MacBook Pro with Retina Display: Retina on Retina

Screenshot of Aperture on Retina Mac display...you can see me reflected in the doggie's eye.

This mini-review on the Sun-Times site amounts to an outline of the full review I’ll be posting on Monday. It’s the best Mac Apple’s ever made. Which isn’t to say it’s for everyone. And I said in the review that most Mac users don’t care enough about onboard Ethernet and future expandability that it’s a debilitating issue. Which isn’t to say that those shouldn’t be considered faults. But yes, if my editor and I are eager to get something of value up on the site and in print before the week is out, and I try to put everything in 600 words, then this is a review I can stand behind.

Now I’m playing with the new edition of Aperture. This is the sort of app that underscores the real point of the Retina Mac display. The purpose of the 220 ppi screen isn’t to show more pixels. It’s to show more information. Photo work is terrific. Thumbnails are so dense that you feel like you can truly pick out the winners in a sequence of photos without having to maximize each and every one of them individually.

It’s so good that yup, when you do go maximum, it’s immediately clear that the little shadow inside a dog’s eye is actually a self-portrait of the photographer. Click and look closely…you can see my hat and everything.

Anyway. Tune back in on Monday for greater verbosity.

13 thoughts on “MacBook Pro with Retina Display: Retina on Retina”

  1. Let’s see, a smaller drive for many hundreds of dollars more. Huh. And no optical drive in any event. Is it nearing time to start looking at Windows?

  2. I like the Retina Display I fooled around with yesterday — the thumbnail images are indeed appreciably nicer. (I also really liked the lower reflectivity quite a lot.) But zooming to 100% and seeing your self-portrait in the eye? That seems a function of the camera more than the display IMO. I’ve seen myself plenty of times reflected in eyes while viewing photos on non-Retina displays. If your self-portrait is, say 220 pixels wide in the image, it’ll take up an inch on a Retina display and two inches on a pre-Retina equivalent. I don’t see how it would be any clearer on a Retina display when you’re zoomed in — am I missing something?

    And Biochemscott: in my experience, yes, Thunderbolt is plenty fast enough for photo libraries. The only problem is that if you try an SSD-based Thunderbolt drive as I did, you’ll find the spinning rust alternative pokey. My photo library is too big for an SSD, alas. Here’s a story I wrote about it this week: http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-57452805-92/where-thunderbolt-is-smart-right-now/

  3. Steve,

    After years of spinning drive failures, it is really just time to look at solid state solutions.

  4. I spec’d a “classic” macbook pro with a solid state drive and it ends up more expensive than the retina-display macbook, so it is a sort-of-bargain.

  5. Thanks for sending the article Stephen, my real problem is that I don’t have $1000+ to spend on an external storage solution. I think the drobo is insanely cool, however, I imagine that when they come out with the thunderbolt device is going to be extremely expensive. Like a lot of people I was really hoping that they were going to update the iMac at WWDC. I need a bit more of a minivan than a sports car. I think I’ll just wait a few months until they do update the iMac. I believe it’s a nice compromise to have the internal SSD plus HDD that the iMac offers. Programs and OS on the SDD and all other files on the HDD. Plenty fast and also lots of storage

  6. @stephen shankland – thanks for sending me your article, I really enjoyed it. It was a little depressing to see the predicted adoption rate for thunderbolt over the next few years. The only way the price will ever come down is with mass windows adoption. I just keep waiting for that precipitous drop in SSD prices that everyone says it’s coming :-) in that case thunderbolt will be less of an issue because internal drives can be much larger. Cheers, Scott

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