PC Magazine: Apple 17-inch MacBook Pro: ‘offers virtually everything a user needs’

“The MacBook Pro 17-inch, the second Apple branded notebook to receive Intel’s powerful Dual Core architecture, offers virtually everything a user needs. It shares many of the same pleasing features found in the smaller MacBook Pro 15-inch model, including Front Row, the MagSafe adapter, the iSight camera, and the iLife ’06 suite. And best of all, despite this MacBook’s larger 17-inch screen, it’s not too difficult to tote,” Cisco Cheng writes for PC Magazine. “The MacBook Pro 17-inch keeps its weight down to an astounding 6.8 pounds—truly impressive for a desktop replacement—and sports an attractive, thin, 1-inch frame… Typing on the MacBook is comfortable; it has the same responsive touchpad as the Apple PowerBook 17-inch, You can scroll up, down, left, and right by applying two fingers to the touchpad.”

MacDailyNews Note: The 17-inch also offers secondary click (right click) without resorting to physically chopping the click button into two: just place two fingers anywhere on the trackpad and click the button to secondary click. Users can turn this option on in the Keyboard & Mouse Trackpad section of System Preferences. A typically elegant solution from Apple, it works very well.

Cheng continues, “As with all the Intel Macs, Apple bundles this one with its powerful iLife ’06 software suite. iLife includes iPhoto, a very good photo editor; iMovie HD for video editing; GarageBand to take care of audio editing; and iWeb for simple web publishing…. I was able to load Apple’s Boot Camp without a hitch. Since this system is using the same ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 as the 15-inch version, all of the gaming test results I ran (with Windows) were just as good… The bottom line is that if you’re a creative professional who always works on Macs and is heavily into graphic design or movie editing, the move to the MacBook Pro 17-inch is a no-brainer, even at $3,099 (fully loaded). However, if you’re simply looking for a cool multimedia laptop with good screen real estate and some oomph under the hood, there are plenty of Windows-only widescreens available that will give you better bang for your buck.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “DigitalDame” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Take: As inexplicable ending lines go, this one pretty much takes the cake. It feels tacked on as an afterthought – almost as if by someone else; the advertising sales manager would be our guess. Let’s look at the facts: other “multimedia laptops” are OS-limited, stuck running Windows only. The MacBook Pro can run both Mac OS X and WIndows (just like any Intel-based Mac), which means that it can run Apple iLife ’06 multimedia suite of applications which Cheng praises in the review. So, what’s “cool” about being OS-limited to Windows and not being able to run Mac OS X and iLife? Is it cool to lug around an ugly, thick, heavy Windows laptop? Is being insecure online and depending on slimy Anti-Virus software companies to rob your processor cycles for flawed “protection” supposed to be “cool?”

And, by the way, if “you’re a creative professional who always works on Macs and is heavily into graphic design,” you’re probably waiting for Adobe to make Photoshop Universal (even though we’ve found it surprisingly fast running under Rosetta), so Cheng is wrong there, too. With all that said, Cheng’s final sentence does end up making sense: there are plenty of other laptops with big screens and fast processors for a bit less money, but you’ll be getting much less in the process. Macintosh. You get what you pay for.

Why would anyone waste their money on any Windows PC when a Mac can run both Mac OS X and Windows? Why would anyone willingly segregate themselves into the Windows ghetto to supposedly save a few bucks upfront? Over time, Apple Macs pay their users back, and then some, by making them more productive, sparing them from security problems and general frustration, and offering a system that actually feels like someone spent serious time (decades, in fact) thinking about usability and the end user. Just because those who have no Mac experience don’t understand those benefits (or their value) doesn’t make them any less true (or less valuable).

The real bottom line, from a site that is wholly independent of Windows PC box assemblers’ ad buys, is that Apple’s 17-inch MacBook Pro is the best and most versatile large screen notebook personal computer in the world. No other portable computer from any other company on earth even comes close. Our sole con: do not get one for use in public if people staring and asking questions about your computer makes you uncomfortable.

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  1. Although I only have a 1.33Ghz, I love my 17″ I have never not liked it. I never even set my eyes on one before ordering it from the apple store. It’s never been “too big” for camping or traveling. I will never get anything but a 17″ again.

  2. Actually, “Me”, I agree with the anal stance of MDN. “Satisfaction” rings like mediocrity and complacency. “Satisfied” does not really fit in the the Apple Model, or any business model.

    So no. We’re not satisfied. We want better, and we want to see credit given where it is due, and we all know where it is due don’t we class.

    “Yes Mr. Pennypacker”

    That’s very good class

  3. MDN’s take is spot on (as is usually the case).

    The “positive” review is ruined by illogical stupidity at the end. MDN rightfully calls the author and the publication on it.

    MDN’s take contains the real meat that any honest Apple Mac review should contain. You’ll notice that outlets that depend on ad dollars from Microsoft, Dell, etc. will not write the truth. They will nitpick or invent “cons” as needed in an attempt to preserve the status quo.

    Bravo, MDN!

  4. its probably true that most of the world doesnt have any idea about great design, great aesthetics, or appreciate the ‘humanness’ that Apple pride themselves on fusing into the whole Apple experience.

    In fact alot of people have incredibly bad taste in design and have no idea about productivity and seem not to have any idea that using a computer need not be an exercise in frustration.

    You can also blame windows for having the majority of the market share and setting this ‘standard’.

    Can Apple change people’s expectations in what they expect from using a computer in the next 50 years? The increasing amount of people buying a Mac would indicate they can.

  5. “However, if you’re simply looking for a cool multimedia laptop with good screen real estate and some oomph under the hood, there are plenty of Windows-only widescreens available that will give you better bang for your buck.”

    True. Plus people are satisfied with windows and waiting for Vista.
    And that´s why Windows will continue to have 99,8% of the computer market – 97% Windows only and the remaining 2.8% of the computer market who are Mac owners that ALSO run Windows on their Apple computers.

  6. MDN … you didn’t think the article – except the last line – was gushing just a bit?
    “iPhoto, a very good photo editor”
    “GarageBand to take care of audio editing”
    “iWeb for simple web publishing”

    <u>iPhoto</u> is a very good photo <u>editor</u>? For the price, no question. For the intended market, no argument. That doesn’t bring it anywhere near being “very good” … not as an “editor”.
    <u>Garageband</u> is an acceptable option for editing audio? There are several shareware products out there that are significantly better at <u>editing</u> sound. None can give you a podcast from start to finish with nearly the ease of Garageband, and none will help you create music, but for editing?
    <u>iWeb</u> … I’d rather create a site line by line than use iWeb for the task. You lack the chops for it? OK, look at Rapidweaver, or maybe Sandvox for help. iWeb is just about good enough to build a minor vanity site with lots of pretty and a minimum of content.

    About the last line … you can get a perfectly usable 17″ PC notebook for less than the price of the 17″ MacBook Pro. If it offers everything you need – and it won’t offer iLife – then you can certainly save a few dollars in the process. Of course, you’ll have to deal with the malware issue if you go that route.

    I’m not going negative on Apple or the products mentioned, and I’m not suggesting that you go with the PC option to save the money. I’m saying the review is a semi-ignorant praise piece and you can certainly achieve significant, if false, savings if a PC model suits your needs.

    That’s <u>MY</u> opinion.

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