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Apple Unveils MacBook Pro with Core 2 Duo 673

daveschroeder writes "Apple has just announced the upgraded MacBook Pro (15.4- and 17-inch models) with the Intel Core 2 Duo ("Merom") 64-bit dual core processor. The standard hard drive sizes have been increased, a FireWire 800 port has been added to all models (again, reaffirming that FireWire, and specifically FireWire 800, is not dead, and that Apple responded to customer requests to add it to the 15.4-inch model), and the optical drive is now dual-layer-write-capable on all models."
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Apple Unveils MacBook Pro with Core 2 Duo

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  • Memory Upgrade Too (Score:5, Informative)

    by ApolloX ( 1017440 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @10:38AM (#16559654)
    Also not mentioned is that 2gigs has been made the standard memory size with 1gig only available in the lowest model, with a 3gig option on the 17in version.
    • Merom, not conroe (Score:3, Informative)

      by chiark ( 36404 )
      Merom is the mobile version, Conroe is the desktop version...
      • Are you certain? I wondered ther same thing, however the Conroe was fit into the iMacs which are pretty small enclosures. Does anyone have a difinitive answer? Merom or Conroe?
        • Re:Merom, not conroe (Score:5, Informative)

          by Kyro ( 302315 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @10:46AM (#16559770)
          I have the 2.0GHz core 2 duo imac with 4MB L2 cache. According to Intel, only the merom at 2.0ghz comes with 4MB L2 cache, the conroe is 2.66GHz for the first one with 4MB. Therefore, I'd say that the imac use merom.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Moby Cock ( 771358 )
            I have been doing some research since posting, and I think you are right. The iMac is a Merom and not a Conroe as I had though previously. This leads me to belive that there is no Conroe in a Macbook Pro.

            It makes sense, the iMac is a small enclosure and a mobile chip lends itself well to that design.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by frankie ( 91710 )
          iMac also uses Merom. Easiest way to tell is the FSB. 667MHz == Merom, 1066MHz == Conroe.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by tf23 ( 27474 )
      It looks like the 15" can have 3GB in it too:

      1GB (single SO-DIMM) of PC2-5300 (667MHz) DDR2 memory on 2.16GHz configuration; and 2GB (two SO-DIMMs) on 2.33GHz configuration; two SO-DIMM slots support up to 3GB

      from specs [apple.com]
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by ApolloX ( 1017440 )
        Good point, I was thinking of the 7200 rpm drive which is only available in the 17" model. The 3gigs are available in all three. Side Note: Is it a tad odd they lowered the harddrive speeds to 4200 rpm in order to increase size? Granted 5400 rpm is still the default, but its odd that the 15" is now available 4200/5400 rpm models whereas previously it was available with 5400/7200 rpm models.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by jellomizer ( 103300 )
          I think it is an issue of Choice at around the same price.
          Fast 100GB Drive
          Medium 160GB Drive
          Slow 200GB Drive

          What is more important Speed Storage or an average of both.
          I myself Got the 7200RPM Drive. Because I do a lot code and Database calls some that do heavy drive useage.
          But say someone is going to do a LOT of Virtualization they may want a larger slower drive. But sience I have a 500GB External on hand I want my OS to go fast and Archive the bigger data on the slower drive.
    • by dsginter ( 104154 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @10:53AM (#16559888)
      I've always been a critic of the premium that one has to pay to get an Apple. So when I saw this article, I was quick to go configure a Dell and point out just how much one can save over the Apple tax.

      But it was 25 percent *more* (at least compared the $1999 MacBook). And you *still* have to waste your time reinstalling Windows to get rid of all the circus-ware that comes on the Dell.

      It really is no wonder [yahoo.com] that someone is paying Gartner to try and coax Apple out of the PC business [zdnet.co.uk]. They'd be idiots not to continue selling hardware.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Blimey85 ( 609949 )
        It's hard to compare them one on one. My wife just bought a Dell 17" lappy and it supports a higher resolution than the Apple 17". So which screen is better or worth more? I've no idea. I guess that depends on if you need the higher resolution or not. If they were identical computers in every way then we could easily determine which one costs more, but as it is, it's really anyones guess.

