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on 14 February 2014
I've had iMacs for years and my 27" is a dream to use. I'm a web developer so the mac gets used all day and (too) often, all evening. I needed a laptop as I find myself out with clients more often and lugging a 27" iMac is not an option! I'm not keen on laptops as I like a large screen, a mouse and power, however this MacBook Pro is a revelation. I'm actually enjoying using it.

The screen is a joy to look at, it is seriously fast (faster than my 2 year old high powered iMac) and I've even been converted to the trackpad. I am an Excel power user, and the Mac version is tosh, so I have to run Excel in Windows in VMware Fusion. It is astonishingly good. The MacBook handles it easily. My previous laptop was a top end Dell XPS which was nice, but it got very hot and the fans were really loud. This MacBook is silent.

At two grand it ain't cheap, and you must get AppleCare if you intend keeping it for more than one year. I have always bought AppleCare and used it 3 times in the past (all display related issues) and the repairs would have cost me £300, £450 and £600 if I did not have AppleCare.

Is it worth it? I would rather not be adding to the billions Apple already have, and I think they should trim their prices. That said, if you are using it for your livelihood, then I think it is worth it. Bear in mind that Macs hold their resale value, so the cost over 3 years for a superb machine is compelling.

I didn't buy mine from Amazon as I got a better price elsewhere, but I do use Amazon a lot and find the reviews helpful, so I thought I should write a review for what is a big outlay for most of us.
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on 27 June 2014
I purchased my shinny new Macbook Pro 15" from amazon 1 week ago. Worried about the negative reviews and suggestions that the laptop was part of some type of scam. I purchased the laptop from a market place reseller but dispatched by amazon to give me a little security in terms of returning the product incase the offer wasn't quite what it seemed.

With a whooping saving from the apple store of £600 (ish) what did i have to loose, if the device turned out to be a fake or not as the offer had appeared I would simply contact amazon and ask for them to collect the device and return my money, however if the device was as advertised I would save a huge amount of money.

My laptop arrived the next day and everything looked great - UK Plug, sealed, brand new. It does have an international keyboard but this is not a major issue and only a few keys different to a UK keyboard, everything else is perfect.

My next move was to contact apple and make sure my laptop was genuine and was covered under warranty - My serial number showed on their systems, they confirmed the item was shipped from their warehouse in march 2014 (only 1 month earlier) and after showing proof of purchase they confirmed in writing that the warranty was good.

So £600 saving and forgetting the international keyboard everything is the same as the UK model sold by apple...... I am such a happy man :-) Best deal in years
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on 14 February 2014
Don't get me wrong, having been a windows man for all of my life, it took a great deal of self-searching to make the bold decision to move to Apple. I received the MacBook Pro in the post, and was excited to play with it straight away. You know what it's like, kid with a new toy and all that. So when I got it out of the box, (this is why I gave it a three. It was going to be a two star, but I relinquished as I know this review is about the item and not the vendor, but I had to have my rant somehow).
Anyway, when I got it out of the box, the keyboard was a US keyboard. My fault I guess for going through Amazon to a vendor that gave no indication on the site whatsoever that they were from Hong Kong!! So my advise is if you want to buy, then thoroughly research to ascertain where the vendor comes from. That said, after my frustration and disappointment, I realised I could buy a UK Bluetooth keyboard to work with the MacBook (at extra cost of course).
But onto the review itself. Like I say, having been on Windows all my life, I was really diving deep in going to Apple, but I was tired of all the constant updates (one of which set my Lenovo back to factory settings). When I switched the MacBook on for the first time, it booted up the fastest I have ever seen anything (fantastic). It comes loaded with tonnes of stuff, to the point for me personally, I have not had to buy anything new or extra to complement the suite that it comes with. The only thing I have loaded is Microsoft Office, but because I have Office 365 I can download to five devices and it doesn't matter if it's Windows or Apple Mac, so it downloaded straight away and I'm up and running. It found my wireless system straight away, password entered and I was off.
A couple of months ago I bought a Seagate drive to connect to my wireless router to create my own mini cloud for my house. I have continually struggled with my Windows to find and connect to this device, so resorted to unplugging from the router and plugging into my device to use as a standalone backup system. When I connected the MacBook Pro to the wireless network, it saw the device straight away, so now I have my own mini cloud with all of my iTunes, pictures etc, that I can stream to my TV through AirPlay from the Mac, Superb!! That alone gives a five start, but I'm still angry about the vendor part, so it remains three (you have to go with me on this one).
I have to say, the only thing I have had to buy extra is a separate DVD drive as it doesn't come with one. OK, the cost is a bit of a bummer, but I have it now, and I'm not complaining. You can see why they don't put one in the device though, it is so sleek and looks absolutely fabulous. The battery is outstanding and lasts for hours. I have the 512Gbyte solid state and that helps with the speed which is awesome. Finally from me, the screen. This is the Retina Pro, and having never had a Mac I can't compare, but I can compare to my old Windows laptop. The screen on the MacBook is stunning. I have watched Sky go programmes, run the odd little game and worked on some complex spreadsheets for my work, and it does not disappoint in any way at all. My guess is, to replicate this in Windows you would have to buy an ever increasing (tech, memory and cost) graphics cards, which means an expensive high end machine to be anywhere comparable.
So, my apologise once again for the three stars, but I really am the happiest person right now, and am glad to have made the move to Apple. When my main PC in the house (the Lenovo) gets old and dies, I will seriously think about getting an Apple desktop to replace it, as I now know by owning the MacBook, that yes the cost is high, but you truly are getting quality.
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on 3 September 2014
I have been a Windows man since 3.11 and Win8 has been a step too far. I'm finding some aspects of the Mac quite challenging but so many things are just so intuitive. The machine was expensive but quality always is. I've loaded Lightroom for editing my raw files. I'm searching for a suitable browser to replace Breeze Browser although the built in software works very well. The machine fires up from cold in no time at all, has a powerful fast processor and I am very impressed with the superb screen display. I can read all of my external drives and the machine is very light.
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on 10 March 2014
Despite what they say, Gadget Heaven are selling an international model of this laptop with a non-UK keyboard. I also get no UK warranty as it's not from the UK. Also, doing a search on Apple's site for the serial number comes up with no date of purchase, etc. which seems odd.

