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    15-inch MacBook Pro reviewed: turns Mac newbie into switcher


    Here it is, the first complete review of Apple's new 15-inch MacBook Pro. You know, Santa Rosa platform, LED backlighting, and new nVidia 8600M GT graphics. Right, that one, launched just a few days ago. The kids at Notebook Review took the unit 'round the block with an emphasis on reviewing it for "people considering the MacBook Pro as an alternative option to a Windows based laptop." In fact, it's the reviewer's first Mac review. So how did it go? Well, to start with, the "screen is without a doubt the best I've ever seen on a laptop, and better than a lot of desktop monitors I use," says the reviewer. The MBP also came away with "impressive scores" whether running OS X or 32-bit Vista via Boot Camp. The new nVidia GPU smoked the old ATI X1600-based MBP by a factor of three in 3DMark06 tests -- well above the 57% increase claimed by Apple. Unfortunately, the review did not go head-to-head with same-spec'd Santa Rosa models from say IBM or Dell to see how Apple's tweaks to the gear compare. The case remained "mostly cool" throughout use although it did pickup a "good bit of warmth" while benchmarking. Still it was not enough to remove the MBP from the reviewer's lap with average temps for the CPU cores kicking right around 49-degrees centigrade. During normal usage at 50% brightness (which is not very bright as we've seen), the battery eeked-out about 4-hours which dropped to 3-hours after dialing up the brightness to 100%. The only real nit is the weight, which at 5.4-pounds (2.45-kgs) is becoming rather pathetic by modern standards yet remains the smallest offering in Apple's pro laptop lineup. Still, the reviewer now considers himself "one happy switcher" and that's about as good of a rating as you can get.

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