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Mac Book Pro

Reviewing: Apple Mac Book Pro 3,1  |  Rating:
chexmix By chexmix on
Badge: Author | Level: 4 | Computers & Laptops Expertise:

I got this MacBook as part of a promotion through my school, so it came pre-equipped with a lot of useful software. I'm not sure how much stuff comes with a Mac natively, so no comments on the 'normal' software package. Everything on here has run very smoothly thus far, however.

You can achieve stupidly long system uptimes with the MacBook; I have a tendency towards never actually turning it off. Leaving it on too long makes the likelihood of it freezing up higher, it seems like. Nothing in particular seems to trigger this behavior, which is a little annoying. This happens only very rarely (once every three weeks or so), and is easily fixed by restarting.

Anyway, you can just flip the MacBook shut and it'll go into sort of a standby mode, while keeping your session intact (all windows and stuff stay open). This is one of my favorite features, actually, and pretty handy on the go. If you're using it in the airport and your flight starts boarding, you can just flip it shut, then pull it out again once you're on the plane! Handy. I've never actually done this but it seems like it would be handy anyway. I mostly flip it shut when I decide I want a smoothie or something, if I've been using my computer out in the park. It's also handy for taking notes in class! And other things! I don't know, I can't really come up with specific times I've taken advantage of this. When I go to sleep, I guess. Nice not to have to reopen everything in the morning? ANYWAY, it is a good feature and I like it. I think most laptops probably do this or similar, but the Mac is so sleek and shiny, it seems impressive.

The keyboard and mouse are both suitably responsive, though it can take a little while to get used to them. You can attach a peripheral mouse/keyboard if you want, but that kind of reduces portability a bit. If you're using the laptop at home, though, it's pretty alright I guess (but if you are using it at home that often, why not just get a desktop?)

The screen has adjustable brightness, which is a nice feature. I usually keep it all the way up; my vision isn't the greatest, so the dimmer settings don't have quite enough contrast for me to view the screen comfortably. The higher brightness eats up battery a little more quickly, but it's a trade-off I have to make. I guess if your eyes are a little better, you can probably extend battery life a a little by keeping the brightness down. Sometimes in a well lit area, if there's not too much glare, I can turn the brightness down a bit. Doesn't happen too often, though.

The built-in speakers are decent, though definitely not the best sound quality. Getting some external speakers or a good pair of headphones is advised, to avoid the slight issues with tinniness that arise if you turn it up particularly high.

The built-in camera is a nice feature, and fun to play around with. I have the 15" model, and it's a nice size for a computer -- wouldn't mind having a bigger screen, but I have enough room to play around in.

2 GB of RAM and a 2.2GHz processor both make the machine stay running smooth even with a stupid amount of programs open. 100 GB of hard drive space, which has been enough so far. Wouldn't mind having more, but I use this as my portable machine and have a more hefty desktop where I keep the bulk of my files, so it's not a big issue. Maybe if you are crazy then it will become an issue?

Anyway, things have been working smoothly, no terrible glitches to report. Design is slick (if slightly ubiquitous, what?), it's not too heavy, et cetera. Overall, a good machine; I'd reccommend it if you need a computer while you're on the go. It can run Photoshop no problem, which is handy if you need to ... do graphics work on the go, as one does.

Basically it is nice and I like it and have not had any real problems in the three months (!) I've owned it so I guess I am satisfied.