143 of 148 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!
As my first home computer was an Amstrad 1512 I have used computers for many years but I have to add I am literally a 'user' and would get totally lost in any in depth technical detail so this review is definitely not for those of you looking for impressive data specifications etc.
I have purchased numerous PC's over the years and as technology advanced it...
Published on 5 Mar 2011 by Midnight
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Initial Impressions
I have the macbook pro for a few days now, and these are my impressions.
I wanted to be "wowed" by the machine and the software, but to be honest, I don't get the wow effect from the design, I really don't see what all the fuss is about. It's good, but it's not THAT good, especially for the money. You could get a similar Sony Vaio for less...
Published on 16 Oct 2011 by Nehushta
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143 of 148 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!,
This review is from: New Apple Macbook Pro 13 inch Laptop (Intel Core i5 Dual Core 2.3GHz, 4GB RAM, 320GB HDD, Up to 7 hrs battery life) - Launched February 2011 (Personal Computers)As my first home computer was an Amstrad 1512 I have used computers for many years but I have to add I am literally a 'user' and would get totally lost in any in depth technical detail so this review is definitely not for those of you looking for impressive data specifications etc.
I have purchased numerous PC's over the years and as technology advanced it seems the PC's lasted for a shorter and shorter period of time. So when my most recent PC became ever more sluggish, having been impressed with my iPod etc, I decided to take the plunge and go for a MacBook Pro. As I'd been told a new version was due, I diligently checked each day so I could promptly order the i5 Dual Core 2.3GHz, 4GB RAM, 320GB HDD as soon as it hit the market.
I can happily say that I have never so easily set up a computer - usually a few days have to be set aside to ensure I can connect to Wifi, transfer email contacts, music, etc onto any new PC. It was certainly not the case with the MacBook Pro! It definitely outshone any operating system I have used so far and the sleek aluminum casing is shiny and very attractive too!
In a very short time it was connected to the wireless hub, email account was set up and email contact addresses were moved over. My next step was to move my extensive iTunes collection over. This did take me a little longer to work out but was more a case of 'Operator Error' than the system being at fault! Once I realised I could achieve the transfer quite easily via my iPod, it was accomplished within seconds. The sound quality is excellent.
It recognised my printer without any trouble as well.
The transition from using Word to iWork (Pages, Numbers etc) to compile documents was not a problem either and there is no difficulty in opening documents previously created on my PC.
The speed with which the MacBook Pro undertakes everything is awesome. We do not have a fast broadband speed but internet pages appear to load a great deal faster.
If you are reading this because you are contemplating changing from a PC to a Mac, I can only say it would be a move you most certainly will not regret.
As far as I'm concerned, it lives up to all the hype. Maybe it is slightly dearer than a PC but it is worth every penny!
109 of 115 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb piece of hardware,
This review is from: New Apple Macbook Pro 13 inch Laptop (Intel Core i5 Dual Core 2.3GHz, 4GB RAM, 320GB HDD, Up to 7 hrs battery life) - Launched February 2011 (Personal Computers)Let me start by stating as many other people have done so whilst reviewing this product that I am a long time PC user (about 20 years or so), and have never really used an Apple computer before, except during college a few years back to briefly do some music production where I only used the expensive software and not the computer or OS itself.
Windows to Mac - I was put off getting any Apple computer because I thought I'd have to learn how to use a whole new OS!! I must tell you what I realised after using this OS very early on. It's easy!!! Apple are not stupid, they know that pretty much all of their new customers that they want to entice on to their products, come from a Windows back round. If they didn't make the transition smooth and their OS easy to use for those people, they'd never get any new customers coming over from Windows to them. I have to say that my experience with Snow Leopard OSX has been very smooth and productive. I still can't get over how fast everything is. The computer boots up in a few seconds, as a Windows user that is impossible. It is extremely stable and has not crashed on me at all. The best thing about getting this out the box for the first time is I get no crappy software clogging up my desktop that I have to uninstall like I have had to do with every single Windows machine I have owned and on top of that there is no need for me to install any kind of anti-virus software! I got it out the box, I turned it on, I quickly and easily set up my computer following the prompts given to me and hey presto; I was ready to go!! Any files I had on my computer that I needed were quickly transferred via a USB HDD. NTFS files are read with no problem and I can write them back on to my HDD for my main PC to use with some free software I downloaded (you can Google it and there are videos all over youtube on how to do this, piece of cake). I transferred my iTunes library from my PC to my Mac as iTunes is much faster on a Mac and this was easily but slowly done through home sharing (I have a lot of music so it was bound to take ages)!!
