Done for 2009: The Holiday MacBook Pro Roundup

by Anand Lal Shimpi on 11/10/2009 12:00 AM EST
  • Posted in
  • Mac


Back to Article

  • v12v12 - Tuesday, December 01, 2009 - link

    Try this: SAGER">

    My buddy built a custom laptop for $1500 that DOMINATES any MacPro, with a better to equal screen res, oh plus the caveat of a MATTE screen, thus it's a better screen actually. It's faster, better GFX, BUILT better, completely custom, looks nice and WORKS.

    There's no comparison when the elitism and snobbery of blindly knowing you got ripped off for a fluffed up Intel machine in satin and lace gloves. I have a MacPro, and other PC laptops... Guess what machine gets WORK done in the corp environment more so than the Mac needing to run silly emulations of Windows in order to get things done. But why so? If these overpriced luxo-pads really ARE "superior" then ask yourself why again hasn't Mac broken into the working world of business and corps if they are user-friendly and problem free?

    You'd think a smart corp would take note and thus spend a little extra capital for these machines, as it’s part of my job to support them... Guess what, Mac's aren't going to be adopted nor switched over b/c they are mere flash and dash for the foo-foo to keep fluffing their yaps about how great it is to get SUB-PAR performance at premium prices... Oh and don’t forget Apples RIDICULOUS (strike) LAUGHABLE service requirements…

    Applecare Technician cert required to work on these toys? HAHA Anyone with ½ an A+ cert can take this BS machine apart just like a PC and then some. But with Apple at the helm, you’ve gotta agree to their pricing schemes and wanna-be island in the sky certs to do work that a teenage can do. Again more hidden costs and fees associated with the wanna-be Elite crowd. Do you know why they have to charge these exuberant fees out of sight? To long bait you into their way of things, to where there’s no point of turning back once committed. The fees also help keep them afloat; remember for it not for Creative’s ideas they stole, Intels hardware, and the stupidity or nativity of it’s fan(boy) user base… “Apple” would be rancid and a DECAYING company haha… and you all know it… Botching performance specs can only keep you “competitive” for so long, until your own flock began noticing how ailing those junk G-series were haha… What a joke.

    Sorta like a hopping up Civic with "euro" lights and smooth lines and then getting dogged by an American competitor that's near 30% less = interior and those "build quality" upgrades that everyone's hollering about added to surpass you.

    You can get a Porsche 911 C4S for near $90K... Vs a Base vette C6 (which is still faster lol) for $60K and CUSTOMIZE it way beyond what Porsche could dream of at such a price; yes that’s BETTER; performance in every category, interior upgrades also... Apple is all fluff when it comes down to it. IT's NOT a hardware brand, it's borrowed technology from INTEL; it's master, then some BS ideology slapped onto it to appease the easily swayed/coerced. Sorry but I'm sick of the people who pay MORE for > less and have the nerve to claim superiority.

    But like OMG, it’s sOOOOOO PRETTY – YAAAAAYYyyyy! That subject to OPINION and thus a forever MOOT POINT.

    Who knows... Apple has been found GUILTY more than once for stealing other's innovations and pawning/spinning them off as their own. Google that FYI...

    Hype and flash; smoke and mirrors... Case dismissed.
  • mashi - Friday, February 12, 2010 - link

    people never own a mac never understand. I have few ibm/lenovo thinkpad. but i always use my mac. osx is clean and fast OS. i think their kernel is more optimized than windows. if you using snow leopard and parallels 5 with windows xp. basically you don't even know it is VM. the response and everything is fast. Once you used to OSX. you don't want PC. that's my opinion. Reply
  • aucl - Wednesday, November 25, 2009 - link

    I think blaming Apple for the bad performance is not totally fair.

    Long before the release of Snow Leopard Apple tried to drill all partners, driver vendors and so to deliver new 64bit builds for their plugins and extensions.

    The flash plugin is provided by Adobe and only distributed by Apple. Probably cause most users would complain if flash content won't work any more.

    so lets look what we got:

    host-20i:~ aucl$ file /Applications/
    /Applications/ Mach-O universal binary with 2 architectures
    /Applications/ (for architecture i386): Mach-O executable i386
    /Applications/ (for architecture x86_64): Mach-O 64-bit executable x86_64
    host-20i:~ aucl$ file /Library/Internet\ Plug-Ins/Flash\ Player.plugin/Contents/MacOS/Flash\ Player
    /Library/Internet Plug-Ins/Flash Player.plugin/Contents/MacOS/Flash Player: Mach-O universal binary with 2 architectures
    /Library/Internet Plug-Ins/Flash Player.plugin/Contents/MacOS/Flash Player (for architecture ppc): Mach-O bundle ppc
    /Library/Internet Plug-Ins/Flash Player.plugin/Contents/MacOS/Flash Player (for architecture i386): Mach-O bundle i386

    Looks like Adobe Flash is not 64bit ready.

    So i am not sure about the details in current Intel architecture, but switching between 32 and 64bit was always an expensive operation as i remember???

    PS: On my mac quite everything is 64bit, and flash is "disabled" with the Click4Flash plugin.
  • fokka - Monday, November 16, 2009 - link

    come on anand, i know apple articles create a lot of clicks, but this macbook/apple- fanboyism is getting ridiculous.

    yes, everyone knows that the unibodies are good computers and the battery-life is better than on most other pcs, but the price-aspect especially on the 17"-machine is just too big, that a normal person could honestly overlook it...

    do you know what you get in the non-apple-world for 2500$+? other dimansion, just other dimension.
  • WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot - Monday, November 23, 2009 - link

    Oh for cryin' out loud! The bloke writes an article relating to a tech issue that just happens to be on a Mac and suddenly he's a "fanboy"????!!!

    You Win-Nut trolls remind me of primary school kids - someone talks about something you're not into and suddenly you all start calling him names. If you're only interested in bashing Apple (and if Apple's so crap why do they threaten you so much?) go to the green grocer's, buy a box of granny smiths, and go hit them with a cricket bat. Get some of your frustration out that way. If you're interested in discussing the content of the article (ie. how to maximise battery charge) with some practical suggestions (other than "just buy a cheap windows brick and keep it plugged into the wall") then by all means post.

    ... why do I even bother reading Win-Nut posts??? .....
  • marraco - Sunday, November 15, 2009 - link

    [I've been a staunch advocate of Apple's hardware and software for years now, but ...
    ...Apple is making the mistake of stating that non-Apple hardware isn't supported]

    Big fail.

    you pay 2,5X more than an i7 PC (not accounting the Windows license needed to run 99% of the software), gets obsolete hardware, and ZERO support.

    If I pay extra for a computer, I want to get any luxe, including the expandability.
  • geok1ng - Sunday, November 15, 2009 - link

    It is a PITA that i couldnt buy a decent notebook over the last two years: a decent CPU with good screen resolution and STATE-OF-ART integrated graphics; AMD had excelent integrated graphics paired with hot and 2 generatiosn older CPUs, Intel had decent CPUs paired with crap integrated graphis. And when NVDIA finally put a decent integrated graphics on the C2D platform, it is sold as MacBook- an expensive piece of good looks paired with all manner of junkware using an OS that simply cant game!

    Battery life is a mix of good hardware project and good OS drives. For that you need 45nm CPUs with at least 55nm chipstes with the OS installed in a SDD. And the OS cant suck!

