My next notebook: 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display

My next notebook: 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display

Summary: My Dell XPS 13 is about to be retired, and so it is time for a new notebook. After a lot of careful consideration, I've decided it is time to make the switch from Windows to a Mac.

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TOPICS: Apple, Hardware
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It will soon be time to retire my Dell XPS 13 notebook. The machine has been a solid workhorse, but it is now almost four years old and out of warranty, so it's living on borrowed time. That means it is time to choose a new portable system.

After a lot of careful consideration, I've chosen my next system: the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display.

(Credit: Apple)

So why have I decided to pick up an OS X system when I could have picked up a comparable Windows system for less money?

Here's why.

  • Reliability: while I've had good service from my Dell XPS 13, the machine has been repaired more times than I can remember. This mirrors my experience with other Windows notebooks from a variety of OEMs. While I'm not suggesting that Apple hardware is infallible--it's not--the overall build quality of Apple's hardware is much better. On top of that, AppleCare warranty offers a no-nonsense protection plan. It's not cheap, but it's good

  • Retina display: the MacBook Pro's Retina display is so easy on the eye that it's hard to ignore. Packing 2880x1800 pixels into a screen that's only 15.4-inches across is a technological marvel, and once you use one, it's hard to go back to a non-Retina display

  • iCloudp: I'm finding myself making increasing use of iCloud services, especially iMessage and FaceTime. That's what having an iPhone and an iPad does. They can be a gateway drug to other, more expensive things

  • The MacBook Pro offers what I want: everything I want from a notebook is right there. It's small and light, and has the hardware specification I want

  • OS X: like it or hate it, OS X has a growing presence. I'm increasingly covering OS X related news, and the fixed nature of the Mac mini just isn't cutting it any more

  • Macs still run Windows: Macs can run Windows, and run the operating system very well, as a matter of fact. There are some gaps in the coverage, but this is a portable system, so I can work around them for now

  • My desktop system is still Windows: I'm not abandoning Windows. Even if I wanted to--which I don't--I couldn't.

My MacBook Pro lands in a few days--I chose an upgraded processor that added a few days to the delivery time--so I'll soon find out whether this was a good move or a bad decision.

Topics: Apple, Hardware

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110 comments
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  • Adoption

    Have you listed your Dell XPS 13 notebook with an adoption agency?

    Enjoy your new Macbook Pro.
    daikon
    • Bufu

      Yes. Indeed.
      Techboy_z
  • Kudos to Apple

    For providing decent resolution on their devices... most of the times.
    The price it's just insane because being the resolution the culprit - hard to justify I admit. I hope at least fullHD laptops become largely available at a reasonable price.

    I would be happy with a 900 line laptop, the normal 768 lines are just miserable.
    AleMartin
    • It is overkill...

      The number of pixels on a retina is crazy right? It's also a clear sign of apple selling by numbers again now jobs has gone.

      For years they were almost deliberately obtuse about their Max's specs... Just as they are about iOS devices. Of course one reason is that pcworld seems by specs, so shoppers get to compare numbers and will inevitably ask why the mac costs 50% more, but the apple (jobs) party line was that they sell dreams or whatever instead. The idea was that you can trust apple to make the best possible machine for the task and you only need learn how to use it. Hey, it worked for them.

      With the retina they are selling by specs again. The reality is that the pixel density (where "retina" comes from) is the least important part of it. They could easily lower the density by 30% and 95% of users would never notice... The current MacBook Pro with or without anti-glare just doesn't have a sub quality definition. Surely he relevant aspects to a retina are the ssd, low profile and weight, single board design, and speaking of the screen, not it's definition, but it's image quality. It's the only real thing you notice when you jump from retina to Mbp; the weight and the image quality. At first the retina seems a much darker display due to the truer black, however after and hour on a retina, the previously good Mbp now looks washed out. That image quality isn't actually created by how many pixels there are, yet apple almost Completely ignore all this and just bang on about retina screen density.
      MarknWill
      • Since commercial multimedia is limited to 1080p (1920x1080) ...

        ... there doesn't seem to be much advantage to screens with larger resolutions. I would much rather spend that extra cash elsewhere. For the same money, I would choose a Windows ultrabook over a MacBook - any day.
        M Wagner
        • It's not about the media, it's about the Vectors

          The point of the resolution is it's ability to draw vector-based images (text, icons, etc.) much better, as well as any bitmaps with increased resolution. It's the look of the operating system itself. At a retina resolution, everything does actually look a lot cleaner. However, that said, you pay a premium for it, and it's not one I'd be willing to pay.
          skyledavisbooks
        • Two Words: Eye Strain

          The new Macbook Pro's Retina display is soooooo much easier on the eyes than non-Retina displays.
          Trust me.
          I use Dell displays all day long at work and then my Mac when I get home.
          If I could convince my employer to agree to BYOD and let me use an approved Windows VM for my work machine, I would do it in a heartbeat.
          You really need to spend a day with a Macbook Pro with Retina display before you comment on it. It would surprise you.
          HappyXWindowsUser
          • Or better yet....

