Créme de la créme
Like all Apple notebooks, the 15in MBP is generally a near-silent beast, the fans only kicking in when the processor or GPU are running flat out. At such times the laptop's cooling fans are no more noisy than any other notebook I've used.
Like all Apple notebooks, the base gets bloody hot. 'Twas ever thus: Apple's engineers favour quiet operation over cool-running laptops, and I have to agree, especially since this is a desktop replacement, not a knee-top machine.
On the table in front of you, it's a joy to use: powerful, sure, but the user experience is enhanced with the MBP's big touchpad - it won't be long before you're swiping back and forth, using the pad's many gestures to flip between apps, call up widgets and so forth - the very accessible port array and the side-facing optical drive - you don't have to suck in your belly to eject discs with this boy.
The old Reg Hardware beef remains, though: no HDMI output and no USB 3.0 or eSata - combo port, please. Thunderbolt certainly doesn't compensate for these absences. It may, one day, but not now.
The 15in MacBook Pro is a great machine. It looks the business, it's well made and, thanks to the new Intel chippery, goes like the proverbial off a shovel. Internals aside, this is not a major upgrade, but it maintains the MacBook Pro's lead. And its price point - you'll pay no more for this version than you would have done for the last one. ®
Many thanks to the Square Group for the loan of the review unit
More Mac Reviews
Like for like, Apple's good value for money
Expensive compared with what? A top-end Viao F series is (Sony's site is so damn slow it's timed out) - maybe it knows I'm just comparing prices. What a crap website.
Looking at other websites, there's no like-for-like comparison, e.g. with an equivalent processor, hard disc, memory, GPU, etc. From past experience their top-end machines cost as much if not more than Apple's machines and they're made from plastic and run "windows".
Checking Dell's website (that works although is very noisy) a "Precision M4500" specced up with an inferior 2.13GHz I7, etc. came to £2230. This is plastic and runs "windows".
Checking on the Apple website (it works and is fast - Sony take note), even when speccing up the machine to the max (8Gb, 2.3 quad-core I7, high-res screen) it's less than £2300. Perfectly reasonable price for a professional -- my plumber spends more than that on tools in his van.
BTW, speccing the Macbook with the slower 2.2GHz processor reduced the cost to under £2100, e.g. better performance for much less than the Dell.
From my own experience, Apple laptops are very much designed as workhorse machines.
The Viaos I've had in the past have really shown their age after a short amount of time as the plastic wears away and it cracks and creaks. IMO Dells are fugly, fully living up to their corporate drone persona, yuck.
Bad example, bad comparison
That's not a very good example to compare against. A 17.3" screen with 1600x900 resolution? That's bargain bin trash...
Can you give us real world battery life on that thing? Less than the Mac? Oh... no dual graphic cards that autoswitch to conserve energy AND a 17.3 inch screen to light up.. ok.
Also, fitting the components within a bigger chassis is easier. Dropping the pitch of the screen significantly reduces a part of the cost, and gives an indicator towards the cost saving measures taken in other parts of the device.
I seem to recall a story about people complaining about the 27" iMac being expensive, but a closer examination showed that if you wanted the same quality screen (IPS) in that size you could also buy a hard drive and a keyboard before hitting the price of the complete iMac.... The quality of each component counts.
Don't get me wrong, I really like ASUS. I used to sell and service their machines and if I were to buy a computer for Linux or, against all odd, Windows, then ASUS would be among the first I would examine. Relatively cheap, and extremely good for the price.
Just a crap comparison.
Re: Like for like, Apple's good value for money
I buy Apple laptops for the spec and build quality. As you point out, comparing like for like they are pretty good value. I actually run Linux on them, so to me Apple are just another laptop vendor, and I could certainly go elsewhere to make my purchase if the quality and spec wasn't so good.
for someone with "2 intel apples"
you seem unaware that apple's trackpads are two button. and three button.and four button. what part of "tap with two fingers for right-click" do you find "inelegant"? or even a work-around? have you ever used one?
A what replacement? I don't even remember what a desktop computer is. I replaced my last desktop with a PBG4 the day they came out, ten years ago, and never looked back!