* Prices may differ from that shown
Why? Well because they are super awesome. End of review.That would be any fanboy review.
I'm not one. In fact, I viewed Apple stuff with scepticism as I've always seen it as overpriced for what you get. Even when at college and we managed to get a go on a Apple G4 tower (this was the best around at the time) I was unimpressed, especially since I had built up my own workstation which was much faster and cheaper. The laptops weren't much better than equivalent PC versions at the time apart from having a pretty logo on the lid. I mean, a huge part of the success of Apple is down to UK designed Jonathan Ive.
It wasn't until OSX came about and the change to Intel CPU from the motorla G chips that my interest started to change. Now I rate Apple laptops as probably the best you can buy and a sound investment. Yep, I think Apple laptops are the only manufacturer to have products which do not have a massive depreciation the day after you buy them - well unless you bought the 1st gen Air.
So I've had 2 years on this machine so what do I think. This particular Macbook Pro has the lovely minimal aluminium unibody design. It looks sublime and has a reassuring weight to it. It's aged well and still looks slick. The right side has the slot loading 'superdrive' which is the DVDRW. The opposite side has the; USB ports, Firewire, Ethernet, Power, PC card slot, headphone jack and a battery status button. This is an early unibody design which has the accessible battery. The later models have the battery integrated so you need to send it to Apple/go to a Genius bar to get it changed.
Flip the lid up to reveal an LED backlit display with an integrated camera. The keyboard is full size with the now ubiquitous 'island' style and then you have the massive trackpad with integrated button. It took me a while to get used to the keyboard feel and the trackpad. The keyboard does still feel lacking to me due to the slippy surface and the lack of depth when pressing down on the key. I don't type as fast as when using my PC keyboard. The trackpad is a delight to use now and the shear size compared to other laptops means you really make the most of the multi-function capability. We just got an iMac and bought the trackpad 'mouse' option which I will write up on.
Apple do design a fair amount of future-proofing in their laptops now which is a good thing since they are at a premium price. This one comes equipped with an Intel Core 2 Duo CPU which is still pretty quick and has the dual graphics card option. The integrated one (Nvidia 9400M) helps prolong your battery life and when you need a boost in the graphics department you can switch it to the Nvidia 9600M. Naturally, this hits your battery life. This model has the Lion battery so only gets around 4 hours use in power saving before needing a charge. Later models have a lithium-polymer type. For example my later Macbook Unibody still keeps 7 hours charge even now.
The OSX operating system really is very intuitive. Beginners can pick it up and if you're an advanced user it's all there for you to play with. It's a robust OS and so far, touch wood, it hasn't crashed or stalled on me once. This kind of reliability pays for itself.
Using it is a joy. It comes bundled with various software that makes using it a breeze. iMovie for doing film clips, iphoto for managing your images, garageband for music making etc... Frontrow works similar to Windows Media Centre and brings up all your media in an easier to navigate main screen. Get an Apple remote, hook it up to a TV and you can flick through all your media.
The choice for getting this was made easier since I was a student and got a discount. I wanted something that would be reliable, powerful and also, admittedly, pleasing to the eye. However, it's a testament to Apple design in both aesthetics and function that I can still use this alongside my counterparts and in these years of use it has only depreciated a couple of hundred from what I paid originally. I still use a PC but have to say that a majority of my computers are now Apple.
As a long time windows user, I was very sceptical about using the MacBook Pro. It took a long time (over 2 months) for me to stop detesting the Mac and begin appreciating it's features. As such, here are a few things I now CANNOT live without:
- Multitouch trackpad. Simply amazing. I prefer this to using a mouse or going back to the absurdly small trackpad on most other laptops.
- Screen resolution. Simply amazing. After working on a Mac all day, it hurts the eyes to go back to a bog standard laptop display.
- Battery life. I can get about 5 hours (from full charge, with no wifi or bluetooth) before the battery begins to die. I have never been able to get more than 3/4 hours with a standard laptop (excluding hi-range business machines).
