Apple MacBook Pro (Core 2 Duo 2.53GHz review: Apple MacBook Pro (Core 2 Duo 2.53GHz

One frustrating note about the power-saving option: switching between GPUs is simple, requiring only a button press on the power options menu, but the changeover isn't totally transparent. You have to log out and log back in, requiring you to close all your applications and save your data in the process.

With the GeForce 9600M GPU turned on, we got 3 hours and 16 minutes on our video playback test, which is average for a 15-inch laptop, but we're used to seeing closer to 5 hours from most Apple products. Switching the 9600M off, we got a much more impressive 4 hours and 5 minutes, which isn't quite the "up to 5 hours of wireless productivity," promised by Apple, but for basic Web surfing and general multitasking, it should come very close to 5 total hours, depending on your usage.

Apple continues to both frustrate and impress with its service and support. MacBooks include a standard one-year parts-and-labor warranty, but only 90 days of toll-free telephone support. This, along with the proprietary nature of Apple's products, makes purchasing an extended Apple Care warranty almost a necessity, at $249 for three total years of coverage.

Multimedia multitasking test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Adobe Photoshop CS3 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Video playback battery drain test (in minutes)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Apple MacBook Pro (Core 2 Duo 15.4 inch - 2.53GHz, Nvidia GeForce 9600M GT)

Find out more about how we test laptops.

System configurations:

Apple MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo 15.4 inch - 2.53GHz (Nvidia GeForce 9600M GT)
OS X 10.5.5 Leopard; Intel Core 2 Duo 2.53GHz; 4,096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1066MHz; 256MB Nvidia GeForce 9400M / 512MB Nvidia GeForce 9600M GT; 320GB Hitachi 5,400rpm.

OS X 10.5.5 Leopard; Intel Core 2 Duo 2.2GHz; 2,048MB DDR3 SDRAM 1,066MHz; 256MB Nvidia GeForce 9400M; 250GB Toshiba 5,400rpm.

OS X 10.5.1 Leopard; Intel Core 2 Duo 2.5GHz; 4,096MB DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz; 512MB NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT; 250GB Hitachi 5,400rpm.

OS X 10.5.1 Leopard; Intel Core 2 Duo 2.2GHz; 2,048MB DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz; 144MB Intel GMA X3100; 160GB Fujitsu 5,400rpm.

Windows Vista Business Edition SP1; 1.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo U9400; 2,048MB DDR3 SDRAM 667MHz; 256MB Mobile Intel 4500MHD; 64GB Samsung solid-state drive.

Windows Vista Home Premium Edition SP1; 2.1GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T8100; 2,048MB DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz; 256MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD3400; 250GB Western Digital 5,400rpm.

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Where to Buy See All

Apple MacBook Pro (Core 2 Duo 2.53GHz, Nvidia GeForce 9400M w/ 512MB)

Part Number: MB471LL/A Released: Oct. 15, 2008
MSRP: $2,499.00 Low Price: $3,000.00 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Oct. 15, 2008
  • Resolution 1440 x 900 ( WXGA+ )
  • Operating System Apple MacOS X 10.5
  • Installed Size 4 GB
  • Weight 2.5 kg
  • Hard Drive 320 GB HDD / 5400 rpm
  • Optical Drive DVD±RW (±R DL) - fixed
  • Graphics Processor NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT / GeForce 9400M - 512 MB GDDR3 SDRAM
About The Author

Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of laptops, desktops, and Windows tablets, while also writing about games, gadgets, and other topics. A former radio DJ and member of Mensa, he's written about music and technology for more than 15 years, appearing in publications including Spin, Blender, and Men's Journal.