Build quality and design - This without a doubt, is the most well constructed piece of computer hardware I have ever seen. It feels so solid when you use it and aesthetically, it's just gorgeous to look at. There is no creaking, or plasticy crunches coming from this machine even the keyboard is very quiet and solid sounding when you're typing away on it! The layout of the keyboard is perfect and very nice to type on, even for long periods of time. I cannot stress how handy having a backlit keyboard is (well for me that is), I'm sure I'm not the only one who has to use their laptop in low light conditions, it comes in handy nearly every evening; I feel all laptops should come with this feature. The display on the MacBook Pro is one of the best I have seen to date. The contrast is astounding, with vivid colours and HD movies look just fantastic on it. The Mac runs very quietly and even when the fan kicks in a bit faster, it is still far quieter than my previous laptop and than my current PC. It stays very quiet and cool whilst surfing the internet and watching HD movies, which is were most of my time is spent.
Internet - I have used a lot of different computers over the years to surf the internet, but nothing can compete with the experience you get whilst using a MacBook. It was so easy to get it connected to my home network, and any other network I must add!! Using the two finger scrolling is something my previous laptop had tried to take on, but in comparison to this; it failed miserably!! The scrolling on the MacBook Pro's trackpad is very smooth and extremely responsive. Safari has many traits similar to Internet Explorer, which is brilliant for me coming from Windows. You have tab browsing, google search bar and a the toolbar is customisable. Safari also has Top Sites, which a nice feature and one I find myself using more and more as time goes on. This is like bookmarks in a way but it has an image of each website and opens up nice and clearly, which is a quicker way in recognising your websites rather than reading them from a bookmark list.
Software - The software you get with the MacBook Pro is brilliant. iPhoto and iMovie are very good editing tools for a person like me with no experience in these fields. I can create some excellent results with minimal effort. I love having my external mail client directly linked to the mail application on the Mac, it is so much quicker and easier just clicking on a tab and there it is. I have my mail updated every minute so I never miss out on any important emails. Some people have moaned about there being no word processing application on this machine for free. I do not need this as I do it on my desktop, but after a minute or two on Google I found a couple which sounded good at no cost.
The battery - This is a huge plus!! I do not know of any Windows based laptop or netbook that the manufacturer boasts a 7 hour battery life!! I have been using this a while now and the battery easily surpasses 7 hours whilst doing a mixture of web browsing, HD movie watching and uploading photos from my camera. Some of the new netbooks coming out are getting good with around a 5-6 hours battery life, but for a machine of this power to offer such superb battery life means it's way ahead of the competition in this area.
The price - This is the real debating point with many people in purchasing an Apple computer. I can only speak from my experience with this MacBook in particular. Laptops that are available with similar or slightly better sounding specs that are a lot cheaper than this computer are so for a very clear reason. They are put together cheaply with tacky looking plastic moulds, the are far more bulkier, they have poor components that do not work was well and we all know the saying that "you get what you pay for". Windows based manufactures have began to produce better quality laptops using aluminium shells, thinner overall designs, better components and guess what? Those new laptops are nearly in the same price bracket as this one. We are now talking about £100 difference instead of a third of the price. It just goes to show that once manufactures start trying to build their products to the same standards as a MacBook Pro, the prices shoot up!! Now with a smaller price difference people can really start to think about the software and if they are willing to pay slightly more for Apple or if WIndows is what they are used to, then stick with that. For the stability, speed, ease of use and general user experience I will happily pay the extra money for an Apple.
