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Retina

My first thoughts on my first week with a new Retina MacBook Pro

As one of the early adopters of Thunderbolt, I ordered my new Retina MacBook Pro from my friends at Tekserve (NYC) the day after they were announced. With the Retina {Retina-MacBookPro is too much of a mouthful) Apple finally has added a second TB port to the laptop line, something the iMac has had from the beginning and added a HDMI output that allows me to use a Projector or monitor with my laptop and not take up my TB connection.

First off, who here on the Cow does not like a new toy, and opening a new laptop ( or any other new gadget) has always been a point of joy for me. Opening the Retina was no different, but it was. This is the first laptop I have had that ships sans disks, not an issue when the realization that there is no longer any DVD drive in the computer.

Apple tells me that the Retina is a little more than one pound lighter that my first gen TB model, when honestly, it feels like more, I swear it seems to weigh 1/2 what my previous laptop weights and it is considerably thinner, with the entire laptop not even as thick as the bottom half of my 18month old 1st Gen Thunderbolt MacbookPro

The entire Retina MBP on the right is noticeably thinner than just the bottom half of my 1st Gen TB version




OK lets remember a couple of things about this 15in Laptop, the size if beguiling, not having the same screen limitations of the previous 15" models the Retina display supports a stunning 2880 by 1800 px screen resolution. Even though Apple has made it a tad difficult to figure what your actual screen rez is, let me say that the high rez screen requirements of color grading applications like DaVinci Resolve and Autodesk Smoke both work flawlessly on the new machine.

Now that Apple has 2 TB ports on the laptop, most of my connection issues with monitoring via the TB connection have been alleviated, mostly because Apple chose to add a dedicated HDMI output instead of hanging a dongle off the Thunderbolt data pipe. That HDMI connection solved something that has caused grief among those of us that try to use a projector at the same time as a video device like Aja's IoXT or BMD's UltraStudio3.

Handling video content as YPrPb while sending a signal out t would supply the projectors that same YUV signal, even though the projector was expecting RGB, making for some nasty colored images being projected on screen. Now with the HDMI connection I no longer have to retune every projector that I work on to use YPrPb / YUV instead of the RGB default.

OK, so it's lighter, it's faster but what about connectivity, without an ethernet jack or a firewire 800 port, I am stuck with USB3? Well yes and no,
I have a collection of TB adaptors already. Apple just released their TB to Firewire adaptor today, but most of the people I talk to are not bothered by that.

My $150 Sonnet TB to Express card adaptor facilitates most of my connection issues so far in addition to being my main card reader for Sony and Alexa media, having that as a TB device has saved me scad's of worry. Since I have rarely carried a 17" for the express slot, it is not something I have even missed, but I welcome no longer having to move media over USB2.







Now that I can use the entire Thunderbolt architecture to handle data onset, handling data has a totally different attitude.






So far this laptop has been a dream, its lighter and faster than it's predecessors and with the increased speed and functionality from the internal SSD drive, multiple TB connections and lower power consumption Apple's Retina MacBook Pro is by far the best machine available for the portable, power user. Yes I will need to carry multiple connectors and adaptors to make all of this technology work correctly, but that is a small price to pay in the scheme of a lighter faster laptop. And while FCPX has updated graphics supporting the Retina display, there is no doubt in my mind that with the updated Nvidia graphics, that Premier Pro and the Adobe CS6 Suite can truly perform at it's peak on this Mac system.

At last I am finally thinking about ditching my desktops for good, because when I can handle data as fast or faster than I can on my desktops I am finally at piece with that notion.




I do not know about you, but numbers like these are hard to argue with on a laptop.








Posted by: gary adcock on Aug 1, 2012 at 9:05:14 amComments (9) FCPX, Retina



Join industry geek Gary Adcock as he explores the world and technology as it relates to Film and Video production. I am also a Glass artist, so I spend my free time creating art from silica and fire when I am not cooking.


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