Pros Nehalem microarchitecture (core i7 Arrandale)
Cons SD card slot instead of ExpressCard/34 slot
Summary I'm going to start with, CNET should remove most of these reviews, you can review a product you don't currently own with out issue, assuming you have a clue what the technology contained in the product actually is. Additionally how this technology stacks up against the rest of the products on the market. I am a rarity apparently of the other reviewers in that I have degrees in computer science, computer engineering, and electrical engineering, and I'm currently pursuing a doctorate in computer science. I can make my current macbook pro (2.4GHz core 2 duo w/ 4GB RAM and 7200RPM HDD) slow to a crawl... so yes I actually push my computer to its physical limits, unlike a few of the other reviewers who couldn't tell if there was a speed boost by the sole fact they hardly have their computers do more than surf the web.Ok as promised, I have gotten a chance to see what an improvement the new macbook pro is over my old one, which was still a very nice machine; however, for some very specific tasks and under a few conditions it would become problematic as it didn't have the power to handle the load I was placing on it. I have run two different virtual machines on the new macbook pro and don't notice a slow down in my regular applications that i use or any lag in the mouse or other interfaces that did occur on my old macbook pro. It has matched my expectations and exceeded them... I can restart a virtual machine in nearly no time and it behaves as if it was its own machine with out much trouble.
I have moved from a core 2 quad to core i7, so previous 4 core technology to the latest 4 core technology and can verify that the nehalem microarchitecture offers a notable improvement even if you don't increase the number of cores on the system. I have been able to now encode video on my desktop at nearly 1/3 the time it used to take, which is a remarkable improvement. And even better I now no longer notice a slow down when I'm encoding video and want to use the computer for another task as well. So the many complaints that apple isn't using a 4 core version of the core i7 shouldn't put people off from wanting to buy.
Additionally, concerning the core i7 that apple is using. They chose to wait for the latest update to the mobile processor line, though still called core i7, is codenamed Arrandale, and is far different from the 4 core mobile chip or Clarksdale. The main difference would be the the Arrandale includes integrated graphics into its chip, which means that you don't actually need discrete graphics, though intel still hasn't gotten these graphics to be as good as some of the discrete options... so apple apparently created their own solution to allow you to switch to a discrete solution with superior graphics when you need to, or opt for the more energy efficient solution when you don't. Thus saving power. Additionally the Arrandale uses far less power than the Clarksdale, which is another reason apple chose this chip.
Honestly would you rather you could use your laptop w/ out having to be tethered to a power outlet, or have the bigger chip with more cores? I would rather get the speed boost of the Arrandale core i7 and not have to be tethered to a power outlet... I used to have a desktop replacement laptop, that I couldn't take with me anywhere because it needed so much power. Apple wanted this to be something you could actually use on the go. So yes it has less cores than some of the other core i7 mobile chips, but its a newer more efficient chip, designed for actual mobile use with a notable speedup over any core 2 duo chip, just look at the benchmarks (hope you can use google to find these yourself).
Another note people have brought forward as a point of contention is the fact the bus speed is less than some of the other "core i7" laptop options offered by PC vendors... this is again along the same line of this is a different core i7, and the fact the Clarksdale has a 1333MHz memory bus whereas the Arrandale has a 1066MHz bus. But as the Arrandale chip apple is using offers a higher clock speed/throughput you'd be hard to tell the difference between it and even the highend Clarksdale unless your running some extreme multi-threaded processes (and lets face it almost nothing is multi-threaded, more the fact its hard to program) But the core i7 Arrandale, that apple is using, has nearly a GHz over even the core i7 920XM (or the extreme edition chip) that a few people were upset wasn't offered.
I guess the bottom line is, do your homework... actually read up on the components your comparing before you start saying that something better is out there, or that something is cheaper yet comparable. Just because its a core i7, doesn't mean its the same line of core i7...
Ok chipset out of the way, the mini display port is a far better standard than VGA, HDMI, and even DVI (which I would prefer)... read up on it, or at the very least there are converters which don't cost that much so get one of those if its an issue. Hell the only time i connect my laptop to anything its projectors which all use VGA, so I got a mini-dp to VGA converter when i bought my new macbook pro, my current one offers DVI, and came with a DVI-> VGA convertor... And I have my mac mini hooked to my TV via VGA as well, as it isn't as glitchy as trying to do it via HDMI. HDMI is a pain, and i'm glad they didn't include it.
Well that's my rant... I have ordered one of the new macbook pros (17" anti-glare 2.66GHz core i7, 8GB RAM, 128SSD) which'll arrive this coming week, but after reading many of these reviews I figured I needed to make some clarifications people apparently are having over the technology.
Updated on Apr 21, 2010
My 64bit geekbench score was over 6100... impressive since older macbooks apparently scored between 3000-4000... though my score may be a bit high, I think most users are likely to be in the 5200 range though. Anyway the new macbook pro definitely performs... anyway if you have any questions drop me a reply.
