Macbook Pro Retina Display – First Impressions

Well, I decided to bite the bullet.  I upgraded to the latest generation of Macbook Pro over the weekend.  I ordered my new system in mid-June and was told that there would be a three to four week wait for delivery.  Well, my new system arrived on Friday, July 13th.

This is the fifth Mac computer that I have owned in over 22 years.  My first Mac was the Macintosh 512k and after that, I ran mostly Windows/95, Windows/NT, Win2K or a variety of Linux variants.  I came back to Apple in 2004 when I decided to adopt my first Mac OS X based machine, the iMac G5.  Since then, I have migrated to notebooks with my initial purchase of the Powerbook G4, upgrade to Macbook Pro (mid 2009) and latest acquisition, my new generation Macbook Pro with Retina display.

This new machine is incredible!  The overall speed is amazing!  I have performed some benchmarking comparisons to my previous Macbook Pro and can say that this machine is at least 4.5 times faster.  Disk operations are even more noticeably responsive.  I am never waiting for the disk given that Apple appears to now be whole-heartedly moving towards SSD / Flash based storage.  The system also appears to be operating cooler and significantly quieter than my previous system.  It also helps that I decided to go all out with memory configuration, opting to configure my system with the maximum of 16GB of RAM.

While the display is indeed very impressive, the overall quality and ‘balanced’ performance this system brings makes it a fantastic choice for the power user that wants a fully capable notebook but still appreciates something that is still ‘transportable’.

The new system does not come with a built-in DVD/CD option as Apple has sacrificed that in order to reduce the overall width and weight of the system.  They are definitely in their ‘post-PC’ view where the PC is no longer the centre of the ecosystem but rather is simply another node or component connected.  I look forward to seeing how Mountain Lion improves the overall experience as I have heard of significant improvements with Safari and overall GPU / graphics performance.


About Grant Fengstad

I’m a technology professional in the travel and transportation sector and have been very involved with the Internet for over 20 years.