Reviews and Problems with Apple MacBook Pro 15" 2nd Gen (2008-2012)
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Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch (Mid 2012)
7 November 2010
Conclusion: The Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch (Mid 2012) is still one of the best laptops around, with solid performance and a superb user experience, but after five-years with no change, the overall design is getting old.
Pros: Quad-core Ivy Bridge processor. Switchable Nvidia graphics technology. Long battery life. OS X Mountain Lion improves on an already great user experience.
Cons: Multimedia performance lags. No 1080p display.
Conclusion: The Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch gets new hardware and software, including a quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, AMD Radeon GPU, and OS X Lion, while keeping everything that works well, like the thin and stylish unibody design.
Pros: Updated quad-core Core i7 processor. Powerful AMD GPU with more dedicated memory. OS X Lion is superb. Improved battery life.
Cons: Competitors offer lower prices and larger feature sets.
Conclusion: The MacBook Pro 15-inch (SD Slot) shows improved battery life over the previous version, while lowering its base price to $1,699. Though that's enticing enough for newcomers, some current MacBook Pro owners might not be ready to give up the ExpressCard slot yet.
Pros: Lower starting price. Superior design engineering. Bigger battery and over 5 hours of battery life on tests. Earns our GreenTech Approved seal. Illuminated keyboard. Versatile touchpad.
Cons: Deep-sixes the ExpressCard slot. Base configuration uses integrated graphics only.
Conclusion: The Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch (Thunderbolt) is the fastest, most technologically advanced laptop to grace our Labs benches.
Pros: Quad-core Core i7 processor is a first. AMD Radeon HD 6750M is a powerful GPU and works with Apple's Automatic Graphics Switching technology. Gorgeous unibody enclosure. Thunderbolt is in its early stages, but it looks promising. Webcam now streams in HD and works with Facetime app. Backlit keyboard. Multiple screen options. Glass Clickpad has no equals.
Cons: Pricey. Lack of Thunderbolt devices to take advantage of the new interface.
Conclusion: The MacBook Pro is a design marvel like no other, but you can find better features elsewhere.
Pros: Now less than one inch thick. Design has no equal. Switchable graphics. Gesture and clickable touchpad. Still the lightest 15-inch laptop. Gorgeous glass screen. Illuminated keyboard. Excellent typing experience.
Cons: Lacks a built-in media card reader. Features aren't the strongest. Pricey.
Conclusion: For typical users running the iLife suite, iTunes, and even non-universal-binary applications—such as Microsoft Office and Adobe products—the MacBook Pro is a solid notebook. It's a sweet upgrade from the PowerBook G4, and new users will like it just the same. But for sophisticated media enthusiasts or professionals, we suggest you wait a couple of months, or at least until the software can catch up with the Intel components, before diving in.
Pros: Intel components improve speed. Added FrontRow multimedia interface and remote. Integrated iSight Webcam. Excellent software bundle in the iLife '06 suite.
Cons: No improvement in battery life. Some multimedia applications that aren't universal binary will run more slowly on Intel-based Macs. System runs hot. One-button mouse. Only two USB ports. Dual-layer DVD support is gone.
Excerpt: The Good Sturdier, cooler, thinner aluminum chassis. Still the performance champion; option for power-saving graphics a boon. Trackpad a more effective use of space. Colors 'pop' on the display. Good notebook-class speakers. The Bad No FireWire 400. Glossy screen a potential distraction with no matte option. Can't use both GPUs at once like that coming for Windows notebooks. Expansion, screen still used to push users to a system they may otherwise not need.
Pros: Sturdier, cooler, thinner aluminum chassis., Still the performance champion; option for power-saving graphics a boon., Trackpad a more effective use of space., Colors 'pop' on the display., Good notebook-class speakers.
Cons: No FireWire 400., Glossy screen a potential distraction with no matte option., Can't use both GPUs at once like that coming for Windows notebooks., Expansion, screen still used to push users to a system they may otherwise not need.