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on 16 July 2012
Like a lot of reviewers on here, I have used windows for years. My brother recently was given a macbook air as his company laptop and after myself trying it out for half an hour or so I was hooked - so I decided to buy the Macbook Pro.

Whilst I think a lot of people who have used windows for a long time are reluctant to move to mac because they feel they have to relearn the operating system - it is really incredibly intuitive and would take no more that a couple of hours from scratch to get to grips with. That is the thing with apple - they design things to be intuitive. That is why my 4 year old niece can use an iPhone. There are loads of very helpful tutorial videos on the apple website, and great apple forums were I found answers to everything I needed to know.

So if you are in the market for a new laptop and hesitant about making the jump to mac then I will try to explain in simplest of terms on why you should buy a macbook.

I found the most amazing thing on the macbook is the trackpad. Its a small recessed pad in front of the keyboard. This is like your mouse. As with all laptops move your finger around the pad to move the cursor around the screen. However - this is now where things differ. There are no left and write buttons. This is because the whole trackpad is a button. Click on it normally to access apps (apps are programs) and files, use 2 fingers to click and this is like write click on windows and brings down a drop down menu. Swipe between pages on the internet using 2 fingers left and write, scroll pages up and down pages by swiping 2 fingers up and down (none of this moving the cursor to the scroll bar or having to click the back and forward button as in windows). Make things bigger by opening your thumb and first finger. Rotate pictures by moving your finger anticlockwise or clockwise on the pad. Mission control allows you to see all apps and files, documents, emails and everything that you have open. You can access this by moving 3 fingers up the trackpad, and everything open will be displayed. Click one and you instantly move to that app or document. This means you can move between apps and different windows that are open at blistering speed. Have lots of apps open and want to open a new app? Simply use 3 fingers and your thumb and pinch together on the trackpad, and it will access the launchpad - where all your apps are kept. Very cool indeed.
After using the trackpad for a day it makes using an older style pad with 2 buttons seem archaic. It really is nothing short than a complete and utter genius piece of design and I feel something that is overlooked - its one of the best selling points of a mac laptop.

The internet is ridiculously fast. I know this depends on your ISP and your router. I use Virgin Media as my ISP and have a linksys router. I am always connected via wi-fi, never direct. Whole internet pages open in seconds - even complicated ones with moving graphics and videos. I have never seen anything so fast on a laptop before. I sometimes watch films via Lovefilm or Netflix in bed and it has absolutely no problem streaming perfectly in HD.

FaceTime is like a video call. Having used Skype for years I find it dropped out, and the video was slow and clunky. My father has a house in the USA and spends 3 months of the year there. I FaceTime him when he is there and talking to him is perfect, no drop out, audio and video in perfect sync - in HD quality. It is incredible that he is 3500 miles away - its like he is in the next room.

Both iPhoto and iTunes are easy to use and I just find a lot better designed system than windows for storing and organising your media.

The Email is also very well designed. Receiving lots of Emails on various different topics from various people, both business and socially - it can be a bit of a nightmare
organising and finding things. On windows I would either search alphabetically or create sub mailboxes and drag emails into them. Apple have designed a system that does this for you automatically and they are called smart boxes. Create a smartbox - lets say you were buying a new house and every mail to do with buying that house you wanted to file in a mail box. So create smart box "New House". Then go into your address book and create a group that contained all the people you receive mail from that deals with the house sale - solicitor, estate agent, utility companies. Then you are ready to set your criteria. So you set the criteria - "any email from that particular group of people in the last month". Thats it done - all emails to do with the house in the last month go into that box. There are many parameters you can set - such as an email containing a particular word, or from a particular person, in the last week, year. The possibilities are endless, and you can make it as simple or as complex as you like to suit your filing requirements.

"Finder" is kind of like "My Computer' in windows - where you can find and see everything that is on your hard drive in your cd drive, or externally.

The screen quality is second to none, crystal clear and sharp and the audio quality is amazingly good for a laptop. Also - in the brushed aluminium it is one very sexy looking machine and feels like it still wouldn't be out of date in 5 years time.
The only software I did buy is Microsoft office for Mac, because we still live in a world where most documents are office documents and I needed it for my business when sending out and receiving documentation. Its fine - the only gripe I have is you cannot make documents bigger by using the thumb and finger on the trackpad - so still have to revert to the drop down percentage menu. Small detail.

