Apple’s New MacBook Pro: The Technologizer Review

By  |  Thursday, October 16, 2008 at 12:33 am

Finally! Writing about Apple rumors can be fun, but reviewing Apple computers is far more rewarding. I’ve spent the evening with Apple’s all-new 15-inch MacBook Pro, the new flagship of its portable line. (I used the $1999 model with a 2.4-GHz CPU, 2GB of RAM, a 250GB hard drive, and 256MB of RAM for its Nvidia GeForce 9600M GT graphics processor; the $2499 version has a faster Intel Core 2 Duo CPU, twice the RAM and graphics RAM, and a 320GB hard drive. Other configurations are available, including one with a solid-state drive.)

For no particular reason other than that it’s fun to write and easy to read, I’m structuring this review as a Q&A. But first, an executive summary: This is one of the polished Macs ever made, and therefore one of the most polished PC evers, period. It’s not cheap–folks who buy computers by finding the most features at the lowest price may find it shockingly pricey, actually. And it’s possible to nitpick a few aspects of the design (before this review is over, I will). But I’m sitting here with both the old MacBook Pro and this one at the moment, and the new one is simply a much nicer computer at the same price.

On to questions and answers:

Q. The old MacBook Pro’s industrial design was basically five years old, since it was practically the same as a late-model PowerBook G4. The new model sure looks different, but is it better?

Aesthetics are aesthetics, but I’d say it’s beyond debate that the new Pro is a significantly more highly-evolved piece of design. The old Pro may have had an aluminum case, but it used plastic trim to piece everything together; the new Pro’s unibody aluminum case is as close to seamless as that of any laptop I’ve ever seen. (Even the display is seamless, since it’s flush with the black border that surrounds it.)

The unibody case is carved out of a solid block of aluminum and feels like it: It’s noticably more solid-feeling than the old-style MacBook Pro–not to mention plastic-cased laptops–and doesn’t seem to flex in the least. (My oldstyle  Pro, on the other hand, squeaks a bit when I rest my palm on the wrist-rest area, like a creaky car.)

The new keyboard is the same design as that of the old-style MacBook and the MacBook Air, with keys that come up through individual holes in the case. They’re at least as comfy to type on as the old Pro’s more traditional keyboard, and I’ve found this design to be more reliable. (The keys are less prone to breaking off, and its harder for crumbs or bits of dust to get trapped beneath them.) The new Pro has also stolen the MacBook’s latchless hinge–a small refinement, but one you benefit from every time you open the laptop up.

I hate car metaphors in computer reviews, but I can’t help myself: The old MacBook Pro was a solidly-built Toyota, and the new one is a Lexus.

Q. Apple loves to shave bulk and weight off products when it does updates. Is this a thinner and/or lighter MacBook Pro?

It’s slightly thinner–it’s .95″ thick, which is .05″ thinner than the old Pro. But it’s also slightly heavier: 5.5 lbs., versus 5.4 lbs. for the old model.That’s despite the fact that Apple is touting the light weight of its new unibody case design–any weight that Apple saved was eaten up by other components. (The second Nvidia graphics processor, maybe?)

The new Pro has swoopier curves which have a pleasing placebo effect: It feels sleeker than the old Pro. Both new and old Pros compare well with other 15.4″ notebooks with built-in optical drives, such as Dell’s XPS M1530 and Lenovo’s ThinkPad W.

Q. Is the screen any good?

Yes indeed. As far as I can tell, it’s the same 1440-by-900 LED-backlit one as in the previous Pro, but it’s a beauty: really vivid when you crank up the brightness to its maximum setting, and still usable if you rachet it down to conserve battery life. The black border around the display gives the Pro a familial relation to the aluminum iMac, and helps to focus your attention on what’s onscreen–it makes the display look a little like a tiny movie screen in a darkened theater.

Previous MacBook Pros had old-style matte screens as standard and offered a glossy display as an option. With this generation of Pro, the glossy screen is the only option. I’ve encountered folks who don’t like ‘em–at certain angles, you can see your own reflection–but I find them good for applications of all sort and far better than matte screens for movie watching.

