MacBook Pro (5 Month Review)

Time for a long term review of the 15 inch MacBook Pro. So I’ve had the MBP for 5 months now and I must say that I still very much like it. The Intel Core Duo processors are wonderful. At times I find myself spoiled and not realizing it until I’m using an older Mac. And by older, I’m not referring to G3s, but PowerBook G4s, PowerMac G5s, etc. Occasionally I get friendly reminders of how fortunate I am. For example, recently, my friend at work was griping about how slow Adobe CS2 is on his Titanium Book. I told him, “I know how you feel.” His response was: “No you don’t know how I feel. If I had your MacBook, I would be in Heaven right now.”

So Adobe CS2 still does run slow (as expected). The speed is as fast a PowerBook, which isn’t saying much for the speed of the Core Duo since the PowerBook is only powered by one G4 processor. Most other applications are noticeable faster than the non-Intel Macs. I’m also using Lotus Notes, which has traditionally been clunkier on the Macs, and that has been running as best as expected. It has crashed occasionally, roughly the same amount or less as on the PowerBook. On campus we just upgraded to Notes Domino 7, so I’ll report once I get the client software installed on my MBP and its functionality. It’s worth noting that Notes 7 is mostly updates on the administrative side and very little in terms of functionality for the end users. Other apps I have installed are: Microsoft Office 2004 Pro, CyberDuck 2.5.5 (CyberDuck 2.6 is constantly crashing, other people on the web have indicated similar experiences), FireFox, MAMP, Toast 7, Parallels, etc., all of which run fine.

As for kernel panics, I have experienced a total of three at various times for various separate reasons the entire time I’ve had the MBP. In my opinion, the MBP is relatively stable. The most annoying problem is Adobe CS2 and Apple Security/Intel updates that has caused my MBP not to want to boot into the OS other than in Safe Mode. That is easily remedied by removing Version Cue, directions here.

The battery life is quite reasonable. I ride Cal-Train to work and then home daily on the baby bullet, a 50 minute excursion. When I first open up my MBP to do work on it while waiting for departure to home, the indicator tells me I have anywhere from 2.5-3 hours on a fully charged battery. By the time I arrive to my destination, the indicator is down to 1.5-2 hours running with Normal configuration (I don’t bother too much with Better Battery Life or Better Performance).

The MagSafe battery plug is quite nice, although a few times while pluggin in my USB mouse, the magnet has pulled the USB to lock into the MagSafe power dock a few times.

I like the iSight integrated into the screen, I’ve used it a few times webcaming with Andrea and other friends with great success on iChat.

One thing would be nice is more USB ports. I tend to use a quite bit of USB devices and do not like using USB hubs so much as plugging it directly into the machine.

This sums up my 5 month review. I’ll probably do one more review after a year of ownership. Be on the look out!

2 thoughts on “MacBook Pro (5 Month Review)”

  1. Hi,great these MBP's aint they? one quick question, I'm running Lotus Notes on my MBP (version 6.3 ?? something) and it constantly crashes on startup. How did you get Notes running on your MBP, and where/how did you get V7?

  2. Lotus Notes constantly crashes on startup or you MBP crashes on startup? What kind of error messages are you getting? Can you let me know the exact version of Notes you're running?I would definitely recommend upgrading to v6.5.5 if you aren't already there. Has it ever worked? Any previous versions to 6.5 had worked horribly on the Macs, 6.5 and on have gotten better, but not quite perfect yet. i still have problems with 7. Worse case, you can uninstall Notes, delete all preference files, and start from scratch again. I got v7 because our campus upgraded to the latest Domino server and v7 was pushed out via SmartyUpgrade. 

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