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  • chui101 - Thursday, October 14, 2010 - link

    "I wanted to take the vaunted MBP and put it in an apples-to-apples comparison"

    Shouldn't that be an *Apple*-to apples comparison? :D
    Reply
  • numberoneoppa - Thursday, October 14, 2010 - link

    o ho - i see what you did there. Reply
  • seanleeforever - Tuesday, October 19, 2010 - link

    the article is very well written. However, i would say that comparison section was not well justified.
    i mean.. look at the price.... if you want to do a "apple to apple" comparison, aren't you suppose to have product in the same ball park? at least for products that carries similar MSRP (i am not even talking about street price, which we all know you can easily get 30% off for all dell).

    i know anand review are based on computers that send to you for reviewing at the manufacture's cost, and this chart is probably the best anand can gather. but reading this review is akin to read, say a MB S550 destroies Toyota corolla in term of comfort and features. OKAY.. what i really know is does MB S550 a better vehicle than Lexus LS600. (besdies, the Macbook seems to carry a better screen, but doesn't offer much else if you want to run windows)

    i recently discovered you can easily buy a AFFS screen from ebay and swap it yourself. what this means is that instead of buying expensive tablet IPS/AFFS screen, one can just spend 75 dollars on ebay and get a 8 bit AFFS screen for computers such as Thinkpad X200/X201, which will be infinity better than TN of any kind. i am shocked that lenovo doesn't make it a option.

    anyhow. good write up, but next time please do a "apple" to "apple" comparison.
    Reply
  • newrigel - Saturday, November 27, 2010 - link

    Yeah, everyone's a tech. Reply
  • Maxed Out - Thursday, October 14, 2010 - link

    I have been running Windows 7 Ultimate from the beta stage and up on my MacBook Pro 17" (Early 2008) and have had no real problems. Before 7 I was running Vista Ultimate x64, so no real surprises. The only real gripe would be that the key (Windows=command & ALT=option) positions and the lack of a contextual menu key, but in the Mac world, right click has been frowned upon by Steve and the rest of the board, so i understand that.

    The only bad thing I have to say is that, yes the MacBook runs hot in Mac OS, but apple has not done anything to port the ASIC driver that controls the fans, it there for runs even hotter in Windows.
    Reply
  • Stokestack - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    A far bigger annoyance is the lack of a real Delete key. Alone among manufacturers, Apple has only a Backspace key (which they mislabel "delete"). Meanwhile, they have a dedicated Eject key, for seldom-used optical media. Oh, and they decided that they had to put a hardware delay on Eject, to prevent the bloody mayhem of accidentally ejecting a disc. That prevents you from remapping it as a Delete key.

    Apple could easily have solved both problems by replacing Eject with a real Delete key, and making Eject a secondary function on some other key (or even on the same one). Instead, they require you to use a secret two-handed key combination to delete a character. The vast majority of users spend their time arrowing to the right across the text they want to delete and then backspacing over it. Yes, that's "elegant."

    The reviewer also should have hammered the asinine glossy screen, and lack of a matte option. It makes no sense: The computer most likely to actually leave the house is the one denied common-sense options like a matte screen. Glossy screens suck in all conditions; even in a pitch-black room, you see YOURSELF in the screen because you're illuminated by it. Those "deep blacks" and "rich colors" you were promised with a glossy screen are neither deep nor rich when washed out by the sheen of reflection that covers them 100% of the time.
    Reply
  • JS - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    I definitely prefer glossy screens on desktops. To me, seeing a vague reflection of yourself under certain lighting conditions is nothing compared to the "sparkling" surface finish of all matte screens that I have used so far.

    It's a matter of taste.
    Reply
  • SoCalBoomer - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    That would be fine - if he were reviewing a desktop. He's reviewing a laptop and on a laptop, a glossy screen is asinine! :D Reply
  • Tros - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    I'm using both a matte desktop screen (Samsung P2570HD) and a MBP side by side right now. Guess what. I can read things easier on the glossy high-contrast screen better than on the matte-monitor. The blacks are deeper, the whites are brighter. I can also read on the MBP outside (Texas).

    I would like to think that this isn't because of glossy vs matte, but because of contrast, period. I have another laptop around here with a glossy screen, and have a hard time reading it in a lit room.
    Reply
  • B3an - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    High contrast will make a screen easier to read and whatever, but if that MBP had a matte screen it would be yet more easy to see with no distractions. The whole point of a display is to see what's displayed on it, not to see what's reflected on it, which is also going to affect colour accuracy. Glossy screens are totally not usable as far as i'm concerned.

    Even in the pics posted here it looks ridiculous, imagine how much better and easier to see that screen would be outside without all them reflections over it.
    Reply
  • hybrid2d4x4 - Saturday, October 16, 2010 - link

    I agree. The outdoor pic on the conclusion page says it all: completely useless. The high contrast might help a little but apple are pushing too far past the typical glossy displays with their stupid glass surfaces, IMO. Reply
  • VivekGowri - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    Interestingly, I'm the other way around. I *need* a matte screen on a desktop, I can live without on a notebook. But I did comment on the lack of a matte screen option....It's a good reason to spring for an MBP 15er, I guess....LOL. Reply
  • ninjaquick - Tuesday, October 19, 2010 - link

    Its a matte-r of quality. NEC sells the most amazing screens I've ever seen, none are Glossy and my Dell 2407WFP can out contrast and out color anything but the NECs, glossy or no.
    Gloss is a way to get a bad panel to look better, but it is only for cutting costs.
    Reply
  • Stuka87 - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    Function-Delete works as a normal PC style delete. It requires two hands, but I use it daily so I have gotten used to it. Reply
  • ElusiveBush - Sunday, October 17, 2010 - link

    You can use fn+delete to use backspace as a proper delete key. Clunky, but better than nothing, I guess. Reply
  • rwei - Thursday, October 14, 2010 - link

    when I saw that you now automatically include a reference to the still-yet-to-arrive Envy in parentheses. Go HP! Reply
  • VivekGowri - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    I wish they would just send us one and save us the trouble.... Reply
  • AstroGuardian - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    Manufacturers are too often fast on announcements rather than actual releases. It's just a game...

    Oh, i almost forgot... Core 2 Duo is just catastrophic solution for such notebook... :(
    Reply
  • mikeev - Thursday, October 14, 2010 - link

    The reason why the battery life is so terrible in windows is that the discrete GPU is enabled 100% of the time, yet while in OSX it has Apple's version of "Optimus" with switching between the GPU and IGP. It's also the reason why that little corner in the upper right of my macbook pro is always so hot in Win7 :) Reply
  • VivekGowri - Thursday, October 14, 2010 - link

    The 13" MBP doesn't have a GPU, just the IGP. But that's why the 15 and 17 tend to get even less battery life, yes. Reply
  • MrDiSante - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    Regardless, Apple is notorious for shoddy Windows drivers (and shoddy Windows software in general - iTunes, Safari, QuickTime, need I go on?) Reply
  • tipoo - Thursday, October 14, 2010 - link

    The 13'er doesn't have a dGPU. Must be something else. Reply
  • dagamer34 - Thursday, October 14, 2010 - link

    Charging $1200-1500 for what is essentially a 2 year old laptop is one reason why I can only buy a MacBook Pro every 2-3 years where the "Apple tax" really rears it's head when it comes to performance per dollar across all lines of notebooks. Reply
  • solipsism - Thursday, October 14, 2010 - link

    “If ASUS can manage to fit a Core 2010 processor, the chipset, and a dedicated graphics card into a system with similar dimensions to the MBP13 and a 33% larger battery, then Apple could have too. Simple as that.”

    How is it as simple as that? I’ve seen the Asus to which you refer and it’s significantly thicker over most of the chassis. That means more vertical space for cooling and more room for heat sinks fan or whatever for placing a dGPU. It also means more vertical space for the battery so even if it’s 33% larger it could have a lower footprint thus allowing the Asus MoBo be larger for that dGPU.

    If you considered this and now for a fact that the MoBo isn’t larger then please post some images or links to images disproving this possible reason.

    "Apple products aren’t reknowned for their value for money quotient, but even by Apple standards, this is pretty bad.”

