17" Unibody MacBook Pro, First Impressions

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ayeying, Feb 20, 2009.

  1. ayeying macrumors 601

    ayeying

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Location:
    Yay Area, CA
    #1
    Finally arrived. After waiting 3 weeks, it has arrived!

    Some first impressions:

    - The laptop is HUGE. Compared to my MacBook, it's a BEAST. But it also could be since this is my first 17" Notebook (PC or Mac), I'm not used to the size.
    - The speakers seem to favor the left side a bit more than the right. I don't know if it's because of my sitting position or not, but it seems slightly louder on the left then the right.
    - The speakers are loud and average. Not much bass production.
    - The Superdrive is super quiet compared to my MacBook or previous MacBook (Pro) I've owned.
    - The fans are "Mag-Lev" based. They can spin up or down very rapidly. I went from 2000RPM (Base) to 5700RPM (Max) within 2 seconds and down in the same amount of time.
    - The screen is nice and sharp, however the colors, without calibration seems a little awkward.
    - It's fast. 2.93GHz vs the 2.4GHz in my MacBook makes a huge difference even under the 9400M.
    - It's light. It may be big but it's also light. I can easily carry it with one hand without any discomfort.
    - It runs very cool. Just installing programs right now the CPU has yet to pass 40 deg C.
    - The battery charge time seems to vary. When I first got it and plugged it in, it reported at 96% capacity, charging time of ~1 hour. However, within 20 minutes, it reports it is finishing charge.
    - There is no flickering when switching between the two nVidia graphics cards
    - There is no flex when opening the screen, however the magnets holding the screen closed are very powerful and requires a little bit of effort to open the screen

    I'll post updates when I use more of this system.

    Currently, the battery is 100% charged. I'm going to use it down and see how the battery life is. Unplugged start time is 11:13 AM PST

    Test: Installing programs via Superdrive and External HDD (USB). Fans will remain at default settings via SMCFanControl. Display brightness varies as day goes by, automatic setting. Speakers are on @ max but not playing any music. 9400M video card in use. Wifi On/Bluetooth Off. Time Machine not active.
     
  2. Nikos macrumors 68000

    Nikos

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Location:
    New York
  3. ayeying thread starter macrumors 601

    ayeying

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Location:
    Yay Area, CA
    #3
    There is none I can tell right now when using a black screensaver. I'll report back on that when the weather gets darker.
     
  4. Nikos macrumors 68000

    Nikos

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Location:
    New York
    #4
    Sounds good! :D
     
  5. juliancs macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2006
    #5
    Awesome stuff! Have you got the glossy screen? Is it the anti christ that some here say it is?
    Mine is only shipping on th 4th of march :(
     
  6. nikhsub1 macrumors 68000

    nikhsub1

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    Location:
    mmmm... jessica.'s beer...
    #6
    Thanks for sharing! You will find, as I did, that once you own a 17" laptop it is VERY difficult to go back to using something smaller... I take this thing with me everywhere and it doesn't bother me a bit. I mean, how much heavier is the 17 than the 15? 1.5lbs?
     
  7. isethx macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    #7
    my fans have never gone above 2000! they go from like 1996.. 2000, more or less, even when my cpu is a 80c when doing imovie. i hope my fans work right!
     
  8. ayeying thread starter macrumors 601

    ayeying

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Location:
    Yay Area, CA
    #8
    It is glossy. And honestly, its a lot better then my MacBook's screen in terms of viewing angle, brightness, color density, etc.
     
  9. ayeying thread starter macrumors 601

    ayeying

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Location:
    Yay Area, CA
    #9
    I set my fans to max using SMCFanControl to test the fans. I have yet to get any single program to tax the CPU to the point where it requires the fan to run at max.
     
  10. The Samurai macrumors 68000

    The Samurai

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Location:
    Glasgow
    #10
    This is a long shot, but it may be worthwhile doing a video review on it :D
     
  11. ayeying thread starter macrumors 601

    ayeying

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Location:
    Yay Area, CA
    #11
    im camera shy. haha.
     
  12. shivermetimbers macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Location:
    McChord, Wash
    #12
    Sweet! Mine wont be here till next week. Glad to see some people are getting theirs. I am anxious, but try not to think about it.:D
     
  13. BornAgainMac macrumors 603

    BornAgainMac

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    Location:
    Florida Resident
    #13
    I plan on going today and getting one (if they are in stock yet). Thanks for the review.
     
  14. apple2E macrumors regular

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    Sep 22, 2008
    Location:
    CA
    #14
    Awwwe yours came!!! My still says "Not yet Shipped"!! Congrats!!!!
     
  15. mac jones macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2006
    #15
    As far as I can tell none of the stores have them. (or it's very sporadic)

    If they don't get them in this afternoon something is amiss.

    I can understand them wanting to take care of the loyal fans first as it costs money to field complaints :D
     
  16. Quu macrumors 68020

    Quu

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    #16
    My first impressions are pretty much the same as ayeings.

    Although this is my 2nd 17" MacBook Pro.

