วันศุกร์ที่ 14 กันยายน พ.ศ. 2555

The Carpenter

Product Details
The Carpenter

The Carpenter
From RRE, LLC / Republic Records

Digital media products such as Amazon MP3s, Amazon Instant Videos, and Kindle content can only be purchased on Amazon.com.
Buy at Amazon

Availability: Usually ships in 1-2 business days
Ships from and sold by Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Average customer review: 
(15 customer reviews)

Product Details

  • Amazon Sales Rank: #3 in Digital Music Album
  • Published on: 2012-09-11
  • Released on: 2012-09-11
  • Running time: 2797 seconds

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful.
5Streamlined, but super consistent / super satisfying
By T. A. Daniel
Sometime after 2000, bluegrass and folk music started to experience a revival - bands were springing up from all parts of the western world playing music that was influenced by folksy do-it-yourself songwriting. It would be hard to say that the Avett Brothers aren't at least partly responsible for this uprising. The band has been around since the early 2000's, releasing 6 full-length records since their inception (among a ton of other releases) - their latest release is not only the 7th for the band, but it's also the second with Rick Rubin helming production duties. Rubin, who's worked with everyone from the Red Hot Chili Peppers to Jay Z to Johnny Cash, helped the band shave away some of their grittier aspects to make way for the infectious melodies of 2009's I AND LOVE AND YOU. 2012's THE CARPENTER finds the Avett Brothers continuing where they left off.

If I had to describe the Avett Brothers' sound, I'd say it falls somewhere between the blue-grassy stained Old Crow Medicine Show and the indie-sensibilities of Mumford & Sons. The album begins with "The Once and Future Carpenter," a song that relies on the band's trademark Americana lyrics. Following the first track, the album hits it's groove with three fantastic songs in a row ("Live and Die," "Winter in My Heart," and "Pretty Girl from Michigan.") The second track, "Live and Die" serves as the lead single promoting THE CARPENTER. It's an upbeat track, but it's defined by its dominant melody - it's a song that will be hard to get out of your head with lyrics to match: "Can't you tell that I am alive? Let me prove it to you." The next track, "Winter in My Heart" is one of the more somber tracks on the album. It begins with only vocals and guitar, but it slowly develops into a more haunting ballad - it strikes a balance of being both beautiful and heartbreaking. After the last notes play out, "Pretty Girl from Michigan" changes the pace considerably - if the previous track was one of the softest on the record, this track is one of the more rocking.

While I do think that the album peaks early, the remaining 7 tracks are not to be scoffed at. THE CARPENTER could be the Avett Brothers' most consistently satisfying release yet. "Through My Prayers" is a nice ballad that wears its sincerity like a badge of honor. "Down With the Shine" ventures towards blue-grass territory with wonderful results - its swaying melody (and horn section) is hard to resist. The upbeat "Geraldine" only lasts barely over a minute and a half, but it makes a lasting impression on the album. The album concludes with "Life," a final ballad with beautiful harmonies that just hits all the right notes. It's a terrific ending, and I think it's a great complement to the tonal qualities of the album's opener, "The Once and Future Carpenter."

The Avett Brothers made their name by working - their albums are earnest, sincere, and feel lived-in. The same kind of craftsmanship a carpenter would show for a piece of woodworking the band show with each record they release, and THE CARPENTER is no exception. For me, this might be the most consistently satisfying Avett Brothers record to date. I would recommend this album to anyone who enjoys Mumford & Sons, the Lumineers, or Old Crow Medicine Show. Essential tracks to sample/download: "Live And Die," "Pretty Girl From Michigan" and "Winter In My Heart."
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful.
5Vintage Avetts, With a Touch of New
By Eddie S. Michaels
One of the things that has drawn me to the music of the Avett Brothers for a few years now has been their uncanny ability to produce consistently hypnotic music without allowing a particular generic label to be attributed to it. Really, no matter your particular taste in musical style, the Avetts somehow find a way to tap into in, provide each listener with their own personal experience, while simultaneously giving it that "Avett Brothers sound," whatever that might actually be.

For me, the 3-year wait was well worth it..."The Carpenter" is genuinely and unmistakably Avett Brothers to the core: the beautiful, melodic harmony of the vocals, the gritty, biting sound of the banjo mixed with beautiful string work by Joe Kwon and Bob Crawford, and the clever, poetic genius of the lyrics...It is all so easily recognizable as the Avett Brothers. And yet, with this new record, they've successfully ventured into a totally new world that reflects the maturation process they've gone through both as people and as musicians. The lyrics in songs like "The Once and Future Carpenter," "Through My Prayers," and "A Father's First Spring" illustrate a new-found awareness of life, death, and the driving forces that keep us all going.

You'll find a pleasant mix of unforgettable, up-tempo romps ("Geraldine," "Live and Die") and slow, melodic ballads perfect for those long, silent, thoughtful drives through the country-side ("Winter in My Heart," "February Seven," "Life"). For me, though, to finally hear full studio versions of two of my long-time favorites from live shows ("Pretty Girl from Michigan" and "Down With the Shine") may just be the highlights of the record.

