Ars Techinca has reviewed Apple’s MacBook Pro in their usual comprehensive fashion. Some snippets:
“In addition to the keyboard backlight, OS X also has the option (enabled by default) to also adjust screen brightness automatically depending on ambient light conditions. This, at first, seemed equally as awesome as the automatic keyboard backlight adjustments, until I was sitting in bed last night typing up this review while cats and other resident humans were circling around me causing ever-so-slight shadows here and there—enough to have my screen brightness be automatically dimming and lighting again every few seconds. Needless to say, this got to be obnoxious rather quickly and I opted to turn it off in the System Preferences. It saddened me a bit, but it had to be done. I wish there was a sensitivity slider for the ambient light sensors so that such a subtle difference in lighting wouldn’t have my screen brightness going up and down like a speaker system display,” Jacqui Cheng writes for Ars Technica. “While on the topic of screens, the display on the MacBook Pro is nothing less than stellar. It’s extremely bright, crisp, and the colors look great while still staying true to the Mac color profile. Unfortunately, it has 60 fewer pixels of vertical resolution than its predecessor, running at 1440×900 instead of 1440×960. An quick test of Pixel Tester 2.11 made sure that I had no dead pixels, much to my delight! LCD nitpickers, I believe, will be pleased with the brightness of the screen; however for my sensitive eyes, I usually run it on the lowest or second-to-lowest brightness notch for the large majority of my everyday use.”
“I ran three battery life tests from full 100% charge down to 0% charge with constant use, no sleeping, at the second-dimmest (hey, that’s average use for me!) screen brightness, but with everything else set to default computer settings (AirPort on, Bluetooth on, etc.),” Cheng writes. “I have mixed feelings on the results. On one hand, an average time of 3 hours and 17 minutes is not necessarily bad (in fact, many of my PC-laptop-using friends were still jealous to hear even this number). However, it’s not as good as it could have been. I had been hoping for an average of 3:30 (even though I did hit that mark once), as I frequently got 3:30 or even up to 4 hours on my old 15″ PowerBook and my 12″ iBook.”
“OS X, as you can expect, feels extremely (X-TREMEly?) fast on the MacBook Pro—certainly much faster than I, as a longtime Mac user, am used to on a Mac. Most apps, such as Safari, Mail, and iTunes launch in between a half a bounce to one full bounce. System Profiler, which typically takes about 800 years to launch on a G4 machine, comes up instantaneously. iPhoto scrolls ridiculously fast, even with a library full of around 2,000 8MB photographs,” Cheng writes. “Spotlight certainly finds things much quicker than my dual G4 tower, and all is right with the world. The slowdown begins when you start trying to mess with Rosetta apps, which shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Photoshop is perfectly usable, but not in any way up to the speed it could be running at if it were in Universal Binary.”
“All in all, the MacBook Pro is an extremely solid machine that makes me happy to be back in the Apple Pro notebook world after a six month hiatus in 12″ iBook-land. The Intel switch has been an important step forward for Apple in general, but particularly for ensuring that its pro lines of hardware keep moving forward, technology-wise, and at a competitive rate. Unfortunately, however, most pro software is not yet available in Universal Binary and is not expected to be for a little while (Adobe is estimating sometime in 2007, for example), but Rosetta is usable enough to get by in the interim if you don’t mind the performance hit,” Cheng writes.
Full article, a must-read if you’re thinking about getting a new MacBook pro, here.
• Apple’s brand new iPod Hi-Fi speaker system. Home stereo. Reinvented. Available now for $349 with free shipping.
• Apple’s new Mac mini. Intel Core, up to 4 times faster. Starting at just $599. Free shipping.
• MacBook Pro. The first Mac notebook built upon Intel Core Duo with iLife ’06, Front Row and built-in iSight. Starting at $1999. Free shipping.
• iMac. Twice as amazing — Intel Core Duo, iLife ’06, Front Row media experience, Apple Remote, built-in iSight. Starting at $1299. Free shipping.
• iPod Radio Remote. Listen to FM radio on your iPod and control everything with a convenient wired remote. Just $49.
• iPod. 15,000 songs. 25,000 photos. 150 hours of video. The new iPod. 30GB and 60GB models start at just $299. Free shipping.
• Connect iPod to your television set with the iPod AV Cable. Just $19.
Related MacDailyNews articles:
Mossberg: Apple’s MacBook Pro gives users a ‘much better OS with vastly better built-in software’ – March 02, 2006
New York Times’ Pogue: Apples MacBook Pro a ‘beautifully engineered, forward-thinking laptop’ – March 01, 2006
Apple MacBook Pro a ‘drop-dead gorgeous laptop’ – February 27, 2006
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