New 15" MBP: retina display

Pelao

All-Pro
Location
Ontario, Canada
Real Name
Stephen
Same as the MBA.

My guess is that the Retina display will always be glossy only, but I hope not. Just as we'll probably never see a matte iPad.

If you get a chance, have a look at one in person. It is glossy, but significantly less so than previous models. It's built differently, and has fewer layers of glass.

I find the article Amin quotes kind of funny in its premise. The writer comments on the lengths Apple will go to in order to prevent tinkering. Yet for any of the current MacBooks, it takes only a few moments to swop drives or add RAM. Just look at what Kyteflyer is considering.

The writer should watch the keynote introducing the Retina MBP. In order to achieve its size and weight goals, they had to start from scratch and re-engineer. The writer implies that using proprietary parts is a bad thing - but without doing so the machine could not exist. It's an example of Apple pushing boundaries. For some people, not being able to open, fiddle or change things is important, and so this machine is not for them. But most buy one for 3 - 4 years of use and then upgrade, so it's fine. Apple didn't close it to keep people out, but in order to make it possible.
 

Amin

Hall of Famer
I find the article Amin quotes kind of funny in its premise... The writer implies that using proprietary parts is a bad thing - but without doing so the machine could not exist. It's an example of Apple pushing boundaries. For some people, not being able to open, fiddle or change things is important, and so this machine is not for them. But most buy one for 3 - 4 years of use and then upgrade, so it's fine. Apple didn't close it to keep people out, but in order to make it possible.

I think you answered your own criticism of the article being "funny". The author of that article isn't saying that the relative lack of ability to tinker or upgrade makes the MBP-RD a bad choice for most people. He said the response has been "overwhelmingly positive" but that "
Apple has instituted a number of design features that are likely to peeve some power users off, especially those who enjoy tinkering with their machines". I think that's fair to say.

We all realize that Apple makes these design decisions in order to realize their vision of the most perfect product and user experience possible with the latest technology. However, some of us want different things than Apple wants for us, or we place a high value on the ability to tinker, upgrade, and change. I would rather be able to swap in another battery on the fly than have a seamless, thinner body. I'd rather know that I'll be able to change out to a larger SSD next year without worrying about whether I'll be able to find a nonstandard drive than have a thinner laptop. I'd rather have the option to upgrade RAM later than have a slimmer body now.

My Thinkpad W520 is considerably thicker than the MBP-RP and has a large power brick. Neither of those bother me. It cost me $100 to upgrade from 4GB to 16GB of RAM, and if I ever want to plunk for 32GB, there are 4 easily-accessible DIMM slots waiting for me to snap in some 8GB DIMMs. I can put an mSATA SSD for the OS/apps in the
PCI-E WWAN slot, pop out the DVD burner with the push of a button, and RAID two hard drives (the primary HDD and a HDD popped in where the DVD burner used to be) for a total of three drives (SSD plus two HDD in RAID). Everything can be changed - the keyboard too pops off if needed, and the entire modular design is such that your can pour a glass of water straight through the keyboard, and it will channel out of a hole in the bottom of the laptop without damaging any internal components. If I get stuck on a long trip without time to charge and the high capacity battery goes, I have another one in the bag to snap right in. The same laptop has a 15" matte 1900 x 1080 high gamut display - one of several display choices which suited me.

My 2008 15" MacBook Pro was a terrific performer until the battery could barely hold a charge anymore in 2011. At that point, I bought a new battery for under $100, and some new owner has been enjoying it ever since. Now likely Apple will be willing to do those swaps for future MBP-RD owners, but I'd strongly prefer to do it myself.

Here's the bottom line from the iFixit teardown:

Step 22


  • MacBook Pro with Retina Display 15" Mid 2012 Repairability Score: 1 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair).

  • Proprietary pentalobe screws prevent you from gaining access to anything inside.

  • As in the MacBook Air, the RAM is soldered to the logic board. Max out at 16GB now, or forever hold your peace—you can't upgrade.

