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Apple MacBook Pro MC226LL/A 17-Inch Laptop

Apple MacBook Pro MC226LL/A 17-Inch Laptop

Now I find Apple MacBook Pro MC226LL/A 17-Inch Laptop I will think This Interesting ,and you can see that

BuZZ from Customer Shopping

Real improvement5
Coming from a troubled Nvidia 8600M GT MacBook Pro - let me say that I was very skeptical buying another Apple Laptop with nVidia chip in it.

However, one weekend I decided to visit the nearest Apple Retail Store and check out the newly released models. My decision was mostly influenced by the reduced prices and increased battery life.

After some debating over buying the older model for same price or getting the latest one we settled on the newest mid end $1999 model with 2 GPUs. As is common I got a very nice resale price for my older MacBook Pro as it had AppleCare.

This generation is an all around improvement over the past generation unless you happen to be using ExpressCard on 15" model that is. In our case we never used the ExpressCard after attempting to use a eSATA card that did not work really well. And we have a few SD Cards that we figure we can easily use.

So on to the specific improvements over its predecessor -
1) Battery Life - I was very doubtful that the battery would last any longer than 4 hours at the maximum but was pleasantly surprised to find that for surfing/email type and the occasional CNN/Youtube flash videos getting 6+ hours was quite easy.

2) Prices - No doubt prices are the most reasonable Apple laptops have ever had. If you have no need for the dual GPU you can get the $1699 model which comes with a respectable 2.53Ghz Processor, 4GB RAM and a very capable 9400M GPU.

3) Operating Temperature - I have owned my share of laptops (Apple and non-Apple) and I have to say this one is the coolest - it never gets too warm and I can use it on my lap all the times - even encoding videos using the HandBrake application did not make it uncomfortably hot. However if I switch it to use the 9600M GPU it gets warmer even on regular use. It also runs very quiet - the fans may be coming on but I never notice.

Initially there was a lot of furor over Apple's downgrade of the Serial-ATA interface speed (used to transfer data to and from the hard disk) to 1.5Gbps but Apple quickly restored the speeds to 3Gbps - I do not however notice any difference with the 5400RPM hard disk.

About the display - it is gorgeous and colors are vibrant. I had the opportunity to use a calibrated color profile to make it look even better. However I find the display to be a little too much reflective but I am coming from almost always using matte display so I figure it's a matter of getting used to it.

Apple's use of Mini DisplayPort is ahead of its time - not many displays support it and so I had to buy a $30 DVI adapter - not a big problem but Apple should at the very least re-start bundling the adapter with the Pro machines. Also, another USB port in lieu of the SD Card Reader would be quite welcome - people can use the SD Card Reader for only SD Cards, but a USB port can be used for SD Cards as well as other peripherals.

That said, this generation is overall a very nice improvement - the great battery life itself is enough to convince one to upgrade.

[ Edited to add some findings after extensive use ]

After using it for a few months, I find a handful of things moderately annoying about this laptop -

1) The positioning of USB ports - both USB ports are on one side of the laptop and they are far too closely positioned to use both at once. For example I found I could not attach my Sandisk USB thumb drive and anything else at a time. And I don't have any irregular/unusual devices. They should really go back to having the ports on two sides or at least position them a bit more apart.

2) The Lid of the laptop is loose - this was known to me before but I never thought it would become annoying. I don't routinely use the laptop in bed but whenever I do it's annoying.

3) The amount of RAM Apple advertises (4GB) is not actually entirely usable - only 3.75GB is. So you lose 256Mb of RAM for the dual GPU.

Compelling alternative to PC4
After installing a Trend Micro update and bricking my PC (which I was later able to remedy after 8+ hours of system restores and firewall modifications), I had enough and decided I was done with Microsoft. I have been using the Macbook Pro 15 for a little under a week, and so far, I'm pleased that I made the switch. Obviously, there's a pretty steep premium on Macbook Pros, so I'll try to cover the items that make it worth the extra coin, as well as some annoyances I've encountered as a first time Mac user.