Are there any cons - To this day I can't find anything that is justifiably a con to buying this machine. Everything that I have had trouble with was my fault in trying to use it incorrectly and after a minute on Google or Apple support I found the solution. I feel the price may still be a con for some people, but as I said previously try to find a computer with the same specs and build quality, you will see that there is not that much of a difference. There are only two USB ports but to be fair I can pick up an adaptor giving me the extra ports I need for a couple of quid, so this can't really be something to stop me purchasing it. Others have said that the battery is not external and will be a pain to swap. Let's be fair here, I have no desire to hot-swap the battery given it's longevity (mentioned in the battery section). The battery is said to be good for around 1000 cycles, which will be anywhere from 3-5 years of usage, before it drops to 80% efficiency. At the rate technology is going and has been going, this laptop will be way out of date in that time and if I was keen to keep it, it would still run strong at 80% which would be around 5 hours of battery life (still very respectable by anyones standards). Any other battery would have been dead long before that and probably replaced at least once already.
Conclusion - Everybody has their own preferences for using a computer and everybody has their own opinion; this is mine. The cons I read about before purchasing this product that I thought would affect me have had a very easy answer or solution to them. I am extremely happy that I took the plunge and switched to an Apple laptop, I still use my desktop PC for my home entertainment system, word processing and I do not see that ever changing. The MacBook Pro is a fantastic internet tool with software I use to edit and store my travelling photos and videos whilst being able to watch HD movies. I am constantly between places and this laptop enables me to do these things on the go with it's ease of use and amazing battery life. The user experience is far more enjoyable than what I get from my Windows PC and it really is a joy to use. If you are stuck in your choice, go into an Apple store and try it out for yourself, ask questions to the very knowledgable staff and most importantly, do your own research. The snobbish stigma that is associated with Apple computers is very quickly fading away and people are buying these products because they work whilst offering ease of use, superb build quality and excellent components. Come to your own decision as both Windows and Apple offer some excellent products tailored for different types of users just make sure you come to an unbiased conclution. Oh and finally, my advise is if you're a gamer I'd stick with a PC as it has far more titles and will be a cheaper solution rather than dual booting your Mac. Me personally, I use my Playstation for games. :) I hope this review helps.
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Pleasure to Use and Ready for the Future,
This review is from: New Apple Macbook Pro 13 inch Laptop (Intel Core i5 Dual Core 2.3GHz, 4GB RAM, 320GB HDD, Up to 7 hrs battery life) - Launched February 2011 (Personal Computers)This is my second Mac computer and has proved to be yet another impressive tool. Boasting the Intel Core i5 processor running at 2.3 GHz, it is appreciably faster than the old Intel Core 2 Duo. The FaceTime camera and software is equally slick. The principle difference between the old iSight camera and the FaceTime HD camera is, yes you guess it, high-definition viewing at 720p.
In shape and form the MacBook Pro 13-inch i5 is identical to its predecessor with Intel Core 2 Duo. Beneath the bonnet however we find a few important differences namely; processor; the Intel Core i5 Sandybridge processor with integrated HD 3000 graphics built into the processor itself, a larger HDD drive with 320 GB, the afore-mentioned FaceTime HD camera, SDXC SD card reader reading cards up to 64GB and the revolutionary Thunderbolt interface which is also the same MiniDisplay port offering great potential for future high-speed storage devices. The data transfer rate is said to be 10 Gigabits per second making FireWire 400/800 almost redundant. Curiously, battery power is less than what the predecessor offered but still very good compared to what other models offer.
This computer is an excellent choice for those migrating from PC to Mac, the entry-level professional or "prosumer" and the Mac OS X devotee. I use mine to run UNIX® programs through MacPorts ( Mac OS X is a certified UNIX® operating system at its core based on BSD UNIX) and Linux distributions in a virtual machine. if you're looking for something fast, well-made, beautifully designed for general aswell as creative/productive computing; the MacBook Pro isn't a bad choice.
