Couple of overlooked goodies on new 2011 MacBook Pro lineup

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by 1BadMac, Mar 5, 2011.

  1. 1BadMac macrumors 6502

    1BadMac

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    Jan 27, 2010
    #1
    It's been sad to see that most of the back and forth postings on this site revolve around gaming capabilities between the 2010 and 2011 MBP lineup. With all of that said, there has been little mention of the other included "goodies" if you will that Apple quietly introduced.

    SDXC support: The new 2011 MBP's include the SDXC card slot (an improvement over the 2009/2010 SDHC) - allowing it to utilize the larger capacity cards while still being backwards compatible.

    Improved wireless networking: The wireless card is improved in the 2011 lineup, with a Broadcom BCM4331 that includes four antenaes vs three in the previous offering. The card itself is said to support 3x spatial streaming, on both the 2.4 and 5.0 ghz bands. This will allow for faster connections and broader wireless coverage (your mileage may vary).


    The SATA III and HD camera inclusions are also getting less notice VS the hundreds of threads comparing processor benchmarks, but I'm surprised that those looking to use the MBP for photography or have complained of wireless coverage in the past are not noticing two of the more meaningful upgrades to them.
     
  2. grahamnp macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    I guess people tend to gravitate towards the features that impress them the most. I'm a hobby photographer but SDXC means little to me because I'd rather have multiple 4-8GB cards as opposed to one >32GB card for safety reasons as well as price. Not complaining though, new features are always welcome in any area IMO.
     
  3. MacDaddy80 macrumors member

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    #3
    great to point out
     
  4. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    #4
    That's what happens sometimes with new refreshes. No matter what great things are in an upgrade, some stuff gets overlooked and there is a lot of whining going on.
     
  5. theLimit macrumors 6502a

    theLimit

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    #5
    SDXC was on the iMac last year, and I still haven't seen any threads reviewing/benchmarking multiple 64GB cards. I just don't think it matters very much at the moment with the price per GB of SDXC cards being double that of SSD drives.

    This is the first I've heard of the faster wireless networking, and it is very exciting news indeed. I've always been slightly miffed that my wife's 3-year-old Gateway laptop picks up and holds networks at a much farther range than a MBP. I can't wait for this summer so I can upgrade and try it out.

    The HD FaceTime camera is the same as on the new iPad and iPod Touch. I haven't seen too much excitement over FaceTime in general around these forums. I think it's great, but I don't have any FaceTime devices right now, and until there is a Windows client, I'd have no one to FaceTime with anyway. I like that Apple is finally upgrading the webcam after slacking off for so long. The built-in iSight cameras were a huge downgrade from the standalone iSight.

    SATA III is the biggest upgrade for me after the CPU and GPU upgrades. Those are the three technologies that make a computer more useful for me. I'm love seeing the benchmarks for the processor and graphics, and I'm looking forward to reviews and benchmarks of upcoming SSD drives in these machines.
     
  6. Rhyalus macrumors 6502

    Rhyalus

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    Mar 4, 2011
    #6
    If you do a lot of video conferencing ( a la Skype) then the HD camera makes a big difference.

    This was one of the three of four reasons that I chose the MBP over the Air.

    R
     
  7. WonkyPanda macrumors regular

    WonkyPanda

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    Mar 29, 2010
    #7
    No one has ever mentioned this besides engadget:

    "so the only distinguishing characteristics are the lightning-strike Thunderbolt icon on the port row and a subtle new texture to the aluminum lid"

    Can anyone confirm?
     
  8. Miss Terri macrumors 6502

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    #8
    I would be very interested to hear more about this, as I live day-to-day with a pretty marginal wireless connection. Before I settled on my 2010 MBP, I bought it, brought it home, and set it up next to my iBook. Both got the exact same number of bars, faded out in the same areas, etc. And also they were both the same as my 2008 plastic Macbook (RIP) was. I considered this good as I had always heard the metal 'books were worse. (Apparently that has been changed as the antenna is now near the plastic hinge on both plastic and metal ones; but I still wanted to test it in my location.)

    Soooo, has anyone tried one of the 2011's on a marginal wi-fi connection where they know how their 2010/type worked, for a direct comparison? That would be great info to have.

    Miss Terri
     
  9. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #9
    I went from a 2008 13 MBP to a new 2011 13 MBP and I can definitely see improved wi-fi reception. I can see the wi-fi routers of two neighbors about half a block away I could not see before and both show good signal strength.
     
  10. TheHoff macrumors 6502

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    #10
    Except that Pro cameras use CF cards. They are more durable and significantly faster on the write speeds. I'm glad the 17" has the ExpressCard so you can put in a CF reader vs. the wasted slot the SD would be for me -- so I'm thankful for that.
     
  11. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

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    #11
    You know what would have been a HUGE improvement with the SD slot? Not having the card stick out so far.
     
  12. 1BadMac thread starter macrumors 6502

    1BadMac

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    #12
    Yes, that would have been nice. That's the only thing preventing me from buying a larger capacity drive to keep in there all the time.
     
  13. 87am macrumors regular

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    Feb 27, 2011
    #13
    Now maybe I am completely imagining things, but there are two small things that seem to have changed for 2011:

    1) The keys justseem to have a softer smoother feel when typing on them. Less "clicky"

    2) The keyboard backlight seems to be more of a pure white light, instead of a slight bluish hue.

    *** I haven't owned a unibod pro before, just have used some that belong to friends so maybe I am just imagining **** here.
     
  14. HBOC macrumors 68020

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    #14
    Yeah i have never had a camera that utilizes SD cards, just CF. When I upgrade my 1Ds to the MkII, it will have dual slots and I can use it.. For now I just use a firewire reader
     
  15. TheHoff macrumors 6502

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    #15
    I shoot 1DS2s. I was offered another body by a friend who switched to 3s; mint condition for $1500... crazy prices now for a body of this quality.
     
  16. 1BadMac thread starter macrumors 6502

    1BadMac

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    #16
    Reading more about the wireless. Looks like Bluetooth has it's own seperate card / antenna, while the wifi now has 3 antennas of it's own. Also the case is now metal vs plastic according to iFixit teardown.

    I have great wifi reception, so I can't really comment. I do notice a **** ton more access points in my neighborhood that I never really noticed before. Usually there were 3-5 I could see, now there are over 10.
     
  17. HBOC macrumors 68020

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    #17
    wow, that is a GREAT price. I picked up another 1Ds for $980 shipped and PP'd off of FM. Has only 19K clicks and just got cleaned at Canon. Love those bodies. Can never go back to a prosumer body (including 5D:) )
     
  18. akhbhaat macrumors regular

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    Sep 30, 2010
    #18
    The Wifi performance in my 2011 MBP is noticeably superior to the 2010 white MB I had before.
     
  19. Miss Terri macrumors 6502

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    US East Coast
    #19
    Now if that were true for 2011 (as opposed to maybe varying keyboard mfg. plants causing individual keyboards to vary across year models), I would more seriously consider buying one (13"). I love soft keyboards, and while my 2010 is not stiff by any means, I cannot imagine one too "light" for my tastes. Otherwise and in general, I was just going to wait for awhile, since my 2010 is basically new (and I'm not generally an eager early-adopter, kinda want to see where the Air goes, would like anti-glare on the 13-er, etc.).

    But a keyboard.... that I use constantly.

    Hmmm??? I wonder...

    Thanks,
    Miss Terri
     
  20. jlc1978 macrumors 68000

    jlc1978

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    #20
    True, but SDXC also means easier backups via the SD slot, especially as the price drops.
     

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