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Mac Book Pro with Retina Display – Mini Review

New Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display

Today on my Field Trip I got to play with the Mac Book Pro with Retina display at Best Buy and I was impressed with the system, while the extra cost and not so obvious benefit of the Retina display seemed to underwhelmed me.

After looking at the iPad Mini I looked for the Mac Books to see how they were, I didn’t even see any Mac Pro desktops but there was a nice 27″ display sitting there. I skipped over the Mac Airs and found the newer 15″ Mac Book Pro with Retina and I didn’t seem to find any difference between how the display looked with a 15″ Mac Book Pro right next to it. I could see a difference in contrast the Retina seemed to be darker but still easy to use.

As for the upgrade to the system it was very clean, thin and light. It seemed like a system you could just slip in a case and take everywhere you went to have a powerful computer. I also liked how it seems to have no fans or cooling at all. Also the connectors all were located along the back sides of the system making it so no connections would be sticking out in strange places, most PC laptops have USB ports right in front or the power cord on the back, on the Mac Books it was all clean in the back.

The Mac OS was seemed very responsive and loaded programs and switched around fast. I did some testing using the keyboard, it was strange for me because I use an older mechanical keyboard on my desktop when I do most of my typing and a no space plastic keyboard on my older laptop. But the chiclet keys that Apple use are very easy to press but you have to get use to the gaps of aluminum that separate all the keys. I made only 1 or 2 mistakes typing on the keyboard and when I did the OS was able to help me fix the problems very easily in the note application.

While I wasn’t able to test the full power the system was nice and worked well, I liked the quality of the camera built-in and the display was good but I didn’t see any difference. If you are going to buy a Mac Book Pro I may be worth it for the better screen and just the updated system specifications. This makes me want to go Mac but the price is way more than I can afford right now. You can also check out the full specs of these systems on the release article.

Field Trip – iPad Mini, Mac Book Pro Retina, Kindle Fire HD, Nokia Lumia 822

Just took a Field Trip to the Verizon and Best Buy stores after lunch today, I’m going to call these posts Field Trips because I have to go out and play with new tech. Some of the main things I played with at the store were the iPad Mini, MacBook Pro with Retina display, Kindle Fire HD, and Nokia Lumia 822. I also played with some of the ASUS gaming laptops and a dead Samsung Chromebook.

While these aren’t the best settings for playing with them because I could not spend a lot of time playing and they were tethered to the display I did my best just playing with them. I also would like to get some of these in as review units or if some donations come in for a specific product I would review it also.

iPad Mini looks nice and would be a great smaller screen iPad if you don’t already have the newer full size iPad, I wouldn’t think you would need both. Check out the full mini review.

Mac Book Pro with Retina Display is a very powerful laptop computer, and with the higher resolution screen it looked nice but is it going to be worth the extra $500 or so for that nicer screen. I liked how it worked and had the older model side by side and couldn’t see much difference other than the Retina had more contrast, I’m sure more using it from the older model you may see a difference. Read the full mini review for more.

Kindle Fire HD is a good device for consuming Amazon content but it doesn’t seem as powerful as a Nexus 7 that I am use to. More in the mini review.

Nokia Lumia 822 is one of the flagship Windows Phone 8 devices while it has smooth operation and looked good, Windows Phone 8 seemed empty and just lacking in non-core apps even from a display model. See what I saw in the mini review.

Those are the big ones I played with but I did look over some other devices such as the ASUS gaming laptop that had good specs and all the keyboard was kind of clunky and seemed overpriced for what I could get a Mac Book for almost the same specs. I also don’t like Windows 8 all that much on a non-tablet or touch screen.

The Samsung Chromebook was set up kind of off to the side in an under equipped display that only had one left in a box that looked like it was taped closed after being opened at Best Buy I wanted to see it work but the system said click to start but I only got a spinning indicator and even after trying to power cycle it nothing came up so I left not knowing how things will work on that system. Too bad because I wanted to know how the system performed but bad displays will not sell these even with a low price tag.
New Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display

Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13, 11, Lynx, Twist

Lenovo announced the pre-order of four new Windows 8 mobile systems, the IdeaPad Yoga 13, Yoga 11, Lynx, and Twist. The Yoga is a convertible laptop tablet that hinges to fold the keyboard flat with the display going backward, this gives it the ability to be used as a tablet or stand up in interesting ways. This was first seen at CES 2012 and got lots of attention. It will come two sizes at 11.6 inch and 13.3 inches. The big difference between the two is the 13 has an Intel 3rd Generation i7 processor running Windows 8 Pro and it earns being a Ultrabook. Where the 11 runs on a NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor with Windows RT with less battery life and won’t run any old Windows applications because it runs the ARM processor. Full tech specs of the four systems below.

As for the Lynx, it is a low powered Dual Core Intel Atom powered 11.6 inch tablet that runs Windows 8 but has a keyboard that can be attached to transform it into a laptop type computer. They claim that with the 16 hours of batter you can use it all day and also use it for applications like the included Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

The Twist is the only one specifically built for business users, it has an Intel Core i7 processor and is also a Ultrabook running Windows 8 Pro with the option to have 3G data and more storage options. They also make note that it will have a normal ThinkPad keyboard that so many people like to type on if they have a laptop. The display is also a high-definition IPS with multi-touch that twists around so you can use it like a tablet. This would be a good power user laptop if you are looking to get a Windows 8 Pro device.

IdeaPad: Yoga 13 Yoga 11 Lynx Twist
Screen 13.3″ 11.6″ 11.6″ 12.5″
Processor Intel Core i7 NVIDIA Tegra 3 Intel Dual Core Atom Intel Core i7
OS Windows 8 Pro Windows 8 RT Windows 8 Windows 8 Pro
Battery 8 Hours 13 Hours 16 Hours w/ Dock 7 Hours
Storage 256GB SSD 64GB eMMC 64GB eMMC 500GB HDD / 128GB SSD
Ultra Book YES NO NO YES
Price MSRP Starts At $1,099 $799 $649 $849

These specs are if you max out things such as getting the fastest processor or largest SSD, and they only gave prices for the lowest of the spec base systems so the prices will be way different. You can pre-order the Yoga 13 at Best Buy October 12 2012.

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