My Unibody MBP Experience/Review

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by TheCakeIsALie, Oct 23, 2008.

  1. TheCakeIsALie macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #1
    I have a new unibody MacBook Pro (2.53 Ghz w/ 320 GB HDD @ 7200 RPM) and here's what I think of it so far.

    The build quality is solid. Luckily, my MBP didn't come with any (noticeably significant) defects. The aluminum body was smooth and scratch/dent free, the battery cover fits perfectly on the bottom, the keyboard wasn't crooked, no dead/stuck pixels and no problems with sound or SuperDrive. I'm quite impressed with the sturdiness of the unibody enclosure. However, it is a little wider and heavier than I had expected. But that's not really a big deal.

    The display is very reflective. But if you mainly use it indoors, it shouldn't be too much of a problem. The back light is very bright on full brightness, and even on half or 1/3 full, the reflections are mostly negligible if you are indoors.

    The ports are a bit too close to each other in my opinion. After I plugged in a USB mouse, I couldn't fit my SanDisk USB drive in (and it's not one of those fat ones either).

    I installed Windows XP Pro 32-bit via Boot Camp, and I did not experience any problems. I formatted the partition as NTFS file format (as opposed to the FAT32 default), and there was no problem during installation at all. The drivers installed properly from the Leopard DVD, sound, keyboard, GeForce 9600M GT all worked pretty well. The trackpad was a bit problematic in XP, because it seems that it's not recognizing the number of fingers on the pad correctly for the secondary click. I have to click using three fingers to achieve a right click (even though Boot Camp control panel sets it to two finger click). XP ran really well on the MBP, Windows updated without any problems to SP3 (I used the SP2 CD). And just for the record, the 2.53 Ghz CPU indeed is the T9400 and not the P9500 (I checked with CPU-Z).

    I also used my Boot Camp partition in VMware Fusion 2.0 as a virtual machine in OS X. I did have to call Microsoft and re-activate Windows, because it thinks that "significant hardware changes had taken place". But that wasn't much of a hassle, just a few minutes on the phone with the customer service.

    Some notes of interest with Boot Camp:
    • The machine gets significantly hotter in Boot Camp (mainly because the use of 9600M GT)
    • HWMonitor reports that CPU temperature idles at around 52C/125.6F, GPU temperature idles at about 61C/141.8F, and HDD temperature idles at around 36C/96.8F (HWMonitor can only read from these three sensors, but in OS X, iStat Pro can read temperatures from the memory controller, bottom enclosure/case and more)
    • Trackpad finger recognition problem. Right click is set to "two finger click" in Boot Camp control panel but most of the time three fingers must be used to register a right click properly. This is clearly a software/driver issue because two finger right click works perfectly fine when using VMware Fusion to virtualize the Boot Camp partition
    • XP 32-bit only recognizes 3 GB of memory
    • Battery life is a lot shorter in XP (half an hour under the same brightness level etc... drained 30% of my battery)
    • Keyboard backlighting can not be turned off in XP, they can only be toned down
    • Screen brightness adjustment and volume adjustment is normal in XP
    • The GeForce 9600M GT inside the MBP could be based on a different manufacturing process, because GPU-Z failed to recognize most of the stats about the chip
    • Clock de-synchronization problem in XP, due to the difference between Windows and OS X in terms of how they read the system time. I disabled Apple Time Service in Windows through Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Services and that seems that have fixed the problem.
    My MBP goes to sleep normal, without any complications. I've tested sleep mode several times, each time ranging from 15 minutes to 2 hours, and there doesn't seem to be any heat generation (somebody reported this happening to their MBP).

    The fans are really quiet when using the 9400M under OS X. However, they do kick in when switched to the 9600M GT or in Windows XP. Although the loudest noise that the MBP produces is still the sound of disc churning when the SuperDrive is reading.

    Anyway, this has been my experience with the MBP so far. Overall, I'm quite satisfied with this machine. I do hope for improved drivers for GPU switch in OS X and Boot Camp trackpad fixes/enhancements. Thanks for reading.
     
  2. mathcolo macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2008
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #2
    Wow, great review! Glad you like the machine. I read all of these other posts about hating the viewing angle with the new machines but obviously it's illegitimate. Good points here!
     
  3. vkt macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #3
    Awesome. Congratulations on your new machine and thanks for the review. It's really nice to see a thread about somebody who had NO problems with their brand new MBP. Enjoy :D
     
  4. nitewolfgtr macrumors regular

    nitewolfgtr

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
    #4
    I've been using the new MBP for couple days now and I can also confirm that there isn't any problems with the new MBP. It's really solid and running awesome! Much better than windows.
     
  5. SchneiderMan macrumors G3

    SchneiderMan

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Location:
    Apple state

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