back to article Apple MacBook Pro 15in

Remember the Apple PowerBooks? They were pants. Of course, I didn't know this at the time. It's only now, having had the chance to play with Apple's latest MacBook Pro, that I realise that everything that came before it was so dreadfully ordinary. Apple MacBook Pro 15in Apple's MacBook Pro 15in: now with Core i5 or i7 CPU …

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  1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  2. Jon Double Nice
    Heart

    Magsafe Plug Removal

    If you push down on the top corner near the cable then the plug will ease off quite nicely. You'll break the magnetic seal more easily this way rather than trying to pull it off in one go.

  3. K Silver badge
    Jobs Horns

    Yep.. 85% FAIL

    I appreciate "Apple" branding has a premium, but that price is daylight robbery.. You can buy a similar spec machine for £599.

  4. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  5. Paul Durrant

    How to remove the MagSafe connector

    It is almost impossible to pull the MagSafe connector directly away from the computer - the magnet holds it very securely.

    But it's not necessary to pull it straight out from the computer like you must with, say, USB connectors. Just push it gently up or down, and it comes away easily, even if you're just eaten fish & chips.

  6. baldrick
    Paris Hilton

    I hate myself for saying it but I want one!!

    The Reg will be getting accused of morphing into a bunch of fanboi's at this rate!

    But however much I hate the premium pricing - I do like the style and I do love OSX and I love all those design touches (which are clearly not essential but are soooo niiiiiice). All of which just tempt you to reach for your wallet "because I can and because I'm worth it".

    Some people buy Skodas, some people buy Ferrari's - But if I could afford it, I know which one I'd get.....

    Cue commentards from the Peoples Popular Front for the Assasination of All Things Apple!

    Paris? - Same logic - too expensive and lots of unecessary adornments - But if I could - I most definitely would!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    £1649!

    That's why Apple stores have such big windows - so they can see the mugs coming from a mile away.

  8. M7S

    Strong Magnetic Clasp

    presumably not more than a foot or so from the HDD. Is this really wise?

    I'm not saying that to bruise the fruit (I thought that wouldn't sound so bad as "bashing the apple", but on second thoughts...) but just wondered generally. I've also no idea how this would affect the display. I know CRT were vulnerable to the odd bit of guass. Perhaps someone could illuminate me on this one for modern displays.

    I wish I had the money for one of these, I'd like to try an alternative to Windows, but before someone starts, I dont like buying "bottom of the range" and my boss is too tight to fund experiments.

  9. lglethal Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Sorry but were the comparison to non-Apple laptops

    Look i dont particularly care how this runs in comparison to other Apple laptops (maybe some Fanbois do?), what i want to know (as someone who is looking to buy a new laptop soon) is how this laptop compares for speed, HDD, connectivity, battery life etc compared to your standard HP, Acer, etc laptops.

    You can talk about the software suite you get with it and all that (which is important as well), but the main comparison for someone like myself should be to do with which machine is the fastest, has the best graphics and the best battery life and has the all-round best features. The test youve run show me that this is fast and with relatively good batteries comapred to other Apples but thats not particularly helpful. Ok if i end up buying Apple i'll buy this, but whats to make me choose this over a PC when looked at from a performance point of view alone?

    If you cant perform the standard PCMark (or an equivalent test) then this review is of no use to me. Sorry.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Thanks, but no thanks.

      You certainly can buy a 'similar spec' machine for £599, but it'll be 2kg heavier, 2cm thicker, have a 2h battery life, a miniscule trackpad, no firewire, and a plastic-fantastic case.

      You get what you pay for.

      As a proud owner of a 13" MBP I can happily say it's the finest computer I've ever bought. Worth every penny.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Physics 101

      The MBP doesn't have a CRT display. Ergo, no (magnet susceptible) electron beam.

    3. Tim Cook

      It's not about the branding

      You might get the same or similar processor and memory, but you won't get anything like the same product. If you're happy spending £599 on something else then more power to you, but don't be so surprised if Apple still sell a few of these to other people (and yes, Macs have been steadily increasing their market share, even through the recession).

    4. Gold Soundz
      Thumb Down

      Buy one of those then, no one cares!

      Mac's are a luxury, it's not about spec vs price! It's about the whole user experience - they're beautiful machines to use. Mac OS X is almost flawless and in the 5 years I've been using them, I've had about as many crashes, none of which required a reboot.

      I work as a third line network systems administrator with Windows servers and workstations, and trust me, it's worth having a Mac to go home to after tearing your hair out all day with PCs. They just work, it's true.

    5. Monty Cantsin

      Re: Strong Magnetic Clasp

      Apple have been using the magnetic clasp for years on various models, and there's been no problems. In fairness, I'd say it's something they thought about before they put it in.

    6. Tim Cook

      Not sorry

      Look i dont particularly care how this runs in comparison to other laptops (maybe some Fanbois do?), what i want to know (as someone who is looking to buy a new Macbook soon) is how this laptop compares for speed, HDD, connectivity, battery life etc compared to your standard Apple laptops.

