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125 of 128 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful design, lightweight and fast. Fantastic machine.
Spending a significant sum of money on a new computer is a big decision - this review hopes to help you decide whether you want to invest in a Mac.

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...
Published 7 months ago by John Ryan

versus
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great computer when it works - needed to be returned due to major system fault
Before buying this MBP, I'd suggest searching Apple Support Forums for: "Re: New Retina Macbook pro 13 Haswell system hang/unresponsive". This problem ONLY appears to be an issue for the late 2013, 8Gb RAM 256Gb flash drive model.

I dealt with a vendor who very readily replaced my MBP when I experienced this fault but I can see that this could prove a...
Published 2 months ago by 'mon the pars


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125 of 128 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful design, lightweight and fast. Fantastic machine., 26 Dec 2013
By 
John Ryan "One man and his Kat" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Apple ME865B/A 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display (Intel Dual Core i5 2.4GHz, 8GB RAM, 256GB HDD, Iris Pro Graphics, Mac OS X) (Personal Computers)
Spending a significant sum of money on a new computer is a big decision - this review hopes to help you decide whether you want to invest in a Mac.

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, 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.

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.

Personally, I think the 256Gb (blisteringly fast SSD) is a great compromise on size, with enough space for videos, music and photos.

Overall though - a beautiful design. Highly recommended!!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing piece of hardware + nice price on Amazon!, 18 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Apple ME865B/A 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display (Intel Dual Core i5 2.4GHz, 8GB RAM, 256GB HDD, Iris Pro Graphics, Mac OS X) (Personal Computers)
I was a bit doubtful with the 8 GB as it won't be expandable in the future.
Instead, I'm using this MacBook for almost everything and it's blazing fast! It boots in seconds, not a single blimp during usage.

The battery runs literally for hours, I often forget the last time I recharged it.

But the real jewel is the display. The retina resolution is simply amazing. The only fear I had was regarding the glossy for which I had bad experience with other PC laptops . Instead it does not reflect any light, you can use it in any condition. It's the best display I've ever used so far.

I'm completely satisfied with the product. 256 GB of SSD + 8 Gb of RAM is IMHO the best compromise on price/performance for this model.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE BEST OF THE BEST!!, 22 April 2014
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This review is from: Apple ME865B/A 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display (Intel Dual Core i5 2.4GHz, 8GB RAM, 256GB HDD, Iris Pro Graphics, Mac OS X) (Personal Computers)
Second laptop from Apple after living and loving with the 2008 Macbook Aluminium Unibody model. This lives up to my high expectations and provides everything that I need. 9.5/10 because it may be too expensive for some and also lacks a DVD drive. However, everything else is perfect!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it, 27 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Apple ME865B/A 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display (Intel Dual Core i5 2.4GHz, 8GB RAM, 256GB HDD, Iris Pro Graphics, Mac OS X) (Personal Computers)
Great piece of kit. Having only used windows operating systems it takes a while to get round the Mac OSX system but then that is part of the fun.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great computer when it works - needed to be returned due to major system fault, 7 May 2014
By 
'mon the pars (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Apple ME865B/A 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display (Intel Dual Core i5 2.4GHz, 8GB RAM, 256GB HDD, Iris Pro Graphics, Mac OS X) (Personal Computers)
Before buying this MBP, I'd suggest searching Apple Support Forums for: "Re: New Retina Macbook pro 13 Haswell system hang/unresponsive". This problem ONLY appears to be an issue for the late 2013, 8Gb RAM 256Gb flash drive model.

I dealt with a vendor who very readily replaced my MBP when I experienced this fault but I can see that this could prove a bit more of a hassle using a mail order vendor. This is important as - despite a 193 page forum thread - Apple have not acknowledged this fault as being multiple in nature and there is no known fix. It further follows, therefor, that - unless you can absolutely prove the fault is present - you may not receive an exchange. Proving a fault is present can obviously be difficult if it is an intermittent one and there is at least one individual posting in the above forum thread who says that a video of the computer after the system freeze was not accepted by their vendor as genuine.

As of the new laptop I've been given, it's fantastic. It's soooo thin although clearly the lack of a CD/DVD drive is part of the reason for this. If you're someone that watches their DVDs on public transport and has tempremental broadband at home you may not watch most of your films online despite Apple being convinced that most of us now do. There are fairly cheap external drives available, however.