There's no question the Avett Brothers grew as artists on this new album, but for all of the expectations and hype placed upon by myself and other TAB fans out there, they certainly did not disappoint. If you are a fan of the Avetts, it's a must-have. And if you're not, take a listen anyway. I guarantee you'll hear something you like.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful.
4Avett Brothers growing up?
By listen_er
The Avett Brothers albums in my mind since Mignonette have been epic. This is epic. This is Avett. This is, however, quite different and more akin to I and Love and You.

Its been a while, three years I guess since their last album, and as they sing in "February Seven", "they are rested and ready to begin". What you get is a lot of really intricate and powerful ballads that are stripped down and intimate but more often laden with cello and piano than in the past. February Seven and Fathers First Spring are probably my favorites, but Winter in My Heart is soooooo lonely and intense.

While there are numerous ballads on this album, you do get some more classic-ish Avett uptempo songs that, for better or worse, you will wake up singing. If its any song on the album, I bet you $1 it will be the Live and Die. In fact the simple melody, and banjo play will have you singing along EVEN WHEN YOU DONT KNOW THE WORDS. Its like magic. Pretty Girl in Michigan is different, almost some type of throwback doo-wopish type song that I'm struggling to pin, but its catchy. Geraldine and I Never Knew You also more upbeat.

The one song that I am really curious to hear what long time Avett purists say is Paul Newman vs. The Demons... um, its more electric than anything they are used to, that I promise.

What you don't get in this album are raucous and edgy vocal front songs, and you don't get as much banjo. You get DEEPER far more intricate songs with more cello and piano, but lyrically... super solid, but I'm still digesting this.

If you liked I and Love and You, you are going to like this. Its somewhat like someone took your oldest most comfortable jeans and took a few minutes updating them with a bedazzler. You can still feel Avett, and the color is the same but its just a little different, with a little different sparkle.

Definitely worth a shot. Thanks for the read.
See all 15 customer reviews...

SanDisk® SDHC Memory Card

Product Details
SanDisk® SDHC Memory Card

SanDisk® SDHC Memory Card
From SanDisk

List Price:$24.99

Availability: Usually ships in 1-2 business days
Ships from and sold by McTechy
91 new or used available from $0.88
Average customer review: 
(262 customer reviews)

Product Description

The most space available (16 GB card), SanDisk mobile memory cards plug directly into most phones with

Product Details

  • Brand: SanDisk
  • Model: SDSDB-8192-A11
  • Released on: 2012-02-29
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: 2.76" h x 1.97" w x .8" l, .5 pounds


  • 4176
  • 42

Editorial Reviews

From the Manufacturer
SanDisk® Standard SDHC™ 8 GB Memory Card
Capture a memory each day—and get the most from your digital camera—using a SanDisk Standard memory card. Because memorable moments happen when you least expect them. Make sure you’re ready with a reliable card made by the pioneers of flash memory. Plus, SanDisk standard cards are built for real life—to handle its bumps and turns while capturing it in all its brilliance.
Maximize your camera’s performance
  • Keep shooting without fear of running out of space
  • Get dependable performance every time
  • Don’t come up short, store more photos and videos

*1 gigabyte (GB) = 1 billion bytes. Some capacity not available for data storage. **1 megabyte (MB) = 1 million bytes; X = 150 KB/sec; based on internal testing; performance may be lower depending on host device. ***Excludes Germany and other regions which do not recognize limited warranty.

Choose SanDisk, the minds behind flash memory
As the pioneers of flash memory, SanDisk is known all over the planet. Wherever people take pictures, listen to music, use cell phones—or do much of anything at all with digital devices—they’re likely to be using a SanDisk memory card. That’s because, after 20 years in the business, SanDisk has never stopped innovating.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
80 of 82 people found the following review helpful.
5Heed the Warning Well
By Aaron Steinmetz
It's a fine product, and it works just fine in products that support the SDHC format. However, be ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN your product (be it a digital camera, memory card reader or--in my case--the Palm T|X PDA which for some STRANGE reason doesn't read it) reads it. Just because your device is new doesn't necessarily mean that it will recognize SDHC cards (as opposed to the older SD cards).

If your device recognizes SDHC cards, then by all means go forth and thrash. You won't find a better card for the price.
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful.
5Works great on my Kindle!
By Riki
I recently bought a Kindle and wanted the extra storage space for books. The Kindle manual states that is uses SD cards, but didn't specify if it could use SDHC cards too.

After chatting with a few people in the Kindle Discussion room, I found that others are succesfully using SDHC cards in their Kindle's, but Amazon Kindle Tech Support told me that they will not support SDHC cards at this time, should they fail.

So being an avid reader, I took the chance and ordered the SanDisk 8GB SDHC card and it works like a champ in the Kindle. I've loaded 7 books to it already and can read and write to it without a problem. Be aware though, that only 7.3 GB of space is available on the card for storage when used in the Kindle.