    I would be fine with a 2Ghz dual core (or an atom for a netbook), 9400m/4200 level graphics, 4GB RAM, 60GB SSD and at least 720p resolution together in a 11"-13" chassis. But every single netbook/subnotebook/notebook that comes close to this requirements costs an arm and a leg and fails to deliver one or more of these hardware requirements.
  • batmanuel - Sunday, November 15, 2009 - link

    My wife picked up the new unibody plastic Macbook recently, and it is really a good deal compared to the 13" MacBook Pro. You get the same processor, multitouch trackpad, LED backlit screen, 7 hour battery, and RAM as in the Pro version, plus a bigger hard drive. If you don't need FW800, the SD reader, and the backlit keyboard, the plastic unibody Macbook is a great machine for $1000. Reply
  • Hrel - Friday, November 13, 2009 - link

    I'd really love it if Asus could would make a 15-16" laptop with the specs on the 15" macbook except with a 1600x900 screen, a 320GB 7200rpm hard drive and the option to add a dedicated GPU to the integrated one. With a price ranging from 700-1000. I'm thinking MR HD4530/210M, HD4670, and the HD4850 as dedicated graphics options.

    Most importantly though; let's not forget that the screen needs to be at least 500:1 contrast ratio, preferably 1000:1 with very high color accuracy.
  • MonicaS - Thursday, November 12, 2009 - link

    I can understand why Apple did it, but again, their reasons all but ignore the end user. Seriously, how hung up are people about the look of the underside of their laptop, that it needs to be made sleeker. Take a look at a Mac Pro and you'll see a beautiful and very accessible interior that even the most novice can access. Not the same here and its a shame.

    Monica S
    Los Angeles Computer Repair">
  • Baron Fel - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    Why didnt you mention the 15" HP Envy? It beats the MBP in everything but battery life... Reply
  • solipsism - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    There is a distinct difference in these machines. For starters, these MBPS have been out many months and won’t be getting an update until after the holidays. If your focus is solely on a Clarksdale quad-core processor.

    Note that it doesn’t beat the nearly half-a-year old 15” MBP in a lot of areas. It’s nearly 10% thicker, only has a 6-cell battery, while not having an optical drive. I hope that the MBPs come without an optical drive in favour of the OS being installed on a SD Card, but Apple isn’t HP with dozens of machines with the same display size. Apple still runs like a boutique shop so when they commit to removing the optical drive to run a Core i7 quad-core it’ll be for all their 15” notebooks.
  • far327 - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    Apple equals proprietary gayness!! Design is great. Quality is stellar, but Apple is GAY!!! Reply
  • aapocketz - Thursday, November 12, 2009 - link

    I like apples line of laptops, they seem quite well built, though I don't really see a huge benefit of unibody design, I think my ancient ibm laptop is just as nice. I don't really love the glossy screens either. Overall they are nice.

    apple has some impressive engineering and decent innovation capabilities but their closed and protected platform and general company philosophy is disturbing to someone who relies on and enjoys the openness of hardware and software platforms.

    Consider apple disabling support for Atom cpus in the newest OS updates, ostensibly to prevent homebrewers from using the OS on their own hardware like netbooks. Man I certainly don't love Microsoft, but we would be way worse off if Apple dominated the market. I am fine with them as long as they only want that single bite of the apple though.

    I like choice and flexibility, and apple computers tightly integrated platform may be a good choice, as long as its not my only choice.
  • robco - Thursday, November 12, 2009 - link

    You have to see on in person to understand why the unibody design has benefits. While still being less than an inch thin, the MacBooks are incredibly rigid. Little flex at all. They feel rock solid. I do agree that the ThinkPads are nice and solid too. If I hadn't gotten a MBP, a ThinkPad was my second choice. You can now custom order the 15 and 17" models with a matte display.

    I find OS X to be a nice compromise. I like Linux, but it's not always easy to find good software. A lot of FOSS runs under OS X. There's also virtualization to run Linux alongside OS X. A friend who does web development loves the fact that he can run Office, Eclipse, Apache, Tomcat and MySQL all on the same machine easily.

    As for dominating the market, I don't think that's Apple's goal - unlike Microsoft. Apple seems pretty happy with their market segment overall. They're raking in a lot of money.

    I like my Mac and it's a solid machine. That being said, I'm hardly a fanboy. There are certain circumstances where people should get a Windows machine. As far as Atom support, Apple never supported Atom in the first place, I don't see why they should be expected to provide it or continue providing it. AFAIK, OS X uses some of the optimizations in the Core and Core 2 Duo chips that aren't present in the Atom.
  • setzer - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    Okay, this is just a supposition because I don't have an actual macbook to test, but I would bet the reason OSx provides so much better battery values is because Apple is running the cpus at a much lower voltage than the defaults, ie, what is here:">

    this does make a difference in battery longevity and by default windows doesn't undervolt processors.
  • blufire - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    I believe it may have more to do with napping and shutting down components more frequently/aggressively.. Reply
  • araczynski - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    the macs are starting to smell like pc's now, incompatibilities all over the place. Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link you'd think that with less hardware to code for, that they'd get it right! Reply
  • tuskers - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    At the Mac coverage at this time and place. As a long-time reader of Anandtech, this feels completely out of place from "coverage" and more non-topical than anything I've ever read here, before. We've seen the Macbook Pro reviews already.

    My guess is that this has to do with one (or more) of three things:
    - Anand has turned into the "Mac person" who needs to justify his fanboi-ism.
    - There's too little tech news in the holiday season, so this is a classic "fluff" piece, that was easy to write.
    - Apple paid the site to publish said fluff piece.

    Regardless, journalistically, this is one of the worst pieces I've seen here.
    - Failure to analyze the market from a "competitors to Apple" sense. Dell and HP's "representatives" aren't competing with Apple with their mainstream products; instead, they're competing against each other. They're competing on low price to justify expenses with corporations. Most corporations don't care if a laptop is slightly thicker. Instead, pick laptops that are trying to out-Apple Apple, like the Envy or Adamo; Asus and MSI also offer intriguing competition and increasing market shares. Rather than looking at it as "Apple is a mainstream computer maker with 15% of the market", realize that the more true statement is "Apple is dominant in a high-priced niche market which doesn't focus on computing power, here is how it compares to other products competing for that market."
    - Exaggeration of differences. The highlighted weight of the 15" MBP is within rounding error of the compared model! And in marketing specs instead of actual product weights, no less.
    - Focusing on the battery so much without mentioning that other laptop brands only have to pack a replacement battery to achieve longer battery life. Yes, maintenance is a little more difficult, but you aren't making an honest comparison given that the unibody Macs discarded this functionality.
    - A token "please get SSDs to work properly!" plea, without research. Does the "Mac Edition" OCZ Vertex work or not? It's true that OCZ has admitted it as marketing hype, but the least you could do is expose it. You even go so far as to say that some people might be happy to know that random combinations might work-- because people have SSDs lying around.
    - I'm amazed a commenter put together the "Flash is 32-bit, so of course it runs slowly talking to 64-bit Safari" before Anand did.
    - Blanket statements without truth to them. For instance, the claim that 1920x1200 screen in the 17" is not "bigger than anything else on the market". You simply need to select an Alienware model at Dell's site (a competitive price range for the MBP 17", no less). And then, Anand complains that the pixels are too dense-- a common complaint, which is why Dell offers more 1080p screens instead. I own an Inspiron with a 1920x1200 screen that I bought several years ago. They aren't an Apple monopoly because Apple's the only one that can do it. This whole scenario is worse than simple marketing hype.

