FORTUNE — Don’t call it a MacBook Air. Apple’s newest 15-inch uber-notebook may be thinner and lighter than older MacBook Pro models, but its redesigned aluminum body houses a potent array of features. For $2,199, users get a 2.3 GHz quad-core Intel i7 processor, 8-gigabytes of RAM, a 256 GB solid state drive, two USB 3.0 ports, and a razor-sharp Retina Display. But is it what Apple proudly calls, “the most advanced Mac” they’ve ever made?
I’ve spent less than 48 hours with a blessed review unit, but here’s what I’ve learned so far:
It’s lighter than you might expect. At 4.4 lbs., it’s just a hair lighter than the 13-inch MacBook Pro, but because that weight is distributed across a much larger casing, it doesn’t feel quite as heavy.
The power adapter is different. To accommodate the new MacBook Pro’s thinner body, the company trimmed the laptop’s power adapter. In other words, power adapters from previous versions of notebooks or the standard MacBook Pros of this generation won’t power up this model without a $9.99 Tic Tac-sized converter. It’s a minor detail, but one worth noting.
That’s one sharp screen. Really. Apple (AAPL) says the MacBook Pro’s new 15-inch Retina Display packs four times the pixels of previous screens, and for the most part, it shows. Everything is sharper, blacks are blacker, and the screen is less reflective — not as outdoors-friendly as say, a matte screen option would be, but it’s less of a mirror than before. There is one small drawback to this new screen, but we’ll save that for the full review.
Heating isn’t a problem (yet). As the owner of last year’s 13-inch MacBook Air with a 1.8 GHz i7 processor, I’ve found the laptop can run hot under duress — high-definition video playback, multiple apps open — sometimes causing the fan to loudly kick in. The new MacBook Pro features a new “asymmetric fan,” with small vents on either side of the notebook’s bottom, which the company says encourages quieter day-to-day operations. It’s too early to pass final judgment, but we will say we’ve never heard it whir as it does in the MacBook Air when performing the same tasks.
For more on how the new MacBook Pro fares, look for the full review from Fortune later this week.