15 Inch Macbook Pro with Retina Display Review

I recently updated my blogging notebook with the latest 15 inch Macbook Pro with retina display. I was using a 13 inch Macbook Air for all my mobile blogging work, but it always felt too slow next to my 27 inch iMac, especially when rendering videos in iMovie.

Thanks to Apple updating the Macbook Pro with the latest quad-core Haswell chipset, the new notebook is even more powerful than my iMac desktop. I went with the top of the line 15 inch model. At $2,599, the Macbook Pro is not cheap by any means. However, it could have been even more expensive because I wanted to upgrade to the 2.8GHz CPU and 1TB SSD drive. That would have added $700 to the price. I ended up getting an off the shelf model from the Apple Store because my company year end was here, and I needed some additional write-offs to bring down my tax bill. A custom spec Macbook wouldn’t show up until after my company year end.


Highlights of the new Macbook Pro includes a 2.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.5GHz) with 6MB shared L3 cache, 16GB of 1600MHz DDR3L onboard memory, NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M video card with 2GB of GDDR5 memory, a 512GB SSD drive, and retina display. This is a powerhouse of a computer!

By far the best feature of the Macbook Pro is the 15 inch retina display. It’s simply amazing! The best notebook screen money can buy. The display offers a super-high 2880×1800 resolution. However, that resolution is not available in the preferences. Instead of showing the resolution, the display preferences shows a slider that allows you adjust the display for bigger text or more space.


The “Best for Retina” resolution is 1440×900. this is because Retina Macbook Pros ship in a pixel doubled configuration. You get the effective desktop resolution of the old 15-inch MacBook Pro’s 1440×900 panel, but with four physical pixels driving every single pixel represented on the screen. This configuration produces an image that is better looking than any other notebook LCD.

You can scale the resolution up or down depending on your needs. However, there’s no option for the native 2880×1800 resolution, as presumably the text would become too tiny. You can get around this problem by downloading a free program call QuickRes. The program allows you to easily switch between screen resolutions on your Mac. With the 15 inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display, you can set your resolution all the way up to an extreme 3840×2400! Click the image below to see what a 3840×2400 desktop looks like.


Running that high a resolution on a 15 inch display is pretty useless because the text is way too small. However, it’s kinda cool that the display can actually work at such a resolution.

At 4.46 pounds, the Macbook Pro is the lightest 15 inch notebook in the world. However, it is still quite a bit bigger and heavier than my ultalight MacBook Air. I am getting use to the extra weight, and I’m really enjoying the bigger display. Performance wise, there is no comparison. The new Macbook Pro is faster than my current home iMac, and worlds faster than the Macbook Air.

Overall, I’m extremely happy with the new Macbook Pro. If you’re looking for the ultimate-high performance blogging notebook, and you’re not deterred by the $2,599 price tag, the Macbook Pro is the one to get.

19 thoughts on “15 Inch Macbook Pro with Retina Display Review”

  1. Enstine Muki says:

    That’s a powerful blogging machine John and congrats on grabbing it πŸ˜‰

  2. A. I. Sajib says:

    Don’t you think 15″ is too big for a notebook especially meant for blogging? I mean, it’s one thing for graphics designing or extensive video editing, but if your main purpose with this laptop is blogging, wouldn’t it be better to get a retina MacBook Pro 13-inch with higher configuration [than the base model]?

    1. John Chow says:

      A lot of my blogging is producing videos. I did consider the 13 inch pro but decided the extra power of the 15 inch was better for what I need.

  3. worth spending……I’m grabbing a 13″ by the end of this year

  4. Mack pro is nice but it is costly too. I can’t get it now as recently bought a laptop. Some really good features introduced. It is definitely worth to give it a try.

  5. Hi John, Every bit of it a powerhouse indeed. 1 TB SSD worthwhile to consider. Amazingly low weight. My next MB Pro 4 sure. Thanks for sharing. africasiaeuro

  6. Dusan says:

    It is an awesome computer indeed! I’m getting the same model in a week.

    Btw. you can only upgrade the CPU to 2.6 GHz, 2.8 is not an option on the late 2013 model.

  7. hamid says:

    I had bought Latest Apple Mac book Air .
    And i am having Mac book Pro Also

    but i like new mac book air

    Because weight is too less and Mac book heating is also very low .
    and battery back up is awesome

    so people buy Mac air not Pro

    1. John Chow says:

      Ya, my Macbook Air is very light compare to my Pro. But the Pro is much more powerful and the screen is so much better, I doubt I will ever go back to the Air.

  8. Ben Troy says:

    So cool, have you tried this MAC with graphic software and does it work well?

  9. Pijush Mitra says:

    Nice review on Macbook Pro. Thanks for the share.

  10. faisal says:

    Time to get a new Mac Pro?

    1. John Chow says:

      I will get one when it comes out.

  11. Zander says:

    As much as I love Macs, I just can’t fathom spending $2600 on a laptop! I really wanted to make the switch, but considering I was able to buy a new laptop AND a new desktop for half the price of a new MB Pro, it was a no brainer for me.

    Of course, if I made John Chow type money, it’d probably be a different story. πŸ™‚

  12. That’s definitely a great selection. Macs definitely have a high price tag, but the amount of time I’ve saved because they don’t have the issues a PC have is priceless.

  13. Tech Audible says:

    Powerful beast πŸ™‚ Amazing laptop with great configurations, and the screen is the one which is most notable. However, I prefer the MacBook Air, as I travel quite often.

  14. Dwayne says:


    Congrats on getting a Macbook Pro with Retina. I’m glad you are a fan of Apple products. For what it’s worth, i think you made a great choice. I know you will be happy. Apple did knock $200 off the price of the Macbook Pros making them a bit more affordable. I’m getting a 13″ Macbook Pro with Retina before the end of the year. It’s time to upgrade.

  15. Bashir Ahmed says:

    I’ve read Macbook pro review on other blogs and it seems nice addition. I’ll get one soon after one month.

    Btw, I’m happy with HP dv7 and Lenovo. Both are good and battery backup is awesome!

  16. Bart says:


    I’m planning to replace my mid 2010 MBP by a new 15inch retina MBP.
    The mistake i made when i bought my first was that it was too “weak” from the beginning, so i’ll be buying the most powerful one this time. Now Apple offers an upgrade from 2,3ghz to 2,6ghz and an upgrade wich will increase the ssd flash storage to 1 Tb.

    This is, ofcourse, a serious addition to the price…

    Are those upgrades worth the money? Are there serious differences?

    thanks in advance!

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