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Apple MacBook Pro MB471LL/A 15.4-Inch Laptop (2.53 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Processor, 4 GB RAM, 320 GB Hard Drive, Slot Loading SuperDrive)
List Price: $2449.00

Our Price: $2349.00

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Product Description

MacBook Pro puts desktop-class graphics in a portable package. That makes it the ultimate mobile solution for gamers, video editors, photographers, and design professionals. Machined from a single piece of aluminum, the new 15.4-inch MacBook Pro is thinner, more powerful, and years ahead of its time. Inside the new MacBook Pro is the powerful Intel Core 2 Duo processor running at 2.53GHz with an increased 1066MHz frontside bus, next-generation 1066MHz DDR3 RAM memory and a stunning, ultrathin LED-backlit display that gives you instant full screen brightness. The new MacBook Pro combines the efficiency of an integrated graphics processor with the desktop-class performance of a discrete graphics processor. Out of the box, it runs the integrated NVDIA GeForce 9400M processor, which provides plenty of performance for everyday tasks while you get an extra boost with the GeForce 9600 GT for 3D games and graphics-intensive applications like Aperture and Motion. And the all-new Multi-Touch trackpad has no separate button. The entire smooth glass surface is the button, so it's clickable everywhere. At less than an inch thin and 5.5 pounds, it isn't just the next-generation MacBook Pro, it's the next generation of notebooks. 15.4 Glossy (1440 x 900) LED Backlit Widescreen Display Built-in iSight Camera and internal omnidirectional microphone NVIDIA (integrated) GeForce 9400M and (discrete) 9600 GT with 512MB Dedicated Video Memory 8X Slot-loading SuperDrive (DVD+-R DL/DVD+-RW/CD-RW) AirPort Extreme Wi-Fi Wireless (802.11a/b/g/n) Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR 10/100/1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet ExpressCard 34 Slot Ports - 2 x USB 2.0, FireWire 800, Digital/Analog Line In; Digital/Analog Line Out, Mini DisplayPort, RJ-45, MagSafe Power Port Unit Dimensions - 14.35 (W) x 0.95 (H) x 9.82 (D) Unit Weight - 5.5 Pounds

Redesigned with a precision unibody enclosure crafted from a single block of aluminum, the MacBook Pro is thinner and lighter than its predecessor as well as stronger and more durable. But Apple didn't stop innovating with the body's design. The MacBook Pro also includes a new 15-inch, LED-backlit glass display (instead of an LCD panel) and a glass trackpad that doesn't include a button (for larger tracking area) and features includes Apple's Multi-Touch technology.



The redesigned MacBook Pro (see larger version).
Under the hood, the MacBook Pro is powered by a powerful 2.53 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor (with 6 MB L2 cache and 1066 MHz front-side bus), which runs applications faster and more efficiently as well as helps to reduce power requirements and save on battery life. And the MacBook Pro includes two video processors for ultimate flexibility: NVIDIA GeForce 9400M integrated graphics for great everyday performance and NVIDIA 9600M GT discrete graphics for fast, smooth video--perfect for 3D gaming.

It's pre-loaded with Apple's Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard operating system, which enables easy backup of your most important data via Time Machine, a redesigned desktop that helps eliminate clutter. It also comes with the iLife '08 suite of applications--including iPhoto, iMovie, Garageband, and iTunes--and the newest version of the fast-loading Safari web browser. Other hardware features include a 320 GB hard drive, 4 GB of installed RAM (maximum capacity), an 8x combo Superdrive (for burning dual-layer DVDs as well as CDs), built-in Gigabit Ethernet for high-speed networking, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR (Enhanced Data Rate), FireWire 800 port, Mini DisplayPort video output (for DVI and VGA connections), and an ExpressCard/34 expansion card slot for expansion solutions such as 3G wireless networking.

The New MacBook Pro Design
Traditionally notebooks are made from multiple parts. With the new MacBook all of those parts with just one part--the breakthrough unibody enclosure. Every MacBook Pro starts its life as a single block of aluminum, which is precisely machined into the basic unibody design. Another pass and the unibody takes shape. Another, and the integrated keyboard emerges. When you pick up a new MacBook Pro, you immediately notice the entire enclosure is thinner and lighter. And it feels strong and durable--perfect for life inside (and outside) your briefcase or backpack.

The standard aluminum electro-static trackpad has been replaced with a new glass Multi-Touch trackpad, which provides 40 percent more tracking area than before. Use two fingers to scroll up and down a page. Pinch to zoom in and out. Rotate an image with your fingertips. Swipe with three fingers to flip through your photo libraries. Swipe with four fingers to show your desktop, view all open windows, or switch applications. The entire trackpad surface is also a button, allowing you to both track and click virtually anywhere on the trackpad. And you can easily enable multiple virtual buttons in software, such as right-clicking.

The keyboard has also been improved, with the rigid aluminum keyboard webbing cut precisely to hold the keys, which are curved to perfectly fit fingers. And it's illuminated, so when you're in low-light settings, such as airplanes or conference rooms, you can always see what you're typing.

The 15-inch display is made of edge-to-edge, uninterrupted glass for a smooth, seamless surface and features LED backlighting for brilliant instant-on performance that uses up to 30 percent less energy than its predecessor. The ultra-thin displays provide crisp images and vivid colors which are ideal for viewing photos and movies

Intel Core 2 Duo Processor
Experience improved energy efficiency, expanded wireless connectivity, and amazing battery life with the 2.53 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, which has a super-fast 1066 MHz front-side bus (FSB), and an extra-large 6 MB L2 cache. (An L2, or secondary, cache temporarily stores data; and a larger L2 cache can help speed up your system's performance. The FSB carries data between the CPU and RAM, and a faster front-side bus will deliver better overall performance.)

The new hafnium-infused circuitry--which reduces electrical current leakage in transistors--conserves even more energy, giving you more time away from the wall outlet. With 6 MB of shared L2 cache, data and instructions can be kept close to the two processor cores, greatly increasing performance and allowing the entire system to work more efficiently. And, because the processor cores share the L2 cache, either can use the entire amount if the other happens to be idle.

Video Processing & Output
The new MacBook Pro combines the efficiency of an integrated graphics processor with the desktop-class performance of a discrete graphics processor thanks to the inclusion of both. Out of the box, it runs the integrated NVIDIA GeForce 9400M processor, which provides plenty of performance for everyday use with up to 5 hours of battery life. But when you need turbocharged performance for the most graphically intensive tasks, the discrete NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT processor delivers--such as for demanding 3D games like Quake, Call of Duty, and Spore. And thanks to a new graphics architecture, it's easy to switch between these two processors. The 9400M graphics processor shares 256 MB of DDR3 SDRAM with main memory, while the 9600M provides 512 MB of dedicated GDDR3 video memory.

The MacBook Pro includes a next generation Mini DisplayPort, which delivers a pure digital signal that can drive up to a 30-inch widescreen display. The Mini DisplayPort is ultra-compact at just 10 percent the size of a full DVI connector, and is compatible with Apple's 24-inch Cinema Display. Adapters are also available for using VGA, DVI/HDMI and Dual-Link DVI displays

Hard Drive and Memory
The 320 GB Serial-ATA (SATA) hard drive (5400 RPM) quickens the pace with a higher speed transfer of data--akin to FireWire and USB 2.0. The 4 GB of PC3-8500 DDR2 RAM (two SO-DIMMs of 1024 MB) has an industry-leading 1066 MHz speed, and it maximizes capacity for this notebook.

