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Apple MacBook Pro with Retina display review

New Apple Macbook Pro with Retina display

The Retina MacBook Pro is a fantastic laptop for anyone who works with video or photos, or just wants a brilliant display to view multimedia content on, though of course it comes with the obligatory high price tag.


Retina display, thin and sleek design, great battery life, speedy performance


Waiting for Mountain Lion, expensive

Overall Rating:

4 Star Rating: Recommended

Price: £2,299

Manufacturer: Apple

Apple has excited its fans with the latest addition to its MacBook range - a Retina display.

Unveiled at WWDC in mid-June, the Retina display brings the MacBook line up to speed with the iPad and iPhone. We’ve been testing the 15.4in 2.6GHz model out to see if the display translates well onto a laptop and if the addition is worth an upgrade.

The MacBook Pro with Retina display is even sleeker than its predecessors. At only 18mm deep, the aluminium unibody machine has more the look of a MacBook Air than some of the older generation of MacBooks.


The Retina version features the same glass trackpad and backlit keyboard as the previous generation of MacBook Pros. The trackpad lets you scroll, pinch to zoom, swipe and click, while the keyboard is a pleasure to use, both in good lighting conditions and darker environments, with the keys requiring the lightest of touches. The speakers sit either side of the keyboard, and the sound quality is clear and loud.

Although the design is very similar to the older models, one immediate improvement is the weight, with the 15in Retina version knocking off half a kilo, down to 2.02kg compared to the 15in MacBook Pro model at 2.56kg. We think the sleek and slimline design also helps to give the Retina version a lighter feel than chunkier laptops out there of the same weight.


The 15in Retina version's weight is more in line with the 2.06kg 13in MacBook Pro, an impressive feat of Apple’s to pack in so much extra power and large display while reducing the heaviness.

The 359x247mm model has a 15.4in screen, which is encased completely in glass, with black edging around the display area that is narrower than on other models, giving more of the screen size over to the display area.

Model: Apple MacBook Pro with Retina display
Processor: Intel quad-core 2.6GHz Core i7
RAM: 8GB DDR3 memory, configurable up to 16GB
Storage: 512GB flash
Display: 15.4in LED backlit 2880x1800 Retina display
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4000 GPU, Nvidia GeForce GT 650M 1GB graphics card
Connectivity: 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
Ports: 2x Thunderbolt, 2x USB 3.0, HDMI, SD card reader, headphone jack
Battery: 95Whr lithium polymer
Weight: 2.02kg
Dimensions: 359x247x18mm

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Madeline Bennett

Madeline Bennett is editor of V3 and The INQUIRER. Previously, she was editor of IT Week. Prior to becoming a journalist, Madeline was an English teacher at a London secondary school. Madeline is a regular technology commentator on TV and radio, including Sky, BBC and CNN. 

View Madeline's Google+ profile

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