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Most Advance Notebook,
The screen is something on its own and is one of the highest resolution screens on the market. If you are a professional photographer i would strongly recommend you buy either a 27inch iMac if you stay at home or a 17inch MacBook Pro if you are on the go. I say this because looking at pictures on any Mac's screen is sensational and unbelievable. The millions of colours. The thousands of pixels.
Next i move on to the revolutionary Mac OS X operating system which every mac uses. It has over fifty applications and they are all top of the range in their own way. Just one of these applications is itunes which has been a revelation again and again and again. This incredible software lets you do everything you would on windows but i have to say it does them ten times better.
The magic built in trackpad is a piece of thin aluminium that tracks where your fingers move. There are also inbuilt functions that you use by swiping, pinching and prodding with various numbers of fingers.
I would advise if you are going to buy one of these to buy the L'Acrobe Sleeve which features on the results page when you type in macbook pro. This sleeves ensures the aluminium is not scratched when you are carrying it around.
Overall this is a stunning notebook and i would strongly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a new laptop / notebook. I hope this review has been helpful.
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Initial Impressions,
I wanted to be "wowed" by the machine and the software, but to be honest, I don't get the wow effect from the design, I really don't see what all the fuss is about. It's good, but it's not THAT good, especially for the money. You could get a similar Sony Vaio for less cash.
For me, a 13" screen is too small, but I couldn't afford another £500 to get the screen 2" bigger. Although, I am impressed with Amazon selling them cheaper than Apple, but hey, Apple are not known for bargains!
The most advanced operating system?
OSx Lion has some fantastic features, especially if you are used to using an iOS device. Sweeping between webpages is very much like using my iPad, and I like the way they render .pdf files.
Somethings in Lion are not well considered though, and smack of the Walled Garden that annoys me about Apple and it's anti-competetive revenue streams. For example, if you use the LaunchPad, you can only remove the software you downloaded from the "mac store". Want to remove anything else? FORGET IT! For a Windows user or some things are counter intuitive too, and Apple really don't like you to get your fingers dirty with settings. For such an "advanced" operating system, you really shouldn't have to be going to the "shell" to get stuff done.
I have two degrees in IT related disciplines, so I know what I'm doing on computers and I'm not afraid to get into the guts of an operating system, but simple things, that Windows users are used to, but Apple don't like you to do, are made pointlessly difficult. I played with Snow Leopard a little, and it was nowhere near as bad.
OSx is becoming more of a "front end" rather than an operating system (which seems true of what I've seen of Windows 8), a bit like an iPad. Sure you can do stuff on it, but only if Apple says you can. I dislike having to use the mac store to install software, which is the business model that Apple are trying to phase in, soon mac's won't have super drives, and the only way to get software will be the Apple way, just look at the Mac Mini as an example. On my rural broadband, I'm downloading software that will take longer to download that it would to drive to the nearest town and buy the software. Over 23 hours to download; thats nearly a day! And if you have a capped download limit, then you might only manage one download a month. I'm sure that isn't a problem for Apple staff, but for the rest of us, we need to think about such trivialities.
The Final Analysis
I like my macbook pro, but the screen is too small for the price. I like OSx, but I think that from a users point of view, it's shiny and has the "wow" effect, but at the expense of usability and functionality.
Three out of five for me. Good, but could do better.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Views from a newcomer,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Design wise, this is a beauty. The screen is a revelation - the clearest I've ever used. The construction method means there are no annoying flaps or doors and the body is sturdy. My old laptop creaked when you picked it up.
Connectivity wise, all angles are covered: 2 USB ports (More might be better), a Firewire Port, a SD card reader and a Thunderbolt port, which is a new general purpose connector. You can hook up a DVI connector this and use an external monitor. The power connector is magnetic, which is an absolute blessing in a house with two curious young children who tend to like pulling out cables. It's also useful for clumsy adults who tend to trip over them. There's a button on the side which displays a small line of lights so you can see battery life without opening it.
