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Apple's 15-inch Apple comes back with a stylish new look and two graphic boards. One year later, Apple re-invented the Pro (along with the MacBook), offering a more robust, slimmer look, a lighter screen, and serious graphic performance kindly endorsed by Nvidia. For those with easier - or more on-the-go - needs, the more accessible and wearable MacBook ($1,299 to $1,599) can't go amiss, but the MacBook Pro (starting at $1,999, but $2,499 as configured) is great for serious high-cash consumers.
MacBook Pro takes some of the styling features that MacBook introduces with MacBook Action - an aluminium enclosure with curved corners. Just like the Fresh, it has a flat monochrome keypad with separate keys (the latest MacBook Pro had a metal keypad with thick, comfortable keys and was 0.05 inch thicker).
Even though the aluminium finish of the Pro looks as sleek as that of the Air Pro, it is much more robust. With a new production method, the Pro (and all the other laptops in the line, with the exception of the MacBook entry-level model in synthetic material and the 17-inch Pro, which retains its old design) are made of a single sheet of hardware, a so-called solid body, which makes them more unbreakable.
In fact, the MacBook Pro is 14. The MacBook Pro nevertheless still is one of the most lightweight laptops with a 15.4-inch screen. Like many Sony Vario laptops, the stand-alone keypad is illuminated in low-light situations (a default on the 15-incher MacBook Pro, but only available on the high-end MacBook).
While both the MacBook and the MacBook Pro's stand-alone keyboards are calm and comfortable, the 13-inch MacBook's keys look flatter in contrast. MacBook Pro is built on the latest multitouch technology that lets you edit on-screen items just like on an iPhone: Expand your hands to zap to a web page or view a photo with a flick of your wrist.
A 39 per cent bigger than earlier MacBooks, this glassy stylus pad features new Multi-Touch gestures that allow the user to enable Expos or four-finger toggle between apps (the user guide contains illustrations of how to use Multi-Touch). Strangely enough, we found the Pro's Pro stylus more rigid than the high-end MacBook's stylus.
The MacBook Pro's LED-backlit screen with a slim monochrome bezel is another welcome addition to the MacBook Pro family. FireWire connectivity and ExpressCard slots (ideal for add a portable wideband card) are not available on the smaller, lower-cost MacBook line. Currently not available). As with other MacBooks, the new Pro features a 1.3-megapixel iSight integrated into the steady rest.
MacBook Pro ships with not just one, but two Nvidia video cards: a GeForce 9400M with 256MB of built-in common storage and a GeForce 9600M GT with 512MB of discreet committed storage. Apple says using two video adapters gives you the best of both worlds: you can turn on the discreet graphic while playing or modifying high-definition video and return to built-in (or extend your rechargeable batteries ) while you' re browsing the web.
Toggling between the graphic choices is not hard, but it takes too big a step. Click the Power Panel in System Preferences, select either higher graphic performance or better battery life, and sign out when asked. Hopefully Apple and Nvidia would find a way to make this change without having to login and unlog out of the system.
So, how good are these discreet graphs? The MacBook Pro received 5,163 points in the Cinebench OpenGL test, a Mac-friendly graphic benchmarks. In order to put this into perspective, an older MacBook Pro with an Nvidia GeForce 8600M GPU achieved 5,028 points (even with the same 4GB of memory and a 2.6GHz T8700 CPU).
A new MacBook equipped with the same processor but 2GB of memory reached 4,064 points. As we migrated the MacBook Pro to its 9400M built-in graphic device, its OGL scores fell to 4,666. In our field testing, we took a 2-minute-and-50-second H.264 video and converted it to MPEG-4; with built-in graphic 9400M activated, the whole thing took 1 min and 49 seconds.
With the discreet graphic (9700M GT) the same job took only 7 seconds less. In the first stage of Call of Duty 4, we determined the average picture rates in eight points and adjusted the effect to optimum. With built-in graphic, MacBook Pro reached an average of 20. Five pictures per second with the 1440 x 900 monitor, about 3 feet per second lower than the MacBook, but this engine has been tried with the 1280 x 800 monitor.
The MacBook Pro had an average of 29 with its discreet graphic enabled. With the discreet graphic processor we reached an average of 34 frames per second in the first room of the frigate. When we were moving over the decks of the vessel, the average framerates were 28 frames per second, which was sufficient. In Call of Duty 4, you won't be able to reveal the feast for the eyes, but it's noteworthy that MacBook Pro can stand up to relatively new and not too tiring gaming.
The Geekbench counted 3,672, a power rating just behind the older 2.6 GHz MacBook Pro (3,679 points). The new Pro in CineBench achieved 2,640 points for the power of a lone processor and 5,536 points for the power of multiple CPUs. In the same test, the older MacBook Pro with the slightly higher frequency reached 2,809 and 5,028 points respectively.
Apart from these unsightly compares, the new MacBook Pro stood our individual test with bravura, and booted in 39 seconds. Sadly, there is still no built-in wideband wireless capability, something we wish would be available, especially now that Gobi is offering EV-DO and even better yet using our proprietary technology in a single package (i.e. users don't have to commit to a particular carrier's specific equipment at the moment of purchase).
Pro took 2:47 a.m. in a round test of DVDs with the built-in video adapter activated and Wi-Fi turned off. MacBook Pro comes with a one-year parts and labour guarantee from Apple, which includes 90 free 24/7 telephone supports (we consider 90 cheap for that much). And when it comes to styling, power and style, there's no doubt that Apple's latest 15-inch MacBook Pro is a great laptop.
It' s look, its two video adapters, its sleek multi-touch tracking pad and its rugged styling make it one of the best regular laptop computers on the shelves. But we expected a greater leap in power between the Nvidia built-in and discreet graphic boards. If, for example, you don't need reversible graphic and are ready to take on more heavy gear, you can take all the above functions and major specifications for the high-end MacBook Pro in the 15th generation.
4 inch HP Pavilion dv5t for 1,853 dollars (646 dollars less than the MacBook Pro). However, if you have the cash and are looking for a high-performance laptop that you can take with you almost anywhere, MacBook Pro is a good choice. MacBook Pro has been re-designed with a rugged unibody chassis, a light, LED-backlit screen, a tasteless Multi-Touch track pad, and more.