New June '09 17" uMBP Review: LOTS of Pictures, Comparisons(w/ Asus NB), 56k R.I.P.!!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by midgetsanchez, Jun 25, 2009.

  1. midgetsanchez macrumors regular

    Jun 9, 2009
    I know how much you guys hate reading so I'm going to keep it short and sweet.

    I waited until WWDC to order my first Mac. I originally had my sights on the 15" MBP. However, after several days worth of reading reviews, and several trips to the Apple Store, I realized that that the 17" was the way to go(I'm so glad I made this decision). Since there was only a $150 price difference between the top-spec 15" and the 17", I went ahead and got the 17". Total came out to $2039 (BTO with 7200 RPM 500GB) after my $500 ADC Student Developer discount, plus tax.

    Anyway, I'm absolutely amazed at the design - Apple sure wasn't kidding when they said they made the "thinnest, lightest 17 inch notebook in the world". This thing actually feels MORE PORTABLE than the laptop it's replacing - a one-year old Asus M50, a 15" PC notebook (C2D 2.5Ghz, 4GB 887, 500GB 5400, Ati 3650 1GB). This is my first Mac and so far I'm extremely satisfied. A couple of quirks, however, which I'll get to later. Enjoy the pictures:




    Size comparison with a standard magazine


    Absolutely STUNNING display


    I have a Moshi clearguard keyboard protector which I installed immediately. It feels great and you can't even tell it's in place.


    Side-by-side with my 15" Asus M50:



    As you can see, the 17" MBP is not significantly larger than the 15" Asus - In fact, it's actually THINNER and LIGHTER, and is much more portable.


    The display on the 17" is incredible. I've yet to calibrate it, but as you can see the LED display is amazing - the White is much purer on the MBP, and looks dirty/tinted on the Asus(both shown at full brightness). Pictures don't do justice; the MBP is MUCH brighter IRL.


    The MBP is about half an inch thinner than the Asus, I think.



    ACCESSORIES: 17" Incase Sleeve, North Face Surge Backpack


    TV that I usually connect to via HDMI for movies/etc. (I got a minidisplayport-hdmi adapter from monoprice for cheap):


    A few minor issues:

    - The bottom panel creaks if you apply pressure to it. Not really that big of a deal, and it's not really noticeable.

    - I'm not entirely sure but I think my display might be bowed slightly...It doesn't bother me enough to want to exchange it but I'm not even sure...basically the gap between the lid and the MBP when closed is slightly larger in the middle than on the sides(see below). I don't know if you can tell from this picture. I'd appreciate if someone could at least compare with their 17"(high-rez here)


    As for portability, as you can see it's actually roughly the same size as my old 15" PC laptop which I'm used to carrying around(I'm a college student), except the MBP is a lot thinner and actually feels a lot easier to handle. The only time I can see myself running into trouble is during flights, in which case I might not have enough room to open the display all the way(in any case I'll probably have it on my lap rather than the table). Luckily I don't travel often so that won't be an issue.

    Like I said, the display is stunning and everyone knows that. This is, without a doubt, the BEST notebook screen I've ever seen/owned. I went with the glossy(gasp), and have no regrets. I'm not easily distracted by the reflections(which aren't as bad as everyone makes them out to be), which only really create problems if you have a light source directly behind you.

    The speakers are incredible, especially for a laptop. It has great bass response and puts the 13" speakers to shame.

    I got 6 hours and 44 minutes from my first battery run-down(straight from the box), with brightness a little below half, WIFI on, and really just surfing/playing itunes in the background/installing stuff. So far I'm extremely pleased and absolutely glad I went for the 17"(There came a time where I had doubts on the 17" and was extremely close to getting a 15" instead because I originally thought the 17" would be too big. Luckily I posted a thread and you guys talked me out of it. I'd just like to say thanks!). I haven't been on this forum for long(I created an account a little after WWDC to ask questions around here before I made my first MBP purchase), but it really paid off.

    Anyway, that's it for now. I'll edit this post later with more impressions later(I've only owned this for a day now). Still figuring things out as a first-time Mac user!
  2. phooi macrumors regular

    Aug 3, 2007
    Congrats! Now you have me thinking about getting a 17" when it's time to upgrade my existing MBP.

    Thanks for the pics.
  3. cu2010 macrumors 6502

    Jun 8, 2009
    new york city
    I hadn't noticed that until now. I've no idea why it's not flat when closed.
    Incidentally, you've got a clean, tidy place :p
  4. u49aa2 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 3, 2008
    Between Heaven and Hell
    Congratulation and just enjoy this incredible machine, and don't be superstitious ;)
  5. vanc macrumors 6502

    Nov 21, 2007
    Good write up! But comparing MBP 17 with a low end Asus M50 is not fair, is it?
  6. midgetsanchez thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 9, 2009
    Of course not. The comparison was more to demonstrate the size differences, since a lot of people have the misconception that the 17" is far too large to be 'portable', when in fact it's not much bigger than many 15" PC notebooks.
  7. JamesGorman macrumors 65816


    Dec 31, 2008
    Thats a really nice laptop. Congrats on the purchase. :)
  8. Advil macrumors 6502a

    Oct 4, 2008
  9. g3funk macrumors member


    Oct 2, 2008
    Since you have a Mac and an Xbox try out Rivet. A great little app that shares your music, photos and video across your network. Once Hulu gets on the over Time Warner. Nice to see the 17 love, I had a friend who was going out of business so he liquidated his 1 month old unibody 17 very it as a desktop replacement
  10. Belm macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2009
    I spy a Volcano in the background :D. Great review. I wish I could afford one, but I'm going to get the 13".
  11. entatlrg macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    Hello Vapor friend ;)

    Contgrat's on your 17", great photo's.

    * Nice Volcano, I've used one for a few years, but recently changed to the Extreme Vape (, I like the glass construction (taste), size, quality and dual delivery system.

    Enjoy your 'mac!!
  12. NJRonbo macrumors 68000

    Jan 10, 2007
    This was an enjoyable read. Thank you for the photos and writeup.

    I found this thread particularly helpful because I am in the same
    exact situation as you are. Waited for WWDC for the new Macbook Pro
    announcements and had settled on buying a 15" MBP.

    However, the realization that the 17" MBP was only $200 more than
    the top-of-the-line 15" MBP convinced me I needed to go to the Apple
    Store and look at both of them side-by-side.

    I would never have dreamed of going back to a 17" notebook. Been
    there back in my PC days and it was a complete nightmare. However,
    leave it to Apple to really slimline their notebooks. The 17" is barely
    larger or heavier than the 15" and that within itself is AMAZING.

    I will be purchasing the 17" either today or Monday. Looking forward
    to it.
  13. kalvinhui macrumors newbie

    Jun 3, 2009
    congrez and good writting! thank you for sharing~~
  14. Benjic macrumors regular

    Dec 7, 2007
    Madison, WI
    Thanks for reassuring me about the 17", I'm buying my AG 17" next week.

    Also, my 15" does have the gap larger in the middle than closer to the hinge and front of the lid. I kinda got used to it, but I think it warped just a little bit on my bottom and top case. I know it was that way from the start, and it wasn't my pressure on it, so I guess if I can't physically bend it back, I can't make it any worse, ya dig?
  15. Onay macrumors newbie

    Jul 1, 2009
    Good choice with the AG

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