Q. This new MacBook Pro has two graphics processors, right?

Yes–Nvidia’s new GeForce 9400M, which provide integrated graphics which Apple says are up to five times faster than the Intel integrated graphics used in systems like last-generation MacBooks, plus Nvidia’s GeForce 9600M GT, a discrete graphics adapter with 256MB or 512MB of RAM. You can choose to use the integrated graphics and get better battery life (Apple says five hours–I haven’t tested this, but have historically gotten less life out of a charge than Apple estimates) or the more powerful discrete graphics (Apple says you’ll get four hours of battery life).

By contrast, the old MacBook Pro had just one graphics processor, Nvidia’s GeForce 8600M GT–more powerful than the 9400M, but less so than the 9600M GT–and Apple quoted a battery life of up to five hours.

Switching between the two graphics options isn’t exactly seamless: You do it in the Energy Saver settings in System Preferences, and must log out and back in to make the change. And you can’t choose to automatically use the integrated graphics when running off battery power and the discrete ones when plugged in–the change must be made manually.

The new Non-Pro MacBooks replace pokey Intel graphics with the GeForce 9400M, which sounds like it’s unquestionably a major advance, but I want to use the Pro more with heavy-duty applications such as 3D games before I come to any definitive conclusions about the dual-graphics approach.

Q. How about that touchpad?

It’s one of the most strikingly different thing about the new design: The touchpad is now significantly taller and wider–39 percent bigger overall–and made out of glass, serves as its own button (you can press it down to click), and supports additional gestures to perform tasks with a quick sweep of multiple fingers.

The idea of a glass touchpad sounds odder than the reality: It’s the same aluminumy color as the rest of the Pro, and feels slicker. At the press event introducing the new Apple portables, Steve Jobs described it as “silky smooth.” That’s accurate, but–so far at least–I’ve found it to be about equally pleasing as the more textured feel of the old touchpad.

I fumbled at first as I tried to deal with the lack of a separate button. I’m used to zipping my fingertips around the touchpad while keeping my thumb poised above the button; with the new touchpad, I tried pressing down with my fingers to click. Not too easy. Then I realized that I didn’t have to relearn a thing–I could continue to use my thumb exactly as before. (If I’d been using the computer blindfolded, I’d never know the button wasn’t there.)

With the old MacBook Pro touchpad, right-clicking required holding down the <Ctrl> key and stretching your fingers over to the touchpad, but the new model works well as a two-button mouse even though it has no buttons at all. Turn an option on in System Preferences–I’m not sure why it isn’t on by default–and pressing the lower right-hand corner of the touchpad simulates the right-click you’d get with the button that a Windows notebook would placee in that spot.

The new touchpad lets you brush four fingers up and down to trigger OS X’s Leopard and whisk all your application windows on or off the screen, a much faster way to use Expose than keystroke combinations. You can also brush fingers to the left or right to bring up the application switcher. Maybe I have fat fingers, but I had a little trouble getting them all on the touchpad at once. With practice, I’m sure it will get easier.

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68 Comments For This Post

  1. Max Says:

    Thankyou very much! I'm thinking about getting one, although i think i'll get the lower model (pro) and upgrade to ram to 4 gb. This has been really helpful and especially valid as you have an old macbook pro too. Thanks for the comparison!

  2. David Yates Says:

    Hi

    This is a great review. However, just one point: I was under the impression that the Firewire 800 port was also capable of taking Firewire 400 connections. I don’t think an adapter is necessary.

    Thanks, DY.

  3. Ed Says:

    Hi David,
    You’re right – you just need a 9 pin to 6 pin firewire cable for a few quid, and firewire 400 devices should work just fine.

    Regards,
    Edward.

  4. Jamie Kahn Genet Says:

    The cable Ed mentions is what people mean by an adaptor. Unlike USB 1.1 and 2.0 which can use the same cables interchangeably, FW 400 and 800 have different cable requirements, though FW 800 is backward compatible with 400.

  5. Dan Says:

    When ordering one of the new laptops, you have the option to add DisplayPort adapters (at additional cost).

  6. sensorrhea Says:

    What about the hinges? Can the screen be opened any wider than the previous MacBook Pro? The limited range has been a big problem for me in the past.

  7. pond Says:

    Apple’s webstore has me a bit confused on the backlit keyboard: am I right in deducing that backlit keys are not available on the 1299 MacBook, but are standard on the 1599 MacBook?