All in all this is one amazing machine. I have owned my macbook for a month now and apart from having a small go on my brothers macbook air, had never used an apple operating system before. Whilst I'm not aged, I'm no spring chicken either - so I just wanted to make clear that I'm no young technically whizz kid when it comes to getting to grips with technology.

I cannot praise the macbook pro highly enough. Yes - they are quite expensive, but when you start using one you'll realise why. I would never ever go back to a windows based PC now. Take the plunge - its worth it!
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on 28 May 2012
I bought this product a couple of weeks ago when my PC crashed. I had never bought a Mac before and have always used PCs since I was young. Having the decision to switch to Macs I would never go back!

This product is so quick in its start-up and shut down. Installations are so much easier for most programs and there have been none of the software and operating system update blips which tend to plague Windows operationg systems.

The product is advertise din conjunction with Windows for Mac, but I don't think it is at all necessary to buy Windows for it. Windows products are expensive and there are plenty of Mac-specific bits of software, like Pages (word-processing) which are so cheap comparably. I first looked at getting Microsoft Word for Mac, but I saved around £60 but opting for Pages (available for download from the 'App store.' I heartily recommend throwing oneself into the whole Mac experience. It will take maybe a day or two to get used but then it will seem so easy and so logical. I have had this product for less than a month and already it feels strange using a PC again.

The aspects which have impressed me the most are the nifty key-board back lights, its portability, its compact size, its speed and its incredible graphics. I have been watching DVDs on this because the display is incredible. I bought separate speakers, but the built-in speakers are by superior to any in-built PC speakers I've used.

And finally, it looks so cool! :-D
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on 11 January 2012
I have owned Apple Macs since 2001. I bought a G4 PowerMac that year and it's still running well today. Since then I've owned a number of Apple products, this Macbook Pro being the latest. As much as I love the stuff from this company, I find myself slightly resenting the fact that they used to be a bit of an alternative to the mass of Windows machines out there: there was always a feeling that by going the Apple route you weren't just following the crowd. In some ways it seems unfortunate that times have changed; what was once a company selling very well built and designed computers has turned into a corporate monster with a continuous push to dominate the world of cool with their endless product placements in movies and more and more shiny but fairly useless products. OK, rant over! This is a review of the Macbook Pro and so I will ignore my gripes with the company as a whole.

Recently I decided (basically for the above reasons) to give the competition a go for the first time since 2001. I bought a Sony Vaio Z series (I posted a review here on Amazon) in an attempt to use Linux for my day to day computing. The Z series was massively expensive and although it had its plus points I very quickly realised that I wasn't happy - Linux never really worked properly and Windows is just nasty - it's so far behind Mac OS it's laughable. So eventually I bit the bullet and sold my Z series and bought what I should have chosen to begin with - the Macbook Pro.

First impressions: the packaging is typical Apple - minimalist and thoughtfully put together, once you get the machine out of its box, you immediately feel confident that this is a quality product. Make no mistake, light-weight it is not but there's no chance that this laptop is going to suffer from the plasticky breakages that plague most Windows machines. Ports are adequate - 2 USB slots, SD card reader and a Thunderbolt port. The Thunderbolt is basically useless at the moment, unless you want to buy one of Apple's outrageously expensive displays or a very pricey storage device. However, I'm sure that products will make their way to market - when they do it will be a massively fast way of transferring data. There is also a Firewire 800 port (something I was pleased to see) and one of Apple's stupid mini display ports. These things are infuriating, why could they not have just put HDMI in there - it would have taken up no more space and meant that you could just plug straight in. Well, of course it's so that they can sell you an adaptor for £25!

The backlit keyboard is a pleasure to type on - much better than the Sony's. Battery life is extremely impressive, I've had close to the claimed 7 hours with WIFI on and a number of programs running. Screen clarity is excellent, although considering the Sony's 1920x1080 display, it would have been nice to see a slightly higher resolution than 1280x800. However, it is crisp, bright and gives excellent blacks. I could go on about the quality of this computer, it's a fantastic machine that I'm sure will last me for a number of years. I have a white Macbook which I bought in 2007; it's still working perfectly despite enduring trips to various corners of the world in a backpack and being generally overworked for most of its life so I am confident that this will be even better.

