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

"MacBook Pro 3/4"

The Heat

TH: The MacBook Pro should've never passed the Q/A stage. The heat is simply too much to be considered acceptable. After a short while of browsing, mailing, and IM'ing (all I really do), the laptop's underside is almost too hot to touch. Whenever I do something more intensive, I'm almost scared it'll actually burn me. The "this is not a lap laptop"-talk is a silly argument. Look at it: it's a laptop alright. I don't care whether Apple calls it a notebook or whatever; this is a portable machine, but the heat prevents it from being really portable.

AS: Frankly, there's no real defense for this. Certain spots on the MBP are simply roasting. Letting my fingers rest on the top portion of the keyboard for more than about 1 second results in a painful heating, and I'm certain that I would be burned if I left it for much longer. Apple gets a D for this part alone; this is a confirmed design defect software bug problem! [Ed. note: you can't make everyone happy. Whatever the problem is, the MBP is too hot]

Rosetta Emulation

TH: Rosetta is awesome. It's completely transparent, and i.e. Office:Mac loads as fast on this Intel Mac as it did on the iMac G5, and it even loads a lot faster than on my iBook G4. Great work from Apple; hats off. It is also appreciated they allow you to force applications to use Rosetta, in case of troubleshooting and such.

AS: Rosetta is nothing short of amazing. Apps such as Office and Toast run in near-real time. This kind of thing, in my opinion, transforms my expectations of what can be done with computers; it's truly amazing to download old apps last compiled in 2003 or so and run them on the Macbook.

That said, it's really time for some companies to get off their butts and release universal binaries. I'm thinking of Roxio, specifically.

The Build Quality

TH: The MBP sports decent build quality, comparable to that of the iMac G5, and much, much, much better than the iBook G4. I have one gripe though: the hairs on my arm (sorry for the visual, folks) sometimes get stuck between the plastic rim surrounding the machine. Ouch!

AS: I find the entire package extremely attractive, and I've not had any issue with the setup. In fact, it's smaller and lighter than a very comparable Dell I use at work. My one complaint is that I've noticed that USB hubs have to be well built, or else you'll be facing a slew of Finder errors and issues with your devices. This machine needs additional USB ports. Badly.

The Battery

TH: The battery is... Odd. My iBook's battery could survive for weeks when asleep-- the MBP's was completely dry after only two days of sleep!

AS: Either way, a Mac's battery life is usually pretty poor. I get much less battery time with the MBP than with the G4 iBook -- almost an hour less. On top of that, comparable laptops from other manufacturers can last much longer, in some cases in excess of 6 hours! Luckily, I use mine plugged in 99% of the time.

TH: After more unplugged usage, it has become clear to me my MacBook Pro suffers from battery failures of some sort; it has had more wake-from-sleep errors the past week than my iBook G4 had in the 18 months I had the thing! And with errors I mean the screen does not come up, or the machine shuts itself down while asleep (very odd, I thought it was broken, and panicked, as the machine is not mine, but Apple's).

Waking from sleep also seems slightly slower than my iBook G4.

AS: Eh... By how much? Because mine is completely negligible. Like maybe 2-3 seconds.

TH: Yes, indeed 2-3 seconds. I have this thing for details, so it caught my eye.

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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