Apple Macbook Pro Retina 2.6GHz - Precision Build And Meticulous Design

10/3/2012 4:03:52 PM

If you want to know which innovative features will appear in next year's Windows laptops, look at today's MacBook computers. The clue here is in the name: the Pro boasts a superb Retina display.

We've previously looked at the entry-level 2.3GHz, 256GB SSD model (see; this is the top-end Pro, with a 2.6GHz processor and 512GB of storage.

Description: Apple Macbook Pro Retina 2.6GHz

In terms of ports we find two Thunderbolt, two USB 3.0, HDMI and an SDXC card slot. You also get dual mics, an HD webcam, 802.11n wireless connectivity and a silky glass trackpad.

And then there's the ultra-high-definition IPS panel, with 2880 pixels across and 1800 pixels running down its 15.4in glossy screen.

The build quality of this streamlined laptop is unimpeachable. Its unibody construction comprises a main chassis milled from solid aluminium, with a sculpted bottom plate precision-set below. Lid down, it's just 18 mm thick and weighs exactly 2kg.

Potential niggle points for a would-be purchaser may include the removal of the optical drive, FireWire and even Ethernet. The last two are covered with Thunderbolt adaptors (not supplied), and you can easily add an external DVD drive. Business users may balk at the omission of a Kensington security slot, though.

Running World Bench 6 in Windows 7, The MacBook Pro put in the fastest showing here. In fact, its 176-point score confirmed it as the most powerful laptop we’ve ever tested anywhere.

Graphics performance is outstanding, too - as it must be to drive the 5.2Mp display. In OS X the nVidia GTX 650M automatically hands over to integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000 when it isn’t needed, although only the nVidia processor is available in Windows. Our graphics tests results were strong, but a little more horsepower wouldn't go amiss: the OS X interface isn't as fluid as it should be.

Totalling 95Wh, the massed array of non-removable internal batteries led to a Windows runtime of 6.5 hours. Back in Lion, we found this machine could outlast our working day.

Description: Apple Macbook Pro Retina 2.6GHz

Verdict: The specifications and benchmark results excel, and that's before you consider the precision build and meticulous design. If the price alarms, the $2,824 Pro is as worthy of consideration.


Price: $3,677



Build: 10/10

Features: 8/10

Performance: 10/10

Value: 6/10

Overall: 10/10


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