on 31 July 2014
This is a really really really good notebook. This review is coming from the mouth of a PC kinda guy who is used to windows and prefers it and most of the time I don't like Apple products. However, I genuinely believe that there is nothing like this on the market for this price (the amazon price of £840 rather than the Apple one of £1099). It is sleek light weight has all the ports I need HDMI, USB 3.0 SDXC slot and it all fits in my bag for college. It has all the power I need and more to edit videos and photo and all the other work that comes with college easily. The OS is quick and intuitive once you get used to it. One of a Apples free hours long workshop is a great kickstarter if you're new to the software but i'd already had a year and a halfs experience during my GCSE media class. Also, not forgetting the screen and the battery life. I know that retina displays are very power hungry but comparative windows laptops out there with less than HD displays only get 6 hours best of battery life whereas on the stunning retina display I can get easily 9+ hours of word processing and light internet browsing.
The mac also comes with Numbers (Excel), Pages (Word) and Keynote(PowerPoint) which means I haven't had to splash out on the MS Office software since these pre installed programmes are very similar to MS Office and the documents are compatible with it.
Overall this is a really great notebook and if you're looking for something different this a really good choice.
on 26 December 2013
I took the huge leap from Windows to Mac and was daunted by the initial cost of a Mac. They are a lot more expensive that the windows equivalent.
Quick word of warning: I'm a recent (July 2012) convert from Windows to a MacBook Pro, and was lucky enough to recently upgrade to a stunning 13 inch Retina. While I love Apple products, I'm not a Mac expert, and this review is for similar non-experts who are thinking about "converting". Because it's a review of the MBP range, you'll find the same review on other specs - skip to the end to see the specifics on this model.
Firstly, the hardware - which is just stunning. It's incredibly thin and light, and the 13 inch model is a really good compromise between screen size and weight compared to the 15 inch. (Also I intend to attach an external monitor for much of the time).
Common with all Apple MacBooks it's beautifully carved out of a solid piece of brushed aluminium, with a huge track-pad and a beautifully made back-lit keyboard.
In terms of connectivity you get:-
* Mag Safe power plug.
* 2 x Thunderbolt ports - to attach to fast external disks etc
* 2 x USB 3 ports (one either side - nice touch)
* Headphones output for external speakers
* An SDXC photo card slot
* A full size HDMI port - so you connect an external monitor
Apple hardware is more expensive than the equivalent running Windows, but you do get what you pay for, and they come with incredible attention to detail. This includes the cleverly designed "Mag Safe" magnetic power socket - so if a small child accidentally pulls on the power cable it disconnects from the laptop rather than dragging it crashing to the floor.
These machines don't come with a wired network connection - it's assumed you'll connect using WIFI, but they are well future proofed - as they support the latest 80211ac standard - basically the same as before but faster. Be aware you may need to update your router to make use of this. My existing router is fast enough - but it's nice to have the future proof design.
As a prior Windows laptop user, the multi-touch trackpad is a wonderful revelation. You can scroll down web pages (two fingers up/down), or scroll through web history (two fingers left/right), and the "System Preferences" window where you can configure the options includes a handy video demonstrating the options available.
As already stated, they keyboard is fantastic. Island style black keys - nicely spaced out, and back-lit. There's a set of dedicated keys along the top to control features including screen brightness, play, fast forward and stop, plus sound.
Of course you don't get a CD/DVD drive - but all software is available online through the Apple Mac Store, and another nice surprise - consistently cheaper than equivalent windows software, and without the annoying collection of boxes, software keys and disks to avoid losing.
Battery life is quoted at something silly - and I ran an entire day of general use (web browsing, videos, mails etc), in the end I got at least 9-10 hours before I started getting warnings - so you should be able to take this on a long haul flight or a long train journey without any problems.
Where this really shines though is the screen. It's apparently 2,560 x 1,600 pixels, and looks just stunning. In fact it's so good, I think I'm going to need to replace my ageing external monitor for when I use it desk-bound. Videos are crisp and clear, but where is really shines is reading or writing text.
Sound quality is not bad, although not as good as I'd have hoped - but I plug in external speakers myself - or better still, stream music to my Hi Fi speakers via an Apple TV. It's worth noting - you can stream anything on screen (videos or Netflix) to an Apple TV - including high quality sound. A great bonus.
Although I don't often play games, I'm told the MBP is not a serious gaming machine, for for web use or video streaming it's more than capable. I can't really comment more than that.
In terms of software, these are well provided for straight out of the box including free copies of:-
* Pages - a fully featured word processor similar to MS Word
* Numbers - Excel spreadsheets for Apple
* Keynote - PowerPoint equivalent
* Calendar, Mail and Photo editor and organiser
* Movie Maker - to edit and publish home-made videos
* Reminders - to remind you
I love the fact the Macs now work well with the iPhone and iPad. That means (for example) you can set a reminder on your Mac and have it automatically appear on your iPhone. Likewise, enter contacts on one device, and they're available on all. Finally, you can even start a document on your Mac and then continue to edit on your iPad by saving stuff in "the cloud".
But a final word of warning - and not something Apple tend to shout about. I'm used to being able to upgrade hardware when it starts to slow down. Be aware you can't upgrade ANYTHING on these machines. Even the memory is soldered in place so buy the best you can. OK so you can always attach a large external disk, but it's a bit disappointing you can't upgrade the internal disk or memory.
That's particularly wise words on this model as it has 4Gb of memory (not really a problem unless you're planning to edit huge video files), and 128Gb solid state disk. The space will be more of a limit - as it means you'll probably end up having to connect an external USB or WIFI connected hard disk for photos or videos. Of course it does assume this will be your only computer. If you have a desk-bound machine as well, then no problem - otherwise be aware of the limitation. Personally I'd wouldn't really consider anything less than 4Gb memory and 256G SSD or hard drive - but it depends upon your budget.
On balance - I'd have to say I love Apple Macs - and indeed all Apple hardware (iPhone, iPad included) so it's hard to give a purely objective view. But this is a beautifully designed, well built machine - just buy the biggest, fastest you can afford - or accept you'll be selling it on eBay in two years time to replace it.
Hope you found this review useful!! Many Thanks !
on 27 June 2014
As a windows user for the last 20+ yrs, i was very hesitant about getting a Mac despite the good things i had heard. All i can say is, WOW. Im already a lifelong convert!!! This is the easiest to use and most beautiful machine I've ever owned. If you have any hesitation about how difficult it will be going from windows to Mac and learning the new operating system... fear not! Within an hour i was overly familiar with everything. Its pretty much idiot proof.
on 19 July 2014
the best choice i have ever made. it is such a beautiful device and will be very useful at university as i am studying music so i needed this so i could run programs such as Logic pro x and Sibelius 7. when i was thinking of buying a macbook pro i was wondering, is the 13 inch too small? the answer is defiantly not, the retina display makes it seem bigger than it is. in my opinion the 15 inch is allittle too big as you can't fit it in bags as easily. it is a fantastic investment i know it seems like allot of money but once you get it you won't regret. i would recommend getting a mac that is fulfilled by amazon because you can send it back easier.
on 28 January 2014
having bought lots of £300 laptops i was very hesitant on spending nearly £1,000 on the apple mac.It is the best £1,000 i have spent,it feels good, looks good, very responsive, but you have to get used to the different way it operates. in conclusion i would recommend,the apple mac, but shop around as they can vary in price by up to £200