machined rather than moulded) is thicker & heavier than carbon fiber and I do not understand why Apple is not using it at least for the more exclusive high end Air & Pro models...

Also the Mac Air being the first ultrabook is arguable...

Sony Vaio X505 in 2003 had a 10.4" 1024x768 screen, 1.1GHz Pentium M ULV, 512MB RAM... All that at a mass below 2 pounds (825g for the carbon fiber model). Beat thet Apple ;-)

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Mushroom

"But just as important is the fact that Apple has managed to significantly reduce the size and weight of this Pro model without compromising performance."

I have never heard such rubbish come out of a hardware review. Yes its a nice screen, yes its pretty. but it has compromised on:

Connectivity

Optical Drives

Upgrades

repair

Price

Performance

Long term usefulness

Yes it has a nice spec, maybe a £900 spec not an £1800 spec. its nice for writing your script in the coffee shop pretending to be important, but its not great for professional purposes. Gaming aint gona be great either on a resolution that high, but then you cant really game on a mac. At least Angry birds will look pretty for the morons that drop the cash on this rubbish.

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jai
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you still use optical drives? how quaint! please give my regards to 8 years ago.

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Anonymous Coward

Where's the 15" screened model from a rival with the same resolution then?

Thought not.

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Not wanting to be rude here - where are you finding an equivalent spec for £900? I'd be delighted to buy something with the same CPU/chipset for £900. The best I can find is around £1100 for a machine with less RAM and no SSD. Oh, and less competent graphics hardiware.

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FAIL

"Connectivity"

Fail. 2x 10GBit Thunderbolt ports, adaptable to be Ethernet and Firewire800, and 2x USB3 ports.

"Optical Drives"

Fail. You can buy an external drive, but you can also link to anotehr Mac and use it's drive (with 'Remote Disc")

"Upgrades"

When did you last 'upgrade' a laptop..? You can 'upgrade' RAM and your HDD. If you have the money to buy one of these, just buy more RAM and the biggest drive at day one. Seriously - who needs more than 768GB internally..? (Especially as external muti-TB thunderbolt RAID drives are coming).

"repair"

Again, if you are going to buy this, you are going to be getting 3x years Applecare with it.

"Price"

It's top end. You pay top end. Or can you suggest a competitors product that matches the spec entirely for less money? Thought not.

"Performance"

...are you kidding?

"Long term usefulness"

As opposed to ... PC laptops that are renowned for their lasting long term appeal? There is a reason that old Macs sell for much more than their generic PC counterparts - they last.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: you still use optical drives?

Why, yes. My last copy of CS5 and Quark eXpress came on DVD as it happens, as did the operating system, OSX, I believe it was called.

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Pint

Hello? Get your sensible head on.

Let's look at the reasons these items have been compromised.

I have never heard such rubbish come out of a hardware review. Yes its a nice screen, yes its pretty. but it has compromised on:

"Connectivity" - Do you mean on-board connectivity? There's supplementary adapters and Thunderbolt boxes will expand this for desktop use. Why do you need Ethernet for mobile roaming? Wi-Fi should be primary for a laptop.

"Optical Drives" - Same as saying, where's the 3.5" floppy drive, 5" floppy drive, ZIP drive? Move on. Again, external CD/DVD drives for desktop use are cheap as chips. And why not remove it when they have an application store now?

"Upgrades" - Nerds need upgrades, but why bulk the design just to suit the nerd? Buy a spec that you need and stick with it. By the time you'd spend the money upgrading, you might as well of invested initially anyway.

"Repair" - Undoubtly AppleCare with the Apple Stores cannot be beaten for repairs. Don't worry about self-repairs when others can do it for you.

"Price" - The OS, support, unique design does bulk the cost, but for a very good reason. If you don't want to invest in a laptop that could easily serve you for 5 years, don't bother.

"Performance" - There's no lack of performance here. And it isn't a gaming machine. Again, buy a desktop or games console. Gaming on laptops is lame. There just isn't the power without compromising the battery life if you use a more powerful processor.

