Buying guide: 2012 Macs

By Roman Loyola, Macworld |  Hardware, Apple, computers

What is it? When Apple updated the MacBook Pro last June, the company bumped up the speed of the standard MacBook Pro, but all of the attention was focused on the Retina MacBook Pro. The MacBook Pro with Retina display is the model that Apple will follow with its MacBook Pro line going forward.

The Retina MacBook Pro features a high-density display with so many pixels that images and text look especially smooth and cleanat normal viewing distances, you can't discern individual pixels.

Whos it for? The Retina MacBook Pro is for the demanding user who wants a portable computer that also performs well. The Retina MacBook Pro models sit at the top of the performance chart of Mac laptops.

What are the specifications? The Retina MacBook Pro is available in sizes of 13 inches and 15 inches. The two 13-inch models have the same processor (2.5GHz dual-core Core i5), amount of memory (8GB), and graphics processor (Intel HD Graphics 4000). The difference is the amount of flash storage; the $1699 model has 128GB, while the $1999 model has 256GB.

You'll find more differences between the two 15-inch Retina MacBook Pros. The $2199 model has a 2.3GHz quad-core Core i7 processor, 8GB of memory, and 256GB of flash storage. The $2799 model offers a 2.6GHz quad-core Core i7 CPU, 8GB of memory, and 512GB flash storage. The 15-inch Retina MacBook Pros have two graphics processors: the integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000, and the discrete Nvidia GeForce GT 650M with 1GB video memory.

The screen is the marquee feature of the Retina MacBook Pro. The 13-inch Retina display has a native resolution of 2560 by 1600 pixels, and OS X offers a scaled resolution up to 1680 by 1050, which surpasses the 1440 by 900 resolution of the standard 15-inch MacBook Pro. The 15-inch Retina display has a native resolution of 2880 by 1800 pixels, and on those laptops OS Xs highest scaled resolution is 1920 by 1200 pixels, which is equal to the native resolution of the discontinued 17-inch MacBook Pro. With these high-scaled resolutions, you can have the workspace of a larger-screen standard Mac laptop on a smaller Retina MacBook Pro, if you can tolerate the smaller icons, text, and other graphics on screen. If you use a third-party app such as QuickRes, you can set the Retina screen to use resolutions higher than the scaled settings OS X offers, including the native resolution.


Originally published on Macworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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