MacBook Pro First Thoughts: A New Era

by Tom Bridge

For the last five days, I've been near-obsessively refreshing the FedEx website, hoping for news of the whereabouts of my new computer. I'm transitioning away from a work-owned PowerBook G4 1.5Ghz, and into a MacBook Pro 1.83Ghz of my very own. This morning, when the knocking came at 8am, I was convinced it was anyone but the FedEx guy delivering my computer, as we all know that FedEx's modus operandi is something on the order of overpromise and underdeliver, but there he was, dropping off the tiny box that I couldn't believe actually held my computer.

To my shock and awe, there it was. The box itself is half as thin, and only slightly taller than the PowerBook boxes I've come so used to unpacking. Nestled within its polysterene innards was my computer, its monumental power adapter, a few discs, a remote and a display adapter. These are my first thoughts, from unpack to working system, are contained within.


cycle cynic
2006-02-27 13:50:46
Well, well, faster than a G4 heh! And is it worth the almost double price compared to a dual core Vaio?
Tom Bridge
2006-02-27 14:11:10
I sure think so, but then again, you might *like* running Windows.
Tom Bridge
2006-02-27 14:26:31
And the only VAIO I can find with a proper CoreDuo chip and a 15" screen is the FE590PB, the rest have old Pentium Ms....Apple and Oranges...and if it doesn't run (non-pirated) OS X, I don't want it.
2006-02-27 15:37:21
Great to hear that you are enjoying your new MacBook Pro, Tom. I've got hopes of purchasing one soon - and it is really helpful to hear of your experiences.
2006-02-27 15:54:26
You might be a Mac user if you obsess with the packaging.
2006-02-27 16:21:34
The Sony VGN-FE590GC ($1650) is the closest to a MacBook Pro, of course it is bigger, heavier, and has Intel onboard video (with shared memory!) so don't expect to ever do anything with graphics or play modern video games. It doesn't even come with Windows XP Pro! And while they are both 15" screens, the Apple LCD is higher resolution (1440x900 vs 1280x800).

So the Apple is smaller, lighter, faster, more capable and costs a few hundred dollars more. Even between Sony models, it is normal for faster, smaller, lighter laptops to cost more.

2006-02-28 00:15:04
Great to hear that the low-end MacBook Pro delivers a significant performance increase to a 1.5GHz PowerBook. I'm currently running a 1GHz Ti PowerBook and am waiting until (I think) next year for a Merom-based MacBook Pro with the Santa Rosa chipset, so I should see a LOT of improvements.

It is interesting that whenever a new Mac is released that non-Mac users appear surprised that Mac-users are happy to pay a price premium for their products. Since my switch from XP a few years ago I have come to appreciate that the price is well worth paying for years of hassle-free computing and an overall experience that other platforms just can't touch yet.

2006-02-28 01:08:55
These are exciting times for Mac users. Really, the justification for running Windows is coming down to 'corporate standard', 'legacy apps' or 'games'. That's right - against Mac OS X on intel, I really think you need to come up with a solid business reason for even contemplating a Windows machine - and don't forget to factor in the extra maintenance costs.
2006-02-28 12:48:44
I'm torn between the MacBook Pro and the VAIO FE590G. The VAIO appears to have a LOT of advantages (lower cost gets twice the RAM, it includes a modem, and a double layer DVD burner). The MacBook is not even a pound lighter and has some nifty things like the remote and MagSafe power cord. But I'm very concerned about the Rosetta performance, and I love my PhotoShop.

I think I just made my decision for myself. :)

2006-02-28 14:52:08
We here in the repair sector call it the Powerbook Evolution.


Flying Geek
2006-03-02 21:11:52
My MacBook showed up on Tuesday. Some things are faster (Mail, Safari, Ruby) but on the whole it is clear that they have some bugs to iron out within OS X itself. Finder performance is subpar (even with an upgraded BTO spindle), init of Preview is pokey and my airport selections will randomly crap out. I do love how much faster what I compile with gcc runs.