I don't really care about entirely subjective opinions of the design, I just care about specs and usability (how good is the keyboard and are there any real bone-headed design problems which actually make it harder to use the system, basically). I don't think it's practical to compare systems in terms of aesthetic design because everyone has a different opinion; specs make for a much more useful comparison.
Originally Posted by 89c51
Admittedly now I review the specs, the current Z and the MBP Retina are much closer than I thought, effectively identical in performance; the Z is substantially lighter at 2.5lb vs. 4.5lb, which is very important to me, and what caused me to dismiss the Retina after I'd been pretty interested in it from the rumours. The Z is still comfortably superior to non-Retina MBPs, especially the 13" to which it's obviously directly comparable, in all important technical aspects - it's faster, lighter, and has a much better display. I always want to have a powerful, fairly small, light laptop with a good screen and decent battery life, and for the last few years, the Z has been that; the MBP line has consistently been slower and heavier and had worse screens (note the Z's screen is matte, which is really nice; another easy-to-overlook feature of the Z is that it has a very small screen bezel, so the actual 'rectangular' dimensions of the Z line are smaller than most 13" laptops, inc. the MBP - I find the rectangular dimensions much more important than thickness, because they determine the size of bag you can carry the system in). The Retina bumps up the specs (but also the price, it's now $1k more than the Z at base price) and the display, but it's still relatively heavy (admittedly 4.5lb isn't bad at all for a 15" laptop in absolute terms, but it's 2lb heavier than the current model Z), and they haven't made a 13" one yet. I'll be interested to see what they come up with if they do make a 13" Retina.