Reviews for Apple MacBook Pro 15.4" Notebook - Intel Core Duo 1.83 GHz

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Product Reviews (10)

A Gorgeous Beast, Apple Redefines Laptop Market Yet Again

Strengths: Integrated iSight, brighter display, and smart track-pad complement the raw power of the Intel Core Duo hidden under the backlit keyboard. The magnetic power cord gives second (and third) chances.

Weakness: Computer tends to get excessively hot (though I think they already fixed this issue). Power cord produces a quiet buzzing noise when plugged in.

I haven't had this computer for more than two weeks and have already created two documentaries using Apple's iMovie/iDVD software. The speed at which I could render images and adjust video was amazing. The video card provides astoundingly detailed, high resolution graphics on a widescreen display that expert gamers dreams for. The integrated iSight is excellent for both the traveling businessman or the college student who loves to video chat with friends. The aesthetics of the computer, the ease of OS X software, and the speed of the Intel Core Duo combine to unleash a gorgeous beast well worth the price.

By BriGuy0202 - Apr 4, 2006

Fantastically good does-it-all notebook computer

Strengths: Fast, runs Mac OS X + Windows + Linux, screen is quite good, excellent selection of ports, metal enclosure, very slim, reasonably light, very sleek, great CPU & graphics card, awesome software bundle.

Weakness: A little noisy, hard to swap out hard drive, a bit boxy, screen could be a tad better, SuperDrive is not double-layer write capable, SuperDrive has trouble reading some CDs/DVDs unlike earlier Macs

This is my third Apple laptop, after a PowerBook G3 (Pismo) and a PowerBook G4 (Aluminum, 1.25 Ghz). In terms of capabilities, it's the best yet, though the Pismo retains a soft spot in my heart for its durability (I would throw that laptop into my non-padded backpack in a non-padded sleeve, and had no problems!), its sleek black lines, and its ergonomics. I was underwhelmed with the PowerBook G4-- it didn't seem all that much faster, nor the screen all that much brighter, and I prefer black to aluminum.

The MacBook Pro shares an enclosure almost identical to the PowerBook G4, but just so slightly thinner and wider. Key visible improvements include the Magsafe connector (which works as advertised; I worry much less about people tripping over the wire and sending the laptop to the ground. It comes out with just the right amount of force), and the built-in iSight camera which is a LOT less awkward to use than the external as it's always there, ready to go. The WIFI antennae has been moved from the screen to the hinge, and this appears to have improved reception greatly over the abysmal range of the PowerBook G4. The last physical difference of note is the little IR window for the remote control-- which is surprisingly useful both for kicking back and relaxing (viewing movies from afar, changing the volume or putting the computer asleep from bed) and flipping between slides in a Keynote presentation.

I've also noticed that the palmrest hasn't corroded at all, unlike the one on the PowerBook G4 which turned black after a few months. However, because its dimensions are slightly more awkward than that of the PowerBook G3, I feel it may be more delicate and/or scratch prone and I carry it everywhere in a padded Booq backpack. (I recently saw that someone had a MacBook that had been shot at and survived, so perhaps I'm being overly cautious.) And unlike the Pismo (and the current MacBooks), the hard drive in the MacBook Pro is not easily accessible, which makes it a real pain to swap out for something quieter and/or larger.

The port selection (2xUSB, optical digital audio in/out, DVI, FireWire 400, gigabit ethernet, expresscard 34) is pretty good, but we forewarned that these first-generation MacBook Pros don't have a FireWire 800 port unlike earlier PowerBooks and later MacBook Pros. That doesn't bother me as I have no need for FireWire 800, and if I need a fast interface in the future I can use eSATA via the ExpressCard 34 slot. The only thing that bothers me is that the SuperDrive is much more finicky about reading CDs and DVDs which are not perfect. There are quite a few CDs/DVDs which I could not rip successfully on the MacBook Pro, but which were easily ripped on the Pismo or an iMac G4. (The intel iMacs also have a finicky drive.) Also, the SuperDrive on this model does not support double-layer DVD writing, unlike the PowerBook G4 that immediately preceded it.

