Apple MacBook Pro a ‘drop-dead gorgeous laptop’

“On Friday I received one of the first 15.4in MacBook Pros to be given to any journalist. I’ve been buzzing ever since,” Tom Dunmore writes for Stuff Magazine. “The 1440×900-pixel screen is particularly impressive: it looks brighter than my G5 iMac’s LCD, although to get the best out of it you need to be seated directly in front of the display. It’s not that the viewing angle is awful; it’s just much dimmer when you’re viewing from the side or above. Still, as I type this I’m working in direct sunlight without any problem.”

“Of course, the real difference between the MacBook and its Powerbook predecessor lies beneath the tastefully brushed aluminium exterior; for inside this new machine is an Intel Core Duo processor, running at 2GHz,” Dunmore writes. “The MacBook certainly runs at a blistering pace: boot time, for example, is under 30 seconds… In standard use, the MacBook performed snappily – no spinning ‘beachballs of death’ to report, and the Safari web browser launched instantaneously. iTunes flies through CD rips at around 15x-20x playback speed (in high performance mode) and you can seamlessly scroll through thousands of snaps in iPhoto without the slightest glitch. Of course, Apple’s consumer software has been rewritten for the Intel chips, but most third party software is not yet ‘Universal’ (optimised to run on both old PowerPCs and new Intels). This makes no difference in productivity apps like Microsoft Office, but Photoshop runs at around half the speed of a G5 desktop, and Final Cut Express feels a little slow. Both are perfectly useable, though – and still run significantly faster than on my two-year-old 867MHz G4 Powerbook.”

“On its first full charge, with a lot of disc spinning and installation going all, the MacBook Pro managed to survive for just over two and a half hours. And that was after choosing ‘better battery life’ from the battery drop-down on the menu bar (the other options are ‘better performance’ or ‘normal’). Full recharge – while the MacBook was being used – took about 90 minutes,” Dunmore writes. “The MacBook Pro does nothing to damage Apple’s appeal as a status symbol. But nor does it mark a great leap forward for the brand – the design is the familiar, as are the functions. Battery life is acceptable. Performance is roaring with Universal applications, but less so with unoptimised software… For now, all I know is that Apple’s going to have to send the heavies around if it expects to get this particular MacBook back… If you’re after a drop-dead gorgeous laptop that runs consumer applications brilliantly, that excels in entertainment and productivity software, and that’s truly future-proofed, then it’s worth joining the queue.”

Full article here.

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Related MacDailyNews articles:
Macworld posts Apple MacBook Pro 2.0GHz first lab tests – February 22, 2006
Apple PowerBook G4 1.5GHz vs. MacBook Pro 2.0Ghz Adobe Photoshop benchmarks – February 22, 2006
Apple begins shipping MacBook Pro notebook computers with faster 2.16 GHz Intel Core Duo processors – February 14, 2006
Adobe: no native Intel Mac support until 2007; Photoshop could be 14 months away – February 01, 2006
Computerworld: Apple’s MacBook Pro ‘fast, really fast – looks like a real winner’ – January 28, 2006
Analyst: Apple seeing strong sales of iMac Core Duo, MacBook Pro, 5th generation iPod – January 25, 2006
Apple: expect MacBook Pro shortages – January 19, 2006
Use the ExpressCard slot to add FireWire 800 to Apple’s new MacBook Pro – January 15, 2006
Apple MacBook Pro, ExpressCard and EVDO – January 14, 2006
Apple introduces MacBook Pro; up to four times faster than PowerBook G4 – January 10, 2006

19 Comments

  1. nice review — i wonder if Apple has fixed the ‘line’ issue with the high-resolution screens. Search Apple discussion boards for more on that.

    As a first edition G4 Alu-Book owner i am particularly fond of Apple Powerbook screen issues. With white-spots and dark spots and resolution issues, i am on my 4th screen in 2 and a half years.

  2. The MacDaddy-Oh, I want £2,000 for it

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    I can’t sell it but I want to. It’s less than a year old. My Mum taught me to look after things and only replace them if they break.

  3. Hey, wait,

    I love my 1.67 GHz PowerBook. Not that I’d turn down the new machines, but I figure with at least another year to go before the heavy-duty apps. I use (Photoshop, Maya, etc.) are Universal, there’s no real reason to upgrade just yet. Heck, maybe if I wait another year, I could get a 3GHz dual-core laptop. Talk about cool … er, hot!

  4. I have a 1.5 PB G4, you should always wait before you jump on the bandwagon. Only a couple times have I found it prudent to buy when a product first comes out. Like the PowerMac G5s, the early ones came with up to 8 Gigs of RAM, later on only the premium models came with 8 the standard was up to 4 Gigs. I got my G5 when the getting was good. I recommend waiting on optimized apps and faster specs which I am sure will emerge in a year and a half.

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