Review of a Mac Book Pro from a Windows User

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Andrew Henry, Mar 21, 2008.

  1. Andrew Henry macrumors 6502a

    Mar 4, 2008
    Hey guys,

    I'm pretty new to the forum, I figured since this is where I came to find most of my :apple: information, maybe this would help out a user trying to convert also.

    Let me start out by introducing myself, first of all, I'm a computer specialist in the United States Army, and am currently deployed to Iraq, I've been deployed since July of last year, and will probably be coming home sometime within the next couple of months hopefully. When I'm not working on the unclassified / classified computer networks / computers in the Army, I go to college full time, and am pursuing a degree in Network / Computer Administration, mainly Cisco etc. I've been a Windows since the first time I touched a computer, the only time I deviated was when I installed OSX 10.4 on my Windows machine, I really just wanted to test it out, but soon gave up on it, mostly due to the fact that it ran like crap on the wrong hardware, and put it behind me.

    A couple of months ago I started to look around at Mac's again, as I've grown tired of seeing the same stupid crap come from Microsoft, with the problems, virus', spyware etc. And the less that appealing designs of laptops that were being put out by the manufactures. I happened to be surfing eBay one night, and noticed the Mac Book Pro that I currently own (C2D 2.2, 2 gb RAM, 120gb hdd etc.) I was the only person who bid on it, and got it delivered to my house for $1255, pretty good deal if you ask me, even more so that I've been using it.

    So fast forward today, after all the shipping and waiting for it to arrive in Iraq, I've been using it for a week or so now, and I couldn't imagine going back to my Windows machine, first I was thinking, man I really need a 2 button laptop, but after using this, the 2 finger click is just better than another button, I think. And granted I'm a power user, my Windows laptop isn't a slouch (C2D 2.4ghz, 2gb RAM, 512mb Geforce 8600GT, 120gb 7200rpm HDD etc.)

    So far I haven't really noticed anything that is a big deal, I can do everything on this laptop that I can do on my Windows machine, minus all the BS. I happen to get a good screen I think, and after browsing the profile thread, my 09c67 looks wonderful, I do have to concede that my other laptop does seem to have darker colors but it's neither here nor there for me. One of the biggest things for me, was that my other laptop weighs in at a hefty 6.8lbs, and the Mac Book Pro comes in just over 5 lbs and 1 inch thick, that is huge for me, seeing as how I'm always mobile, I got sick of carrying that other beast with me, I think it'll be better off sitting on my desk at home, being an iTunes server for my AppleTV and encoding using Handbrake my dvd's, it does fly compared to the Mac Book Pro in that department, I think that it most likely has to do with the marginally faster processor, and the 7200rpm harddrive, but either way, it suites it well. And I'm not really a gamer, but I do play a few games, and I'll just play them on my Windows machine, no problem there.

    I am by no means completely in the know how of OS X (yet), but some of the things that I really like, the ease of installing/uninstalling applications (that's wonderful!), I personally like iChat so much better than the Windows versions, because I only use AIM, FireFox 3.0 on OS X is awesome, Time Machine is a good addition (yet to use it though), The battery life is crucial I can use the battery on here far longer than I ever could my windows laptop. Some other minor things are, I like syncing my apple products (iTouch, iPhone) to another Apple product :D , iTunes seems to be way more at home on OS X than the Windows version, which is a plus because I love my music.

    Another thing is, that I've noticed the user base for Apple Products is awesome, and I believe that's mainly because EVERYONE has essentially the same components, so if you're having a problem, odds are 40 other people on this forum are having or have had that problem, so troubleshooting is much easier, rather than having to figure out which part of your hardware is the problem.

    Another huge reason that I switched, is the design of the Mac Book Pro, yes I understand that you guys are problem sick of the same design, but this is new to me, and I am the type of person who loves, clean, thought out designs, and the Mac Book Pro sold me on that the day I saw it, It's 1 inch thick, weighs nothing (compared to the former), I love the simplistic but professional look of it, it feels sturdy, and looks great to the eyes. I wish the rest of the computer world could catch up to slot loading drives, magnetic power cords, etc etc. These things really brought me to the Mac Book Pro.

    Now of course, I can't go through this whole thing and not mention some downfalls that it has compared to my PC, first of all this sucker gets frickin hot, not like burn my skin hot, but plenty hot enough for me to know it's sitting there, the wireless is not as good as the wireless on my other laptop, and I attribute that to the aluminum case, but it's a fair trade off for me. As I mentioned earlier, I do believe the screen on my other laptop to be of better quality than this one, but that's neither here nor there, as it's small compared to the other benefits. And the last thing (which can easily be changed by me) I wish it would have shipped with a 7200rpm harddrive, but as I mentioned that can be remedied by me.

