This machine is a gigantic, high resolution, unibody middle finger to PC makers.
I had time to poke and prod this notebook for about half an hour at a local retailer a few days ago, and the above is pretty much my assessment of the device.
A few words on the — in my eyes — non-issue of repairability:
(1) Only a very very small number of people would ever actually want to attempt it; (2) I don't care that the RAM is soldered to the logic board, because even 8 GB combined with a SSD will be sufficient for very long even for "power users" — forgive the dick quotes, I hate myself; and (3) like with the second generation of the MacBook Air, companies like OWC will probably release alternative SSD modules that fit Apple's home brew interface in the next two months.
Now to the interesting stuff:
I’m not so much impressed by obvious improvements like USB 3, the full flash storage architecture, the insane amount of RAM you can put in them, the faster SSDs, or the dual Thunderbolt ports. These are pretty sweet, though, and make me wonder just how many displays this thing can drive simultaneously :)
What I am impressed with is the amount of effort Apple put into making this machine what it is.
- Exhibit 1:
The retina display. Many people expected this, still, 2880 by 1800 pixels is simply incredible for a 15.4“ notebook panel. From what I’ve read, Sharp builds them and I’d love to know for just how long Apple has reserved — read: bought-up — all production capabilites for this component.
- Exhibit 2:
Cooling vents that not only serve to let cool air get into the device, but also work as stiffening elements for the body of the notebook; making it even more robust without making it heavier and thicker.
- Exhibit 3:
Fans with asymmetrically spaced blades and an improved airflow architecture that reduces noise. I would've suspected that this was born out of necessity, because the internal components needed to deliver the level of performance the new MacBook Pro offers, are going to produce a lot of excess heat. But accounts by Jim Dalrymple and others suggest that it's very hard to get the notebook to even audibly spin up the fans, let alone become warm.
- Exhibit 4:
The battery. Not only has this machine enough juice to run for seven hours, depite its power hungry innards — due to past experiences I believe Apple doesn’t overstate this number — it's also packed neatly and symetrically into the notebook and at the front of the casing, probaly giving it a nice centroid, comparable to a Lotus Elise ;)
Not even a day after the announcement of the machine, I’ve seen reports by blithering idiots, neckbeards, trolls and New Media Douchebags deriding the new machine for being;
- Made by Apple — which is bad because Apple is _evil!_
- Too expensive — GAAAH! Apple TAX! GAAAH!
- A disappointment, because it doesn’t have feature X, Y & Z.
- Not trumping every weird-ass gamer laptop on the planet based on specs.
To all of these numbnuts I say this: I triple dog dare you to find me a laptop that;
- is built half as well — we’re going to figure out how to quantify this
- has the same or a better display,
- as well as proper OS and application support for the insane resolution,
- has the same or a better runtime on one charge,
- and compares well on the remaining specifications.
All for the same or a lower price in the coming six months — hell, I’d be willing to give you a year. If you can manage this, I’m going to bake you cookies, write „Apple sux!“ on them and send them to you.