      See what I did there?

      I'm sure you could perform a standard PCMark test on this machine if you dual-booted into Windows and ran it as a PC, but that would be completely missing the point of buying a Macbook. If your *sole* criteria for a review of the machine is its performance as a PC, then this probably isn't the laptop for you in the first place.

      For those of us already interested in a Macbook or other OS X computer, then the comparisons in this review are a lot more interesting, and probably a lot more meaningful.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No worries

      People always seem to worry about a small magnet being anywhere near a hard drive - they forget that inside that HDD casing is a magnet of far higher stength required as part of the mechanics...

    8. Evil Graham

      What's inside the HDD though?

      If you've ever broken one open, you'll find there's usually a pair of chunky permanent magnets in there.

      I reckon the field around these is way stronger (and closer to the platter) than that from the Magsafe adapter

    9. Matthew 17

      Link please

      Provide a link for an equivalent laptop for £599 please.

      If you price up a Windows 7 Dell with the same spec and equivalent software it's usually about the same price.

    10. Mike Moyle Silver badge

      Don't know if this would help...

      ...Not sure whether they do PCMark comparisons and don't have time to look, but these folks might be a good place to start:

      http://www.laptopmag.com/review/laptops/top-ten-notebooks.aspx

    11. studentrights
      FAIL

      Yep you fail...

      So that machine would include a mutli-touch/gesture trackpad like the iPhone, a backlit keyboard, magsafe power connector, auto-graphics switching, solid aluminum case, slot CD/DVD drive and an 8 hour battery?

      Where is this magical machine?

    12. Aaron 10
      Grenade

      Benchmarks

      If you're just buying (or not buying) a Mac based on benchmarks, this is NOT the computer for you. Simple as that.

      Macs perform quite well, but that's not their primary selling point. That would be Mac OS X and the bundled software (which is quite powerful).

      Honestly, can you tell the difference between a 1% performance improvement without a stopwatch or frame rate counter? What about 2%? 5%? Probably not. If you are, you are a savant and probably don't need a computer.

    13. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That's comparing Apples with... other things

      define your terms, particularly "all-round best features". I'd say a better yardstick is which machine allows you to do your work most efficiently: everything else is specsheet willy-waving.

  10. Ken 16 Silver badge
    Troll

    I wish it had a Trackpoint

    That is all.

    1. madferret
      WTF?

      Why?

      Have you tried using the MacBook trackpad? Does everything a trackpoint can and more besides.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Cue the Mac-haters

    oh yes, you know it's coming...

    - too expensive

    - too few ports

    - too "locked down"

    - we hate Steve Jobs

    - an oblique ipad reference

    - some complete bollox which makes no sense

    yah-dee-yah.

    C'mon you lot...if you won the lottery, just be true to us and yourself - you'd spec it to the max, then install 64bit Win7(or another non-OSX OS) on this in a heartbeat.

    Just like when you'd trip down to the BMW garage with your lottery winnings, and spec a v12 X5 with all toys, and all your rants about chelsea tractors clogging your street would be long forgotten.

    C'mon...you *know* you would. So get off the high horse.

    Christ it *is* expensive though. Ouch.

  12. Ivan Headache

    Fair review.

    I've dealing with a number of these recently - clients really like them.

    My only real issue is that the two USB ports are too close together. I cannot plug two sticks in at the same time unless they are those tiny PNY units.

    Contrary to the reviewer, I'm glad the FW800 is there.

  13. bygjohn
    Stop

    You're possibly not using the MagSafe connector properly

    I think you're attacking the MagSafe connector incorrectly when unplugging. AIUI you don't pull it out - which seems to be your problem with lack of grip. You break the connection by "bending" or "snapping" the plug downwards, upwards or sideways - remember it's not really plugged in, hence the quotation marks! Essentially you just lever it until the magnet loses its grip and you can pull it away.

    No need to actually grip the plug very hard or pull against the magnet, or put any strain on the cable.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Nice job, one problem though

    Launch Skype, or Chrome, or iPhoto, or any iWork application. Don't do anything, let one of those apps run minimized. Only THEN measure battery life.

    It will be 3-3,5 hrs only. Why? Because launching one of those apps makes MBP impossible to switch down to the integrated graphics, and 330M is a real energy burner.

    Looks like a software issue, waiting for the patch for Apple.

    1. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD
      Jobs Horns

      I would buy it.

      I hate Steve Jobs - despite my loathing of Apple - I actually have a mac, due for replacement ... so .. yes I will be watching reviews on this for the next few months.

      This needs a matte screen though

      1. BubbaDave

        Hi-res matte screen is an option

        For a mere £120 you can upgrade to a 1600x1050 pixel antiglare screen. Like the rest of the computer-- not cheap, but gorgeous.