    I'll leave it there, I'm sure I could find more though. I expect better from this site, Anand!
  • nangryo - Saturday, November 14, 2009 - link

    Do you realize the PC hardware you mention to replace MAC product is equivalent in price or even worse, more expensive (Adamo, AlienWare) please stop trolling. If you don't like it, don't read it. No one force you to come here and whine like a crybaby.
  • tuskers - Tuesday, November 17, 2009 - link

    I love your argument-- "you bring up competition in a similar price range, so you must be a troll." You're using the traditional PC-versus-Mac argument of "PCs cost less!", except with even less basis.

    I want to read a fair comparison of Mac versus the competition, not a slaughter of value-designed PCs. Mac very well might be the best out there-- I think it's pretty well conceded that Macs win on battery life, and OS X certainly has those that swear by it. And I'm absolutely fine with those sections of the article.

    This simply isn't an Apples-to-apples comparison. I'm not saying the other companies' brands are better-- what I'm saying is, Apple produces products with a specific type of user in mind-- one at the mid-to-upper performance range (in terms of hardware), with as much dedication to form-factor as it has to functionality. Yes, I expect other companies to ask

    If I go shopping for a luxury car, I don't compare Lexus to Honda and Chevy, I compare Lexus to Acura and Cadillac. Similarly, I don't compare $1100 computers with $2500 computers. But you don't even need to escalate past $1000 to find the MSI X600 or GX720. Adamos cost more than 13" Macbooks, but they also ship standard with SSDs, higher screen resolution, and slimmer chassis (although with disadvantages as well). The Envy ships with more horsepower in a similar form-factor for slightly more money (much less than some of the disparities in the article).

    These are the compare/contrast elements that make for interesting decisions, rather than a "look at the shiny Macs!" article.

    I'll take back the implication that this might have been a "sponsored" article, but it's simply the first thought I had after I read it.
  • The0ne - Thursday, November 12, 2009 - link

    As I said earlier it seems Anand is all "giddy" because he got a new toy to play with. That excitement alone causes all sorts of things :D fun things in most cases hahaha

    I can't help but agree with your comments. After reading others comments I'm not only shock at Anand but at some users supporting the $2500 MacBook to no end. If I had the money or my company allows the spending I would like to have one, of course. But it's really not practical at all when you have so many other choices in the market.
  • blufire - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    Just released.. may address the excessive battery drain for 64-bit Safari with 32-bit Flash. Reply
  • citan x - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    Why does it feel that there is too much Mac pro coverage? Most of the info on here has already been available. Why a full blown article on them now?

    Also, why wasn't the new Asus UL80 that was just reviewed compared here. What I would like to know is how the Asus UL80 compares to the 13" Mac when both have an SSD.

    The 17" Macbook Pro is nice, but just too expensive.
  • mitaiwan82 - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    Good article, but the product shots are a bit overexposed for my taste. The MBPs almost blend into the white background of the site. Reply
  • blufire - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    The image of the 15" MBP on page 3 appears to be a 17".
    Thanks for the article!
  • JimmiG - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    I hate it how Apple doesn't use the extra space of the 15" and 17" models to put in a better keyboard and a numpad. My 15" HP Probook comes with big, nicely spaced keys that use all the available space, and they even managed to cram in a numpad without making things look cramped or crowded.
    The 17" Macbook looks absolutely ridiculous with that *huge* emptiness around the tiny keyboard. I see they no longer include a numpad on the keyboard that comes with the iMac, either. I guess it's to show the world that Macs are "fun", while PCs are only used for Excel and stuff...but still, some of use need to be boring from time to time, and then a numpad is a must.
  • MrPete123 - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    Anand, I heard there were unofficial ways of running MacOS X on standard PCs... would it be possible to do this and do battery tests to see how it handles it? I'm really interested to know what Apple's doing to make their OS so power efficient.

    Maybe it disallows C-states or something in their BIOS for non-OSX operating systems?
  • nangryo - Saturday, November 14, 2009 - link

    Not, it's not possible, at least in a formal/official benchmark / reporting. Because it would face legal problem etc etc.

    He may do it unofficially though.
  • Drakino - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    I'd be curious to know what battery life is like playing back H.264 content, since it should be accelerated by the GPU. Would help to know if it's worth the effort to encode to it over any other format. Reply
  • Ram21 - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    You could do another benchmark on the Mac systems with Blender 3d. It would give you a comparison to the PCs with similar specs.

    Great Article, thank you.
  • drew952 - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    Could somebody clear up my confusion please...The article states "Both machines start at 7 lbs and don't offer higher than 1080p resolutions." However, in the specifications for said computers, the resolution is 1600 x 900.
    Isn't that comparable and/or better then 1080p?
  • slashbinslashbash - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    1080p is 1920x1080. So it is substantially higher resolution than 1600x900. (2.07 million pixels vs. 1.44 million pixels)

    FYI, 720p is 1280x720, so even the 13" MBP with the 1280x800 screen resolution handles 720p.
  • The0ne - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    Just wondering if you guys have a Droid 2 review coming for 2009? Would like you guys to do this so we can have the Pre, Droid and Iphone for comparison. Thanks. Reply
  • crimson117 - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    "Jarred has seen similar results. One of his battery life tests involves leaving the laptop idle at the Windows desktop until it shuts off."

    That sounds like Anand caught Jarred napping at his workstation, and Jarred was like "no, really I'm, uh, testing battery life! See? It's my custom made Idle Windows Desktop Battery Life Test."

    I'm going to start testing my software designs by observing to make sure they don't alter themselves if left untouched on my computer for 6 hours ;)
  • DCstewieG - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    Anand, you say you want a more forward looking test for watching videos and then you use XviD? Surely you know how to use Handbrake. Then you could show battery life watching H.264 videos in QuickTime with GPU acceleration.

    Otherwise great article! You first Mac article way back when got me first seriously looking at Macs and now I've been a happy MBP owner for 2 years. Thanks!
  • Pneumothorax - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    It's about time somebody from the press brings up the cursed SSD Macbook Pro issue. Even some of the 15" MBP 2009 models with the 1.7 Sata II patch are still having random freezes with Intel 160gb G2 SSD's. It drove me so crazy that I returned a 2009 MBP and got a refub 2.53 MBP 2008 with the removable battery. Now my G2 runs flawlessly. Whenever there's a hardware issue, Apple likes to give us the silent treatment (which is MUCH WORSE than the spokesholes remarks that pc makers will at least give you) Shame on you Apple! Reply
  • The0ne - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    You'll like their terminology of their latest patch for the OS then :)">
  • SmCaudata - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    I have an early 2008 MBP. I'll not buy an apple machine again. Their updates are so infrequent that when there is a problem like the terrible batter life or wireless issues with Snow Leopard you have to wait for a year for it to be fixed. Instead they spend time "fixing" iTunes to make it not work with the Palm Pre (I don't own a Pre...I just think them repeatedly disabling it is getting old).

    With new windows7 laptops like that 14" Acer Anand reviewed a few weeks ago, I expect Apple is going to have to stop being so closed off. What's more I could buy a new PC laptop every year for the same out of pocket cost to get a MacBook every 3 years. I still need boot camp on my MPB for some programs and there is nothing on my MacOS that I cannot have on Win7.