I'm still getting used to the Mac and there are a few things that bug me (Excel for Mac is a horrible horrible piece of software), however, I no longer hate it.
I use this laptop on a daily basis. I use it for work, leisure and studying for around 12 hours a day Monday to Friday. In all this time the laptop has never been shutdown once and have never had a crash. Even after a fall from my desk all that results was an insignificant dent to the casing with all the interiors being completely safe and fully functioning.
The laptop works very well for train journeys and the like with the use of its solid battery life though there is better options if this is your main concern. Additionally, for PC users the software market and particularly the free software market is very hot today and there is many many good quality products out there which mimic the look of Microsoft products etc for example. In conclusion, this is a very high quality product which novice Mac users should not feel intimidated by the new look of the operating system over Windows based devices.
Apple's Macbook Pro is THE most stylish laptop on the market to date combining a great design with unbeatable software and innovative features.
The Macbook Pro is made from an aluminium unibody, this creates a solid chassis for the laptop and means you'll have a sturdier computer. Not only does this add a more professional look & feel to the laptop but also ensures it is less prone to damage/wear and tear. Everything is very clean cut with no loose or fiddly parts that could be damaged and overall the laptop is so much lighter than other brands.
As well as the build the overall design is great making it the sexiest laptop to date. The black screen border compliments the black keys, which have an awesome backlight for using your laptop in darker areas). The whole design is very minimalist but this is what makes them so great. The simple design improves aesthetics and adds to the ease of use.
The laptop inputs are great too. All ports are cleanly put to the left hand side, here you have access to the MagSafe port, Ethernet, Firewire port, 2 USBs, Mini Display Port, Audio in & out and an Express card slot (now replaced with an SD card slot) this means you'll have enough space for an peripherals, but it would have been nicer to have more USB slots or one on the right hand side so mouse cables don't have to go all the way round.
Other features on the laptop include a built webcam and mic (with LED) which are nicely concealed in the black bezel. The built in speakers are also very high quality producing sound with bass miles ahead of the competition. The speaker grills are a long grid of small wholes in the aluminium casing, this looks really stylish and helps produce great sound. The slot loading SuperDrive is also a nice addition so you don't have to pull out a CD tray. It's padded on the inside so you don't scratch your disk on the aluminium but I feel it could be more powerful as you pretty much have to push the disk in all the 3/4 of the way before it sucks it in. The fan is also nicely concealed in the hinge of the laptop meaning there are no large visible grills. At first sight you may think this will mean the fans will have to work harder to cool it down but they are extremely quite and unnoticeable most of the time, that said as the laptop is made from pure aluminium the heat does transfer making the bottom of the laptop quite hot sometimes.
When you first boot up the MacBook you'll notice the amazing high resolution 15" LED screen with glass panel covering, it produces some great images but can be quite reflective in sunlight, this isn't too bad as you can just adjust the screen. Along with features such as auto-brightness the screen is very adaptable and is perfect for gaming, watching movies or just casual use.
Mac OSX (now Snow Leopard) is definitely the world's most advanced operating system with revolutionary features that add to it's ease of use. Programs are responsive and out of the box you get so much more than with Windows laptops. This means in the long run you'll spend less on additional software. All the programs are high quality and really do "look better on a Mac". The only problem that occurs with software is that because the Mac user base is so small companies charge higher prices for new applications which mean they can be quite expensive sometimes.
Not only is Snow Leopard and great speedy operating system, booting in 20 seconds and shutting down in 3-5 seconds, it also makes great use on the multi-touch trackpad. It doesn't have a button and is a single large glass trackpad which makes it perfect for gestures. You can assign the trackpad to make clicks on the left side left click and vice versa meaning you no longer have to ctrl click. Multi touch gestures are really not a gimmick and you'll use the everyday. Scrolling through web pages has never been simpler with a simple swipe of two fingers. You can also zoom in and out, rotate and access expose with customisable gestures making it a great addition to the Macbook Pro.
