PC Magazine reviews Apple’s 15-inch MacBook Pro (Penryn): ‘Editors’ Choice for mainstream laptops’

“Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch (Penryn)… isn’t the first laptop to undergo an Intel brain transplant in the form of a next-generation Penryn processor, but it’s among the most sizzling we’ve seen so far. At the heart of this MacBook Pro, the 2.6-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T9500 CPU and 4GB RAM played a pivotal role in tearing up performance tests, including a compelling 15 percent increase in battery life. There are other new additions worth talking about, but performance enhancements alone should encourage first-generation MacBook Pro owners and frustrated Windows users to take the plunge. For that, it retains the Editors’ Choice for mainstream laptops,” Cisco Cheng reports for PC Magazine.

“The MacBook Pro (Penryn) has an intriguing feature—the gesture-based touchpad, which debuted on the iPhone and later showed up on the MacBook Air. This pad, with its ability to manipulate documents and images by finger movements, is a welcome addition to the MacBook Pro line. Although the MacBook Air’s touchpad is noticeably larger than the one on the MacBook Pro, allowing more room for your fingers to pinch and rotate, movements worked just as flawlessly on the MacBook Pro’s pad,” Cheng reports.

“Apple wasn’t the first to come out with a Penryn-based laptop, but this MacBook Pro is one of the fastest laptops I’ve tested since these processors launched in January. Similar Penryn configurations, like the Sony VAIO VGN-SZ791N and the Fujitsu LifeBook A6120, lagged behind the MacBook Pro (Penryn) on SYSmark 2007 Preview, CineBench R10, and video-encoding tests,” Cheng reports.

“The new MacBook Pro produced 3 hours 56 minutes on MobileMark 2007 tests, which is a significant jump from the 3 hours 10 minutes of the previous-generation MacBook Pro. That’s about a 15 percent improvement, which should be music to the ears of road warriors,” Cheng reports.

“I can’t think of any mainstream laptop other than the Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch (Penryn) that does as good a job of combining fabulous design elements with top-of-the-line performance parts,” Cheng reports.

Full review here.

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


  1. “For that, it retains the Editors’ Choice for MAINSTREAM laptops.”

    “I can’t think of any MAINSTREAM laptop other than the Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch (Penryn) that does as good a job of combining fabulous design elements with top-of-the-line performance parts.”

    Whoa! Did you feel the disturbance in the Force?

  2. just my take, but the switch to Intel changed the fight from Mac v. Windows to Apple v. Gateway/HP/Dell – by skimming the most profitable sales from them, Apple finds itself battling against progressively weaker competitors

    tactically, that was a nice move

  3. “frustrated Windows users”

    That just about sums it all up. I installed Vista on my new Penryn 15.4″ MBP 2.5GHz just to see what all the excitement was about. I haven’t used it once in the two weeks I’ve had my new machine. Probably just end up deleting it.

  4. Mikey-Boy,
    I hope you realize that the Blu-Ray drive in these laptops is READ ONLY. Tack on another $200 if you want to burn. Tack on more to bring the hardware specs up to even MacBook levels and you have easily a $1800 laptop (and way more to bring it up to MacBook Pro specs). Let’s see what Apple charges for their laptops when they come out with Blu-Ray.

  5. From the full article:
    “With all the time spent on perfecting the MacBook Air ‘s design, it’s surprising that Apple did little to enhance the looks of the MacBook Pro 15-inch (Penryn).”

    It’s not surprising to me. Even after all these years I cannot think of a better looking laptop. The MB Air is a different beast. The MBPro cannot fit into that sleek form factor. I, for one, am not bored with the MB Pro design. And frankly, I respect Apple more for not making an attempt at artificially boosting sales by changing the exterior looks year after year. My MB Pro Core Duo (not Core 2 Duo) may not be as fast as the new Penryn models, but a least it doesn’t look obsolete (which it is not).

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