Apple has been selling record numbers of its Mac computers in recent months, and to capitalise on that success it recently overhauled its entire range of MacBook Pro laptops.
The MacBook Pro doesn't have the elegant slim-line design of the MacBook Air but, as the name implies, these models are aimed at professional users who require power and performance above all else.
Apple has therefore updated these latest models with more powerful processors and graphics, and introduced a brand new Intel I/O technology called Thunderbolt.
The new models look virtually identical to their predecessors, and there are no major changes to the existing 'unibody' aluminium chassis design. As before, the MacBook Pro is available in three different sizes, with 13in, 15in or 17in screens.
The entry-level 13in model that used to cost £1,020 with a 2.3GHz Core 2 Duo processor now gains a Core i5 processor running at the same speed and a minor price cut that brings it down to £999.
For another £300 you can bump the processor up to a Core i7 running at 2.7GHz, but we reckon the £999 model will hit the sweet spot for many existing MacBook owners who are thinking about upgrading.
There's a bit of a price jump when stepping up to the 15in models. The two earlier Core i5 models are now replaced with Core i7 processors, starting at £1,549 for a 2GHz model. However, we looked at the 2.2GHz model, which comes in at £1,849 with 4GB of 1,333MHz memory and a 750GB hard disk.
This model includes the integrated Intel HD 3000 graphics plus a separate AMD Radeon HD 6750M with 1GB of its own memory. That gives you the option of switching between the two graphics processors depending on whether you need greater battery life or greater performance.
Finally, there's the top-of-the-range 17in model, which was previously equipped with a 2.53GHz Core i5 processor, but which now steps up to the i7 running at 2.2GHz and goes up about £150 in the process.
Other features that are common across the range include Bluetooth and 802.11n wireless networking, Gigabit Ethernet, built-in stereo speakers and microphone, and digital audio input and output. Apple has also upgraded the built-in iSight webcam from VGA resolution to 1,280 x 720.
Expansion options include a single FireWire 800 port, along with a pair of USB 2.0 ports. Apple has completely turned its nose up at USB 3.0, and is now the first manufacturer to ship systems that use the new Thunderbolt I/O technology.
Thunderbolt was originally developed in Intel's labs using the codename Light Peak but, according to Intel's web site, the firm collaborated with Apple before bringing it to commercial release in the new MacBook Pro.
Apple claims that Thunderbolt provides data transfer speeds of up to 10Gbit/s, which makes it faster than USB 3.0, and much faster than either USB 2.0 or FireWire 800.
On the downside, there are as yet no available peripherals that can be plugged into the MacBook Pro's Thunderbolt ports, but Apple gave us an impressive demonstration of an upcoming hard disk from LaCie that was able to copy a 5GB file in about 20 seconds.
The interesting thing about Thunderbolt is that it's a 'dual-protocol' technology that supports existing PCI Express and DisplayPort devices. The single Thunderbolt port on the left-hand edge of the MacBook Pro looks similar to Apple's standard Mini DisplayPort connector, and can still be used to plug in one of Apple's own Cinema monitors. It can also co
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Shiny light MacBook Pro 13" BNIB
I've been saving for a macbook for 2 months so I was quite excited about this purchase anyway. Trying not to be biased, however, I must say that except for the looks you and your little product will attract, there's no shortcoming. Well, if you're struggling with the money, then its price may as well be regarded as an inconvenient. Keep in mind, though, that as soon as you got it, you feel special.
This macbook is my first apple notebook, and it completes my apple family (comprised of 2 iPods and an iPhone). Don't get me wrong, far be snobbery from me, but apple really is a hell of a nice brand.
The macbook's configuration is more than enough for me as a student, if you wish to upgrade to better configuration (2.53Ghz, 160GB, 2MB Ram), you can always do so.
I've got the latest macbook, the one which has all the features of a macbook pro in just 2 kilos of apparel. It's amazing how compact and light this can be. I highly recomment you to buy as many accessories and protection goodies for it as possible. I bought a sleeve for it from apple store, as well as a special messenger bag to carry the macbook in. I envisage to get the cleaning kit as well, it's specially made for apple products.
