Top critical review
15 people found this helpful
Good, but could do better
on May 16, 2012
I got my first MacBook Pro in 2006. It worked like a dream and I could not have had a better computer on which to complete a PhD. At that time there was iLife with iWeb so I could launch a website instantly having created a dot mac (later Me) account. It worked tremendously until about 2010, after which I foolishly decided to trade it in for a souped up second hand model (thought of as a cheap MBP upgrade) that was unfortunately coming from non authorised apple repairers and was faulty. I've learned my lesson. With the new MBP I purchased Apple Care almost as soon as I got the machine extending its authorised warranty service for 3 years.
So now I'm typing this on the new MBP. I have noticed that the battery does not really seem to last 7 hours. In a way, it charges up worryingly fast to seem to retain charge. The sound (I mean videos and multimedia) is simply not as loud as the previous MBP, maybe the loudspeakers are less powerful. My iPhone 4S seems to be louder than this (when not connected to external sound systems). The default screen is glossy though you can get a matte. I just have to say it is too glossy and the default should be a matte screen with the option for gloss. The glossy screen would prevent its adequate use in full sunlight and I have to put up with my reflection. I have since fitted a Moshi iVisor that helps considerably.
Significant improvements to the last MBP include the improved magsafe connector the wires of which do not get frayed and exposed due to stressful kinks between the plug and the power cord; the new design prevents kinking by keeping the cord straight. The unibody feels nice and rigid and keeps itself cool without the loud fan of the previous MBP. It is now very much more solid and silent as it works. You can't even hear the hard disk, so it feels like it has a SSD.
For its price, this computer is not worth it. My old MBP was considerably cheaper and Apple have really jacked up the price. The amount of RAM in the standard model (4GB, 8 would have been better) even with 750GB hard disk does not seem sufficient for the price.
The software is more troubling: The problem is the reduced iLife capability such as killing iWeb and issues with OS Lion. With OS lion, I just don't understand Mission Control, it seems to be a useless gimmick. The updated Safari browser works a lot worse than before, I can never seem to get the window I want (e.g., in the past when I opened Safari naturally it launched on the home screen, then you changed window and if you started a new window it would retain the same window, but the control of these windows is now much diminished). Features like Spaces and Stacks are also gimmicky. Each time I start the computer it reopens the software I took pains to shut down at the end of the last session. Disabling this does not seem to work. It constantly seems to open iCal even though I don't want it to do so. This process of reopening a great deal of software makes the booting up very slow. Ironically, the booting up speed is not faster than my old MBP, it may even be slower.
This MBP, if you want the bells and whistles such as 16GB of RAM (installable yourself), Apple Care warranty protection, leaving aside cosmetic externals like a hard shell or an antireflective screen will set you back an additional $750 approximately. That makes this computer about as expensive as they come. Of course these two features are optional, though perhaps a lower price with an iWeb type capability may have helped.
As for the future, I don't think an MBP without a CD/DVD drive would be very useful in the much anticipated upgrade (as rumoured). The improved IvyBridge chip will excite techies though will really jack up the price even more. I am very pleased with this MBP overall and will just end up spending far more money than is justified.