"Long term usefulness" - I'm sure there's many more MacBook's out there that are 3+ years old and still marching on compared with an Windows like-for-like. I wouldn't know any stats, but anyone who uses the Mac to it's full potential really abuses it during its life. My music producer friend got an original Intel white MacBook to last 5 years.

I think that post deserves a Friday beer. Cheers.

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I love high res as much as the next man, but wtf you gona use it for? Did you have a problem before? I think you wont find it in a rival machine because of the £1800 price tag!!!! The only company which can get those kind of prices is Apple. Why? Look at its fan base and the poor products they lap up.

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Anonymous Coward

> Fail. 2x 10GBit Thunderbolt ports, adaptable to be Ethernet and Firewire800, and 2x USB3 ports.

That's great, more adaptors and cables to purchase and lose.

> Fail. You can buy an external drive, but you can also link to anotehr Mac and use it's drive (with 'Remote Disc")

Brilliant, I'll just spend MORE money over the £1799 purchase price. Or another couple of grand on another MAC, just so I can watch a DVD or install software without the internet. And, if I go down the external route, an adaptor to plug into the thunderbolt, because it's taking up one of my USB ports. Plus, external drive are not good for portability, and this is a laptop after all.

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FAIL

Re: ....you failed.

"Yes it is compromising on connectivity. When will the Apple Fanbois realise that Apple it's slavish legions aren't going to bring Thunderbolt to the world as they've decided to trademark it for themselves and everyone else will now have to license if they want to use? How many "Thunderbolt" peripherals are there? And how that are available still carry a ridiculous apple-like price premium. Adapters are adapters, awkward, annoying and from Apple, ridiculously expensive."

You spelled 'Intel' wrong.

...you *do* know that it's an Intel technology... right?

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Anonymous Coward

Alienware

The "equivalent" Alienware device is a 14" laptop: Alienware M14x for the cheaper model which costs you £1499, without the retina style display and weighs in at 6.5lb compared to the 4.5lb of this system. So yes the kits is more expensive from Apple as you might expect for a flashy screen. Although you also lose out on a DVDRW

The more costly MBP can be bought an equivalent of from Dell (with a 2GB graphics chip) for £2,069.

So the cost for spec seems pretty close to what I would expect.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hello? Get your sensible head on.

> "Connectivity" - Do you mean on-board connectivity? There's supplementary adapters and Thunderbolt boxes will expand this for desktop use. Why do you need Ethernet for mobile roaming? Wi-Fi should be primary for a laptop.

Ever tried to configure a router / AP / other ethernet device without a physical connection?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ....you failed.

> Are you really going to be getting 3 years Apple care? After paying almost £2k for it?

Indeed, you could buy 2 or 3 cheaper laptops each with 1 years warranty every year for three years for the same price. And every year the performance of each would go up!

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FAIL

Ok let's put it this way - one is left to assume that wasting time watching movies on your laptop is your top priority for choosing a machine.

...so don't buy one of these.

Was that really so difficult? Personally I'm very happy to see the loss of the optical drive with the resultant space and weight saving, considering that the only time I've put an optical drive into a laptop in the last few years has been to install software (which I could do over the network or a disk image).

Laptops are intended to be PORTABLE. Anything that keeps the weight down is a good thing. Sure, some people might need an optical drive, in which case Apple make several other models that are suitable. What is the problem?

A number of people just like whining for whining's sake.

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Re: Hello? Get your sensible head on.

"Ever tried to configure a router / AP / other ethernet device without a physical connection?"

I agree with you in concept (and indeed Apple supply a thunderbolt to ethernet adapter (which I have for my MacBook Air and it works fine) which solves this problem).

I would however like to point out that the Apple wireless kit really is simple to deploy wirelessly - you simply join the default network and you can configure it from the Airport Utility on the Mac, so no wired connection is actually required. In the event of a cock up, a simple recessed button push is all that is required to reset to defaults. Obviously a number of people might not be using Apple's gear, but for those who do, it's very easy to set up and configure.

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Re: ....you failed.

"Indeed, you could buy 2 or 3 cheaper laptops each with 1 years warranty every year for three years for the same price. And every year the performance of each would go up!"

And for the price of a Mercedes you could probably buy an old banger every year for the next 15 years, and they will get better every year!

It's about quality over quantity.

