Pros Construction quality is something special here. The trackpad took some getting used to but the all glass structure and the multi-finger gestures are amazing. Performance, hardware, and screen are major upgrades.
Cons They removed the expresscard/34 drive (which doesn't impact me, but could be important for other users. High gloss screen can be a issue as well for some users.
Summary I previously had a early 2008 model MBP 15 inch and all my comparisons will be between these two models (Note: This is a mid 2009, manufacture date was August 31, 2009). I have had this machine for 4 days, and have never owned a laptop that has felt as good or constructed as well as this one. The base is two solid pieces of brushed aluminum joined together on the underside of the machine. There are ten screws that hold the bottom plate to the main body and the tolerances in the seams are uniform and very small. Mine came boxed with 10.5.8 installed and came with both the Leopard disk and the new Snow leopard disk for user installation.
Moving on the keyboard is unique, the usual macbook backlight is here in all its glory, they keys are all separate black plastic pieces placed on top of the unibody, the keyboard input board is under the unibody and each key has its own hole cut out. Looks very nice, and very unique, there is a few changes to the layout compared to the 2008 model, all relating to the top row (the function keys and their specific alternatives). Nothing is missing but the numlock key, which was replaced for media inputs (play, FF, and RW).
The trackpad is a solid piece of glass and has a great feel, the texture is perfect, despite the glass it doesn't have a tacky feel at all yet isn't too slick. The button is gone, and Apple claims that the whole trackpad works as a click button, some reviews claim that it is very hard to click, which I find as well, however if you click the bottom of the trackpad (the area where the button used to be) the feel is almost the exact same as if it had a button. I find that the new gestures work very well and tapping is much improved.
The screen is very glossy, (although at this point in time you can get a matte version for 50$ extra) I like the glossy screen a lot and the glare that some claim is unusable is a unfair claim. I would say it is no worse then a HD TV. The colors are amazing and really pop. The solid glass screen goes all the way to the edges and supports a 1400x900 resolution.
I find the battery life amazing and very closely to what Apple claimed at around 7 to 8 hours with moderate use. Watching streaming videos on hulu.com yielded me around 4 hours which was a huge upgrade over my previous macbook pro. There is a big difference in battery life if you use the intergraded 9400m vs the 9600m dedicated. With the 9600m enabled I got around 4 to 5 hours with moderate use and 3.5 hours watching a HD movie I rented via itunes. I fly from Miami to Chicago two or three times a month and was really worried that without a removable battery I would be disappointed, but I watched a dvd and some tv shows I had on itunes and landed with 40%.
Overall I think you will find it hard to find a better quality laptop in terms of materials, display and overall construction then this computer. If OS X isn't for you obviously this computer isn't a fit, even though you can install windows via bootcamp now so that point is moot, you can find PC's with the same hardware for less money, but you get what you pay for here, an amazing computer. If you're looking for an Apple machine and are a casual user the low end 15 inch (1699$) or the 13 inch might be up your alley and you get all the great things I talked about above short of the 9600m dedicated GPU.
Pros -SD card slot
-Large, backlit screen
-Blazing fast shutdown time
-Long battery life
-Excellent, backlit keyboard
-Thin, attractive aluminum design
Cons -Whole laptop vibrates when music is played. This worries me about how sturdy the speakers are
-Not the best sound quality
-Supposed non-removable battery
Summary I love this computer. It is very reliable, and it is fun to use. It is very fast as well; my average shut-down time is three seconds. It seems to be overall sturdy, though I am sometimes worried about the speakers. While I love that this computer has a 7:30 battery life, I don't like the fact that the battery can not be removed. Overall, an excellent computer - and one that won't disappoint.
"after 2 years"on by aafrasiabi
Pros The Apple OS and user interface . Flawless operation after two years.
Apple OS is impervious to viruses and spyware. Also apple updates do not compromise the machine performance.
Cons Flimsy case and useless 90-days warranty. Runs hot (fixed thru downloadable fan control software). No delete button.
Summary I have to admit what makes this machine stand out is the Apple operating system (THE BEST). In terms of hardware, I would be looking (back) at the indestructible Lenovo (former IBM).
"One word.....WOW!"on by matty1mi
Pros Performance, Durability, Appearance, Light weight, Quiet, never gets hot, all around perfect!
Cons Everything about it is perfect!
Summary I had never owned a mac before until my parents bought me my Macbook Pro. I got the one that had everything. It had a Core Duo 2 3.06Ghz processor, so its a rocket! 8GB of memory, a 500GB 7200Rpm Hard drive, all of the software one could possibly need for anything, and the thing I love the most is that they are built to last, so my parent will never have to make a $5000 purchase for me until I'm almost done college, and by then I'll be able to buy my own. By the way, I'm a high school student, and I have had plenty of PC's in my 16 years of life, 10 of them to be exact. The cost might be a bit more, but it is worth it in the long run because Macs are 99% virus proof.
"PC is better"on by ZilverFox
Pros It can run windows so that will save you money in the long run. The processor is great and so is the ASUS motherboard in it. The duo Graphics card set up is good I also have 2 Graphics cards on my ASUS UX50-V
Cons ok the most Reliable computer on the market is not a mac it is a ASUS, MAC is second in the reliability comparison done by Rescuecom ALSO you can get VIRUSES on a MAC
Summary ASUS is better and has a better customer service then MAC