I have had no problems with any of the SanDisk SD, SD Micro, or XD cards I've purchased over the years. They are reliable & durable and I will continue to purchase this brand again in the future.
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful.
5Great card!
By T. Getz
Awesome little card...I bought it for my Canon PowerShot G9 12.1MP Digital Camera with 6x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom, and it keeps up with my shooting wonderfully...it also gives me plenty of space to go nuts, no worrying about running out of memory!
See all 262 customer reviews...

Apple MacBook Pro

Product Details
Apple MacBook Pro MD101LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop (NEWEST VERSION)

Apple MacBook Pro MD101LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop (NEWEST VERSION)
From Apple

List Price:$1,199.00
Price:$1,139.99 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25. Details

Availability: Usually ships in 24 hours
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com
18 new or used available from $640.00
Average customer review: 
(79 customer reviews)

Product Description

New processors and graphics. Pull out all the stops.Top-of-the-line processors.The 15-inch MacBook Pro features the new 2.3GHz and 2.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processors with 6MB of shared L3 cache and Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.6GHz. And you can configure it to be even faster. Choose the 2.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 with 8MB of cache and Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.7GHz. And go for the new 512GB third-generation SATA solid-state drive, which is up to 4x faster than a traditional hard drive. To increase storage, upgrade to a 1TB hard drive. The 13-inch model also speeds things up with either the 2.5GHz Intel Core i5 or the 2.9GHz Intel Core i7 - the fastest mobile dual-core processor available. With Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.6GHz, these processors bring more power to everything you do. The very latest graphics.The new integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000 processor boosts performance by up to 60 percent. That extra power gives you a smoother, more fluid experience than before. It's still highly efficient, too, so you get long battery life when you're out and about. For graphics-intensive applications, the 15-inch MacBook Pro automatically switches to the new NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M discrete processor with up to 1GB of video memory. It's also up to 60 percent faster than the previous generation,2 so you see more frames per second in 3D games and get greater speed and responsiveness for your HD video projects. The fastest, most versatile I/O in a notebook.Imagine accessing multiple streams of uncompressed HD video - from your MacBook Pro - at speeds that let you edit an HD feature film in real time. Thunderbolt technology allows you to connect the high-performance peripherals that make it possible. Ultrafast and ultraflexible, the Thunderbolt pipeline is up to 12 times faster than FireWire 800 and offers unprecedented expansion capabilities. FaceTime HD camera. Say hi in high def.Get more of your friends in on the fun with crisp, widescreen HD ...

Product Details

  • Amazon Sales Rank: #2 in Personal Computers
  • Size: 500 GB Storage
  • Brand: Apple
  • Model: MD101LL/A
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • CPU: Intel Core i5 2.5 GHz
  • Memory: 4GB SDRAM
  • Hard Disk: 500GB
  • Processors: 1
  • Display size: 13.3


  • 2.5 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5 processor
  • 4 GB DDR3 RAM; 500 GB Hard Drive
  • 13.3 inch LED-backlit display, 1280-by-800 resolution
  • Intel HD Graphics 4000
  • Mac OS X v10.7 Lion, 7 Hour Battery Life

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Product Description
The Apple MacBook Pro features Intel's new third-generation Core architecture for a boost in processor and memory speeds. New next-generation graphics deliver performance levels that are up to 60 percent faster than before. And high-speed Thunderbolt I/O lets you transfer data at rates up to 10 GBps. The MacBook Pro is a great computer that just got even greater.
macbook pro 13 front
The 13.3-inch MacBook Pro (view larger).
As with previous models, the MacBook Pro features a precision unibody enclosure crafted from a single block of aluminum, creating a thin and light mobile computing workhorse (less than 1 inch thin and just 4.5 pounds) that's also highly durable. It includes a 13.3-inch, LED-backlit glass display as well as a glass trackpad that doesn't include a button (for larger tracking area) that features Apple's Multi-Touch technology. You'll also get up to 7 hours of battery life while on the go.
The MacBook Pro also now includes both a high-speed Thunderbolt port and two USB 3 ports, enabling you to easily connect to external displays and a wide variety of high performance peripherals.
This version of the 13.3-inch MacBook Pro (model MD101LL/A) features a 2.5 GHz Core i5 dual-core processor, 500 GB hard drive, and 4 GB of installed RAM. Other features include an 8x SuperDrive, ultra-fast Wireless-N Wi-Fi networking, Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, an SDXC card slot, and a FireWire 800 port (see full specifications below).
os x mountain lion

Free Upgrade to OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion

This Mac comes pre-installed with OS X 10.7 Lion, but it is eligible to a free upgrade to OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion. When Mountain Lion becomes available in July, Apple's Up-To-Date program page for details on how to request your copy of Mountain Lion.
Apple's OS X Mountain Lion Up-to-Date upgrade is available to all customers who purchase a qualifying new Mac system from Apple or an Apple Authorized Reseller on or after June 11, 2012. Customers who purchase a qualifying Mac between June 11, 2012 and the date when Mountain Lion is available in the Mac App Store will have 30 days from the OS X Mountain Lion release date to make a request.
Mountain Lion introduces innovative features including the all new Messages app, Notification Center, system-wide Sharing, AirPlay Mirroring, Game Center, and the enhanced security of Gatekeeper. With iCloud built into the foundation of OS X, Mountain Lion makes it easier than ever to keep your content up to date across all your devices.

