New MBP, New Mac User, First Thoughts

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Aaon, Apr 17, 2006.

  1. Aaon macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2004
    Well, I've been on this board for around two years, when I began looking seriously at entering the world of Macintosh. Sure, I use a Mac at work, but my primary machines have always been my trusty IBM Thinkpad A31, and my functional, if not very pretty, Dell. But over Thanksgiving 2005 my laptop was stolen. I decided then that my next laptop would be a Powerbook 15". Finally, this weekend the insurance money on my laptop came through, and I rushed out and officially joined the Mac world! Today I purchased a beautiful Macbook Pro!

    I sprung for the 1.83 model. My needs are limited, and the extra money for the 2.0 just didn't seem worth it for my needs. So far, the machine has been a joy to use. It is a W8612XXXXX model, and so far none of the reported problems has arisen! There is no noise from the screen or the processor, and compared to my Thinkpad, it is nearly silent. It can get quite warm, though not yet unbearably. I won't be using i on my bare legs, thats for sure.

    The screen, which was probably my biggest concern, is lovely. Bright and clear, it is as nice as I could have hoped for, with no bright bands or dark areas.

    The keyboard is probably the second best keyboard that I have used on a laptop, behind the Thinkpad. Also, comparing it to the thinkpad, I have found mself handling the MBP more delicately. I'm not sure if it's just that I don't want to scratch it, but I feel it is somewhat more fragile than the tank that was my A31. This is not to say that the build quality is bad at all. Far from it. I have seen no lid warping and have experienced no loose hinges, etc.

    I will most likely be springing for an extra 512mb or 1gb of ram, as well as a sleeve for it. I have a Targus laptop backpack, but it doesn't seem quite stylish enough for a machine like this!

    Anyway, I'm loving the machine, and I'm sure I will get great use out of it!

  2. wasimyaqoob macrumors 6502a

    Dec 23, 2005
    London, England.
    I think you should get a Crumpler Bag - i did :)
  3. discoforce macrumors 6502a


    Jan 27, 2004
    Vermont, USA
  4. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    The machine should handle any abuse the ThinkPad could handle.

    And I would opt for a 1gb upgrade (total 1.5gb) at least. 512 upgrade just wasn't enough for me.
  5. generik macrumors 601


    Aug 5, 2005
    I wouldn't try it if I were you. A thinkpad can seriously take a lot of abuse. Do the same to a PB/MBP and it will soon look like a dinged out can of sardines.
  6. Moshiiii macrumors 6502a


    Apr 4, 2006
    Sarasota, FL
  7. ITASOR macrumors 601


    Mar 20, 2005
    Probably true, but yeah, think of all the dents. :( The thinkpad would have to be hit pretty hard before it dents...the aluminum dents pretty easy. But hey, it looks a lot nicer. :D
  8. 3mph macrumors newbie

    Apr 12, 2006
    congrats m8, time to fix ur sig ;)

    Leave us your comments on ur new machine
  9. student_trap macrumors 68000


    Mar 14, 2005
    'Ol Smokey, UK
    nice one, glad that all is working well with your mbp
  10. mortey macrumors member

    Mar 19, 2005
    so cal
    I'm glad to hear this!

    I hear so many negative things from not only newly converted mac users but also mac pros with the macbook pro. This is great news for those considering the MBP

  11. m-dogg macrumors 65816


    Mar 15, 2004
    I don't work laptop is a ThinkPad T41. That is one tough, durable solid machine. It can take more abuse than a Powerbook if you ask me. I regularly toss mine in my bag with notebooks & the plug and stuff and it looks great. I wouldn't do that with a PB/MBP...

    ThinkPads are the best windows laptops available without question IMO.

    But I'm getting off the OP: Enjoy your new MBP!!!
  12. FF_productions macrumors 68030


    Apr 16, 2005
    Mt. Prospect, Illinois
    I'm always glad to hear a positive poster talking about their newly acquired MBP, Congrats!
  13. Aaon thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2004
    Hello again, everyone! I'm back with an updated review following my first full week with my stock Macbook Pro 1.83.

    I mainly have positive things to say about the machine. I still get a bit of a thrill everytime I pull it out of it's bag and turn it on. It's just beautiful, and so quick and speedy (with a couple exceptions which I will come to in a moment).

    Things I like:
    --- magsafe connector. I have already thanked Apple in my prayers for this one, as it saved my machine on day three from a 4 foot fall off of a counter. Sweet sweet sweet innovation!
    --- OS X. It's just a much nicer operating environemnt that I was using before. So hassle free. I also love the iLife suite. I have already made slideshows, a movie, and a DVD, stuff I never even considered doing before I got this machine.
    --- The Trackpad. Coming from a Thinkpad, I am so used to the trackpoint "eraserhead" style system. I still love it. But I have found the trackpad to be better than I expected. I keep threatening to plug a mouse into the MBP, but I never do, because I find the trackpad to be reasonably comfortable.
    --- The screen. Love it. Bright and clear, just really nice.
    --- All the little things like the backlit keyboard. I also include Front Row and the remote here. They've become valuable parts of my computing experience.

    Things I'm not so hot on:
    --- Heat. It gets warm. WAAAARRRRMMMM. especially in the top left. No quite enough to burn, but definitely enough to make you take serious notice.
    --- Memory. I find the machien to be extremely fast, but when more than a few apps are running, I start to feel a memory crunch. this is especially true when running the Parallels beta. An additional 512 or gig of ram I think will fix this up quite nicely. If you have any suggestions on where to get it, let me know I'm leaning towards Crucial right now.
    --- Streaming video. Specifically wmv. I knew from the start that this would be an issue, btu I thought I could work around it. So far, however, I have been unable to set streaming wmv, or even downloaded wmvs to work, to say nothing of streaming wmvs imbedded in web pages.
    --- Divx/XViD. Not sure what the problem is here, but some of my files won't play, even after installing the relevant divx and xvid codecs. VLC plays them fine though, so I guess it's ok, but I would like to use these files in Front Row.