    So long Apple... Fool me once....
  • SmCaudata - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    Edit: I meant ASUS Laptop. Reply
  • JimmyJimmington - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    Do people really buy 17 inch laptops? I could never justify spending that much money on something I can't even take to school. Might as well build an amazing desktop... And then use the leftover money to buy a great laptop... Reply
  • The0ne - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    Not many of us would shell out $2500 for one but many of us would for 1/3 the price with similar if not better specs. Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    Can we have a roundup of the following machines


    That would make everything fair.
  • Zak - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    Not everyone can afford an SSD, SSDs offered by Apple as BTO are crap and overpriced, and a fast 7200rpm HD does make a difference.

  • Zak - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    " Apple figures someone who wants such a big machine will probably have some fast external storage to connect to it..." And still no SATA? BTW, the screen on the 17" is indeed amazing.

  • mschira - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    I like the logic you draw with the heavy load test.
    So that all makes sense.
    Some other thing:
    Did you check battery time on a Hackintosh?
    Like an Acer Timeline get's up to 7 hours on Win7, what can it get when we make it a Hackintosh?
  • CharonPDX - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    You compare the 17" to an HP and a Dell, which are both monsters. (But, they are nearly 1/3 the price, for noticeably more CPU power.)

    You compare the 13" to a Dell that is slightly larger. (Compare to the HP Envy 13; then you'll get a definitive Apple win, as the HP costs more than a 13" MBP.)

    But you don't do the obvious comparison: 15" MacBook Pro to HP Envy 15.

    I think the MacBook Pro would lose out instantly in this comparison. It is what the 15" MacBook Pro *SHOULD* be right now.

    For the 17"? You dismiss the Dell and HP as being too big. Yet they both cost less than $1200. And HP offers an identically-sized model that throws in a 1080 screen and Blu-ray player for $1300. For that matter, you can completely max out the HP's specs (fastest mobile Core i7, 8 GB RAM, dual 500 GB hard drives, Blu-ray writer, etc,) before it becomes more expensive than the MacBook Pro. (And then, by only $50.) I'm sorry, but it's not worth the massive loss in features (or $1000, if you take the 'stock' 1080/Blu-ray HP,) to save 1.1 lbs.
  • ChuckyP83 - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    I think you are missing the point of the article. Comparing a one piece aluminum vault of a laptop to a flimsy, plasticky, lowest-cost-built Dell (or HP or whoever) just doesn't work just on specs buddy. Nobody knows how to build a laptop as solidly as Apple. That is a fact you CANNOT argue (I think Apple patented their manufacturing technique). Apples don't compete on price and specs because the ways they surpass the average PC competition aren't easily quantifiable. Not sure why I am even replying to this guy.... Reply
  • The0ne - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    That is subjective. I have many dell laptops and they aren't cheap. I have my 17" with me as a backpack hiking weight in China and it still works afterward. Granted the Macbook quality might be a bit better but when people like you said it in your way you make it out as though Dell or HP has horrible quality build, that the laptop wouldn't last being carrying around, that a drop would kill it, etc. Unless you don't know how to lug around a laptop the build quality is the least of your concern.

    The bottom line is that most of us are fine with the build quality of Dell, HPs, Acer, etc. But some people don't mind spending A LOT more to have nicer metal pieces and looks. Seriously in the end what would you prefer, function or style?

    You're too much of a Apple fanboy. Thank God no one builds laptop, or in more general terms hardware, like Apple. I won't even go into the details of their greatness here. Their hardware is not perfect as you know. Knowing this and claiming no one does it better than they do is fan-boyish.

    Apple doesn't have a patent on manufacturing techniques. If they did it would be a very specific process that is not covered by countless generations of manufacturing processes. They could, like Intel, put a freeze on the process to prevent any changes. But this has severe advantages and disadvantages.

    "Apples don't compete on price and specs because the ways they surpass the average PC competition aren't easily quantifiable. Not sure why I am even replying to this guy.... "

    Who else besides me thinks these sentences is a load of BS? Please respond to this user if you do. Apple don't compete in price and spec because lets see...they are the only ones selling them and thus can dictate the prices? They surpass the average PC competition so they can do whatever they want because the user wouldn't be able to quantify the reasons? O.o

    To be honest, I'm not even sure why I'M responding to your post. It's so lame, riddled with false facts it's not even funny. Urgh.
  • marraco - Sunday, November 15, 2009 - link

    Each mac is obsolete, offer lots less functionality, are MUCH slower, have the worst screens, sound, video, processor. have problems or plain incompatibility with most hardware, and 99% of useful software don't run on macs (no, once you run them on virtualized windows, you have all, and each problem of windows, -wich need too buy for extra money)-, and runs too much slower.

    also, macs are much harder to use, once you try to do something not basic, or find a problem (and macs are crammed with problems), the only way to solve it, is to open a text screen, and hand write LOTS of cryptycal commands.

    you go to support, and they start forcing you to sign a contract agreeing to pay to apple U$S 100 or support, EVEN UNDER FIRST DAY GUARANTEE.
    Then you find that those "genius bar dudes" are completely clueless...
  • robco - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    I just upgraded to the midrange 2.66GHz 15" model. I agree that it is the sweet spot for portability and usability. I had gotten used to the 13" display on my MacBook, but the added screen real estate is nice and the weight increase is minor. The brightness provided by the LED backlight is great. The battery life is incredible, especially when using the 9400M. The build quality so far has been excellent. I can see why Apple hasn't "upgraded" the GPU yet, the 260M seems like little more than a rebranded 9600M. But it works for the few games I play on my computer these days. It does get awfully hot when using the 9600M under load.

    I considered switching back to a Windows machine, but couldn't find anything that was as thin and light as the MBP, or match the build quality. Those that came close tended to be higher end machines and the cost savings dropped considerably. Having brought my MacBook in to the Apple Store for service, I can say that the service is quite good.

    I tried to wait for Arrandale, but couldn't hold out. I may not have the fastest notebook available, but it's fast enough for my needs.
  • SteveMinne - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    First release of Snow Leopard nicked battery life about 40% off Leopard. Instand huge downgrade. Rounds and rounds of Apple and third party updates now have that down below 20% heading toward 15%.
    Your 10% testing is solid. It's just still too optimistic for this social media driven world.
    The apps I have on all the time are TweetDeck (Adobe Air), Entourage, and Firefox (and by extension Flash). I run 10-15 add'l apps on and off through each day. It's these main three that hit the cpu much harder at times than when on Leopard. I have no time to isolate testing as you have but have watched them in Activity Monitor.
    Should also mention I switched to 32 bit Safari months ago. So I'm reporting increased power consumption based on third party apps sitting on Snow Leopard.
    Finally, I am also finally coming around to liking Snow Leopard. I've advised dozens of folks to wait and most have. Your real world experience and mine have saved a lot of folks early adoption pain.
    Keep up the good work.
  • GeorgeH - Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - link

    "I used IE8 and Windows Media Player 11 in Windows 7 while I used Safari/iTunes in OS X. The results I got were both expected and quite revealing."

    Absolutely expected, but thanks for redoing the test with IE and WMP anyway.
  • sigmatau - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    Ya, very biased test. Run Windows 7 on a Mac to get benchmarks instead of running it on a PC. Good one! Reply
  • GeorgeH - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    My comment was in reference to an earlier article where Windows battery life was measured using Safari+iTunes, nothing more.

