PROS / The MacBook Pro's Retina display is the most vibrant and colorful display you will find on any laptop.
CONS / The graphics card is a low-level GPU and the base model only has a 256GB hard drive.
VERDICT / This powerful notebook is great for an average gamer, but it lacks the disk space and graphics card to make it top-level gaming laptop.
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The MacBook Pro from Apple is an effective and potent computing device, but it does need some work before it could be considered a high-end gaming laptop. The 650M graphics card is a mid-level video card that lacks the power to run most games on the highest graphics settings. It is, however, a switchable graphics card, which means that it can operate as either an integrated or dedicated GPU, which allows for longer battery life overall. The MacBook Pro's Retina display is the best display on the market and looks great when working with graphics, photo editing and 3D gaming.
Apple utilizes a Nvidia GT 650M graphics card inside the MacBook Pro. This mid-level GPU will run games on lower graphics settings and uses switchable technology. When you watch a high-definition movie or play a graphic-heavy game, the graphics card recognizes the program and triggers the discrete GPU, increasing performance but lowering battery life. When you use the laptop for everyday tasks such as writing an email, editing a spreadsheet and browsing the web, the operating system uses the integrated graphics card. This allows for longer battery life by turning off the discrete GPU when it isn't needed. Regardless, as we said, this graphics card isn't meant for serious gamers.
The 256GB hard drive in the base model is also a drawback. This isn't near enough space these days because music, movie and image files take up such a large portion of your hard drive's storage space. The solid-state hard drive does utilize flash storage, so the computer boots up quickly. Still, we recommend upgrading to at least a 512GB hard disk.
The MacBook Pro has a quad-core Intel i7 processor with speeds up to 3.3GHz using TurboBoost technology. This improves the laptop's ability to run games.
What really makes this a considerable laptop is the display. The Retina display is the best you can find. Apple packs more than 5 million pixels into a 15.4-inch screen, and the newest Retina display reduces glare and maintains fascinating color and image quality. The contrast ratio is also 29 percent higher than a standard MacBook Pro's display, and with its 2880 x 1800 resolution, this screen has the highest resolution of all the laptops we reviewed.
This laptop has two Thunderbolt ports; Thunderbolt is the fastest input/output available. You can use the HDMI port or two USB 3.0 ports to hook up a large number of peripheral devices. It also has an SDXC card slot and Bluetooth connectivity, which is great if you want to use an external keyboard or Bluetooth headphones.
Apple offers great warranties on the device, but technical support comes at an extra charge. If a part goes out on your machine during that time, you can take it to an Apple store to have it replaced quickly and easily. For many MacBook Pro users, this convenience is worth the cost. There is no support email listed on Apple's website, so calling, going to an Apple store or looking at the community forums are your best ways to obtain support.
The MacBook Pro is a laptop with great specs, but it lacks the components that work best with graphic-heavy games, such as a top-of-the-line video card, video memory and a large hard drive. The Retina display and high pixel density make this screen outshine the competition. This gaming laptop is best for moderate gamers who maybe want to do a little picture and video editing on the side.