I don't want to say that there aren't PC equivalents, there are a lot of great Windows machines being made today and the glowing Apple is a bit of a coffee shop cliche these days. But for me, the usability of OS X more than makes up for this. As a useful product, I can't praise it highly enough, just beware - you might look like a bit of a fashion victim if you plan to pull it out in Starbucks!
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on 7 December 2011
The new lion OS X has transformed the MacBook pro into an even more intuitive experience, especially if you are familiar with the iPad. I am a new mac convert and up until now have only ever used PCs and my iPad and I have to say the transition to mac has not been daunting at all, but simplicity in itself.
I didn't know whether to go for this machine or the larger 15" i7 processor, as i would be using it for design work on the go and I use a processor heavy adobe creative suite, and I have to say I made the right choice.as it performs any task I throw at it with ease. the extra cost was in the end simply not warranted, and the bonus is, this is perfectly adequate in terms of size and ultra portable.
I purchased this with parallels software and a copy of windows which allows me to work on windows for web development and design packages for mac side by side which really is the best of both worlds and this is simply astonishing as this wasn't possible only a couple of years ago.
the MacBook looks and performs the part, and I cannot recommend this highly enough.
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on 10 February 2013
I previously had an ACER Timeline Aspire 4820T which I passed onto my wife and bought a macbook pro 13" last year on the advice of colleagues and family. I had to return it because, although the battery was fully charged, it wouldn't stop charging and overheated. The replacement doesn't get so hot while running OSX.
The screen is clear and crisp though reflective. Much better than the Acer
Build is solid, though the lid is thin and would easily dent if knocked. The Apple Logo is made of cheap plastic. Although not as sleek, the Acer is just as robust.
The Macbook trackpad is brilliant, better than any Windows laptop.
Startup time is also very good,
Battery is good though not as good as the Acer
The backlit keyboard is also solid but the keyboard commands are more complex than with Windows and you have to use 2 hands to delete the next letter in a line!
However after using various versions of Windows for 20 years I can't get used to OSX, itunes or iphoto. Finder is a nightmare compared to Windows Explorer. Safari is dull and Firefox doesnt work vey well. It is difficult to download photos from my Nokia phone. I never needed a handbook to use Windows but it seems Apple's software is so unintuitive to use that you have to go out and buy "Apple for Dummies" or "The Missing Handbook". Everyone who advised me to buy an Apple computer also advised buying Apple Care for another £200. Madness.
There is so little you can tweak or customise. You've got to do everything Apple's way, The drab grey of the boxes and toolbars is depressing
So ultimately I installed Windows 7 on my Mac using Bootcamp. What a relief after Apple's uniform grey. However, although Apple supply drivers to use Windows these are very inferior. The trackpad doesnt work as well and the battery life is poor. Worst of all the base of the machine gets uncomfortably hot even when only running a couple of applications. This is obviously a common problem and can only be partly helped by doing complicated tweaks. I called Apple and they suggested they may be able to help but I'd have to pay about £40 for their service as the computer is out of the 3 month support period. So I'm going to sell it on ebay and will happily put up with inferior hardware in order to get decent software.
So it's a star off for the operating system, a star off for running so hot and another star off for all the hype and the Apple fans who become apoplectic when anyone criticises their fetish.
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The Macbook needs no introduction, and this is a fantastic incarnation. I've own them since they started and Apple computer equipment since 1978. Which makes me very sad or something I know. One thing I will say is that they are pretty reliable as hardware, (no serious issues in last fives years) and OSX totally reliable. So for me that trumps about everything.

I'm writing this review because the seller that came up claims an RRP higher than that at the Apple store. OK, there's a discount, but not as much as you think.

Also, if you want my advice, don't touch the extended warranties that flag up on the page. If you want an extended warranty, and it's worth it for the battery - Apple will replace it FOC if it's under 100 cycles - then go for Applecare. Then you can get it fixed easily at the Applestore, where especially where batteries are concerned they have a liberal exchange policy.
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on 2 February 2012
I've always used Windows so to go to Mac I felt I was being brave.

P&P - It came the day after I ordered it! It was so quick I actually missed the delivery but a neighbour fortunately took it in. The packaging is bombproof!

Macbook - Smooth, sleek, good looking and the perfect size for my needs (home use). Magnetic power cord is a stroke of genius.