Here are some benefits:

+ Beautiful 15" widescreen display. I'm coming from a 17" PC, and since the display was a bit more squared, I don't feel that the screen size decrease is too noticeable

+ Much lighter than PC. At 5.5 lbs, it's easier to carry around than similarly sized PC's

+ Super fast power up and power off. I would say it takes between 30-40 seconds to power on, and less than 10 seconds to shut down- outstanding

+ Robust battery life. It's rated at 7 hours. This time will vary depending on your usage, but it's about right if you don't jack the brightness and surf too heavily

+ Refined, gestured trackpad. If you want to scroll, just swipe with two fingers- to select options or webpages, a single tap on the trackpad will accomplish this. Also nice is the ability to zoom webpages a la ipod touch/iphone pinching. I wish you could save a zoom setting to default on Safari though

+ No crashes, except for internet surfing (more on that later)

+ Love the preinstalled iPhoto application it comes with to view and edit photos

+ No problems with spyware, viruses, or crappy, obtrusive antispyware (i.e. Trend Micro) to combat it

+ Outstanding customer support (and I've used them a lot so far!)

And now for the not so good:

- If you want word processing/spreadsheet functionality, you're pretty much stuck with plunking down $100 for Microsoft Office. You could use alternatives like iWork, but with most people using the Office standard, it makes sense for compatibility purposes. No generic preinstalled word processing software, Apple?

- The learning curve (if you're a long-time PC user). The menus and interface that Macs use are pretty well laid out, but it's a pain to relearn where some items are. Example, you're in Mail and you'd like to add an email folder. The solution? Select "New Mailbox." I'm sure most PC users were scratching their heads with that solution

- There's no "maximize" function on the windows. It will save your settings once you resize everything, but if you want a window to take up the screen, you'll be doing some manual dragging to get them the way you want

- Not enough ports. Here's an example. Let's say you have a usb mouse, you're listening to iTunes from your iPod, and you're saving backup data to a USB drive as you're working in MS Word. Well, that's one too many usb apps, so you'll have to constantly unplug everything to accommodate your needs

- No number pad. Now I realize this does not affect a large percentage of users, but I'm a finance guy, and work in Excel a lot. Not putting a number pad on the keyboard is reasonable, but what is not reasonable, is offering no first/third party solutions for a USB/Bluetooth numpad. Props to anyone that can find such an accessory

- A bit tricky to port your iTunes media from PC to Mac. You'll be contacting support on this one, trust me

- Too many extra charges from Apple. $350 for 3 years of support, $99 per year of storage backup. Considering what we're paying for Macbooks, you'd think Apple would cut us a break on some of the "extras"

- Here's my biggest gripe. I have had SERIOUS stability issues with my Macbook and 2Wire DSL AT&T modem/router working together. I originally had a problem with Airport dropping my signal (fixed it with a Google search). Then, I had numerous problems with "Broadband Link Not Established Errors" from my 2Wire modem. Again, I was able to find a posting online which allowed my to turn 2Wire notification messages off, resolving this. So after numerous Google searches, and tech support from Apple and AT&T, my internet is pretty stable, but still not great. I'm still having issues where common websites will not load without stopping the request and clicking the reload button. Some users have had these stability issues resolved by purchasing the Airport Extreme Router, but at $179, this is not a cheap solution. I've had none of these internet problems running other devices from 2Wire. I'm not sure who is at fault, but my gut tells me that Apple did not go out of their way to make their Macbooks overly friendly with 2Wire's network. I feel like Apple should send me a partial rebate for all the hard research I've put in to get a stable connection

So is it worth it to switch to Mac? In a word, yes. Although they're certainly more expensive, 13" models are available at $1,200 which provide decent value. New Mac users will certainly notice an increased level of refinement and simplicity when they make the switch. Overall, a very nice laptop that would easily merit a 5 star rating, if not for the terrible 2Wire compatibility issues.

8/5/09 update:

My 2Wire modem continued to error out and reset itself while surfing webpages. The DSL and Internet lights would flash red, and my internet would disconnect for 20 seconds every time this happened. I finally found a solution to this problem. Not thrilled about the extra $89, but my internet experience is finally stable. The product I picked up is the D-Link ADSL2/2+ Modem/Wireless Router combo. I also reviewed this product on Amazon.

The D-Link is highly recommended for AT&T DSL users with Mac/2Wire compatibility issues.

Wow. Better in most ways than previous models5
Apple's latest version of the MacBook Pro combines a sleeker case, more GB of RAM, an SD slot, and longer battery life, all with a lowered price. The 15" LED backlit display (available on the previous models as well) is simply gorgeous, with crisp graphics and easy-on-the-eyes clarity.