Wireless Connectivity
The built-in 802.11n wireless networking provides up to five times the performance and twice the range of 802.11g, but it's also backward-compatible with 802.11a/b/g routers, enabling you to communicate with the a wide variety of Wi-Fi resources. It works seamlessly with the new AirPort Extreme with 802.11n. Use the built-in Bluetooth wireless technology to connect to your PDA or cell phone, synchronize addresses, or download pictures from your cell phone. You can also use a wireless headset for iChat audio chats and VoIP calls as well as quickly share files with a colleague.

Video Conferencing with Built-in iSight
Artfully placed in the glass display is an iSight camera, which enables easy video conferencing as well as allows you to snap pictures of yourself and create video podcasts. Using the iChat AV application, video conferencing is integrated into your iChat buddy list, so initiating a video conference is a breeze. iChat also lets you hold audio chats with up to 10 people and provides high-quality audio compression and full-duplex sound so conversation can flow naturally. For video podcasting, you can record a short clip using the iSight camera, then use iWeb to create a video blog entry or post your GarageBand-recorded podcast.

Other Features

  • Two USB 2.0 ports, one FireWire 800, ExpressCard/34 slot
  • Mini DisplayPort compatible with DVI, VGA, and dual-link DVI connectors (all optional)
  • 8x slot-loading SuperDrive with the following write speeds: 8x DVDR; 4x DVDR DL (double layer); 4x DVDRW; 24x CD-R; 10x CD-RW
  • Built-in full-size backlit keyboard with 78 (U.S.) or 79 (ISO) keys, including 12 function keys and 4 arrow keys (inverted "T" arrangement)
  • Internal omnidirectional microphone and built-in speakers
  • Combined optical digital output/headphone out (minijack)
  • Combined optical digital input/audio line in (minijack)
  • 50-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery providing up to 5 hours of battery life using 9400M graphics (up to 4 hours using 9600M graphics)
  • Kensington lock slot
  • Measures 14.35 x 9.82 x 0.95 inches (WxDxH) and weighs 5.5 pounds (including battery)

Environtmental Considerations
The entire new MacBook family meets stringent Energy Star 4.0, EPEAT Gold and RoHS environmental standards, and leads the industry in the elimination of toxic chemicals by containing no brominated flame retardants, using only PVC-free internal cables and components, and using energy efficient LED-backlit displays that are mercury-free and made with arsenic-free glass.

Preloaded with Leopard and iLife '08
The biggest Mac OS X upgrade ever, the Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard operating system features over 300 new features, including:

  • Time Machine, an effortless way to automatically back up everything on a Mac
  • A redesigned Finder that lets users quickly browse and share files between multiple Macs
  • Quick Look, a new way to instantly see files without opening an application
  • Spaces, an intuitive new feature used to create groups of applications and instantly switch between them
  • A brand new desktop with Stacks, a new way to easily access files from the Dock
  • Major enhancements to Mail and iChat


Preloaded with Leopard, you'll enjoy enhanced productivity and a clutter-free desktop (thanks to the the redesigned 3D Dock with Stacks).
Leopard's new desktop includes the redesigned 3D Dock with Stacks, a new way to organize files for quick and easy access with just one click. Leopard automatically places web, email and other downloads in a Downloads stack to maintain a clutter-free desktop, and you can instantly fan the contents of this and other Stacks into an elegant arc right from the Dock. The updated Finder includes Cover Flow and a new sidebar with a dramatically simplified way to search for, browse and copy content from any PC or Mac on a local network.

Time Machine lets you easily back up all of the data on your Mac, find lost files and even restore all of the software on their Mac. With just a one-click setup, Time Machine automatically keeps an up-to-date copy of everything on the Mac. In the event a file is lost, you can search back through time to find deleted files, applications, photos and other digital media and then instantly restore the file.

The MacBook also comes with the iLife '08 suite of applications that make it easy to live the digital life. Use iPhoto to share entire high-res photo albums with anyone who's got an email address. Record your own songs and podcasts with GarageBand. Break into indie filmmaking with iMovie and iDVD. Then take all the stuff you made on your MacBook and share it on the web in one click with iWeb.

Included Software
Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard (includes Time Machine, Quick Look, Spaces, Spotlight, Dashboard, Mail, iChat, Safari, Address Book, QuickTime, iCal, DVD Player, Photo Booth, Front Row, Xcode Developer Tools)

iLife '08 (includes iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, iWeb, GarageBand)

What's in the Box
MacBook Pro, display cleaning cloth, lithium-polymer battery, 85W MagSafe Power Adapter, AC wall plug, power cord, install/restore DVDs, printed and electronic documentation

Features:
  • Redesigned MacBook with thin, strong aluminum unibody frame and 15-inch LED-backlit glass display
  • New glass trackpad with 40 percent more tracking area and supports more Multi-Touch gestures
  • 2.53 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 320 GB hard drive, 4 GB RAM (max), DVD/CD SuperDrive
  • Dual NVIDIA graphics (integraed and discrete); Draft-N Wi-Fi; Bluetooth 2.1; Gigabit Ethernet; Mini DisplayPort video output
  • Preloaded with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard operating system and iLife '08 suite of applications

Customer Reviews:

  • Amazing
    Okay I;d first like to start off saying that this is an excellent machine, and Apple design their products Superbly. This machine is fast as hell too!


    Design:
    This laptop is so thin compared to other computers on this power that its mind blowing. It just looks stunning. The magnetic latch is genius, and is way better then the manual latch they had on previous gen models. Also i like the black chicklet keys that I'm typing on right now to write this review.The magsafe power adapter is just f@#%ing awesome. Theres no other way to describe it. Also, some people may disagree, but i love the new trackpad, and how its all one button. i couldn'tlive without it. In fact whenever i am on somone elses laptop, i am always wonder why it is not clicking.lol.The glossy screen does not bother me, but then again i am never outside with my laptop, so no comment on that. This laptop definately is sturdy as hell and i wouldnt be surprised if it could take a fall.

    Software: iLife suite is awesome,i mainly do find myself only using Garageband though since i have Premiere Pro to use instead of iMovie. But it would be awesomefor anybody who has no idea what they are doing.

    OS: A million times better than any windows OS in my opinion. You dont ned to be scared about making the plunge into MAC OSX. In fact, to prepare, i tried to learn everything i could about MAC OSX before i even got the mac. Overall though it is a very fast OS, and EVEN FASTER with 4GB RAM

    Hardware:Like I said before, this machine is fast as hell. Even when rendering files and editing video this thing holds up. But what i do recommend is that you upgrade your RAM to 4GB if you want extraordinary power, and no hiccups. Again with the video editing, you may aslo want to consider a faster/ bigger hard drive.

    Thats about all i have to say/ all i can say for now. I hope this helps you decide on your final purchase. Thank you...more info
  • The PowerBook is back!
    My last portable mac was a 1GHz Titanium PowerBook - the TiBook. Since then, I've been waiting for a suitable replacement. After a few years of weak aluminum G4 "PowerBooks", I switched over to a G5 Tower. A few more years later, I wanted to move back to a portable machine and started looking at the new unibody MBP.

