AnandTech Reviews the MacBook Pro Retina

AnandTech’s review is amazing—there is no other way to put it. My favourite take-aways from it are:

  1. The display is gorgeous. More gorgeous than I already knew it was. I don’t know if I should take a gander at it at the local Apple shop, lest I want to ruin every non-Retina display.

  2. The MBP Retina still has a significant amount of screen glare, 75% less or not. However, the IPS display offers viewing angles so tremendous that I think people with reservations about glossy screens and glare should consider the trade-offs that weigh heavily towards disregarding the glare. I say that as someone who’s always preferred matte displays until now.

    I guess you can still wait it out and see whether the next generation includes a matte option.

  3. iWork apps are not Retina. This is very weird and sloppy from Apple, but at least it hints that we might soon see a refresh of the three-year-old software suite. Perhaps it will coincide with Mountain Lion?

  4. The Retina scaling is not global. This means “individual elements on the screen can be scaled independently depending on their purpose.” This blew my mind, and the reviewer’s. Anyone working in Photoshop, Aperture, iMovie, and Final Cut Pro are going to love the hell out of this device.

  5. It has some surprisingly frustrating performance problems with browsing in Safari (and elsewhere, presumably). Where last year’s MBP delivered 46–60 frames per second during heavy scrolling through a Facebook feed, the new one only delivers 18–24 in Lion, and 20–30 in Mountain Lion. Quoth Anand:

    Whereas I would consider the rMBP experience under Lion to be borderline unacceptable, everything is significantly better under Mountain Lion. Don’t expect buttery smoothness across the board, you’re still asking a lot of the CPU and GPU, but it’s a lot better.

The last point took me by surprise, and it means I might postpone the purchase even further, until Apple allay my fears that this won’t be properly addressed.

It is no wonder that running Mac OS on Retina is a heavy-duty task, but this comes at a high cost to people who use it for tasks like browsing. No small demographic, to be sure.


If anything, the review shows that it’s always good to take a step back, hold your breath, and let people review a new product exhaustively, before your trigger finger presses “Buy”.