Apple 13.3-inch MacBook Pro
Includes iLife '11 suite with iPhoto, iMovie, and Garageband (see larger image).

Key Features

Intel Core i5 Dual-Core Processing
Intel Core i5
The MacBook Pro packs plenty of power thanks to the latest Intel Core i5 processor, which features a faster processor, more powerful graphics, and a memory controller integrated into a single chip. The third-generation dual-core Intel Core i5 has a 2.5 GHz speed, which can dynamically accelerate up to 3.1 GHz to match your workload thanks to updated Intel Turbo Boost Technology.
And with the Intel HD Graphics 4000 processor, you get up to 60 percent faster graphics. So the video you watch, the FaceTime calls you make, and pretty much everything else you do is smoother and more detailed.
High-speed Thunderbolt and USB 3 Ports
A high-speed Thunderbolt port allows the MacBook Pro to transfer data at lightning-fast speeds and connect displays like the Apple Thunderbolt Display, enabling you to turn this highly portable notebook into a highly versatile workstation. And with two USB 3 ports, you'll be able to connect the latest USB 3 devices and access a pipeline that's up to 10 times faster than USB 2.
Apple 13.3-inch MacBook Pro
The smooth, buttonless multi-touch trackpad (see larger image).
Because Thunderbolt is based on DisplayPort technology, you'll be able to connect to a high-resolution display from the same port. Any Mini DisplayPort display plugs right into the Thunderbolt port, and you can also connect displays that use DisplayPort, DVI, HDMI, or VGA connections with an existing adapter. You'll also be able to include your display into a daisy-chained set of peripherals.
Integrated HD FaceTime Webcam
You'll be able to easily connect with friends, family, and business colleagues using the MacBook Pro's HD 720p FaceTime camera, which is integrated into the thin bezel above the display and features three times the resolution of the previous FaceTime camera. And with Apple's FaceTime application, you're not limited to video chats with other Macs--you can now make video calls to iPhone and iPod touch users.
Buttonless Multi-Touch Trackpad
With no button on the glass trackpad, there's more room to track and click--left, right, center, and everywhere in between. Without a separate button, the trackpad gives your hands plenty of room to move on the large, silky glass surface. It also incorporates Multi-Touch gestures--including swipe, pinch, rotate, and four-finger swipe. And it also now supports inertial scrolling, an intuitive way to scroll through large photo libraries, lengthy documents and long web sites.

Key Specifications

macbook pro 13 ports
See larger image.
  • 13.3-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen display with edge-to-edge, uninterrupted glass (1280 x 800-pixel resolution)
  • 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5 dual-core processor (3.1 GHz with Turbo Boost Technology; 3 MB L3 cache)
  • Intel HD Graphics 4000 integrated graphics processor
  • 500 GB Serial ATA hard drive (5400 RPM)
  • 4 GB installed RAM (1600 MHz DDR3; supports up to 8 GB)
  • 8x slot-loading SuperDrive with double-layer DVD support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
  • Built-in HD 720p FaceTime HD camera for video chatting
  • Wi-Fi wireless networking (based on 802.11n specification; 802.11a/b/g compatible)
  • Gigabit Ethernet wired networking (10/100/1000)
  • Bluetooth 4.0 for connecting with peripherals such as keyboards, mice and cell phones
  • Thunderbolt port (up to 10 Gbps) with native video output support for Mini DisplayPort plus DVI, VGA, dual-link DVI, and HDMI (requires adapters, sold separately)
  • Two USB 3 ports (up to 5 Gbps; backwards compatibility with USB 2)
  • FireWire 800 port (up to 800 Mbps)
  • SDXC card slot (supports cards up to 64 GB in size)
  • Stereo speakers with subwoofers
  • Combined audio line in/out (digital/analog)
  • Dimensions: 12.78 x 8.94 x 0.95 inches (WxDxH)
  • Weight: 4.5 pounds
  • Up to 7 hours of battery life

What's in the Box

13.3-inch MacBook Pro, display cleaning cloth, 60W MagSafe Power Adapter, AC wall plug, power cord, printed and electronic documentation
Limited Warranty And Service
The MacBook Pro comes with 90 days of free telephone support and a 1-year limited warranty, which can be extended to 3 years with the AppleCare Protection Plan.