    1. The new MBP is as fast and quiet as a PowerBook should be. The late G4 machines always seemed underpowered at the Apple Store. The early Intel machines were either too loud or too hot. The MBP is just right.

    2. Style is back. The previous generation of aluminum machines always struck me as a matte-gray version of the Snow iBook/MacBook design. That design works very nicely in brilliant white and matte black, but felt clunky to me when executed in aluminum. The new unibody design does a great job of mixing a glossy black display with a block of carved aluminum.

    3. Power too. OSX is Unix and a GUI in one well-integrated system. Everything good about OSX that has been written elsewhere applies here.

    4. Upgradability. Open the battery cover and you have access to both the HD and the battery. 250GB is plenty for me today, but when I can get a 2.5" 1TB drive spinning along at 4200 RPM, the upgrade will be easy. All the screws appear to be phillips now, so I won't need my T8 driver anymore.

    5. Magsafe is a big win. The old power cables were very easily damaged, and easily damaged your mac

    6. The DVD drive is finally where it belongs - on the side! Actually, I wish I could order a MacBook Pro without an optical drive at all. Who uses optical media anymore?

    7. The new trackpad is simply great. I was going to order a nice laser mouse to go along with the MBP. After 15 minutes with the new giant trackpad, I don't think I'll ever plug a mouse or external keyboard into this machine. I wish apple made external trackpads for desktop computers....more info
  • Beautiful computer, some mixed feelings
    This is my first Apple computer ever. I am a software developer who mostly used Unix (Solaris) and Linux, rarely venturing into Windows land mostly for Nikon Scan and Photoshop. For a long time I believed Macs were for graphics/video designers, rather than hard core developers. The fact that I've seen lots of MacBooks at conferences such as Web 2.0 in SF, did not convince me enough: I attributed the widespread use of them to a fad, a certain "style" as in clothing. For me a computer is a "knowledge worker's tool" not a fashion statement. Another reason to stay away from Apple products has been high margin pricing. CPUs, GPUs, memory, disks, are quickly getting cheaper, and yet Apple sells these commodities like luxury goods. One can configure a beautiful Lenovo laptop with more horsepower for much cheaper (I've done it recently for a friend).
    So why do it?
    Here are MY reasons. 1) I needed MAC OS X to port some of my applications to the Mac, maybe go into iPhone development too. 2) I needed *some* laptop (for mobility) to replace my historic trusty Dell Inspiron 8000. Most of my work happens on a custom built desktop. 3) I am not much of a Windows fan and I am a bit tired of Linuxes; I wanted inspiration from something I haven't used before: to learn and expand knowledge/experience horizons.
    So that's where I am coming from...
    After 3 weeks of usage I can say the following (you will notice the mixed feelings from the title of this review)
    This is a computer of *stunning* beauty! It is a work of art: the screen, the keyboard, the body; it belongs on a permanent exibition at the MoMA. As such it is a joy to use and have around, it brightens my daily experience. And yet... why such a small screen resolution (1440x900) for a 15 inch screen?! Even my historic Dell from 2001 sported 1600x1200, great for working with text and hi-res photos. For this kind of money we should be getting higher resolution. I am not talking about numbers for numbers' sake: the font characters (even as I write this) are far from print quality, issues with anti-aliasing software may have something to do with this. Within the first couple of hours I practically decided to return the laptop because of how text looks 70% of the time. It is difficult to understand why Apple is saving on pixels here and impairs an otherwise great product. Is it because higher resolutions are reserved for even pricier models? Apart from the not-so-great-a-resolution (you may google around for other people's opinions on that), pricing is somewhat annoying too (and also discussed in many places on the Web). To connect an external monitor you need a $30 or $100 additional cable. To upgrade to a much more reasonable 4GB of RAM you'll need $100+ (or $300 if you want this commodity to have Apple sign on it :-) )
    But... I decided to keep the laptop. It is too beautiful, and I find MAC OS "Leopard" intriguing and a good experience. Then there are other pluses: the keyboard (back-lit w/ smooth key action), great network connectivity, convenient weight and dimensions, glossy screen (I don't have issues with reflections other reviewers mention). From the developer's perspective, I learn some good things and some not so good: apparently I can't just download my Java from Sun (say 32-bit Java 6); I have to live with what Apple endorses :-(
    Amazon/UPS delivery was fantastic, packaging is beautiful too: they both made for a very pleasant and exciting experience.
    Summary: I am not returning the laptop, I enjoy its beauty and functionality, but if I didn't need MAC OS for my planned work, I would have stayed in the higher value priced PC-land (eg. Lenovo + Ubuntu) where you can customize parameters better and avoid hefty margins.

    A FEW DAYS LATER: With MiniDisplayPort to DVI adapter (another $30) I connected the laptop to my 1600x1200 Sony LCD monitor. The text characters can still look pretty bad, eg. equals sign = with grey area between the horizontal segments. The bad news is that the higher resolution did not heal the issue: the good news: perhaps this is a software issue to be solved with a system update -- I hope....more info
  • Nearly flawless!
    This laptop is a thing of beauty. You have to hold it to understand how well it is built and how smoothly it runs. I have seen no performance lag. The price to upgrade from the base model to the 2.53GHz model is worth it for the extra components. Definitely a better LED screen than the new Macbook. Suprisingly light for its size and feels just as expensive as it is. The only complaint I have is the battery life seems to be less than the 5 hours advertised. I turned bluetooth off and set the brightness at a minimum and barely get over 4 hours using the lower end graphics setting. Still, a quality computer from a quality company. ...more info
  • Great computer
    This is a powerful, elegant computer that can do pretty much anything I want it to do....more info
  • Great buy!
    I'm very much pleased with it, in all aspects.It's really a beauty and delivers what it promises. Concerning the complain that some people have made about the glare problem of the screen, if it bothers you that much I'd say you can easily remedy that by using one of those anti-glare films for the screen....more info
  • Apple rocks!
    Beautiful machine. Easy to set up and use. Really fast performance.

    The glossy monitor's glare could be an issue depending on the lighting, but it doesn't bother me. Keys are a little stiffer than previous models, but easy to adjust to.

    It would be nice if Apple included the VGA/DVI cables with the MacBook Pro.

    [...]

    [...]...more info
  • Macbook Pro 15.4" 2.53GHZ 4GB RAM ----ROCKS!
    The Macbook Pro simply blows any PC Laptop out there in the market; this is coming from someone who has been using PCs for over 14 years, and works in Information Technology.

    Thanks Amazon for the great deal!...more info
  • Great with a caveat
    I love this MacBook Pro in every way except for the way trackpad gestures are implemented in Adobe CS4. The zoom and rotate gestures are way too sensitive and are easily activated unintentionally making Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, etc. almost unusable. Adobe has got to correct this very annoying problem. One more thing, the edge of the unibody where your palms rest is sharp. I took some sandpaper and rounded it off a bit. Oh yeah, another one more thing...the hinge is not strong enough to hold the LCD monitor in all positions (like when your using the notebook lying in bed)....more info
  • My 1st Mac...Love it!
    After looking and researching for a long time I decided to switch to mac. This review is for the Macbook Pro 2.4 GHz and 2GB RAM. This is my first mac and I have had very little experience with mac before this purchase. I have had this computer for a few weeks now so I feel like I can provide an accurate review.

