As usual, Apple has designed the MagSafe connector in high-gloss, slippery plastic. This makes it very difficult to grip the connector if you have greasy fingertips like mine. In this case, you may end up having to yank the connector away from the computer by its cable because there is no other way. Please stop making slippery plugs, Apple. It's bad enough that you do it with all your iPod connectors.
Same sized keyboard as the current desktop models
Talking of power, note that the MacBook Pro 15in never gets as hot as other notebooks. The top surface of the aluminium case stays at room temperature even after hours of use, while the base barely even gets warm. The display remains resolutely cool.
If the shape, size and layout of the keyboard looks familiar, it's because it is exactly the same as Apple's wireless keyboard included with its desktop iMacs and floor-standing Mac Pros. No keys have been doubled up, squeezed or removed, although be aware that there is no numeric keypad, as is the case with the Apple wireless keyboard.
A thumbs up for the backlit keyboard
A sensor built into the unit can be set to monitor the ambient light, causing the white labels on the black keycaps to illuminate. This is a great way of running down the battery faster than necessary but it is a fine feature for those delivering presentations in darkened rooms. Stereo speakers sit on either side of the keyboard. The audio quality is good but limited in bass frequency, and the maximum volume is notably quieter than many other notebooks I have tested.
Next page: Benchmark Tests
Thanks, but no thanks.
You certainly can buy a 'similar spec' machine for £599, but it'll be 2kg heavier, 2cm thicker, have a 2h battery life, a miniscule trackpad, no firewire, and a plastic-fantastic case.
You get what you pay for.
As a proud owner of a 13" MBP I can happily say it's the finest computer I've ever bought. Worth every penny.
Buy one of those then, no one cares!
Mac's are a luxury, it's not about spec vs price! It's about the whole user experience - they're beautiful machines to use. Mac OS X is almost flawless and in the 5 years I've been using them, I've had about as many crashes, none of which required a reboot.
I work as a third line network systems administrator with Windows servers and workstations, and trust me, it's worth having a Mac to go home to after tearing your hair out all day with PCs. They just work, it's true.
It's worth it
I have the previous generation 13" Macbook Pro (actually quite similar to this generation's 13" MBP which didn't get the Core i5 processor either) and all I can say is, they're well worth the extra. The aluminium unibody design makes them look great, but it also makes them more solid and better built than pretty much anything else you can compare them to - typing on one of these is an absolute joy, since they've absolutely zero creak or give - the keys all have nice feedback, but beneath them you're typing onto a slab of solid aluminium. Similarly the trackpad has the same positive, solid feel - although it's capable of much more fluid and flexible gestures than most.
Saying nice things about Apple computers invariably leads to some kind of holy war, but once you've used one for any length of time - and made the effort to learn the ways of OS X and main Mac apps - it's easy to see why people passionately defend them, and less easy to see why anyone would champion cheaper PCs. Sure, if you're on a tighter budget the average PC will do many if not all the same things, but then a Vauxhall Corsa will also drive you anywhere you need to go - that doesn't make it the best car, or the only one to consider.
Magsafe Plug Removal
If you push down on the top corner near the cable then the plug will ease off quite nicely. You'll break the magnetic seal more easily this way rather than trying to pull it off in one go.
Corvette vs Ferrari 475 (See Top Gear)
The Corvette is very slightly faster and has more "toys". The Corvette is plastic, the Ferrari is all metal. The Corvette costs less than half the Ferrari.
Which would you choose?
Not all consumer choices come down to a game of top trumps specs.