The computer came with Mac OS X 10.4 and iLife 06. The OS and these applications are all best-of-breed, a real joy to use, and I have noticed no hiccups at all in the transition to Intel processors-- everything's just faster and smoother. Thanks to BootCamp or Parallels, it's possible to run Windows natively for the first time on a Mac, and I've successfully run Dragon Naturally Speaking 9 (great voice dictation software for Windows which currently is not available for Mac) alongside all my Mac applications via Windows 2000 running in Parallel's Coherence mode. This is utterly fantastic, though I find myself wishing that the machine were expandable beyond 2GB of RAM. (The 1.5Gb I have is very usable, but it means that each OS has only 768 Mb available.) The other notable capability is that (unlike the PowerBook G4), the MacBook Pro has no problems playing HD video, even at 1920x1080.

In short, this is a computer I can recommend to *everybody* who is comfortable with its physical size. I've switched two of my Windows friends to MacBook Pros and they absolutely love it. This computer is still available from Apple as a refurbished product at a price considerable lower than it was just a few months ago. I would still strongly recommend it, as this is one of those computers which is likely to have a long service life and not become as obsolete as quickly as some other models. Given its HD video abilities, I anticipate keeping this machine around for many years, as even when it is superceded by a newer laptop 2 or 3 years from now, it will still be very useful as a video/media server and internet device and is likely to be supported by future versions of Mac OS X for the forseeable future. (The Pismo was a similar machine for its time... even 7 years later it is supported by the laster version of the OS and is used daily for e-mail, web, realplayer, and word processing! The PowerBook G4 was gladly sold last year as it felt impendingly obsolete the day I bought it.)

By sky7i - Mar 2, 2007

MacBook Pro Outstanding

Strengths: Bright Display, Zippy Speed, Lighted Keyboard, Windows Boot Capability, Outstanding Wireless reception, Advanced Trackpad features, magnetic power connection.

Weakness: Lack of PC-Card Slot, Inability to upgrade Video RAM, DVD Drive cannot write Dual-Layer Discs, inability to run classic (OS 9 and earlier) programs, wish battery life was longer

I've had my MacBook Pro for just over a week now and it is outstanding. I really, really like it. The display is absolutely awesome and the speed of the computer is just incredible. Web pages load almost instantly and programs start very quick. The Rosetta PowerPC emulation software is very quick and seamlessly allows you to run your older PowerPC programs with no problem. Apple didn't include a Classic environment for this machine so any pre-OS X software will NOT run. If you have to use a piece of pre-OS X software than do NOT get an Intel based Mac of any kind.

Additionally, Apple's Boot Camp software now allows you to add a Windows partition to your hard disk. So now you are able to boot into either a Mac or a Windows environment.

The Wireless reception on this computer is outstanding. It's as good or better than my G3 iBook which had one of the best wireless receptions of any Apple Laptop. The MacBook Pro is as good or better.

The built in I-Sight is nice, but does not compare to the quality of the external FireWire i-Sight camera. Still, it is nice to have.

I've not been able to test the built-in Bluetooth, but I imagine it will work very well.

The lighted keyboard is absolutely awesome when trying to use the computer in a dimly lit room. It works very, very well.

The mag-safe, power connector is one of the slickest features of this laptop. No more worrying about someone tripping over your cord and destroying your power supply or hurting your computer. If it happens the cord just safely pulls out. The magnetic connection works very well and the magnets are surprisingly strong. So there is no worries about the power cable just falling out. Just keep your ATM/credit cards away from it!

On the down side, the lack of a PC-Card slot precludes use of things like EVDO Wireless modems. It does have a newer Express Card 34 slot (or whatever it is called) but there's not much hardware out there for this card yet. So we will have to be patient. It would also be nice to upgrade the video RAM. 128 Meg isn't bad, but I'd love to have the option to upgrade it to 256 Meg, but you can't do that. If you think you might need more video memory, get the more expensive model. Unfortunately, for size space, Apple included a DVD drive that cannot right dual layer discs. Still, this isn't too much of an issue as dual layer discs are still very expensive compared to single layer DVDs. Finally, the batter life is about 3 to 4 hours. I wish there was some way to have longer battery life, but I'm probably asking for too much.

Anyhow, this is a great notebook and I would recommend it to anyone. If you need the larger disc space and more memory or think you might then get the 2 GHz model for another $500.

I rate it 5 stars.

By NA9D - Apr 15, 2006

I've experienced mediocre performance at best. Don't buy until Apple works it out.

Strengths: The Macbook Pro is a beauty in a world of ugly laptops, the illuminated keyboard is nice, as is the scrolling track-pad and the magnetic power input.

