Should I Get A New Macbook Pro Or Old One MacBook Pro Review

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MacBook Pro Review

First impressions

The previous MacBook Pros were very good indeed. They provided consistently professional quality and excellent features. Therefore, reviewing the next generation MacBook Pro is something of a pleasure.

A first look at the latest models shows nothing new. It doesn’t disappoint: durable bodies and smart design are exactly what you want from a great laptop. The keyboard looks neater – a result of some minor changes – but other than that, everything looks as impressive as ever.

This may indicate that any internal changes are minor as well. Not so. When you fire up the MacBook Pro and start testing each model, you quickly realize you’re working with machines that exceed expectations.

Technologies

Let’s start with the fact that Intel processors are 45-nanometer Penryn. They are noticeably faster than the 65nm Meroms installed in older MacBook Pros and easily outperform the Meroms in all benchmark tests.

The standard processors for the two 15-inch MacBook Pros are Intel Core 2 Duos with a frequency of 2.4 GHz and 2.5 GHz. The 17-inch has 2.5 GHz. These include improved hard drives of 200GB for the 15-inch 2.4GHz and 250GB for the 15-inch and 17-inch 2.5GHz.

Of particular interest to multimedia users is the doubling of video memory on all three MacBook Pros. The 15-inch 2.4GHz has an NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT with 256MB, while the 15-inch 2.5GHz and 17-inch 2.5GHz have the same GPU but with 512MB.

2GB of RAM supports the aforementioned technology across the range. The overall results are notebooks that easily handle advanced graphics and audio applications.

EquipmentEach of the three MacBook Pros comes with standard hardware such as:

  • 8x dual-layer slot-loading SuperDrive
  • iSight camera
  • AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth® wireless connectivity
  • stereo speakers
  • FireWire 400 and 800 ports
  • USB 2.0 ports (two on 15-inch models; three on 17-inch)
  • DVI port
  • Audio ports
  • Gigabit Ethernet port
  • ExpressCard/34 slot

There are also hardware “add-ons” that help the MacBook Pro stand out from the crowd. These include a powerful lithium-polymer battery; an ambient light sensor that illuminates the keyboard in the dark; and an energy-saving LED-backlit screen.

These screens are mercury-free and anti-glare, and have a resolution of 1440 x 900 pixels for the 15-inch models and 1680 x 1050 pixels for the 17-inch models. With both, you’ll get bright, natural and clear images.

But perhaps the best accessory is the new MacBook Pro trackpad. It now has the multi-touch features that have proven so popular on the iPhone. Squeezing, swiping and rotating your fingers on the trackpad gives you extremely fast and positive control over the MacBook Pro’s creative software features.

Multi-touch creates a small problem: the size of the trackpad may seem small to someone who is learning the corresponding gestures. However, once you’re familiar with multitouch, working within the confines of the trackpad is a breeze.

software

Like all new Macs, the MacBook Pro comes with the top-of-the-line Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard operating system. If you’ve never used Leopard before, its craftsmanship will delight you. If you’re already a Mac user, you still have a lot to cheer about, because the new MacBook Pros boost the speed of Leopard and the apps that run on it.

Among these applications is the latest version of the world’s fastest browser, Apple’s Safari. It comes with the usual batch of updated Apple software such as Boot Camp, Mail, iChat, iTunes, DVD Player, iPhoto and iLife ’08.

Productivity

Power MacBook Pro users can download their favorite apps to these latest models and immediately notice an improvement in speed. For example, you can set up Photoshop CS3 in about eight seconds on a 15-inch 2.5GHz. Then you learn that Photoshop runs 20-25% faster than a 2007 MacBook Pro with 2.6GHz.

Compared to the 2006 MacBook Pro, the differences are even greater. Overall, you may experience a speed increase of around 50% in a number of applications. This is good news for all those who want maximum laptop performance.

Parameters

With any laptop designed for professional use, it’s always worth looking at the manufacturer’s options because some people will need a buffer zone with extra speed and power for certain applications.

MacBook Pro configuration options are unlikely to let you down. To give you extra power, you can request an Intel Core 2 Duo 2.6GHz processor upgrade for the 2.5GHz 15-inch or 17-inch models. As for RAM, you can upgrade any of the three MacBook Pros to 4GB.

In the 17-inch MacBook Pro, you can increase the hard drive capacity to 300 GB to provide additional space for graphics programs that take up space. Similarly, you can ensure the perfect clarity of your images by requesting a 1920 x 1200 pixel screen for the same model.

Finally, if you prefer a glossy rather than matte screen with an anti-glare coating, you can request it when placing your order.

Value

With all these upgrades packed into the same skins as previous MacBook Pro models, you can expect prices to rise. If you do, you’re wrong. The new MacBook Pros are undoubtedly better machines, but their prices have not changed. The old MacBook Pros were good value, but the latest incarnations are simply great for the price.

Conclusion

Want the best laptops from a great manufacturer? Look no further.

Pluses

  • Faster than the previous generation MacBook Pro
  • Double the video memory
  • Smooth multi-touch functions on the trackpad
  • Improved battery life
  • Excellent configuration options
  • More for your money: No price increase compared to older MacBook Pro equivalents

Cons

  • The trackpad can be small for beginners

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