MacBook Pro with Retina Display First Impressions

Previous MacBook Pro model compared to MacBook Pro with retina display.

The MacBook Pro retina display was a big upgrade for me as I have been using an old MacBook Pro core duo (purchased in April 2006 and still working great other than the hardware no longer supports the latest software). I am very pleased with the new Macbook Pro model as it delivered on the items I was looking for:

  • • Ivy bridge high speed 64 bit processors with lower power consumption
  • • Close to MacBook Air form factor without sacrificing pro specifications
  • • Large (16GB) memory capacity
  • • Large (512GB) SSD disk. 768GB was also available as an option but I didn’t think it was necessary.
  • • Ability to run OSX 10.7 Lion and 10.8 Mountain Lion and iCloud as compared to my old MacBook Pro which isn’t compatible due to its 32 bit processor
  • • Retina display was a bonus which I expect will increase the longevity of my using the laptop
  • I have been impressed by the high resolution display and speed of the machine (spinning beach ball a thing of the past) but there have been some problems:

  • • Tweetdeck, which runs on Adobe Air, has had the occasional delay and spinning beach ball . This just indicates to me that Adobe Air apps are to be avoided.
  • • Text is incredibly clear and crisp except with Chrome and Firefox browsers which should get updates to fix this. Text in Safari looks great and images in all browsers are dependent on higher resolution images being used to take full advantage of the incredible display.
  • • Screen capture resolution problems with Screensteps and Clarify apps from Blue Mango make them unusable. A fix for Clarify is being investigated and a fix for Screensteps will most likely be included in the next version (3) when it comes out.
  • • Novamind mindmap software also has screen display issues with node information being updated showing in the menu bar instead of the mindmap.
  • • A couple of times my account has shutdown and application registration information has been lost. I haven’t yet determined what is causing this but hopefully this could possibly be fixed when Mountain Lion is delivered later in July.
  • As I use my new laptop with more applications I am sure I will find more issues especially with the retina display. Most applications appear to work well as is but they will work even better when retina fixes and enhancements are introduced. One of the results of Apple’s secrecy about new features is that there are bound to be glitches until apps are updated to deal with new features. For those willing to wait these transition issues and the premium cost of retina display will eventually go away as software and additional computers in Apple’s product line are updated to what I expect will eventually become a standard feature. Since I am planning to keep my new laptop for awhile I wanted to invest in the future so I was willing to endure some temporary transition issues as third party software versions catch up to the new capabilities.