Apple MacBook Pro with Retina review

Benchmarks and hands-on experience

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Audio

Apple also paid a lot of attention to the sound of the MacBook Pro. The two integrated mics include noise suppression, which should optimise the quality of your voice in FaceTime and other videoconferencing software. The fans have a unique design as well. The fan blades are angled differently, which Apple claims creates a less annoying hum. In practice it does seem to work, as the laptop had to work quite hard during our tests and the active cooling was in use.

Apple MacBook Pro Retina (MC976N/A)
The cooling and extra speakers are located between the display and keyboard.

The sound the laptop makes with the active cooling on, reminds us of a type of white noise. It's there, but it's less bothersome than most other laptops. The design of the cooler is a bit different than you see on most laptops and most of it is located in the back, against the screen. There are large ventilation holes between the screen and the keyboard. The edge just above the keyboard can get quite warm when the laptop is in heavy use. The underside of the MacBook Pro with Retina can also get warm, which is understandable considering the powerful hardware inside.

Apple MacBook Pro Retina (MC976N/A)
The MacBook Pro has two integrated microphones.

The speakers received some extra attention from Apple. Of course the sound from integrated laptop speakers will never rival that of separate speakers, but the MacBook Pro sounds quite good compared to most other laptops. Interestingly, Apple's laptop struggles with playing back certain types of music. Since Adele's music is often used in demonstrations, we listened to her songs on the MacBook Pro, and noticed that the guitar sound caused crackling.

The keyboard on the MacBook Pro has a nice feel to it. The touch is typically Apple, and resembles the keyboards of previous models. You can choose between different lay-outs; English, English International or US. The large touchpad works very smoothly, thanks to its glass finish.


Compare

two products discussed in this review

  Product Lowest price

Apple MacBook Pro Retina (MC975N/A)

Laptop, Intel Core i7 3615QM, 8 GB, 15.4 inch, 2880x1800, Nvidia GeForce GT 650M, 256 GB, Mac OS

Specifications

Apple MacBook Pro Retina (MC976N/A)

Laptop, Intel Core i7 3720QM, 8 GB, 15.4 inch, 2880x1800, Nvidia GeForce GT 650M, 512 GB, Mac OS

Specifications Test results Reviews

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