InfoWorld: Apple’s Thunderbolt MacBook Pro, the last notebook you’ll ever need

“From the outset, Apple’s MacBook Pro has been the standard-bearer for professional notebook computers. Apple’s extra-mile engineering sets the bar for performance, durability, build quality, longevity, ergonomics, battery life, and connectivity,” Tom Yager reports for InfoWorld. “For the past several years, Apple has had only itself to outdo with each new generation of MacBook Pro, yet Apple has still managed to set the pace, mostly with upgrades to materials, graphics, disk size, and battery life.”

“Not to take such advances for granted — after all, the one-piece machined aluminum frame and dynamic GPU switching were among many unique and jaw-dropping innovations — but where’s the ultimate to-die-for model year leap, the upgrade so substantial that we may not see its like again for five years?” Yager asks. “As tight as money is now, buyers want to see double, triple, and order-of-magnitude level improvements to justify spending $1,799 to $2,499 on a notebook.”

“With the new Thunderbolt MacBook Pro, so nicknamed for its revolutionary high-speed I/O port, that’s just what you’ll get,” Yager reports. “The 15- and 17-inch quad-core models deliver twice the CPU performance of Core 2 Duo, three times the graphics performance of the previous generation’s Nvidia GeForce GT 330M, and more than ten times the external I/O bandwidth of 800MHz FireWire. Even with a base price of just $1,199 and dual-core instead of quad-core CPUs, the new 13-inch MacBook Pro still outpaces prior Mac notebooks in terms of CPU and I/O performance.”

Yager reports, “This brand of magic can’t be conjured by Apple’s competitors. Sustained innovations like the MagSafe quick-disconnect charge port, the industrial-grade frame machined from a solid block of aluminum, digital optical audio input and output, automatic integrated/discrete GPU (graphics processing unit) switching, and a five-year battery already have no equal… This might be the last notebook computer you’ll ever need or want.”

Much, much more in the full article – highly recommended – here.

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


  1. I want.

    However, i have found it hard to upgrade, as my 17″ G4 PowerMac (that’s right, folks) is still going strong. It’s a bit pokey, and it can’t run some of the latest Intel-only apps, but it’s hard to move on when a machine is still running as well as this one is.

    Oh well… my new iPad 2 is keeping me pretty busy these days 🙂

      1. I hear you. I have checked out the latest and greatest at my local Apple store, and felt the burning in my wallet.

        Ironically, If my 6 year old PowerBook was a PC, I would be forced to upgrade twice over. Cursed Macs and their longevity 🙂

    1. I feel your pain, my OG Macbook white 2GHZ is still rocking, hard to justify an upgrade when i still run the latest and greatest OS from Apple with relative easy. Not as impressive as your G4’s legs, but still – its 4 years old. I only wish I had built in HDMI out, the DVI to HDMI is not the same.

  2. Got my 4 @ 2.2 cores MBP 15″ with 8 GBs RAM, and while copying files over from my old PowerMac G5 tower (2 @ 2.33 GHz with 2.5 GBs RAM), I was also able to use Handbrake to burn a movie onto the hard drive, surf the internet, do email. It didn’t miss a beat. Can’t wait for Thunderbolt storage devices to be readily available.

    1. No doubt! Makes for a catchy headline but this clown obviously hasn’t been in the industry very long… I’ve bought countless Apple products since 1978 and EVERY year I *want* a new one!!

  3. Just got a 15″ quad core i7 from work. The thing barely breaks a sweat multi tasking all day. I’m not sure if I’ve even heard the fan turn on. Maybe once while editing in Final Cut Express. The battery life is as advertised. I was in a marathon meeting last week and after 4 hours my coworkers were amazed that the MBP will still humming along. This thing is a beast.

  4. Agreed. My own first-gen Core Duo MBP is still doing just fine at almost 5 years of age. The only thing I would change about the new ones is the case design – I would like to see Apple just slightly round down all the sharp edges (particularly the corners of the lid groove on the front). And maybe cut the weight slightly (the new 15 inchers are heavier than my original). Otherwise, they are simply perfect.

  5. I also just got an i7 15″ MBP, with the 512GB solid state drive. Great machine, although the experience improvement seems merely incrementally than my wife’s four year old one. I do love the increments, to be sure. The uni-body is better. The display is clearly better, with the anti-glare version now able to render a good black. The battery drain is nice and slow (until I start using Photoshop. While it is noticeably thinner, it’s not lighter (the footprint is larger). Because of the amount of data I have to carry around, I still need to pack a couple of pocket size WD drives, but they are powered through the port rather than needing a bulky supply and AC outlet. I’m itching to get some T-Bolt drives.

    Just like with their i-devices, Apple does not require outside competition to motivate improvements. If it weren’t for Apple, laptops would weigh fifteen pounds, have painfully fuzzy displays, require continuous charging, and we’d be hammering out lines of commands to do anything.

  6. I’ve been buying the latest and hottest Mac laptops since the 1990s. Not once have I had it longer than six months before Apple announced a newer model that made mine look like a cluncker. And None has been supported for more than four or five years.

    That’s the price of progress.

  7. Interesting comment, “…last notebook you’ll ever need.” After just a short time using the 15″ SSD model with 8MB RAM, I actually thought that very thing. I know that’s not right. Things will be changing and leaving it behind. But, it was SO fast for certain things, that I couldn’t imagine it faster. How much faster can it get than INSTANT. Okay. I later found some things that still took some seconds to open. So maybe something will be faster. And I don’t know how the SSD and such will do in the long haul. But I actually thought (for a moment) that this is the last I might need. I’m working to get over it. I do still need more internal storage. Never enough. And I’d like to shave a couple more pounds and some heat off of it. It only heated up with certain aps. Okay. A little more fine tuning perhaps. Whew! I’m getting over it. But it’s really good. Now, I’ll read the article…

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