The MacBook Pro delivers unparalleled style, a solid set of features and software, and a few transitional performance issues that keep it from rivaling the most powerful PC laptops.
Apple's first new laptop since the company switched to Intel processors, the 15.4-inch MacBook Pro, features a Centrino Core Duo processor and, in doing so, ushers in a new era of Apple computing. Replacing the 15-inch PowerBook in the company's lineup, the MacBook Pro delivers many familiar, beloved features (a scrolling track pad, the Sudden Motion Sensor, an excellent software package), along with a few new ones. The MacBook Pro comes in two standard configurations, each running Intel's new Core Duo processor: a 1.83GHz model for $1,999, and a 2.0GHz model for $2,499 (which you can upgrade to 2.16GHz for $300 more).
While the Intel partnership gives Apple the potential to match the performance capabilities of its Windows-based competition, the first MacBook Pro, like the iMac Core Duo, shows signs of the growing pains Apple faces in switching to the new platform. We expect the company to work out these kinks as it transitions the remainder of its laptops to Intel, but for now, if you use Photoshop or other nonnative apps, wait or look at a Windows-based laptop; the HP Pavilion dv1000t and the Acer TravelMate 8200 offer superior performance and many of the same features for a lower or equal price. That said, if performance and battery life aren't a huge concern (and the 12-inch PowerBook is too small for you), the MacBook Pro delivers the goods better than any other Apple laptop.