The 2012 Retina MacBook Pro [Review]

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The Retina MacBook Pro is the best Mac Apple has ever made. That doesn't mean it's the best Mac for you.
The Retina MacBook Pro is the best Mac Apple has ever made. But is it the best Mac for you?

Conclusion

The first Mac Apple has ever designed without compromise.

There’s a common theme in this review: eliminating friction.

That’s what Apple sets out to do. When you use one of their devices, they don’t want you to see yourself as a person using hardware which is in turn running software. They want the distinction between the brain, the machine and the software to be imperceptible when you’re using one of their devices.

That, in turn, is what the Retina MacBook Pro does. It eliminates friction. It gives users a machine that is utterly without compromise: a Mac that not only encompasses and embraces the most advanced technology on the market, but which leaves behind the cruft of the past by slimming itself down, speeding itself up, and abandoning the obsolete to embrace the future.

Using a Retina MacBook Pro makes the virtual seem real.

The Retina display is a huge part of that. Thanks to a display technology so far ahead of the competition it may as well be from the future, the Retina MacBook Pro sucks you into the experience of using a Mac and creating with it in a way that no other computer has ever done. At its best? Using a Retina MacBook Pro makes the virtual seem real.

But despite all of this, there is still friction in the Retina MacBook Pro. There’s the friction of its $2299 starting price. There’s the friction of how bad low-resolution apps look on a Retina display. And finally, there’s the friction of the Retina MacBook Pro’s much larger size compared to the MacBook Air, a computer that feels just as speedy as the Retina MacBook Pro for a vast majority of customers, while being so much less of a burden to carry around that its weight and size count as an afterthought.

The Retina MacBook Pro is the best Mac Apple has ever made, but it’s not necessarily the best Mac for you. If you’re a design professional, you should buy this machine right now, without any questions or compunctions. But if you’re not, you should wait, and take comfort in the fact that this, right here, is the prototype of the Mac of the future. In a year’s time, you’ll have a Retina display in a Mac that has been designed right down to its core just for you.

Anything we missed that you’d like to know? Hit us up in the comments and we’ll do our best to answer your questions.

[all]yes[/all]