    So, there you have it. Aaron's first week with a Macbook Pro. Hope this helps people who are looking to buy. I'd be more than happy to run any test or answer any question you have!

  14. Krash macrumors newbie

    Apr 26, 2006
    West Coast
    First thoughts

    Your review and update are spot on. I just purchased a MacBook Pro myself and I basically agree with all your comments. I went for the 1.83 as well but I got it with 1 Gig of ram and the 7200 HD as I plan on using it for recording audio. I'm a long time mac user but this is my first portable. I am very pleased with mine so far, especially considering my home computer for the last few years has been a G4 400 mhz machine. The one problem I'm having is eye fatigue. I am in serious need of a new prescription for my glasses so that is probably more the problem than the screen size. It doesn't help that I have a LaCie 22 at work. I find myself squinting to read the small type. I can adjust the display settings and that helps, but still I kind of wish I'd have waited for the 17" that just came out. Oh well, I'll probably end up getting a bigger monitor at some point to use as a second display, and the 15" should be fine for being on the go.

    By the way, this is my first post here at macrumors. I thought I was a major mac nerd until I came across this forum. :cool:
  15. DZ/015 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 23, 2003
    New England
    I use a Brenthaven case when I travel with my 12" powerbook. Had it for 3 years now and it is still holding up well.

    As for wmv files, try flip4mac. It is a quicktime plugin that allows wmv files to play in quicktime. Also plays most streaming wmv content on the web.
  16. MacRumorsReader macrumors member


    Mar 29, 2006
    Your memory woes will go away with a gig (or more!). As far as wmv goes you'll just have to wait for Flip4Mac to go universal.
  17. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus


    Oct 8, 2002
    The Bamboo Forest
    Get an additional gig if you can. Try for memory as they are cheaper than crucial and just as good really. If you do get it from Crucial I believe the MacBook Pro ram and the Intel iMac ram are the exact same but the iMac ram is $20 cheaper.

    You can install Flip4Mac on the Intel Macs if you run things via Rosetta. Sorta a pain in the tush and you'll have to run Quicktime in Rosetta mode to do it so it's really not worth it if you can hold off. Plus if you want them to play in Safari you have to set that to Rosetta mode too and... ughhh... too much hassle. There are instructions on on how to do that though if you like.
  18. Krash macrumors newbie

    Apr 26, 2006
    West Coast
    I got a brenthaven metro case for my macbook and it just barely fits, which seems like a good thing. It's nice that it doesn't slide around at all, it's very snug. The padding is pretty thick too. The only drawback I can see is there isn't much room for accessories if that's something you want.
  19. chris y. macrumors regular

    Feb 27, 2006
    los angeles, ca
    If your still having issues with divx movies you can try the VLC player which Ive been using ever since...
  20. Aaon thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2004
    Update number 3 on my new Macbook Pro 15". Still hands down one of the best computers I've ever used. Since I last reported I purchased an additional 512mb of memory for the machine from Crucial. I just didn't have the money to go for the extra gig, but after installing the 512, I have no regrets. The machine, while already fast, just screams with the extra memory. Parallels runs roughly one million times better with the extra memory, and windows XP in parallels is very useable. I mean, I wouldn't go playing Half Life in Parallels or anything, but it lets me run my coding environment, so i'm a happy camper. I also want to take a moment and praise Crucial. They were fast, attentive, and their product has given me no problems. Well done!

    Well, I think thats it for now. I will add more to this if I deem it worthwile. Take care!

  21. hvfsl macrumors 68000


    Jul 9, 2001
    London, UK
    If you want to run WMV files on your Mac, you may want to keep an eye on this:

    They currently have a PPC version, but the Intel (universal) version is not quite ready yet.
  22. 66217 Guest

    Jan 30, 2006
    So you have absolutely no noise at all? well that's good, because that was one thing keeping me from buying it.

    As for the hot it gets I think I would have to get used to it.
    Do you think that the thermal paste problem would get fixed?:confused: I mean, would this really help? I would like to buy a MBP that comes fixed of this problem.

    And when you talk that 512mb of RAM aren't enough, what are you doing at that time (what programs are you running)? Would having internet, pages and maybe msn or something like that would requeire 1gb to run smoothly?

  23. crazydrumma macrumors regular

    Jan 31, 2006
    ...wouldn't that be interesting... do you usually wear no pants while using a laptop?:p
  24. Aaon thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2004
    I don't have noise, which is excellent, i'm very pleased about that. As for the thermal problems, I do think the thermal paste issue may help alot. However, I'm not daring enough to attempt this repair, and turn my $2000 computer into a $2000 paperweight.

    I was doing fine with 512mb of ram, to be honest. I was surfing with Safari, doing Keynote designs, listening to iTunes, and running ichat all at the same time, and it was just fine. It was perhaps a tad bit choppy scrollign through my iPhoto library at times, but still quite useable. However, the system slowed to a crawl when I tried to run Parallels with WinXP. BUt obviously that sgooing ot be pretty memory intensive. I think for most everyday work, it was satisfactory.

    Good luck on your purchase! I think you'll love it! If you have any more questions, I'd be glad to help!

  25. Aaon thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2004
    Well, you know, sometimes at work I get bored, and I like to liven things up in my lab by working without pants! ;):p

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