        Also keep in mind that you can save quite a bit on a Dell through coupons or their outlet store and sometimes there ar
        • Apple Refurbs (Score:5, Interesting)

          by jscotta44 ( 881299 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @11:13AM (#16560186)
          I guess you have never taken a look at the Apple refurb store then. I saved $500 on my MacBook Pro and that put it under $1,500. Yes, it is a 15.4" and not a 17". But that is okay because I travel around a lot with mine and the 17" MacBook Pro was just too big.

          I also physically compared the Apple 17" to the various Dell 17" offerings (easy to do since I live in Austin, TX). You mention the screen resolution as a distinguishing characteristic between the Dell your wife bought and the Apple 17". Let me mention another difference. I can fit two MacBook Pros in the same physical space of the Dell offerings (yes, there is a bit of exaggeration, but not much!). So, what is the value of a much smaller footprint for what is supposed to be a mobile computer? It's really anyones guess.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by necro81 ( 917438 )
          It's hardly equitable to compare the price of a refurb from one manufacturer to new hardware from another. That's like comparing the price of one company's car on the used lot to a different company's sold brand new.
      • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @11:11AM (#16560160)
        Apple and Dells Pricing are simular +/- $100 or so. Apple Usually wins on the high end systems. Dell Wins on the Low End Systems (Dell vs. MacBook) Plus you can get really stripped down cheapo systems from Dell for a lot less where Apple will not stand to make a product at that quality.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by cowbutt ( 21077 )
        I've always been a critic of the premium that one has to pay to get an Apple. So when I saw this article, I was quick to go configure a Dell and point out just how much one can save over the Apple tax.

        But it was 25 percent *more*

        Apple have been competitive for quite some time now; I compared my Toshiba Satellite 3000-214 with a PPC PowerBook that a friend bought about the same time in 2002, and the PB was objectively equivalent or better in all ways (unless you wanted to run Windows or other x86-only so

        • I'm not vhemontly anti-Dell, but screw them. They really aren't the best deal in town these days. MBPs were good a year ago, but a week ago they were obscenely overpriced. I'm glad to see them back in the game. In any case, I need a new laptop. I've just spent a LOT of time looking.

          I use 17" and won't use anything less, so that cut out most things. Core 2 Duo or Turion X2 was a must. That cut out Apple until this announcement, but I went and compared some specs anyhow. The truth is, the MBP was way overdue
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        You also forgot to take into account, all the time and money you'd wasting trying to track down iLife replacements on Windows. Out-of-the box, the bundled Apple software covers all the basics, something that the OSS community doesn't quite yet have the same consistency intergrating between apps.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Sp00nMan ( 199816 )
        I completely disagree. I just priced out a E1505 with the exact same specs as the low-end macbook pro, and it was $1,358. You can't keep using overpriced software costs to justify a mac (iLife, etc). What if I don't want iLife, iPhoto, etc... They shouldn't force me to pay $2000 for it. I'll take the hardware and download the freeware applications that I want.

    • by mgv ( 198488 ) *
      Also not mentioned is that 2gigs has been made the standard memory size with 1gig only available in the lowest model, with a 3gig option on the 17in version.

      The 15 inch can go to 3gig too, just not a standard configuration

  • Hooray for 1394! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by generica1 ( 193760 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @10:42AM (#16559702) Homepage
    I hope they continue to support Target Disk Mode via Firewire 800, and even if they had a similar way of doing the same thing with USB would be nice - that feature has saved my ass an innumerable amount of times. It makes for a nice troubleshooting option and makes things like Carbon Copy Cloner [bombich.com] possible... glad to hear that Apple is not sending FireWire the way of the floppy disk just yet.
  • Core 2 Duo (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @10:44AM (#16559720)
    Apple has just announced the upgraded MacBook Pro (15.4- and 17-inch models) with the Intel Core 2 Duo ("Conroe") 64-bit dual core processor.

