PC Advisor’s Andrew Harrison says the Retina display is the main attraction of Apple’s MacBook Pro 13-inch with Retina display. Harrison notes that the 13-inch Retina panel’s pixel count has been doubled in both directions, from 1280 x 800 to 2560 x 1600 pixels, and unlocks a HiDPI mode, whereby the desktop interface looks the same size and proportion as before, but with every element literally twice as sharp.
He notes that the new display’s advanced engineering carries with it the consequence of expensive repair bills should the worst happen, but provides not only the rich, saturated colours you expect from a glossy finish screen, but also fantastic viewing from any angle, thanks to the panel’s in-plane switching (IPS) technology and an anti-reflective coating applied to to its surface.
Harrison also applauds Apple’s perseverence with 16:10 aspect ratio screens that provide a much more comfortable viewing experience than the nearly ubiquitous 16:9 diplays now used across the computer industry that are fine for watching widescreen film and video, but far from optimal for productivity users.
Not so good says Harrison are the absence of Apple laptops’ signature slow pulsing sleep light, no Kensington lock slot, and the continued absence of gigabit wireless (802.11ac). Also, compared with the 15in Retina MacBook Pro, the 13-incher offers no a quad-core Intel processor, with a 2.9GHz dual-core Core i7 being the most powerful CPU available, and while the 15-inch machine can be ordered with 16GB of RAM, but the 13-incher is only available with 8GB.
The 13-inch entry-level model also comes with a 128GB SSD, while the base 15-inch Retina starts at 256GB, and like memory, storage upgrades on the new MacBooks are not supported, and the batteries are epoxied to the chassis and sealed down with proprietary pentalobe screws, rendering potential expansion to whatever can be connected via the machine’s USB or Thunderbolt ports.
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