    For the record, there was absolutely nothing biased about this test - a Mac IS a PC, just one with a different BIOS.
  • sigmatau - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    Um yes it was biased. Running anything Windows on a Mac and taking benchmarks for that and comparing it to native Apple software is biased. Windows runs slower on a Mac. Apple does everything within its power to make MS products look bad. Just look at their iTunes for Windows, complete crap compared to the version that runs on Macs. Reply
  • darwinosx - Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - link

    Really good article but I'm surprised be a few of the comments. Mostly about Flash. It's well known that Flash for the Mac sucks. But thats an Adobe issue not an Apple issue. If Flash is acting up for you then uninstall it first using Adobes uninstaller. then reinstall. Don't install over the exiting version. Not all hardware is the same as your generic PC. The motherboard isn't. It is designed by Apple and IBM engineers. Same with the battery and its controller. For generic PC parts Apple has much higher and more stringent quality control standards than Dell or HP etc. So you are much less likely to get a bad part or own that does not perform to spec. If you do have an issue then Apples support is head and shoulders above everyone else. No one else is even close in customer satisfaction. Regarding SSD's it snot like some PC's don't have issues with various makes. I'm using a Crucial 256MB SSD in my 15-inch MBP, 2.8ghz, 512MB 9600GT. Runs very well. I've had just about everything at one time or another during my 20 years in IT and this laptop is way above the pack in every category. A lot of companies these days are offering the option of Macs and every IT Architect I know of has jumped at the chance. We value quality, performance, support and stability as well as the great multi-tasking and efficient use of proc and large amounts of ram that only OS X and Linux/Unix provide. Not like that warmed over version of Windows with all the same old issues. The trackpad is incredibly useful. PC companies are starting to put larger trackpads on their laptops but nothing like what Apple has. As far as prices go you don't have to pay retail. I have a work issued MBP and my own as well. I saved about $400 buying mine over the internet instead of in a store. I had to laugh seeing prices comparison with a Dell 1555. What a cheap hunk of plastic junk. I can't tell you how many work issued Dell's have died on me over the years. About 5 or 6 years ago I had three brand new Dell laptops, top of the line business models, die on me in a single year. 3 brand new laptops croaked in one year. No wonder I have seen so many companies dump Dell and buy HP business laptops. I do like the HP W series laptops and Thinkpads are decent although not as well made with the same material quality as they once were. But I don't see anything keeping me from sticking with macs for a long time to come. The quad cores should be out soon. With 8 GB of ram and quad core you will be able to run multiple VM's as well as OS X making MBP's the most versatile laptop you can buy today. Reply
  • marraco - Sunday, November 15, 2009 - link

    ...and the sound of those macs are awful. really crap hardware.

    you play am mp3, and half of the instruments don't sound. those cheap speakers cannot reproduce half the frequencies.
  • Griswold - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    Thats alot of bullshit in this wall of text. Dont they teach you apple fanboys how to structure a post?

    Especially the QA part on the off-the-shelf PC parts. If their QA was so great, how come they didnt avoid that shitstorm with nvidia IGPs? And thats not the only example.
  • DigitalFreak - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    LOL. Not to mention all their products that have caught fire, melted, discolored, overheated... I could go on and on. QC is definitely NOT one of Apple's strong points. Reply
  • sprockkets - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    When any other laptop discolors, it's business as usual.

    When it happens to an Apple product, the users raise hell, and Apple replaces it for free even if it is no longer under warranty.

    There's your explanation.
  • damianrobertjones - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    Tell that to many, many people that have dead ipods/iphones/macs. Just read some forums and you'll find that apple often turn people away EVEN when in warranty Reply
  • JimmyJimmington - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    My dead iPod was turned away at an Apple store even though it was under warranty. Took one look at it and said no way. I shipped it to them using some online form and they replaced it no questions asked :/ Reply
  • solipsism - Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - link

    [quote]Even Apple's default hardware choices make a lot of sense. You pay more for faster processors and larger screens. My biggest complaint, as always, is that Apple doesn't give the entry level 13-inch MacBook Pro enough memory.[/quote]

    — For their cheapest machine it’s more than adequate for the average consumer. This shows that without having a single piece of crapware installed the memory footprint of a new system is quite low compared to other vendors.

    • [url][/url]
  • fyleow - Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - link

    I'm a bit surprised on the lack of comment regarding screen resolution. The 15 inch MBP is a particularly bad offender with only 1440 x 900. That's unacceptable when competitors have been offering much higher resolution for awhile now.

    Hopefully the next generation will bring higher screen resolutions. The only acceptable resolution in the line up is the 17 inch and maybe the 13 inch though some manufacturers are offering 1600 x 900 screens.
  • solipsism - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    One area that Apple just doesn’t do well is scaling of visual elements. Until they can offer something like Windows Presentation Foundation or actually get RI then they really can’t move to a higher dot pitch. The 17” ppi to high for me.

    The area that I’m surprised I didn’t see mentioned is the display type and backlight used on all MBPs. These are uneven, low-luminous LCD backlights and cheap TN displays. I don’t know if the non-Macs in the article are using similar tech, better, for the comparison, but most notebooks on the market use cheap displays. I find this to be as important than having a slightly faster CPU.
  • solipsism - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    Oops, meant to write… "These aren’t…" Reply
  • londor - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    Current MBPs have high quality displays.">
  • Zak - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    Um? Not sure what you're talking about. They're very bright LED back-lit screens.

  • ltcommanderdata - Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - link

    I believe Anand did comment on screen resolution on page 4 where he found the 15" resolution just right for the screen between space and not being an eyestrain. Personally, I agree that 1440x900 on a 15" screen is about right. I've found 1680x1050 on a 15" screen to be a bit too dense. Although that just brings up Apple's lack of progress on resolution independence which has been in development since Tiger.

    On the topic of screens, I wonder what are the chances that Apple will move to 16:9 screens as on the iMac and as other notebook manufacturers are doing. I hope not as 16:10 is wide enough and it's not like watching movies is the only thing people do on their laptops. Besides, for the creative industry users working on 16:9 content, 16:10 screens should make sense to leave room for toolbars and such for editing.
  • secretanchitman - Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - link

    agreed. 1680x1050 on the 15" would be absolutely perfect. i would rather have 16:10 rather than 16:9.

    i would also love to see core i5/core i7 (doubtful on core i7 though), a much faster gpu (next gen nvidia/ati), and the expresscard slot to make a return as an option. also, most of all, PLEASE make sure the matte screen and silver bezel return!
  • darwinosx - Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - link

    I like the current resolution. Anything higher would be too high for me. Reply
  • ltcommanderdata - Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - link

    I don't know exactly how it works, but I've read before that 64-bit Safari is able to use a 32-bit Flash plugin through InterProcess Communications (IPC). Presumably, this causes more overhead and the 32-bit Flash plugin wasn't designed/optimized for this in mind, so that could explain why battery life is so poor under 64-bit Safari with Flash.

    In terms of Macs, I have to agree that qualities like battery life, weight, look, and feel are things that can be worth paying extra for even if they are harder to definitively measure and compare.

    I wonder what Apple is going to do about the IGP situation when they move to Arrandale? It definitely seems strange that nVidia's CEO picks now of all times to advertise his love for Macs after ATI pushed nVidia out for discrete GPUs for the iMacs and on the eve of Arrandale's IGP and DMI link. Presumably Apple could consider using switchable graphics between Arrandale's IGP and discrete GPUs even for low-end models. The effort put into Intel IGP drivers in Snow Leopard bringing the GMA X3100 up from OpenGL 1.2 support in Leopard to OpenGL 2.0 support seems to indicate a readiness of Intel IGPs. It will of course force the introduction of another chip on the motherboard, which is a concern for the space constrained 13" MacBook Pro.