Installed Software

At the heart of every MacBook Pro--and every Mac--is OS X Lion, an operating system that's both easy to use and incredibly powerful. It's built on a rock-solid UNIX foundation and engineered to take full advantage of the technologies in every new Mac. So everything works together perfectly. And features like Multi-Touch gestures and Mission Control let you interact with your computer in amazing and intuitive new ways.
  • OS X Lion (includes Mail, Address Book, iCal, the Mac App Store, iTunes, Safari, Time Machine, FaceTime, Photo Booth, Mission Control, Launchpad, AirDrop, Resume, Auto Save, Versions, Quick Look, Spotlight, QuickTime, and more)
iLife helps you do more with photos, movies, and music than you ever thought possible. In iPhoto, you can browse, edit, and share your photos in stunning new full-screen views. Create epic Hollywood-style movie trailers from your home video in iMovie. And GarageBand gives you everything you need to make a great-sounding song--including tools for keeping your song in perfect rhythm and guitar and piano lessons.
  • iLife (includes iPhoto, iMovie, and GarageBand)
AppleCare Protection Plan

AppleCare Protection Plan

Because Apple makes the hardware, the operating system, and many applications, the Mac is a truly integrated system. And only the AppleCare Protection Plan gives you one-stop service and support from Apple experts, so most issues can be resolved in a single call. Extend the complimentary service and support on your Mac to 3 years from the original Mac purchase date with the AppleCare Protection Plan. You get direct telephone access to Apple experts for technical questions, and you get global repair coverage--including both parts and labor--for your Mac and select Apple peripherals.

Optional Accessories and Related Products

60W MagSafe Power Adapter60W MagSafe Power Adapter
Need an extra adapter for home or work? The MagSafe Power Adapter is held in place magnetically, so if someone trips over it, the cord disconnects harmlessly while your MacBook Pro stays put on your desk.
Thunderbolt DisplayApple Thunderbolt Display
The world's first Thunderbolt display doesn't just give you more pixels. It gives you more possibilities. Built-in Thunderbolt technology lets you connect as many as six devices through a single port and transfer data up to 20 times faster than with USB 2.0.
Time CapsuleTime Capsule
Time Capsule is the revolutionary backup device that works wirelessly with Time Machine in OS X Leopard or later. It automatically backs up everything, so you never have to worry about losing important files. It also doubles as a full-featured 802.11n Wi-Fi base station. Choose from 2 TB and 3 TB models.
AirPort Extreme Base StationAirPort Extreme Base Station
Speed, range, and easy setup make AirPort Extreme the perfect wireless solution for home, school, and small business. It offers simultaneous dual-band support and lets up to 50 people share Internet access, a wireless network, a hard drive, and a printer.
Apple Magic TrackpadApple Magic Trackpad
Magic Trackpad is the first Multi-Touch trackpad designed to work with your Mac desktop computer, and it supports a full set of gestures. Click, scroll, swipe, and rotate to control what's onscreen. Use it along with your mouse or as an alternative to one.
Apple Wireless KeyboardApple Wireless Keyboard
The sleek aluminum Apple Wireless Keyboard lets you type in front of your computer, on your lap, or anywhere within range. It's also incredibly thin and streamlined, so it sits on your desk surrounded by nothing but glorious space.
Apple World Travel Adapter KitApple World Travel Adapter Kit
Essential for any traveler, this World Travel Adapter Kit includes the Apple USB Power Adapter, USB Cable, and six interchangeable AC adapter plugs that let you plug your Apple MagSafe Power Adapter, Portable Power Adapters, and AirPort Express into most electrical outlets around the world.
VGA AdapterApple Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter
The Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter lets you connect a standard analog monitor, projector, or LCD that uses a VGA connector or cable to a Mac with a Mini DisplayPort.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
240 of 253 people found the following review helpful.
5Fast, new processor runs cooler, beautiful screen
By M. Erb 
Watch Video Here: http://www.amazon.com/review/R1HSLOPERWGAVY I had eagerly been awaiting the new Mid-2012 MacBook Pro upgrade primarily because of the move to the new Intel processor, "Ivy Bridge." The 2.9GHz Intel Core i7 dual-core processor just makes this MacBook Pro fly. And it runs much cooler than its predecessors. I had my laptop running while on my lap for a couple hours and the bottom case was barely warm. Fan noise was not noticeable whatsoever. To be honest, I don't even know if the fan was operating or not, it was that quiet.

The aluminum unibody case has remained pretty much unchanged for several years. In fact, my previous MacBook Pro, a 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 4GB of RAM has the identical case that this new laptop has... it is designated as Model No: A1278 if you look at the bottom of the laptop case.

What Apple threw into the mix, which made my decision of which new Apple laptop to purchase more difficult, was the addition of the Retina Display MacBook. Initially I was tormented with making the correct decision of which computer to purchase. After I weighed the differences and factored in the cost, it became clear to me that for my use, the 13" MacBook Pro was the way to go rather than an Air or Retina Display MacBook Pro. Here are my reasons...

-The Retina Display MacBook lacks an optical drive. For me, that was a critical feature as I am a Mobile DJ and still rip a lot of CD's to my computer. I did not want to have to carry around an external optical drive so having the internal optical drive on the new MacBook Pro was key.

-The Retina Display MacBook does not have an Ethernet port. Again, this won't affect all people, but for me it was an essential feature that I use all the time. I wasn't ready to give up my dedicated ethernet connectivity port.

-The Retina Display MacBook was priced out of my comfort zone. It's a phenomenal computer but I just could not justify the price.

