posted by Thom Holwerda on Thu 22nd Jun 2006 14:27 UTC

"MacBook Pro 2/4"

The Speakers

TH: The sound quality of the speakers is appalling. Again, I'm sorry to say, but my cheap Dell has better speakers. Seriously better speakers.

AS: I can't argue with you there. The speakers on the Macbook Pro suck. On top of that, the volume is way too quiet. Plus, even with normalized music files the speakers sometimes distort with maximum volume. That's not unacceptable, but for a computer aimed at excellence in audio processing, this is a shortcoming, plain and simple.

TH: However, don't forget that the machine does have the ability to connect to other audio equipment via digital (optical) means. So you can get good quality audio from the MacBook; you just need to hook it up to other equipment.

The Keyboard

TH: The keyboard is a classic example of form over function. The 'enter' key is too narrow, which sucks seeing you hit the enter key with a vertical movement; therefore it is much better to have a wide enter key. Now I miss it too often, hitting either the backslash key, or the right speaker.

AS: I haven't had any problems with the keyboard. I find it about as usable as my old iBook. In general, portable computers suffer in the keyboard area, and if they don't, they're probably too big. I'm a very fast typer, and I often found that on iBooks, I had trouble hitting the spacebar consistently. On the MBP, I've not had this issue.

TH: Here it is strictly related to the 'enter' key. Well, the arrow keys are way too small as well. Again, this seems like form over function (Apple wants a square keyboard).

AS: I'll concede that the arrow keys are small. The enter key is also small. Neither is unacceptable for a portable, neither is especially desirable either. It does appear that Apple wanted to preserve the rectangular layout at all costs.

TH: Yes, as there is more than enough space to expand the keyboard to better fit larger keys. Another annoyance is the keyboard lighting; it is really cool, but annoying when it's on its threshold of turning on; it will turn on/off continuously, due to the ambient light sensor which controls the lighting.

AS: Hmmm... I haven't had that problem at all. I find the keyboard backlight to be one of the coolest little perks of the MBP. I frequently use my computer in the very early morning, and I have noticed that the keyboard lighting is invaluable. I have a bluetooth Apple keyboard connected to my MBP, and in the morning, I often use the onboard keyboard just because of the backlight.

TH: Yes it is indeed very handy; however, I would have preferred an option to set it on always-on, instead of it being handled automagically.

AS: F8 turns it off, F9 and F10 adjust the level. For me, that's more than enough.

The Airport

TH: I noticed that wireless reception on the MBP is a lot worse than with the iBook G4.

AS: I haven't dropped connection once with mine, and mine is a very first generation MBP.

TH: Well, it surely is not my wireless router, as my Dell has no problems whatsoever with connections. Even my PocketPC has better and more stable reception than the 2500E MacBook Pro!

AS: To be honest, I'm skeptical of wireless technology as a whole. I don't buy into the security that most people use, I don't see reliability in the majority of routers on the market, etc. Airport has been more stable than any other 801.11 product I've ever used, and I've never dropped off my network here, using a pretty standard DLink router.

Table of contents
  1. "MacBook Pro 1/4"
  2. "MacBook Pro 2/4"
  3. "MacBook Pro 3/4"
  4. "MacBook Pro 4/4"
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