Short Review of New MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by silentsage, Nov 4, 2008.

  1. silentsage macrumors member

    May 13, 2008
    I bought a new aluminum MBP a few days ago, and thought I'd post a few comments on the design. I've used MBPs since they were first introduced, so this is largely a comparison against the previous designs.

    First, the build quality of the new MBP is impressive. All the talk about the benefits of the unibody design are not just rhetoric. The fit and finish is excellent, and there really is a perceptible difference in the solidity of the case.

    The new displays are outstanding. The display is considerably brighter. Some bench marks put the new display at about 370 cd, vs about 290 for the prior version, and the difference is readily apparent. The additional brightness improves the display of color, though it is hard to judge whether it is brightness alone or improved LCD panels too.

    I bought the 2.4 GHz model. I haven't seen any perceptible change in speed from the prior 2.4 GHz model, whether using the 9400 or 9600 graphics chip.

    Windows gaming is slightly improved by the 9600. Having said that, the MBPs actually make fairly good Windows gaming machines, given that they were not designed for that purpose.

    I upgraded my hard drive from the stock 250 GB 5400 RPM to a Western Digital 320 GB 720 RPM. Changing hard drives on the new model is vastly easier that the old ones. Good job Apple!

    The new keyboard is excellent. Not much different from the aluminum keyboard on the iMacs and Mac Pros.

    One thing that I think Apple screwed up is the backlighting for the keyboard. It is definitely worse than the prior machine. The actual backlighting of the symbols on the keys is OK. Every key has, however, light leaks at its base. The net effect is that when you use it in a dark room, you see the letters on the keys floating in a sea of little white lines. It can be lived with, but is a definite step back from prior models.

    The new track pad is OK, but not great. On mine, using the trackpad as a button results in a loud click that that sounds like a key on an old mechanical typewriter. I switched to the "tap to click" feature just to avoid the noise.

    The light leaks on the keyboard and the loud trackpad seem incongruous with the overall high quality of the new MBP mechanical design. It's surprising that Apple, with its usually great focus on the customer, let these two flaws get through their system.

    Anyway, I am very satisfied with the laptop. I traded in my old iMac to be able to buy it, and I don't regret it.
  2. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    Congrats on your splendid new MBP. Thanks for the informative and objective review, it was very interesting and useful. Enjoy your MBP, and may both you and your MBP live long together and prosper.

    Cheers and good luck
  3. TheHoff macrumors 6502

    Oct 22, 2008
    I agree with all of your assessments. I bought the same model and put in the same drive.

    One complaint I have is that the LCD is too bright and does not have enough steps in the backlight dimmer to get the setting I want. Trying to calibrate to a certain ambient light level is impossible since the display goes from 150 to 190 cd with the 2nd and 3rd backlight setting when I want to hit 175.
  4. 7even macrumors 6502a

    Jan 11, 2008
    Haha really? 190 on the 3rd backlight tick? Awesome, my last Thinkpad maxed out at about 190 :D

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