-The Air doesn't offer the disk space that I need nor the right combination of ports.

Honestly, the display on the 13.3" MacBook Pro is gorgeous. I can see where a photographer might enjoy the Retina Display, but for me, the 1280x800 resolution of the screen on this laptop is perfect. The display is bright, very bright, sharp and has excellent viewing from side to side. I'm a little conflicted with the glossy screen, but I think I have grudgingly accepted it for the most part. In most situations I find it nicer than a glare-free screen. For some situations however, it is not the best because of the reflections on the screen of surrounding lights and such. You must remember that while reducing glare on a screen might make it easier to view in certain situations by reducing reflections of light and surroundings, by its nature the anti-glare will reduce sharpness of the screen image. By having the glossy screen you have an amazingly bright, clear and sharp image that is just beautiful to view.

I had also considered getting an early 2012 refurbished MacBook Pro. That was my second-best option. But for the small difference in price, I would not have gotten USB 3.0 ports and that was important to me, as well as getting Thunderbolt. Admittedly, there are not yet many peripherals that utilize Thunderbolt or USB 3.0 but that is certainly going to change quite rapidly. USB 3.0 is 10 times faster than USB 2.0 and offers throughput of up to 5Gbps. Thunderbolt is even faster and allows daisy-chaining of monitors and other devices. This new MacBook Pro also has an upgraded facetime camera. It is now 720p HD and that's pretty awesome.

Firewire 800 is still included on this MacBook Pro. Undoubtedly, Firewire is getting towards the end of its lifespan but many videographers are still using video cameras that use Firewire and I also have external hard drives using firewire, so this is still useful for me.

The newly added Tunderbolt port is also useable as a mini-display port and you can easily obtain adapters to enable you to hook up to DVI, VAG and HDMI. I do miss not having a dedicated HDMI port, but at least it is possible to get an adapter to fill that need.

The Lion and soon to be released Mountain Lion operating system has garnered a lot of comments both positive and negative. Personally I have not experienced any issues with Lion. The integration with iCloud is fantastic and allows me to keep my contacts, address book, bookmarks all in sync across all my devices (iMac, iPhone, iPod Touch and another MacBook Pro.)

The iLife suite of applicatons included with the computer are excellent. iPhoto, iMovie and GarageBand are tightly integrated and work well. There is room for improvement, to be sure, but I use iPhoto and iMovie all the time and it is an amazingly capable duo.

If you're considering a MacBook Pro for the first time and are coming from the PC world, welcome. You will have a little adjusting to do but it's really easy and you will probably be impressed with how straightforward the operating system is. It just works. I can't even think of when I had a crash or freeze.

I've not yet reached the 7-hours mark for battery life, but still, I've been getting at least 5 hours plus so no complaints.

If you are considering the new MacBook Pro and you're already a Mac user then you will welcome the addition of a much faster processor, the addition of Thunderbolt and USB 3.0.

I am really liking my new MacBook Pro and with 8GB of RAM, and the new i7 Processor running at 2.9GHZ (turbo-boost to 3.6GHz) you will be very happy with the performance.

Regarding the 8GB RAM memory maximum for this MacBook Pro, it is interesting to note that Crucial sells a 16GB RAM kit for this particular model. Despite this, Apple does not acknowledge that the computer will accept 16GB of RAM. I called Apple Technical Support to ask about this and I was told that even though the computer may accept 16GB of RAM and seem to run without any problems with 16GB of RAM, the full amount of RAM may not actually be used by the MacBook Pro. It's kind of hard to say what the implications are of adding 16GB of RAM when Apple says the maximum is 8GB for this model. What will happen though is if you have any issues with the computer and Apple discovers that you've put 16GB of RAM in it, you could be denied service under the warranty. So I guess I'd be happy with 8GB of RAM until this issue gets more clarification, either by benchmark tests that show an improvement in performance or a firmware update or some acknowledgment from Apple approving the option of 16GB of RAM. I"d like to think that if Apple wanted to make as much money as possible that they would offer this computer with an 16GB option. Since they don't, there must be a technical reason why.

I've been using a protective case for my MacBook Pro and I recommend it. It's priced very fairly, comes in a variety of colors and has worked really well for me. It even lets the Apple Logo shine through the case. Here is a link to the Red color version of the case. RED iPearl mCover® Hard Shell Case for A1278 Aluminum Unibody MacBook Pro 13-inch (RED color)

UPDATE: July 1, 2012 - I've been reading reports online about the fact that the new Retina Display MacBook Pro has pushed the graphics handling capabilities of the computer to the max. This has resulted in some problems that are only just beginning to manifest themselves, such as sluggish screen draw in some situations, slow frame rates in other situations and image retention issues.

In other words, by pushing the limits, as Apple frequently does (and I'm not suggesting that that's a bad thing) early adopters are paying the price. So I'm feeling even better about choosing this particular model rather than spending significantly more for the Retina Display MacBook Pro and having to deal with the first generation issues.