I am very upset and I now have to return it.

DO NOT BUY FROM Gadget Heaven!!
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on 1 January 2014
This is my first mac pc, and since i heard they last around 6-10 years I thought i might as well get the top model, and I'm glad i did. Its super quick and can handle all my photo editing easily.

Sleek design
10 hour battery life
thin and light
very quick

Although i ordered a UK version i got an american keyboard, but not a big fuss (bought from Smart Deals UK)
Fans can get noisy if running lots of processes
can get quite hot

All-in-all its a great atop and far better than any windows laptop I've ever had and it comes with Pages,Keynote and Numbers (basically word, Powerpoint and Excel) free!
And the mac Operating System is brilliant.
Hope this helps!
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on 29 March 2015
Problem after problem.

Apple don't offer any support for devices ordered over Amazon, the laptop I had, the trackpad stopped responding... got that fixed under warranty. If I purchased it from Apple I would've had a replacement there and then. When I got the machine back, the logic board stopped working. They replaced that, and the trackpad began to have the same error. Sent the laptop back for a repair again, and the screen came back with LCD damaged.
Finally got a replacement, now it's two months later and i'm having the same issues with the logic board. Went into Apple and they wanted to charge me for a repair.
I think these machines are very delicate, and am certainly not purchasing another apple laptop.
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on 6 February 2015
The best high-end laptop I've ever used. Beats anything else available right now for me.

This unit is not cheap, but it is by far the best laptop available as far as I'm concerned.

If you're a Windows user, this machine will run Windows (natively) better than the top-end Dell or HP laptop offerings.

It looks fantastic, and is far more solid than your typical Dell/HP etc. The Retina screen is superb, the spacious trackpad is amazing.The keyboard (for a laptop) is fantastic.

Yes it's very pricey, but it will last for years.

I can find no fault with this laptop at all. It is pure class and solid engineering. If you can afford it, buy it.
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on 19 July 2014
Just bought one from SafaComms - Arrived today with a UK keyboard (£ and # above the 3 key). I'm delighted with the machine, especially as it is a genuine UK model with full warranty. I just checked the serial on the Apple website, and my warranty runs until July 9th 2015 - so it is only 10 days short of a full year. At £530 less than the Apple site I think that is something of a bargain!

I mentioned the seller as several of the stores sell machines with non-UK keyboards. If everyone did this then future customers would know who to get their items from. As an aside AVTree had the machine too - I would have gone with them - they seem very trustworthy- , but the small extra saving with SafaComms swayed me, and I'm glad I did.
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on 30 May 2014
I bought this laptop after seeing one in an Apple store and being amazed by the quality of the display. I bought from Amazon because of the heavily discounted price compared to what Apple charge in the UK and honestly it was quite a relief to find that the laptop did actually turn up and was in sealed packaging haha.

The only thing that's different is that yes - this is a Hong Kong import with a US layout keyboard. Whilst I can understand that there are people who are used to the UK layout and would prefer to keep using it, considering how heavily discounted this machine is on Amazon I think it's something that I can let slide, especially as I use the US Dvorak keyboard layout regardless, which makes the UK style enter key apparently worth around £600 in plastic. To clarify, as Hong Kong do use the British style plugs it does come with both a British style plug and a US style one - the charger is happy with 100 or 240 volts so can be used internationally. The fact that it's imported also does not affect the Apple warranty.

Whilst this is certainly a high end, premium laptop, you definitely do get your money's worth. The screen is easily the best I've ever seen on a notebook computer and the viewing angles are spectacular. I was amazed by how the screen is still very readable even in direct sunlight and the colours really do 'pop'. The level of detail on the retina display is just phenomenal, and you can choose which resolution you want it to simulate. The default is essentially 1440x900 with more detail but you can opt for the equivalent of 1680x1050 or 1920x1200 (you can get more flexibility with third party software, for example Pupil which I do recommend as it gives you an option in the menu bar to change the resolution).

Also, quite simply, OS X is a fantastic operating system. Think Linux but software actually exists for it. The notebook is stupidly fast and boots in only a couple of seconds and I suspect the machine is waiting on me more than I am on it.

As someone who develops web applications freelance, Windows just isn't practical to work with without having a Linux virtual machine available. Developing on OS X is much quicker and dare I say it more fun. Everything does just work and Ruby is even pre-installed (although if you're a developer the first thing you'll probably do is install RVM). Funnily enough, even terminal windows look nice.

Essentially if you can afford this laptop - buy it. It's worth every penny, especially at the stupidly low price it has on Amazon. Yes, you probably can buy a Windows laptop for less, but in my experience you're almost always sacrificing something, whether it's the quality of the screen, the specifications or the build quality. That and OS X is, in my opinion, vastly superior to Windows.
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