    Screw that. I'm waiting for the MacBook Pro with Intel Core 2 Duo Twin Binary Pair featuring Extreme II Bifurcation technology.
    • by russellh ( 547685 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @11:12AM (#16560174) Homepage
      Screw that. I'm waiting for the MacBook Pro with Intel Core 2 Duo Twin Binary Pair featuring Extreme II Bifurcation technology.
      Call me from your iPhone when you get it.
  • I'm ordering mine today, another switch is about to take place

  • Merom, Not Conroe (Score:5, Informative)

    by leipzig3 ( 528671 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @10:45AM (#16559746)
    Actually, the Core 2 Duo for laptops is code named "Merom" not "Conroe". "Conroe" is only for desktops. They are virtually identical except for power requirements.
  • by boxlight ( 928484 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @10:46AM (#16559754)
    Linux guy: who the hell cares, why is slashdot now the marketing arm of Apple? Ubuntu is more popular than Mac OS X anyway

    Mac guy yesterday: why do you need a Core 2 Duo? Mac hardware is better that Dell and more expensive because it's better better better

    Mac guy today: I've been waiting for months for Apple to release the Core 2 Duo, finally now I can buy the MacBook of my dreams -- the Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro is the BEST COMPUTER EVER, EVER!

    Windows guy: huh?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by numbsafari ( 139135 )

      Linux requires me to think too much (recompiling the kernel to install a driver? -- why would a home user ever want to do that??)

      Dell has had the Core 2 Duo for a bit, but I'm sick of using Windows and dealing with MS security issues, MS DRM policies, MS licensing changes... and on and on...

      Mac OS gives me the best of both worlds: a unix environment that is incredibly user friendly because it drops the nauseating hypocracy of GNU and the EFF... I don't have to recompile anything to install a driver
  • by hcdejong ( 561314 ) <hobbes@xmsne t . nl> on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @10:49AM (#16559792)
    Maybe it's just me, but this is the first I've heard of 2,5" HDs > 120 Gb...

    Wow. Finally a laptop with enough storage space.

    (/me being cursed with a company laptop with a way-too-small 20 Gb disk)
    • Re:200 Gb harddisk (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jcr ( 53032 ) <jcr@NOSpam.mac.com> on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @10:51AM (#16559850) Journal
      Wow. Finally a laptop with enough storage space.

      That comment is going to seem so funny to you in a year...

    • meh (Score:3, Informative)

      Unfortunately, they eliminated the option for a 7200 rpm drive. It's a significant performance hit, if you're doing something that's I/O bound on the hard drive.

      • Re:meh (Score:5, Informative)

        by mgv ( 198488 ) * <(gro.namtlev) (ta) (tod2hsals.10.mapsoN)> on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @11:02AM (#16560010) Homepage Journal
        Unfortunately, they eliminated the option for a 7200 rpm drive. It's a significant performance hit, if you're doing something that's I/O bound on the hard drive.

        You can get a 7200 rpm drive, its not a standard but its an option. But you have to drop down to 100GB. I think this reflects the manufacturers.

        Bear in mind that the 160 GB drives use perpendicular recording, so they increase the size by increasing the areal density of the data.

        This also means that for a given speed of rotation, it will increase the data rates quite alot.

        Seek times won't be helped by this increase in density however.

        • by ArbitraryConstant ( 763964 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @11:27AM (#16560448) Homepage
          "You can get a 7200 rpm drive, its not a standard but its an option. But you have to drop down to 100GB. I think this reflects the manufacturers.

          Apple no longer offers any 7200 rpm drive in the 15" MacBook Pros, at any capacity. It's not standard, and it's not offered as an option. The only place it's still available is in the 17" model.

          Anyone who doesn't believe me is invited to check the Apple store.
          • Apple no longer offers any 7200 rpm drive in the 15" MacBook Pros, at any capacity. It's not standard, and it's not offered as an option. The only place it's still available is in the 17" model.

            I stand corrected - I did check the store, but missed that it was missing as an option on the 15"

            My apologies - I generally do check what I write pretty carefully before I hit the "submit" button....

            I don't know why, but its a bit sad - especially on the Pro models - not because its critical in itself, but because its so much more of a pain to change the HDD on the Pro than it is on the MacBook. And there is no reason for Apple not to offer this - after all, its a PRO laptop.

            • by mrchaotica ( 681592 ) * on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @12:24PM (#16561698)
              And there is no reason for Apple not to offer this - after all, its a PRO laptop.

              Or, if you re-arrange your perspective a bit, what's sad is that Apple assumes all PROs want a huge-ass 17" screen. What about those of us who are PROs (maybe in an industry other than media), who want a 12" (or smaller) ultralight Mac? Apple makes exactly two things that can accomodate us: jack and squat.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Osiris Ani ( 230116 )

          You can get a 7200 rpm drive, its not a standard but its an option.

