The new 2012 15-Inch Retina MacBook Pro marks an evolution of the Mac: it’s the first of presumably the entire Mac line-up to get a Retina display, just like the iPhone and iPad.
Unlike the iPhone or iPad, however, the new Retina MacBook Pro is not aimed at the mass market. This is a professional machine, through and through.
The beauty of the Retina MacBook Pro’s display is like looking at living print. In addition the Retina MacBook Pro is the most powerful all-in-one professional notebook you can buy off the shelf using cutting-edge technology that it will take some time for the competition to catch-up with.
The new MacBook Pro has a number of impressive features over its evolutionary progenitors, but the headlining improvement is that it’s the first Mac with a Retina display with a 2,880 x 1800 desktop resolution.
The last-generation MacBook Pro had 1,440 x 900 pixel display. The new MacBook Pros have four times as many pixels, clocking in at over five million pixels crammed into fifteen diagonal inches. Across the board, the Retina MacBook Pros have displays that seem more like windows to a world inside your Mac, as you increase pixel density in a display, you also increase the perceived realness of the objects onscreen. At a certain pixel density, on-screen objects actually become indistinguishable from real objects.
Color gamut and accuracy is so good; the only way you can get a display like this has traditionally been to pick up an expensive high-end display and have it professionally calibrated. The new Retina MacBook Pros do it all out of the box, with deeper and more accurate colors, the blackest and inkiest of blacks, and such wide viewing angles that even from the side, there are no visible color shifts.
These are all hallmarks of the in-plane switching (or IPS) LCD technology that Apple is using in the Retina MacBook Pro, and that’s worth crowing about, too: it’s the same technology Apple uses in the iPhone and iPad to give these devices a very wide view angle with no visible color shifts, and it’s almost unheard of to see laptops with IPS displays.
There’s another thing Apple did, though, to improve the clarity of the Retina MacBook Pro display. Apple’s been much criticized over the last few years for the “mirror” effect of their glossy screens. Sit in front of a modern Mac and you’re more often than not looking through your reflection. Glossy screens give better color accuracy, but suffer from being overly reflective; matte displays eliminate reflections, but are milkier than glossy ones.
With the Retina MacBook Pro, however, Apple managed to keep a glossy display while virtually eliminating reflectiveness. They accomplished this by fusing together the protective glass and underlying LCD to mitigate the mirror effect, eliminating the air gap usually found between glass and LCD through a process known as optical bonding. The result, Apple says, is a 75% decrease in reflectiveness, and while we have no way of confirming that, it’s undeniable that the Retina MacBook Pro display is the least reflective glossy Mac screen yet.
Apple just knocked it out of the park with the display on the new MacBook Pros.
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