New Apple MacBook Pro – Hands On Review

So I have been desperately looking for a new notebook computer for work and play.  The laptop that my employer provided me with to do web design is awfully insufficient, a dell D600 with only 1.5gigs of ram, a single core Pentium m processor, and a wobbly screen.

My personal laptop, another dell – e1505 in this case, trumps the first by 512mb of RAM (running in dual channel mode! go figure…), one additional processing core, a 15inch 1680×1050 wide screen, and Windows Vista (which I do consider to be an advantage).  While this computer is sufficient in power for most of my work needs, the screen is currently held on by a sloppily applied injection of Gorilla Glue (that stuff foams EVERYWHERE!!!)

So, like i really need to emphasize this point anymore, i am desperate for a new laptop!  After Tuesday’s release of the new MacBook lineups, I decided that they didn’t look that appealing to me for various reasons (1440×900 screen mainly), but then today while at work I was overcome with an itch to get a different computer.

This evening after work I headed off to the local Apple Store with my credit card setting my pocket ablaze – I needed a new laptop, and perhaps I could deal with the low resolution screen as long as it is getting higher than expected benchmarks in games(C.O. PCmag)….

So here are my thoughts:

Pros:

  • Sturdy case – for sure
  • Screen looks nice
  • Trackpad is nice and big, would be cool if multitouch worked in windows

Cons:

  • The new trackpad button – stiff.  Requires too much pressure.  Also, pressure sensitivity is uneven, hard to press up top and easy on the bottom
  • Heavy – I guess that goes with the sturdy case
  • The new rounded case actually makes it look fatter / less slim IMHO – Big mistake

Other Comments:

I thought I would hate the keyboard, I mean REALLY hate it.  Turns out it is not too bad, a little strange but i would probably get used to it (that is probably the same with any other KB).’

Expensive!!  The one I would have probably have gotten was $2500, then add to that $250ish for applecare, which would extend the warranty to 3 years, and VMWare Fusion $99 (because I could not live without windows), two video port adapters $60 (because mini displayport is silly), and we end up at something like $2900.00  Yikes!!

osX would probably be little more than a novelty for me.  The truth is that I don’t know how to use it, for one thing.  While I am sure I could overcome this, I would probably loose productivity for quite a while making the adjustment.  Additionally, I am somewhat invested and attached to my windoze software.  Office 2007, MS Outlook (Exchange at work, yay for my iPhone), Windows version of Photoshop (provided by work), etc.  Kind of makes me a bit attached.  I know these things can work even integrated into OSX nowadays, however at that level, what is the point in switching at all?  Windows allows me to do all that I need to anyhow.

So…. What would it take to make me pull the trigger on the mac? Some minimal combination of the following items would probably push me over the edge.

  • The model I like should cost $2-300 less (or included 512m ram gfx on the base MBP)
  • Apple should have gone with a more common display cable type, or at a minimum included at least one adapter
  • A docking station.  The new monitor that has 3 fancy pants cables does not cut it.  Any “pro” uses external monitors for doing serious work anyway.
  • Higher Res screen – 1680×1050 would be good.  Heck, my 3+ year old dell has better resolution

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