Friday, September 08, 2006

Macbook Pro Review

I've had my 17" Macbook Pro for several weeks now, so I think I am fit to give her a fair review. I can safely say I could gave gone for a much less powerful machine. The only thing I truly wanted above and behind the other Mac lappies was the 17" screen. For what I do at home, this hot baby is severely under utilized. I just kept talking myself up to the highest level though, and I finally gave in and said, "Thumbs up, lets do this." I'm sure I'll buy another gig of RAM soon too. Do I need it, nope, do I want it, yup.

On the Software Side
As a long time Windows user I was quite reluctant to switch. Now, as most people seem to say, I doubt I'll ever go back. The Mac OS X is really the strong selling point of this beast. However beautiful she may be, I don't like the idea of being stuck to one vendor though. I get plenty of Windows and Unix love at work and having used Linux as well, for what I want to do at home OS X is where it's at. I guess I was sold the first time I dragged a picture from an IM window and it automagically saved to my desktop. I don't really have trouble setting up things on other OSes but it really is more convenient here. If I want to check things out on a lower level, I can. When I want to just get things done quick, I can. My only complaint is that I can't move the HD icon on my desktop. I got used to the min/max/close buttons being on the upper left of windows, but not being able to move the HD pisses me off.

Hard-on-ware
Unfortunately, I've got a number of complaints with the hardware, computer and housing. The area above my optical drive squeaked whenever the slightest amount of pressure was put on it. Just from placing my wrist off and on it would give off a door creaking squeak. I soon realized it was caused by the expansion and contraction of the case due to the extreme temperature differentials it was subjected to. I would boot up to no squeak but after the processor heated up the case it was scary movie door city. Then one day it just stopped. The next day it migrated and currently resides on my space bar in the form of a higher pitched squeak. I gave the apple forums a quick glance and saw many had the same problem and were told by the "genius bar" it was within spec. I haven't pried it off myself to apply some lubeys to it. Mac things sure don't like coming apart, and I'm hoping the problem solves itself with a good dose of time.

As I've mentioned, baby gets hot. If I run the processor at >15% utilization a small amount of nuclear fusion seems to go off. Honestly, it's not hot enough that when you touch it you instantly pull away, but you do say to yourself, "Holy balls, that's hot, I shouldn't be touching this." It'll make a nice space heater in the winter. Finally, the screen housing is a little wobbly and the right side doesn't seem to close all the way unless pushed down for a second. No whine, no discoloration, no battery issues. Wi-fi drops out here and there but I am in my basement.

Overall, I am very pleased. I'm still learning when it comes to OS X in general, but I'm exploring and liking. Hardware has a few quirks, but its a beautiful piece of machinery. I'll post some pics soon not as if everyone doesn't know what a Macbook looks like, but this one is mine.

1 comment:

Fluid said...

Dude, I'm glad that I happened to find your blog. I just bought a 17" MBP a few months ago and I have the same creak that you were talking about above the optical drive area. I know you mentioned it went away, but did it ever come back? My creak is mainly coming from the rubber immediately above the optical drive due to the lack of structural support.