    Also, is there any word on wireless Firewire? I would imagine Apple would love to ditch the ports — they love to eliminate ports and buttons wherever they can, it seems — and so wireless FW would be a good way for them to go. Wireless USB will probably come sooner, and USB 3 is almost here too. Wouldn’t you expect USB 3 to show up in Apple’s Spring 2009 refreshed hardware, with wireless USB coming later in 09?

  8. Harry McCracken Says:

    Sensorrhea: Good question on the hinge, and a happy answer: You can push the display much further back than on the old Pro.

    Pond: You’re right==the backlit keys are one of the upgrades you get with the $1599 configuration. I haven’t heard anything about Wireless Firewire. I’d say it’s still unclear whether Wireless USB will catch on, and perhaps Apple is taking a wait and see attitude.

  9. Brent Says:

    I was wondering how I’m going to be able to upload a video with my DV camera (Firewire 400) and at the same time transferring it to my external drive (Firewire 800)?

    I guess with the new MacBook Pro I would have to load it to the laptop’s hard drive-unplug the camera-plug in the external drive and then transfer it to the external drive.

    A lot of work unless there are other options out there like a USB/FIREWIRE connection.

  10. Brent Says:

    Also, do they have a firewire hub? That might work. However, I would assume it would slowdown the transferring speeds. Would there be a greater possibility of data loss?

  11. DBX00 Says:

    How is the heat after an hour or so of usage? I know the old ones could burn you pretty badly while on your lap and this doesn’t seem to have any additional cooling.

  12. Harry McCracken Says:

    DBX00: I want to use it more–especially with demanding applications, like VMWare Fusion–and see if it heats up much. So far, it runs cool. but I haven’t done anything super-demanding. Also interesting: Does it run cooler with integrated graphics than with discrete?

    –Harry

  13. Jame Says:

    I wanted to make another note on the power adapters. They are awesome for one more little reason. Typically most PC notebooks have that two part adapter, the brick part and the cable that connects to wall that plugs in. (technical terms I know) Well the second best thing about the equivalent function on the apple one is that the cable that connects to the wall ca be swapped for a converter that changes the brick into a wall pluggable adapter. So this means if you are a plane, the library with a nice close wall adpater, you can just remover the cable and switch to the other part and take your small adapter with you. Now here is the next best thing, the wall chargers for ipods also use this same sort of adapter. But for me the biggest benefit is when I need to take my charger with me, I don’t need to unplug it from the wall crawl all over the floor or bring a jumbo cable when I want to head to starbucks. And well it is backwards compatible to previous apple gear so I have a ton of these cables laying around in various locations in my apartment so i can move easily with minimal effort. Seriously, go to the Apple store and check out how practical these adapters are. They are great if you move your computer around from location to location! You don’t need two adapters with this level of convenience.

  14. mycintosh Says:

    “With the old MacBook Pro touchpad, right-clicking required holding down the key and stretching your fingers over to the touchpad”
    Actually, you could enable in the keyboard/mouse prefs a two-finger right click on the old MBP (two fingers on the trackpad+button click).

  15. Jarkko Laine Says:

    @Brent You probably don’t need a Firewire hub. Unlike USB, Firewire is chainable so you can plug your camcorder directly into your external HDD, given that the latter has two or more FW ports (like most of them do).

  16. David M. Converse Says:

    The Pro models have an ExpressCard/34 slot as well, you can add e/SATA or Firewire ports via a card. Sadly the MacBooks don’t have any way to add FireWire (unless a Gig Ethernet-to-FW converter comes out) which makes them a non-starter for many people including me.

  17. firedward Says:

    I have three main problems with the new MacBook. Number one its screen is too glossy. Secondly it has no media card reader and third no Blu-Ray option. Not only that but Sony is able to switch graphic cards without logging off the system. Why can’t Apple do that. And in this day and age when the economy is so bad, why the hell is their product selling for $1200? I really thought they were going to deliver and in fact I was planning to buy one as soon as it was released. But I guess I’ll have to stick with the old Macbook.

  18. Andrew Says:

    There are some benefits to the old Pro over the new one. For one, it is now $400 cheaper, or the same price as the high-end NON-Pro MacBook.

    It has a matte screen option and FireWire 400 port.