The display is great although I don't see a huge difference with my non-retina 2008 Macbook White - both are vivid and sharp.

The sound is fine for a laptop.

The magsafe charger as always is functionally great although it's a lot easier to knock out when sitting on your lap than the older version. Note if you're considering getting a few chargers that official replacements of chargers are priced by Apple at the same price as their external CD/DVD drive. Ridiculous.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 13 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Apple ME865B/A 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display (Intel Dual Core i5 2.4GHz, 8GB RAM, 256GB HDD, Iris Pro Graphics, Mac OS X) (Personal Computers)
The laptop arrived quickly, securely packed. I had some doubts about about making this purchase particularly about price - too good to be true - and whether or not it would be the uk model, new,etc etc. previous reviewers seemed satisfied and now I too join them in this regard.

The mac itself is a delight to use with many features to recommend it. It is a replacement for a macbook I had for several years, I trust this one will serve me well but with added umph.
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5.0 out of 5 stars You get what you pay for, 30 July 2014
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This review is from: Apple ME865B/A 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display (Intel Dual Core i5 2.4GHz, 8GB RAM, 256GB HDD, Iris Pro Graphics, Mac OS X) (Personal Computers)
I must confess to being an Apple convert since about 2007. I'd had several PCs and they'd all needed a fair bit of tinkering to keep them clean and running properly. But then I bought a new PC in late 2007 which was an absolute dog - in fact I retuned it. So I thought I'd give Macs a go, and have never looked back.
So this is my second MacBook and it is a gem. It's just like my ideal woman really: beautiful, sleek, quick, functional, hard working and reassuringly expensive, not to mention very unlikely to pick up any viruses ;-))
Seriously though, it is a lovely machine. I opted for the 8GB memory and 256GB SSD and it starts up very quick, and does not slow down with multiple applications. I must say though that I am not a 'power user', so do not use a lot of graphics intensive applications, maybe just some light photo editing. The screen is very clear as you'd expect with the retina display. The USB3 ports work well and transferring files is fast - I connected two USB3 external hard drives to transfer some large files between them and it was phenomenally quick.
I really like the ability to Airplay the screen and sound to my main TV. This came in handy when I was watching something on 4OD and could throw that onto the TV. I don't think you can do that with the iOS version of the 4OD app.
The cheapest supplier seems to change and I got mine from GB Buddy. It was delivered quickly by Parcel Force. I would recommend this supplier.
If you're concerned about the money, one thing to mention is resale. My old MacBook was one of the first aluminium models from late 2008. I sold it yesterday for 250. You couldn't do that with a Windows laptop!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Imported version, 25 Mar 2014
By 
Mr. Chris Allen (sheffield , uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Apple ME865B/A 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display (Intel Dual Core i5 2.4GHz, 8GB RAM, 256GB HDD, Iris Pro Graphics, Mac OS X) (Personal Computers)
Love this MacBook but beware that it's a foreign import copy that's not stated on the item description. You get an English charger cable but the keyboard is not a UK version , if you can live with that then it's good value for money.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful machine, just be aware of what you're buying, 23 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Apple ME865B/A 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display (Intel Dual Core i5 2.4GHz, 8GB RAM, 256GB HDD, Iris Pro Graphics, Mac OS X) (Personal Computers)
It does seem to be a bit of a gamble buying your macbook from a 3rd party seller on Amazon as to whether you're going to be getting a UK model or not. I couldn't find any definitive answer. All I can do is add my experience- I ordered from seller Focal Solutions and my model was not a UK one, it was a Hong Kong import. I knew this was a risk buying it, but given the cost savings it was worth it to me- just be aware.

As for the macbook itself, it's my first mac and within a few minutes of playing around with it I realised what I've been missing all my life! Make the switch- you won't regret it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice value for price, 11 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Apple ME865B/A 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display (Intel Dual Core i5 2.4GHz, 8GB RAM, 256GB HDD, Iris Pro Graphics, Mac OS X) (Personal Computers)
This was the last piece missing in my Apple platform, with my MacBook Pro most of my personal services are connected. Considering the price I paid (the best in the UK Market at that moment) I'm very happy with my acquisition.
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