    If you are going to define “value” as the cost of a computer based on the type of processor used or it’s rating in a speed bench then you should denote that is exactly what you mean, because there is a lot of value that can be had from a system that focuses on a complete package and has a resale “value” much higher than other vendor’s systems. By what I assume must be your definition of “value” any notebook is crap because a desktop can be had at a cheaper price with a faster processor.

    Finally, you seem to be basing your price of the entire product on the performance of the CPU. How does this make any sense? Personally, I’d rather have a C2D with a better GPU than the i3 with IntelHD. I’m also willing to pay more for a better chassis, better display, better trackpad and those little things that this article triumphed and then latter pooh-poohed as being irrelevant to the cost of the entire system.

    if you need/want the fastest the processor that’s fine, but for many the CPU is already fast enough, it’s the other things that are lacking in most vendor’s machines. Same goes for the display resolution. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people determine which is “best” by only looking at the resolution and aspect ratio.

    Honestly, I wish more PC and CE companies would focus on details that aren’t easy to market on a spec sheet.
    Reply
  • VivekGowri - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    What about the Sony VAIO Z? That's smaller, and has the Core i5, a dGPU, plus space for two solid state drives (yes, I know it's significantly more expensive). The Asus was just an example, there's plenty of other 13" notebooks to choose from that have Core 2010 and a dedicated graphics card.

    See, the MBP13 and 13" Aluminum MacBook were a decent value right until most of the world moved to Core i3/5/7. A $1200 notebook with a two year old processor is not a good value, regardless of how you try to spin it.
    Reply
  • GeorgeH - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    Smaller? The Z is ~120% of a 13" MBP. Reply
  • VivekGowri - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    Wait, what? The VAIO Z weighs 3.04lbs...that's 50% less than an MBP13. Same thickness as the MBP (don't believe the specsheet; the body is an inch across, but the rubber grips in the back raise it up higher), smaller footprint, etc. Reply
  • GeorgeH - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    Aluminum is heavier (denser) than plastic. You're right about the footprint, and I acknowledge the Vaio has the little foot, but I'd bet my lunch money the Z displaces more volume.

    Maybe you can get Apple and Sony to agree to a liquid submersion test? ;)
    Reply
  • VivekGowri - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    http://www.apple.com/macbookpro/specs-13inch.html

    Click the Specifications tab here.
    http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet...

    Do the math. If it's got a smaller footprint and is nearly the same thickness, how would it displace more volume?

    And for the record, the Z is carbon fibre, not plastic.
    Reply
  • doobydoo - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    We have both the 13 inch macbook pro and the Sony Vaio Z, and the Sony Vaio Z is significantly lighter, smaller, and faster (we have one of the RAID SSD Models). It also looks more stylish, has at least as good build quality, and all the other features you might look for such as an illuminated keyboard.

    We have a case specifically for the Macbook pro which fits snugly, but when we put the Vaio in there there are inches of room all around the case, so I am very confident that the Vaio is significantly smaller in terms of volume, as well as the already proven weight and footprint.

    It's a better all round laptop, extremely long battery life, every good feature you would need, stays extremely cool (whilst running Windows 7), lightning fast even in Stamina mode (6-8 hours battery), smaller, much lighter, amazing screen, and excellent build quality.

    I'd recommend the Vaio every day of the week.

    To respond to another comment, where the guy said that Apples are partially more expensive due to the development costs of OS X, are you completely forgetting that every laptop comes with an OS, which adds to their cost too? And a better OS, at that.
    Reply
  • B3an - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    I agree. I dont own either laptop but have used the Sony Vaio Z and this Macbook Pro. The Sony Vaio Z is literally better in every way i can think of. And it's definitely smaller and lighter as you say.

    It kinda makes me sick that people buy Apple products when there's better alternatives that are actually worth the money they cost and have up to date hardware.
    Reply
  • GeorgeH - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    Carbon fiber is lighter than aluminum too. :)

    I did the math before making the first post - here are the results:

    13"MBP - 108.5 in^3
    15"MBP - 133.9 in^3
    Z - 102.9-133.8 in^3

    The Z isn't a conveniently rectangular like the MBP, so volume is much harder to measure. Best possible case it's 95% of a 13" MBP, worst case it's essentially the same size as a 15" MBP. My money is on it being much closer to the latter than the former. It certainly feels smaller, but when you're trying to cram components into a chassis what something feels like is kind of irrelevant.
    Reply
  • doobydoo - Saturday, October 16, 2010 - link

    Of course, when buying or using a laptop, what it 'feels like' is the only relevance, the actual imperceivable size being absolutely irrelevant.

    That being said, I have measured the height of the Vaio at the front and the back, and both the front and the back measurements specified by the manufacturer include 0.1 and 0.2 extra for the feet (respectively). The actual sizes are 0.9 at the front and 1.1 at the back (excluding the feet).

    Applying these dimensions gives an overall 102.92 cubic inches, significantly less than both Apples, which backs up the easy-to-tell feeling you get when you see them both next to each other.

    So Sony has managed to put together a significantly faster laptop (with i7 processor and RAID SSD's as well as dedicated GPU), in a package which is smaller, lighter, and more stylish than an Apple, and one which can run Windows 7 without overheating.
    Reply
  • mlambert890 - Saturday, October 16, 2010 - link

    This has to be one of the craziest discussions I've ever seen... Dude... Take your 13" MBP and go to a Sony store with it... Put it next to a MacBook. You're measuring volumes and water displacement on a laptop. You don't see how that's crazy?

    The Z is a POUND and a HALF lighter and is OVER half an inch shorter in depth. It is smaller in every way that matters.

    I don't own either laptop or particularly care, but it's just mind boggling the lengths a fanboy can go to not "lose" on a point.

    Maybe Apple will make a smaller, faster laptop than the Z. Right now they don't. If that troubles your soul to the gore for some reason just fall back on "well it doesn't run OSX!". At least that makes SOME kind of sense.
    Reply
  • GeorgeH - Saturday, October 16, 2010 - link

    I don't own a MBP (or any other Apple products.) Personally I'd much rather have the Z than 13" MBP, and would recommend that anyone with the cash and no desire for OSX choose the Z as well.

    This was only about the engineering aspect of the thing, more specifically being able to cram ~3-5 new chips (dGPU and associated memory) and their associated cooling and peripheral components into the MBP to support Intel's newest CPUs. The claim was made that the Z was smaller but had more inside it, and I merely disagree that the Z actually is smaller.

    In other words, the above is just a discussion about making computer hardware. That you thought otherwise is your fanboy malfunction, not mine. :)
    Reply
  • softdrinkviking - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    It strikes me as interesting that Apple devotes so much time and money to hardware integration. It undoubtedly adds to the development time and costs for any small change that goes into a new model. Apple kind of locks their designs in place down to the smallest detail.
    That's probably one reason why there isn't a new CPU; the development costs for all of that micro-managed integration are so astronomically high, and the process takes so long, that Apple can't get a CPU refresh to the public this year.

    Perhaps the 'integrated approach' is not such a good thing if it keeps Apple from updating its CPUs to a competetive level.

    I also don't understand why people have developed software to run windows on macs.. if the added value of a mac is the integration of the OS and the carefully choosen components, doesn't it kind of defeat the purpose of the mac experience?
    Is there some kind of practical and necessary reason for it? Do mac owners sometimes get sick of OSX and install Win 7 just for a change of pace?

    Side notes:
    1 I don't think it's helpful to compare notebooks to desktops on a price/performance basis.

    2 The value of 'little things' is too subjective to make a determination in the price of the MBP or any other laptop. Because of that, it's not really useful criteria for a PC to PC comparison. That is why, at least i think it's why, that Vivek stuck to things that can be measured and show their effects in benchmarks that show performance in tasks that people actual use.

