Friday, 27 February, 2009

Macbook Pro 17 inch is here. Is it everything that a notebook should be?

Apple's products have always held a niche position in the computing industry. With a sleek design, great interface, innovative features and the much touted superior OS X, it entered the notebook industry a couple of years ago with the "macbook". At the time, bloggers unanimously rejected its claim of being far superior to existing laptop models. CNet declared in 2006, that bloggers hate the Macbook Pro.

But over the years, constant innovation, ease of use and great design aesthetics have made it one of the must haves.  Recently, Apple has announced the New 17" Macbook Pro with the major attractions being
  • Intel Core2Duo 2.66 to 2.93 GHz processor support
  • The longest lasting mac notebook battery ever (claimed at 8 hours)
  • Desktop Graphics experience on the notebook with NVIDIA GeForce 9400M integrated graphics processor and 1920-by-1200-pixel resolution (133 pixels per inch)
And the all time favourites:
  • Precision Aluminium unibody thin and sleek build
  • Multi-touch and trackpad button feature

Of course, its not all eye-candy that attracts me towards the mac. The claim that "It just works" is heavy and well substantiated. I havent ever witnessed a mac crash, and havent experienced performance hogs that PC users are all well aware of. Of course, I could get my standard Dell Laptop well tuned and high on performance as well, but the difference is that it would require knowledge and most importantly, constant effort from my side. Effort that I could otherwise use to get something productive done. Of course, James likes to criticize the Apple folks and their following for their elitist attitude (and I agree with him on that), but I do believe it is a productivity enhancer if I can get more done with less effort and dont have to worry about performance and Crashing all the time. And the great build and interface doesnt hurt either.

So when I was deciding about getting myself a macbook pro, the new 17 inch release with better processor and graphics support. If only they could update the 15 inch version with those specs, but I guess that'll take a lot of time to happen. 

Macbook Pro Complaints:
So while I wait, its handy to check out some of the common complaints people have with the macbook pro (and see how many of them have been resolved and will be resolved in subsequent releases). I got most of these from AppleDefects, RedSweater and other complain posts.

Most of these problems are specific and not general (except the noise and wifi issue), they can arguably be blamed on the ignorance of the user. 

Those who are really picky about specifications and features may want to compare macbook with competing laptops like acer's travelmate and the latest Dell releases. You will get more specifications and features than the macbook for a lesser cost. But the Apple product has unique features that enhance usability and experience even if its a compromise on the specs. It does work for some, for the others there are always unlimited options.

The mac does make for a good user experience, but its not without its drawbacks.

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