Back to the macbook, I have to add that it's a whole new experience after you had a windows laptop to switch to mac OS, but it's sooo easy. Anybody can get used to it in less than 2 days. Don't be scared to buy a macbook just because people tell you its OS is difficult. It is not. I am using windows for 10 years now and it took me half a day to get my head round the new macbook.
Screen is impeccable, super HD, keyboard is amazing, i simply love it.
Overall, I rate this product as excellent. Try it yourself in an apple store before you buy it and watch videos of it on youtube, you'll get an idea if this sort of notebook is for you or not. You either like it or hate it.I'm in the former category. Good luck, happy purchase.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
macbook pro new family
The Core Duo, used in the iMac and MacBooks, has outstanding "integer" performance, which is a large component of its impressive overall performance, but the G5 had a substantial edge with outstanding memory performance over the Core Duo. The Mac Pro has now closed that gap with its high speed FB-DIMM memory, and most of our tests of native code (not Rosetta applications such as Photoshop), showed the Mac Pro to be the fastest Mac around.
Our separate Mac Pro Benchmarks page has all the details of our benchmark tests and performance analysis.
In general, Universal Binary applications just fly on the Mac Pro. The experience is fast and fluid – a hallmark of multiprocessor machines with multithreaded applications, but like the Quad G5 before it, the quad Xeon cores in the Mac Pro really enhance this effect.
We really had to work hard to make the Mac Pro break a sweat. Massive Photoshop files could slow it down, but once we gave it a fast RAID scratch disk, it got within striking distance of native G5 speeds. Aperture eats anything we can throw at it, but this computer has shown few bottlenecks, so far. We expect that giving it plenty of RAM and very fast disks will be very rewarding.
One exception is gaming. The Mac Pro lags far behind Windows PCs, turning in Doom3 timedemo frame rates half that of PCs running the same video hardware and slower processors.
A remaining question is the Mac Pro's performance with PCI Express hard drive adapter cards. We have been very disappointed by the performance of SATA cards on both PCI and PCI Express G5 Power Macs, as have some MacInTouch readers, and we hope this bottleneck is addressed in the Mac Pro, along with the poor USB 2.0 performance of previous Macs. Testing continues.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Look before you leap
I started my computing experience with a Win+PC combo. About four years ago I switched to Linux as I got fed up with the problems and annoyances Windows poured on me.
Not so recently I was to decide if I buy another PC laptop or as a friend recommended me a Mac.
I went for the Mac saying lets' see what people rave about. After using my Macbook Pro for a while now here is the verdict.
The hardware is no question one of the best available. Unibody aluminium housing, very clear, nice design etc. 10/10. Although if you are more familiar with the way PCs work (keyboard layout, keyboard functions etc.) you gonna be a bit puzzled for a wile with a Mac.
Now about the software. There are many things, that are very easy to do with an OS X. I would say idiot-proof which can be annoying sometimes. I liked more my Linux back then with its simpler but at least as usable features as OS X. I personally think that many of the fancy features of OS X serve nothing else just dragging the memory and draining your battery out quicker.
So for me it seems that a Mac is not the best option at all. It's got a well deserved reputation but it seems a bit overestimated by many. I like it and keep it, but if I needed to buy a laptop now I would go for a good PC hardware and would put a good Linux distribution on it. For me the Mac has not justified its price. You are better off in every aspect with a cheaper laptop with Linux (if you do not want to use Windows any more).
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
The Apple macbook pro 13.3 notebook
i have been so use to using the windows operating system that i decided to buy a macbook as everyone i knew who had one were telling me how good it was...when i received the macbook i was very pleasantly surprised by how sturdy and attractive it was. The illumination of the keyboard is a big plus and the general build of the laptop was excellent but the operating system itself took a lot of time to get used to and was not as user friendly as windows but overall im very happy with it and i can upgrade the ram and hard drive if i wish to.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.