    The fact is, everybody has different tastes in keyboards and screens and trackpads and those sorts of things, so maybe an Acer is more desirable to some people, and should therefore demand a premium.
    Basically, Apple is charging a little less than double the price of a 13" windows/linux/chrome laptop for mac OS and their choice of hardware. If you like both of those things to the tune of about double a windows machine, then you buy it.
    It should not be hard, even for a mac fanboi, to see the lack of value in a MBP for someone who doesn't have a preference for Mac OS or Apple's hardware choices. (which is what this article is supposed to be about "Can it be a Decent Windows Laptop?")
    Reply
  • Johnmcl7 - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    The Vaio Z11/12/13 actually goes up to an i7 and can have four SSD drives in a chassis that's smaller and lighter than the Apple machine. Anandtech prefer to ignore the Z series and Sony in general, apparently Sony wouldn't give them one but the fact that these machines existence makes an article like this nonsense probably has a large part in it. I think it's laughable reading such rubbish as the MBP having no equal etc. in the PC market when Sony comfortably exceed it, I'm using an older Z series which trashes the MBP in pretty much every area going. Its smaller and lighter using a carbon fibre chassis, I'd put the build quality of the Vaio as better, it packs in a 3Ghz C2D processor, blu-ray writer and 1600x900 screen none of which the Apple offers. With the 256GB SSD I was able to buy it brand new for the same price as an entry level Macbook as it's an older model which is still far better than the Apple version.

    John
    Reply
  • slickr - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    How about Apple actually focused on what IS important - the CPU, GPU, Battery, HD, etc.. instead of few gimmicky "features" if you can even call them that that people droll over. You have to be pretty stupid to think that few gimmicks are more valuable than a newer, faster, quieter and at the same time cheaper notebook.

    While the outside design is nice, there are hundreds of notebooks out there that are cheaper, faster, more powerful and better looking than the Apple macbook pro 13.
    Reply
  • xype - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    Cheaper, faster, more powerful yes, better looking no. Not hundreds, not dozens and, at best, a couple, _if_ you simply like a different style (ie, black case, shiny case, etc).

    As for the "stupid" comment: it has nothing to do with stupid, and everything to do with priorities. And, if we're being honest, Apple seems to hit a sweet spot with the general populace there. And they know that will sell them more laptops and pleasing the 0.5% of the market that is made of hardcore geeks.
    Reply
  • Piet Boer Mienjong - Thursday, December 30, 2010 - link

    I think Apple does focus on what is important. How cool it will look when using it at the local coffee place. Reply
  • efeman - Thursday, October 14, 2010 - link

    My question is, why wasn't this test done using a 15" MBP? It seems like the biggest gripe is the lack of a proper processor, so wouldn't it make sense to use a model with more recent specs? Reply
  • Zink - Thursday, October 14, 2010 - link

    I like your giant lens flare in the last picture.
    While MacBooks are extremely nice laptops they cost too much money for me. If I ever drop my backpack or someone accidentally steps on it there goes two months of pay. I have resigned myself to using an EOL IBM X40 with a 4GB compact flash SSD that I got for a total of $240 dollars of ebay. It runs Chrome, Office and Starcraft fine so it does everything I need and has an awsome keyboard and 4h of battery life. The best part is that besides being made of magnesium, it is so cheap that I don't have to worry about dinting it or scratching it which makes it much more functional.
    Reply
  • Spazweasel - Thursday, October 14, 2010 - link

    People comment on how much more a Mac costs than something comparable in the PC world. Well, as pointed out, there's good reason.

    1. Higher quality hardware. Yes, MacBooks ARE higher-quality, factually. Better display, better rigidity, well-chosen components. None of that is free. You pay for that case and display and custom motherboard and magnetic power connector; they're not options. Ferrari is not obligated to offer the 596 with a 2-liter 4-cylinder engine. Apple is not in the business of hardware subsidy or entry-level products.

    When you buy a Mac, you're not in the bargain-basement nor should you expect to be.

    2. Integration and testing. Apple is obsessive-compulsive about choosing what components go in into its products (perhaps excessively so) and how they are integrated together. None of that process is free.

    When you buy a Mac, you buy your amortized portion of the hardware development costs.

    3. OSX. Development of operating system software is not free. Apple spends hundreds of millions... perhaps billions.. of dollars on OSX development.

    When you buy a Mac, you buy your amortized portion of the software development costs, and if you choose to not take advantage of that with OSX, that's not Apple's problem. Nor are they in any way obligated to make it optional; since they are the manufacturer of both the software and the hardware they have no requirement to sell them separately. When you buy a Mac, you know you're buying OSX with it.

    It all comes down to this: Apple spends a lot of money developing its products. They're not about to write that off and just price solely based on cost-of-goods... not on Macs, not on iPhones, not on iPods, not on iPads. R&D is amortized among the buyers, and that's how it should be. This isn't hardware welfare; Apple spends lots of money on development so you get to spend lots of money on product. You do get something for the extra money, but if that extra something isn't worth it to you, or you can't afford it, no MacBook for you. You have hundreds of other choices available. Go pick one.

    I did. I don't own any Macs. I own several PCs, an iPhone, an AppleTV and an iPad, but no Macs. And somehow... I don't resent Apple for it. Must be something wrong with me.
    Reply
  • VivekGowri - Thursday, October 14, 2010 - link

    That's basically the point I was trying to get across in the conclusion - the MBP is a great notebook regardless of what OS you prefer, but if you're not planning to run OS X, there's not really much reason to pay a whole lot more for it. Reply
  • yyrkoon - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    1. In the PC market, components which are equal or better than "apple grade" hardware can be had for far less. Then with equivalent hardware, laptops are also 30%-50% less in cost. This is a fact. Perhaps these laptops do not have an aluminum chassis . . .but who cares ? Its a laptop, not a football. Treat it as such.

    2. Perhaps, but the result is less hardware options. You have the "freedom" to chose from limited hardware, and software. Limited expandability for multiple reasons is well known in their desktops. Laptops matter less to an extent.

    3 OSX is based on BSD. In case that does not register. That means Apple makes money, by taking a free operating system, and adding additional features. Do they in return help the BSD Open source community ? You know, I really do not know. But I bet they do not.

    Apple, and OSX are not "better". They are only different. They offer more secure features out of the box as compared to Windows. One could also say that OSX is very stable, at the cost of hardware support. But any computer, with any operating system can be rock solid stable if you pick your hardware carefully. OSX also "just works" at the additional cost of money.

    Either way, Apple is not about freedom. Perhaps if you wanted, you can run Windows, or even Linux on any Apple system. But then the question would be "why?". It is a system, with no other operating system drivers, and more often than not. Dated / limited hardware. In a lot of respects. It is about as proprietary as an X86 based system cane be.

    Now, with all the above said. Does that make Apple a bad product ? Not necessarily. People who do not have the time or inclination to learn how to build / use their given "PCs", with plenty of money can be served well by just about anything. Apple does use good hardware, usually has good out of the box security( so long as you use OSX ). So for those who do not have the time, or inclination to build, or learn how to use a "PC". It is not a bad option. Basically though, its market segment is " a computer system for dummies".

    For those of us who do have the time, and know how to use many operating systems ( or even just Windows ). It makes far less sense. Windows can be every bit as stable, and secure. *If* you know what you're doing. Especially if you're careful about picking the best cost effective hardware you can get. Not to mention. If you're a gamer. Windows is pretty much the only option where computers are concerned. Microsoft also is not about "freedom". However, at least I am not obligated to use Microsoft hardware to use Windows. Or even to use Windows period.
    Reply
  • Penti - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    OS X is based on a Carnegie Mellon Mach/BSD hybrid kernel and was BSD before 386BSD or any free version of BSD was released, it always used a GNU building environment. Actually some of the Mach kernel features where later implemented in BSD and FreeBSD. OS X today however do include a lot of free and open source software, like SAMBA, Python, Perl, Dtrace, GCC, LLVM, KHTML/Webkit, Xorg (alternatively), a Unix userland with Bash etc. It's based on Nextstep however. But that it upgraded it's BSD4.3 bits from *BSDs to 4.4 doesn't make it a FreeBSD derivative, it also don't use the ELF binary format but the Mach-O binary format, the format that had fat binaries (in production/deployed) in 1994 i.e. universal binaries across 4 architectures. It also has it's own driver infrastructure, and so on. It's actually a predecessor to the *BSD's. It is it's own kernel. Plus the OO runtime and framework Cocoa is based on Nextstep/Openstep environment. Without it, it would just have been another failure to write/use a new kernel architecture for the mac. It's where Taligent etc failed. Reply
  • johnspierce - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    What, Windows 7 development was free?

