Review: 15″ MacBook Pro 2.66 GHz [UPDATED]

Because of my unfortunate experience on Monday, I was forced to buy a new notebook. That notebook is the latest 15″ MacBook Pro  model from Apple. It’s stock with a 2.66 GHz processor, 4GB of RAM, 320GB hard drive, and a SuperDrive (DVD/CD burner). Not to mention the Nvidia 9400M/9600M GT graphics card combo (you can use the 9400M for daily stuff, but if you need more graphics power you can switch to the 9600M). It’s also the one with the non-removable battery that uses Lithium Polymer battery. More on that in a second. I’ve only had it for a day or so, but my first thoughts about it are:

  • It is slightly lighter than the Santa Rosa (mid 2007) MacBook Pro that I had, but it feels more solid.
  • The keyboard has a nice feel to it.
  • The glossy screen is tolerable (so far) as long as you are looking straight at it. Reflections do appear in certain lighting conditions and I would imagine that the screen would be difficult to read outdoors (I’ll try that and let you know). Having said that the screen itself has much richer colors. But it honestly needs a matte screen option just like the 17″ model (are you listening Apple?).
  • The trackpad with the gesture based actions takes some getting used to (along with the fact that the entire pad is a button), but it’s cool and it has a nice feel to it.
  • It only has 2 USB ports (my last MacBook Pro had three) and they are a bit too close together. Some cables won’t fit side by side.
  • It uses display port for the video output. That means that I had to buy new adapters for DVI and VGA. That sucks.
  • It has FireWire 800 which means that I had to buy a new cable to connect my DV camcorder. That sucks.
  • The SD slot is handy for me as both my cameras take SD cards. I haven’t tested that yet though.
  • It came with iLife 09 which means no iMovie 06 HD. Fortunately I had a backup copy of iMovie 06 HD. Of course it’s all part of Apple’s plot to get you to buy a copy of Final Cut Express instead.
  • When switching graphics cards, you have to log out and log back in again. Not exactly ideal IMHO. Hopefully this gets fixed in Snow Leopard.

But the thing you care about is how fast it is. Well, it is faster than the 2.2 GHz MacBook Pro that I had and you notice it when you push the computer (like when I run Parallels Desktop for example). As for the battery, I’ll let you know. I started running off battery just before 9AM EST. It is currently 1:50 PM EST and the battery still has a 12% charge with an estimated 37 minutes of runtime left. And I’ve been surfing the net, adding to this blog, leaving it to idle, and I rebooted four or five times after installing software. My previous MacBook Pro would have been dead by now. So far that’s impressive. I’ll let you know what the final runtime is.

My verdict thus far, it’s a nice machine. It’s a worthy notebook to wear the Apple logo. I just wish that I didn’t have to get it under the circumstances that I did. But if you are looking for a power users notebook, take a serious look at the 15″ MacBook Pro.

UPDATE: The battery gave me the warning about going to reserve power at 2:26 PM EST. That’s 5.5 hours. Not bad.

3 Responses to “Review: 15″ MacBook Pro 2.66 GHz [UPDATED]”

  1. […] Review: 15″ MacBook Pro 2.66 GHz « The IT Nerd […]

    • susan belliveau Says:

      The biggest mistake I’ve made in some time is buying a MacBook Pro. This piece of junk hasn’t worked right since the day I bought it eight months ago. Turns out it has a bad logic board and ram. Since there’s no earthly reason these should’ve gone this quickly I can only conclude they were not quality parts to begin with.

      I thought I was buying a higher quality computer but turns out I could’ve saved my money and got better quality on a lower end PC. I’ve been a loyal Mac user for almost 20 years but you can bet your butt the next computer I buy will not be a Mac!

      By the way, customer service has been a nightmare — I was promised my computer would be fixed in five days but it’s been more than nine days and I’m told not to expect it back for at least another five days. When I call to complain I get passed through a litany of apathetic customer service reps who try to up sell me, even to the point of suggesting I buy another Mac as back up for the next time this one breaks down.

      Thanks for nothing Apple!

      • susan belliveau Says:

        Just an update to the above post. Apple did eventually replace my computer (21 days later) so all is well that ends well.

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