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Re: you still use optical drives?

My Copy of Potoshop CS5.1 came as download as well as OS X 1.7.

You might run into problems if you want to install 10.6.x on it, it might not support USB 3 and the NVidia Graphics.

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Re: ....you failed.

No need to get angry. There's always a MSI or Acer for you.

I had a HP Omnibook with external CD in 1998, so I'm used to that.

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Re: ....you failed.

Yes, I do know it's an Intel technology. I also know that it's not the name Intel give it and that Apple would not be the first to rush to market with it if there was not some kind of kick back should other vendors start using it. There's no way they're being evangelical and trying to push standards "forward".

I know the rights for the Thunderbolt trademark have been transferred to Intel now. But there still has to be something in it for Apple.

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FAIL

Poor reading skills abound

"... without compromising performance."

I have never heard such rubbish come out of a hardware review. Yes its a nice screen, yes its pretty. but it has compromised on:

Connectivity..."

I see that 'performance' isn't in your list of compromised things, and that's *very thing* that the author says isn't compromised.

So you're in agreement then?

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Re: you still use optical drives?

@Volker Hett

It won't run 10.6 at all, as is the norm these days, the earliest supported Mac OS is the one it ships with, which is a complete PITA if it shipped with say 10.6.4 and you don't have the install media, as a 10.6.0 install image won't even boot. All seems a bit redundant here though where there's no drive to replace anyway.

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Nonsense

Oh the screen, the wonderful screen - never mind day-to-day activities, I'll just look at the screen all day and ask why no competitors can be bothered.

First, battery life - lets be honest battery technology is not there yet, hence, you get a miserly 5 hours max out of this beast, a beast of a price rather than a beast based on specc's.

As for AppleCare, not checked the cost out yet, but the Macbook Pro APP is more than £250 and only lasts two years - three years in total from date of purchase - so, you need to purchase all sorts of adaptors to plug into this machine to do work on this machine on the road and yet, without an ability to replace batteries - remember that option, you are screwed.

To me its a rip-off, cannot be upgraded, warranty cost is excessive, cost of machine is excessive - its a fashion item, a show off toy and not fit for purpose - its brilliant on the Cat Walk though, hence all the nonsense about the display.

My humble opinion, its too ahead of the curve and until a better battery solution is found, its actually a bit of a joke - ok for those travelling in Business and First Class though, the demographic its actually aimed at!!!!!

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Re: ....you failed.

geejayoh — "I know the rights for the Thunderbolt trademark have been transferred to Intel now. But there still has to be something in it for Apple."

To summarise your argument: if we take it as given that Apple is evil then that leads inexorably to the conclusion that Apple is evil.

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How dare you! You are going to make me have to defend a mac. I feel dirty. But frankly you are missing the point. A huge market for MBP's will be indy videogs and photogs. This suits them perfectly. It is a decent size to get on an aircraft (remember we are already carrying more than the carry on allowance of camera gear). The screen obviously is the seller, more pixels will be great assuming clarity & gamut are up to scratch. As for RAM and HDD, if it comes with enough now it won't need an upgrade and should last the 2-3 years before it is due for replacement.

As for repair, you are buying apple, expect it not to be cheap, also expect it to be pretty well built and not need much by way of repair.

I am no apple fan, I don't own a single apple product, this may be the first since they came with motorized floppy drives!

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Re: Hello? Get your sensible head on.

"Long term usefulness" - How about a 2003 vintage Inspiron and 2008 Vostro? Both these machines were well specced from the outset (and upgradeable) while the second was a grand cheaper than equivalently specced MBP (including 3yrs onsite). They are now in the hands of offspring who do not exactly cosset them. Current Vaio will probably suffer a similar fate.

In my experience, OSX server based environments with tons of apps on the clients are just as messy as equivalent Windows shops, but I guess that if your kit is sleek and shiny it is not quite so unpleasant as you are being shafted.

Granted finding a laptop with screen res other than 1366x768 is hard these days but not so hard as to make it absolutely necessary to go over to the Apple side.

