If I got paid a dollar for everytime I’ve gushed over my MacBook Air to someone I’d be independently wealthy. I freakin’ love my MacBook Air and I truly believe it is the best notebook every created. You can, of course, read my 1o reasons why as well (if you need a refresher).
And if there was an affiliate program I’d be even more wealthy since I’ve convinced a number of you to drop some serious coin on this notebook as well. The thing is that I’ve never heard a single response back from anyone regretting the purchase! Winning.
I mean… shoot, it does everything I need, ever since the first generation and I have almost nothing negative to say about it!
But after watching Monday’s WWDC event and when they announced the release of the new MacBook Pro with Retina Display and the fact that it has reduced it’s form factor to be incredibly close to that of the Air I knew that I would (again) be sucked into the machine and see if it was truly worth my hard earned green.
After some healthy discussion with one of my startup teams and seeing 2 of them instantly buy it the announce day I rolled it over in my head for a few days and eventually decided that I would pull the trigger:
I promised myself that I would go in and at least put it in my hands, roll it for a test drive, and if the form factor ultimately was too large for me to handle then I could easily return it. Apple’s return policy is great so I’d have nothing to lose, right?
(How likely would that be once I played with it? Sheesh. I’m such a sucker.)
It is worth noting explicitly that my biggest concern was in fact that form factor and the weight – I wanted to know if it was going to be worth the hassle of walking around with a 15″ instead of a 13″. Remember, there’s not just a size difference but a weight difference!
Here’s a short clip showing my concern:
But regardless, I decided to pull the trigger (again, because of the return policy). I purchased it yesterday early morning with a custom config and headed to the store later that day to play around with it, bringing my MacBook Air so that I could directly compare the two side-by-side.
The important configuration points are as follows:
- 2.7GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7
- 16GB 1600MHz DDR3L SDRAM
- 512GB Flash Storage
I opted to upgrade the processor to the largest option, the memory to a whopping 16GB, but not go crazy on the harddrive. Otherwise it’s nearly completely maxed out.
When I landed in one of my local Apple Stores I proceeded to spend more time than reasonably necessary taking a lot of pictures of the two machines together.
Here are some of my thoughts with respective images:
The retina display has been an incredible marketing point for this new iteration of their celebrated line. I can’t even tell you how many times during my stay I overheard one of the employees say something to the affect of:
Isn’t the new retina display absolutely gorgeous?
Looks like they were paying attention to the keynote announcement, right? Over and over again in the keynote they would use the words “gorgeous,” “impressive,” “stunning,” and a host of other synonyms.
I wanted to really see if it was as true as they were advertising.
I’ll be honest, I’m very much a skeptic by nature but I tested it around and it is very impressive. I downloaded a few HD videos and tested the different display modes. The text is incredibly rich and it is like reading print on the screen.
Really cool, right? The text and images scale from the large to the very small but what you won’t see is any pixelation. Incredibly technology!
I’m not easily amazed but I was here. The hype appears to be dead-on. But that’s not why I bought the machine! I wanted to know more about the form factor.
The following images showcases a direct comparison between the MacBook Pro and my lovely MacBook Air:
The front was the biggest difference since it’s tapered on the MacBook Air. Not that big of a deal though although if you look at it from a horizontal plane you couldn’t tell that there was a Pro in the back:
You can see this difference here better:
This was awkward, but I decided to stack three of the machines together to see from the top and bottom perspective:
As you can imagine I got more than a few odd stares and I could tell one employee wanted to ask me what the heck I was doing.
I just acted very casual like every customer does this type of weird stuff…!
The next was comparing the screens:
Very slim screen for the Pro. Not too bad at all.
Now, the form factor difference in body:
Not too much larger! I was pleased with this as it felt comfortable moving back to a 15″ and I didn’t feel that it would swamp my lap or my desk at home.
I picked it up a few times as well, comparing the weight – this is probably the biggest change since the Pro is exactly 1.5 pounds heavier. This was definitely noticeable and I wasn’t too thrilled with that since I enjoy walking around with my Air everywhere and not noticing it’s weight.
But perhaps I could overlook that…
Love that last view!
What I came away with is a feeling that the increased form factor wouldn’t be as threatening as I first thought and that I could most likely deal with the larger frame and just suck it up about the weight difference.
Of course, I naturally have to say something about it’s usefulness for blogging and that answer is pretty easy: It’s not worth it, especially at a starting price of over $2,000. My config was way higher than that!
Do you need this machine for blogging exclusively? Obviously not! And it’s not as portable to boot. If blogging was your chief motivation than an 11″ Air or the 13″ Air will do just fine. I would save my money otherwise.
But if you’re interested in using it for advanced photography, media, and more then that might be a good jump. I’ll leave that decision to you.
When my order comes in I’ll let you know how it works with my flow and process!
How about you? Your thoughts? Will you be getting one? Did I change your opinion at all?