Apple MacBook Pro 13in Retina display
Apple has finally revealed its long overdue redesign of the 13in Macbook Pro. With the metal unibody chassis shrinking to a mere shadow of its former self, and a Retina display cramming in more pixels per inch than any laptop we’ve ever seen, Apple has rung the changes for the pint-sized member of its professional range.
The build quality is as impeccable as ever, but doing away with the optical drive has made all the difference. It weighs 1.63kg and measures a dainty 19mm thick, and it’s now more than 400g lighter than the old model. Throw the MagSafe 2 power adapter in your laptop bag, and the total travelling weight comes to a mere 1.88kg.
It’s the 13.3in display that’s the centre of attention, though. The 1,280 x 800 resolution of last year’s model quadruples to a pin-sharp 2,560 x 1,600 pixels, and in terms of raw pixel density, puts the 13in MacBook Pro’s 227ppi display slightly ahead of the 220ppi of the 15in MacBook Pro.
The MacBook Pro 13in makes the most of its Retina display thanks to OS-wide scaling. With the display set to its default Best for Retina setting, desktop elements such as icons and text remain the same size as on the standard model’s 1,280 x 800 resolution panel, but are composed of four times the number of pixels. The extra pixels mean text and icons are delineated with razor sharpness, and the finest detail in high-megapixel photographs is revealed without the need to zoom right in.
Bump the resolution above the Best for Retina setting, however, and the 1,440 x 900 and 1,680 x 1,050 resolution options provide a larger desktop to work with. To keep everything looking crisp, desktop elements are upscaled to four times the set resolution, then scaled back to fit the native 2,560 x 1,600 resolution of the MacBook Pro’s display. Whichever resolution you choose, however, images remain untouched, and are 1:1 pixel-mapped at all times.
Not only the pixel count has improved, though. Colour accuracy is slightly better than last year’s model, with the average Delta E of 3.6 dropping to 2.6, and contrast has gone from 650:1 to an exemplary 999:1. Viewing angles are wide, the panel covers almost the entire sRGB gamut, and thanks to the factory calibration images burst forth with natural-yet-saturated colours. The measured Gamma of 2.33 is on the high side, though, and gives the panel a tendency to crush the very darkest greys into black.