Battery life on the MacBook is also amazing. The newest MacBooks can get up to 7-8 hours! but do have a non-removeable battery. The previous model (still aluminium) gets up to 5 hours but has the removable battery which is great. This is miles beyond most other laptops and the battery life really does get to the advertised times. The laptop also charges relatively fast meaning you can travel around more.
And finally the thing that most people "hate" Macs for. Price. Before you get put off by the relatively high price tag, think about what you're paying for. The MacBook Pro is one of the most durable laptops and will last at least 2 years more than other standard laptops. You also get the most advanced operating system which utilises the latest hardware and features. Macs are truly unbeatable and are definitely worth the money. I challenge you to find a Laptop with the same build quality, durability and those small extras that just add to the value for money.
Overall the MacBook Pro is a remarkable piece of technology combining the greatest design with the latest and greatest software & features. It's definitely worth paying the "high" price for this amazing laptop and you definitely won't be disappointed. A quick word of warning if you are planning on buying on, never purchase a Mac just before September/October or January/February periods as these are the times when Apple usually update and improve their Mac line up, so it may be worth waiting a little extra to get the latest product!
Regardless I would HIGHLY recommend a MacBook over any other laptop!
As I type away on my now on my MacBook Pro the beauty of both the design and the subtle technology inside still doesn't cease to amaze me. Although this year (just a few weeks back) the entire MacBook and MacBook Pro line were revamped, I find myself only more pleased with the purchase of this 'Late '08 Unibody' design.
Apple are known for the iPod and Mac, simple, but what makes the Mac (in general) so unique is that the hardware an software are made by the same company, Apple! This allows for maximum compatibility and support, which also adds to your piece of mind that everything is as it should be.
I will not list the specs, as they can be seen and compared everywhere, but instead I want to tell you about the machine as a whole, and my opinion on what it is. Having a fair bit of experience with MacBooks and the Pro line before my purchase, I can boldly say that the screen is a huge improvement over the PC laptop line as well, showing very dark blacks and wonderful bold colours with aid from the smooth glossy screen. Although the screen causes a lot of debate, I am perfectly happy with this option and feel that a matte version would probably only affect the colours and not give the operating system the glory that is deserved. I can quite honestly say that after using my MacBook Pro I feel 'uncomfortable' and 'awkward' when using another laptops trackpad, due to the size and freedom that has been allowed from Apple. The finger gestures are more than a gimmick, allowing all sorts of combinations to carry out tasks that you will constantly use whilst carrying out every day tasks.
Price is obviously an issue with any quality piece of kit, and with Apple being far from an exception is something that needs to be addressed. A lot of people seem to be unaware of the huge educational and work discounts that are available when buying a Mac. If you are in Sixth Form or College (or a family member is) you are entitled to 'Further Education' discount, if you are in University then you can have a 'Higher Education' discount. Speak to your Boss if you are in work about ordering through the company, as there are many options available to get what you want for an unbeatable price.
The biggest attraction and feature to this partciular MacBook Pro is the new 'Unibody' design, where the keyboard plate and base of the machine is made from one solid piece of aluminium, making the design as a whole stronger and more durable.
There really is so much about this product that can only be said through the experience, so if you are interested then I would advise that you visit your nearest Apple store (or John Lewis/Apple retailer) and spend just ten minutes exploring the visuals and also benchmarking the hardware.
Apple has a problem with popular opinion considering their products as mostly 'style over substance' or 'overpriced'. This is an outdated, tired opinion that has little merit. The cost of ownership of any Apple computer is far cheaper in the long run, due to the features and what you get pre-installed.
The new-shape 'unibody' MacBook Pro has the best build quality of any laptop I've encountered. It's shape, style and quality is second to none. When you take this machine out of it's bag you definitely get a reaction from those around you.
It has two graphics cards, one standard one and a more powerful one suitable for gaming and more graphics intensive applications. The battery and hard drive are easily accessible with the option of going to a solid state drive, the MacBook Pro is easily upgraded by the user if required.