            ...my buddy bought the MacBook Pro with Retina screen, then he wiped it clean and put Windows 8 on it and has never been happier. Seems to run better with Windows 8 on it than OSX.

            Let's face it, Apple makes really nice PC's, but their OS leaves a bit to be desired. If only they had a touch screen option....maybe in the future.

            I myself, and leaning toward the awesome Acer Aspire S7 - http://us.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/series/aspires7

            Its like something Apple should have built, but Acer did it instead.
            gomigomijunk
          • It's an Acer.

            While it looks like the shiny brother of a MacBook Air, I'm willing to bet you'll have far more problems with it after a year.
            Champ_Kind
          • I agree

            with you on that. I just did a Google image search of the Acer S7 and it's a sharp little machine. I also love how they have to compare it to the Macbook Air as if thats the benchmark to beat. I would recommend it if Windows 7 was on it.
            Brendon Jarrett
          • Dell sells excellent ultra-sharp monitors....

            A separate screen or an upgraded screen would be lot cheaper than a Retina MBP! This would work with either a desktop or laptop PC. (Though for your sake, I hope you're not using unergonomic laptop keyboards and screens for long periods. Don't you have any health and safety/ergonomics experts/consultants?)
            Jack Schofield
        • Creating that 1080p media

          is MUCH easier on a display with higher resolution than 1920x1080.
          Champ_Kind
        • Not to worry

          The Ultra books will copy Apple's retina display in time, like all other Apple innovations and features. Lets face it an ultra book is just a Apple Air only years late.
          KBabcock75
        • Remember WUXGA?

          Once upon a time, the "best" 15 inch laptops came with 1920 x 1200 screens. Including my current (old) Dell. I've been wanting to update it, but I refuse to compromise on graphics.
          Sure, I don't need the Retina display. What I need is a mere WUXGA on an i5 or i7 machine. BUT - since nobody will sell me that, I'm forced to throw my money at Apple.
          And no, 1080HD is NOT "close enough".
          Alan Campbell
          • Exactly the same reason I switched to MBP Retina

            I had a Dell Latitude D830 WUXGA for 5 years and very happy with the screen resolution. Then as I need a new powerful laptop I virtually called every vendor, Dell, Gateway, Levono, Acer ..., you name it. It was very frustrated to hear the highest scan lines they carried were all downgraded to 1080.
            I do coding related work most of the time and the number of scan lines which converts to text/code lines is crucial for efficiency. Just a few years ago when the PCs were out with WUXGA the MACs were all like toys. And now hard to believe I am typing from my MBP Retina (running Win 7 though) ditching all the PC laptops ... what can I say ?
            Hao Zhuang
        • Really, nobody would have every guess that M Wagner

          You know you put everyone in shock when you let us all know you would pick something else over an Apple product. What is the world coming to!
          non-biased
  • Adrian is making lot of cash from blogging

    ...So that he can now afford a sky-high priced Mac product :-)

    But the ' Here's why' points are totally rubbish, Macs are no way more reliable than Win 8 laptops...

    I foresee that in 6 months time there will be another article by AKH titled 'Why I am abandoning my Mac book'
    Owlll1net
    • I know it’s sad

      Adrian still has Windows on his desktop, just one less Windows notebook.

      Hooah!
      daikon
      • He is not completely ditching Windows

        "Macs still run Windows: Macs can run Windows, and run the operating system very well as a matter of fact. There are some gaps in the coverage, but this is a portable system so I can work around them for now."

        I have seen plenty of MBPs hanging out at local Starbucks run Windows 7. And few brave hearts there run Windows 8 on MBPs. Go figure.
        Ram U
        • Win8 runs really well on Macbooks

          I know quite a few people running Windows 8 on their Airs and MBPs. I even know one or two that are running a single boot. Completely wiped the mac partition (supposedly. Not sure how that actually works, but that's what they tell me).

          If you're running iOS I will say (other than, "I'm sorry.") that it makes a lot of sense to have a mac. The iCloud explanation is a valid one. It's the biggest reason I'm tempted by WP8, despite the fact that I like Android better. The integration with Win8 on my laptop and tablet is very appealing. I can imagine the same being true of a laptop.
          skyledavisbooks