      2. BobaFett
        Jobs Halo

        Matte (anti-glare) screen is available

        The higher resolution 15.4" screen option is 1680x1050 and is available in glossy and 'anti-glare' but you'll be paying £80 and £120 extra respectively. Not sure why anti-glare costs an extra £40! When I bought my 15" Mac Book Pro in 2007 the anti-glare option was no extra cost.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        And indeed you shall have a matte screen, Cinderella

        if you plonk down the £120 it costs to fuck up the aesthetics

    2. Phillip Webster
      Stop

      I wouldn't.

      Having home/end/pageup/pagedown as single button presses is a must have for me.

      Also, I don't care about the look or weight, so I can find a cheaper laptop elsewhere.

      I don't like OS X's UI in the slightest and it's total lack of reconfigurability loses a user in me where it might otherwise find one.

      What I will say on the price is this: Apple laptops are always middle of the road in a lot of things. For example, you'll always find 2, 3 or maybe 4 of these, but never all: Cheaper, lighter, better/bigger screen, longer battery life, better CPU, more RAM, better graphics, more ports, bigger/better HD.

      So, you pick what you want and go with it. I personally found a (much) cheaper laptop with a better screen and more ports when I bought mine (around 2 years ago) than any mac option could produce. CPU, graphics and RAM were the same, but it weighs a ton and I suspect wouldn't please the aesthetically wanton mac crowd (personally I think Macs aren't that attractive anyway, give me a plain matte black laptop any day).

      Also, El Reg, please don't have slavering mactards review macs. There's far too much positive with a token paragraph at the end for some minor downpoints.

      What about the missing keys on the keyboard? What about the inability to change the battery? (unless you can on this model? There's no mention of it) etc, etc. It's a nice machine but an unbiased review requires someone who doesn't go doe-eyed when looking at a picture of Jobs.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        Why not Phil..?

        It seems that they allow slavering 'wintards' and slavering 'freetards', as well as other slavering 'mactards', to post comments on articles about Apple. Look, you disagree, that's fine, but accusing someone of being a 'mactard' or a 'fanboi' simply because they perhaps like something that you don't shows you to be a little puerile. Accusations of bias because the reviewer doesn't share your views on the importance of the PgDn/PgUp keys is actually quite pitiful. Thing is Phil, most consumers simply don't give that much of a fuck.

  15. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Price vs score

    Surely your reviewers aren't vulnerable by the veblen effect?

    While I'm no fanboi, neither do I hate Macs passionately. However, you could buy TWO better spec'd (non-Mac) laptops for this price so I can only assume that cost isn't a factor when scoring reviews? Unless of course it's a non-Mac product, where they routinely get marked down for excessive cost,

    What gives?

  17. Tim Cook

    It's worth it

    I have the previous generation 13" Macbook Pro (actually quite similar to this generation's 13" MBP which didn't get the Core i5 processor either) and all I can say is, they're well worth the extra. The aluminium unibody design makes them look great, but it also makes them more solid and better built than pretty much anything else you can compare them to - typing on one of these is an absolute joy, since they've absolutely zero creak or give - the keys all have nice feedback, but beneath them you're typing onto a slab of solid aluminium. Similarly the trackpad has the same positive, solid feel - although it's capable of much more fluid and flexible gestures than most.

    Saying nice things about Apple computers invariably leads to some kind of holy war, but once you've used one for any length of time - and made the effort to learn the ways of OS X and main Mac apps - it's easy to see why people passionately defend them, and less easy to see why anyone would champion cheaper PCs. Sure, if you're on a tighter budget the average PC will do many if not all the same things, but then a Vauxhall Corsa will also drive you anywhere you need to go - that doesn't make it the best car, or the only one to consider.

  18. Dana W
    WTF?

    Maybe

    @K

    Perhaps if I wanted a crap display, a cheap hard drive, a plastic case, and Windows 7 I could save money. I could save grocery money and eat cup noodles every day as well. But, like most of us here, my computers are the most used devices I own, and the center of much of what I do every day, And silly me, I like to ENJOY the experience.

    In the end, reliability and user experience count the most. If you don't believe me, look at the stock market. I have a recent budget "if you can call $1200 a budget" 13 inch Macbook Pro. My battery life is 5-6 hours of web browsing with the screen at 50% bright. And even with my onboard Nvidia my gaming experience is good. And of course the fact that in three years I'll still have at least 50% resale value does not hurt.

    If my budget line machine is this good, I'd be awestruck how well this has to run. What has to hurt is England's "Apple tax". The only feature I can't justify at all.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Corvette vs Ferrari 475 (See Top Gear)

      The Corvette is very slightly faster and has more "toys". The Corvette is plastic, the Ferrari is all metal. The Corvette costs less than half the Ferrari.

      Which would you choose?

      Not all consumer choices come down to a game of top trumps specs.

  19. Dan Harris
    Jobs Horns

    Shiney plastic magsafe connector?

    Not on my i7 15" - its a brushed aluminium connector and very easy to detach. Its actually a bit fiddly to attach as it doesn't orientate itself to the magsafe port as well as the old plastic design.

  20. Peter X

    Keyboard layout

    I do love Apple design -- they do make lovely, albeit slightly* expensive -- products! However, since I also need to use a bunch of "normal" PC keyboards, I find I really miss not having Page-up/Page-down/Home/End keys. And I also don't like having to use an "International" type layout rather than a proper British layout.