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"you still use optical drives? how quaint! please give my regards to 8 years ago"

8 years ago? I assume you were criticising Apple for having it on their notebooks as of about a week ago then? ;o)

Honestly, I also bet you hate Flash but before Apple criticised it, you had no opinion on it whatsoever.

Nothing like being told what to think #priceless

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Re: you still use optical drives?

Just to keep you up to date: OS X no longer comes on rotating plastic. Since introduction of coffee holder-free MB Air, Apple has switched to cute own-branded USB keys. You can even upgrade your installation "media" this way when a new breed of cat comes around.

As for Creative Suite - Adobe offers complete trial downloads, which can be turned into full software by entering the proper serial number. (Yes, they still provide plastic, but I haven't actually opened my CS6 package except to get the code).

Quark - oh, well.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: you still use optical drives?

That's CS5. So 2 years ago.

Today Adobe would rather you didn't buy on DVD so you'll pay a premium over a downloaded copy.

I got CS5.5 on DVD. It took so long to arrive that when CS6 came along I opted for a download.

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WTF?

Er, what?

Um. How does that relate to the OP's complaints?

He specifically said it has a nice screen, then complained about lots of other stuff. He may be right, he may be wrong. But posting back that no-one else has such a nice screen seems to miss the point spectacularly.

(On the topic of the screen, it's always worth remembering that Apple's success here is not in technological innovation but in gazumping the supply chain. It doesn't make the screen, it didn't design it. High resolution screens were coming anyway. What Apple is getting very good at is monopolizing the output of new display technologies. Put simply, it buys all the damn screens so no-one else can have any. The only other company that's nearly as good at this is Samsung, and that's only because they actually _do_ manufacture the things themselves.)

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Re: Alienware

"The "equivalent" Alienware device is a 14" laptop: Alienware M14x for the cheaper model which costs you £1499"

I configured an Alienware M14x as close as I could to the retina-display MBP. Same CPU, same GPU, same RAM, hi-res option on the Alienware, 512GB SSD (no 768 GB option on the Alienware).

The MacBookPro was $2999. The Alienware was $2549.

$450 isn't a huge difference, given the MacBookPro has the 2880x1800 screen.

I bet that if Alienware offered a 768GB SSD, it might have even cost more than the 768GB MacBook Pro.

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Great

I'm not a huge fan of Apple products, I think they tend to be bit overpriced and not upgrade or repair friendly. However, they seem to push other companies to make better products. I hope the new display pushes other companies to make laptops with better screen resolutions.

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Re: ....you failed.

@geejayoh Do you ever say to a Mercedes driver who likes the look of a new Mercedes coupé "Fuck You I want an estate car." It's just so bizarre to use that language about something you have a choice not to buy and it's strange you are so filled with hate towards another human being who does like it and who is commenting on his own preferences. You do realise judging by the initial order volume this machine is already hugely successful, so they must be doing something right. Ever consider you ssimply aren't their target market? You talk like anyone who doesn't want to make the same choices as you is subhuman. That's just sad not to mention pathetic.

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Bronze badge

so HOW are you gonna see your latest Bluray???

Plug in a player???? WHY, when you already have a much better 50" screen?????

(exactly how easy is it to rip a brand new disc onto SD card???)

Oh, and no simple audio input (not even digital, unless you want to add lumps of plastic, making it ugly and cumbersome..)

Or are you waiting for the 'addon' that only costs another £2000???

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FAIL

Re: you still use optical drives?

OSX comes with the laptop and all of the updates and upgrades are digital now.

All the Adobe stuff too.

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Re: Alienware

No rentina display? 1.5x heavier and twice as thick? Small crappy trackpad.

How is it "equivalent"?

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FAIL

Re: ....you failed.

Do they all come with Retina displays?

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@Chris D Rogers te Nonsense

It's not 5hrs max, it's 5hrs under torture testing. Expect 7hrs under normal usage.

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Silver badge

Poor products? I've seen Macs and Macbooks remain swift and usable after many years. Anecdotal, I know, but still...

>I love high res as much as the next man, but wtf you gona use it for?

Er, desktop publishing and photo-editing. Like Macs have traditionally been used for since the 1980s. Print has always been at a higher dpi than your screen - the closer the screen comes to the printed output, the better. Shirley you can grok that?

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