  • The proprietary SSD isn't upgradeable either (yet), as it is similar but not identical to the one in the Air. It is a separate daughtercard, and we’re hopeful we can offer an upgrade in the near future.

  • The lithium-polymer battery is glued rather than screwed into the case, which increases the chances that it'll break during disassembly. The battery also covers the trackpad cable, which tremendously increases the chance that the user will shear the cable in the battery removal process.

  • The display assembly is completely fused, and there’s no glass protecting it. If anything ever fails inside the display, you will need to replace the entire extremely expensive assembly.
To conclude, I know most people buy a laptop and never upgrade it. Many are happy to change laptops every 2-3 years, and most will love what Apple has been able to create here. I like to tinker and upgrade. It's all part of the fun for me, and it's one of the reasons I love the Mac Pro and am looking forward to the 2013 long-overdue revision of that line. I bought the very first Intel Mac Pro, and the internal design of that computer is genius. The first time I watched someone pull out the drive trays and slide them back in without any wires, etc, I was sold. Pretty much everything I like about the Mac Pro is a turnoff about the MBP-RP.
 

Andrewteee

All-Pro
If you get a chance, have a look at one in person. It is glossy, but significantly less so than previous models. It's built differently, and has fewer layers of glass.

I should not go see one in person... very dangerous :eek:

I find the article Amin quotes kind of funny in its premise. The writer comments on the lengths Apple will go to in order to prevent tinkering.

I read an editorial that some of the naysayers are people who's businesses it is to sell after market parts for the current MBPs, and the new MBPs take away some of that business. Also, they equate the new MBPs to today's cars vs cars made 10, 20 or more years ago. Today's cars are far less self-servicable by car owners; they require much more expertise to work on.

In all the years that I've owned various MBPs I've only "tinkered" once, installing more RAM. In most cases I buy a fully loaded machine anyway to provide room for growth. I used to have a Mac Pro and did a lot of tinkering with that, but it is made for tinkering.

The "original" MBP is still available for those who want a machine they can tinker with. But most consumers are probably in love with the idea of an "iPad on steroids."
 

Pelao

All-Pro
Location
Ontario, Canada
Real Name
Stephen
I think you answered your own criticism of the article being "funny". The author of that article isn't saying that the relative lack of ability to tinker or upgrade makes the MBP-RD a bad choice for most people. He said the response has been "overwhelmingly positive" but that "
Apple has instituted a number of design features that are likely to peeve some power users off, especially those who enjoy tinkering with their machines". I think that's fair to say.

We all realize that Apple makes these design decisions in order to realize their vision of the most perfect product and user experience possible with the latest technology. However, some of us want different things than Apple wants for us, or we place a high value on the ability to tinker, upgrade, and change. I would rather be able to swap in another battery on the fly than have a seamless, thinner body. I'd rather know that I'll be able to change out to a larger SSD next year without worrying about whether I'll be able to find a nonstandard drive than have a thinner laptop. I'd rather have the option to upgrade RAM later than have a slimmer body now.

My Thinkpad W520 is considerably thicker than the MBP-RP and has a large power brick. Neither of those bother me. It cost me $100 to upgrade from 4GB to 16GB of RAM, and if I ever want to plunk for 32GB, there are 4 easily-accessible DIMM slots waiting for me to snap in some 8GB DIMMs. I can put an mSATA SSD for the OS/apps in the
PCI-E WWAN slot, pop out the DVD burner with the push of a button, and RAID two hard drives (the primary HDD and a HDD popped in where the DVD burner used to be) for a total of three drives (SSD plus two HDD in RAID). Everything can be changed - the keyboard too pops off if needed, and the entire modular design is such that your can pour a glass of water straight through the keyboard, and it will channel out of a hole in the bottom of the laptop without damaging any internal components. If I get stuck on a long trip without time to charge and the high capacity battery goes, I have another one in the bag to snap right in. The same laptop has a 15" matte 1900 x 1080 high gamut display - one of several display choices which suited me.

