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Review: Apple's 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display

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Retina display


Apple has boasted that the Retina display on its new 13-inch MacBook Pro is the second-highest resolution screen available in a notebook. The highest, of course, is the larger 15-inch variety. The display on the 13-inch model is every bit as good as its larger counterpart, with crisp text and graphics that are pleasing to the eye.

The Retina display has a resolution of 2,560 by 1,600 pixels in a 16:10 aspect ratio. In comparison, Apple's 27-inch Thunderbolt Display has a screen resolution of 2,560 by 1,440 pixels with a 16:9 ratio.


Apple also says the Retina display on its new MacBook Pro has a brightness rating of 300 nits. Thanks to in-plane switching technology, the screen also has an impressive viewing angle of 178 degrees.

Glare has also been greatly reduced on the MacBook Pro display, but not entirely eliminated. The glass screen will still show glare in a brightly lit room, and Apple does not offer a matte option for reducing glare.


Some elements in popular applications like Spotify look still look blurry on the Retina display.

Four months after the debut of the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, there are still a fair number of applications that simply look awful on the high-resolution screen. While some major applications like Google Chrome have since been updated to take advantage of the Retina display, other popular options like Valve's Steam or Mozilla's Firefox Web browser are still awaiting an update.

Retina Display MacBook Pro

Thankfully, Apple's own applications and the OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion operating system are properly Retina-fied. For most uses, the MacBook Pro screen is a joy to look at — but those applications that don't yet support the Retina display continue to stand out.