The Bottom Line
- Stylish and Durable Aluminum Case
- Strong Performance
- Excellent Graphics With Hybrid Integrated and Dedicated Processors
- New Glass Multitouch Mousepad
- Limited Number of USB Ports
- Glossy Display Hard To use In Certain Lighting Conditions
- 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.