Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch Review


The 15-inch MacBook Pro weighs 5.6 pounds and measures 0.95x14.35x9.92-inches. Its entire body is made of brushed aluminum.

The lid includes the ubiquitous Apple logo that glows in proportion to the brightness of the display--if the display's backlight is turned off then so is the light source for the logo.

Speaking of the LED-backlit, 1,440x900 display--it supplies a bright and crisp image on the 15.4-inch (16:10) glossy screen. Like so many glossy screens we've seen on other laptops, we found that the MacBook Pro's display has a propensity to capture distracting reflections. If you are the type who is easily annoyed by reflections on a glossy screen, you might want to consider spending another $150 for the "Hi-Res Antiglare" option. Not only does this option help ameliorate potentially irritating reflections, but it also bumps the native resolution to 1,680x1,050. If you want the higher native resolution, but don't need the anti-glare coating, you can choose the $100 "Hi-Res Glossy" option instead.

Essentially, all of the MacBook Pro's ports are located on the left side of the unit. The left-most port is the MagSafe power connector, which attaches to a magnetically attached connector that detaches when tugged--so as to prevent the laptop from toppling off a table or desk if someone accidentally trips on the power cord. You'll also find a Gigabit Ethernet port, FireWire 800 port, Mini DisplayPort connector, two USB 2.0 ports, an SD card slot, two audio jacks, and battery indicator lights. The DisplayPort connector is the only video-out source; so in order to send the video signal out to a monitor with a VGA, DVI, or HDMI connection, you'll have to invest in an adapter cable (which range in price between $29 and $35). There is also a pair of audio line-in and line-out mini jacks that both support analog and digital connections; the line-out supports analog stereo and 5.1-channel digital. If you want an ExpressCard slot, you'll find one only on the 17-inch MacBook Pro.

There's not much to see on the right side of the laptop: Just the optical drive slot and a lock slot.

The front of the MacBook Pro is equally barren, with just the magnetic latch for the lid, the sleep indicator, and an IR port. (We're not including an image of the back of the MacBook Pro, so you'll just have to take our word that there's nothing to see here, move along...)

One of the notable features of the 15-inch MacBook Pro is its deep, 4.5-inch-long wrist rest--one of the largest you are going to find on a 15-inch laptop. Whether you like such a deep wrist rest it or not is up to your own personal preference. The full-sized, chiclet-style keyboard is black and is automatically illuminated when used in dark environments. The keys have decent travel and thankfully, there is no noticeable flex at all beneath the keyboard when typing--which is quite a rarity to find on laptops these days. On either side of the keyboard are a pair of stereo speakers that pump out surprisingly loud and clear audio.

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