Unlike older models of the MacBook and MacBook Pro, this laptop runs fairly cool, even after hours of using a lot of processor power. The case, though not as thin as the Air, is slimmer than most (non-Apple) laptops I've seen, with an aluminum case that resists fingerprints better than the old MacBooks. The keyboard is comfortable, with responsive keys, and is lit from behind with blue light. The touch pad is a single square, without a visibly separate clicker, although it's there, at the bottom, under the pad, with right and left click functions; navigation using the touch pad and clicker is extremely easy, but most heavy users will want to purchase a separate mouse, as they would with any laptop.

The 4 GM RAM is twice what the lower end of the Pros offered previously. The battery life is now at seven hours. Naturally, the actual time depends on what you are doing, but the estimate comes pretty close. The SD slot is a nice touch. The GEForce NVIDIA integrated graphics has been in the Pros for at least a generation, with generally good reviews, although this newer entry-level Pro no longer has the dedicated graphics chip. If you want the best Mac graphics, you'll have to purchase one of the more expensive Pros that include the integrated graphics and the NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT chip. For most people, however, this version is enough.

The MacBook Pro comes bundled with the newest iLife Suite, a fantastic set of programs that keep getting better: iPhoto, iMovie, Garage Band, PhotoBooth, iDVD, etc. Users of older versions of these programs will be blown away. This MacBook should come with Snow Leopard, Apple's latest OS X, released in September 2009. (For more information about Snow Leopard, see Mac OS X version 10.6 Snow Leopard)

If you want to occasionally run Windows on this, you'll need to buy a copy of Windows, such as Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition FULL VERSION with SP2 or other version, and a program such as Parallels Desktop 4.0 for Mac or VMware Fusion 2. Keep in mind that if you plan to run most programs on a Windows platform, you should probably not get a Mac. Most programs these days will have versions for each platform, but there are exceptions.

Students and heavy word-processing/presentation users should consider purchasing Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac Home & Student Edition.

The MacBook Pro is a fantastic machine. The debate between PCs and Macs will continue to rage, even as computers like this Pro win converts. Consumers who wish a small, budget desktop Mac instead of a laptop should look at the Apple Mac mini MB463LL/A Desktop.

NOTE: This review is for the 15.4 inch MacBook Pro. Amazon has pooled the reviews for all sizes. According to another customer, the 17 inch size does not have an SD slot and instead has an Express Card slot.

-- Debbie Lee Wesselmann

About Apple MacBook Pro MC226LL/A 17-Inch Laptop detail

  • Amazon Sales Rank: #43 in Personal Computers
  • Brand: Apple
  • Model: MC226LL/A
  • Dimensions: 13.00 pounds
  • CPU: Intel Core Duo 2.8 GHz
  • Memory: 4000MB DDR2 SDRAM
  • Hard Disk: 500GB
  • Processors: 2
  • Display size: 17

Features

  • Ships in Certified Frustration-Free Packaging
  • 2.8 GHz Core 2 Duo Processor
  • 500 GB hard drive, DVD/CD SuperDrive, 4 GB DDR3 RAM
  • NVIDIA Geforce 9400M + 9600M GT Graphics, 17 inch LED Display
  • Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard Operating System

Apple MacBook Pro MC226LL/A 17-Inch Laptop Description

MacBook Pro brings high performance and precision design to everyone. Every new MacBook Pro features a breakthrough, long-lasting battery that delivers up to 7 hours of wireless productivity on a single charge (8 hours on the 17-inch MacBook Pro) and can be recharged up to 1000 times—nearly three times the lifespan of typical notebook batteries. The new LED-backlit display has a 60 percent greater color gamut than that of previous generations, giving you richer, more vibrant colors. Every MacBook Pro features the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M integrated graphics processor, which provides an outstanding graphics experience for everyday tasks. Power your way through the latest 3D games—including Call of Duty and Quake—and enjoy improved graphics performance with iWork, iLife, and everything you do in Mac OS X. The 17-inch MacBook Pro has an advanced graphics architecture that employs both the integrated 9400M and the NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT discrete graphics processor. Experience the fastest, smoothest, and clearest graphics yet for pro applications like Aperture and Motion, productivity tools such as Keynote, and intensive 3D games. Depending on how much performance or battery life you need, it’s a snap to switch between the two processors. And with the latest 2.8GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, it’s the most powerful Mac notebook ever. All in a precision aluminum unibody enclosure that’s less than an inch thin.


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