I do not, generally, like touch pads and tend to disable them. However, the multi-touch here has converted me. With this feature, the touch pad becomes more like the screen of an iPad/iPod and allows gestures to control the screen. You can scroll with two fingers, and if you're in Lion you can move between web pages and desktops. Extremely usable, and means i no longer have to use an external mouse. The keyboard is also comfortable to use and backlit for night use.
The boast of battery life may be somewhat misleading, but I found that it lasted for a couple of days of light use, with plenty of sleep time.
In use it's virtually silent. I have yet to hear the fan switch on.
As a first Mac, I am pleased, even though I was well aware that for the same price I could have picked up an extremely powerful laptop. That was not the point. The machine is stable, usable and has superb battery life. I do not regret paying a bit more for a well designed piece of kit.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mac Book Pro 33,
It is an easy machine to use and I can heartily recommend it. The sound performance is great for films and I player. The machine is quick to use and works quickly on the internet.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Apple does it again with the Macbook Pro,
Long story cut short, I bought the Macbook Pro for cheaper on Amazon.co.uk then it was on educational discount on Apple's website. The delivery was within a day like always, so if you do decide to buy the laptop, I couldn't recommend anyone better than Amazon.co.uk. The advantages of the laptop is the supremely high definition screen that really does wow you if you've been using windows for years, and the beautifulness of the whole system which you can tell the engineers at Apple have spent years on perfecting because the biggest thing that I have seen is NO crashes or viruses. Though i know you can still get viruses, it is only around 2-5% of what Windows have so you know you can browse a bit more confidently. Another advantage is that you can leave it on standby and this gadget will consume little to none of your battery life, so you can pull the screen up and carry on where you left off.. another true innovation and on that note, the battery life is phenomenal compared to any laptop i've seen and I can truly call this a laptop and it does meet up to its 7 hour battery life predictions (or, about 4-5 if you are doing a lot of tasks unlike my sony vaio which only has around 1 hour battery life and heats up so much that you feel it's going to burn you. The laptop seems to have dealt with everything (webcam, microphone, keyboard backlist, screen brightness automatic changing depending on the room lighting) and does not have any serious limitations and feels just like the iPhone or iPad with the interface, so the transition to the Mac was much easier for me. It's never slow. It's FaceTime camera is really HD and is brilliant. Thunderbolt is pointless for the average consumer as nobody needs speeds that fast and there is no thunderbolt-supported drive out there yet, and when there is, they will be more than £2000 alone. The unibody - just WOW. There is an equivalent of Windows software available for Mac including Adobe CS5, Microsoft Office and a whole other bunch of stuff. There's so many other advantages. The only disadvantage that I could give, is that the keyboard buttons can fall off effortlessly but they are just as easy to put back into your laptop.
The Macbook Pro (or any Apple product) was developed for humans, the built-in trackpad is like an extension of your hand (even for a web developer) and the keyboard just amazes you that no other manufacturer has been able to build something so innovative. They are a company worth more than a third of $1 trillion dollars, and they only have a handful of products. That explains how well they are at what they do, and if you choose for an alternative, you are missing out on the future and a lot of painless computing. I think the 13 inch is perfect, you don't need larger unless the laptop is your main computer (and you have no other computer).
Apple's products really do excite you and make you giggle! That's a priceless bonus that comes with this amazing engineering achievement.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best laptop I've ever owned,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is an incredible piece of kit. Yes, it's beautiful aesthetically, but its beauty isn't skin deep. The MacBook Pro, even in its 13" incarnation, blazes through all kinds of intensive tasks like graphics and video processing. The display is remarkably rich, with deep contrast: no PC monitor I've used measures up. The battery life is fantastic - I can get over 5 hours of browsing/editing documents on one charge.
