“If your precious PowerBook G4 means the world to you, then brace yourself: This fabulous design just got repackaged with some Intel firepower. The MacBook Pro (15-inch) is the new standard for Mobile Mac users. Gone are the slow IBM PowerPC processors, and in come the Intel Core Duo processors, raising the Mac performance bar like never before. For consumers, this is a huge deal. But graphics and media professionals should wait until their essential software apps are updated to universal binary (to be optimized for Intel-based systems),” Cisco Cheng writes for PC Magazine. “My one complaint about the design is that it still has a one-button mouse. Sure, you can hold down the Ctrl key and the mouse button to get right-click effects, but if the USB Mighty Mouse has added left and right click buttons, I expect something similar from the MacBook Pro.”
MacDailyNews Note: Third-party utilities such as iScroll2 supports mapping the trackpad which allows for tap gestures to a specific mouse button such as right click. In addition, developer Raging Menace’s SideTrack says a MacBook compatible update is planned and will be released as soon as possible that will allow for mapping of trackpad corner taps to mouse buttons.
Cheng continues, “For those who are about to run to the Apple store, there is a lingering issue with third-party software written for the Mac, which will have to be rewritten so that it is optimized for Intel. Apple has included a Rosetta emulator in Mac OS X to run Mac software on Intel hardware… For those who just can’t wait, the MacBook Pro performed well on day-to-day applications. I downloaded and viewed high-definition QuickTime clips with no hiccups. Surfing the Web with Safari and listening to iTunes ran without stutter. Processing with Microsoft Word, running Excel spreadsheets, and viewing PowerPoint slides were mostly fluid. Navigating Google Earth and zooming into popular destinations seemed a lot faster than with the PowerBook G4. The only glitch came when editing with Adobe Photoshop CS2, which appeared slower and didn’t run as well as the other applications. All of the above tasks ran in emulation, and in general, everything ran smoothly.”
Cheng writes, “The MacBook Pro includes a 60-Wh battery, slightly bigger than the PowerBook G4’s 50-Wh battery, but it lasted just as long. I expected battery performance to be subpar with the new Core Duo components. That Apple can maintain more than 2 hours of battery life when playing a DVD is better than I anticipated… The native applications were blazingly fast, in many instances twice as fast as on the PowerBook… Photoshop ran at a decent pace, but the score should have been much better than 2:39—even considering that Photoshop is not universal binary. The Acer TravelMate 8204WLMi (which has similar components) came in at 1:11. Those are the kind of numbers I expect from the MacBook Pro once Adobe releases the universal binary version of Photoshop CS2.”
Cheng writes, “For typical users running the iLife ’06 suite, iTunes, and even nonuniversal applications such as Microsoft Office and Adobe products, the Apple MacBook Pro is a solid notebook. It’s a sweet upgrade from the PowerBook G4, and Windows users switching over will like it just the same. But for sophisticated media enthusiasts or professionals, we suggest you wait a couple of months, or at least until the software can catch up with the Intel components, before diving in.”
Full article here.
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Apple begins shipping MacBook Pro notebook computers with faster 2.16 GHz Intel Core Duo processors – February 14, 2006
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