UPDATE: July 5, 2012 - Note to PC users considering the switch to a Mac. Don't be intimidated to switch. Mac OSX is a fantastic operating system and not difficult to learn at all. But there are definitely some subtle differences between the PC and Mac user interface and experience. I would strongly suggest getting a good book such as Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual, Lion Edition. It's an excellent overview of what you'll need to know regarding the Mac experience and the Lion operating system. I use both Windows 7 and Mac OSX and own both a PC laptop and Mac laptop and desktop machines. I consider Macs to be my primary computer because of my familiarity with them and their ease of use. However, a helpful book will ease your transition and eliminate the guesswork.

UPDATE: August 24, 2012 - I've upgraded my OS to Mountain Lion, 10.8, and have been running it for about 2 weeks. I have not noticed any issues and the upgrade went very smoothly. Some of the new features are great. I particularly like the dictation feature that lets you speak while in any application that accepts text input and the MBP will automatically and accurately convert your speech to text. The new way that messages are handled is very similar to IOS and I like it. Some users are reporting less battery life but I have not noticed any degradation in battery life on my comptuer.
65 of 72 people found the following review helpful.
5Simply the best computer I've ever used... with one possibly irrelevant issue
By Elizabeth A. Schauble
I used to be a die hard windows fan. I was always bashing OSx for the usual things (too expensive, too dumb, et cetera, et cetera), and I never really gave it a chance. Windows 7 was my OS of choice from the day it came out, and I used it on many different computers with (or at least what I thought then) good results. It's certainly not a bad OS but...
This past holiday season, I got an Asus tablet PC. I wanted to love it, I really did. I gave it a five star review here on Amazon, and I tried my very hardest to use it to it's fullest potential. It was working fine for a while, until I tried the Windows 8 beta. It was all down-hill from there. Viruses, problems (beyond those that should be in a beta, and a general ugliness drove me absolutely insane, and I decided to move away from Windows, at least temporarily. I bought a Chromebook, and while I absolutely love it and highly recommend it, I wanted more out a computer than it offered.
So, nearly on a whim, I bought a Mac. I have never made a better tech decision. Literally everything about it is better than any computer I've ever used, from the operating system to the hardware.
People typically say that the real reason they love Macs and other Apple products is because of the build quality. While the build quality on this computer is INSANELY good (I feel bad hauling it around with me; I feel like it should be in an art museum), I really think it's the software that makes this a standout computer and computing experience. I've had absolutely zero backround in OSx up until now, and already I am easily finding my way around this computer. Granted, I've had a good backround in Linux and OSx is similar, but the fact that I'm easily navigating a brand new operating system after only one day is quite the contrast from Windows, now that I can look at it objectively. OSx Lion is wonderful. The multi-touch gestures and the multi-touch mouse itself are immensely helpful, and it's because of features like these that make it clear to me that it's almost necessary for a company to make the hardware for a product if they're making the software as well. Everything works extremely well together.
Like I said, the included apps put Windows to shame. With the exception of Outlook (which I personally hate, but my Mom has a Mac and can't stand the contacts App and uses Outlook), I can't think of a single, rational person who would pick Windows software over Apple software when it comes to things like media, photo/video editing, and email. To be perfectly honest, it's ridiculous how well all this stuff works. I downloaded the iWorks office suite (which is not free, though significantly cheaper than Microsoft Office), and they also work like a charm. I really don't create a whole lot of spreadsheets or slide shows so I can't guarantee a qualified opinion on Numbers (Excel) or Keynote (PowerPoint), but the Pages app is lightyears ahead of Microsoft Word. I also downloaded Logic Pro 9 (an music synthesizer/recording studio app) after having used it with friends a few months back, and have spent hours digging into another fantastic piece of Mac Software, and I can say for a fact that it is truly unparalleled in the Windows world.
The actual hardware internals of the computer are amazing. The new Ivy Bridge processors whip through anything I can throw at them, and the 8 gb of fast (1600 mhz) ram makes multi-tasking a breeze. The nVidia graphics card, while not a show-stopper, is completely adequate for some heavy-duty video editing in something like Final Cut or Photo Shop (though I haven't used Photo Shop in about a year now, so I'm not COMPLETELY sure about the latter of the two statements), or gaming (whether you dual-boot or pick one of the games from the increasingly impressive OSx catalogue). The speakers, while not mind-blowing, are much better than what I'm used to from integrated laptop speakers, and the screen, even though I opted for the non-HD screen, is very good; colors are bright and saturated, the pixel density is more than satisfactory, and the viewing angles are some of the best I've ever seen. Battery life is as good as advertised, and the computer starts and runs much more quickly than I'm used to, especially considering that this computer doesn't have flash storage.
I haven't run into a single thing I would change about this computer up to this point. I love the software, I love the hardware, and I love my decision. If you're in the market for an exceptional, powerful notebook, look no further. I can't recommend this computer highly enough.