    Overall, I really like my Mac Book Pro, it has made using the computer a lot more enjoyable, instead of the same ol' crap. I especially enjoy it, because I work on Windows all day at work, it's nice to come back to something different.

    For anyone considering jumping ship on Windows, don't let the prices deter you, it's worth it, and OS X is definitely easy to learn, and if you can't figure something out, there are PLENTY of people on this forum that will kindly send you in the right direction.
  2. iMpathetic macrumors 68030


    Oct 7, 2007
    Very, very nice review. It's nice to read one from a non-fanboy. :)

    If you don't mind me asking, how are the speakers on that beast? I may sell my MB for a MBP, if I get bored.
  3. Andrew Henry thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 4, 2008
    For laptop speakers, they are wonderful, no problems at all, little more bass would be nice, but I'm not picky :cool:
  4. theLimit macrumors 6502a


    Jan 30, 2007
    up tha holler, acrost tha crick
    Great review. I especially liked the part about using Windows at work and coming home to something different. I have to use Windows computers all day, so when I get home I want to enjoy my computing experience, so I turn to my Mac. Enjoy your MacBook Pro!
  5. kingshrubb macrumors regular


    Mar 3, 2008
    Good review! I am also getting a MacBook Pro (this summer, hopefully, when Montevina comes out). I'll be majoring in Music Performance. At the moment I am also a windows user... I have this tank of a Dell XPS which puts so much heat out my room is over 100 degrees in the summertime :(. Thanks for the review, I'm definitely switching!

    P.S. Where in Iraq are you deployed? My cousin is also in Iraq, I think around the outskirts of Baghdad. Thanks for your service to our country! :)
  6. JSF macrumors member


    Mar 14, 2008
    Edmond, OK
    I just wanted to say thank you for every thing you guy's doing. Tell everyone we appreciate it back here in the States. Great review, I am also thinking of switching. I am just trying to decide what to get first. Imac or Macbook Pro?
  7. Merkuryy macrumors regular


    Jun 10, 2007
    Shanghai, China
    Yeah, The MBP speakers are wonderful!!!! I always used laptop to play games(Beacause my parents don't agree me to upgrade my desktop) and I can say that these speakers are the best in the range, better than IBM ,Dell and Compaq, Asus, Acer(that's all the brand my roomates and parents have , I really live in a world of laptop). Actually, These brands focus on other stuff rather than speakers. Remember many music producer love MBP, a good speaker is very important:D
  8. Merkuryy macrumors regular


    Jun 10, 2007
    Shanghai, China
    I choose Macbook Pro totally because my parents don't agree to buy a desktop. for more power and hardrive, get the Imac. if you want to transport your computer 2 or 3 times a day then get the MBP(it's not that portable but it's OK for transporting 3 or 4 times a day). If I have the chance i will get a 1199$ imac and a 899 Macbook.

    Notice that we might see an update of the imac soon, cause Intel is pressuring on AAPL to upgrade it's product more often
  9. Andrew Henry thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 4, 2008
    Currently I'm deployed to Camp Liberty, Iraq (Baghdad). The city is a stone's throw away from us.
  10. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    Great review, I'm glad you are liking it. Thanks for serving our country and stay safe.
  11. hotdamn macrumors 6502

    Jan 24, 2007
    Ottawa, ON, Canada
    Very happy to hear you are enjoying your macbook pro down there. Also, ebay rocks :)

    btw. take super good care of yourself, promise promise?
  12. xoggyux macrumors 6502