    I don't buy the argument Macs should cost more because of OSX. I use OSX and there are many things to like about it, but Win7 is very nice too. There are plenty of annoying things about OSX to keep me from saying it's worth a *premium* price over a Windows laptop simply because of the OS. Besides, you can buy OSX outright for $100, so how does that justify a $1400 laptop with an ancient CPU?

    The new 15" i5 MBP is expensive, but worth the money because the build quality is excellent, it has a fantastic screen and GPU, plus it's speedy. And MBP's have the best keyboards and touchpads regardless of platform.

    The 13" MBP at $300 cheaper for the 2.66 C2D processor is just simply overpriced. It would be interesting to see a wholesale cost breakdown on the 13" and 15"; I'm betting profit margin on those 13" MBP's is quite a bit larger.

    I would love to buy a 13" MBP because I love the size, but I won't buy it until Apple puts a current gen CPU in it.

    Here's hoping they add at least an i3 13" next week in the "Back to the Mac" announcements.

    OH and please Apple do something about the frigging FINDER! That damn thing is just ancient and needs to be rewritten. That's one place where Windows7 just spanks OSX. I used Pathfinder on OSX for a Finder replacement, but I shouldn't have to pay $40 to get a decent file explorer for an OS many people say is supposedly "the best".
    Reply
  • Spazweasel - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    "What, Windows 7 development was free?"

    No, but its cost of development is amortized over many more users than OSX. When you buy Windows, your slice of the development costs pie is smaller.

    "Besides, you can buy OSX outright for $100"

    Yes, you can buy OSX outright for $100. You cannot legally run it on non-Apple hardware. Some of us take that kind of thing seriously. I also don't pirate software, music, or video; I'm 100% licensed. Does that make me better than people who aren't 100% licensed? Well, yeah. It does.

    I do agree about the Finder.

    As for folks who say that OSX is just FreeBSD... no. The kernel is Mach, many of the command line utils come from FreeBSD, some of the internal services are also from FreeBSD, but the things that make OSX special do NOT come from FreeBSD. The user interface and non-command-line utilities are Apple. It's important what goes on under the hood, but for a consumer-facing product, the UI is every bit as important.

    And for other folks who think that "easy to use" means "only dummies use it" ... where do I start with just how wrong that is on so many levels?
    Reply
  • johnspierce - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    I was not suggesting Pirating OSX, I was making the point that the cost of the OS from Apple is only $100, so obviously the OS itself is not really a factor in why MBP's are expensive.

    The majority of the expense is in higher quality components and build, but my point is that the 15" i5 MBP is only $300 higher than the 2.6 ghz Core 2 Duo MBP 13" and the i5 is between 50% and 100% faster depending on the task.

    Even at the retail level C2D CPU's are about 1/3 the cost of i5's, so I will say it again, the MBP 13" is overpriced especially when you compare the value received with Apple's own 15" MBP.

    I for one was extremely disappointed when Apple announced their refresh and the MBP 13 had a very minor upgrade in my opinion. Most people won't even notice the difference between the NVidia 320 and the old 9400, a faster CPU would be more usable by most people in a small laptop.

    When that happened I knew I would have to wait at minimum another 6 months to a year before Apple would make the replacement laptop I want and need.

    cheers,
    JP
    Reply
  • softdrinkviking - Saturday, October 16, 2010 - link

    There hasn't been an adequate court ruling on the legality of runnig something like OSX on a non Mac yet.
    I don't believe it will ever hold up in court. I'm not saying I care, actually I can't imagine anyone who was prying at the alter of jobs not buying a Mac,
    But saying that you take that particular legality seriously is clearly fanatical.

    However, I do agree about the OSX costs. Obviously, Mac is charging to do system integration, and also to pay for their frivolous devices, like ATV.
    "Only dummies?" that's not true, but I definintly think that OSX is designed for people who are less computer savvy. Mac has always prided itself on the easy user interface and the human interactive element. It just is what it is. I think some folks who dislike OSX feel a kind of resentment that it creates too big of a rift between the hardware and the user, and all of the implications therein.
    Reply
  • seapeople - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    The entire argument that "Macs have to be more expensive because Apple has to pay for..." is a moot point, because Apple makes GOBS of money off EVERYTHING they sell, especially including Macbook Pros. Macs are more expensive than PC's marginally because they cost more to make, but substantially because Apple simply has a product/brand name combination so desirable by people that they can sell it at huge price markups.

    To summarize: yes, there is a good reason that Macs are more expensive than PC's... it's because Apple likes to make money, and who can blame them? If you buy a $1500 laptop from Dell, you get ~$1400 of premium hardware crammed into a cheap plastic case with barely adequate build quality that trades quality for cheapness in every place you can see just so Dell can squeeze a $50 margin out of the machine and stay afloat through their mass marketing ability, whereas if you buy a $1500 laptop from Apple you get ~$700 of hardware fitted with top of the line externals including a unique and beautiful aluminum-alloy chassis, premium screen, and best-in-class touchpad that allows Apple to pull down a $500 margin and remain as the only company in the world with no debt. The Dell machine appeals to value-hungry tecno-inspired nerds who can give you the exact model number of the processor in their cheap plastic-looking machine, while the Apple machine appeals to normal people who don't necessarily know why their new shiny computer doesn't have a right click option but they're too embarrassed to ask and so just ignore it.
    Reply
  • zefyr - Thursday, October 14, 2010 - link

    I would really like to see you include the HP envy 14 in your comparison. Of all the pc laptops i think its the most comparable. Reply
  • VivekGowri - Thursday, October 14, 2010 - link

    If you can get HP to send us one, we'd certainly include it. We've to date been unable to get HP to respond to our request for a review unit, so that ball is squarely in their court, not ours. Reply
  • Friendly0Fire - Sunday, October 17, 2010 - link

    I'm pretty sure this might have to do with their supply issues with the Radiance screen.

    To be honest, I find these Mac articles a little useless and yes, biased, if you don't include the direct competition to them. I'm not buying an Asus for a stylish aluminum body or a super-high quality display, I'm buying one because it offers tremendous bang for your buck, great performance and acceptable quality. If I wanted a Mac and looked at options similar to it, I'd bring up a Vaio Z and an Envy 14 and then I'd make a strict comparison between the three. Both of those laptops would most likely utterly trash the Macbook Pro 13 and even then 15.

    It's obvious that comparing a BMW to a Hyundai, the BMW will win (well, as long as price isn't a factor, which it of course isn't here). It isn't as obvious if you also get the Mercedes and the Lexus in the mix.

    I understand that you don't have the bazillions that'd be required to buy out and test every laptop around, yet I can't shake the feeling that you're putting out a grossly wrong picture that only casts Apple in a near-godly figure, which annoys the hell out of me. If other, comparable choices are available for less money, it's just doing the consumer a disservice not to clearly mention it.
    Reply
  • Thermogenic - Thursday, October 14, 2010 - link

    Why not let the Alienware use it's 335M? Reply
  • VivekGowri - Thursday, October 14, 2010 - link

    That's just a quirk in the graph's labeling, I think. I'm pretty sure Jarred didn't artificially limit the Alienware's performance when he tested it. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    Sorry, my mistake on a few charts. I retested the M11x R2 using the IGP at one point to show how it compared with the AMD HD 4200 IGP. Those results were put in the application charts, which changed the scores in PCMark and 3DMark (particularly in the latter). I've updated the charts with the correct 335M scores. Thanks for the catch! Reply
  • Focher - Thursday, October 14, 2010 - link

    What I find interesting in the review - which was quite thorough and fair - is that the "value" part really came down to only the price-to-CPU comparison. In reading your section about the display, you castigate other manufacturers for cutting corners (and costs) on the display quality and compliment Apple. It seems Apple made the same call, but opted for the higher quality display and the lower quality (in terms of processing power) CPU. I only would point out that even the review mentions that the processing power of the C2D CPU is more than sufficient for typical usage patterns.

    I will admit my bias that Apple's industrial design tends to have me at hello, and for raw processing power I would never consider a notebook anyway.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    Here's the thing: the CPU and IGP should be going for a song these days, which means that the cost of all the hardware minus the chassis and LCD is significantly less than the competition. Take the $1000 ASUS N82Jv and put the MBP13 chassis and LCD in there, and by all means it's a $1200 laptop that we'd happily recommend. (That would be $100 extra for the LCD, and $100 extra to make the chassis better.) Unfortunately, what Apple has done is to take something more like a $600 laptop, add in a good chassis and LCD, and they're charging $1200 for it.