    Design: Absolutely beautiful! It seems like they really thought everything out. The magnetic latch and magnetic power cord are genius and very nice features. The computer does seem very sturdy and well built.

    Screen: I know many complaints are about the screen and it is indeed reflective. HOWEVER, I have yet to have a problem with reflection and the screen is vibrant, I love it.

    Hinge: I have read complaints on the hinge being too weak. I have not experienced this with mine and would say the resistance is about perfect. I can tip the computer at a very steep angle without the screen falling.

    Trackpad: This was one feature I was a little concerned about. I did experience a few problems with the trackpad but the update from apple fixed that. I can honestly say this is probably one of the greatest features of the machine. It took about 5 minutes to get used to the gestures and not having a dedicated button. Now, I feel like all other machines should have this trackpad and I really miss it when I am using other machines.

    Keyboard: This is a personal preference but I love the "Chicklet" style keys and it feels great. The backlight is nice to have also.

    Performance: This machine is fast! I have the Adobe CS4 Design premium loaded on the machine and it handles it with no problem. All other programs open and run amazingly fast. I have yet to have any problems with performance. Also, the machine is very quiet and stays cool. Battery life seems to be fine but I have not really put it to the test.

    Compatibility: I have yet to experience any compatibility issues. I do have Windows XP running through VMware Fusion 2.0 and it works pretty good (Separate review for this product). All my electronics and printers just worked...sure is nice.

    Value: So far I am very happy with my purchase. The machine runs great, looks great, and I am happy that I made the switch. I do not miss my PC at all. You will pay a premium for a Mac but it is a premium product. If you want a excellent computer and are thinking about this machine, I would highly recommend purchasing one.

    I was debating between the Macbook and the Macbook Pro and I am glad I went with the Pro. The extra screen size is very nice to have and the machine is not all that big. ...more info
  • Returning Laptop, it's nice, but not enough to compensate for the price
    I paid 1800.00 for this Notebook. I expected something that was worth every penny because all the Apple products I purchased in the past, I would have paid double what I paid, because the design and functionality is so nice and it's a quality product. The NEW Macbook Pro 15.4 inch does look nice, is high quality made, etc.

    Pros:
    1.Mousepad is very cool.
    2.Design is very nice. It is pretty light.
    3.Sound is pretty good.
    4.Magnetic battery plug is awesome.
    5.Battery life is amazing and can be charged 1000 times.
    6.Slot-loading DVD drive is great.
    7.Keypad is pretty nice and backlit.
    8.Fantastic quality iCamera.

    Cons: The reasons I am returning this product.
    1.When you type in wordpad, and try to print it, it is so small not even a magnifying glass could fix. I tried messing around with the word wrap and stuff, but with the price of this notebook, this is not right.
    2.Price
    3.Latch on back is almost too easy to open and get to the hard drive, etc.
    4.Only 2 USB Ports, what are they thinking?
    5.No HDMI Port
    6.Hardly any products are made for MAC still, they are all windows only.
    7.Text in Safari is very hard to read just like Textedit.

    I've read all the reviews on the laptop and I feel that most people are just Mac Fanboys and don't give honest reviews. I am not one sided when it comes to computers because we have apple and microsoft products and I love them both for their own reasons. I am just disappointed with this Macbook Pro because, while the performance is pretty good, the Cons far outweigh the Pros for this notebook. I am getting a Dell XPS 16 which has like 4 usb ports, hdmi port, backlit keyboard, leather on the casing, finger scanner, protective case, HD SCreen. It just makes much more sense to get more quality of a product and have more things work with it. I paid about 1300.00 for the Dell XPS 16 and I paid 1800.00 for the Macbook Pro. While Apple makes great products, Dell's laptops feel just as nice for a much lower price. Maybe in the future Mac will fix a few issues and more things will work with it. Until that time, I am sticking with Windows. PS (This is an unbiased review, so read it with confidence that you are getting honest feedback). God loves you....more info
  • Apple's New MacBook Pro: Reviewed
    Introduction:

    After keeping millions in what seemed to be perpetual suspense, Apple finally broke the ice, and, in October, released completely redesigned MacBooks and MacBook Pros. I like many Apple users, ordered my MacBook Pro within a week of its release, (October 20th) and, with great anticipation, opened the box on the 30th. Unfortunately for me, upon inspecting the MacBook Pro that I had ordered, I discovered a fair sized chip in the aluminum casing behind the screen, on the bottom right corner. I immediately called Apple to see what they were going to do to rectify the situation. After waiting on hold for about ten minutes, my call was answered by a very nice man, who apologized profusely for any inconvenience. Unfortunately, there was not much he could do, so I was transfered to a product specialist. By this point, you are undoubtedly bored by this story, so let it suffice to say, that after another two weeks I was finally presented with a working MacBook Pro, as well as two red iPod Shuffles as an apology.

    Apology accepted, Apple. Now, onto my `test' configuration. This exceptional `Book came with a 2.8 gigahertz processor, 4 gigabytes of RAM, two graphics cards: an NVIDIA 9600M with 256 megabytes of shared video RAM, and an NVIDIA 9600GT, with 512 megabytes of dedicated DDR3 video RAM. To top this baby off, it also has a 128 gigabyte solid state drive, to access data at light-speed, with added security. In addition, like every other new MacBook Pro, this one also came with a 15.4 inch widescreen display, backlit keyboard similar to that on the MacBook Air, an iSight camera and microphone, an all aluminum unibody enclosure, and a buttonless, multi-touch trackpad. So, without further ado, lets begin.

    Screen:

    I love this screen. First off, it is lit by LED's, which means it is brighter and more efficient than its earlier iterations. It also has `instant on' capabilities, meaning that lights up as soon as you open the lid. Now, nearly everybody's number one gripe with this machine is the glass that is covering the display. While it increases the richness and vibrancy of the colors, and increases the screen's durability, it is also reflective. The reflection can, in direct sunlight, cause an admittedly distractive reflection. This does not especially bother me, though, because you can simply rotate the laptop a few degrees to the left or right to completely counteract this problem. This makes glass an ideal material for a laptop screen, in my opinion, because if the glare gets bad, you can always just rotate the machine. Now the new LED Cinema Display is another story...

    Unibody:

    At the release of this product, Apple was keen to stress the design of this product, including its new `unibody' enclosure. So, what's this all about? Well, in a normal laptop, many interior parts must be added to keep the the computer from twisting or torquing. What Apple has done is replace those parts with a single machined piece of aluminum, thus cutting down on weight and increasing durability. Basically, the metal top case that has holes for the keyboard, trackpad, speakers, and power button is the `unibody.' Honestly, the laptop does feel sturdier, but the weight remains the same, at least for the Pro. I really don't think anybody but an engineer is going to seriously consider this a serious feature, though.

    Keyboard:

    As I stated in an earlier review of the MacBook Air, this is, hands down, Apple's best keyboard. I like everything about it. I can, though, notice a slight difference in the feeling of this keyboard when compared with the MacBook Air. The keys feel a bit springier... and I like it. The backlighting is very nice, too, and I noticed that it gets brighter than the Air. One should know that the baseline MacBook does not have backlighting, while the higher end MacBook has `dumb' backlighting which lights the keyboard for five seconds after every key strike, rather than relying on an ambient light sensor. Otherwise, the keyboard is the same.