    * "slightly" because you can't compare a MacBook[Pro] with any regular Windows laptop. You need to compare it with a product with all the same features *plus* nice design, at which point you'll notice that actually, an Apple is just a bit more expensive!

  21. justkyle
    Jobs Horns

    On iJunque

    Say what you will about Apple, they do have some "innovative designs" and all.

    However; this much needs to be said:

    HDMI Out! HDMI Out! For the love of Jobs, drop Mini Display Adapter (no two model revisions being the same) and go to HDMI out already!

    RE: Similar specced winblows laptop-how many of those ship with 2 separate video cards?

    RE: Price complaints. Buy a used previous generation intel based macbook. I've had no problems with mine from work. Even wifey's iBook G3 is a Rock of Gibraltar compared to the Desktop Dells here at work. And, besides that, just like a Car, an Apple computer does have a higher re-sale value.

    Anybody else disappointed with the iPad? I was expecting a real netbook from Apple, not a blown up iTouch on steroids.

    No middle-of the ground regular Jobs icon, eh? Let's flip a coin, then...

  22. hexx

    trackpad...

    is touchpad ;) that's all i have to say. no more comments needed, happy owner of mbp 13" with 4GB of RAM

  23. jason 7 Silver badge
    Stop

    So what do folks do.......

    ......on their Macbooks thats so special or out of the ordinary it actually requires the spend of over £1200 on a commodity item such as a computer?

    If its mainly web browsing and email..........

    As far as I go, a laptop should just be a cheap £400 item that gives three years of use (maybe four if you are lucky) and then chuck it for a new cheap one after that.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If only it had a slightly better screen

    I think they're very nice products, but I do think for the premium price I'd like to see a full Adobe RGB gamut screen. I'm slightly surprised, being that nearly every photographer I know is a Mac user, that this update didn't add RGB LED.

    I now it's already a good screen, and is more than enough for most people, but it would be nice to at least have the option, like those offered by Dell or Sony. At least Apple does now offer a non-glossy screen, though.

    And a tiny bit cheaper couldn't do any harm either.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Grenade

    very nice device

    okay..so theres a premium...but as an owner of one of these I have to say its a very nice

    bit of kit. and, its also one of the best laptops to run Win7, Vista or Ubuntu on too.

    mine runs OSX very rarely...its the best windows laptop I've ever owned (only downsides? the fact it doesnt have VGA connector and you have to use silly dongles...no HDMI output either, it doesnt have a 'nipple' controller - its all touchpad and it doesnt have a Bluray drive)

    1. James R Grinter

      Re: shiny plastic magsafe connector?

      Likewise, I got the new model connector with mine too. Apparently the new connector is designed to better relieve the cable stress (and also with a stronger, more robust, PVC-free cable). But there's some debate on whether it disconnects quite so easily.

      The higher-res 1680x1050, "antiglare" display option - or non-shiny, as normal people would call it - is very nice. They've opted for a silver, recessed surround finish - which might even be what is actually underneath the glass of a glossy version - and the lettering picked out in Black. It hurts that they charge an extra 40 quid, though I suppose it's a charge to pay someone to remove what's already been assembled, and perhaps to cover a higher wholesale price if they know they're going to sell less of that panel.

    2. Rolf Howarth

      A commodity item?

      I use my MBP all day, every day for work. I probably spend more time on it than I spend driving my car, waching TV, in the kitchen, using my camera, listening to music, etc. - combined! Getting a machine that does what I want, that doesn't constantly frustrate me and that I enjoy using is therefore absolutely vital. For the amount of use I get out of it compared to other things I spend my money on the cost is utterly inconsequential.

      Soap is a commodity product. Toilet paper is a commodity product. Memory sticks are a commodity product. My computer isn't, is far too important for that.

    3. Tim Cook

      Home/End/PdDn etc

      I'll admit that REALLY bugged me for the first few days of owning my macbook, but once I got my head around the Command key (which, in combination with the cursor keys will take you anywhere you want to go) it became much less of an issue. I'm not trying to pretend that dedicated keys aren't nice, but they're not as must-have as you might think once you get to grips with the Mac layout - the Command key is a very useful button that falls easily to the thumb and does a lot of useful stuff, so once you're used to using it generally the navigation just becomes a lot more natural.

    4. Tim Cook

      Two things

      Firstly you can apply the same argument to any other consumer item, and you'll quickly find it sounds strange. What do people do with their BMWs or Audis, let alone their Porsches or Ferraris, that you can do with an old Ford Fiesta? Answer: enjoy themselves, stupid. Same thing applies here.

      Secondly, your cheap £400 laptop will be a PITA to use after the first year, and the bane of your life after three/four years, at which point it will be absolutely worthless even before it inevitably conks out. This Macbook on the other hand will have been a pleasure to use during that same period, still have years of life left in it at 3-4 years old, and have a substantial resale value too.

