Pros Mac OSX Tiger, brilliant screen, comfortable keyboard, firewire/USB 2.0
Cons Single-click button, price, heat (on lap)
Summary Although Macs have a reputation for graphics design, I use my 15" PB for standard office tasks and sales presentations. MS Office for Mac is terrific and Entourage, imo, is better than Outlook.
It's difficult to compare the Apple brand to a Windows laptop because the O/S, the applications, and the functionality are so tightly integrated, it makes for a much different experience.
This is the best laptop you'll ever own.
Pros great wireless- easy to use- never crashes!!
Cons I only have room for three in my studio!
Summary The thing works- all of my Apples work- they do what they say they will do and do not crash or have virus issues- you do not have to sell your soul to anyone to use their software- and service on the phone is superb!!
Pros Lightweight, sturdy, well-sized keyboard
Cons Price, short battery life
Summary This is an excellent computer for the graphic designer, digital media creator, etc. Its 15" widescreen provides a perfect blend of size and portability (unlike the 17" model which, while it has a great workspace, is not very portable due to the larger screen size). If you want the portability with the larger viewing area, you'll want to spend several hundred more dollars for an Apple display to hook your notebook up to.
The keyboard is nicely sized, with larger keys than some PC notebooks and a very sleek and comfortable feel. The backlight feature is also infinitely useful in low-light situations (night, airplanes, etc.) The optional 100 GB hard drive will provide plenty of in-system storage space, and the DVD-writing SuperDrive is perfect for transferring large image or video files off of the machine. The bundled software is also good overall, with iChat to replace the ever-buggy AIM client for those who are chat-inclined. The AirPort Extreme Wireless card also works very well, though it is an actual card and not a processor, like the Centrino (so don't expect the extended battery life provided by Centrino-powered PC notebooks).
Those who are a bit rough on their notebooks will appreciate the Sudden Motion Sensor (SMS) technology of this notebook. The SMS technology helps to protect the computer's hard disk in the event that the system is dropped or exposed to vibration, decreasing the chance of data corruption and disk failure.
Those who are less than computer-literate will appreciate the well-organised, informative and cleanly designed User's Guide (which blessedly uses actual continuous page numbers instead of sections).
The system is unfortunately power-hungry (and made all the more so by its large screen), so if you have access to a power outlet where you will be using the machine, bring the AC adaptor (and extention) with you.
If you plan to use the system for heavy graphics/multimedia work, you'll probably want to increase the amount of RAM; the PBG4 has a 2 GB capacity, with 512 being standard. Fortunately, the RAM is very easy to install at home if you decide that you need more later, easily accessible from the back rather than buried within the system and only accessible by dismantling the computer (as it is in some PCs).
One all-important factor to consider is the price tag, which is high, especially if you upgrade the hard drive, RAM, etc., or have additional software installed. If your work requires the features of the system, it is a worthwhile buy. Otherwise, go for the smaller PBG4 12", which is even more portable and less expensive.
Time will tell whether or not this notebook will fall prey to Mac Syndrome (the fate of many Macs, self-repairing without informing the user, lulling them into a sense of security, and then becoming so badly corrupted that they just die without warning). Just to be safe, be prepared to shell out a couple hundred bucks for the 3-year Apple Care Plan.
If you happen to be a student, make sure to purchase and customise your system through the Apple website. Though still expensive, the student discounts for qualified buyers will save several hundred dollars (though my system when upgraded to my specifications as a graphics student still cost approximately $3000 with student discounts applied).
Overall, this sleek and sexy silver notebook is a very worthwhile investment for those who actually need it. For those who don't, however, there are much cheaper and more practical options.
Pros OS X, huge HDD, SuperDrive, solid build, superb screen, performance
Cons runs hot!, mediocre battery life
Summary Switched over from PC (a ThinkPad), and I couldn't be happier. I've used a 12" PowerBook, but got a 15" for myself, and it's the best laptop I've owned (including some really high end ThinkPads and Toshibas). The OS X is far superior to Windows XP, and you don't have to deal with usual XP hassles. The quality of the PowerBook is unmatched. As for the cost, it's definitely not cheap, but if you actually outfitted a PC notebook with equivalent specs (80 or 100gb 5400rpm HDD, CDRW/DVDRW, 15" WXGA screen, firewire ports, etc.) it would cost AT LEAST as much. With Virtual PC, I have flexibility to boot. Highly recommended. I haven't even talked about the great looks... It's nice to use a notebook chassis made of same high strength aluminum.Updated
After having used it for a while now, I find this PowerBook to be even better than my initial impression. The battery life has actually gotten better after couple of months. CNET's still pretty off in saying the this Mac is lot more expensive than PC "equivalents". You can look up street prices - it's more often cheaper than the equivalent PC models such as ThinkPad T43p. As for slot drive being inferior to caddy loaded drives, the slot drive is simpler, takes up less space, and doesn't have as many flimsy parts to break off - you make the choice. On the downside, the aluminum casing is beautiful but dings/scratches do show up easier than on some cheaper plastic cases. All in all, it's an incredible machine, and I highly recommend it.
Pros Power, Speed, Looks, and Price(!)
Cons Narrow-minded IT support
Summary Despite what the reviewer says, this is not an expensive laptop. Spec out any Dell, IBM, Toshiba, etc., and Apple matches them for price/features (and usually beats Sonys).
And this "Creative Professional" tag is a sign of a lazy reviewer. Apples run all MS Office applications as well or better than Wintels. If you need to run a Windows program get Virtual Windows, which ran simulation software faster on my PowerBook than on native PCs. And using a database on a PowerBook will blow your mind!
If you database, this is the machine for you. I created a 100K x 40 database. Using a Dell Pentium4, 3.3GHz with 1GB RAM, it took 45 minutes to do a single sort on MS Access. I couldn't waste time like this. I exported it to a CSV, and loaded it into FilePro on my PowerBook (1GHz, 512MB). A simple sort of all records took 4 seconds. A complex sort - 6 variables - took 15 seconds!
And clueless PC-philes (like the one writing the review?) still don't know that Apples will usually find the network for you, and all you do is add a recognized user name and password and you're up and running on the LAN/WAN. There's no trick. I've done it on 6 different networks in the last year.
Free support is available, but only if you live near an Apple Store - where it is absolutely great. And the extended warranty is pricey, so use a credit card that adds a second year.
Forget "creative;" if you're any kind of professional, this will be a great primary system that will knock your socks off, and turn you into one of those annoying "see how great my Apple is?" users!