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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

MacBook Pro - My Review of the WhiteBook, MacBook Pro 13", and MacBook Pro 15".


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chrismac

 
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Member Since: Jun 12, 2009
Location: Staffordshire
Posts: 356
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Mac Specs: 15.4" uMBP: iPhone 4

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Well, I finally did it. I got a MacBook Pro 15".

This means since June I have had:

iPhone 3G
iPhone 3GS
2009 MacBook White
2009 Mid MacBook Pro 13"
2008 Late MacBook Pro 15"

I thought that I would let you know my experiences.




Design

When I first decided to get an Apple laptop I thought that WhiteBook epitomised Apple. The 'all white' design looked so fresh and different to anything else on the market. However, when actually having it I felt that it felt a bit too plastic and soon my lovely fresh clean looking machine was soon grubby, and that was after washing my hands before each session.

_________________________

So next was the MacBook Pro 13". After using the WhiteBook this machine was sensational. I just could not stop holding it. The clean lines, the extremely strong aluminium casing, the precision, and stunning looks set this machine a million years infront of anything else on the market. The oversized glass trackpad felt and looked great. I loved the glossy glass backlit LED screen, it makes it look so expensive and classy, I know most people would like a Matt finish but I prefer this config. The screen is so bright that it eliminates most reflections. I think the illuminated keyboard is a gimmick as I never look at the keys when typing, however it looks stunning when activated.

_________________________

Next entered the MacBook Pro 15". It had the same features that I loved on the 13" but improved on size. I find myself staring closely at where the speakers are situated either side of the keyboard, the precision of each machined hole is simply amazing. Apple really have put out all the stops on quality. The larger screen gives me relief, it is in my opinion a 'perfect' size for a laptop.




Functionality

The WhiteBook was a great machine. It had 4GB of RAM and a 2Ghz C2D Processor so it handled everything very well. The keyboard was well laid out, with spaces between each key making typing enjoyable. The trackpad was fine, but I felt the click button a little too stiff. The glossy composite plastic had to be treated with care as the slightest of scratches would mark it. I was very, very careful when using and handling it, but it soon was covered in very small scratches. The screen was nice and bright [but nowhere near in the same league as the MBP's]. The lack of any card reader or ExpressCard 34 slot was an inconvenience and some how felt like a step backwards.

_________________________

The MacBook Pro 13" was very enjoyable to use. It is very thin in design so typing is very comfortable. The 2.26Ghz processor and 4GB of RAM made editing videos, photos, and completing day-to-day tasks a piece of cake. I simply loved Apple's new glass trackpad. If you love the iPhones screen 'gestures' then you will love this trackpad. Its inbuilt button is revolutionary, however I didn't use it because I enabled the soft click. Again, the keyboard is laid out with spaces so typing is fast and effortless. As stated the illuminated keyboard looks very pleasing, but was not that useful as I never look at the keyboard - a good gimmick though Apple!

A really nice feature is the ambient light sensor, where it senses the level of light in the area that you are working in and adjusts the brightness of the screen and either enables or disables the keyboard illumination along with the level of brightness. The screen is simply breathtaking. It is so bright and the colours are very vivid, it makes editing/watching movies, photos, a pleasure. As stated before the screen is so bright that it eliminates most of the reflections caused by its glossy glass surface. After a couple of weeks of using the machine I soon hankered for a larger screen, I felt that it served me great for veiwing webpages but a larger screen would be more beneficial for editing videos and photos.

The inbuilt SD card reader is a very useful feature, that supports my large SDHC cards, so no need to plug my camera in via a cable. I thought the Apple's claim of a 7hr battery was a bit optimistic, but I soon realised that it was a reality! I got close the claim when surfing the net over WiFi by adjusting the screen brightness and turning off Bluetooth.

I was disappointed with the BlueTooth connectivity to the Mighty Mouse. It dropped out quite a few times a week, although I soon got used to turning off/on the BT connection to get it back. The sound is OK for a laptop but nothing to shout about. The mobility of this machine is probably one of the best in the market due to its tiny slim size, be careful though, the aluminium casing is prone to scratching.

