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There are a lot of Macbook's on here, but I'm pretty sure this is the one I've just bought.
I'll start off by telling you why I bought it. Essentially, I owned the standard white 13" Macbook and then managed to break it beyond repair. My insurance coughed up the dough and I found myself in the market for a new laptop. Looking at the specs of my old laptop and then the price tag to get a new one (£867 at the time of writing but slightly cheaper for students such as myself), I figured that I could get a more powerful laptop for around £300 less. I began to look around at different laptops which would exceed the specs of my humble old Macbook but which would encompass all of it's features and possibly more. I was looking for something lightweight and portable with no bigger than a 13" screen, Intel i3 processor at least, 4gb of RAM, 250gb HDD and a 6 hour battery life. Sure I managed to find a couple of OK machines but they were clunky with poor build quality and atrocious battery life (we're talking around 200 mins). The cost of a Macbook is huge when compared to other notebooks of it's size but the unfortunate truth is, they're worth it. In the end I caved and decided that I'd had a Macbook all this time and with my student discount I could upgrade to a more powerful Pro version and reap the rewards. This is a consumer review so let me tell you how I've been consuming my new Macbook Pro.
Once you open the sleek looking minimalistic box your eyes will widen at the sight of your new shiny Macbook Pro. The laptop is made of aluminum with for a seriously premium quality feel. The only laptop's which I understand rival the Macbook Pro's for their design are the HP Envy range, although I've never
seen them in the flesh (or metal ... whatever). What I liked too was that they give you the luxury of a black screen cleaning cough with the pro models but not the standard one. I guess Apple must think that the masses of poor people that buy the standard model are going to make it grimy no matter what so a cleaning cloth would just be a waste of resources. Oh well, look at me now world I've got one! Also in the box is the standard Magsafe AC adapter which I think still has a 'cool' factor when you first assemble it. Then there's the standard documentation and restore CD etc blah.
Setting Up the Laptop is a breeze, as soon as you power it on for the first time (it's ready to go out of the box with around half a charge already in it) you're greeted by a multi-lingual flashy video which leads you neatly into initial setup. You'll be asked to choose your language settings, so make sure you choose BRITISH rather than US English. That's a pet hate of mine but there we go. You then connect to the internet and register an Apple ID for use on the App Store, ITunes etc. Then you're in, you can start using it to do as you please. I was a little unnerved by this the first time I set one of these up. Being used to windows I'm used to my laptop/PC being chatty and confirming every single last detail with me but the simple setup is definitely welcome and I think Microsoft can learn from this.
The laptop is very nippy due to the inclusion of it's Intel i5 processor which can handle anything general users can chuck at it. You'll be able to use Photoshop too and other applications with similar resource demands. The 4gb of RAM helps out here. If you want to do heavy video editing / recording then you'll be looking to go for the i7 model but then I doubt you'd be buying a 13 inch notebook for these tasks anyway. Battery life is a big one for most people and the Macbook range is famous for it's great battery life, they quote 7 hours of general use. I find I can get longer out of it to be honest by dimming the screen (on it's brightest it's too bright IMO) and keeping it offline when I don't need a connection. I'll get around 8 hours use out of it in a day which is awesome!
My Macbook Pro came with OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard installed but I understand that a free upgrade will be offered next month (July 2011) when 10.7 Lion is released. I find it a joy to use due to it's heavy focus (and about to get heavier with Lion) on multi-touch gestures which make navigating around the screen easier than it would be with a mouse in most cases. For example you do not need to click on the scroll bar on the right of the screen, simply use 2 fingers instead of 1 and you'll be scrolling. To view all of your open windows and select the one you want to focus on you simply swipe 4 fingers down on the trackpad. I think my favorite feature has to be Spotlight though. No matter what you're doing, you can press CMD+SPACE to be presented with a text entry field. In here you can search for applications, files, folders, do basic sums and get dictionary definitions. Being a student this is an excellent feature and one that I couldn't do without after being spoiled by it for so long. I'd recommend this as a general use laptop and by that I mean don't expect to be playing many games. Although the new Intel 3000 chip is a great improvement on old integrated graphics, it still can't compete with a standalone card found in the bigger models. Also this is a Mac and they aren't known for their great game releases. Saying that it handles videos really well so you can watch as many of those as you please.
I'll talk a little bit about the hardware on offer here. The screen is the perfect size for what I need to do and it looks incredibly vibrant when set to maximum, for general use this will be overkill. A nice feature on the pro range is the backlit keyboard which has adjustable brightness depending on how blind you are (in my case it's very blind). They've bunged a new camera in there too so you can now make HD video calls. Some reviewers have flamed the camera for not being much improved and while it hasn't been improved 'greatly' it's still noticeable and I find it looks great in well lit environments when compared to the older model. I'd imagine it would perform quite similarly in the dark. Just open a blank webpage in the background and set your brightness up for extra light on your face. Apple have been pushing the new fast Thunderbolt port as a key seller`` but in reality there are very few peripherals available to use with it, I can't imagine I'll be using it at all. I do wish the speakers on it were a little better though. I know the HP Envy range features the 'beats' technology or something like that. Those laptops sound awesome even with their tiny little speakers. Unfortunately you're getting the standard laptop speaker experience here which isn't so bad. This is a laptop after all, just get yourself some speakers or headphones and you'll be sorted.
Right then I think I've covered the most important points. I've let 1 star go because of the price, they could be cheaper if they wanted them to be! If you want to know anything else and value my humble opinion then feel free to comment and I'll do my best to answer. Stay cool.