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Apple 15.4-inch MacBook Pro Notebook

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Apple MacBook Pro 15.4-inch Thin and Light Laptop

Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch

©Apple

The Bottom Line

11/11/08 - Apple's new edition of the MacBook Pro has some significant changes. Externally, the system now uses a case that is built out of a block of aluminum that gives it a much more solid feel and smoother lines than the previous version. The chipset and graphics have changed giving it a hybrid graphics setup that can use integrated or dedicated graphics. This continues the MacBook Pro's dominant position in the thin and light laptops, but there are still a few things that could use improvement.
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Pros

  • Stylish and Durable Aluminum Case
  • Strong Performance
  • Excellent Graphics With Hybrid Integrated and Dedicated Processors
  • New Glass Multitouch Mousepad

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Limited Number of USB Ports
  • Glossy Display Hard To use In Certain Lighting Conditions

Description

  • Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 Dual Core Mobile Processor
  • 2GB PC3-8500 DDR3 Memory
  • 250GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
  • 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
  • 15.4" WXGA+ (1440x900) Wide LCD with Integrated Wedcam
  • NVIDIA GeForce 9400M Integrated and GeForce 9600M GT 512MB Dedicated Graphics
  • Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11a/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth 2.1
  • Two USB 2.0, FireWire 800, Mini-DisplayPort, ExpressCard/34
  • 14.4" x 9.8" x 1.0" @ 5.5 lbs.
  • Mac OS X 10.5, iLife '08

Guide Review - Apple 15.4-inch MacBook Pro Notebook

11/11/08 - The new version of the MacBook Pro has a large number of changes. The biggest of these is the new case built out of a solid block of aluminum. This gives it a new stylish feel to an already popular design and even more durability than the previous model. It also features a new bezel free glossy display similar to what was used in the iMacs and a glass multitouch trackpad.

Internally, performance has received a boost from the use of a newer Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 dual core processor that is teamed up with faster DDR3 memory. This gives it an edge over many other laptops that have elected to use the newer Core 2 Duo processors but still use the DDR2 memory technology.

Graphics are another major change from previous models. Now the system uses a hybrid graphics solution that features an integrated GeForce 9400M processor in the chipset and a dedicated GeForce 9600M GT with 512MB. This allows uses to select which processor they would like to use to either conserve on battery life or give their graphics a boost. Unfortunately, Apple's OS currently can't handle dynamically switching between the two with users required to log out in order to switch between them.

One of the biggest issues with Apple's laptops continues to be peripheral ports. While the MacBook Pro isn't as bad as the Air or MacBook, there is still some room for improvement. Two USB 2.0 ports is below average for a laptop of this size. The choice to use a newer mini-DisplayPort for their new LED Cinema Display makes things challenging as they don't include the DVI or VGA adapters for use with their older displays.

Overall, the new MacBook Pro 15-inch is certainly a nice upgrade and one of the best thin and light laptops on the market, provided you are willing to pay the high price tag.

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