Just before heading to Buenos Aires I bought a new MacBook Pro. I upgraded from a ~3 year old 2.0ghz Core Duo (not Core 2) model which was pretty much the best computer I’ve ever owned. I upgraded because despite it’s excellent history of reliability, my engineering senses told me that it was time to end on a high note before she blew. I was mainly attracted to the new MBP because of it’s stellar 7 hour battery. Let me just say that upgrading from one Mac to another Mac is not the same as upgrading from a PC to a Mac which is pretty much blissful in any event because OS X is just sooooooo much better and nicer to use. Mac to Mac upgrades eliminate the euphoria that one experiences when ditching Windoze. Thereby allowing more focus on the merits of the new hardware in comparison with the old.
The new machine is the current model as of the date of this post (10/09) and is the base 15 inch model with 2.53ghz Core 2 and 4GB RAM. Quite an upgrade from my old machine with twice the RAM and a little over 1ghz more CPU performance. So here’s the breakdown of pros and cons as compared with the old machine:
- Battery life is great! This is the main reason I wanted the new machine and it definitely delivers.
- Speed — It is quick. Quicker to open apps like Photoshop and Illustrator… a lot quicker. It’s a pretty snappy little machine, not that my old one really felt slow but the extra RAM definitely helps since I’m a totally memory and running-app whore.
- Of course it looks cool. It’s a new Apple product for god’s sake. The designs looks pimp. LOVE LOVE LOVE those tiny little batter lights.
- 3D graphics suck. The integrated NVIDIA GeForce 9400M won’t cut the mustard on anything more than the basics. Expose is quick but don’t think you’re going to run anything that requires even medium 3D performance. You’re not. I haven’t compared them directly but this certainly is not an upgrade from the discreet X1600 on my 3 year old MBP. While this may be part of the battery savings, I think it’s shite for a brand new $1700 machine not to be able to run a semi-modern game (Red Alert 3) at a decent quality level.
- Glossy screen. This seems to be the standard these days on everything. I suppose there are folks that love these but I think they suck. I want a monitor not a fucking mirror, thanks.
- SHARP edges. This seems like an odd thing to complain about but it is what it is. Go to the Apple store and run your finger down the leading edge of a MBP with medium pressure… it won’t cut you but it fees like it might. This can be rough on the wrists depending on the angle.
That’s about it. The rest is the same. These are nice machines. If reliability were not a concern would I go back to the trusty soft edged poor-battery-life MBP? Probably not. A portable should be able to run for a long period on battery and this one does. The tradeoffs are worth it but not by a huge margin. Since I was leaving the country I wanted a new reliable machine. I have one now. Plus I got almost $870 for my old machine on eBay taking a lot of the sting out of the new machine’s price. Try selling your old 3 year old Dell for that much!