    If Intel won't license DMI to nVidia, I wonder if Intel would license it to their good buddy Apple. Apple could then license nVidia graphics technology to serve as the IGP for their own custom chipset. Apple used to design their own chipsets in the PowerPC days and certainly have the resources to do so now with the P.A. Semi team. Besides a better IGP, a custom chipset would also allow Apple to integrate functionality currently done by external chips like Firewire controllers and the multi touch touchpad controller as well as adopt new technologies like USB 3.0 and Lightpeak without waiting on Intel. I believe Jobs did say in a previous conference call their intention to differentiate themselves by offering technology that no one else has and this is certainly one way to do it.

    This article seems to mention Arrandale a lot as the future processor of the MacBook Pro, but hopefully Clarksfield will also be available on the 17" and high-end 15" models. Clarksfield clock speeds are disappointing though (1.6GHz - 2GHz) so it'll be interesting to see how Apple plays it.
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - link

    Clarksfield is a power hog, and there's no getting around that. I've got an i7-720QM based laptop and if I use absolutely minimal performance settings (CPU at 0%, HDD turn off at 1 minute, DVD and webcam turned off when on battery) I barely get 90 minutes of battery life with a 55Wh battery.

    I can't imagine Apple will ever use Clarksfield in a laptop, because they are targeting mobile battery life far more than mobile performance. Frankly, even the top-end 17" MacBook Pro is pretty weak in many of the performance areas we'd look at on Windows. A 9600M GPU is nothing to write home about -- 32 SPs is what we had back in the days of the GeForce 8600. OS X seems more dependent on CPU, though.

    I'm also curious about which CPUs Apple is using; previously they used the SL9000 and SP9000 I'm pretty sure, but now it looks like they're using standard P8000, P9000 and even T9000 parts (though only on the 15" and 17" for the T9000 I'm sure). Maybe Anand can say which specific CPUs are in the Macs now.
  • ltcommanderdata - Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - link

    I didn't know Clarksfield battery life was so bad at idle/light usage. I thought that peak power consumption would be higher, but idle/light power would be comparable or better then high-end mobile Core 2 Duos due to the Power Control Unit. I guess Clarksfield could serve as the real test of Apple's power management abilities. Although with Anand finding that a MacBook Pro gets 78% better battery life in OS X than Windows 7, and a 17" MacBook Pro having a 95Wh battery compared to your 55Wh battery, if you get 90 minutes with the i7-720QM, Apple could get around 4.6hrs in OS X on a 17" MacBook Pro with that processor which is okay. Although Clarksfield would probably be limited to BTO only to avoid confusion.

    And I agree that Apple's GPU choices are generally questionable, especially seeing OS X's heavy reliance on the GPU starting with Quartz Extreme acceleration in Jaguar in 2002, Core Image in Tiger in 2005, and now OpenCL in Snow Leopard. I guess the only small consolation is that Apple always uses at least GDDR3 with their GPUs, even low end ones like the HD2400XT in the iMac, and doesn't resort to advertising high VRAM capacities and then sneaking in low clock speed DDR2. Hopefully, Apple's notebook refresh jumps directly to DX11 GPUs, presumably ATI since they seem to be first out of the gate. Preferably, they will go with a high mid-range GPU, although I guess heat and power and always Apple's concerns in a 1" case.
  • darwinosx - Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - link

    OS X is not "dependent" on cpu but it can use the cpu for things other than standard vid card work. Reply
  • dagamer34 - Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - link

    Clarksfield is a 45W CPU, which Apple will never use due to heat concerns.

    I'm really hoping that Apple changes the screen to a 16:9 ratio, which would be perfect for watching HD content. Something like: 1366x768 for the 13", 1680x950 for the 15" and 1920x1080 for the 17" would be a great improvement.
  • kapute - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    16:9 screen ratio is terrible idea for laptops. Ok for watching movies but not when using a word-processor as all the tool bars etc diminish vertical space leaving a tiny letter box to type in. Better to have black bars top and bottom when watching a movie and more vertical space for everything else. Reply
  • ltcommanderdata - Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - link

    Well, I'm pretty sure Apple's top end CPUs like the 2.8GHz Core 2 Duo and 3GHz BTO in the high-end 15" and 17" MacBook Pros are 35W TDP processors. The PM55 northbridge has a 7W TDP. It's hard to isolate a comparison to the 9400M chipset since it has both northbridge and southbridge integrated. Still, 35W CPU + ~7W for a northbridge compared to 45W for an integrated CPU + NB in Clarksfield doesn't seem unreasonable, from a heat dissipation perspective. Reply
  • dagamer34 - Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - link

    I doubt the chipset needs to be actively cooled. And plus, TDP is meant to be a "maximum", not an average. Plus, a higher concentration of power, means more heat, which means more cooling is necessary. I don't see Apple adding more fans to facilitate cooling. Reply
  • solipsism - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    If, like in the new iMacs, they move to a 16:9 ratio they may be able to allow for better spreading and a loner vent in the back. Personally, I am not a fan of the 16:9 for reading on a notebook. I’d rather have them finally get rid of the optical drive to make room for more cooling, an extra 5” for ports and even more battery space. Reply
  • dagamer34 - Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - link

    Oops, I meant 1600x900 for the 15". Reply
  • SocrPlyr - Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - link

    Why doesn't anyone else make a high end laptop like Apple? Hardwarewise, there isn't hardly any (readily available) Windows based PCs that match the specs. As for software, except for a few GUI tricks, Apple still is not capable of writing good software/code. That is clear with pretty much all of their software. They made a good choice for the base of OS X, but as they modify it more and more I can only see things getting worse and worse until we are back at OS 8 levels of garbage (or was it 7 that was so bad). Hopefully they will get things figured out, but I don't have much faith in them. Reply
  • Exelius - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    Um, really? Have you even used a Mac for more than 5 minutes? Snow Leopard is great. I've never used an OS that can remain smooth with uptime numbers like this:

    10:15 up 29 days, 1:49, 3 users, load averages: 0.66 0.94 0.93

    OS X is a terrific, flexible, stable platform. The only drawback is lack of driver support, but even that is changing rapidly.

    Please don't post about things which you know nothing about, it only makes you look bad and discounts your arguments. I'm not some rabid Mac zealot (I'm an MCSE and run Windows 7 on several machines at home, so I know Windows very well) but Apple does have a premium product and OS X is a very good OS.
  • sigmatau - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    Hardwarewise? You mean packaging? You do know their hardware is often a generation or more behind the competition. Not only do you pay a huge premium for the shiny case, you get old hardware to boot. Just look at the processors and video cards available on Macs. Usualy 6months to a year behind the competition. Reply
  • Johnmcl7 - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    Precisely - I don't understand why Apple gets such an easy ride here especially from a tech site. I've had a Dell Studio XPS 16 for a while with a blu-ray drive and RGB LED screen, even budget laptops now come with blu-ray and given Apple's reputation for graphics use they should have had RGB LED displays ahead of anyone else.

  • michael2k - Thursday, November 12, 2009 - link

    What is your issue? Apple's been shipping LED displays since 2005 on their 15" MBP, and are LED across all laptop systems as of 2008 and all desktops by 2009. Reply
  • Johnmcl7 - Saturday, November 14, 2009 - link

    There's a large difference between the two, have a look at the article on this site for the Studio XPS 16 if you're not familiar between the two. Apple currently don't ship any machines with RGB LED backlit displays.