      1. jason 7 Silver badge
        Stop

        Not that case.

        Been using cheap laptops for the past 8 years. Never had any issues so far. I might do a complete rebuild every two years but I like doing that so not an issue. Cheap doesnt have to mean useless or bad.

        As for resale..that doesnt count.

        After 4 years I spent £400 on my laptop, I look after them so I might get £50 to £75 for it on Ebay.

        Total cost to me say £350.

        Your Macbook cost maybe £1400. Your resale after 3-4 years might be £300.

        Total cost to You is still £1100.

        Resale isnt really a saving if you are still spending substantially more over the same period. It's not negative thing, its just not a saving.

        Computers are commoditiy items.

        1. Tim Cook

          You =! Everyone

          You believe computers are commodity items because you're a regular buyer of cheap laptops, and cheap laptops are indeed a commodity item - all built down to the same low expectations, defined by price, branded up under an infinity of names but all essentially the same product. If they work for you, and (perhaps more to the point) if you're prepared to work for them by reinstalling every couple of years and working around all the niggles, that's great, you're saving money, good for you.

          But that's not for everyone.

          In the same way that not everybody wants to drive a Chevrolet Matiz and not everyone wants to drink Tesco Value Lager, not everyone wants to buy a £400 laptop, or even a Windows laptop of any price. Some people *choose* to pay more for a better product. That's the concept you're going to have to get your head around, because those people aren't about to change.

        2. Disintegrationnotallowed

          One assumes

          that you drive a X Reg Fiesta, it still drives around same as any newer model car, is perfectly adequate, etc.

          Or what about your 8 yo 21 inch CRT TV in the living room? A VCR and no DVD? All perfectly adequate.

          Sometimes being just OK is not enough.

          Like most people I bought an old Mac Pro to start with, then a 3 year old Macbook, and I use it all day everyday, when you spend that much time with a piece of machinery you want to love it, the same way I prefer my car to the one I owned 10 years ago..

        3. justkyle
          Jobs Halo

          Re: Not that case.

          That is, probably the way it works on the other side of the pond, as far as the economics go.

          Over here, resale value factors more into the equation.

          As far as whether or not I am good enough/responsible enough to use cheap laptops for 8 years, I assure you I'd be able to do it. Maybe not happily, but there you go. Or, to borrow a car analogy:

          Sure you can drive a Chevy Chevette for 10 years, if you can keep up with it (think of an American-built Yugo), but wouldn't you rather drive ANYTHING ELSE?

          St. Jobs. Just happened to be the other flip of the coin.

        4. Disintegrationnotallowed
          Happy

          Lord of the Pies (I like a good title)

          Oh and a quick one, after seeing this new MBP thought I would see how much I can get for my plain old white plastic macbook...

          2007 Macbook Price at new was around £900, resale value on ebay? around £500 on average...

          So costing me around £400 in total

          The MBP from 2008? Brand new price around £1700, selling on ebay for around £1100..

  26. Prag Fest

    Specs shmecs

    I've just been using a 'similar spec' Dell machine all day at work, am now at home on my twice the price Mac 'equivalent'.

    Am I thinking I was ripped off buying the Mac and should have got the Dell? Am I f**k, this thing is an incredible machine, greater than the sum of it's parts in a way specs and pictures on websites can never do justice.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    May have missed it...

    But what about Blu Ray?

  28. Badwolf

    PC World

    I hear Dell has a sale.....

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    Discounts

    It's worth keeping in mind that you can get good discounts if you're a student, work at a University or are a teacher. I know the current student price is £1517 and the price for Uni staff is normally even better and with 3 years warranty chucked in.

    To get these prices you should go to:

    http://store.apple.com/uk/browse/home/education_routing?mco=MTIxODk0Nw

    I got the previous version of the MacBook Pro and have found it an all round solid laptop. I cringe when I have to use the plastic crap they give us at work.

    I hope this post is useful to someone.

    1. Volker Hett

      To watch movies or as storage?

      Movies - 42" Telly with Bluray player

      Storage - external harddrives on the road, 10TB SAN/NAS in the office, 2TB NAS at home.

      I'm very happy with this setup.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Happy

        Yes yes very funny

        To make myself abundantly clear, do you get blu ray included in this Macbook for your hard earned and achingly trendy spondoolies?

        1. Disintegrationnotallowed

          clearly

          You know the answer to this, of course not, however I am hard pushed to find many laptop that does, Dell sell their Alienware boxes with one as an add on, but the same alienware box (in plastic), with Bluray, will cost you £1700 for the same spec.

          Personally I cant see any reason why I would want a Bluray in my laptop, if at home I use my Bluray player, if away prefer something more portable to take with me.

        2. Volker Hett

          OS X does not support HDCP

          and without DRM deep in the guts of the OS Blu Ray Movie playback is not allowed.

          So I did ask my Apple Dealer if it is possible to mod a Macbook with a Blu Ray drive instead of the DVD drive and they told me, that they can put a Sony NEC Blu Ray/DVD RW combo drive in for another 130 Euro.