I originally bought this as a secondary computer to compliment my iMac. Their roles have reversed. The power and convenience of having a portable computer that would put a lot of desktop PCs to shame is very useful.
Mac OS X Leopard (10.5) is a pleasure to use, making tasks that were frustrating on Windows easy. Out of the box you'll have an excellent set of Applications to use including the latest edition of iLife (iPhoto, iWeb and iMovie.) You also get one of the best web browsers out there Safari, one of the easiest to use email clients Mail and a whole range of other useful Apps you wouldn't even find on a Windows based laptop full of trial software and a nannying operating system (you could put Windows on it if you wanted to, using the Bootcamp facility.)
The only downside (if you consider it to be one) to the MacBook Pro is the battery life. On a full charge you should get around five hours of normal use (word processing, web browsing, email, etc...) a properly calibrated battery may increase this a little. Not bad, but not amazing either. As with many things, your milage may vary.
If you want a computer that'll last you longer than anything with a Windows sticker on it and portability is a must, get a MacBook Pro. You will not regret it.
Note: I would also recommend getting the AppleCare Protection Plan for any Mac, unlike other extended warranties, it is actually worth having.
Macbook (13.3", 2.4GHz)
I've been using the Macbook for about 6 months now and I've found some time to write a quick review of it, so let's start with the basics. The aluminum enclosure is probably the best Apple have ever come up with. Manufactured from a single slab, it's very sturdy and looks cool. The aluminum behind the screen, however, is a different story.
About a week after it arrived, mine took a tumble and landed square on the edge of my subwoofer, and it now carries a huge dent on the top. As it is still in full working order, proving the quality of protection it provides, the metal on the lid is very flimsy and easily dentable. Had I dropped the older, plastic Macbook from the same height, it wouldn't have even scratched.
The keyboard is excellent, probably the best I've ever used. The key spacing is perfect the backlighting is very useful when using it at night. The trackpad is also very good, and the touch gestures simply make using the OS all the easier. I've been using Mac OS X for about 8 years now, and I can say with confidence that it's easily the best OS on sale today. If you're thinking about buying this laptop but you're worried about switching to Leopard, don't be.
This laptop is fast. Very fast. My model has a 2.4GHz processor and 2GB of RAM. I was thinking about upgrading the RAM to 4GB, but it soon became apparent that this wasn't necessary. It works perfectly for the normal everyday tasks, and some of the higher end applications such as Photoshop CS4 and Visualhub (when encoding HD movies) run without a hitch.
All in all, this is the best laptop I've ever used by a distance, and it's definitely worth the upgrade for users of previous generation Mac laptops and Windows users alike. 9.5/10.
EVERYTHING with an apple computer, Works!! how many computers can you say that about? My last laptop, a powerbook G4 went on for 6 years without a fault. if you have pop up adverts when browsing the net, they are a thing of the past! if like me you start off with a windows and get a mac, yes it takes maybe a day or two to get to learn how to navigate your way round it, but is that really so difficult?? the benefits are worth it, it is easy to use, never gets a virus, never throws you out of what your doing for no reason, the picture quality is brilliant, the software is practical and fun (even windows for mac is better than windows for windows) since i got mine i have 4 close friends to get one of these and we are ALL raving about it and we all have different careers, ranging from a jewellery shop owner, teacher and interior designer and another who is really into music. its a myth that these are for the design industry as they are really practical for everyday use..... a Thorough recommend!!!
The first thing you will realise about the macbook is that it is irresistibly stylish - it just looks great. Then, once you turn it on, you become aware that the substance holds up to the initial hype. If, like me, you had only used PCs prior to making the macbook purchase, I think you will be pleasantly surprised. The macbook is very fast indeed and you will be up and running, wholly connected to the wifi in your home in less than 10 minutes; it really does not take very long to get it out of the box and onto the net.
Then you can start looking through all of the applications on the macbook and you become aware why pretty much all designers and creative professionals do their work on macs. There is a music factory, there is a video editor, there is a photograph manipulator - all of these things sound terribly difficult to use, but they actually could not be easier. All of your PC-using friends will be hugely jealous of your new purchase as soon as they see it.