    Although they do offer LED backlit displays on their machines now, they were also slow to adopt this technology. Given the premium price they charge and this being a tech site I'm surprised they're given so much praise while offering basic or older technology lagging behind rivals. Never mind even rivals, many budget machines are using more advanced technology than Apple do although I guess they need to string out upgrades to ensure people keep buying machines.
  • michael2k - Saturday, November 14, 2009 - link

    So you're asking why Apple doesn't offer cutting edge HW?

    Apple does; the issue is what HW it is you're looking for. As outlined in the article it is the battery (and battery life) and the physical case design.

    Look at the new Adamo and Adamo XPS systems. Dell looks to be charging an arm and a leg, too, for cutting edge physical design.
  • michael2k - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    Yeah, if you mean "good code" like longer battery life in OS X than Windows?

    I mean, if you really believe that, buy a Mac, install Windows in VM, and get the hours of battery life of the Mac and the ability to run "good code" whenever you need it.
  • fitten - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    You get all that battery life when you aren't actually doing anything with the machine (it's sitting idle). As the article says... start actually, you know, using the thing instead of having it as a fashion accessory and there isn't much difference. Reply
  • slashbinslashbash - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    No, it's not "sitting idle." Anand got those times with Safari set to load a new page every 20 seconds, and iTunes playing music constantly. It is light usage, granted, but it's not sitting there doing nothing. Of course the CPU goes to an idle when it's not doing anything, and that's what makes the difference, because apparently Apple is handling this better than Microsoft. Reply
  • fitten - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    Get an iPhone... mine does all that and more! Reply
  • darwinosx - Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - link

    Apple doesn't know how to write code? Alllllrighty then... Reply
  • sprockkets - Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - link

    God's don't talk to humans, even you Anand. So much for getting them to admit they are fallible.

    That being said, their 13" laptop is nice. Paying $2500 for a non i7 cpu isn't really a deal.

    Oh, and if you are going to benchmark them, why not benchmark the Dell and HP while you are at it?
  • marraco - Sunday, November 15, 2009 - link

    And something to add:

    This image on this article:">

    Shows why this line of obsolete hardware is not worth his 2.5X price:

    You can't use them as portable computers, because reflections on each place don't let you see the screen. You only see reflections.

    in the image we see the lights put to take the photos.

    you can't go to a park and use the apples, because of reflections.
    you see only your own face on bright days.

    you can't focus on the screen, and soon get a headache.

    of course, ANY laptop manufacturer knows that shinny screens are a health he11, and apple knows. But apple only care about taking the innocent consumer money. For the screen problem: pay to your doctor.
  • The0ne - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    I'm also shocked, a bit, at how Anand loves his $2500 macbook :/ My fully spec'ed Vostro 17" ran me $800 with the Anand hot deal at the time. That's 3-4 times less than the macbook. Even being 2lbs more isn't going to justify spending that much on it.

    Sometimes even I don't understand why people prefer one product over even when it's at the extreme end. I love gadgets, I love designing, I love computing and I love retro-gaming but I think $2500 for a 17" laptop with "little" benefit over the competition is a bit much, especially here where most of us also use hot deals to help with our shopping.

  • The0ne - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    replying to my post since I'm not at work and using my Vostro. Here's the spec on it...

    T7500, 4Gig, 320GB, 8400M, WUXGA, DVDRW, SD reader, webcam, wireless.

    I have Windows 7 Ultimate running XP SP3 and Fedora under VMWare with no hiccups. How much versatility, power, performance does Anand really need? That is subjective, being my point. And as Anand pointed out 2GB of RAM is laughable meaning 4 would be nice and 8 is ideal. But trying getting 8GB without adding a few more hundred dollars to it the price. Mind you, this was 2 years ago to boot, although not much has changed in the offering :D

    Sure it's a heavier at 2lbs more but I can live with that for 1/3 the price. Wouldn't I want it lighter? Of course, anyone would if they can afford the luxury. Would I like the extended battery life? Hell yea! But how many situations call for me to use the laptop in areas without an outlet? < 10%

    I'm not sure why Anand didn't include the Vostro in 17" comparison. The WUXGA screen is extremely nice. And while the Apple might be nicer if I were to working in photo's and stuff it's barely needed for "writing." As Anand said, it's the increase in workspace that is the most important.

    I'm not trying to bash the review. I think it's justified one one end but on the other it seems like Anand is all giddy with the new toy :) I know I would be too hahaha But I like to put things in perspective on price/performance.
  • BSMonitor - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    Uhhh try reading the article..

    As a writer, light browsing, word documents, etc gets him around 7 - 8 hours without being stuck next to an outlet. You on the other would have to visit one 3-4 times in those 8 hours with your Vostro.
  • The0ne - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    I read the article.

    The battery life is amazing and I like the uni-design. This is however, not worth the $2500 that "I'm" willing to pay for it compare to my Vostro 17". It does what I need. Stating that Anand is a writer and assuming he has to use the laptop without the PS is at most ludicrous. Even on travels I will be able to find an outlet to plug in. Would I want to not have to plug in all the time, sure...but that's a luxury you're paying for.

    Here's what I find humorous of this particular statement by most laptop users. The user gets it into their head that they don't need to plug in even if the environment has the outlets. Do you know how stupid this person looks to me. There are those that don't even bother looking for an outlet when there is one right next to them. I'm not saying you are or Anand is.

    We are talking about 7-8 hrs here. This many hours on battery alone requires a person to be in a specific situation where an outlet is non-existent. Not many people are going to run into these situation. That is unless you do all your "writing" at the beach.

  • Exelius - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    Sometimes it can be very difficult to find an outlet; namely while traveling. Even now, many airports do not have easy to access outlets. Most airplanes don't either unless you're in first class. Given that the average flight is 2-3 hours and the average laptop battery lasts 1-2 hours, that's not very convenient.

    Ideally, you would be able to treat your laptop like your cell phone: run it all day, plug it in overnight.

    But as for the cost... yeah, it is a bit high. But OS X on a mobile computer is really, really good. This OS is wired tight and performs *extremely* well on a 2 year old laptop with 4 GB RAM, even while punishing the CPU by running Windows 7 in VMware, Firefox with 20 tabs open and a Citrix session in another space (spaces, btw, is the single greatest implementation of virtual desktops I've ever used. It's one of those amazing productivity boosters that you wondered how you ever lived without.)

    Too often, Windows laptops suffer from a disconnect between software and hardware. The fact that you don't have to deal with this is why the MBP can continue to command such a price premium. It's fast, has great battery life, good graphics performance and an awesome keyboard. Good luck finding all of that elsewhere. The MBP is the laptop for users who don't want to compromise.
  • ssj4Gogeta - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    Maybe Microsoft should start making laptops too. They can spend some extra resources in making a Windows version customized for the hardware that they use in it, then sell it for half the price of Macs.

    About the battery life difference when running Windows on Macbooks, I think Apple may be buying top-binned processors from Intel that can idle at very low voltages. The idle voltage may be implemented in software which would explain the difference. If that's the case, I wish they implement it in BIOS or something because I just can't sand OS X but I'd like to have a 7 hour battery-life.
  • pcfxer - Thursday, November 12, 2009 - link

    Ppl don't get it and I understand. They are the same people who don't "get" why some people purchase Infiniti's, BMWs, Mercedes, etc.

    "Why would you buy an Infiniti G37? I get 3-4 times better gas mileage and I drive around town like you do in my Ford Focus!"

