I don't want to get into a comparison match between the two, however these are two completely different machines and use cases. One is for corporations and one is for design. In terms of build quality, there's no comparison. In terms of features, the Retina display and Thunderbolt on their own are requirements to my mind, and the RMBP has both.
Thunderbolt is essential to my photography/video workflow. The Retina display (or any display panel that has similar resolution) is ideal for accurate color and print work, more so than a high-resolution larger display panel with less pixel density. Think about it like this: you want to get as close to the printed DPI on-screen as you can, as the art of printing is all about control, and getting the on-machine image to render color accurate in the print.
Whatever gets you there the better. The RMBP is over $1,000 more expensive, but things like SSDs, 20GB channel I/O and ultra-high density display panels are things that photographers can leverage. Things like well designed aluminum unibodies are just nice to have, not essential like the above.
1. Oh. What was your first post about? I thought you were discussing what you saw as advantages of one over the other?
2. I see, so you've never used or even read the specs for the W530 have you? It's an ISV certified workstation configurable in every way as a design workstation as the MPB with the lone exception of TB.
3. This answers my question above. You've never seen or used one. When you make a statement it means nothing if it's not quantified. Tell us why.
4. It may be, and if you had no other choice in hardware this would be advantage. Tell us how its essential. What are you using that couldn't be used otherwise?
5. Well.. really resolution is a small part of accurate COLOR and print work. I'd say a high-gamut IPS monitor with a build in colorimeter and supported software is much more a part of my own color work. Tell us how more resolution aids your color work? And let's not lose track, they are notebooks.. they get us by when a real monitor isn't available.
6. Why. What does 300 dpi on a 15 inch screen do for us that 240 doesn't? What are you seeing? And where does the color come in? And you never answered if Adobe is supporting Retina yet. What software are you using?
7. SSD's certainly, the majority of photographers are probably enjoying them now. The MBP holds no advantage with SSD's and unless it can support 3 of them and a 4th through esata it might be at a disadvantage. A 20gb channel and the Retina display.. I don't know anyone using either where they couldn't be served equally through other ports. I know 20gb is a much larger channel than is available on W530 (at least until you use a PCI card), but I don't know anyone other than a very few high end equipped labs using it's capability where it couldn't be otherwise supported.. And these are pro video guys. Still photography doesn't require it. Retina.. who's using it for photography or on Adobe? Anyone?
8. IF you like shiny aluminum.. I've got enough of it on my cars.. I'm much more taken with carbon fibre and magnesium like on my x201s. But it's all personal preference.