Pros High end CPU - Intel i5 and i7, Outstanding Graphics, Light, Small form factor, 9 hour battery, Apple Mac Quality, Outstanding Customer Service
Cons No Blu-Ray option yet
Summary I have been anxiously awaiting the MacBook Pro update, and on the day it was announced, I ordered the MacBook Pro 17" with the i7 processor, Anti-glare screen, 8 GB memory and 7200 rpm 500 GB Hard Drive. I am not disappointed. My time doing video encoding has been cut by about 68%, and with the extra memory, running multiple applications such as Adobe Dreamweaver, Adobe Photoshop, HandBrake & QuickTimePro with Mail and a Browser open, no problems, no glitches, excellent machine. Intel did a great chip on the i5 & i7. They work so much better than the Dual Core chips that were the predecessors. These chips know how to fully utilize the full potential of the chips and pretend to be quad core without the excessive battery drain and heat of a quad core.I have now found out that the i7 running Quicktime Pro for video encoding from mpeg to iPhone format, what took 45 minutes on the MacBook Pro Dual Core 2.8GHz now takes 6 minutes on the i7. What an improvement. I couldn't be more impressed, except if Apple would have slipped in a Blu-Ray Burner - but then hardly anyone offers a Blu-ray player on a laptop yet. Thanks Apple!
I would highly recommend this Mac over the former Macs as well as over any PC. The Mac OS is so far the finest Operating System available to the users! Powerful, efficient and user friendly - just like the Mac! Thanks you Apple!
Updated on Apr 22, 2010
"Disappointing"on by zarzak719
Pros * Same great unibody design
* Great battery life
* Updated processors / graphics
Cons * No Blu-ray
* No SATA 3
* No USB 3.0
* Higher resolution costs money
* No HDMI
* USB ports are still horribly placed
Summary I have a love-hate relationship with macbook pros. I've used them (or the equivalent before there were macbook pros) for the last 7 years as my main computer, always the highest level 15'' model. They've had be replaced consistently by apple due to continuous major component failures (I don't know if its shoddy overall construction or I just get lemons) but when they work they work great, and I love the design.
That said I've been really excited at the possibility of having a macbook pro with blu-ray, core i-series chips, and an increased resolution. THis upgrade ... didn't really deliver.
First off, the core series chips aren't quad core, and you don't have the option for that. I really wanted/needed that increased power for my work, and all other laptops in this price range offer quad core. There is no excuse for not having it as an option.
You have to pay extra for the higher resolution. Again, in this price range it should be standard.
No blu-ray. Another thing that should be standard in this price range.
HDMI is also missing - I don't like having to use a special mini-hdmi connector, its just another thing to lug around. Also, unless you buy a very pricey one it doesn't transfer audio, meaning you need a separate audio cable as well.
The lack of USB 3.0 and SATA 3 is understandable as they are new technologies, and you don't really get the benefit of SATA 3 without a solid state drive.
A complaint I've had from earlier models that hasn't been resolved is the horrible placement of the USB ports - they are far too close! For many usb devices it is impossible to connect two at once due to the usb placement. Since there are only two ports (only two!!! my $300 netbook has more!) you are stuck without some extra hardware, again. A complete ripoff.
Finally the graphics card update is nice, but again, its old tech. On a $2000 laptop you should be getting a better graphics card than the one provided - the alienware m11x has a better card for goodness sakes, and its $1k less!
Usually these macbook pros at least manage to be somewhat up to date with their tech, which is as it should be for their price. This current update is unacceptable in my mind. You are basically paying a $1000 premium for OSX (which lately has been crashing more than windows for me). If apple would stop their monopolistic practices and let users install osx and whatever hardware they want without it having be a complete pain (and illegal) you can bet that they would start offering more competitive prices/technology.
If you haven't noticed, most of what I said is relevant to the 15''/17'' versions. The 13'' is an even bigger disappointment.
I Guess on the good side is the fact that the battery life is pretty impressive, and it is *is* a much needed update of internals. If this computer was $1000-$1500 it would be fine, but at its current $2k price range (more if you add a solid state drive) it really needs to have all of the bells and whistles.
Pros It's a mac.
Cons Too expensive.
Summary I have been waiting for this update to buy a 13" laptop and well this is disappointing. I looked at what 1200.00 would buy me and I was shocked. I can get i5 or i3 core processor on other laptops for much less. Sorry Apple.
Pros It do have update new CPU and new graphic card.
Cons -appearance doesn't change
-still heavy for daily use
-price is disapoiting
Summary The new processor and graphic does make a difference in every day computing, however, I am amazed that apple didn't take advantage of its design team. Take a look back, iphone 3gs is no difference in appearance from iphone 3g, ipad looks identical to ipod except the size and this time new macbook pro changes nothing, every single inch is identical to the former macbook pro. Apple fans such as me are so disappointed that apple is no longer the "apple" famous for sleek design but "apple" just cost you double for its "brand" !!!