    Most important to me, however, was that it is a proven, reliable product. I will definitely get one of these new MacBook Pros, but not until Revision C or thereabouts.

  19. Emma Says:

    you are very obviously an American. Toyota, Lexus, give me a break. You want a good car buy a Mercedes, BMW, Audi, etc, not a Lexus which flexes more in a corner than your average blogger does in a stiff breeze.

  20. Brent Says:

    Thanks Jarkko!

  21. Jon Says:

    What I’m wondering (and I don’t know if any of the American MacBookPros had that problem), but with the German MBPs / PBs it used to be that if it was plugged in, you could feel a slight level of electronic charge on the wrist rests. Has that changed, or was that never an issue in the US?
    Also, the borders of the wrist rest look very sharply cut, do you think that this might be a problem if you have sensitive wrists, so that you get sore, because the metal is “cutting” in your skin?
    – Jon

  22. Miles Hi Says:

    I would like to know if the screen is totally glossy or not as much as any normal windows laptop glossy screen. I will use it only to dj in clubs and I cant have any glare problems. Hopefully somebody that has seen it can let me know if it is prone to having these type of problems.
    thnks

  23. dwightk Says:

    Is the aluminum still painted?

  24. Christopher MacMinn Says:

    @mycintosh Even the two-finger “right-click” from the old MacBooks is better on the new MacBooks, owing to the fact that the button is now part of the trackpad, i.e.,

    Old MacBook:
    1. Place two fingers on the trackpad.
    2. Click the button with a third finger.

    New MacBook:
    1. Click the button/trackpad with two fingers at the same time.

    See how that’s better?

  25. Blain Says:

    @Emma: Dunno how cars are in your country, but in the US, the BMW analogy would only work if Apple was still using sony’s pyromaniac batteries or hadn’t fixed the cooling issues since the 2006 MacBook Pros. There’s a reason tow truck drivers call them “Break My Wallet.” Never had I seen a car model that overheated with broken thermostat/water pump/radiator issues as much as the 3 series.

    Mercedes would be better for Alienware. Used to be good, then merged with Dell, and now is of questionable quality. Never buy a MBZ that isn’t old enough to vote.

    Audi would be, hmm, I can’t think of a computer that expensive yet overdesigned. The only car I know where leaving your headlights on will cost you several hundred dollars in repairs (A power loss causes the car to die on idle until the dealer resets the computer), and several thousand if this happens in an underground parking structure (where a flatbed truck can’t reach).

    @Miles: Expect anti-glare/matte-style screen protectors in stores very soon.

  26. John_B Says:

    @Christopher: My late 2007 blackbook right-mouse clicks by clicking the trackpad with two fingers at the same time. (System Preferences -> Keyboard & Mouse -> Trackpad -> “Tap trackpad using two fingers for secondary click”. Trackpad button not required.

  27. Rory Marinich Says:

    The deal breaker: does the new right click work in Boot Camp? If so, then it kills my desire for a mouse entirely, but… does it?

  28. Michael Perlman Says:

    The price of the new 24-inch Cinema display means that I’m not getting one anytime soon, and certainly not until I get one of the new MacBooks. What’s holding me back? It’s that mini DisplayPort connector. The DisplayPort connection on the computers is backwards-compatible with DVI, VGA, and plain ol’ composite/s-video, but the Cinema Display’s interface seems to only be single-talented, only allowing connections to computers with a DisplayPort output.

    That’s why I’m waiting until I start college to get a new computer – prices will be lower, week-one (and year-one) bugs will be ironed out, etc.

  29. John_B Says:

    @Miles: You really have to see one in person to see how *bright* the LED backlit displays are. They definitely overcome the glossy mirror finish of the glass screens.

    @Michael: I’m pretty certain that there will be a number of x to DisplayPort adapters in the future, right now Apple is only selling mini-DisplayPort to x though.

    @Emma: You must be positively loaded if you can the continual abd expensive repairs that those “fun to drive” German cars require. If people thought “Joe the Plumber” was rich, that’s nothing compared to “Joe the Beemer Mechanic”! LOL!

