The Good Price cut from previous version; new SD card slot; keeps the same solid unibody construction and oversize trackpad.
The Bad Loses the ExpressCard slot; switching GPUs not as seamless as it should be.
The Bottom Line Apple's 15-inch MacBook Pro makes only minor tweaks to the previous version, but cutting prices and swapping the ExpressCard slot for an SD card slot are enough to make it a solid improvement over its predecessor.
Apple MacBook Pro Summer 2009
Editors' Note (April 13, 2010): Apple has updated its line of MacBook Pros with new Intel processors and improved Nvidia graphics. See CNET's coverage of the Spring 2010 MacBook Pros for more information.
The latest round of MacBook revisions are nowhere near as radical as the aluminum unibody construction rolled out in late 2008. Instead, the 13-inch MacBook has been promoted to the Pro family, while the 15-inch MacBook Pro gets a handful of minor component upgrades. More important than that, however, is a series of price cuts for all of the base model MacBook Pros, including this $2,299 version--the comparable 2008 version originally cost $200 more.
Now that the 13- and 15-inch models have the same basic feature set, including Nvidia's excellent integrated GeForce 9400 graphics, a high-capacity (if unremovable) battery, an SD card slot, and FireWire connection, the main points of differentiation are minor CPU speed boosts, a bigger screen, and the availability of a separate discrete GPU (the GeForce 9600) that can be turned off if needed to improve battery life. Our $2,299 review unit had the 512MB version of the GPU, while the $1,999 version has a 256MB version.