    Based on the components, design, peripherals, etc., the MBP13 should go for more like $1000, and the standard MacBook could go for as little as $750, but of course Apple has no interest in lowering prices that far as long as people are willing to pay $1000 and $1200.
    Reply
  • solipsism - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    You’re only looking at a few aspects of the total product. Intel’s Price List doesn’t have the C2Ds being that much cheaper than the newer chips. Again, it seems like the lesser of two evils over using Core-i + IntelHD or sticking with C2D for a generation and having a better dGPU.

    I think too many companies focus only what can be marketed on a spec sheet and not what is useful for the average user. Anand readers are not the average user. This means compromises, just like a notebook-grade components cost more and are slower than desktop-greade components.

    But the worst conclusion is determining what a product *should* go for by simply looking at a component or a few components of another product. Did you consider the cost of milling the aluminium chassis. Did you consider the cost of using green, recyclable materials and manufacturing methods (I don’t care about this but it does affect the cost)?

    But most importantly, it doesn’t sound like you considered supply and demand? I know this a tech-based site but in business you sell a product at what the market can bare in order to maximize your profits. You don’t look at the same of a few parts of a competitor and then match their price regardless of profit. That’s asinine!

    Let’s not forget that Apple has a “boutique”-like product line while most other big vendors have excessive model numbers. They simply can’t command the price point that Apple can. That doesn’t mean they are being altruistic;, they would get more profit from customers if they could.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    I'm completely aware of the fact that Apple has a business and a boutique mentality. That doesn't mean I have to support that idea, though, and it's one of the things that makes me despise Macs. Call it what you will, but the facts are Apple overcharges compared to the vast majority of Windows PCs. (Sony also fits that description in my book.) Yes, quality costs extra, but they're milking it pretty hard.

    The MacBook 2009 model was virtually the same as the current model. The only real change is the chipset/IGP, which was really trivial in my book. Yes, the 320M does a lot for graphics performance, but on the R&D side Apple didn't have to do anything really. Then they took the profits and didn't pass them on, and it's working fine based on sales so who can really fault them? At the same time, I'm not going to praise them for their actions -- just like I don't praise Microsoft for charging an arm and a leg for Office, which hasn't radically improved in over a decade. (Yes, I could easily do 99% of what I need with Office '97.)

    So congrats to Apple for making money. I only wish the competition would step up to the plate a bit and compete on quality, features, price, etc. rather than just giving the high end and higher margins away. ASUS keeps trying to get a piece of the pie, but they keep missing on the LCD and build quality while easily winning the performance and other features. Give me the N82Jv with a better chassis, LCD, and larger battery for under $1200 and I'd never even consider a MacBook Pro.
    Reply
  • podpi - Thursday, October 14, 2010 - link

    answers all my questions, was no effort to read and all your recommendations seem spot on the money too! Reply
  • dexpert - Thursday, October 14, 2010 - link

    I'd like to point out a small error. You stated that the 13" MacBook Pro has a slightly faster CPU than the white MacBook, 2.4GHz vs. 2.26. Actually, the white MB currently has the same 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo as the low-end MBP.

    I've also seen several recent articles stating that the white MacBook has a bad display. While that was certainly true for the pre-unibody models, the newer plastic unibody MacBooks have much better displays. The viewing angles are much better (for TN panels anyway), it's much brighter and the contrast has been improved a lot as well. I'd say the unibody white MacBook's display is basically a 13" MacBook Pro's display with somewhat less contrast.
    Reply
  • VivekGowri - Thursday, October 14, 2010 - link

    Oops, my bad. I'll fix that. But putting them side by side, you can pretty clearly see that the MBP is pretty far superior to the unibody plastic MacBook. Reply
  • dexpert - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    Oh yeah, I definitely agree that the 13" MBP is definitely the better value of the two. Reply
  • EclipsedAurora - Thursday, October 14, 2010 - link

    >>>The aluminum unibody construction, faster CPU (2.4GHz vs 2.26), RAM upgrade (4GB vs 2GB), backlit keyboard, and SD card reader are just bonuses. It’s thinner, lighter, and has more features, along with a far better display.

    Such an aluminum design was originally used by Sony in her original 2003 VAIO Z. Japanese notebook leader like Toshiba, Fujitsu and Sony have long dumped aluminium design in favour carbon fiber chasis to further reduce weight. Of course most of these high end models are not available world wide.

    Macbook Pro 13" has a nearly 2kg weight, which is too heavy in today's standard. In comparation, latest 13" VAIO Z weights at 1.39kg only even with similar 6 cells battery, dedicated GPU, TPM and fingerprint security hardware! Furthermore, a 600g reduction can let you bring another iPaq or VAIO X on the street!
    Reply
  • disappointed1 - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    As per your often repeated advice (as recently as in http://www.anandtech.com/show/3973/nvidias-geforce...
    "As we’ve mentioned before we’re not huge fans of synthetic tests like 3DMark since they encourage non-useful driver optimizations for the benchmark instead of real games..."

    3DMark is a pure synthetic and offers no useful information on actual relevant performance - and worse, its purchase is now required (Vantage) in order to be run at home by readers looking to compare. 3DMarks are meaningless, arbitrary numbers.

    Performance across product generations isn't really any different than performance across major product categories within the same generation, and could just as easily be measured with a scalable real-world application, should you choose to maintain one in your benchmark suite. I think Far Cry 2 would be a prime candidate in this respect. Give us something useful, like frames-per-second in an actual game.
    Reply
  • Sufo - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    mm, while i agree with you to an extent, i think "3DMarks are meaningless, arbitrary numbers." is something of an overstatement - and i'm sure you yourself were aware of perhaps a little exaggeration creeping in here.

    Look at something like IMDB (even more wildly subjective). If you were to guage whether you were going to enjoy a film purely on the back of the score listed there, you would most likely be a fool - however were you to take that number as merely one factor while reading other reviews and so on, you'd most likely find that contextually it is somewhat indicative of certain features (for example, one might conclude that from a high IMDB score, and some low reiewer scores that the film, while perhaps of weak script and acting, is nonetheless entertaining for various reasons).

    Despite the verbosity of the aforediscussed comparison, the same does hold for PC benchmarks too. They are just one part of a whole, complete, testing suite. They are the equivalent of a game - and suggesting that we include FC2, while a perfectly sound suggestion, is not really that much better than suggesting the addition of another benchmark. All one would find out would be how some specifc hardware performs in some specific game. Which in all its subjectivity is fine, it's as it should be - it's what we want.

    Finally, i suppose if it is not obvious, i should express my opinion on the matter of whetehr we shoudl keep said benches or not - well of course yes, adding the results of a known quantity like a 3DMark bench can only help to enrich the assesment of the hardware - however similarly, i'd suggest keeping things current, and unless testing netbooks or the like, omitting the 03 and 05 flavours is probably a good shout.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    That's one yes, and one no. Unfortunately, that doesn't give us much input. LOL. Most likely we'll drop 03/05 shortly (outside of netbooks that still can't run 06 well, and Vantage not at all). Reply
  • hybrid2d4x4 - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    Put me down as another in favor of dropping them. I know that when I read the reviews, I skip over the synthetic charts entirely (unless real-world tests are altogether missing- not so much a concern on this site). Reply
  • disappointed1 - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    I don't think your comparison holds. Movies can only ever be compared with reviews & scores on a star-based system, whether from newspaper critics or laypeople on IMDB, unless perhaps you are suggesting that you read the script beforehand to identify a weak script or watch clips to identify weak acting. If not, then the star system is still inherently subjective, whether you're looking at one reviewer or the aggregate reviews of millions.

    When I say 3DMarks are meaningless, arbitrary numbers, I mean that I can't go out and play 3DMark at 8,710 3DMarks. I can, however, play FC2 at a standardized resolution at 60fps, and as you imply, I'd even prefer that be just one factor in the review. There are tons of other games that include built-in, standardized benchmarks that report in meaningful frames-per-second, and more of these games should be substituted for the meaningless 3DMark numbers.
    Reply
  • Sufo - Monday, October 18, 2010 - link

    I think the comparison holds insofar as it makes my point that even subjective information - when presented as part of a larger body of information - can still hold value. Apart from that the two have next to nothing in common :)

    Personally I don't think it can hurt to have 2 extra (I say extra, they're already there) bars in a review - they're certainly not so ostentatious that they might preclude one's ability to ignore them, and at the same time there may be people that want em. If a review was *entirely* based around benchmarks then i'd understand the resulting frustration.

