After a month of using Apple’s Retina MacBook, I’m finally able to offer a well thought out review. Full disclosure: I’ve been an Apple user and fan most of my life. From using Apple IIs in elementary school and using Power Mac G4s to edit video in high school, to editing professional audio productions on the new Retina MacBook, I’ve always enjoyed using a Mac. I moved to the Retina MacBook from an early 2014 13-inch MacBook Air. The main reason for the upgrade was extra storage space (the MacBook Air had 128 GB of flash storage, while the Retina MacBook has 256 GB). Before my purchase, I was initially concerned about two areas: screen size and processing power. I’m happy to say, I’ve been pleasantly surprised on both fronts. The Retina MacBook comes in three finishes: Silver, Gold, and Space Gray. I found a great open-box deal on a Space Gray version. The computer is extremely light and portable; it’s only 2 lbs. and fits well on an airline tray table. Even though the screen size is 12-inches instead of the 13 I was used to on my MacBook Air, because it features Apple’s higher-resolution “Retina” display I haven’t really noticed the difference. If anything I’d say that the Retina MacBook’s display is actually clearer and easier to see and use on a daily basis. It helps that in the “Displays” section of the System Preferences you have the option to scale the display for “Default” resolution, “Larger Text”, or “More Space”. I was able to personalize the display to my liking. The display itself is, of course gorgeous, replicating colors precisely and allowing you to view high resolution imagery in most all of it’s grandeur. As far as processing power goes, even though my particular computer only sports a 1.1 GHz dual-core Intel Core M processor and 8GB of 1600MHZ LPDDR3 memory, it runs just as quick as the MacBook Air, if not faster for some tasks. Of course it will load webpages, play videos & music, gather email, and build spreadsheets without any problems, but it also handles Adobe Audition CC and multiple tracks of processed audio without any delay or stuttering in playback at all. The newly designed keyboard that Apple is using for the Retina MacBook definitely feels different from the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, but that’s a good thing. After only a day of use, I became just as fast, if not faster when typing than I was on the MacBook Air. Now, when I do use an older keyboard, it doesn't feel as nice to my fingers. The new Force Touch trackpad took a little getting used to. The first thing I always do with any trackpad is turn off “Tap to click”. That feature has always driven me nuts. The new Force Touch trackpad isn’t a conventional trackpad, it’s actually a single piece of textured glass. So instead of pressing on the bottom portion of the trackpad to “click” as you would before, now you can press anywhere on the trackpad. It also features Apple’s Force Touch features which let you press just a little bit harder to access special features. For instance, you can Force Touch on almost any word anywhere, and the system will define the word for you. I’m anxious to see what other things Force Touch can be configured to do in the future. The Force Touch trackpad is also unique in that it simulates the vibration your fingers would normally feel from a traditional trackpad. When you “click” on the trackpad, it actually vibrates, similar to an Apple Watch, to let you know that you have in fact “clicked” on something on-screen. You can also turn this feature off, which really provides a different user experience versus a traditional trackpad. Because the overall size of the chassis of the computer is smaller (since it’s only a 12-inch screen) I’ve found that for my hands, prolonged use of the Force Touch trackpad eventually causes my thumbs to ache. I much prefer using my Bluetooth Apple Magic Mouse for navigation. The computer is equipped with stereo speakers and while they don’t provide much frequency response (especially at the low end) they actually sound better than the speakers in the MacBook Air. The FaceTime camera built-in to the screen’s bezel is only 480p, which is actually a downgrade from other Apple portables. While this doesn’t negatively affect me, users who participate in video conferences regularly may be annoyed by the quality difference. One of the most-touted features of the Retina MacBook is how thin the whole computer is. To do this, Apple reduced the number of ports on the computer to just two: a 3.5 mm headphone jack, and a USB-C connector that serves as both an interface for USB devices, and a way to provide power to the computer. Unfortunately, this means that the Retina MacBook does not use a MagSafe 2 Power Adapter like all of the other Apple portables. Although I haven’t experienced any wire trips yet, I miss the confidence of knowing that tripping over a power cord didn’t necessarily mean that my computer would end up on the floor. I was initially worried about the lack of traditional USB ports. While at the office I have the option to print and scan wirelessly, however for some reason the printer I utilize the most seems to run faster when I am hardwired. I found a solution by purchasing a third-party USB-C hub that features three USB ports and a USB-C port for passing through power from the Retina MacBook’s power adapter. Speaking of power, I have noticed a large difference between the battery life of the MacBook Air VS. the Retina MacBook. With the MacBook Air I would get over 8 hours of battery life while at work. Now, with the Retina MacBook under the same conditions and work flow, I find myself pulling out the power adapter at least once a day, normally in the mid afternoon. Overall, I’m extremely pleased with my decision to switch to the Retina MacBook, enjoy the extra storage space, and would recommend it to anyone who is considering switching to Apple or looking for something even more portable than a MacBook Air, while gaining a Retina Display.