Weakness: It runs hot, noisey, slow and has some operational quirks including a sometimes unresponsive track-pad.

This computer is disappointing after hearing all the hype about it and then experiencing the reality. The nice things about it are its appearance: its external design is one of the coolest out there, and it has some nice amenities. HOWEVER, it is also extremely frustrating due to the fact that it consistently displays the busy icon, even when running only one program. Sometimes the computer takes forever to respond, save, wake-up or take input from the track-pad. It has even locked up and had to be forced to re-boot after opening the laptop from sleep-mode. I've had trouble using the "universal" application Keynote, and Power Point, via Microsoft Office 2004, is totally worthless concerning speed and responsiveness, even when it is the only application running. Some people might complain that it's not fair to judge the computer's geologic pace on the basis of programs that run via the Rosetta emulation software, but if you look at Apple's website, they tout the Rosetta program as a seamless wonder that "just works." My experience has been that it sort of works, and that at a snail's pace. Additionally, the heat this thing puts off is intense in certain places, including where your left palm rests. This can be quite uncomfortable. I like Macs, I really do, but this one is overrated, especially in light of its price tag and the spin put on it. I've heard a few, unhindered by fanatic devotion to Apple, who say that we should save our money and wait for the second or third generation MacBook Pros to come out. I would like to echo that statement.

By mountainman76 - May 1, 2006

Like 2 computers in 1!

Strengths: Ability to boot into or run Windows simultaneously. Front Row software and the remote. Built-in iSight camera. Keyboard backlighting is much improved. iLife suite. scrolling trackpad.

Weakness: speakers aren't that loud and don't sound that great

I was on the fence about upgrading from my Powerbook G4 until Apple announced Boot Camp and Parallels released their virtualization software. Now it's like having 2 computers in one. I'm a video editor and the Universal Binary version of Final Cut Pro runs faster on my new Macbook than it does on my dual 2GHz G5. Upgrading was a no-brainer. I can now ditch my PC which was only being used for Quickbooks.
what more could you want in a laptop?

By mrhughjaas - May 2, 2006

Stealth Lap Top

Strengths: Built in Camera for saftey from theft and instant video conference capability. Magnetic (breakaway) power cord a must for the traveler.

Weakness: Still a few bugs to work out. Minor crashes in the first week of use during setup. Appears quite stable now. Required RAM upgrade for peak performance.

This is a state of the art machine. It is beautiful to look at and meets all of my business and personal needs. There is nothing left to wish for once you have this computer. The new processor creates a working environment with almost instance response to key stokes. While working in a remote site my colleagues (PC users) stopped what they were doing to marvel over the power and speed of this machine.

By menright - Mar 30, 2006

mac book pro

Strengths: USER FRIENDLY

Weakness: BATTERY DOES NOT LAST TOO LONG. THERE IS NOT A LOT OF UNIVERSAL SOFTWARE AVAILABLE YET.

THE LAPTOP IS VERY EASY TO USE AND IT LOADS VERY QUICKLY.. THERE IS CURRENTLY NOT MUCH SOFTWARE AVAILABLE AT THIS TIME. WE ARE STILL LEARNING HOW TO DOWNLOAD PICTURES BUT THIS PROGRAM FOR DIGITAL PHOTOS IS WONDERFUL.

By anonymous; - Jun 30, 2006

Amazing!

Strengths: Performance,

Weakness: Lack of DVD 2-Layer Burner Unit

One of the best computers that I ever seen. I've been running XP and MacOSX 10.4.6. A big hit from Apple in its marketting campaing to gain new PC users. The price is really competitve.

By anonymous; - May 11, 2006

Apple MacBook Pro 15.4 inch - Intel Core Duo T2400 1.83GHz MA463LL/A

TestSeek.com has collected 8 expert reviews for Apple MacBook Pro 15.4 inch - Intel Core Duo T2400 1.83GHz MA463LL/A and the average expert rating is 78 of 100. The average score reflects the expert community’s view on this product. Click below and use TestSeek.com to find all ratings, product awards and conclusions.
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By testseek.com - Nov 7, 2008

MacBook Pro Core Duo/1.83GHz

The 2GHz MacBook Pro is a fitting successor to the PowerBook G4. While its new internal architecture makes it noticeably faster than its predecessorand blazingly faster in certain high-end tasksits still comfortably a Mac laptop.
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By Macworld.com - Feb 24, 2006