My 2008 15" MacBook Pro was a terrific performer until the battery could barely hold a charge anymore in 2011. At that point, I bought a new battery for under $100, and some new owner has been enjoying it ever since. Now likely Apple will be willing to do those swaps for future MBP-RD owners, but I'd strongly prefer to do it myself.

Here's the bottom line from the iFixit teardown:

Step 22


  • MacBook Pro with Retina Display 15" Mid 2012 Repairability Score: 1 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair).

  • Proprietary pentalobe screws prevent you from gaining access to anything inside.

  • As in the MacBook Air, the RAM is soldered to the logic board. Max out at 16GB now, or forever hold your peace—you can't upgrade.

  • The proprietary SSD isn't upgradeable either (yet), as it is similar but not identical to the one in the Air. It is a separate daughtercard, and we’re hopeful we can offer an upgrade in the near future.

  • The lithium-polymer battery is glued rather than screwed into the case, which increases the chances that it'll break during disassembly. The battery also covers the trackpad cable, which tremendously increases the chance that the user will shear the cable in the battery removal process.

  • The display assembly is completely fused, and there’s no glass protecting it. If anything ever fails inside the display, you will need to replace the entire extremely expensive assembly.
To conclude, I know most people buy a laptop and never upgrade it. Many are happy to change laptops every 2-3 years, and most will love what Apple has been able to create here. I like to tinker and upgrade. It's all part of the fun for me, and it's one of the reasons I love the Mac Pro and am looking forward to the 2013 long-overdue revision of that line. I bought the very first Intel Mac Pro, and the internal design of that computer is genius. The first time I watched someone pull out the drive trays and slide them back in without any wires, etc, I was sold. Pretty much everything I like about the Mac Pro is a turnoff about the MBP-RP.

And all fair points for those like to tinker. I generally don't, though I have added RAM and a larger HDD to my kid's MacBook.

I do think though that the iFixit information is out of context or poorly stated. They rate the machine as low for repairability. In fact, the rating refers more to repairability by the user. An actual repair by a qualified technician is something they can't know; they don't have access to Apple's methods etc.

I have a Mac notebook which is fine for most of my work. I'm most looking forward to the next generation iMacs and Mac Pros for my photography. No rush though; my 2009 Mac Pro is doing just fine.

Right now my priority is a new camera.
 

stratokaster

Top Veteran
Location
Kiev, Ukraine
Real Name
Pavel
While initially I wanted to buy the new MBP with retina display, I think I won't buy it after all.

My previous 13-inch Aluminum MacBook (made in 2008) had multiple failures during its 3-year tenure, including:

1) Failed trackpad.

2) Failed RAM.

3) Failed battery.

Because that laptop was serviceable, I was able to continue to use it without paying over $900 for a new motherboard or $700 for a complete upper case assembly. Now if anything inside the new MBP fails outside of the warranty period, you're left with a very expensive paperweight.

In the US of Europe you can simply buy Apple Care. Unfortunately, Apple doesn't offer Apple Care where I live. This makes the new MBP very unpractical for people who expect to use $3000 laptop for more than a year.
 

stratokaster

Top Veteran
Location
Kiev, Ukraine
Real Name
Pavel
I do think though that the iFixit information is out of context or poorly stated. They rate the machine as low for repairability. In fact, the rating refers more to repairability by the user. An actual repair by a qualified technician is something they can't know; they don't have access to Apple's methods etc.

A friend of mine works at an Apple Authorized Service Provider. They repair laptops by replacing whole parts. For example, if something on your motherboard fails, they replace the whole motherboard; if your display fails, they replace the complete display assembly. This is cool if your machine is under warranty, but if something (for example, a single memory chip) fails outside of warranty, you will have to buy a $900 motherboard instead of a $40 memory module.
 

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