As a 'power user' on Windows, I was worried I'd struggle with OS X, but after a few weeks I'm perfectly happy whizzing around the screen doing everything I need. Like the hardware, OS X is nice to look at, but also powerful, and surprisingly customisable, underneath. It's a different way of working to Windows, but a lot of it really does make sense.
If you've ever used a Linux or BSD system, you'll feel at home with the Terminal and underlying structure of the system. OS X is like a beautiful, highly usable Linux.
Two of my favourite things about this machine are the touchpad, and standby. The touchpad is amazing, and you will wish it was on every laptop you use. It's a big, multi-touch pad, with no visible buttons. You can press down on it and it clicks, but even easier is just setting it up to recognise different combinations of fingers and taps. For example, if I tap with one finger, it's a left-click; if I tap with two fingers, it's a right-click. If I drag with two fingers, it scrolls; if I drag with three fingers, it drags. It's brilliant - you wouldn't have thought touchpad technology could be improved upon, but it really has.
The other point is standby mode - I haven't switched off or restarted my MacBook Pro in 3 weeks. You just close the lid, and it enters low-power mode almost instantly; open it, and within 2 seconds you're back where you were. As an experiment, I left it on standby and unplugged overnight, and it only lost 3% of battery.
So there you have it - from sceptic to believer in one easy purchase. This is a beautifully engineered laptop, but - more importantly - it's powerful, has a long battery life, and does the job brilliantly. Everything's here - decent-sized hard disk, HD webcam, Bluetooth, DVD writer, even what I think is an infrared port(?!), all in a compact form factor... So what are you waiting for?
UPDATE: 7 months later... I still use my MacBook Pro every day, it still has fantastic battery life, and I still love it to bits. My fast, fancy Windows 7 desktop PC has been sitting idle for most of those 7 months. If you're still wondering whether to get a Mac... just do it!
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent,
Decision to purchase the Macbook was triggered by heavily damaged by Dell Inspiron 15R laptop with Windows 7 patience. Basically it drove me mad; viruses, slowdowns, getting hot, unintuitive interface, poor bettery life etc etc I felt like it's me against the hardware/software. Most of it was down to Windows I suppose.
Anyways, cutting this story short I purchased Macbook Pro. And I have to say I will never buy a laptop with any version of Windows again! Macbook Pro is in a completely different league.
Here are my observations:
* It's very functional, the trackpad is like an extension of your hand you can do so many things so quickly; using one finger move the pointer, two fingers scrolls, three fingers goes back and forward, four fingers switches between applications.
* Keyboard / keys are excellent, feel lovely and are separated well. It's pleasure to type. It may sound lame but if you use above mentioned laptop you will know what and where it can go all wrong.
* Screen quality is amazing
* It's amazingly quiet and fairly cool
* Battery time! You can actually call this "a portable machine" 6-7 hours not bad at all
* Initial set up is very quick and easy i.e. setting up wireless i/net literally takes 1 minute
* It's very sexy and well build.
* The quality of finish is exceptional, it's also very sturdy design and finish
* Charging magnet port is well though through
* Excellent software for editing videos/photos/music which takes an advantage of the excellent hardware
* Standby time is impressive. I do not even shut the system anymore I just simply close the lid
* Facetime is not a breakthrough
* No HDMI port
* Not particularly light
* A bit expensive
* Maximising windows should be easier
Generally, there are too many things to mention here in this review that you will come across and think "wow, this is so much easier and quicker than on Windows" or "wow, this is so cool and functional", I feel that I got a well designed and finished package - a hardware and a software from a company who wants to make your life easier by applying a common sense in using applications and not bothering you with all those things behind the scenes that most people don't need to know about or don't care about.
I guess I should thank Microsoft for providing yet another horrible operating system (Windows 7) this convinced me that I will not spend my hard earned money on the product which is worse with every version (for me - a general user - Windows 98SE was better, although still bad, than Windows 7). I am glad I decided to change to Macbook Pro. Yes it's expensive but so so worth it.
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