Tue, 22 Apr 2008 15 inch MacBook Pro 2.4GHz Review
New MacBook Pros feature faster Penryn processors and better graphics
- Manufacturer: Apple
- Pros: Better battery life, supports trackpad hand gestures, double the video RAM of previous models on two high-end models
- Cons: Apple remote no longer free, trackpad a bit narrow for multi-touch hand gestures.
- Price: £1,299 (2.4GHz, 15in)
- Star rating:
Inside and out
From the outside, the new 15in and 17in MacBook Pros are identical to their predecessors. All are 25mm thick. All come in the same 360mm and 390mm light grey aluminum cases. The 15in MacBook Pro weighs 2.45kg; the 17in model weighs 3.08kg.
Both 15in models come with LED backlit anti-glare screens with resolutions of 1,440 x 900 pixels. These wide screens immediately illuminate to full brightness and are mercury-free. Glossy displays are available as an option for all models. The 17in MacBook Pro, which ships with standard LCD backlighting technology, has a resolution of 1,680 x 1,050 pixels. Apple offers high-resolution LED backlit screens as an option for the 17in model. These larger LED backlit displays – which offer 1,920 x 1,200 pixels – are mercury-free, arsenic-free, and cost £60 extra. Macworld did not test the 17in LED model for this review.
The new MacBook Pros all ship with 2GB of installed RAM (upgradeable to 4GB) and an 8x SuperDrive. All models come with an NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics processor, though the entry-level 2.4GHz model features 256MB of video memory, while the other two configurations offer 512MB. Each model has twice the video RAM of its predecessor. The 15in models have two USB 2.0 ports while the 17in model has three.
The 2.4GHz system comes with a 200GB hard drive, up from 120GB in the previous analogous model. The two 2.5GHz MacBook Pros offer 250GB of storage, with a 300GB hard drive available as a £50 build-to-order option for the 17in laptop. That compares with the 160GB hard drive in the older 15in high-end and 17in models.
While we’re excited that the MacBook Pro’s new trackpad now supports multi-touch hand gestures, we’ve found that because the trackpad is the same size as the previous models, the button often gets in the way. That said, the button did not affect the performance of the gestures, which work with the following applications in addition to the Finder: iCal, Safari, Preview, QuickTime Player, DVD Player, iPhoto, Mail, Address Book, and Aperture 2.0.
One thing that has changed from the previous MacBook Pro is the row of function keys at the top of the keyboard. The location of the media, volume, and keyboard illumination keys has been changed, there are new keys to control Exposé and Dashboard, and the NumLock key (as well as the rest of the numeric keypad) is now gone. However, the keyboard is nice and springy and has a comfortable, non-spongy feel.