_________________________

The MacBook Pro 15" has most of the same points as the 13" MBP. The main differences for me was the screen size. It really did make a huge difference when viewing a busy screen, or editing photos in PS CS4. This is the late 2008 Model so it came with the dedicated GPU as std. The 2.4Ghz processor and 4GB of RAM handles all tasks that I need completing effortlessly. I was interested in upgrading to 6GB of RAM but it was not a cost effect solution, plus I would never need that kind of specification. Bear in mind, Apple officially only supports up to 4GB of RAM in this model. Speakers... Wow! I have had a lot of laptops in the past and speakers are not something you would really comment on when talking about any of them, this machine breaks this rule. The sound is BIG, it is loud, meaty, and full of bass - well done Apple! This model has the 5hr battery, I cannot comment on how good it is because I havent tried it. The battery is a user replaceable part on this model and is accessed very easily via an access slot underneath the unit, along with the hard drive. It does not have an SD card slot like the 13" MBP, but it does have an ExpressCard slot so I purchased a card reader that slots in. Even though the 15" MBP is much larger than the 13" I still think that it can be used as a mobile laptop.




Conclusion

The age old complaint about Apple 'over pricing' their machines have been talked about many times. I feel that you get what you pay for. Apple's new range of machines are not just laptops, but works of art. You will not get better build quality than in the new range of MacBook Pro laptops. Apple's attention to detail is second to none, which is reflected in the price.

I feel that if you want a machine that you will use mostly for surfing the net along with some word processing, a little video and photo editing, and maybe want to be mobile with it then I would highly recommend the MacBook Pro 13".

If you are like me and do not carry your machine around with you everyday, and/or do a fair amount of video/photo editing then I think that the best option would be to purchase the MacBook Pro 15"





Here is my new MBP 15":




And a quick video showing what it looks like out of the box:

YouTube - My New Addition: Apple MacBook Pro 15"


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CrimsonRequiem

 
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Nice read. I would format your second paragraph under "Functionality." It's a little daunting to read that.
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chrismac

 
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Member Since: Jun 12, 2009
Location: Staffordshire
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Cheers!
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GK27V6

 
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Member Since: Jul 20, 2008
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Mac Specs: white MacBook - 2.16GHz, 2GB RAM, 500GB HD iPhone Specs: white 3GS - 32GB

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I currently have an older model of the white MacBook. I really want the 15" Pro. I have a white iPhone 3GS and a Mighty Mouse, and then I look at the picture you have in your post and just makes me think: "That could be mine..." haha.

The only real reason why I don't have that 15"MBP yet is simply because I don't need it. My current MB does everything I need it to and then some. I'm going into college next month for first year. Hopefully I'll have a class that requires a more powerful computer

Other than that I enjoyed reading your post, I liked the way you reviewed each computer, and helped reinforce my desires to own a 15"MBP lol..

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CrimsonRequiem

 
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Mac Specs: MBP 2.3 Ghz 4GB RAM 860 GB SSD, iMac 3.4 GHz Intel Core i7 32GB RAM, Fusion Drive 1TB

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Quote:
Originally Posted by GK27V6 View Post
I currently have an older model of the white MacBook. I really want the 15" Pro. I have a white iPhone 3GS and a Mighty Mouse, and then I look at the picture you have in your post and just makes me think: "That could be mine..." haha.

The only real reason why I don't have that 15"MBP yet is simply because I don't need it. My current MB does everything I need it to and then some. I'm going into college next month for first year. Hopefully I'll have a class that requires a more powerful computer

Other than that I enjoyed reading your post, I liked the way you reviewed each computer, and helped reinforce my desires to own a 15"MBP lol..
Hehe, I ran into the same issue this month. Summer job and I got a little over 1.6k. It was originally suppose to go to funding a new 15" MBP but I already have an iMac, a MB and a the older 15" MBP.

They do everything that I want them to do, and they haven't given me any problems. That's when I thought why would I need to buy another MBP?

Having the latest in technology is great and all, but it's kind of a waste of money and space when you already have stuff that can do the job.
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chrismac

 
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Member Since: Jun 12, 2009
Location: Staffordshire
Posts: 356
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Mac Specs: 15.4" uMBP: iPhone 4

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I see your point guys

The desire to own a uMBP was not so much a functional desire, but more of an emotional one. Like I said in my review, they are works of art. For that reason alone I can justify the cost!

By the way, I hope I did not portray the WhiteBook in a bad light. I saw no massive increase in performance when switching from machine to machine. Also, my complaints of it getting dirty very easily, and the scratching can be sorted out very easily with some sort of skin.
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