          So if you have Blu Rays without copy protection, you might even watch the movie, the codecs are there. You can use it as a storage device without any restrictions.

  30. uhuznaa
    Thumb Up

    It *is* a bit of luxury

    but what is wrong with that? I have the 13" and I'm using it about 10 hours a day. Spending a bit more money on such a tool and then not having to put up with cheap crap 10 hours a day for years is a good idea. I don't work with specs, I work with a computer and details count.

  31. Wibble
    Happy

    Keyboard backlight brightness

    You'll be wanting the F5 and F6 keys to raise and lower the brightness.

    1. Terry Ellis

      This ^^^

      Totally agree - my work HP laptop infuriates me compared to my 13" MBP.

      It's been a revolation to use since I got it a the screen really is one of the best I've seen

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Happy

      I have a 15.6"

      and i only come up for air at mealtimes :)

  32. J. Cook Silver badge
    Coat

    Meh- It is what it is.

    What I would like to see (but will never, <b>ever</b> happen) is to see either Apple license (Gasp, Shock!) the magsafe connector to some other company, or have some other company come up with an equivalent.

    My friend who runs a computer shop and who is the only person within 100 miles that has the chutzpah to replace broken power connectors would disagree, but he's not typing this comment. :D

    Apple: You get what you pay for: an elegantly designed (if a bit *too* clever at times), tightly integrated hardware and software platform that my mum can use without pestering my every 30 minutes with "how do I do..." questions. and the hardware tends to last a bit longer then the equivalently spec'd out business grade systems from Dell, Toshiba, and others. (I'll not pick on IBM, because they would be #2 under "machines I'd give to my mum without having to worry about the hardware going foom")

    Mines the flame-resistant one with the power assist and armour plating.

  33. bex

    observations

    Macbooks have to only power connector on laptops that can't be damaged by rough handling, sure the power connector it self can go (i am on my third) but its far cheaper than taking your laptop to have the power socket changed.

    Macbooks that said are really mean on supplied ports and why can't we have a usb on the right to plug a mouse into.

    I love my macbook and use it every day but I still think the UI on vista or windows 7 is better, there are just stupid little things that annoy me.

  34. Piloti
    Linux

    Over priced pap ?

    1700 quid for a laptop with not enough ports ?

    Save a grand, buy a WINTEL, shove on Ubuntu and be happy and somewhat wealthier!

    P.

  35. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

    We've only been trying to tell you...

    " Remember the Apple PowerBooks? They were pants. Of course, I didn't know this at the time. It's only now, having had the chance to play with Apple's latest MacBook Pro, that I realise that everything that came before it was so dreadfully ordinary."

    Heh.

  36. General Pance

    Three big problems

    1. The MacOS is notoriously short of software and drivers. Not much point blaming say Canon for not including Mac software with its camera. Blame yourself for not thinking that was important when choosing an OS. When software is ported across it's usually cut back on features. Compare the Mac and Windows versions of uTorrent, for example.

    2. No right-click button. No any click button. Just idiotic. Seriously. Steve Jobs: what an arrogant jerk.

    3. Heavy. Stupidly heavy. You'll be lugging an extra KG just for the looks.

    1. Tim Cook

      No big problems

      1. There's plenty of software available for Mac (Valve have even launched Steam on the platform for gamers) and more useful pre-installed software than most people ever have on their PCs. Drivers? Say hello to fully automatic installation, just plug your printer in and it'll download whatever it needs. Canon camera? iPhoto knows it already. Oh, and with Mac OS X it's so much easier to try new software out - apps install by drag and drop, and uninstall just as easily - there's no register to bloat or corrupt.

      2. Yes right click-button. Macs have had them since 2001. This particular Macbook can be set to recognise a click on the right of the pad, or (by default) a two-finger click using the wonders of multitouch. The whole pad is a button, it clicks, don't knock it till you've at least heard of it.

      3. It's solid aluminium, built to last. It's worth it.

    2. Sean Timarco Baggaley
      FAIL

      Oh dear.

      You clearly haven't even seen a Mac since the mid-90s.

      1. I *have* a Canon camera. OS X sees it just fine and even offers me a choice of apps to import into. (iPhoto does a pretty good job.) Apple will write drivers for a manufacturer if need be, but most cameras these days use the same USB "Mass Storage Device" standard anyway, so it's not necessary. Oh, and "Transmission" p*sses all over uTorrent, which is crap even on Windows.

      2. Er, right-click is achieved using a two-finger click. (Or a [CTRL]+click on really old Macs built in the 1990s.) The current (and previous) Apple mouse support both left- and right-clicking. And you've been able to plug any USB mouse into a Mac since the first iMac appeared way back in the 1990s. How many Windows laptops have *proper* multitouch trackpads? Oh right: that'd be just Apple's Macbook series! Seriously, if you've never tried multitouch, you're missing out. It's the new "right-click".