          It's no longer listed as an option for the 15.4" model, unfortunately. That's a shame, really, as my Shiny-New-Thing envy quickly fizzled when I realized that the MacBook Pro on my lap has better disk performance than the new one I'd want. Even with 3GB RAM, Photoshop would still need to use a scratch disk, and 5400 RPM simply won't cut it. The 17" model is more bulk than I want to carry.

          Yes, I could swap it out with the drive in my curre

  • by Glock27 ( 446276 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @10:49AM (#16559796)
    What's the situation with overheating these days?

    Was it OSX causing the problem, or was it the first Macbook Pro hardware?


  • DVD drive maker? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jettoblack ( 683831 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @10:52AM (#16559852)
    All of the previous MB/MBPs use Matsushita drives with extremely strict region control, and since I have a large collection of both R1 and R2 DVDs, this rules out a Mac for me. The Matsushita firmware will flat-out refuse to read a disc (even raw sectors) if the region doesn't match, so software tools like AnyDVD and DeCSS-based players like mplayer/VLC don't work. Also the drives' firmware code is encrypted and signed with high strength public-key crypto, which makes a RPC1 firmware hack virtually impossible (some hackers tried but gave up after multiple expensive mistakes because the drives brick themselves if any attempt to read or modify the firmware is made).

    I'm most interested in finding out who makes the new 6x DL burner used in the 15" MBPs. If the new drives are NOT Matsushita then it looks like I'm getting a MBP... otherwise no way.
    • by larkost ( 79011 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @11:03AM (#16560028)
      The DVD consortium has been leaning on manufactures who liscence the DVD standard (all of them) to put this firmware restriction in place on all of their drives. If you can still find new drives that do not have this restriction on the market I would be surprised. And even the supply of drives that have been sitting on a shelf for a while without the restriction is probably starting to get small.

      Sadly, it looks like the DVD consortium is going to get away with this bit of colusion and abuse of monopoly.
    • Re:DVD drive maker? (Score:5, Informative)

      by jandrese ( 485 ) <kensama@vt.edu> on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @11:07AM (#16560078) Homepage Journal
      I don't know exactly what kind of Matsushita drive is in the MBPs, but many of them can be flashed [rpc1.org] to be region free. The behavior you describe is normal for a region locked DVD drive by the way, they're all supposed to work that way.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mikey_boy ( 125590 )
        Sadly doesn't cover my MBP that I bought 3 months ago. I spent a fruitless day trawling the web trying to find a way to resolve this problem (Matshita DVD-R UJ-857). Apparently the guy who used to do a lot of this work for the mac dvd drives retired, and no one has taken up the mantle yet.

        I know that the standards are what they are, but it really f**ks me off when this comes up with laptops. The whole point of having a laptop is that I can travel with it, I buy all my dvds, I just happen to buy some in t
      • Re:DVD drive maker? (Score:5, Informative)

        by jettoblack ( 683831 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @11:43AM (#16560820)
        If you check this thread http://forum.rpc1.org/viewtopic.php?t=38176 [rpc1.org] on the site you linked to, you will see that indeed, the newer Matsushita drives (830-850 series) used in all MB/MBPs can NOT be flashed to RPC1 or read discs from outside its own region, and all attempts at working on a firmware hack have been abandoned due to the issues I mentioned in my earlier post. Of course there are still many RPC1-flashable drives being made by other companies, but none which will fit in the slimmer slot-load form-factor of the MB/MBPs.

        Also note that this behavior is NOT normal for a region locked drive. With most locked drives, you can still use DeCSS-based software such as AnyDVD, DVD Region Free, DVD Decrypter, mplayer, VLC, etc. even if a RPC1 hack is not available. OTOH, only the newest Matsushita drives will flat-out refuse to read encrypted sectors (even in raw/direct mode) when the regions don't match. Software cannot get around this problem because these Matsushita drives won't even attempt to read data from the disc unless the region code matches.

        So, unless Apple has dumped Matsushita in the new MBP revision, the only possibility for region-free on a MB/MBP at this time is to use an external drive, and for me that is not an acceptable option.
  • It's good to see 64-bit CPU's in their laptop range eventually, as there was never a G5 laptop this is the first 64bit Mac laptop. This will give me an excuse to upgrade my aging iBook. I will get a 17" model and keep the 14" iBook when I need something a bit more compact.