    Incidentally, my gpu tends to do better in 3dmark than cards it's better than, and worse than cards it's not. This may be a lucky coincidence, but for me at least it provides a quick, albeit *somewhat* dubious reference point, as most new hardware will def get a 3dmark run, whereas it may not have been run against games i've benched.
    Reply
  • beginner99 - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    Are there any test around with battery live in linux? Is the better battery live a general linux/unix advantage or did apple tweak OSx on their own so much?

    Anyway makes you cry as a windows user...
    (I recently installed Jolicloud on my eeepc. As far as I know it runs as a Virtual machine next to windows (dual boot). But it is still much faster and more responsive. pretty weird especially the responsiveness.)
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    I looked at this a while back with a couple laptops:
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/2840

    At the time, Win7 bested WinXP bested Vista, with Ubuntu generally far behind. It may have improved since then, but drivers and power optimizations are critical to get the most out of your hardware in terms of battery life, and Apple has obviously spent some time in OS X on this stuff. Win7 is good, but the wide compatibility isn't helping it keep up with OS X.
    Reply
  • kawatwo - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    I bought a 13 inch MBP just to get some Mac experience and it is a beautiful screen. It makes a great coffee table laptop with the perfectly lighted keyboard as well. I am curious how much the faster 2.66 CPU would have helped on the benches, but that does lower the value equation a bit probably too. It handles every game I own so far at 1200x800 though not all at highest quality settings of course. Just as an aside after several months using OS X it still boots to the desktop in about 40 seconds with zero fine tuning with the stock HD which I find amazing. Reply
  • yyrkoon - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    Not enough to spend the extra ~$40 USD. Or, in your case ~$259 USD to replace the CPU with a newer one. The P8600 is actually a very good CPU.

    As an example. I have an E6550( 2.33Ghz stock ) C2D overclocked to 2.8Ghz, and barely notice a difference. Mainly, I just did it because I could, and to run the "FSB" 1:1 with my memory. Even overclocked on up to around 3.8Ghz, there is barely a noticeable difference. Unless you start benchmarking games, and comparing FPS. But playing the games, either stock, or overclocked. The difference is barely, if even conceivable.
    Reply
  • seanleeforever - Tuesday, October 19, 2010 - link

    i really think your booting speed has more to do with what you install, than the h/w spec or the OS.
    my netbook with 1.6G atom processor still boot up in 40 seconds after 2 years of use. so?
    Reply
  • plewis00 - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    Is the battery life thing anything to do with BIOS in regular PCs vs. EFI in Mac machines? In a previous article it had been mentioned that Windows 7 'could' run on Moorestown (Intel's new Atom) but due to the constant bus-polling, etc. that is built into Windows it could never achieve low-wattage idles and the bus-polling is part of the antiquated BIOS architecture PCs use - this is just a theory, but also having read UEFI-based PCs could boot in seconds, I imagine Mac OS X's speed and efficiency is down to having semi-custom hardware with many unnecessary and legacy processes not running. I could be wrong and if I am and someone knows please explain where. Reply
  • fokka - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    i must say when i saw the article i was really looking forward to reading it, because it's exactly what i am doing right now - trying out win7 on the latest 13" mbp.

    but in the end it seemed a little too positive, at least to me.

    while i agree, that the the 13 incher is a great little machine, especially on windows its not without it flaws.

    the first thing that comes to my mind is the long booting time. i think it has to do with the bios-emulation, but that really shouldn't last that long.

    second there is the choppy and much too fast scrolling, which i yet have to find out how to slow it down.

    the third point is not a windows-one, but never the less i have to mention it: the display is not that good. sure, on paper and even in real life it looks fine with high contrast, brighness and color gamut, but it still is a tn-panel and so the viewing-angles are only "good enough".

    there are other shortcomings as a win-notebook, too, like the keyboard-layout and, of course, battery life.

    so all in all it's a great machine, but it sure as hell isn't designed for windows.
    Reply
  • mrsmegz - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    I had a Macbook 13 aluminum w/ the 9400 for a year. I really liked the notebook for all the reasons mentioned above, the touchpad, the screen keyboard etc. However I had more than a few hangups running Windows 7 on the laptop. 1), Bootcamp wouldn't support 64 bit windows 2) Sound would only come out of one speaker/headphone at about 20pct volume while the other was at 100pct 3) it got so damn hot sitting in your lap, the aluminum just didn't vent the laptop enough. Everything else on Windows though, worked much as the article explained, If they fix those problems, I will consider getting another next cycle. Reply
  • piroroadkill - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    I have some Pavilion DV6 right here that have only superficial markings for left and right, and infact are capacative to sense the side of the touchpad, and essentially is one button.

    I'm not a fan. I actually LIKE having seperate buttons, because it means I can have a finger on the button and one on the touchpad, to have accurate click timing (it's possible to game on a touchpad, just about, but not on a mac style one button touchpad).
    Reply
  • marraco - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    It's obsolete.

    And it have problems and Gray Screen of Death.
    When you have problems, you are again in DOS age. Macs forces you on command screens, to write cryptic unix commands that never work.
    Reply
  • Shadowmaster625 - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    Leave it to anandtech to try and justify paying $1500 for a $800 notebook. Reply
  • Sufo - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    now, are you saying that just because you disagree with some of the conclusions or because you feel anandtech frequently oversells hardware?

    If the latter, then i'm somewhat suprised - i find anandtech to be one of the most comprehensive and objective reviewsites i've come across (if not the most). If there is some other source that you feel is even more objective and trustworthy, please throw a link this way because i'm actually in need of a few more sites to browse at work.
    Reply
  • fujii13 - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    Anyone point out the fact that the audio drivers only allow for 50% volume compared to OS X, and that not all the speakers are powered in Boot Camp? Reply
  • mrsmegz - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    read about 5 comments up, I mentioned the Speaker problem, I was hoping they would address if this was still a problem w/ the crappy bootcamp drivers. Its one of the main reasons I got rid of the macbook. I listen to a lot of music, and wanted to use foobar in windows, but forget it w/ bootcamp. Reply
  • TEAMSWITCHER - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    I get the impression from reading this article that the reviewer is feeling conflicted. Apple has obviously created an awesome small laptop that oozes quality and design, but the Core 2 processor makes it impossible to give the machine an overall favorable review.

    I would second this notion, and that's why I bought the 15" model. Hopefully next week, the 13" MacBook Pro will get some core i3/i5 love and discreet graphics.

    Then there will be nothing to prevent the looming Macpocalypse.
    Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    Yes, absolutely nothing...

    Except distasteful corporate arrogance and customer-gouging prices. People should vote with their wallets, which is why I'm always disappointed to see Apple products on the street.

    Any company that would actually put "We care about our customers" as a major bulletpoint in a presentation cannot and should not be trusted.
    Reply
  • TEAMSWITCHER - Saturday, October 16, 2010 - link

    Where do you get this Corporate Arrogance thing? I just don't see it! When I look at Apple I see a company that is trying to produce something that is unique and better than the average. Sure they talk the BIG talk about their products, but they are supposed to, they want to sell them, that's Marketing 1.0. Would you buy a computer from a company that thought their products were complete crap?

    Every Apple product has at least a few worthy qualities. The author of this article clearly gets that. I can't say the same thing for many of the PC products I have used over the years.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, October 16, 2010 - link

    iPhone 4, Steve Jobs: "You're holding it wrong!"