  30. Nathan Says:

    @Christopher: I think you haven’t played around with all the options on the MacBooks ..as soon as you’ve gone into the mouse/trackpad options and turned on tap-to-click and two-finger clicking, you can trigger right-mouse-button events just the same as on the new fancy-pants-glass trackpad. (It’s only the three and four finger gestures, pinch, and rotate that are restricted to the new MacBooks and the Air.)

  31. Christopher MacMinn Says:

    @John_B, @Nathan: That is certainly true, and a good point, but I neglected to mention that tap-to-click is my least-favorite touchpad feature ever, no contest. On the new MacBook, it is not a tap-to-click but a *click* — the touchpad is a physical button. For me, this is a big improvement; if you’re happy with tap-to-click, then for you maybe not so much.

  32. Nathan Says:

    @Rory: Yup, right-button works in Bootcamp once the Apple drivers are installed. The special mouse and keyboard functions all come to life then. I haven’t seen the new laptops, so maybe you only get right-click and two-finger scrolling on them. Would be nice if the other gestures are there though.

    @Emma: Maybe you were overthinking the use of Lexus. Lexus is Toyota’s luxury brand. Seems like the analogy was quite appropriate: Toyota’s to Apples. :) Feel free to substitute Volkswagen and Audi if it make you feel any better about your mac. :)

    @Miles: If the brightness of the screen isn’t enough to overcome glare, I’m sure there will be anti-glare covers that can be applied to the screen soon. A friend bought a similar thing to put on her iPhone’s glass screen. It did an great job of giving the matt look.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if some companies don’t start doing this professionally. (Either coating, or replacing the glass.)

  33. Nathan Says:

    @Christopher: Ah, fair enough. I just assumed everyone liked it as much as I did. :) At least the button is still there .. it’s just the whole trackpad. So you can still click the way you always used to, with the advantage that you don’t *have* to click at the bottom of the pad any more. And you can even assign the right (or left) portion of the pad to be interpreted as a right-click, just like the mighty-mouse.

    I love it when people just have more options for this. :)

  34. Miguel Says:

    This is probably why you don’t the car metaphor, but…

    Lexus stinks of pretense. More accurate metaphor for a gold plated Sony. When I see a Lexus on the highway, I turn my caution dial to 11 – least likely vehicle on the road to use a turn signal.

    Point taken though.

  35. Ryan Says:

    Call me greedy but I don’t see why I can’t use the two graphics cards to drive TWO external monitors! That would be incredible, even if I had to buy a special adapter. (My old MacBook Pro drives a 30″ LCD screen, but a second would be nice.)

  36. Lun Esex Says:

    @Ryan

    DisplayPort has the potential to daisy-chain displays, so it may be possible some day to attach two external displays. They’d almost certainly have to share a single graphics chip, though, along with the built-in display.

    The amount of effort required to write and fully test the code to allow the graphics chips to drive separate displays is unlikely to be worth the value it would add to the computer for such a small market segment.

  37. gm Says:

    Does it really max out at 4, or is Apple just saying that?

    I’ve got 6GB in my Penryn MBP:

    http://forums.mactalk.com.au/29/58184-g-skill-4gb-ram-single-stick-works-macbookpro-1x4gb-1x2gb-6gb-works.html

  38. cmiami Says:

    Does anyone know if the new trackpad is too sensitive and picks up palm movements? I’ve had this trouble on other computers before.

    And on another note- how do you all feel about refurb macs??

  39. Evan Says:

    I love the look of this laptop. If I had the money I’d buy it in a heartbeat.

  40. John_B Says:

    @cmiami: I’ve had similar issues with too-sensitive trackpads on other laptops, but OSX has a system preference setting to ignore accidental trackpad input that has worked surprisingly well for my blackbook.

    FWIW I *only* buy refurb Macs (though I do buy new iPods). I wouldn’t buy a refurb of any other brand, but every refurb Mac (Macbook, iMac, etc.) I’ve seen has been indistinguishable from new. AFAICT the only differences are the boxes they come in and the serial numbers.

  41. Jan Says:

    There are some very good buys on the previous MacBook Pros from last week. I’m coming from PC only use into the Apple world and have a couple of questions. I will only use the laptop for home and travel…no games or graphics, only internet, ipod and photo use. 1. Screen – Matt or Glossy? Does it really matter? 2. Multi-touch pad vs the Scroll pad with buttons. Are either of these worth $500 to spring for the NEW aluminum model?