    The 17" MacBook Pro has always had Firewire 800 but it's good to see it returning to the smaller models, I remember reading the reason for its disappearance was to do with space concerns on the smaller models rather than Apple deciding the
  • I have an Acer Aspire 5100 here with a 1.7Ghz AMD Turion. Other than the speed differential, is the Intel chip any better than the AMD one? I have kind of lost track of the dizzying array of chips out there.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by DrDitto ( 962751 )
      Not even close. The Intel Core 2 Duo chips destroy anything made by AMD. This includes price/performance also.
  • I was shopping for a new laptop recently and saw that the Dell Latitudes with Merom support up to 4 GB of memory (if you really wanna shell out that kind of money for a 2-GB SODIMM).

    Any idea why the MBP only supports 3?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Simple, probably a size constraint.
  • by TheSunborn ( 68004 ) <tiller @ d aimi.au.dk> on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @10:53AM (#16559874)
    But does it run the entire MacOSX in 64bit mode? (Something the G5 newer really did).
    • by larkost ( 79011 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @11:11AM (#16560146)
      10.4 will still be primarily 32bit, with 64bit sections where it really matters (the processing libraries for large-data-set apps). It looks like 10.5 is going to be much more 64bit from stem-to-stern with paralell libraries (some changes in the 64bit versions that will mark a change.. because it was an easy place to put the transition) for 32bit and 64bit.

      But do note that moving most of the code to running in 64bit mode does not make it faster. In theory you can make 32bit code that uses the new features in the cips without taking the extra overhead of everything going 64bit.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      It looks like the OS X kernel is going to remain 32-bit for the forseeable future, so that it can load 32-bit drivers. But a Core 2 Duo should allow you to run 64-bit userspace.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by shawnce ( 146129 )
      10.2.8 & Panther (10.3) support native 64 bit math operations in application code when running on a 64 but capable system (G5).

      Tiger (10.4) supports applications with 64 bit virtual memory spaces [apple.com] when running on a 64 bit capable system (G5, Core 2 Duo, Xeon 51xx) but ONLY for applications that linked against libSystem, Accelerate.framework and a few others. In other words Tiger supports 64 bit address spaces but only for a handful of libraries.. basically no UI application primarily limited to POSIX. Ag
    • by Overly Critical Guy ( 663429 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @12:08PM (#16561332)
      OS X Tiger is 64-bit on the UNIX level. OS X Leopard will be fully 64-bit, and unlike Windows, will ship on one 32-bit/64-bit Intel/PPC universal binary disc, so you don't have to buy separate versions of 32-bit and 64-bit. Also unlike Windows, 64-bit Leopard will happily run all 32-bit applications and device drivers, and it's all run native and not using translation.

      Apple's going to make Microsoft's 64-bit implementation look ridiculous and amateur. You people testing 64-bit Vista know what I'm talking about.
  • by _|()|\| ( 159991 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @11:07AM (#16560082)
    The iMac and Mac Pro are now available with 750 GB drives.
  • I'm still waiting (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ArbitraryConstant ( 763964 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @11:09AM (#16560114) Homepage
    I'm still waiting for a Conroe-based Mac.

    iMacs use the laptop version of the chip, and Mac Pros use the server version. This leaves a pretty big gap for people in the market for something in the middle.
  • by digitalhermit ( 113459 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @11:21AM (#16560318) Homepage
    OK, the specs on the new MacBooks look great; however, the price difference between my Dell E1505 Core2Duo and a similarly configured MacBook is $1000.

    I'm interested in hearing from people who use both Linux and Mac extensively. The majority of people I've seen recommending either Linux or Mac don't seem to know either very well. So they end writing some bullshit statements about the capabilities/incapabilities of both that just look stupid. I think they read something on the Internet somewhere, maybe five years ago, and still think it's true.

    Some of the questions I have:
    1) Do I need to install Linux to make it useful? I.e., on a Windows machine I install Cygwin and lots of Unix-like tools such as bash, gvim, putty, perl.

    2) What's the performance under Java like? On dual proccy machines (my Opteron, Core2Duo), Java screams. Can I expect the same performance under OSX?

    3) How stable is it. Macs are traditionally easy to use, but as I've owned dozens of Macs (and used to sell them too) I can attest that they were not the most stable machines out there (up until the first OSX spin). But browsing the knowledge bases and user forums (the BEST place for info) I see lots of issues.

