I used a 2GHz model for an entire week, and tried to grind it into aluminum and silicon dust, as many ways as I could without voiding the warranty of my client, who entrusted it to me for setup while she was out of town. She received her new computer, ready to rock’n’roll, and she (a switcher!) is at least as impressed as I am with her MacBook Pro (MBPro), if not more so.
We ordered it from Amazon.com because of the company’s $150 rebate offer and 30-day return policy, in case MBPro turned out to be a loser for any reason. The Amazon carton was small and light — was there really a computer inside? MBPro’s retail package is a compact cardboard “suitcase” with a black handle and computer image on the exterior. Simple and classy. Extremely tight, snug, interior packaging of foam plus sleeve contained the laptop itself.
MBPro’s silver outer case, logo, and ports are well designed and finished. I removed the instructions box, power module, remote control, and other items contained inside the carton, excited for what would greet me next.
Following along with MBPro’s instruction booklet, I plugged in the magnetized power adapter, and observed a green light confirming an electrical connection. I opened the case and pressed the power button, observing MBPro’s gorgeous interior and hearing its loud BONG startup chimes. First thing I noticed was the splendid wide screen, and machined hinges that rotated well but didn’t allow me to bend back the display as far as I’m accustomed on my iBook.
I have set up many OS X computers, so the Tiger screens were familiar, with nothing special either to MBPro or Intel Core Duo technology. Scanning for wireless networks located my office broadband service, roughly 40 feet away from where I was positioned.
Keyboard was responsive and easy on the fingers, and darkened room illumination of the keys was almost instantaneous, and v-e-r-y impressive. You’ll get used to MBPro’s palm-area edges and temperature swings within a day or two. Trackpad was comfy from first glide. Computer noise or hum was almost nonexistent. Overall weight and balance are good, but the metal itself is not easy to grasp, so please hold it tight! Top running temperature is acceptable.
After pulling in all Apple’s latest software updates, and restarting, I had to do a hard shutdown and startup once, which is an occasional occurrence with other Macs also. Startup in general is speedy, as is both battery recharging AND battery discharging, so either purchase a second battery for your MBPro or don’t expect more than a couple of hours under typical conditions.
Screen is bright, but not overwhelming. I’m not convinced its illumination level is as high as Steve Jobs claims, but when you are indoors, you’ll always be pleased with MBPro’s display brightness and clarity. CPU responsiveness is quick, both with legacy (Rosetta) and newest (Universal) applications. You’ll want to load up your MBPro with as much physical RAM as you can afford, but the stock $2500/2GHz/1GB model will satisfy most home and office Macintoshers under common usage.
Let’s admit it now: MacBook Pro is a computer, friends, with more attributes than annoyances. You are well advised to purchase AppleCare coverage for (ouch!) $350, which will be well worth the expense when you need it two years and eleven months from the day of its first BONG. AppleCare is priced lower at SmallDog.com and other online resellers, so shop around to save $50. MyMac.com’s David Weeks reminds me to say: “Also mention, Nemo, that many Gold or Platinum credit cards offer double the manufacturer’s warranty when a card is used for purchase. I’ve used this and it works well. Consult your card for details.” Thanks, David.
Apple’s ProCare at $99 per year is also worth considering, especially if you live or work close to an Apple retail store, for better access to Genius Bar tech support and weekly individual private lessons on any topic MacWhatsoever.
Here is Nemo’s MyMac.com First Look Report Card for the special features on Apple’s MacBook Pro, itemized in no particular order:
MAGSAFE POWER ADAPTER = A
SCREEN RESOLUTION = A
SCREEN BRIGHTNESS = B
iSIGHT VIDEO/AUDIO = A
BATTERY = C
SPEAKER QUALITY = C
PHYSICAL ATTRIBUTES = B
PROCESSOR SPEED AND PERFORMANCE = B
PRINTED MANUAL = B
EXPANSION PORTS = C
AIRPORT RANGE = C
BLUETOOTH RANGE = B
REMOTE CONTROL = [Did not use — will comment as soon as I can]
EXPRESS CARD SLOT = [Did not use either]
OVERALL RATING = B