OS X (Lion) - A slight learning curve as Im from a windows background but its so intuitive you soon find yourself trying to use mac shortcuts on your works windows cpu :P
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on 26 April 2012
Having used a PC for 15+ years this was my first venture into the Mac world.

This is a very nice machine, looks nice with a nice crisp screen. It has enough power to do all your most basic compting tasks and probably a bit more. I'm a Adobe Lightroom user so will be keen to find out how this MacBook handles it. I run it on a 2.2ghz Windows Laptop with no problems.

I still can't get used to the Mac OS though. The swiping is good but the layout in Finder of how you view photos and files is slick but not as usable and funtional as Windows. For example, scrolling through pictures in a folder as large icons isn't something I've figured out how to do (think large icon or filmstrip view in Windows). Also, opening multiple Finder windows I haven't figured out how to do also. Something I do a lot of using multiple Windows Explorer windows. Mediocre NTFS support is also a pain. After downloading after market software I can only copy and paste onto an external NTFS drive and not cut and paste. Very annoying as I then have to go back and delete what I've copied.

Lack of HDMI or VGA ports out of the box is annoying also.

For someone like me who likes to tweak and customise I'm not convinced with Mac, I still prefer Windows (I guess that's why I prefer Android over iOS). Our household will continue to be a Windows and Mac one so for basic browsing I'll use the Mac. But for more intensive things I'll stick with my Windows PC.

Maybe it's a learning curve, I just have to figure out how to use a Mac properly. But for someone with little time to learn the deeper intracacies of an OS I'll stick with Windows.
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on 9 January 2012
Having owned and operated PCs since the early 90's I was looking to replace my laptop. I decided to stretch the budget and bought a 13" MacBook Pro (alternate was a Samsung Chronos or Dell XP15Z). The deciding factor for me was the aesthetics of the product along with a reputation for build quality and customer service/satisfaction. I admit I was intrigued to try out a new OS too.

The laptop was quickly delivered and I have to say initial impressions were great.

Good:
Battery life is really good achieving around 6 hours web surfing. Be warned though that if you load the CPU battery life drops to just over an hour!
Keyboard is as good as any laptop I have owned (keyboard about on par with my last Lenovo).
Touch pad is excellent and the gestures truly add to the ease of operation.
Screen is bright and clear although slightly small (but then it is 13.3").
OS x is excellent; it was easy and quick to learn.
The computer is quicker than a PC of the same specifications when comparisons have been run.

For those of you who worry that a Mac is hard to upgrade or replace the battery, it isn't just use google. I have upgraded the RAM to 8GB and added a Seagate 750GB hybrid HDD which has greatly improved boot and application load times (22 seconds to boot, 1 sec for safari)

So what isn't there to like?

Bad:
The Mac is no where as robust as it seems.
Customer service is poor.

The first flaw was that the software had not been allocated to my apple ID (created to buy the laptop). This was a problem that apple care could not solve but was resolved after multiple e-mails to the apple ID help centre in the USA. It did however take me well over an hour on the phone and many e-mails to resolve.

The second problem after just two months of ownership the charger dropped onto the lid of the laptop from only 10cm. Unsurprisingly the charger (plastic) was completely un-marked. Unfortunately the same couldn't be said of the laptop which now has a very small dent in the lid. I am an extremely careful person and this was a very small knock. I have to say I was very disappointed in how easily the laptop was damaged. I now have a protective case (macally) but it is a real shame to cover up the good looks of a computer that you partially buy for that very reason.

So in conclusion, the MacBook Pro 13" is a very capable laptop but I have to say I wouldn't buy one again. I can justify spending a lot on a computer that is good quality and going to last but I no longer believe that to be the case. If you do buy one please do buy a hard case as unlike other laptops I've owned a laptop bag/carry case just wasn't sufficient.
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VINE VOICEon 11 March 2012
I am somebody who has been through a fair amount of laptops, and until 2008, I was totally a Windows person. I had lots of Windows based laptops, largely Sony ones, and these tended to fail very regularly and cost a lot to repair.

This laptop is worth every extra penny it costs.

It is stylish to look at, very well built, easy to use, fast, silky, it does everything you could want your laptop to do.

The graphics are great, it does not crash when you are doing multiple things at once, and the fact if anything goes wrong you can just pop into your local apple store makes it truely invaluable.

I use it both for work and home use, and it takes a lot of wear without any trouble.

Absolute must buy.
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