Well, here's the thing, and perhaps you can help me. I am in search of a new laptop. In fact, I've been in search of a laptop for some time now, and I refrained myself from buying one due to some reasons. I don't need a laptop now, and I probably won't need a new laptop in the next few years, but I want one, as I feel the ones I've got don't entirely satisfy my needs. Let me explain my situation and perhaps you can help me. I bought a white MacBook in May 2008. It was powered by a 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo "Penryn" T8300 processor, 2 GB RAM, a 160 GB HD, and it had integrated graphics (the crappy Intel GMA X3100). I would have bought a more powerful Mac, but the fact is that I live in Brazil and prices here are out of this world: this one already costed me US$ 2,300 (it was listed for US$ 1,099 in the U.S.) and I couldn't afford a more expensive Mac. It was a high-end laptop for Brazilian standards (most laptops here run on Celerons to keep prices down), although it was one of the lower-end Macs. There were several things I liked about this particular laptop: the design: it was clearly well-designed; not only beautiful, but functional and practical; the ergonomics: perhaps because of the good design, it was a practical laptop with everything at hand; the build quality: it felt solid, with no crappy parts; the keyboard: it felt very comfortable to type on, with soft keys and good tactile feedback; the trackpad: it was nice, although not capable of multi-touch; the webcam: it had good quality; the weight: at about 2.2 kg (5 lbs), it was light at the time; the temperature: it did not run too hot; and the battery life: it was OK for the standards of the time. There were, of course, several things I disliked about it: the screen resolution: at 1280x800, it was low for my needs, especially due to the fact that I like working with several windows side-by-side; the video card: when I needed it, it didn't deliver; tried to plug an external 1680x1050 monitor, and it was lagging; tried to play any non-demanding games, and it was not capable of driving anything more than the lowest detail quality; the HD: at 5400 RPM, it was slow, so slow... (in addition to the fact that it also had low storage space); and ports: only two USB ports, and side-by-side. In a few years, the laptop showed its limitations, perhaps faster than I would have liked. The processor was not able to deliver what I wanted, the RAM was too low, and the HD speed became particularly annoying. I wanted good performance, and the Mac was not able to provide it. So, I decided to buy another laptop, a more powerful one, and which would fit my needs. A 15-inch MacBook Pro would be very expensive and would run me more than US$ 5,000, and it wouldn't solve all my problems. Then, in the beginning of 2011, after reasearching a lot, I bought a custom Sager NP5160, a beast equipped with the then brand new 2.2 GHz Core i7-2720QM "Sandy Bridge" processor, 8 GB RAM DDR3, a 500 GB HD at 7200 RPM hybrid with 4 GB SSD, and an NVIDIA GT 540M video card. It run me about US$ 2,700. After two years with this laptop, I have to come to the conclusion that it doesn't fit my needs either. Of course there were things that I liked about it, as follows: the performance: with a quad-core processor, a dedicated video card and 8 GB RAM, it is a beast; the screen: with a 1920x1080 resolution and good brightness, it provides much more work space than the cramped screen of the MacBook, and I don't mind the small fonts. There were also things I didn't like about it, and coincidentally they were pretty much the same ones I liked about the MacBook: the design: not well thought; the build quality: felt plasticky, with loose parts; the keyboard: felt plasticky and crappy, although with a good tactile feedback; the trackpad: very crappy, and nearly unusable; the webcam: too dark, poor quality; the weight: it's big and heavy, weighing 2.6kg (5.7 lbs); the temperature: oh, it runs hot, being nearly unusable here during the Summer (I begin to sweat when I am near it); the battery life: very poor, I can get about 2-3 hours and that's it; ports: four USB ports, but they don't work all the time (sometimes one or two only are working); the HD: faster than the one in the MacBook, but still slow. So, the MacBook had good design and felt nice, with good quality components, but I can't get productivity out of it due to the lack of performance and the low screen resolution. The Sager has a good performance and screen, but the design is bad and parts are crap. These two laptops have serious compromises for my work. Will I take my MacBook and failing to be as productive, or my Sager, and having to carry this heavy thing around? That's why I am in search of a laptop with no compromises. Fast, well designed, well built, light, cool, and with good parts. I am very picky. If there are drawbacks or bottlenecks, believe me, I will find them, and they will annoy me during the laptop's lifetime. Fortunately, I am willing to spend more than I've spent on my previous laptops, so my range of choices is wider. I don't want only to merge the good things of the MacBook and of the Sager. There are some things that I want that were not available at the time: SSD: never buying another machine with an HD again, after I found out the wonders of SSD; IPS display: never going to stick with TN displays again; 1920x1080 is the minimum resolution I would accept; battery life: should be really good for a whole day of work. Yes, picky. Another little thing: I will run Windows on it, at least as my primary operating system. I know the wonders of OS X, and it is really great, but I have to say that I succumbed to Windows 8. Microsoft did a great job there, in my view: it's just a matter of installing Start8 and getting rid of the Metro interface. In addition, Microsoft Office for Windows is perhaps the last killer app around. I've installed the 2013 version and I am amazed at how good it is. It fits all my productive needs, and I guess I wouldn't need much more software than it. And there is no parallel for OS X. I found Office 2011 for Mac crappy and annoying; iWork doesn't get a substantial update in four years and it lacks features compared to Office; and even the alternative word processors (such as Nisus Writer Pro or Mellel), good as they are, are not fully compatible with Microsoft Word, which is a requirement for collaboration. So, I have to stick with Microsoft Windows, and I see no reason to not do so, since I've found Windows 8 to be a pretty good operating system. I may even say that I like Windows and OS X equally, but, Office