    4) How much Free software is available? Can GNU/Open/Free programs be compiled easily and natively? I'd think because it's more consistent than the hundreds of Linux distros, this would be true...

    5) How solid is the workmanship. Hey, I get mocked at work because of my Dell, but it was cheap and it's fast. That's usually all I need. My Thinkpad is better built, but the $600 price difference was not worth it. What makes the Mac worth the extra $1K?

    6) How fast is it? Remember, I used to own lots of Macs. I know that the PowerPC Macs were not so fast in everyday usage as the equivalent Intel/AMD chips. If you quote some meaningless statistic and some Apple press release I will laugh at you because I used them on a daily basis for years. But Macs now have a new OS, new chips... On real world apps (Java, video, disk), how do they stack up?

    7) How does the two-finger trackpad stack up against real buttons? I.e., it's software to emulate two physical buttons. I've not used it before. Any drawbacks?

    • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @11:41AM (#16560772)
      1) All of the standard UNIX utils plus a lot of extra shiop on the Mac - the default shell is bash and even perl and apache come on it. You'll not need putty because you get a real ssh client and server.

      2) Java is not too bad, I've not done anything with that recently but I used to do a lot of Java development on a slower older Mac. The Mac is usually a few months (or more) behind on new Java releases (like 1.6). XCode (the mac development environment, comes with every Mac) understands Java.

      3) Way more stable than the old OS 9. I've not had a problem yet with the OS crashing that was not caused by bad hardware (got a bad RAM stick from crucial).

      4) You can compile most anything, there are X11 libraries as well that let you compile binaries on the Mac and run with an X11 server.

      5) Well it's hard to say what is in that difference. Expresscard is nice because you can use external SATA devices. The screens are good quality, the backlit keyboard is actually really useful. Generally the build quality is excellent overall, however if you didn't appreciate the Thinkpad quality you may still be nonplussed by the Mac features.

      6) I cannot really quantify it, because I don't know what fast means to you. Is it as fast as a Mac Pro? No. Is it much faster than my old G4 laptop? Yes. Can I use Aperture and Photoshop on it? Yes.

      7) The two-finger trackpad is great for scrolling. Personally I don't use it for right clicking because it is WAY easier to just press "Control" while using the laptop mouse button to get a context menu or do other things that require a right click. AFter all your hand is right there to the side, what else would you be doing with it! I personally think this system works better than any second button arrangement I have ever used or seen on a Windows laptop.
    • by easter1916 ( 452058 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @11:46AM (#16560888) Homepage
      OK, I'll bite.

      1) I stopped using Linux (my primary OS) three years ago when I first purchased an OS X Mac. Absolutely no need for it. I can download and run most open source apps on OS X. It's full blown UNIX.

      2) JAVA screams! I develop J2EE apps using Eclipse/RAD to run on IBM WAS / WPS. I currently have a 15" MBP 2.0 GHz, 7200RPM drive, 2GB RAM. On this machine, JAVA is a rocket.

      3) I've never had a single kernel panic since I received my MBP in March. Not one. A couple of apps have gone south once or twice, but never the OS.

      4) GNU/Open/Free progs run with no issues I've encountered yet.

      5) Sounds like you are a value shopper. Go to an Apple store, check for yourself. Personally, I think the build quality, design, etc. is worth the price "premium". If you can't see the advantage a TP has over a Dell, I doubt you will see what a Mac has to offer over a Dell. That's cool though -- we all have different expectations and ideas of value for money.

      6) Smoking. SMOKING. SMOKING FAST! Fastest laptop I've ever used.

      7) I love the two-finger trackpad for scrolling, and the two-finger tap for right-click works great for me. I must confess, I hated having to hold down control for a right-click with my old PowerBook. It was a nuisance.

    • by bennomatic ( 691188 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @11:52AM (#16561010) Homepage
      1) No. OS X is built on a Unix (well, Mach) core, and has a lot of the normal utilities built right in. Need Perl, PHP, Apache? They're all there. Prefer VI to Word? Go for it! In the Applications/Utilities folder, there's a program called Terminal.app that unlocks the door you're looking to get through.

      2) I find Java performance to be quite good. I played a Java-based flight simulator that ran great on my MacBook. But if there's a particular application that you want to try out, I'd say go to an Apple store if one is nearby and download it to the desktop and give it a whirl. They don't monitor that stuff too closely.