    There have been numerous cases of Jobs blaming the users for problems with the product, and the elitist mentality of Jobs often extends to the users. That's not to say Apple can't make good product, but that there are plenty who refuse to buy an Apply product just because of the "culture" that goes with it.
    Reply
  • yuhong - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    "(And for those people who still cling to the theory that Apple couldn’t fit a third chip onto the board without reducing the battery size or making the notebook larger, that’s nonsense. If ASUS can manage to fit a Core 2010 processor, the chipset, and a dedicated graphics card into a system with similar dimensions to the MBP13 and a 33% larger battery, then Apple could have too. Simple as that.)"
    Do a detailed comparison of the insides of the two, please.
    Reply
  • aniraf - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    The one thing I've always been interested in is comparing the graphical benchmarks from OSX and Windows7 on the same machine. I don't know why I've never seen this done, but it would certainly be an interesting way to determine which OS takes better advantage of the hardware. Reply
  • Wolfpup - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    I pay no attention to Donutmark and never have. I really respect Anandtech's resistance to it, how they used to never even post it, and now still downplay it and tell you things like "this is worthless, but here it is because some people want it".

    I'm fine with that-if it helps the site, leave the Donutmark stuff in. If not, dump it I guess.
    Reply
  • djcameron - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    I had to buy a unibody 13 inch Macbook for a past job. Once the job was over, I set up a minimal OS X partition for updates, and then made Windows 7 Ultimate my primary partition.
    It works great, and I don't miss OS X at all.

    FYI... The obnoxious Delete(really Backspace) key becomes a true Delete key if you hold down the Fn key.
    Reply
  • radium69 - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    I really can't justify that steep price, it's just plain insane.
    I'm buying a tax free MSI GX740 for 1400 USD, and thats with a core I5 460m, 4gig ddr3, 500gb 7200RPM HDD, and a RADEON 5870M! It's 17" but I don't mind!
    It also comes with a 9 cell battery so should be plenty!

    For other stuff where I have NO wallsockets I just use my EEEPC 1000H. Works very well for the basic stuff.

    The only + is the screen that looks good. But why is it good if you need to play everything on ultra low / medium settings. Sure the macbook is more portable, but you can get a lot more bang for the buck.

    Just my 2 cents,
    Reply
  • lorribot - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    ......Apple would release OSX in to the wild. Reply
  • RussianSensation - Saturday, October 16, 2010 - link

    "The majority of the expense is in higher quality components and build, but my point is that the 15" i5 MBP is only $300 higher than the 2.6 ghz Core 2 Duo MBP 13" and the i5 is between 50% and 100% faster depending on the task."

    johnspierce, what are you smoking?

    Core i5 is at best 20% faster in performance per clock than a C2D Penryn architecture design. So no, there are 0 tasks where a Core i5 will be 50-100% faster than a C2D at the same clock speed.

    And the major reason for a high Mac product pricing is OBVIOUSLY their profit margin. They got all the apple fanatics to believe that their products use "proprietory, specifically selected hardware". Keep in mind EVERY single component inside a MAC other than the motherboard (which everyone who owns a PC knows has 1% impact on performance) is no different than what PCs use. The reason Apple products cost so much $ is because they are:

    1) Customer Service (Apple store is amazing!! the customer service is 2nd to none).
    2) Image (it's a fashion statement; (the younger generation considers them more hip).
    3) Marketing (Apple has outmarketed Microsoft in selling an "easier to use, better, more stable environment").
    4) Design - it's impossible for anyone to deny that Apple products are sexy/contemporary and push design trend boundaries.

    People pay $$$ for all 4 of these first and foremost when they buy an Apple product, with performance, price/performance ratio being almost irrelevant.
    Reply
  • yuhong - Saturday, October 16, 2010 - link

    "They got all the apple fanatics to believe that their products use "proprietory, specifically selected hardware"."
    Which used to be true back in the PowerPC age.
    Reply
  • AnnonymousCoward - Saturday, October 16, 2010 - link

    "it’s the best chiclet keyboard out there" - great, but how does it compare to a regular laptop keyboard? Reply
  • Klimax - Saturday, October 16, 2010 - link

    I have only onel problem with review. The baterry test. Respectively what where the settings? There are few plans available like balanced and minimal power. Which one was chosen?Where they altered?

    For example,when I alter power level of WiFi I can easkly gain or lose about 50% of battery life and there are more of such options.(like USB suspend ; Link state power mng and min/max processor state along with cooling policy) They all can alter experience and it would be interesting to know how much they can change outcome.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, October 18, 2010 - link

    We use the same settings on all of the laptops we test under Windows. Specifically, we start with the Power Saver plan (or if there is a manufacturer provided plan that's "better" we'll use that -- i.e. ASUS has Power4Gear Maximum Battery, Lenovo and Dell often have something similar). We also calibrate the laptops to run the LCD at around 100nits (95-105 nits depending on the laptop and how granular the brightness adjustment is). Then we set all of the other items to the same values: never power off the LCD, don't go to sleep, don't dim the LCD, minimum CPU 0%, maximum CPU 50% (this actually improves battery life, even though the "hurry up and go to sleep" concept suggests otherwise), HDD power down after 1 minute, WiFi at maximum power saving, etc.

    For idle battery life, we mute the speakers and disable WiFi -- a truly best-case scenario in every sense of the term. Internet we run muted but with WiFi on, and x264 we run with audio on (using headphones) and WiFi off. I did an article looking at battery life on a couple of laptops under Windows XP/Vista/7 and even Ubuntu a while back, and found that in most instances the Power Saver plan beat out the Balanced plan by over 5%, so for the last year that's what we've used.

    I don't necessarily think all of our settings are "best" for actual use (i.e. you might prefer a bit more performance and a bit less battery life that the Balanced plan provides), but the tests are as equal as we can make them on each laptop. Note that we also uninstall and/or disable all of the extra utilities, firewall, anti-virus stuff, etc. on the laptops. Some Internet Security suites can absolutely kill battery life (McAfee and Norton in particular), so we run clean. If you buy a laptop we review, take it home, boot it up, and run a battery life test, you'd almost certainly get less than our idealized setups.

    Hope that answers your questions.
    Reply
  • Setsunayaki - Sunday, October 17, 2010 - link

    Ever since the Software Development Suit for Multimedia creation and Animation was released on Linux and programmed by Development Fanatics in those areas who turned computer programs....The apple equivalents have fallen shorter and shorter with each generation.

    I remember how I felt when I moved from a MAC development platform to a Windows Development Platform and found myself wondering why out of many programs out there, each was incomplete in one way that forced me to run 2 - 5 programs for each thing...

    When the Linux Development Suite was released, for the first time I got a software suite installed which not only was actually free, but for the first time performed better than both Windows and MAC in what I was doing. What was great about it all was that I didn't need a Quad Core for using 2 - 4 programs and processor scheduling really helped in those programs...

    Linux has always been a development platform and server platform and for a while was really dominated by Windows and Apple when dealing with Graphic Design, but the latest programs out there are organized into a large suite of programs for the designer that while it requires more hardware to use...The software is actually complete in the sense I was able to develop with it without having to get 2 - 5 different programs for each task...

    So what I really have to say to any MAC laptop for development is

    "Those days are long since past...the expense of those programs and the lack of optimization destroys the purpose of owning a mac. Most Macs today don't even have those basic packages installed and high end programs, they are on the side people have to shell out tons for....so you do get a pretty basic computer on a MAC these days.....so basic that comparing it to any Linux build out there...you will get more on Linux."

    No amount of money is worth it for the hardware found in this laptop....first thing I do on many laptops is change the OS to Linux and put in a good minimalist DE and the binaries for the others...and start downloading what I need from repositories and It gives me peace of mind.

    Sure I have to spend 4 - 10 hours configuring things and adding scripts, but when I am done...it just blows away mac and windows performance.
    Reply
  • Henk Poley - Tuesday, October 26, 2010 - link

    * "Software Development Suit for Multimedia creation and Animation"
    * "Linux Development Suite"

    What are you talking about? Do you mean TimeStorm: http://www.timesys.com/embedded-linux/tools ? Or the Ark Linux Development Suite from 2005?

    I suspect what you mean to say is that there are distros now for multimedia creation, using applications with sound and image manipulation plugins. But why talk about it in such vague terms? Is steganography in there or something?
    Reply
  • Theguynextdoor - Sunday, October 17, 2010 - link

    So I can't believe nobody will send you an Envy. So I will volunteer mine, if you're intrested just take care of the shipping and I will ship you my Envy 14 for review. It's about 3 months old. I have the i5 - 450 (sorry I was looking for battery life so no i7).