    Trackpad

    The MacBook Pro is sporting an all new trackpad, which is made entirely of glass. Honestly, you can't tell that its glass. It feels exactly the same. Well, except for the lack of buttons, that is. Yeah, it appears that Steve hates buttons so much that he is attempting to remove them from Apple products... one button at a time. I'm pretty sure that `Jony' Ive is in on that too. It's the great Apple conspiracy! In all seriousness, though, the lack of buttons is a little annoying at first, but you soon get used to it. As a replacement, our fruity friends made the entire trackpad click, which is actually a pretty good alternative. As I said earlier, it takes a while, but you get used to it. Also, they made the bottom corners extra clicky to make it feel more like the old trackpad, while making it progressively harder to click the farther up the trackpad you get.

    Battery:

    Apple has made it easier than ever to access the battery on its new laptops. No longer do you risk marring your pristine machine's finish with a coin. Now, all that you need to do is push two latches and remove a small cover to obtain access to both the hard drive and battery. Also, the batteries are smaller, which is nice if you are carrying a spare. What is interesting to me, though, is that apple styled it after the original iPhone, with the aluminum and black plastic two tone thing. As far as battery life is concerned, its great, as long as you use the 9600M. Once you switch it to the GT, it starts sucking power like there's no tomorrow. Overall, with normal use, (like web surfing, video chatting, and listing to music) I get about 3.5 to 4 hours of battery life. When I really start using this beast, and yes, it is a beast, (Adobe CS4, Logic Studio, Final Cut) I get a somewhat pathetic 1.5 to 2 hours. Oh, well. Can't have it all, can we?

    SSD:

    While the SSD is an added option, I thought it would be a good idea to include it in a the review, because it is a serious option that many consider. First off, for those of you who don't know, an SSD, or solid state drive, is a replacement to the hard drive in your computer. It is basically a giant usb stick which has no moving parts, which means increased durability. To prove it, some Samsung engineers even dropped it from a building and it still worked. A SSD also increases the speed at which your computer accesses, reads, and writes data. Because there are no spinning platters, data is accessed much more quickly. And, as an added bonus, it is impervious to magnets. (To the best of my knowledge. I know what you're thinking, and PLEASE do not try it.)

    Design:

    This baby is a cold, hard, stunner. The black keys and trim around the display, coupled with the aluminum body and silver trackpad, are purely sexy. Top that off with a glowing white Apple logo, and ding! ding! ding! We have a winner. For me, its the little things that impress. The perfectly machined speaker holes and the hidden IR receiver and iSight camera really show how the brilliant folks at Apple stressed after every single detail, no matter how small or insignificant. In redesigning their notebook line, Apple showed that they make powerful machines. Not white, plastic toys. The only complaint that I have is that there is not enough difference between the designs of the MacBook, and MacBook Pro. I mean, speaking from a purely design point of view, why shell out a thousand dollars extra for something that looks just like the cheaper version?

    Performance:

    Lets start with the facts. On our Xbench tests, our MacBook Pro, as configured, scored a coveted 175. Lets compare this to the previous generation MacBook Pro, with 2 gigabytes of RAM, and a 2.4 gigahertz Core 2 Duo processor. That scored a 50. Yeah, that's right. In the words of Steve Jobs, "Its a screamer!" Also, after throwing pretty much everything Main Stage and CS4 could throw at it, this puppy still didn't break a sweat. As a final test, we put Windows Vista Ultimate 64-Bit on it using boot camp. After taking all Windows Vista, the worlds most demanding operating system, had to throw at it, it scored a 5.7 out of 6 on the Vista Experience meter! This thing's unstoppable.

    Conclusion:

    After using this exceptional machine for a month, I am proud to report that it is worth every penny. It is truly worth an upgrade to anybody who can afford it. In addition, Apple's initiatives to make this notebook `green' make it even more appealing. This is destined to be a very, very, successful product.

    Alex Carlson-- The MacTips Podcast...more info
  • Simultaneously gorgeous and utilitarian
    Apple's update to their laptop case design is really magnificent. The new machines have a much more rigid, substantial feel, and appear to be much less susceptible to the torquing and bending that could afflict the older ones. And it's exactly as beautiful as the photos make it look.

    The performance is excellent, and jaw-dropping for somebody who came from a nearly 4-year-old Powerbook. I got this souped up 2.53 GHz configuration because of some of the work I do on the machine: developing very RAM-intensive imagery software, and audio recording and editing. If you're not doing something like that, and if you're not a hard-core gamer -- if you're using the machine for word processing and email and maybe iPhoto -- just get the 2.4 GHz. You won't notice the difference. Even if you do need the RAM or the hard drive, but you're not a gamer, you may not care about the improved graphics card. Consider ordering the 2.4 from Apple and upgrading the RAM and HD on that configuration. It will come out about $250 cheaper. I was going to do that, and bought the 2.53 instead only because it was on sale! (Still haven't received my rebate, although it hasn't quite been long enough that I'm concerned. But I have my eye on you, Amazon.)

    I was worried about the glossy screen, but find that I love it. Yes, it is *very* glossy -- but it's also vivid, extremely sharp, quite amazingly bright, and takes no time to reach its full brightness. The brightness easily overwhelms any more moderate reflections. I find that reflections rarely bother me. Surprisingly, it's usable in direct sunlight -- more so than previous Apple notebooks, in fact. The one situation where it's real trouble is when the sun is directly behind me or shining on me: then the reflection is bothersome. If your work setup is like that, be warned!

    The new keyboard feels great. It has a more solid, less squishy feel than the previous MacBook Pro. I find the touch pleasantly reminiscent of the original Titanium Powerbook, which always felt great to my fingers. My only complaint is that I can no longer press cmd and option simultaneously with one thumb; I am having to get used to new fingerings.

    The trackpad's increased area is fabulous, and the feel is great. The click, however, is distractingly loud. At first, having the whole thing be the button was a bit disconcerting, but I quickly got used to it and now like it better than the original. The two-finger right click is genius. Note that you can touch the trackpad with two fingers and then click with your thumb to get a right click! Much easier than their demo. The three-finger gestures are more or less useless; the four-finger expose gestures are more practical.

    The laptop is very slightly wider than the older model, which meant that I had to get a new case. I recommend Tom Bihn's "Brain Cell," which protects against both dropping and bending, and fits inside your backpack (the vertical version) or briefcase (the horizontal).

    If you have any Firewire 400 devices, note that you do NOT need to buy an adapter! There are cables that go directly from FW 400 at one end to FW 800 at the other, and they eat up a lot less space.

    My only major complaint is really about the price of cables. The Mini DisplayPort is wonderfully small, and I see why they ditched DVI for it. The adapter cables, however, are ridiculously expensive! Furthermore, you can't just get a Displayport-to-DVI adapter and then plug your existing DVI-to-VGA into it. Doesn't work. Instead, you have to get a separate Displayport-to-VGA cable. Blah. Somebody needs to start making some generic adapter cables so that Apple can't get away with charging $30 for them!

    Despite my minor complaints, this is a magnificent machine -- and miles ahead of any other laptop in terms of both beauty and functional design....more info
  • Anti-Apple for years
    I was anti-apple for years. This was mostly due to being comfortable and knowing the in's and out's of windows. I wanted to broaden my horizons (so to speak) by learning a new operating system. If I was going to switch to Apple, I wanted their top of the line notebook. This has not disappointed. I'm running Windows 7 via Fusion 2.0, and it runs seamlessly within OS X. The trackpad (along with the incredible battery on the 17" model) is one of its biggest selling points. I dont think I could go back to a regular 'point and click' trackpad. The multiple swipes and pinches are highly intuitive and I have adjusted to them easily. The monitor is also elegant. Colors are vibrant and black levels are the deepest I've seen in a portable.