I rate the macbook pro higher than the macbook air purely because it is slightly more robust. The macbook air has a slight fragile sense to it and I would be terrified of it cracking at the slightest knock.
You will not regret making this purchase and you will never go back to using a PC ever again. It does everything you could possibly need it to do - it is fast, it is gorgeous, it is light, it is portable - and, best of all, it will not be affected by all of the nasty viruses that target PCs. You can surf safe in the knowledge that your laptop is better than your friends'.
Well I'm a recently converted Mac user, I have not become a PC hater since but I can certainly notice the differences since making the switch.
If you go down the Macbook pro route, I think you'll be pleased with the outcome. As even most PC users will testify, Macs just work, in my experience I have also had PCs that have worked fine but they are certainly not as foolproof as what the boys from Apple put into a box.
As many reviewers have already mentioned, the computer is solid and stylish but much of the fun you'll be having will centre around the excellent OS X, which PC converts will have to spend a week or two getting used to and also the trackpad...
Two fingers to scroll, three to navigate and four to move all of your windows to where you can see them and hide them - this is something which may sound like a gimmick but it honestly is not and it will change the way you use a laptop/notebook. The urge to plug a mouse in is gone.
Applications run smoothly, I like many others upgraded the RAM to 4GB from 2 though that may just be me being greedy. I have an Imac with 2GB and it runs fine
If there were a couple of irks to mention, one would be the typing ) now it may just be me but I find myself constantly misspelling, hitting the wrong keys
I also find the aluminium body is pretty sharp and can hurt the wrists when you type.
But I reccommend this for its excellent operating system and its fantastic, non-gimmicky features
Although I am not massively techie the Macbook Pro suits me perfectly. I work as an artist and use the MacBook with ease, both for my photo editing and other artwork, and for the various social networking, emailing, MSNing and all those other fun web things I spend far too long on.
I've had this laptop for nearly 2 years now and (touch wood) it has showed no signs of slowing down or having any problems, which in my opinion is a marvel for any computer. The lack of error messages and crashes is a refreshing relief.
The MacBook pro is of course a little more pricey than the average laptop, but I would argue that it is worth the investment simply based on its longevity and robustness. When you add to this its usability, processing power and good looks, this is a purchase you can't really go wrong with.
The MacBook Pro Aluminum is the third apple laptop i have been lucky enough to own. Those of you who spend regular time using a laptop will appreciate the new style keyboard giving you more space between the keys and a backlight to boot. The shiny screen has been commented on in many reviews however having used mine in all places I have had little to complain about.
The build quality of the new Mac has set the standard for laptops and is not only lighter and more heat resistant but also looks like a work of art. If there was one niggle i would have its that the two USB connecters are a shade too close and this can be a problem if you are trying to use a USB internet dongle.
Battery, battery, battery is the key in portable computing. This new more energy efficient Mac is a vast improvement on the previous MacBook Pro and having the ability to turn off the Nvidia graphics card to conserve more power is a nice feature.
Pro: style, battery power, ease of use.
This particular laptop is one of my latest acquisitions and after using it for a month, I let a Windows Vista PC friend have a go for a few days, so this is a little bit of a different review, with my views followed by how it might possibly sway you from trying the switch.
Firstly, this new MacBook Pro uses a new case, dubbed the 'uni-body' enclosure. What it basically means is that Apple have made the top casing that holds the keyboard from one piece of aluminium. This is then milled to perfection with no top seams near the edges. Compared to the previous version, it feels a lot more solid, with no flex at all. Further improvements see this version running really cool, so you can finally use it on your lap without getting warm or hot legs. Underneath there is a latching mechanism which opens a trap door. From here you gain access to the battery and hard drive, for easy swapping or upgrading. The memory is a little more difficult to get to and involves removing a few screws.
The screen is very very nice, but has a glossy glass front. In my eyes this is worse than the previous version. I liked the matte option (which you can now get on the new 17-inch version by paying a little extra). Don't get me wrong, the gloss is nice, easy to clean, colours good and easy to deal with reflections, I just personally prefer matte.
