Customer Review

233 of 236 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Should have taken the big leap years ago!, 12 Aug 2010
This review is from: MacBook Pro 13inch 2.4GHz (Intel Core 2 Duo, 4Gb RAM, 250Gb HDD, NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics, SD card slot, up to 10 hour battery life) (Electronics)
I'm assuming I don't need to say much to Apple aficionados. This review is aimed at people who are considering making the big leap from Windows world into Mac land.

I was in that situation 3 weeks ago and was increasingly fed up with "(Not Responding)" appearing in the title bar whenever I made a totally unreasonable request such as Open a document, reply to an email or open My Computer.

The reviews for the 13" MacBook Pro were good, Amazon had the best price so I took the plunge.

Let me get the negatives out of the way first. This is a quality piece of kit, but you have to pay for that quality and some people will doubtless consider the price too high, bearing in mind that you could buy two Windows laptops for the price of one of these - and with better specs in terms of processors, hard drive capacities and optical drives (e.g. Bluray with video-out capability). Also, the touch-pad takes some getting used to in that there are no buttons at all, so you have to learn a whole new way of pointing, scrolling, clicking and right-clicking involving various combinations of finger pressure, which aren't always recognised and can get irritating. The easy solution is to plug in a mouse. And that leads to my final minor beef - there are only two USB ports, both on the left hand side, meaning that if you do plug a mouse in, the socket is on the wrong side for right-handed people and you then only have one port left.

But enough of all that. As soon as you open the box and see the quality of finish and attention to detail, you know you've just bought something special. And then the first pleasant surprise for Windows users - you switch it on and within 10 seconds its booted up and ready to go! (Similarly, when you want it to sleep, restart, or shutdown, it just does it. Immediately. Without any Space Odyssey Hal-style "I'm sorry I can't do that" drama!)

The setup and registration process is very simple, it found my wireless router with the minimum of fuss, and then it was time to start exploring and have some fun.

I should say that I also purchased the iWorks package along with the MacBook. I'm not going to review that here other than to say that it works, it does what its told, it handles mixed text and graphics documents beautifully, and it doesn't inexplicably die on you without warning!

My intended usage for my new toy is mainly leisure: email, browsing, photography and music. All my old MS Office documents will stay on my networked desktop and laptop.

Nothing much to say about browsing. The Safari browser works like any other tabbed browser - maybe more akin to Firefox or Chrome than IE. Suffice to say it has never crashed on me once.

Email is easy to set up initially and I found the simplest way to import my Outlook/Windows Mail address book was to import it into gMail and then export it from there in Apple format. The one snag I had was setting up an extra POP3 account because I have two email addresses. Unlike in Windows Mail it wasn't easy to find out where the `Add new account' button was. I found it eventually, but couldn't tell you now how! As for using Mail - it works. Messages are displayed on a preview pane, or you can click on them to open in a new window (which happens straightaway - unlike my previous experience where often a mail would not open at all until you opened or refreshed your web browser for some bizarre reason). The other nice touch is attachments, which you can open normally or view via `Quick Look', which does exactly what it says, enabling you to see a document or spreadsheet instantaneously rather than wait for an Office application to grind into action.

Mention plug'n'play to a Windows user and you will get a wry grin. There was a steady improvement in functionality up to XP (which still wasn't exactly quick), then Vista came along with a huge leap backwards. Plugging a digital camera or mp3 player which it hadn't encountered before into my Vista laptop would cause it to go off into a nightmare routine of `Windows has found a new device', `searching for drivers', `installing new USB device', `installing new disk drive', etc., which could literally last up to 30 minutes.

I plugged my Canon Ixus camera into my MacBook. The iPhoto application, which comes bundled with the machine, fired up after a couple of seconds. Five seconds later, `Canon Ixus Digital Camera' popped up in the directory, the pictures on the camera appeared on screen, ordered by date taken, and it asked me which I wanted to import. I nearly fainted with delight!

Exactly the same thing happened when I plugged in my Sony mp3 player. The device was recognised, iTunes opened and transferring music files in and out was simplicity itself.

What else? It found my wireless network printer with no fuss and worked first time. It is the quietest desktop or laptop I have ever owned. Sound quality through the built-in speakers is surprisingly good and certainly better than the tinny noise from any previous laptop I've had. Had no problems with battery life, although obviously it drains quicker if you are using wifi or watching DVDs for example. Picture quality is great on the bright screen. Keyboard is smooth, responsive and backlit. This is a laptop which you can use on your lap without it burning a hole in your trousers. It is cool in all senses of the word - buy one!
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Comments

Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 14 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 16 Aug 2010 10:48:12 BDT
N. Spindler says:
Brilliant review, thank you. Exactly where I am "coming from" too, so your vivid descriptions were very informative.

Posted on 20 Aug 2010 13:38:32 BDT
R. Clarke says:
I had to laugh when you mentioned 'Not responding'. That's my Dell Vostro's catch-phrase!

Posted on 15 Nov 2010 12:34:42 GMT
As the Apple laptop contains bluetooth, if you add a bluetooth mouse as I did, you don't have the problem of using up one of your USB sockets or having any problems of being in the wrong place for left or right handed people.

Posted on 25 Nov 2010 09:11:59 GMT
Ezyduzzit says:
you can enable an area of the trackpad specifically for right clicking

Posted on 5 Dec 2010 19:44:47 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 5 Dec 2010 19:45:47 GMT]

Posted on 17 Jan 2011 20:25:15 GMT
Dai88y says:
Excellent review - thankyou
You have made my mind up for me :)

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Jan 2011 10:59:44 GMT
R. Clarke says:
I took the leap, too, a few months back and I have never regretted it. In fact, I'll never buy a Windows PC again.

Posted on 24 Jan 2011 16:59:00 GMT
AL says:
I took the leap, too, two years back now. Still have a Desktop computer but just for video games. All the work done on my Mac Book PRO.

Posted on 8 Feb 2011 12:51:59 GMT
R. Ainla says:
Good review.. but i don't agree on the touchpad - it's by far the most advanced, most easy to use and THE best out there

Posted on 11 Feb 2011 16:27:53 GMT
[Deleted by Amazon on 4 Jul 2011 11:20:03 BDT]
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Location: Berkshire, England

Top Reviewer Ranking: 76,876