    Highly recommended....more info
  • Choose this one for cost-performance, but replace to 4G mem and SSD
    Choose this one instead of MB471LL/A(2.53 GHz/4GB RAM/320GB HDD) for cost-preformance.I think MB471LL/A is overpriced for marketing, so choosing the model of this page is wiser.

    However, 2GB memory is too tight. You need 4GB memory especially if you run windows on some virtual environment. So buy 2Gx2 DDR3 and replace. 1Gx2 is a waste, but still chepaer than buying at Apple store or buying MB471LL/A.

    Also, replacing HDD to SSD is highly recommended. 32G minimam, 64/128G is plenty and enough. Using HDD is such a bottle-neck of this kind fast machine.


    ...more info
  • Macbook Pro - Totally awesome
    I got the laptop about a month ago to replace my old Windows notebook and have been amazingly surprised with how little (nothing) I miss about the Windows environment. I use it at Client sites on Windows networks and have no issues. I bought VMware Fusion and it is flawless. I haven't used all the software yet but I love the integrated camera and speakers are surprisingly solid. The screen is great for movies on the plane. I also have used the Airline adapter each week for 6 hour plane ride (on American Airlines) and it allows me to work/watch movies as much as I want to. Has made my Ipod touch pretty useless on the plane since I have unlimited battery. The airline adapter does NOT charge the battery but does run the laptop and allows it to charge my Itouch without any problem....more info
  • Excellent hardware, but sharp corners!
    I bought one of these the day they were released. However, every time I would get up from using my laptop for a drink or potty break, my wife would steal it! She was hooked. I told her that we had to get a laptop for her so that I could use mine. We went to Best Buy and test-drove a few cheaper PC/Vista laptops. None of them even remotely stacked up to the quality of the aluminum unibody MacBook Pro. She -had- to have a 15.4" widescreen LCD that could be viewed from sharper angles than sitting directly in front of the screen. She -had- to have a backlit keyboard. She -had- to have a glass, button-less touchpad. That narrowed it down. She -had- to have a 15" unibody MacBook Pro.

    All-in-all, we love just about everything about our laptops. My only complaint is the sharp edges. The 90-degree edge where your wrists wrest is uncomfortable for any lengthy coding or writing sessions. And the notch cut out in the middle below the touchpad has VERY sharp corners. I have actually nicked myself a couple of times on it.

    I would actually give this laptop a 4.5 out of 5 because of the edges. However, Amazon doesn't support half-stars, so I rounded up.

    Oh, and this laptop made me a "switcher". I bought a Mac Mini as an HTPC a few years ago, but never used it much. Now, with this laptop, I never touch either of my high-powered Vista gaming rigs. Sure, gaming on a Mac leaves a lot to be desired, and I haven't had any luck with the virtualization software for gaming (VMware, Parallels), but that's not my primary usage. I'm a web developer and use an array of applications. If you're a hardcore PC person, give a Mac a spin. You'll find you can do anything on a Mac that you can do on PC. It's a little unfamiliar at first, but it is just so much easier and cleaner-feeling and nearly hassle-free....more info
  • Best Ever!
    I have been a Mac owner(desktop) for years but had a pc laptop. Was having a lot of trouble with it. Slow and many problems with wireless and software conflicts. This MacBook Pro is amazing. No lockups, extremely fast. Only minor negative, and there may be an adjustment for it but the touchpad is tricky at times. This has to be the best laptop around. Five Stars!
    ...more info
  • They finally converted me - Bye bye Vista
    This is my first Mac - Ok let me start by saying I had been an Anti-Apple for years, I also work in IT and work a lot with Microsoft products still. So you wanna know what happened? Vista happened, as a big ex-Microsoft fan I bought a new laptop(HP) the week vista was released - I am not a new user so I understood there will be bugs and I need to give it time, same thing happened when they released Windows XP. ok after 1 + year of vista: Man, system was still SLOW, ok no big deal added 2 more GB of memory but its still SLOW, programs not responding, and a security pop up pretty much for everything I tried to do. You click on a short cut and wait and wait and wait and finally it opens now the program is not responding so you have to wait and wait and wait. LIFE IS TOO SHORT!!! Then I heard Microsoft is releasing Windows 7, I was kinda pissed, I just spent $$ to upgrade to vista ultimate and now they are releasing a new windows?? that quick?? Fine so I went to Microsoft.com and get into Windows 7 beta. in the mean time I always owned blackberrys phones and it was the time to upgrade my old phone (blackberry curve), looked at the blackberry storm and man that thing stinks comparing it to the Iphone so I gave up and bought an Iphone - and WOW what a great experience I have had with it, the phone is just great and the APP store alone beats any phone out there - anyways going back to Windows 7 - Ok Microsoft can fool people naming it windows 7 but its Vista with some changes to the interface, same problems , very slow, and more system requirements than vista so basically if I want to experience Windows 7 at its best I have to buy a new laptop with a better graphic card. I then looked at the new Mac OS requirements - Yeah 256 MB of memory, you know what does that mean? it means people who bought an apple in 2000 can run the latest OS while for me to run Windows 7 I have to buy a new laptop that is less than 2 years old, same thing when vista was released couldn't run vista on a 2 years old Dell so had to buy a new laptop. that did it for me - I was done and decided to switch to mac and oh my god what a different experience I have had - It just AMAZING, I love every second of it - the system is so quit its hard to tell its running, it doesn't get hot like HP/dell did, the battery actually last longer than 2 hours. its just what a laptop should be like and the mac experience is as good as it could get, you turn this laptop on and the start time is less than 1 minute - you click on a short cut and the program runs immediately - I can run 9 different programs on it at the same time and not notice any slowness - try that with vista and you will see a nice blue screen + and no need to worry about virus or spyware.
    Yes this machine was more expensive but you know what? you really get what you pay for. Go to an Apple store and try a mac if you think about switching, trust me - you won't be sorry and you would never look back...more info
  • Piece of Art - Carved to Perfection - Incredible Laptop
    I have owned many different computers over the years (mostly Macs with a Mac clone somewhere in there). This is, hands down, the best computer I have ever owned. It is a solid body unit, with a gorgeous screen, backlit keyboard, and everything you could want in a laptop. The new multitouch trackpad just finishes this off as a must buy.

    If you are on the fence about getting a new laptop (to run the MacOS or Windows) - this IS the laptop you have always wanted.

    PROS
    Great Screen (some don't like the gloss, but I think it's bright enough to not matter)
    Backlit Keyboard (great when in a dark room)
    Solid, Unibody Construction (light but solid)
    Good Speakers
    Very unique multi-touch trackpad that adds a lot to the laptop
    Very powerful and feature loaded

    CONS
    It's not cheap - but you get what you pay for....more info
  • A Marvel...
    I guess Macs are just a matter of taste, but for me this machine is beautiful. It performs wonderfully, it's fast both with mac os and vista, games run great. I don't find the screen to be annoying, sure is reflective but once you are focused on what you are doing you completely forget about it. at least that's what happened with me, it runs hot under vista, specially playing games. nothing that bothers me though, what is important to be noticed is that the edges are prompt to be dented very easily, so special caution should be taken.