Two more quick positives before I move onto my PC touting friend. the trackpad is larger and coated in glass. It is very smooth and you can do lots of multi-touch gestures. It also has the mouse button integrated, so the whole touchpad clicks down for mouse-clicks. Battery life is awesome and I get about 5 hours on average, sometimes 30 minutes either side.
Now, I lent this to my friend. He has always used XP and Vista, but was Mac curious. I installed VM Ware Fusion and Vista 64-Bit Premium onto the MacBook Pro. On the Vista side he had Nero installed and on the Mac side he had Toast. During his week long trial he commented how nice it was. No crashes and a joy to use. He set up Vista in a separate space, with shared folders so he could quickly switch between the two. The big surprise was that by the end of the week he told me that he spent 90% of his time using Mac OS X for his email, browsing, DVD writing, iTunes etc. He only used Vista for one application that he uses for downloading content. I am sure with a little research I can find him a Mac alternative for that too.
So, all in all a lovely machine. Well built and very very stable.
In the evolution of the Macbook Pro range the latest installment is perhaps at the point of perfection. All aspects of the laptop have been carefully considered and optimised.
Case: made from a single solid piece of aluminum making it extermely tough and also light. I'm told this can survive a severe drop unlike the previous models which would dent horribly.
Screen: yes it's glossy but once you're using it with the brightness turned up you would hardly notice. And boy is it bright - I compare it to the Cinema Display I have mine plugged into and that looks positively dull in comparison. What I'm hoping is this can be used outdoors in the summer.
Keyboard: Perhaps the best keyboard I have ever used. The keys are spaced well with just the right amount of pushing required to register a keystroke.
Trackpad: Made of glass, the trackpad recognises multi-touch - with up to 4 fingers. It's useful but not a deal maker. I wish dfevelopers would make use of this feature inside their applications. As it stands different touch combination's only affect Exposé.
Additional: Core 2 Duo processors alongside a decent graphics card make this run fast. OS X is perfectly optimised for this and so feels quick and responsive. The next version of OS X will apparently speed the system up even more so expect this to feel faster later this year.
Note: This does include Firewire so anyone looking to upgrade but who requires Firewire, then the Pro is the only option now as the basic Macbook does not include Firewire any more.
I recently bought myself a brand new Macbook Pro. This was the first Apple laptop I have ever owned having always been a Windows user in the past.
It took a fair bit of getting used to but after 3 weeks I can safely say I will never go back. The quality of the machine is very very high. It feel solid, it looks great and the software is incredibly stable - not once has it crashed on me.
The keyboard is backlit which is great when lying in bed at night! I am a graphic designer by profession and so the screen is of a high importance. I am used to having a matte screen but MBPs on come with a glossy screen. I had heard bad things about the glare it causes however, I have not had any trouble with it at all, in fact, I love it! The colours are great - black really is black and white really is white - when I compared this to my old laptop, the difference was incredible. The screen's brightness can be turned up to amazingly high levels due to the backlit LED display.
The machine comes with only 2 USB sockets which may be a problem for some users but I personally find it enough. It does not come with a card reader either, but does have an expresscard 54 slot which can be used to add one. Firewire is included which is great for uploading video. Sound quality is excellent and the volume can be turned up to a high level.
The bundled software is excellent - itunes, garageband, quicktime etc is very good and runs so much better than they do on windows. The coverflow feature found on itunes is also used in other areas on a mac, such as when browsing through files on your computer.
The computer has never crashed on me, the search facility (spotlight) is fantastic - no more waiting for the system to search through 1000s of files, spotlight instantaneous finds what you're looking for.
In all a great system. The only problem is the cost. I'm not saying it isn't worth it, as the machine is very robust and a good investment but for power, you could find similar specifications for ALOT cheaper on a PC. However, the quality of screen and built is a must for any designers or those who rely on their computer for everything, especially for creativity or entertainment.