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Apple MacBook Pro MC374LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop (OLD VERSION)
Carved from a single block of aluminum, the MacBook Pro is a true engineering achievement. Its patented unibody enclosure is the product of precise machining. The new energy-efficient architecture in the MacBook Pro, gives you dramatically longer battery life. On a single charge, the battery in the new 13-inch MacBook Pro lasts up to 10 hours, and you’ll get up to 1000 full charge and discharge cycles — that’s nearly three times the lifespan of typical notebook batteries. MacBook Pro gives you more options for high-performance graphics, starting with the new NVIDIA GeForce 320M integrated graphics processor in the 13-inch model. It’s up to 80 percent faster than the previous generation and is even more energy-efficient for everyday tasks like writing email and surfing the web. Every MacBook Pro has a pristine LED-backlit display with wide-angle viewing and a color gamut usually seen only on a desktop display. So whether you’re watching a movie or making one, you’ve got the perfect canvas. The ultrathin, seamless glass enclosure makes the display strong and durable. And because it’s power efficient and free of mercury and arsenic, this display is greener than ever. The 13-Inch MacBook Pro has advanced Intel Core 2 Duo processors. It also comes standard with a large hard drive offering up to 250 or 320GB of storage capacity, so there’s plenty of room for your photo libraries, video projects, and files. And of course all MacBook Pros come standard with Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard Operating System and iLife.
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When you're out shopping for a new computer, one of the most important things you look for is price. As consumers, we always want the best deals possible on every item we spend our hard earned money towards. Apple MacBooks and all Apple computers in general always tend to be priced significantly higher than their Windows counterparts. Some may argue there is just cause, others may argue there is no reason why a similar computer should be priced much higher. The 13.3 MacBook Pro was my first foray in the Mac world. After having it for a few days now, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that it's been worth every penny. I've been using PCs for 20 years now, and even have a degree in computer engineering. So it was very hard for me to make the switch, and it does take time. The first thing I will tell every potential buyer is that you have to give it some time to get used to using a Mac. If you buy a Mac and think you will be an expert at it in one day, you will be in for a rude awakening. Obviously, I am still new to this and am learning new things every day about the Mac Operating System.
The biggest reason why I am now telling people to buy a Mac is simply the ease of use. As a society, we always tend to pay more for something that's easier to use or run. With a Mac, that's definitely the case. The second thing that we tend to pay more for is quality and craftsmanship. That's another thing you will find with Apple computers. Obviously with that said, any electronic item can have defects from a factory, that's to be expected, but I'd say that with a Mac, you'll be less likely to have issues out of box.
Now going back to the main reason why I recommend a MacBook Pro, is again the ease of use. Even though I am new to Macs, it's been a delight to see how easy things are to accomplish. If you want to install in new software, it's as easy as double-clicking an icon, then when the program opens, you drag the new icon to the application folder. Voila, you're done! There are a few pieces of software that take more effort, but in general, most programs I installed, took a matter of seconds. To uninstall a program, you just drag the icon from the application folder to trash. Then you empty the trash, and the program is uninstalled. How easy is that? Thats of course just one example, but again, in the case of a Mac, everything just seems easier to work with than a Windows Machine.
I'll talk again about quality of craftsmanship. When you take the MacBook Pro out of the box, you know immediately just how wonderful the build really is. When you buy a computer in this day and age, you just don't expect it to be so nice out of the box. You of course wish it was nice, but it usually isn't. When you take the MacBook Pro out of the box, you know you're holding something special. The quality of the unibody construction is second to none. I don't think I can find another manufacturer that has notebooks as high quality as Apple does.
Finally, there are still certain other features such as the glass touchpad that I haven't even talked about. It's one of those features that you don't realize you need until you've tried it out. Multitouch hand gestures is truly the wave of the future in touchpads on notebooks. The ability to have two, three, and even four finger gestures is amazing. The ability to scroll up and down a document or website, or the ability to go back and forth between pages, and finally, the ability to display all the programs and documents you have open at once. These are all little touches that Apple has added to their line of notebooks that make the MacBooks truly special and unique.
I have always been impressed with the battery life of Apple notebooks (and all of their portables). From the first iBooks I get about 5 hours under normal use and 2 hours under heavy use (full out CPU plus spinning optical drive). That blows away the PC competition where I'm lucky to get 2 hours under the best of conditions. As I use my laptop on train commutes and flights this battery time is important to me.
Since 2003 they have delivered on their near 6 hour promise as I usually get around 5. That's well adequate for a train commute (unless you are really unlucky) or a flight across the US. But now with this enhancement, dropping the CPU to 2.4 GHz and improving the battery I couldn't resist trying the latest model with the 10 hour claim. And Apple did it. When I untether I get about a 9 1/2 to 10 1/2 hour life with normal use or 3-4 hours under heavy use. That's outstanding. I can use my Pro for about as long as an iPad.
Another thing that impresses me about the latest Pro 13 inch models is they dissipate heat well. They do get hot, being smallish laptops, but feel less hot than my polycarb 13. I am guessing that is because the aluminum unibody conducts heat better than plastic. I find the polycarb actually uncomfortable after a few minutes (and buffer the heat with a pillow) but can use the Pro on my lap for hours.
The computer is a joy to use. It continues to have all the plusses of OS X and Apple's fine aesthetics. As the product has been reviewed so well for all around use I just wanted to give it 5 stars for my positive experience of no complaints. I use these laptops for my livelihood and they are running for ten to sixteen hours every day with no glitches. Plus Apple's agenda to give an outstanding battery life to the latest generation is a total success in my opinion.
NOTE: As a followup I have bought three of these computers this year and returned one because of quality issues. From my (and others') experience with Apple I think my problem was just bad luck, but worth mentioning. So this year I bought two flawless MacBook Pro 13's and one that had the following issues. First I noticed excessive "head parking". I know the Pro's have an aggressive head parking algorithm and you often hear the loud click. But one day I had mine totally stationary on my desk in clamshell mode (mounted in an arc) and it just kept clicking away. The OS seemed fine otherwise and it just happened one day. After that I noticed an odd click now and then in clamshell mode. Second, and what got me to return this machine, is that within two weeks the "K"-key got stuck. It still worked, but was tweaked enough that my moderately good typing was no longer possible. So, as I was still within Amazon's return period, I returned the machine. That said I have two other MacBook Pro 13's this year and I have been totally satisfied with them. No other quality issues.
I debated over getting a Mac because of the cost but having worked with them for years at work I know what the advantages are. There are no viruses and you don't have to worry about renewing the Norton crap every other month. It is very user friendly and though it is a little older it is nicer than some of the newer PCs. The keys are light and easy to use, it is a full sized keyboard and the mouse works very well. The screen gives a beautiful display and it's comfortable to use. Excellent machine so far. Customer service over the phone was super I am very excited about the quality. It did not come with Microsoft office- but the value here is phenomenal. I think this will do the job I was hoping and much more!