    I previously had a late 2007 macbook pro and this one is noticeably faster, and has a brighter screen. Black keys on aluminium? they look awesome and matches the screen bessel very well... this design has no equal hands down....more info
  • Macbook Pro is awesome
    My first ever Apple, and it is sweet. It took a short time for me to get used to OS X, but it's awesome. Boot up and restarts are the fastest I've seen, far faster than Windows based PCs. The notebook itself is pleasing to the eye, just aesthetically gorgeous. I have no problems with the display being reflective. I love how it is so thin and the backlit keyboard. I'm loving every bit of my new MBP!

    For almost $2K, the MBP's lack of HDMI, Blu Ray, and 1600 x 900 display makes me give it 4.5 stars. ...more info
  • A quality product -- I'm hooked
    Having used windows for almost exclusively, I was reluctant to switch to a Mac. But I needed a new laptop after my Sony Think Pad died of old age, so I took the plunge. I'm very happy I did.

    Aside from everything you've heard about the Mac operating system, the thing that really impressed me was the quality. It is the best built laptop I've ever held. The aluminum body is light but strong. The slide-in DVD loader is superior to the flimsy trays on most lap tops. Despite the occasional glare, the screen is sharp and clear. I prefer the gloss as it makes pictures and videos "pop" off the screen. The keyboard is comfortable and has a great feel. Even if it were a windows-based unit, I would be impressed by the quality workmanship of the product.

    The graphics accelerator is also impressive. Call of Duty 4 runs smooth with fast frame rates. I set the game to its optimum graphic settings and it runs much better than my current desktop setup (which uses a top-end nvidia accelerator from three years ago). This laptop has some muscle. ...more info
  • Excellent update to a great product
    I am glad that I waited for Apple to update the Macbook Pro models. The new case is stiffer and stronger. The fit and finish is excellent. The flush power button feels solid.

    The new trackpad was very easy to get used to. The lack of separate buttons is not an issue. You can even define the bottom left and right areas to be buttons if that is how you like it to be.

    The glass cover of the LED backlit LCD screen does give it a glossy look. There are some reflections. In my use, I have no problems with the glass covered screen. I like that it is protected by glass. The display is very bright. The addition of an on-board video chip as well as a separate video card makes for great graphics options.

    The ability to easily swap out the hard drive is a welcome change on the Macbook Pro line.

    I have had no problems with it. I installed Windows Vista Ultimate via Bootcamp and it runs very well.

    The battery life is acceptable. If you turn down the backlighting and use the on-board video chip, you can get over 5 hrs use....more info
  • Best Laptop Ever!
    I bought this macbook pro a couple of weeks ago and it has been amazing from the speed to the software and everything, well worth the money!...more info
  • Defective hardware
    The Macbook Pro is a fantastically designed machine and if not for the hardware problems I'm having, I would give it 5 stars. But, the screen is constantly flickering and the flickering becomes worse with each passing week. There are thousands of articles on the Internet about users experiencing similar problems due to defective NVIDIA chips in these machines. I've spent hours on the phone with Apple Support and they refuse to accept the machine for repair because I cannot force it to flicker on demand and they won't acknowledge the problem as their responsibility if it is intermittent in nature. I wrote to Apple corporate legal directly and they ignored my letter and sent it back to customer service for a boilerplate reply. Unfortunately, when I pay full retail to buy a machine at this price point, and I'm treated like this, it's impossible to offer more than a 1 star review. ...more info
  • Mirror screen really is bad
    I'm not very picky. My last laptop was a G4 "macbook pro" (I don't remember what they used to be called.) I used it until I finally caved and got this 17 inch macbook pro. I just picked up the standard configuration my University bookstore carries. It is fine. After using migration tool it kept resetting the timezone to GMT and I had to do a google search and run a few terminal commands to fix. The reason for this review is the screen. Don't buy it with the glossy mirror screen. Please special order the matte finish. I'm not sensitive to reflections but this is crazy. Any light in the room and you pretty much just stare at yourself in the screen. I won't return it for this, but I do regret not ordering the matte screen. I'm certain that Apple will change this screen, it's crazy. It really is a mirror (did I mention it is a mirror?)...more info
  • Made me into an Apple Convert from Windows
    I purchased this notebook to replace my pre-existing Windows XP based laptop. Whenever I watched a movie and saw a celebrity working on a computer, it was always on a Mac. When you buy a notebook like this, you are buying a Hollywood Superstar. I debated between the Macbook and Macbook Pro but the Pro only weighs 0.1 lb more. The Macbook Air does not have an optical drive so I could not see using that in the practical sense for travel (even though I infrequently use an optical drive beyond installation).

    WHAT IS IN THE BOX

    Notebook
    Instructions
    AC Adapter

    SETUP

    When you turn on the notebook, there is an initialization process to register your notebook and allow you to password protect the computer. Right out of the box, the Macbook Pro works well. It is accompanied by iLife and iTunes. I initially updated iTunes and updated the operating system after placing my information to work wirelessly.

    Operation

    From initial start up, I can access my desktop in about 40 seconds. Shutdown is less than 10 seconds. Sleep function turns on in less than 5 seconds and it goes to sleep in that period, too. Forced quit shuts a window of a program that is not responding.

    The notebook is so easy to operate. As a Windows operator since the Windows 1.0 inception, it was not a steep learning curve. In lieu of the Control button, you push the Command button.

    The touchpad is generous and the various mouse gestures are a welcome addition. The keyboard is full-sized and buttons are extremely comfortable. The keyboard is very quiet but the space bar is ever so islightly noiser than the rest.

    The hard drive is quiet. There is no screen flex or wrist pad flex, either. The function keys control contrast, volume and screen brightness. Being used to a Dell Latitude D620, I am used to about a 50% brightness. Configured with a 320 GB hard drive that is a lot of space to store my 120 GB of music and over 100 GB of photos/videos. The hard drive appears to run fast at 5400 RPM (for what I do a 7200 RPM HD was not worth it).

    I do not game but I wanted the option given the video capabilities. However, to conserve energy I use the integrated memmory card. If I decide one day to play video games, this notebook will afford me that ability.

    Installation of programs have never been easier for me on a Mac than my previous 5 generations of Windows based notebooks (ranging from Dell, Gateway, HP, Compaq). I was able to install my printer software and drivers in 1/3 of the time of XP and 1/5 of the time from Vista. Password protecting the notebook, ensured that only I would be able to install ANYTHING onto my notebook. It is so frustrating when someone uses your computer only to find junky software installed into your notebook which add spyware and run your computer less efficiently.

    Construction

    The solid construction by the aluminum body is elegant and durable. The glass screen is highly reflective but at the angle by which I operate the notebook, I find no problems. It is so easy to wipe off. I have read that viewing angles were limited but I don't find that to be the case for me (with regular positioning and use).

    For the size of a widescreen 15.4" notebook, this design is thin and lightweight (5.5 lbs) which matches the weight of many notebooks at the 14.1" size of Windows based notebooks.

    I use this notebook on a table or my lap. It does not get hot like prior generations of Macbook Pros which got very uncomfortably hot.

