Apple's new MacBook Pro is a beautifully engineered machine, with looks and brains to match.

This is according to a review in the New York Times penned by David Pogue.

"Apple calls the MacBook 'the finest laptop in the world'. In truth, a more accurate description would be 'the finest laptop in the world, with a small serving of disappointment on the side'," he writes.

Pogue is impressed by all the well-known new features of the machine: its processor, iSight camera and new magnetic power cable win particular praise.

However, Pogue decries some features – present in previous PowerBooks – which are no longer available: S-video, FireWire 800, and a fast SuperDrive. The drive in the MacBook Pro is only half as fast as before (4x versus 8x).

Pogue also criticises the absence of a modem, which means you can't fax from the laptop and also limits connectivity when travelling with your portable Mac.

"The biggest change of all, though, is in the MacBook's speed. It's nothing like the 4x or 5x speed up measured by Apple's benchmarks. Even so, this machine flies," he said.

"The MacBook Pro is a beautifully engineered machine. If it's not the world's finest, it's darned close," Pogue ends, but with a caveat: "It won't achieve true greatness until the important programs have been rewritten for the Core Duo chip's blazing speed."