      3. Unlike the 17" Hewlett-Packard laptop my mother has which is the size of a paving slab and twice as heavy. Thanks, but no thanks: I'll stick with my 17" Macbook. It's not hard to find thin and light Windows laptops, but it's damned hard to find one that can match a Macbook spec-for-spec, and for ease-of-use, *for the same price*.

      I have to use Windows 7 at work, but I run it in a VM on my 2007-era Macbook Pro. I'm just about to splash out on the new 17" Macbook Pro model, while my current laptop will be sold, second-hand, for about £699 or so. Try getting that kind of ROI from a Dell.

      @ the guy who wittered about Ubuntu: You, sir, win the Missed The Point Award. Apple's gear isn't just about the hardware. It's about the *combination* of both hardware and software. Ubuntu is no OS X. (Come to think of it, it's no Windows either. Sure, it's free, but you can see where the money went.)

    3. TeraTelnet

      Linux?

      Ugh, no thanks.

    4. ColonelClaw
      Thumb Down

      Nice try

      You remind me of those government ministers who criticised the Chris Morris Brass Eye pedo special even though they hadn't actually seen it

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      DIY has disadvantages

      I've been using computers more or less since I built an Apple ][, and I've used probably about every OS there is, desktop as well as large scale, and that includes OS/2 and most of the versions of Unix out there. I've used Linux since Slackware came on 14 floppies..

      If there is one single lesson over all those years is that computing is not a hobby for everyone - sometimes you just need to get the job done.

      These days I recommend anyone to get a Mac. Ubuntu means having to find support and learning about computing (calling GNOME intuitive is only valid for people who have had no previous experience). Giving them Windows is digging a hole for yourself (guess who they'll ask when they nuke the box) and is in any case not a good idea because it's so bloody unsafe right out of the box, it's the equivalent of giving a learner driver a car without working brakes (gripe: by what measure can anyone call Windows 7 production ready if it isn't even safe out of the box?).

      Macs are easy. Support? Send them to the shop, it's not your problem. Virus threats? There's a lot less to learn/install/patch/maintain/suffer/{wait/reboot} for. Software? Enough available - and it's even a safer way to run Windows programs if you really have to.

      As for the price - start adding up the amount of money you have to throw at a Windows box to keep it safe, the amount of hassle you have to keep an Ubuntu platform supported (I've never found Kubuntu quite as "finished") and the cost of keeping a Wintel laptop battery powered for more than 3 hours and I think you'll find it's actually not all that expensive.

      Amazing as it is, I'm not an Apple fanatic - I only bought a Mac again last week - but it's precisely the above arguments that made me switch. I've had enough.

      I simply want to get my work done..

    6. Ivan Headache

      oh not another one!

      How many times has it to be written "Macs DO NOT HAVE a one button mouse" ?

      I think Steve ought to pay to have that put up on the Hollywood hill so that even myopic windows users can read it.

      Notoriously short of software? Please describe your version of notorious. Some of us use our macs to earn our living - and we do it with the software that is readily available. So far (in excess of 15 years) I haven't been prevented from doing what I need to do by any shortage of software.

      What has drivers for a camera got to do with a computer that has an SD slot. I have not connected my cameras (any of them) to my computers (any of them - even those without slots - which is most of them) for over 5 years. Yet the pictures and the movies are all there, ready to use.

    7. Volker Hett

      no problem for me

      There's all the software I need, Informix, Oracle, Postgresql, Mysql, all the scripting languages ....

      My Canon 5D came with Mac Software but I prefer Lightroom.

      Only thing missing is a VMware VSphere client, but I can log in to one of the VMs via MS Remote Desktop when I need that.

      Instead of right click I have two finger click and much more which makes me wishing for a touchpad with my desktop PC

      It's less heavy than every other 15" Notebook with more then 6 hours batterie life and a DVD Burner built in I've ever seen, and I do see lot's of those at work.

    8. Shingo Tamai
      FAIL

      General Pance

      Actually...

      - Canon does have software for Macs

      - There is a right click

      - Still lighter than an Acer

    9. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Re: Three big problems

      1. I have a Canon 7D, has always worked perfectly with my 2006 Mac Pro and 2009 MBP. Even the remote software works great in the field (tho I wish the matte display had been available when I bought it - it is now, on 17" MBPs). Bought a new Epson WiFi printer last night, installed without a hitch and the drivers (even tho still Universal binaries - come on Epson!) work flawlessly. Installed the same drivers & Net Config software on my Windows 7 PC and...christ don't even get me started. uTorrent? What do you want it to do? Pour drinks?

      2. No right click button? Eh?? Configure you trackpad for two-finger presses or bottom-left/bottom/right left/right clicks. It's INFINITELY better than the effing awful trackpads on my Dell laptop and Acer, which I can't use at all anymore after using the MBP for a year.

      3. WTF are you talking about? Are you comparing it to a netbook or something??

  37. Ian Ferguson
    Thumb Up

    Three what problems?

    1. I use pro Canon cameras all the time with MacOS and Windows. All RAW formats I've come across are automatically read by iPhoto and Aperture. Trying to get them read in Windows is hell on earth.