  42. Dave Says:

    Ugly, overpriced, hate the keyboard and the black border around the screen is cheesy. Old one was much nicer, less flash but that’s what people are all about- Flash.

  43. Stephen Says:

    I have a question about the Macbook.
    The ones before this had the Intel Graphics, which, i was told, would make use of recording programs such as Logic, and Cubase almost overwhelming for the macbook. I was told to buy a macbook pro instead.
    Would the new NVidia Graphics improve performance in that aspect?
    Undoubtedly a macbook pro would straight up have no problems, but some of us can’t spend that much $.
    i really wanted one for on the go recording, i was just wondering if this new macbook could offer that?

  44. shaktimage Says:

    I do event photography, 500 raw files per day, sick of window, i was waiting for the new MBP to see if it is any faster for photo processing than the “old” MBP? And what about the USB ports? can we now plug 2 demanding devices in high speed usb2? thanks

  45. David H Dennis Says:

    I would highly recommend the MacBook Pro for audio editing software just because it has a larger, higher resolution screen that makes those programs FAR easier to use.

    In fact, I would even consider the high resolution 17″ model if affordable. Remember, you will have this machine a long time and an extra $500 odd will really pay off for the better screen

    I have the previous MBP with the glossy screen. The added brightness of the new screen makes it much easier to use in sunlit environments than previous models. I have spent many happy hours using it in situations that would have been impossible to work in.

    Hope that helps.

    D

  46. Mark Says:

    I think many people may be overlooking just how useful the new monitor is. For years people have been screaming for an APPLE brand dock for the MB’s and MBP’s. Enter the new LED monitor. One cable to the MBP (which also powers it). The monitor has iSight, USB ports for a Keyboard and/or mouse, various other in and out ports… IT IS THE NEW DOCK. In many ways, it is much more practical then many docks that require you to close the MBP.

  47. Simon Tse Says:

    Just wonder if this new MacBook Pro would be a good one to run Mathematica or other scientific applications in terms of performance and cost? Esp. when compared with the coming Quad Core Laptop workstation. (Sure the cost is a consideration when it’s about double what a new MacBook Pro)

  48. 2.4 GHz? 2.53GHz? Says:

    There are two 15-inch Macbook Pros. One is 2.4GHz, another is 2.53GHz. Some people says that you won’t feel so much difference using one or the other. How about difference between NVIDIA GeForce 9400M + 9600M GT “with 256MB” and “with 512MB”? Is it worth paying $500 more?

  49. Michaela Says:

    Very nice review. Thanks a lot!

  50. Chrisahx2 Says:

    @Jon regarding German MBP’s having that electrical buzz to it, YES thats an American issue too, I know on my new MPB I got a few days ago, the one this thread is talking about, I had it plugged in charging and when I put my hand on the top of the laptop, it had an electrical buzz to it. But I haven’t noticed the palm rests ever having that problem on either my new MBP or the old one I bought a year and a half ago.

    @Emma, give me a break, the reviewer said he “didn’t like car comparisons when talking about computers” but his comparison between a toyota and lexus is valid, since toyota owns lexus. Maybe you would prefer he use a Volkswagon to Bentley comparison as VW owns Bentley and BMW owns RR, but who gives a damn? it was simply a point to use to compare the old MBP to the new one, stupid foreigner.

    Finally myself owning the new 4gb mbp I love it and the screen and keyboard and mousepad are awesome. The screen IS GLOSSY because the screen is made of GLASS. But I had more glare problems with my 1 1/2 year old MBP with a matte screen than I do with this beautiful Glossy screen. As for using it in a light show filled nightclub I don’t know if it would reflect since I don’t carry my laptop when I go to dance clubs.

  51. Chrisahx2 Says:

    @michelle, Mac’s NEVER lower their price on their laptops just because a year passes, they may upgrade the new mpb’s but those upgrades will also be available to anyone who buy’s one now or a year from now, this new MBP is very adaptable to upgrades.

  52. ngarda Says:

    Hi, I’ve been trying to figure out if it’s worth paying the extra AU$800 for the 2.5 processor, etc? You said you tested both computers, but don’t say if it’s worthwhile or not. Any recommendations?

  53. Video Games Says:

    The Paper-thin one’s were way better.