    I have the 4GB (single stick) and the optional slice, there's already significant wear on the battery (8%) (with the slice it lasts the entire school day for me (approx 6-8 hours) with max brightness on balanced with the intel GPU.

    If you have questions or intrested just drop feel free to ask.
    Reply
  • VivekGowri - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    Can you email me at vivek@anandtech.com please? Reply
  • mutatio - Monday, October 18, 2010 - link

    The issue Apple faced was whether to use an effective and successful chipset and integrated GPU (nVidia) over the intel HD offerings. As you see in the GPU analysis intel's offerings offer doodoo in the GPU arena. I think Jobs was even overt about it basically saying they didn't want to see the system take a hit by going with a straight intel solution where CPU performance would be marginally better than the C2D while the graphics and usability take a significant hit due to a sluggish integrated intel solution. Your comparison of the benchmarks for CPU and GPU illustrate that very point. In overall usability I really don't care if my laptop CPU can do 15fps better rendering in Divx conversion. I do, however, care if I can watch 720p or 1080p movies or TV shows while doing other run of the mill office work. Yes, you can argue about the use of older hardware, but it seems your review also missed another aspect of Apple's decision to go this route, which was intel's unwillingness to license the Core i3/5/7 chipset tech to nVidia. Has intel still not learned about being non-competitive in its practices?

    At this point, yes, the 13" model is getting long in the tooth from a hardware standpoint. On my end, being a Windows and Mac user with my home built tower for Windows 7 and my 13" 9400M C2D MacBook Pro, I do most of my computing on the latter with it plugged in via my KVM switch and used in a largely desktop mode driving a 1920x1200 26" monitor. Should Apple find a more current solution for it's entry level MBP? Yes. But your article (and yes I know this is cliche territory) didn't really get into market differences between Macs and PCs. While you can argue that Apple, in charging a premium for their systems, should by default have the most bleeding edge tech in their computers, you seem to be forgetting Apple's seemingly perpetual focus on usability as a huge focus in their development of systems. On the other side of the coin, you have, well, everyone else, who plays in the razor-thin-profit-margin-land whose slim pickings require the unending tech spec rat race in order to try and keep the slim sales margins coming in. Apple had the luxury of being able to make a decision, as your benchmarks indicate, of using an older CPU with newer GPU tech to balance out the equation of how usable/functional the system is for consumers (and again, this was in light of intel cutting competition off from nvidia for the Core i chips). Some may not like the decision Apple, made, and certainly the profits are in the picture, but them's my 2 cents. ;-)
    Reply
  • atscntsc - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    From laptopmac.com

    "Unfortunately, the N82JQ-A1 is short on gas and stalls on the road with very poor battery life (2 hours and 2 minutes), unacceptable for a 14-inch notebook. We also recommend gaming with this solely on a desk at all times, as our system spiked to a scorching 130 degrees 20 minutes into a gaming session.

    In the end, the $1200 N82JQ-A1 is hard to recommend when it comes to overall value, and the battery life is a total bummer. Read the full review here"

    Read more: http://blog.laptopmag.com/asus-n82jq-a1-reviewed-a...
    Reply
  • mojtabaalemi - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    the reduction of battery life in windows is probabely because of geforce card that is always on!
    is there any way to use optimus drivers in mac books ??
    Reply
  • davidcmc - Friday, October 22, 2010 - link

    What NVIDIA graphics driver did you use for the GeForce 320M?
    The one that comes with Mac OS X Install Disc is just too old (19x.xx, I think). Also, I've noticed that there's no driver for 320M listed in NVIDIA site.
    Reply
  • SaberOne - Friday, October 22, 2010 - link

    I'm using my decade old 22-inch Apple Cinema Display as I type. It’s Apple’s very first flat panel LCD and it still easier to view better than my son’s MB. I absolutely hate the glossy panels that are more suited for applying make-up or popping zits! Reply
  • IlllI - Friday, October 22, 2010 - link

    umm.. some many months ago i made a comment in a review here in regards to glossy screens. specifically i suggested possibly using an anti glare filter (here is one for example http://www.photodon.com/c/LCD-Protective-Films.htm... ).

    the reviewer at the time (i forget who) said he'd buy one and then do a review about it later on anandtech.. well that was many, many months ago. maybe even almost a year ago. to this day i keep wondering what ever happened to that review

    i'd still like a review of these things, since i completely detest glossy screens myself.. but seemingly most laptops are going this way. i think only business laptops offer matte options now :(
    Reply
  • appliance5000 - Sunday, October 24, 2010 - link

    Based on the article's title the answer is yes - it's a decent windows machine. If you want to run OSX it's the only option (legal).

    I'd ask a few questions: is bootcamp more efficient than parallels and/or vmfusion?

    RE the old chip: Mac's are optimized for OSX and apps designed for OSX use the GPU via openCl. The new intels do not allow this.

    Mac is stingy with memory - always has been - nothing new.

    Check the resale value on ebay. The value becomes more apparent.

    Apple is not so much interested in pure performance, from ipod to ipad they use readily available components. What they excell at is user interface: they make products that people want to use.

    There are many things to hate about apple but until other software/hardware manufacturers take the user into consideration, apple will do just fine. Borrow a friend's apple product for a few days and use it. 2 things will occur:

    you will be able to use it well in a short time and enjoy the process ,

    and you will hate apple all the more because Jobs is totally annoying while being generally correct. That, my friends, is a toxic cocktail.
    Reply
  • deathdemon89 - Thursday, November 04, 2010 - link

    .. you had compared it to models that were actually in the same category as the MBP 13, like the Vaio Z. It would have been interesting to see how it stacked up to something its own size, but (seemingly?) superior in every other respect - processor, display, keyboard and all. Reply
  • newrigel - Saturday, November 27, 2010 - link

    Why in the hell would you want it to be if you can but a 17 inch PC laptop for $500? Reply
  • ChuckDarwin - Friday, January 07, 2011 - link

    I think the answer to the question posed by the article's title is, "yes." The current 13" MBP makes a "decent" Windows laptop, in terms of performance, but it certainly can't justify the price for the performance.

    But here's the thing. How many people use a thin-and-light laptop to do heavy video encoding? Practically nobody. And that is where the newer i3-i5-i7 hardware matters. What do people actually use their thin-and-light laptops for? Office, surfing the net, and light gaming. All of which the 13" MPB delivers on Windows just as well as Brand X with a Core i5 and integrated graphic.

    Meanwhile, the MBP really delivers on things you notice in everyday use rather than checking off a features list. Only the Apple has a screen you actually want to look at for hours on end, and only the Apple has a multi-touch trackpad that is effortlessly responsive. Apple's close attention to "user experience," and build quality, are the real reasons why the 13" MBP is still competitive with other manufacturers' machines despite running on 2 yo hardware.

    For the record, I bought my 13" MBP 2 years ago when they debuted, replacing a 12" Sony Vaio. For my money, there was no comparison at the time between the Vaio line and Apples in terms of build quality, and back then the MBP was basically the same price as a similarly-specced Vaio. The MPB looks still delivers, as described above, as a work-oriented travel machine, whereas my 12" Vaio looked like it had been through a war after 2 years--it had a cracked case from a 2' drop, the screen latch wouldn't close properly, the hinge on the screen was a little loose, and the rubber on the keys was becoming discolored. Meanwhile the MPB has survived at least as much abuse and looks like new.

    Admittedly, though, I'd never buy a 13" MBP today until Apple updates to Sandybridge--but then again, I wouldn't buy ANY laptop from any manufacturer today for the same reason.
    Reply
  • dqnet - Wednesday, March 16, 2011 - link

    I'm really considering splashing out on the 13" but I've read countless articles and all I hear is the glossy screen is either horrible or awful. I dont want the 15", I need the portability and I dont know what on earth to do!??????????

    The comes the SSD issue, if I want this option I have to wait 6 weeks!
    I can always get this later down the line I guess?? well from what the article suggests??

    Any help (opinions) would be great as right now i'm lost! :(
    Reply
  • asuka10456 - Wednesday, April 06, 2011 - link

    I installed windows 7 on my gf laptop and attempted to play magic workstation. It was unplayable but it played decent on my hp 210 mini netbook. MWS is used to play card games and doesn't really use a lot of resources, I don't understand why it doesn't run Reply

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