    Sure, there's not quite as much range of software for MacOS than there is in Windows, but for 99% of the time, the software available is of a better quality and sufficient for needs. There aren't many people except for the odd techie who will actually find MacOS restricts their abilities.

    2. Uh, it says in the review - push with two fingers to right click. Steve Jobs may well be an arrogant jerk but the old 'Macs only cope with one button' argument is old and wrong.

    3. Comparing power for power and battery for battery, MacBooks seem to me lighter than PC equivalents; unless you go for the really cheap budget Taiwanese brands with light plastic cases. These won't last long if you actually move them around!

    I use both Windows and MacOS, but Mac laptops are the only laptops I'll buy. Love or hate Apple, they have the selling power to design and sell in bulk really solid, durable laptops that won't crack motherboards or overheat after six months of use.

  38. Columbus
    Jobs Halo

    Firewire 800

    The firewire port is needed for one of the Macbooks party tricks - Target disk mode, also TCP/IP over IP can be really useful in some locations.

    I'm not a fanboi but you do get what you pay for - comparing a MacBook to a plastic PC is like comparing a BMW to a Korean car- they may do the same job with the same features but which is the best one?

  39. Velocity
    Stop

    @General Pance

    1. I've never been short of any drivers since using my MBP.

    uTorrent for Windows has been in development for many years, the Mac client hasn't. Give it a chance. And why you would choose to use it above Transmission is baffling anyway.

    2. There is a right click button too, which the article forgot to mention.

    However, they did mention there was a click button though so you might want to actually read next time.

    3. People have commented to me how light it is compared to their laptops of a similar size, it's no Air but it's not "stupidly heavy".

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Weight

    A dell box of similar spec (i5, 500gb, etc) is similarly 2.5kg and that is for a plastic box? You can throw many arguments at the macbook pro but overweight for spec it isn't..

  41. Disintegrationnotallowed

    Also

    Most Mac owners would keep firewire to be honest, as most have a firewire external connection of some kind (cameras, hard disks, etc).

  42. roundyz
    Thumb Down

    er..

    Tobo be honest for this cost, I'd rather a Thinkpad x201. Looks aside that is.

    1. Volker Hett

      X201 is 12" here

      but out of curiosity I speced a T500 close to my Macbook Pro at the cheapest online shop I found, I paid some 1400 Euro for a MBP with 7200 rpm 500GB HDD and 4GB RAM and 9400+9600 Nvidia last year, the Lenovo T500 closest to that, i.e. 4GB 1333MHz DDR3 RAM, > 5h battery, discrete NVidia graphics, 7200rpm 500GB hdd and Windows7 Ultimate, cost 2200 Euro today

  43. Disintegrationnotallowed

    On Prices

    Similar spec (as you can) Dell box: £879, so yes a full £800 cheaper, but in a nasty plastic box.

    IBM x201 - i can understand the liking of it but not comparable really different job? Smaller 12" screen, HD intel graphics only, more comparable to the mbp 13" and more comparable to it in price too, so then it comes downs to osx or win7

  44. Lotus 80
    Coffee/keyboard

    Paint wear....

    If MBPs are a "premium product" then how come on my travels I see so many with the silver paint worn off the palm rests and keys? Looks awful and from the couple of people I've spoken to with the problem, it doesn't seem to take long to happen.

    ...but then I guess its not that big of a deal if you're a true fanboi. You just go out and buy a new one, which is precisely what His Jobsness commands of you.

    Funny how my low-quality Windoze 17" VAIO BX has been in daily use for three years yet shows no such signs.

    1. Adam T

      Re: Paint wear....

      The paint wear you've seen is almost certainly the old Titanium MBPs. The aluminium MBPs have no paint finish - it's a brushed surface, and is easily restored to good-as-new with a damp cloth, even by the most greasy of users.

    2. Trogdor

      Known fault

      The issue you're describing was a known fault in the previous generation - purely cosmetic but annoying nonetheless - where the metallic paint reacted with finger grease. Unfortunate, but one of those long term manufacturing flaws that only becomes apparent over time, and has befallen plenty of other manufacturers.

      The current generation unibody Macbook Pros are the answer to that very problem - not painted silver, not plated, not glued together, but solid aluminium to the core. They'll scratch if you're not careful, but they'll never fade/peel/pit/discolour/weaken/creak or generally fall apart - they're literally carved from solid metal.

  45. Cunningly Linguistic
    Thumb Down

    MacOSX GUI not flexible enough

    I have PCs and Macs at home with a Dell Inspiron laptop though if I could afford (and justify) the price of a MBP I'd want it to run Win7. OSX has far too many little niggles, e.g. trying to resize a window from any edge, maximising a window to a genuine full screen, closing a window doesn't close the app... and a few more others all conspire to drive me nuts.

    1. madferret
      Happy

      So do it!

      Not much stopping you running Windows on an MBP. I have Windows 7 happily chugging away in Space 3 of my MacBook. Through Parallels, all the Windoze icons are there in the Mac dock. So I have the best of both OSes - have you tried installing Mac OSX on your PC?

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