Learn more. It helps, of course, that the MacBook Pro design still knows no equal a good two years after its release. Even the best imitations, such as the HP Envy 15 , struggle to hold a candle to the elegance and engineering quality on show here. Just MB of video memory will prove a limitation if playing games, too. Such disappointments seem to be a regular feature of any Apple product review, which is one of the reasons one of many why the company divides opinion so much.
As ever it comes down to how much value you place on the peripheral elements, such as the design, usability and refinement, which are generally missing from rival Windows vendors. Examples of such refinement can be found all over. Another example is the display. And should you find the default colour mode — which is clearly tailored for videos — not to your liking, you can quickly switch to Adobe RGB or sRGB settings for colour critical work.
Returning to the input devices, we have the same backlit keyboard found on all the MacBook Pros. Keys have a nice sense of depth and ping back sharply, ensuring brisk and accurate typing. Those new to MacBooks will find the layout takes a little getting used to, but veterans will be right at home.
All these plus points are tempered, as ever, by the relatively limited connectivity. You could happily enjoy a TV drama, online video or some music without resorting to a set of headphones. Another more integral part of the MacBook experience is the software. Measuring the performance of Apple systems is always complicated by the narrower point of reference we have; unlike Windows systems, we only get to test MacBooks once or twice a year.
We run a couple of tests to measure system performance, one using the popular synthetic benchmark X-Bench and another encoding HD video using Handbrake. In X-Bench we can see the Core i5 powered MacBook Pro has a decent advantage over the MacBook Pro inch we reviewed last year, but given the disparity in specs this much is to be expected.
What really highlights the speed of the Core i5 is our HD video encoding test. Here our MacBook Pro review unit chomped through our task, which involves re-encoding an MPEG-4 video, in just seconds 3mins, 11secs. Considering this is just the entry-level option, other choices being a 2.
We tested this by running a DVD on constant loop with the brightness set to 50 per cent, which lasted exactly minutes 6hrs, 40mins. While the cost of the new MacBook Pros makes it unlikely to convert sceptics, die-hard Apple users will appreciate the evolution of this refresh. Unlike other sites, we test every laptop we review thoroughly over an extended period of time.
We use industry standard tests to compare features properly. Apple still has the best touch pad on the market, from its large size to its multi-touch capability, and it's only gotten better with this feature. In response to criticism of its glossy screens, Apple has also offered matte upgrades on both its and inch models, but there's a catch: the upgrade also incorporates a higher resolution screen, bumping the default x to x While the SSD costs aren't too far from market price, you'd be better off adding after-market drives for the mechanicals.
Then we come to the usual bag of hurt known as AppleCare. We'd always recommend taking AppleCare on-board, but just remember that it makes the MacBook's final price that bit more expensive. Internally, a few things have changed as well; our inch review sample was running a Core i7 clocked at 2. Gone is the integrated Nvidia graphics, as Nvidia simply didn't have a licence to pair its chipset with Intel's Core i processors. In its place is a switching solution similar to Nvidia's Optimus technology — when using apps that don't require 3D acceleration, the MacBook Pro uses its integrated Intel HD graphics, saving on battery.
When 3D acceleration is required, the GT M seamlessly kicks in to give the extra power. It's an excellent idea in theory, but the execution isn't perfect, with a few sites reporting that the MacBook sometimes turns on the GT M when it shouldn't, and sometimes doesn't manage to turn it off after an application that was using it has been closed. This is no doubt a tricky equation to get perfect, especially with things muddying the water like the web — for the most part web browsing won't need the GPU, but what happens when you come across an embedded H.
Incidentally, the answer is nothing; the MacBook continues to use the Intel card. You can force the discrete graphics on through the "Energy Saver" options under "System Preferences" to address this, but you can't do it the other way around — if you'd prefer to use the Intel card and the MacBook has decided the Nvidia one is a better option, you're boned. Thankfully, an independent developer has come to the rescue with gfxCardStatus , a program that lets you see exactly what GPU is being used and allows you to switch it at any time.
The MacBook inch is otherwise identical, but this is not a bad thing. The little touches are still there too, like being able to see the battery charge without opening the MacBook, the backlit keyboard and the soft whump of the lid closing are still there, and while using the MacBook you feel like you're using quality; this is an exceptionally well built machine. It's likely not worth the upgrade if you own the previous generation MacBook Pro unless you're absolutely hankering for Core i7 power , but if you're considering buying a Mac, this is a good time to do so.
With a new processor and graphics card, the interest was always going to be on how the new MacBook performed. Installing Windows 7 bit, 3DMark06 captured a decent score of , meaning the new MacBook should be able to handle for relatively new games, freaks like Arma II aside.
The PCMark05 score of establishes it as an excellent work machine too. Turning off all power-saving features, setting screen brightness and volume to maximum, we played back an XviD file in OS X to see how long the battery would last. Using gfxCardStatus to force which GPU was used, under Intel HD graphics it lasted four hours, 22 minutes and 55 seconds, while under the Nvidia GT it came in at three hours, 47 minutes and 20 seconds.
While the battery switching mechanism still needs refining, the MacBook Pro is still the excellent machine it always was, now with more power and a few more features to boot.
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The inch MacBook Pro still has an edge-to-edge, LED-backlit, glass-screened display, garnering it uncanny comparison's to an iPad's body. The. It's vibrant and fun and stands out from any other phone on the market. The metallic edging looks great too and while I'm pretty sure it's made. The outside looks the same, but the guts of the version of the inch MacBook Pro have been revamped. This thin-and-light laptop now.