      3) I work on a Windows machine most of the time, but my personal system is a MacBook, and I find the latter to be much more stable overall. I essentially never reboot it, unless there is a software update that requires it. I did have the RSS problem, but I'll detail that in the hardware question.

      4) There's lots and lots of free (as in speech) software. Apple even has a download section dedicated to it: http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/unix_open_so urce/ [apple.com] . And since you've got Perl, etc., there are a lot of programs you can download and run without even having to recompile.

      5) In general, I think workmanship is great. Easy access to parts, long-lasting and reliable systems. Problems do come up, but Apple's pretty good about fixing them. My old iBook is almost 6 years old, and it's my wife's main computer now, and works great. It did have to have the logic board replaced because of a video problem, but they took it and fixed it and returned it in three days without a hassle, even though it was officially out of warranty. My current MacBook has the RSS (random shutdown syndrome), and I just brought it in last night. My understanding is that they've resolved that, and if history is any indicator, I'll still be using this system in 4 years.

      6) Speed is subjective, but basically, we're talking about the same hardware you might run windows on, so many--if not most--applications should run just the same. And if you want to run Windows, there's BootCamp, which lets you dual boot, or Parallels, which lets you run a virtual machine without the overhead of emulation. Lots of great reviews out there. Seach /. or google for more info.

      7) The two finger trackpad is AWESOME. I mean, it's OK for the second button and all; much better for right-clicking than control-click, in my mind. But the key is two-finger scrolling. Once you're used to it, you'll feel like any laptop that doesn't support it is a toy. Two finger scrolling a pretty great jump forward in human-computer interface.

      Hope this all helps!

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      OK, the specs on the new MacBooks look great; however, the price difference between my Dell E1505 Core2Duo and a similarly configured MacBook is $1000.

      Unless you stole your Dell, the price I get for a system similar to the base $999 MacBook is $896...

      The Dell has a 15.4" screen vs the MacBook's 13.3" but the MacBook has the iSight camera, Bluetooth, Remote and much more software.

      You must have compared this low end Dell to the MacBook Pro and not the base MacBook.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      ...the price difference between my Dell E1505 Core2Duo and a similarly configured MacBook is $1000.

      Weird. I think the Dell comes in at about $400 cheaper for me, with both machines having a few options the other does not. Of course I also would never buy a Dell laptop because of the reliability issues.

      1) No. The CLI is as nice as Linux (I think bash is the default shell now) and the integration between the CLI and GUI is better than any Linux distro I've used. If you move a directory using the GUI, your

  • by drsmithy ( 35869 ) <drsmithy@gm a i l . c om> on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @11:23AM (#16560350)

    I've been holding off getting a new work laptop, waiting for the new Power^H^H^H^H^HMacBook Pros to come out, so I could get my OS X fix on someone else's tab, but I am disappointed to see there is still no 12" PowerBook replacement.

    It's not a showstopper for me, because realistically a 15" vs a 12" notebook isn't a huge issue (heck, I might even get a 17"), but it would truly have been great to see a 12" PowerBook replacement that wasn't the redheaded stepchild the 12" was...

    It's a shame to see there isn't a 7200rpm hard disk option. However, 2G of RAM *standard* is a bold (and welcome, given OS X's hunger for memory) move by Apple that makes up for it. On the downside, as has become ironically typical (from a company that stresses its graphically-oriented heritage and having the "first" mainstream OS that really took advantage of GPUs for acceleration) it's a shame to see weak video hardware on "Pro" hardware, with no faster BTO alternative.

  • by ladybugfi ( 110420 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @11:33AM (#16560594)
    Hey Apple, where's the ultraportable laptop with max. 3lb weight?

    You've shown with iPod nano that you can do wonders in small scale, but your laptops are not reflecting your capabilities in this regard. They are currently just waaayyy too big and heavy for everyday and everywhere portability. So no Mac switch for me.
  • by foo fighter ( 151863 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @11:35AM (#16560638) Homepage
    Is it safe to buy a MacBook Pro now? Is this considered a version 2?

    I've learned not to buy version 1 of an Apple product unless I want to get cut by the bleeding edge.

"With molasses you catch flies, with vinegar you catch nobody." -- Baltimore City Councilman Dominic DiPietro