Hopping on the New MacBook Pro Bandwagon

Ever since I purchased my MacBook Air 8 months ago, it has been my primary machine. I did everything on it, with the exception of HD movie viewing which was outsourced to my HTPC setup. It was a bit on the slow end but I enjoyed the portability. However in the recent months my feelings towards it have changed substantially.

At first it fell 2 feet and I had to get the screen replaced. The repair wasn't perfect and left the bezel bent up a bit. A month or two later the microDVI port died, all the while the battery life had gone from 4 hours when new all the way down to a paltry 2 hours. Not to mention the whole core shutdown issue which required a little hack to get working properly, even with a software update Apple released a while back. I decided it was time for me to ditch the Air and get something more reliable and powerful. Portability won't be as big an issue for me in the future as I graduate in 47 days and won't need to take my laptop to classes anymore.

Enter the 2.53GHz MacBook Pro. The new MacBook Pro gains the MacBook Air's styling and keyboard, of which I am a big fan. Naturally, this notebook is blindingly fast compared to the Air. Most notably, Firefox is fast and there is no hesitation creating new tabs or scrolling. I'll leave the performance talk for a review after I get a chance to play with this more.

New Apple MacBook Pro Unboxing

The stock 2.53GHz MacBook Pro comes with a mediocre 5400RPM 320GB hard drive. After a bit of help from Titanas, I ordered Intel's new SSD for this laptop. It's the 80GB X25-M and runs for about 600-700 USD if you can find it. It's pretty much the fastest SSD out right now. Read Linus Torvalds' thoughts on it.

New Apple MacBook Pro Booting - 2.53GHz

I'll post my thoughts on this notebook later on, but I love it so far. Briefly: (1) Yes, the glare is ridiculous, (2) after a few hours of using the trackpad and enabling tap to click, the trackpad is a joy to use, (3) the construction on this thing is solid and feels very sturdy.

The best part about the new MacBook Pro? The graphics.

Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare on MacBook Pro with Nvidia GeForce 9400M
Call of Duty 4: MBP using GeForce 9400M (not the more powerful 9600) at 1440x990 with no AA and moderate AF. It's pushing a slightly sluggish 18FPS. The 9400M is enabled by default, I have yet to test it with the 9600 GPU enabled.
I can actually play games. I've installed Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare and Spore is probably next. Granted textures, antriscopic filtering and anti-aliasing settings aren't going to be maxed out at 1440x990 but you can still get a good session in with moderate settings.

Config

For those curious, here are the first things I installed on my MBP:
  • XCode 3.1.1
  • Firefox 3 with add-ons: ColorZilla, Firebug, Delicious Bookmarks, Feedly, Hellafox (to control hellanzb on HTPC), Inquisitor, Quartz PDF Plugin, Searchbar Autosizer
  • MacPorts and MySQL5, Git, Rubygems
  • Photoshop CS3
  • Fluid.app - GMail, TheSixtyOne.com, HypeM.com, Campfire
  • AppZapper
  • MultiClutch to get some trackpad gestures working in Firefox 3 (although there is an experimental version of FF3 in the works to support these gestures)
  • Perian, Flip4Mac
  • VLC Player
  • Unison, MacPAR deLuxe
  • Transmit, TextMate
  • MenuMeters
  • Adium
  • TweetDeck
Paul StamatiouPaul Stamatiou

Paul Stamatiou is a designer, developer and photographer living in New York. He has been a product designer at Twitter since 2013. More »

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"Hopping on the New MacBook Pro Bandwagon" by @Stammy