Edit: While the great things that I mentioned about OSx are all still completely viable and even after several weeks (months, perhaps?) of heavy usage I haven't experienced any problems. Mountain Lion is a great update and even though I don't own an iPhone or an iPad (I'm more of an android guy), I still like almost all of the additions it brings to OSx.
However, I have since installed Windows. Bootcamp is a marvelous program, and in about 20 minutes I had Windows 7 working great on my computer. All the drivers were installed and performance was great. Once I actually started playing games though, several design flaw were suddenly extremely apparent to me, and they were apparent in a very bad way.
I'm not sure if Windows is just a more demanding operating system or if a fan driver was left out of my Bootcamp install, but the cooling of this computer when doing ANYTHING intensive under Windows is absolutely atrocious. The unibody design is gorgeous. It's revolutionary, it's stylish, it's classy, and it has major practical issues. The vents are hidden under the hinges of the screen, and anything but the most perfect of screen angles will block off much of the fans output. Even with the fans blowing full blast at nearly all times while running Windows, the computer gets extremely hot during usage. I use a laptop as a literal "lap" top computer frequently. This works fine under OSx; it's impossible under Windows. The bottom of the computer gets painfully hot during heavy usage (to the point where I literally can't touch it for more than a few seconds), and the metal area (ironically) around the "wasd" keys gets extremely hot as well. I've had the computer completely overheat three times only in the past two weeks. Since I only play online games, this isn't a real issue, but I can't imagine what would happen were someone actually doing something important on a Windows partition and have the computer overheat and shut down. Even with good ventilation (meaning smooth granite surfaces and a laptop stand specifically designed to enhance ventilation), there is no avoiding an extremely hot computer and constantly whirring fans.
Long story short, I'm very glad they improved the fan design in the Retina Display Macbooks, because it is, frankly, very, very poor here.
I'm conflicted on whether I should change my overall rating of the computer though. Even though Macs are equipped (through Bootcamp) to run Windows, they weren't designed to do so, and I certainly haven't had a single issue while running (the far superior) OSx. Considering the fact that I should be basing my opinion of the product on its own merits and not on those of a competing product, I don't think I will change my overall scoring. I do think it is prudent to add, however, that cooling while running Windows 7 is terrible. If you NEED Windows, stick with a Windows computer. They will most likely handle Windows better than this one will.
81 of 91 people found the following review helpful.
5Loving it!
By Spencer Atherton
This is not my first Mac computer, and certainly will not be my last. Before I begin, I will say that I am not like a good percentage of the people that will end up writing a review on this computer - I am not an Apple fanboy. I have owned many PC computers as well, and like them too. I currently own a Lenovo laptop as well as my new MacBook Pro, and each have their own strengths and weaknesses.

To start with the strengths:
1. OSX Lion is a great performer..extremely fast and reliable. I have it installed on my iMac desktop computer as well and love it. Not to mention this comes with a free upgrade to Mountain Lion, which is very nice.
2. Screen looks great. Even though it is not the Retina display you can get on the 15.4 inch model, the screen is fantastic. Very bright and crystal clear with excellent color.
3. Quietest laptop I have ever owned. Keeps quiet even when the computer is under a heavy load.
4. First computer I have owned with USB 3.0. I bought an external hard drive when I purchased this laptop as well so I could utilize the USB 3.0. I got the hard drive yesterday and transferred all of my files from my old laptop to the new hard drive so I could put them on my MacBook. It took about 1/5th of the time it did with USB 2.0.
5. My Lenovo laptop does not have an illuminated keyboard, so the keyboard on this laptop is a big plus in my opinion. Excellent for people that like to work or surf the web while their significant other is sleeping.
6. The trackpad - can't even compare it to any trackpad I have seen on any other laptop computer.
7. Excellent battery life while being a very fast performer. It definitely has the best of both worlds. I average about 6 hours on a charge. My Lenovo (with similar graphics, processor, etc. and same use) only lasts about 4 or 5 hours on a full charge.
8. Typical Apple simplistic styling. I love the look of the Apple products. Simple and clean.
9. Many, many more...but those are the most notable ones to me.

Now, for the weaknesses.
1. The only thing I dislike about this laptop are the rubber pads found on the bottom of the computer for grip. They may get softer and more sticky as time goes by, but right now they are far from that. The pads on the bottom of my Lenovo are definitely much better and don't allow the computer to slide around while I am using the computer on a glass topped desk.
2. Price - it's a bit pricey for the performance you get, but the added perks of Mac OSX and the durability and support of Apple products makes up for it. For the same price, you can get a PC with more memory, larger hard drive, better graphics, and a faster processor, but then you remember you're running Windows 7, which isn't nearly as well built as Mac OSX.

In conclusion - this is a great laptop. Although it is a little pricey, it is well worth the extra money. So far, the only issue I have with it (rubber pads) is a very small problem that does not change how this laptop performs in any way.

If you are thinking about getting a MacBook Pro laptop but do not want to spend a huge amount of money for one, this is definitely the way to go. It may be considered the "base model" MacBook Pro, but it still an excellent computer. The size and battery life of this computer makes it excellent for people that need a laptop that is very mobile. Between work and college classes, I needed a lightweight yet durable computer and this definitely fits that criteria.

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