    Dec 4, 2008
    Hi, I am a bit new to Mac myself. My first experience with one, was when my brother bought his 1 year ago, and as an observer (he never let my pawns near his precious) i thought it was a bit complicated, and I have been always the kind of person that likes stuff that can do everything (kind of swiss army knife :D,) so the fact that mac was not the top priority of major manufacturers was not making me very happy either.
    Six month ago, I decided that i needed to change my desktop computer (PC), it was two years old, and I had already wasted over $500 (on top of its original $1200 price) upgrading it (graphic card, not an expensive one, but the original one was rather awful, an extra 2Gb of ram, a second hardrive and a couple of other stuff) and it kept freezing for no apparent reason. Well the thing is that I decided that my next computer would be a laptop so i kept looking at magazines and comparing laptops and i almost bought a compaq laptop (core 2 duo, 2.2Ghz, 3Gb ram, 320Gb HDD, GeForce 8600M 256mb, 17" screen) that was $1,099, but then, the very same day that I was going to buy it, I happened to be near an apple store and entered and after some convincing of my brother, I ended up buying this Mac Book Pro (the entry level with core 2 duo @ 2.4Ghz, 2Gb ram, 200Gb HDD, GeForce 8600, later I upgraded to 4Gb ram) which was $1799+tax (after $200 student discount.)
    I have to say is not good value for money, after $700 gap for the same specs (slightly faster processor but less ram and less HDD capacity,) yet I blindly would done it the same way if I had the opportunity. Let me explain, for some reason, top computer manufacturers (Dell, HP, Sony, Toshiba, Gateway, etc) think that quality shouldn't be a characteristic of the lower end of their product line, and yes you spend $1,000 for a laptop that has good specs, a laptop that the first time you boot up you realize that is full of programs that are crap, and after spending a couple of hours cleaning the "new" computer you start installing the new programs that you do want, and for your surprise you find out that "Norton Antivirus" (just to mention one) cannot be installed because "there is another antivirus installed" though you remember that you did uninstalled, very disappointed for that, you start browsing the network and find out that when you uninstall a program in windows it doesn't really get "well" uninstalled, and then you need to download some kind of "utility" to fix the problem or go manually to windows registry to manually erase or modify some entries, thats something that you shouldn't have to do to a brand new system. My dad has a windows based laptop that is three years old, he treat it with care and only uses it as a desktop computer (he bought a laptop just to save space) yet, after one or two years it became to fall apart, the battery cannot hold more than few seconds of charge, from the heat all the stupid stickers have started to fall apart and in the place where they were dust have got stuck to the residues of glue, summing it up, the whole is in very bad shape, in the other hand my mac book pro look just as the first day (i know it only have 6 months but i have seen 6 months computer that looks like they have 6 centuries) and I am very pleased with it. Again don't think that at $1999 a Mac Book Pro is very good value for money, though the regular mac book probably is (did not buy a regular one because i wanted the aluminum body, I know if I would waited another 3 or 4 months i could have got the new generation mac book, would saved $1,000 and would got the same specs, anyways.)

    I want to say though some things that i would like to see in futures ones and some that i wouldn't like to. To begin with, the DVD writer/reader, once it was very useful, we had only floppy, hard-drives, cds, and dvds to save data and to make backups, the floppy was slow and could hold very little information and the cds and dvds could be covered with one of those multi-drives (DVD+/-RW.) Now though, we have flash memory that you can get the same capacity of a DVD and they are just $10, they are much faster, can be erased (e.g. to actualize a backup without having to use a new DVD, or to save the latest version of a program without having to have different copies) and if you go for flash memory card they are much more small, silent, reliable etc. In the other hand the DVD unit occupies a huge amount of space in the system (something about 20% of the space.) So in my opinion, the DVD drive should be replaced by a card reader, not one of those ugly 99 in 1, but i believe apple should choose just one (e.g. SD card, probably since the standard one has a nice size and is very popular,) anyway you could always get an external DVD+/-RW unit for about $50~$80 if you happen to need one, some of them are very thin and can use USB power so is just 1 cable and they are very small, it would be just like when laptops stopped coming with floppy but still you could get the external unit, or modems. And I definitely don't want to see blue-ray units on laptops, I have not have much experience with them but I do have a vast experience with DVDs and (probably due to the density) they are so susceptible than even microscopic scratches (that you can hardly avoid) from their own "wallet" turns them unusable.

    Also I think that the Mac Book Pro should have at least another USB port (at least 3 in total rather than 2,) I want to have my feet on the ground, i know is a laptop and is not supposed to have 100 devices connected to it, but when you are using it quietly at home you probably will want to have a more constable keyboard and a proper mouse as well as an external HDD (e.g. for time machine) and if you have a printer then you have to be swapping printer/HDD constantly. I would happily trade the firewire 400 for an extra usb port (i know you can always put an usb hub or get a printer over network or hdd over network but anyway there are so many usb devices that 1 or 2 extra ports would be nice.)

    Another thing, the light sensor which is located somewhere near the speakers, i think it should be moved, maybe near the webcam or near the apple emblem in the other side of the monitor, but at least move it from where it is now, I dont know if other people have experienced what have been happening to me, the thing is that when I am typing (even if its sunny and shinny around) my hands sometimes get in the way of the sensor and it "thinks" the light have gone off, so the keyboard lits and and the display brightness decreases, and thats a bit annoying (I know i could disable it, but even though it have that problem i still like and find that function useful, but i think it could be improved.)

    The last think I would like to ask would probably be the most ambitious of all, and it would be to have dual monitor support at least in the Mac Book Pro version (probably 2 HDMI ports.) And the reason for this is because monitors are now so cheap that you can get a good 19" or 22" for less than $200 and the productivity of working with two monitors + spaces is huge. I mean I currently use two monitors, but one of them is the own built-in one and then the other is a 19" one which means that i cannot put one aside the other like if it were a single big screen, and since Mac Book Pro are relatively very popular in the video/music edition/production market i thought that 2 monitors was not a bad idea, anyway the GeForce ship on it can handle it, its just matter of interface.

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