    The plug attaches by a magnetic type interface which is easy to use and more durable than other notebook interfaces that tend to dislodge from regular use (My old Gateway and an older model Compaq).

    There are 2 USB ports, a Firewire 800 port, earphone and microphone jacks, and a monitor port. A slot for the optical drive is convenient and is software/hardware driven. It is relatively quiet for its operation. I do not even hear the cooling fan when it runs.

    Integrated webcam with very good field of view and resolution for its size. Using the camera it is easy to do videoconferencing or video chatting (iChat). The video chat also works with Google's Chat interface.

    Batteries

    The battery is unlike the batteries of its predecessors. I ordered the older battery and obviously, it would not fit.

    Battery life is decent with WIFI and Bluetooth inactivated and brightness set to lower levels, allowing me about 3 hours and 45 minutes. I love how you can display batter life as a percentage or absolute time.

    Wifi and Bluetooth activation are easy to operate (at the upper right hand corner of the screen). I can log in quickly from anywhere. I just click on the Wireless icon at the top right hand corner to see what networks are available and I am online. It was not so simple with Windows.

    Programs

    Armed with the Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard (includes Time Machine, Quick Look, Spaces, Spotlight, Dashboard, Mail, iChat, Safari, Address Book, QuickTime, iCal, DVD Player, Photo Booth, Front Row, Xcode Developer Tools) and iLife '08 (includes iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, iWeb, GarageBand), you can do a lot with the notebook right out of the box. I did purchase extra software for more versatility:

    Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac Special Media Edition
    Final Cut Express 4
    Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 (Mac)

    I had Windows XP before and syncing the IPOD with that system was well, buggy. With the Macbook Pro, as soon as I turned on the notebook, the updates ran seamlessly and did not affect the performance of the machine. I also decided to sync my notebook with the Macbook Pro which was very easy and I had not one error. I also found it faster to sync with my IPOD when compared to my Windows based predecessor. Overall, it was a more positive experience for me.

    The Dashboard has useful applets with more to download from the Apple web site. Things like movie theater times, snowfall repots, conversions, weather, a dictionary, thesaurus, and calendar (just to name a few) that don't require the browser but may need internet access. The Widgets are very useful.

    My favorite is the 'movie theater times' since I just activate Dashboard, I can check the theater and movie and I am done in less than a minute (it is like a virtual newspaper).

    Spaces is a great feature for me. It allows me to switch to different windows to see what program is running without clutter. It is like having a four foot screen with all of the windows.

    PROS
    Lightweight for the size of the screen
    Thin profile
    Next generation trackpad (works similar to an iPhone/IPOD Touch
    Ease of operation and installation of programs
    Good base of programs installed
    Virtually no BLOATWARE
    Simplicity of design
    Can run windows
    Dual video card configuration
    Spaces

    CONS
    Cost
    Average battery life
    No matte screen option

    I also added the Applecare Protection Plan (3 year duration) which I was advised will be worth the price for technical support and repairs (if necessary). I highly recommend getting the Protection Plan:

    AppleCare Protection Plan MA515LL/A for MacBook Pro (w/ or w/o display)

    One peripheral that I thought was very useful was the Apple Remote which I found new on the Amazon Marketplace for $5:

    Apple Remote Control for iPod (White)

    Conclusion

    Overall, this is a solid notebook with the capabilities to run Windows (but why?). The design is simple and easy to use.

    It has made an Apple convert out of me, out of all of these years (23 years - am I that old?) of PC computing from the IBM AT/XT days (monochrome screens, 5 inch floppy drives, 2400 baud modems, noisy dot matrix printers and clicky keyboards).

    I highly recommend this product. It made an Apple Mac OS X convert out of me!
    ...more info
  • MacBookPro
    J&R was great. Timely delivery. Laptop is superb. This is my third Mac and I truly love these laptops....more info
  • unibody Macbook Pro definitely great
    Upgraded from a Powerbook 15" to this Macbook Pro 15". Very nice stiff body with the new product. Upgraded RAM to 4 GB and running VMWare Fusion with Windows 7 with great success. Very happy with the overall experience. The new multiTouch trackpad is very nice since large and easy to find. The only downside is that the large trackpad sometimes causes me to accidentlt touch it....more info
  • 17" MacBook pro delivers on high expectations
    I've been using my new 17" unibody MacBook Pro intensively for over a week. It has hold up to the high expectations that I had from it. The design is stunning: the solid aluminum body is offset by a pitch-black screen. When closed, its a sleek minimalist work-of-art that looks smaller than its massive 17" screen size. The top lid and bottom aluminum body fit perfectly, sealed like a fridge by a magnet and a slim rubber edge that runs around the entire display. Its gorgeous from any angle: the back is flush has no battery bay and there are no visible ventilation holes. The fan exhausts are intricately hidden in the hinging mechanism of the display. The fans are barely audible under normal use.

    Putting the unibody in on your lap after a cold night is a boner-shrinking experience. Also when powered up the MBP runs cool, consuming only 18 watts in normal use. Battery life is about 5 hours if you only do some office work. That is probably as good as it gets today. Battery life is considerably less when the graphics is stressed, or when I boot it in Windows Vista instead of OSX. I noticed that the battery life predictor never gets even close to the promised 8 hours. Apple marketing is quite simply lying.

    The display is stunning: the sharpest and best contrast I've seen until now. The colors and sharpness of the glossy screen is visibly better that that of the matte screen (a $50 option). In contrast to the glossy screen, the matte display is not mounted flush into the case. Side-by-side, the glossy looks a lot better. I noticed no problem with the reflections of the glossy screen in heavy daily use.

    Performance is good. Subjectively it seems faster and more responsive than my daughter's Imac. The system wakes up within a few seconds after opening the lid. My previous Dell tool a full 2 minutes to fully wake up after sleep, and much longer after a cold start. That is a real productivity saver.

    Of the 5 laptops in my home (of different vintage and make), the MBP seems to have the best and most solid WIFI connectivity. It picks up base stations that are out-of-reach of the other machines or Iphones.

    There are some minor design flaws: the front edge of the laptop is quite sharp. This is where your wrists rest, especially when using the trackpad. By now I've gotten used to this S&M experience with cold metal, but its clearly a case of form-over-function.

    Another flaw is that the beautiful design of the lid forces the connectors to the side instead of the back of the laptop. When placed on a desk (which is 95% of the time), a wild assortment of wires sticks out on the left, taking up precious real-estate on my desk. Since external displays require a adapter, the mess is even larger. Apple does not provide a docking station so my daily routine involves plugging in and out 5 wires multiple times. Apple uses a nonstandard video plug that require one to schlepp around two extra adapter cables anywhere. I would have gladly sacrificed the entire DVD-drive for this, since that is only used to install software.

    I've installed Windows Vista in 2 flavors: running in parallel using VMWare fusion, and sequential using bootcamp. Vista is a sluggish, slow and clumsy operating system compared to MacOS, so the latter is my preferred mode of operation. Fusion is faster and more convenient, but its only flaw is that it does not support graphics well (Flight simulator X did not work).

    In short, the 17" MBP is probably the best (and certainly the most beautiful) laptop one can buy at this time. Its considerably more expensive than similarly equipped competitors, but it makes up for that by better components and better design. ...more info
  • best computer ever
    the choice lap top of school of the art institute of chicago, this is one of the best i've had the chance to work with. it as all art students need for life. ...more info