You’re paying a fairly hefty premium for the MacBook Pro, but it’s typically well designed and houses some powerful components. However, the glossy screen will put off many corporate users, as will the lack of an integrated DVI output.
Creating stylish, design-led notebooks is something Apple has always been good at, and the new MacBook Pro is no different. However, being more expensive than rival traditional Windows-based laptops, Apple has always struggled to penetrate the mainstream corporate market.
The new range of MacBook Pros (15in and 17in models are available) might not look much different from the previous line-up, but don’t be fooled: this is a major update.
Apple has totally reengineered the chassis, with these new models starting life as a single block of recyclable aluminium - what Apple calls a 'unibody'. This not only makes it look good, according to Apple, but reduces the chances of hardware failure.
Measuring less than 1in thick, it’s just a shade thinner than its predecessor and won't take up too much space when travelling. And at 2.49kg, it’s also relatively light compared to other 15in notebooks.
All ports are located down the left side of the notebook, while a slot-loading DVD/CD writer sits on the right. Open up the 15.4in screen and you’ll instantly notice the new keyboard, with each key rising up through the aluminium chassis through its own individual slot. With such well-spaced keys, typing is an effortless task and, thanks to the backlight, even possible in poorly lit environments.
The large trackpad ditches the usual separate mouse button - instead, the whole trackpad acts as a button. It’s something that takes a bit of getting used to, but thanks to the support for multi-touch gestures (for example, swiping four fingers in a downward vertical motion lets you switch applications) it’s something we enjoyed using.
Interestingly, Apple has ditched the dual-link DVI port of previous MacBook Pros and instead gone with a new Mini Displayport socket. It's a move that will incur the wrath of those looking to hook up large displays with resolutions of up to 2,560 x 1,600, since additional adapters will have to be purchased from Apple.
Worse still, if you want to power both DVI and VGA displays, you'll need to purchase two separate Mini Displayport adapters and, at £20 and £69 for the VGA and dual-link DVI adapters respectively, you’re paying a lot extra for functionality that came as standard with the previous model.
Those planning to use the MacBook Pro for off-site presentations will now also have the added hassle of having to remember the adapter in order to hook the notebook up to a projector.
Other ports include a single Firewire 800 and two USB2 ports and Gigabit Lan, along with the excellent Magsafe power port. Unlike standard power sockets that can be ruined by someone tripping on the cable, the Magsafe adapter is held in place by a magnet so, if the power cable is snagged, it will detach from the notebook without sending it tumbling or causing damage to the power socket.