    Let's compare:
    - BETTER build quality
    - BETTER electrical components
    - BETTER mechanical components
    - Infiniti CARES about sound to let Bose take almost full control of the interior for sound quality and that's just the SOUND SYSTEM.
    - BETTER CUSTOMER SERVICE (free oil changes, different experience at the dealership during maintenance, etc.)
    - BETTER systems integration, HVAC, comfort and convenience, driving dynamics (steering, shifting, turn signals, lights, etc.)

    THAT is why you pay "MORE" for an Apple. That is it, if you STILL don't get it then just accept that you never will and continue to enjoy your plasticky, flexible, bargain bin PCBs and PAY SO MUCH LESS FOR THE "same thing".
  • pl1n1 - Thursday, November 12, 2009 - link

    yeah makes perfect sense to me, beautiful design and mediocre hardware. I get the part about design I really do,I just don't get the part about paying $1500 more for mediocre hardware. How about lower the profit margins a bit and try a current gen CPU & GPU in the mix.

    my 2c,

    PS: yeah I run a WINDOWS 7 PC with 0S X running virtualized in VMWARE when I need a walk in the sterile garden of Apple, not that Micro$oft is so much better.
  • michael2k - Friday, November 13, 2009 - link

    You get better battery life. It's like the Atom, right? Sacrifice a little performance, get a huge windfall on battery life. Reply
  • windspast - Thursday, April 01, 2010 - link

    stop comparing Apple computers to luxury cars. They aren't. In cars, there's a reason why BMWs, Mercedes, Jaguars cost more. They're usually better. They have better horse power, more room or just better over all. That's why it costs more.

    Macs aren't even CLOSE to that.

    macs cost more
    -worse performance
    -outdated hardware
    -crappy ergonomics


    That's it. It's not a luxury car at all. All of the important feature Mac lacks. Who cares about how it looks if it can't perform worth squat. I want a COMPUTER, not a damn coffee coaster. I don't need a computer to look good; I need one to perform good.

    The i7 out performs the outdated core 2 duo in every way. I'm not paying twice as much for a crappier machine.

    Macs aren't BMWs. Macs are beat up Hondas with a new paint job and a higher price tag.
  • darwinosx - Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - link

    Hmm... that would be news to all of the people who own Apple products and love the personal attention and top quality support they get from Apple. Reply
  • SirKronan - Thursday, November 12, 2009 - link

    I noticed a gain in battery performance when I upgraded to 4GB in my 13" MBP model. The HD and DVD drives seem to spend less time spinning, and the computer has more memory to do work with, rather than spinning mechanical parts.

    I also upgraded to a faster, larger 7200rpm 320GB drive. Performance did improve, but battery life went a little backwards. In real world usage, which involves typing, editing and printing documents most of the time, as well as a lot of web-browsing and emailing, I am consistently getting over 6 hours of usage, generally at 50-70% brightness.

    I've NEVER had a laptop that I could take into a client's house with 10% of the battery left, and still know I had enough to get the job done. I also own an HP laptop, and it takes TWO much larger, thicker extended life batteries to even come close to matching the battery life of the Macbook Pro.

    Seriously, though. Try the battery life tests with 4GB of RAM on the 13" and see if the times don't improve by at least 20-30 min. consistently.
  • omikun - Thursday, November 12, 2009 - link

    One thing Snow Leopard botched was the screen brightness. At least in my case, turning the brightness all the way down wasn't even close to what half brightness used to be. 10.6.2 fixed that. I would think that would have an impact on battery life (maybe 10%)? Reply
  • sprockkets - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    While in general their stuff just works better with OSX for the general public, and this issue will never affect any of them, still, this issue, plus the stupidity of having unlocked iphones legally purchased in other countries lose their ability to teather and other stuff makes for a big disconnect.

    They didn't handle the SATA issue well at all, and the efi update didn't help either when there was no easy downgrade option.
  • martinw - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    Not really news, it's just the way Apple works, particularly towards developers. For some reason they do not admit to faults, they just go away and fix the problem in a future version. Not ideal from a developer angle as I'd prefer to get an acknowledgment that something is definitely wrong and that it will be addressed, but at least the problems do get fixed eventually. Reply
  • windspast - Thursday, April 01, 2010 - link

    I was a bit disappointed with this article. In a technological website, an article like this with many pages only spent ONE single page on the actual TECH. This article only spent ONE PAGE talking about the spec and it wasn't even any comparison on how fast (or slow) this computer is. For a technological website, this article only talked about things that didn't matter.

    When it comes to comparing Mac and DELL or HP, the rest of it is irrelevant. Design is purely objective. I don't care if the MacBookPro is thinner by a tiny little bit. It's not that big of a deal. 2 pounds worth of difference? WHO CARES. I buy a computer for the power that it offers, not whether or not it's thin enough to be a coaster.

    I don't care if the DELL is one or two pounds heavier if it cost half as much and is twice as fast. I don't care if the MacbookPro has a "stylish" design. I think it's plain and boring looking. I don't care if it has a longer battery life. That's not important to me. I want POWER out of my machines without having to sell a kidney to buy one.

    This is a TECH website, not a style website. I bet if you spend one second showing how much the i7 blows the core 2 duo out of the water, none of the other stuff will even matter.

    Mac isn't a BMW or a Lexus or a Cadillac.

    Mac is a beat up Honda with a new paint job and a higher price tag.
  • jhl654321 - Wednesday, April 14, 2010 - link

    Send Gifts. Buy more to send. On this site __
    http:// $$$$$$$$$$$$$____
    ___ _____$$$$$_________$$$$$$$$$$$$_______$$$
    _______ $$$_____________$$$$$$$$$$$________$$$
    _____$$$__ ______________$$$$$$$$$$________$$$$$$
    sneaker: airmax 90, 95 etc $35-42 free shiping.
    boots: UGG etc $60 free shiping.
    Jeans : polo etc $35-49 free shipping
    T-shirts : A&f etc $12-18 free shipping.
    hoodies: 5ive etc $28-40 free shipping
    handbags: Ed hardy etc $35-68 free shipping
    Sunglasses: LV etc $17 free shipping
    Belts: BOSS etc $15 free shipping
    Caps: red bull etc $12-15 free shipping
    Watches:rolex etc $80 free shipping
    How to order
    1. Visit our website browse our products or send the picture of product to us if there are not in our website.
    2. Please email us the product's name (picture), size, quantity that you need.
    3. Negotiate the Price and then you make order confirmation to us.
    4. We tell you Western Union Information for payment transfer.
    5. You transfer the payment via Western Union to us.
    6. You send the track MTCN to us, and tell us you?e Name, Address, and zip code for deliver.
    7. We deliver your products after we receive the payment.
    8. We send the tracking number to you.
    9. Give us feedback after you get the products.
    For more informations, please visit our website:
  • roxyland - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    Anand, while the rest of your article seems like a very objective analysis, I couldn't agree less with your comment "virtually anything you can do in OS X can be done in Windows 7"...

    I don't even want to touch on the subject on UI capabilities on each platfrom, where it all comes down to user preference, but if you were more than the average desktop user, OSX give you all the power and flexibility of UNIX via a shell. It wouldn't even be fair to compare the far limited command line utility available on Windows to a UNIX shell.

    Anyone with experience on either linux or any flavour of unix will tell you how invaluable this is for more serious work on an OS. On these terms Windows 7 is still more comparable to "buying a car with it's hood welded shut".

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now