    Based on my ownership of my first one I can say that the new uni feels smaller I don't know if it actually is smaller or if its just the tapered edges making it look and feel more sleeker but it looks smaller.

    Keyboard is pretty nice, quiet easy to use. Trackpad I'm finding a little difficult to get used to (Without the button I keep putting my thumb off it to click trying to find a button that doesn't exist).

    My temperatures are the same as his I'm around 38c when not doing much which is a marked improvement over my First Gen 17" which would sit idle at around 56c and feel noticeably hot on the base.

    Battery Life, I managed to get 6 hours out of it on the 9400m with brightness around 50% and not doing very much. The estimated time in the menubar was 6 hours and 31 minutes and I got 6 out of it so its quite accurate (my usage changed after the original estimate).

    It's very very fast. Safari opens in like 0.1 Second, H.264 1080P video plays without any stuttering and lower then 10% CPU usage. The screen is awesome the colours are a lot deeper then my old 17" and the Gloss actually hasn't been an issue. I was worried that I'd have trouble with the gloss but the screen brightness is so high that in most situations where environmental light sources are hitting the screen it just doesn't become an issue.

    There is NO backlight bleed. AT ALL. none. My old 17" had some, my old 15" had some but this has none at all. Not only is the display perfect but it closes perfectly too 100% even closure across the bottom. I have to say this is the best notebook I've ever received from apple in terms of build quality. My old 17" did not close 100% perfect and had a little backlight bleed.

    Curiously mine also shipped with around 97% battery full and it had 2 cycles on the battery upon arrival.

    I had the original MagSafe connector with my original MacBook PRo 1st Gen and I have to say the new one is a marked improvement. The connector that plugs into the laptop has a longer skirt securing it to the cable so I'd expect this to last longer and the AC adapter on the power brick is a lot thicker and feels more durable and more easily contorts, the older cable was thinner but more rigid and harder to manoeuvre. The power brick itself is noticeably smaller my 1st gen brick was 35% larger in volume then the new one. Both are rated for the same wattage.

    I've yet to find anything wrong with my Notebook. Awesome purchase. I was surprised by how little there was in the shipping box though I'm accustomed to receiving more accessories with my hardware.
     
  17. JtheLemur macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 13, 2002
    #17
  18. Quu macrumors 68020

    Quu

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    #18
    The new 17" battery doesn't need to be user calibrated. The manual makes no mention of calibrating like the 15" does. So no our results are not useless at all.
     
  19. cal6n macrumors 68000

    cal6n

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2004
    Location:
    Gloucester, UK
    #19
    Looking at the pdf of the manual, this appears to be redundant advice now.
     
  20. Repo macrumors 6502a

    Repo

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    #20
    While I did order mine with the Matte option, the Glossy screen really is very nice. I can't reiterate this enough, but your screen choice completely depends on you. I go outside with my laptop a lot, and the Matte screen is a must. Indoors and outside (away from sun) the Glossy screen is still great. However, the subtle reflections and mirror like finish bother me. I don't want to see everything that's going on around me when I'm on my laptop. From what I've seen, if you keep the backlight on high, glare shouldn't be a problem.
     
  21. Repo macrumors 6502a

    Repo

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    #21
    Oh snap! It's great the battery doesn't have to be calibrated. Makes sense since it's monitored by the laptop so well.
     
  22. Sir Cecil macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    #22
    In my experience, the matte screens wash out to near invisibility in the sunlight, while the glossies maintain more contrast.
     
  23. ayeying thread starter macrumors 601

    ayeying

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Location:
    Yay Area, CA
    #23
    Time is 2:51PM, battery's at 5% left. That included a Windows Vista Business install w/ drivers install.

    Not bad at all.
     
  24. MAC-PRO-DEMON macrumors 6502a

    MAC-PRO-DEMON

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    Location:
    Up north in Yorkshire :)
    #24
    I got mine yesterday...
    2.93GHz
    8GB
    256GB SSD
    Matte Display

    I have run a preliminary test on the battery... As I am on matte display, the backlight is on 80%... I got 6:00 dead... This was on the 9400... I will try out the 9600 battery life due course!! The annoying thing for me is the fact that the battery is longer than my MBA which is my laptop that is always in my bag... I have installed Vista via VM ware... And noticed a significant improvment over my old one over the graphics in that... I have watched a 1080p movie... And the quality was great...

    I have yet to have a problem with the 30" display.. As I have one hooked up to it at the moment and am having no probs..

    I definitly think that it was a worthwhile upgrade compared to my old 15" and it's performance with everyday apps definitly rivals. That of my Mac Pro... Mail, Safari etc...

    Will post again, after I have had a week with it!!!

    Jack
    Any questions, pm me...
     
  25. uiop. macrumors 68020

    uiop.

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI
    #25
    Congrats on the MBP. Nothing like the first day with a new Mac. :D

    Has anyone posted more pictures of the 17"er? I love pics.

    Ditto. I currently can see no reflections other than the light bulb in the ceiling and my brightness is just shy of all the way.
     

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