CNET: Apple MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo ‘provides great overall computing experience, at a premium price’

“The MacBook Pro was introduced earlier this year with Intel’s Core Duo processor, and now Apple’s high-end laptop gets a boost to Intel’s latest-and-greatest processor, the Core 2 Duo. Other than the updated CPU, the rest of the MacBook Pro remains largely the same, with appreciated bumps to the memory and the hard drive,” Dan Ackerman writes for CNET Reviews.

“There are two 15-inch versions that use either a 2.16GHz or a 2.33GHz CPU, as well as a 17-inch version with the 2.33GHz chip. Apple supplied us with the 2.33GHz 15-inch model, which has a base price of $2,499. Our review unit features memory and hard drive upgrades, which bring the price to $3,174. While the performance gains aren’t game-changing, anyone who recently purchased a Core Duo MacBook Pro is doubtlessly gnashing their teeth right now, but this move to Core 2 Duo removes one of the last objections some buyers felt about plunking down for a Mac laptop,” Ackerman writes.

Ackerman writes, “Apple’s minimalist school of design is well represented in the MacBook Pro. Opening the lid, you’ll find only a power button, a full-size keyboard, stereo speakers, a sizable touch pad with a single mouse button, and a built-in iSight camera that sits above the display. We’re still big fans of the keyboard’s backlighting feature and the two-finger touch pad scroll (run two fingers down the touch pad and it scrolls like a mouse wheel).”

“If you’ve been holding off on making the leap to a MacBook because of the lack of Core 2 Duo processors, this new update adds the latest Intel CPUs and provides a great overall computing experience, albeit at a premium price,” Ackerman writes.

Full review here.

MacDailyNews Take: “Premium price” compared to what exactly, a cut-rate PC laptop or a comparably-equipped PC laptop that can’t run Mac OS X? If the former, CNET’s point is meaningless, if the latter, please tell us which PC laptop can match or beat Apple’s MacBook Pro pricing.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Computerworld: Apple’s new MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo ‘one cool customer, fastest Apple laptop ever’ – November 02, 2006
Apple MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo dissection photos – October 30, 2006
Why MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo units are limited to 3 GB RAM – October 30, 2006
Apple redesigns, hides iSight indicator on MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo models – October 28, 2006
Apple does it again: New Macbook Pros much cheaper than Dell – October 25, 2006
Yager: New Apple MacBook Pro is ‘mobile landing pad for Leopard in plenty of time for Macworld Expo’ – October 24, 2006
Apple MacBook Pro notebooks go Intel Core 2 Duo; up to 39-percent faster – October 24, 2006

86 Comments

  1. You can’t get a equally configured Dell for the same price or cheaper – here is a 15.4″ Dell configured as close as possible to the Macbook Pro

    The Dell is $3253 with
    Intel® Core™ 2 Duo processor T7600 (2.33GHz/667MHz) Dual Core
    Genuine Windows® XP Professional, SP2 with Media edit
    Express Upgrade to Windows Vista
    NVIDIA® Quadro FX 350M 512MB Turbocache, OpenGL
    15.4 inch Wide Screen WUXGA LCD Panel
    2 GB, DDR2-667 SDRAM, 2 DIMM
    160GB Hard Drive (5400RPM) edit
    8X DVD+/-RW w/Roxio Software™ and Cyberlink Power DVD™
    Dell Wireless® 350 Bluetooth Module
    Intel® 3945 802.11a/g Dual-band Mini-CardMobile Broadband

  2. The main Dell consumer and business notebook lines, comparably equipped, ARE somewhat less expensive than the MacBook Pro (even when you add in 3 years of virus protection for the Dells). I’ve done the–painstaking–comparisons for a business purchase recently. Dell’s premium laptop line, on the other hand, is more expensive, but no one has to get that.
    Of course, a “comparable” Dell machine does not include OS X and the other Apple software; but only those who’ve used both Windows and OS X can appreciate the difference, and most haven’t.
    That said, I’m eagerly anticipating my new $2499 15″ MacBook Pro, ordered yesterday (hope they’ve solved the Airport issues before mine ships!).

  3. Well, who cares how much you pay – I only hope these models don’t have any issues. I’m so sick of buying Apple products which break down on me and require a trip to the Apple hospital for 10 days while they fix it up.

    100% of my last 3 machines have required a service call.

  4. “Hey Pricing – that surly isn’t an equivalent Dell”

    It’s a E1505 configured to be equivalent to the base Macbook Pro, superior in some specs as noted where Dell has no exact match.

    Look also at the 1705, it can be configured almost exactly the same as a 17″ Macbook Pro for $1993, including only the 2.16GHz processor, but the Nvidia 7900 graphics, which puts the X1600 to shame (It’s about 3 times quicker in the graphic accelerator department, perhaps a good tradeoff for $800 saving and .17MHz less on the processor speed). And if you don’t want the 667MHz ram or the fast graphics you can save even more.

    The fact is except by comparing with a few premium priced PCs, you can forget price comparisons with the PC world coming out in Apple’s favor.

  5. Comparisons already done!

    http://www.systemshootouts.org/

    Mouse over the links at top

    Unfortunatly the PS3 now can sport a keyboard and mouse for web browsing and other things.

    http://news.com.com/2300-1043_3-6131992-6.html?tag=ne.gall.pg

    As you may not know the PS3 sports a Cell processor with 9 cores for only $600.

    Intel is selling the Quad processor for $999 each in volume. Two (eight cores) would be $2000, then add a case and everything else from Apple. $5000.

  6. LOL JfK

    it seems to me that CNet has become less in depth and more about whats hip. not that there’s anything wrong with it…I just get better info about phones at one sight, cameras at another, pc at some others, and TVs at still another. They seem to be the Wal Mart of reviewers, which isn’t always bad, just not enough REAL info.

  7. CNET reeks of fear these days – and for good reason: the world is finally waking up.

    As others have put it, you can’t buy a comparable Dell for less.

    It’s like buying a new Lexus for less than a new Ford. Can we say “No brainer!”?.

    When you can buy the best hardware, the best OS, and the best accessory software (iLife), all in a sweet package for LESS, the PC world had better be taking notice.

    It all proves once again that fighting for the bottom only digs your own grave. Kudos to Apple for staying out of the spiral.

  8. “No backlit keyboard 1+ pounds more – thicker (a lot thicker) no scrolling trackpad I will take the Apple anyday over the Dell: and here is the real comparison… Oh and wait I can run Windows and OS-X…

    The Dell has a scrolling trackpad. They all do.

    I find a laptop’s screen adequatly illumates the keyboard in darkness, so don’t really value that feature, and could solve it with a $8 USB LED light if I did.

    But you may think differently and that’s Fine, it’s your $800. You are obviously prepared to pay a PREMIUM for those features. And that’s the journalist’s point.

    Actually if you’re less fussy on specs you can save over $1900 compared to the Apple.

    “Oh and wait I can run Windows and OS-X”

    If the only way a PC can “Win” the comparison is to run OS X then all comparisons are pointless.

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