Review: The 15-in. MacBook Pro soars to new heights
Apple has made a really good laptop even better
InfoWorld - When I reviewed Apple's prior "unibody" 15-inch MacBook Pro, I gave it high marks. For the money, there is no better-built notebook. With its rigid one-piece machined aluminum frame, glossy LED-backlit display, flat backlit keyboard, huge multitouch trackpad, 802.11n Wi-Fi, and 8X slot-loading, dual-layer DVD burner, the unibody MacBook Pro defined the state of the art in design, construction, and manufacturing.
Now Apple is building on that peerless platform with higher performance, an upgraded display, longer battery life, and a lower price.
The latest 15-in. MacBook Pro, introduced in June, costs less than the model that preceded it, and yet it puts competing commercial high-end notebooks back at the starting line. The new machine's specifications are more 64-bit-friendly in anticipation of the Snow Leopard OS, due in September, and they reflect updated offerings from Apple's component suppliers. Core 2 Duo CPU speed now tops out at 3.06GHz. Using 4GB DIMMs, the new MacBook Pro accommodates 8GB of RAM. Recent introductions of larger and faster notebook hard drives are reflected in configure-to-order options for the 15-in. model, including 7,200-rpm drives that close the notebook/desktop performance gap.
[ Mac OS X Snow Leopard is due in September. Find out what businesses can expect from Apple's new OS. ]
As you read, keep in mind that the machine I'm describing doesn't fit in the mainstream 15-inch PC notebook class, a strictly two-year service group typified by painted-on key legends, breakable tray-loading DVD drives, and slow integrated graphics. The MacBook Pro is a five-year machine, by design and by track record. If you choose to replace a 15-inch MacBook Pro in two years, you'll be able to sell it for most of what you paid for it.
A true hybrid
Much of what's new about the 15-in. MacBook Pro is inherited from Apple's supply chain, but Apple also made a few carefully targeted changes to MacBook Pro's core design. The nonremovable rechargeable battery, an idea hatched with iPod, has found its way to Apple's commercial mainstay. Apple claims that by making the battery a non-user-serviceable component, it was able to use battery technology that lasts for up to five years, a thousand charge cycles, before losing significant capacity. This claim will take five years to prove, but it is conceivable, with deep knowledge of battery characteristics burned into the notebook's intelligent charge management circuitry.
Apple claims extended battery running time, too, of up to seven hours per charge with Wi-Fi operational. As a frequent flier and worker away from my desk, this was music to my ears -- but could seven hours truly be possible on an Intel desktop replacement-grade notebook? After the MacBook Pro's first full charge, the battery gauge estimated more than 10 hours of runtime. You can't blame an untrained gauge for showing some gung-ho optimism.
- A Reference Architecture for the Internet of Things The aim of this is to provide Architects and Developers of IoT projects with an effective starting point that covers the major requirements...
- How to Reduce Hardware & Infrastructure Costs Through Data In this paper, we take a look at how organizations are revisiting their network and server architecture in a bid to address the...
- Software Build Acceleration, Analytics and Build Clouds Discover how to dramatically speed up software builds by automatically distributing build jobs over scalable resource clouds and multi-core desktops, with potential savings...
- Printer Installer: Eliminating Print Servers Printer Installer is an on-premise web application that enables you to centrally manage and deploy Windows shared or direct iP printers.
- What should I look for in a Next Generation Firewall? SANS Provides Guidance With so many vendors claiming to have a Next Generation Firewall (NGFW), it can be difficult to tell what makes each one different....
- Why Are Customers Really Deploying an NGFW? It seems every IT Security expert is talking about the NGFW, but what are people really doing? This webcast covers 5 real-world customer... All Hardware White Papers | Webcasts
Our new weekly Consumerization of IT newsletter covers a wide range of trends including BYOD, smartphones, tablets, MDM, cloud, social and what it all means for IT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!