  54. G man Says:

    I brought the new basic MBP model for £1168 by ordering from my university campus. It’s definitely an improvement over my friends previous generation macbook pro. Get a student to buy a mac for you or buy it in there name at a local store or online for a 6% discount (University students get approximately a 14% discount). I’m extremely happy with mine as the performance over my previous black macbook is extremely noticeable. I talked to a guy at the apple store and there practically isn’t much of a difference between the 2.4 and 2.53 GHz MBP. I just couldn’t justify the cost difference. If however you don’t wont to buy a laptop for at least four years, buy the high end model since you would feel that your laptop can compete with improved future generations.

  55. Michael Says:

    I think that every penny is worth with mac.

  56. Manish Says:

    Apple are really doing an awesome job…Pro really looks cool…I just wish the prices were lower

  57. iindie Says:

    Good review , i went for the 17inch MBP myself for one reason , screen speed and SSD and it really delivers in all departements .The SSD is a great disk if you can live with a relatively finite amount of hard drive space. I use it to work on Mac os X server systems setup optimization and configuration , hence the machines i compare to are MacPro’s Xserves and others.

    1) Boot time 14 Seconds and you are here.
    2) Ethernet … FAST of course don’t expect SFP speeds but it is there
    3) Airport ,good range for our use.
    4) Screen quality is very good.
    5) Parallels runs flawlessly on this machine. In case someone needs windows somewhere , somehow as a VM for testing.

    Aside from the lack of RS232 port that i circumvent this is a great piece of hardware.

  58. tercelin kirtley Says:

    Brent,
    To answer your question, you can hook up your video camera directly to your external hard drive, it’s plug and play….I didn’t think this was possible until I tried it.

  59. Conrad Says:

    I am planning on buying a 17″ with SSD and the faster processor. I’m on a fence about the anti-glare screen. I just bought a MacBook for my girl and I didn’t find the glare a problem. She doesn’t notice it and she has used it far more than I have. As for the black border, I don’t think it looks bad, but I don’t mind the non-black border that the anti-glare 17″ MBP has either. Both are LED displays and should be bright. Apple tells me the anti-glare screens will be special order only for an extra $49. So perhaps I should take a look at the 24″ LED display–is that one glossy or matte? That is LED also, is it not?

  60. Anthony Says:

    i recently purchased the 15.4 inch 2,500 dollar macbook pro…i bought this amazing computer for school and there is nothing i could say bad about it. it’s design beats the ugly and old-style looking previous model and the new features and AMAZING graphics card(S) are totally worth purchasing this. i love it, i would never get anything other than it.

  61. Greg Says:

    I was wondering, I’ve been doing a lot of research on the specs and pricing and for recording is it worth spending about $400 more to get the new refurbished 15” 2.4 Ghz with a 250gb hard drive and 2gb of ram as oppose to the previous generation macbook pro 15” screen with a 2.4Ghz processor, 200gb hard drive and 2gb of ram. Really the only difference as far as specs is the front side bus on the ram and the processor. I dont really care about the graphics as much. But will i notice a difference in speed and is it worth it if i am just going to be doing home recording? Im going to be using logic express.

  62. Gopi Says:

    I saw a macpro yesterday at the apple store and I would really like to know how efficient does it handle the generated heat (especially with two video cards and 4 GB of memory)in comparision to any non-mac laptops that has many openings for cooling purposes beneath them…

  63. Rhonda Says:

    I am thinking of buying this Mac Pro — and this would be my first foray into the MAC world. How is the battery and the wear and tear on this computer? Also, is the MAC compatible with other PC’s in terms of file sharing? Thanks for the review– has helped me a lot!

  64. Lance Says:

    You, and Apple, and about seven other reviewers I’ve read, fail to mention how many RAM slotS????? I know it is 8GB max, but is that two slots of 4GB each or four slots of 2GB each? Seems impractical to remove two perfectly good 2GB sticks of RAM in order to put in 2 more larger sticks.

  65. Andrea Says:

    I agree that the glossy screen is annoying. And I've noticed that the macs with 7200 rpm become alot hotter than those with 5400. However, I love the new trackpad and the graphics card. I'm also super impressed with the battery life, makes life so much easier! Great review, thanks alot!

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