The story about the regular MacBook Pro's display is more about what it isn't (game changing) because we already know what it is (very competent). As always, the display is a very high quality one, essentially the same as the previous 3 years of MacBook Pros and testing very similarly to the other 15" MacBook Pros we've reviewed over the last few years. Our evaluation unit had the base 1440x900 display, though I'd have preferred the matte WSXGA+ panel. The higher resolution is nice to have, and with the matte screen finish, it was one of my absolute favourite notebook displays.

LCD Analysis - White

LCD Analysis - Black

LCD Analysis - Contrast

LCD Analysis - Color Gamut

In terms of display performance, the 2012 MBP matches up very close to the 2011 and 2010 models, with very good contrast ratio and colour reproduction. But that’s the thing with the regular 2012 MBP – it’s just like the 2011 and 2010 MBPs, just updated to IVB/Kepler. 

The real story here is about what you’re giving up. After using an rMBP, it's actually a little bit difficult to go back to a normal MBP display. I mean, this is by far the biggest differentiating factor between the two, and if you’re looking for a solid reason to put the money down for a Retina, this is it. The normal MBP has a good display, a very good display if you go for the matte high-res option, but the Retina MBP display is just on a completely different level. Like the new iPad, the resolution difference doesn’t add to the screen real estate so much as allowing for a vastly improved UX with higher resolution UI elements and better text rendering. It’s difficult to quantify, and it’s easy to dismiss on the surface, but when you actually use a super high-res panel for a prolonged amount of time, you understand the difference it makes. Obviously, there are still some bugs, and it’ll take probably one full development cycle for most applications to be updated to Retina-spec textures and UI elements, but that is all to be expected in a radical shift such as this. If you’re comfortable sticking to the tried-and-true MBP display, it’s not a bad way to go, but I’d advise you to use a Retina MBP before making a decision to go one way or the other. 

Performance and Battery Life - Ivy Bridge and Kepler At Work. The 13" MacBook Pro - What Now?
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  • dagamer34 - Thursday, July 19, 2012 - link

    There is no scaling hardware in the rMBP. Apple instead uses custom software scaling algorithms. Did you really read Anand's review?

    Regardless, with a Mac, you are basically paying for support up front in the form of stores where you can easily get your Mac serviced, and if it's badly screwed up, totally replaced.
  • Sunburn74 - Friday, July 20, 2012 - link

    If thats true, how come with every windows laptop, anand is sure to include little macbook and macbook air jabs here and there?
  • robco - Friday, July 20, 2012 - link

    Most likely be cause Apple sweats the details in their designs while others don't. If they can't get something adequate for their goals off the shelf, they design their own. I've yet to see a review of an ultrabook where it manages to have a good display, good keyboard, solid build quality and, the big one - a trackpad that works well. Yet the MacBook Air hits all these points. The panel is decent (not the very best, but good), the keyboard is great to type on and backlit, the unibody design is solid and the multitouch trackpad works great. Battery life is also very good.

    I think it's the frustration that other companies are either unwilling or unable to design laptops with the same level of care and attention to detail. Apple provides a very good end-to-end consumer experience. It's a shame that so far few have come close to matching it.
  • Sunburn74 - Saturday, July 21, 2012 - link

    No what I'm saying is, if anand truly believes there is no cross shopping between apple and windows machines, why with every windows machine review he has little jabs about how they pale compared to apple and he throws in an obligatory "you can buythis machine but for more money you can just buy apple", but with apple reviews he fails to mention that windows machines exist at all.

    You can't play both sides of the field at once.
  • seanleeforever - Thursday, August 2, 2012 - link

    because Anand is a Mac lover (i think he made similar statement in one of his apple product review) and as such, he felt obligated to point out how inferior other PC manufacture is in comparison.

    it is like, when you describe how smart a monkey is, you always list a human as a reference, but you never do the other way around.

    Me, on the other hand, don't care crap about apples' product. it is too limiting and i think OSX is (at least to me) less functional than windows, which fits college girl perfectly since all they do is facebook and youtube, and you don't have to worry as much when clicking randomly ads or fancy icon on the web.

    i have yet to see a serious programmer use mac. just saying.
  • mavere - Thursday, July 19, 2012 - link

    Considering that only Apple laptops can legitly run OSX, it means that if you're in the market for a Macbook, you're pretty much *only* in the market for a Macbook.

    The sparse comparisons to other Macbooks were warranted in context of a barely upgraded product, and the review even ends in an anti-endorsement!

    Honestly, you're just complaining because you have preconceived notions of the brand, and are just upset (for some reason) that the reviewer didn't build up on those biases, even if he didn't refute them at all.
  • Sunburn74 - Friday, July 20, 2012 - link

    Not really. There are plenty of people who consider both macs and windows. I consider myself in that category. I'm willing to switch to a macbook air if the price is right, OS regardless. However, I just don't see why I should suffer through an OS switch at those prices compared to what comparable windows machines offer.

    But thats just the thing: when guys like us who have no problem putting bootcamp on say an iMac or something, or having 2 or 3 oses, or dare I say run linux if our mood so fits us read reviews like this, we get no actual information other than "drool anand loves macs... buy one....drool some more".

    How about some objectivity? Some comparisons for people who could buy a macbook pro or could end up going with a nice high end sony vaio or something.
  • ggathagan - Friday, July 20, 2012 - link

    But that has been done to death in so many other articles, it ends up with the reviewer essentially beating a dead horse.

    Seriously, do you really need the reviewer to state for the umpteenth time that if you are platform-neutral, you tend to get better value from a non-Apple product; that you pay extra for the Apple name and look?
  • Krane1 - Sunday, August 12, 2012 - link

    I doubt that. Maybe one half of 1%. Other than that, you either buy foreign or domestic
  • ananduser - Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - link

    I am eagerly awaiting for the MBP 13" review.

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