Retina MacBook Pro First Impressions
I’ve been testing the 13“ Retina MacBook Pro (rMBP) for a few days now. Here are some first inpressions compared to my 11” MacBook Air (MBA, or â€œAirâ€).
Compared to the Air it feels huge. This is no suprise, the Air is tiny, but I have found myself using it on the desk more. Unlike the Air, i cannot manipulate it easily with one hand. It’s a small change but reminds me of the extra mass every time I interact with it.
Will see if its something I get use to. Overall I like the form factor a lot. It runs very cool and quiet and the HDMI port is very useful.
The display looks great, but like other retina displays you get use to it quickly. I was worried that I would be effected by the ‘ghosting’ issues but it all seems clear so far.
The screen looks good, but its just one element of the package. I would almost be tempted a cheaper non retina model.
I noticed the text rendering the most, web pages appear ultra sharp and detailed. Retina screens do spoil all the other screens around you. If I do return the rMBP its going to be hard to go back to the screen on the 11” Air!
Readability and Accessibility
I use my iMac in HiDPI mode which doubles the physical size of everything on the screen. My eyes are a bit dogey so HiDPI allows me to sit a comfortable distance from the iMac for reading.
I was worried text on the rMBP would be to small for comfortable use. So far things seem okay. I make heavy use of screen zoom for small text (eg chat windows) and while browsing. A side benifit of the retina display is that it still looks great when zoomed in 200%!
VoiceOver runs really well on the rMBP. Interactions are more fluid (eg less delays between text selection and speech etc) and it has been 100% stable. The VO experience on the Air really sucks in comparison.
I have 128gb of storage in the rMBP. Getting more storage gets expensive quickly! To jump to 256gb of storage is £150, going to 512gb is £400 more on top again. Ouch!
I have far more than 512gb of data across the Air and the iMac. How’s i should proceed seems a little unclear. I need to find a balance between storage space, cost and simplicity. I have a few ideas, going to have a play this week.
In Safari the rMBP won’t scroll some pages smoothly, however this has been fixed in the WebKit daily builds. I have the WebKit daily build installed and all is well. Hopefully the performance tweaks with get into safari soon. I do notice some occasional stutter especially when zoomed. This is starting to become annoying.