weighs a lot in favor of Windows, so I am definitely not able to get rid of it. My use nowadays is basically Internet browsing, watching videos on YouTube, checking e-mails, and using Office applications, mainly Word, Powerpoint and OneNote, and sometimes Excel. Some reference managers and OCR applications help some of the times. If I ever need to edit photos (which I usually don't), some basic free program, or GIMP, may be able to handle my needs. I may do some desktop publishing for fun only, but I've not done that in ages. No video edition. I don't plan to play games, unless a new Monkey Island is released. Pretty basic stuff these days, but I am still a power user and I want a pretty high end machine. As I want to run Windows, I investigated the available options which could fit my needs and I came up with the usual suspects: Acer Aspire S7: the keyboard lacks key travel, and the battery life is reportedly low; Acer Iconia Tab W700: good, but I'm not sure if the tablet form meets my expectations; Asus Zenbook Prime: good, but I am afraid the keyboard might not be good enough, and the trackpad is lacking, for what I've read; Asus U500: looks heavy and expensive; Asus Taichi: I think I prefer the Zenbook over it; Asus Transformer Book: looks good, but a little bit on the heavy side; Dell XPS 12: I don't know if it works as a tablet to justify the extra weight; Dell XPS 13 (with 1080p display): looks nice, but I've read complains about the trackpad; Microsoft Surface Pro: looks good, but battery life is lacking and the keyboard (even the Type Cover) is far from perfect; Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga: looks nice, but I found the screen resolution (1600x900) to be low for my needs; Lenovo ThinkPad Helix: looks good, but I haven't seen any reviews yet; Samsung Series 7 Ultra: good, but haven't seen any reviews yet; Samsung Series 9: screen resolution of only 1600x900 spoil it; Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T: looks good, but I'm not sure about the tablet form; Sony Vaio Z: good but expensive; TN screen and lacking keyboard; Sony Vaio S 13-inch: I don't like the TN screen and low resolution (1600x900); Sony Vaio S 15-inch: good, but battery life looks lacking; Sony Vaio Duo 11: keyboard is crap. All of them could fit my needs, but I'm concerned about build quality and some components that may be of low quality. In addition, none of the screens offer a resolution higher than 1920x1080, and I could benefit from that. I am also unsure about the performance of an ultra-low voltage processor; if I could choose, I would go for the standard-voltage. All that brings me to the retina MacBook Pro. The MacBook Air wouldn't be satisfactory mainly due to the screen (besides being TN, a 1440x900 resolution is not good enough for my needs), so I am not even considering it. If I would buy a Mac, it would have to be a retina MacBook Pro. I've restrained myself from actually buying one due to some reasons: (i) it primarily runs OS X, and not Windows; (ii) it is very expensive (in Brazil, the 15-inch was launched for US$ 5,000 as the base model); (iii) I had issues about the screen (Samsung vs. LG - does it really make a difference) and about the GPU performance on the retina screen); and (iv) I thought Haswell would bring benefits that would make it worth the wait. Now, as of yesterday, Apple dropped the price of the 13-inch MacBook Pro with retina display, making it more affordable, so one of the reasons I was avoiding it doesn't exist anymore. Here in Brazil, the base model costs US$ 3,000 now, and the higher-end model costs US$ 3,500. Still expensive, but I could afford that. Haswell is behind the schedule, and I was not able to see any laptop in the beginning of 2013 as I was expecting. And, due to the announcement yesterday, I don't know if Apple is going to upgrade this laptop in June, when Haswell launches. I'll be in New York in June (until late June), and I'll have the chance to buy this laptop for US$ 1,499 or US$ 1,699, but it will presumably come with Ivy Bridge. I could wait for Haswell to be released, but then I would have to pay US$ 3,000 or 3,500 charged by Apple here in Brazil if it doesn't get released by the time I am in New York. So, I have some questions, especially to the ones that already have a 13-inch retina MacBook Pro (or even the 15-inch). I would benefit from the real estate of the 15-inch, but I think I would go with the 13-inch for reasons such as the price, the weight and the size to carry it every day. Sorry for the long post, but you should understand that I am investigating a lot this issue because (i) laptops here are really expensive and I can't afford to choose the wrong one; (ii) I've made already two purchases in the last 5 years that didn't fit my needs entirely; and (iii) the market for used laptops here in Brazil is not really developed, and I don't know if I would be able to sell it for a reasonable price if I find out it is not the right choice. So, here are my questions: 1. Is the 2.5 GHz processor much faster than an ULV Ivy Bridge? 2. Does the 13-inch retina MacBook Pro heat a lot? How is the temperature under heavy usage? 3. Does the integrated video card handle the retina resolutions well? Is there any lag in any situation? What if I choose to connect external monitors to it? 4. Is 128 GB SSD too small for both OS X and Windows? 5. How does Windows run on a retina MacBook Pro? Are drivers optimized? How does it handle the screen? How is the multi-touch trackpad on Windows 8? Apart from the lack of a touch screen, are there any other differences between using Windows under an ultrabook and under a 13-inch retina MacBook Pro? 6. Is Windows under Parallels really fast? How fast? 7. How is the keyboard? I guess it has less travel than the non-retina model, but is it as pleasant to type on? How does it compare to Windows ultrabooks? 8. How is battery life under Windows? 9. How is it to use as the main computer, in everyday usage? Would it replace a desktop? 10. Are there any issues that you only found out after you bought it? (that happens a lot with me) 11. Do you regret buying it for any reason? 12. Do you think that the 13-inch retina MacBook Pro is adequate for my needs, given my requirements? Or would you choose another laptop if you were in my position? 13. In your opinion, does it make sense to wait for Haswell, given my situation? Will Haswell bring so important benefits to battery life in the category of processors that equip the 13-inch model? 14. Does it even make sense to buy an expensive Mac laptop to run Windows? Thank you for your help. Much appreciated.