The MacBook Pro may not represent a remarkable upgrade in visuals or design, but the most compelling improvements are within. Now that Apple has included components from Intel's newly launched Santa Rosa platform in its latest MacBook Pro 15-inch (LED), the gap between the MacBook and the MacBook Pro has widened. More specifically the MacBook Pro 15-inch (LED) is 21 percent faster than the MacBook 13-inch (Core 2 Duo T7200), according to their respective SYSmark 2007 Preview overall scores.
The LED backlighting technology featured in the Pro 15-inch (LED) doesn’t slim down the screen as it did other laptops, but, at 1 inch thick, the new MacBook Pro is still the trimmest 15-inch Laptop out there. The visual improvement from the LED screen is hardly noticeable; photos on an older lamp-lit MacBook Pro actually show better contrast. But combined with better power management, the LED display leads to longer battery life: I estimate 3 to 4 hours when running everyday tasks.
The keyboard and mouse buttons still work well together, and the iSight camera’s picture quality is phenomenal compared with Windows PC webcam. Heat management has also been improved: Temperatures now range from 92 to 96º F; in the MacBook Pro 15-inch (Core 2 Duo), they rose above 100º F.
Gains in Performance from the Santa Rosa platform and the new nVidia Geforce 8600M GT graphics chipset make the MacBook Pro 15-inch (LED) a powerful gaming machine as well. And the improved hardware and battery usage are strong assets. The total package warrants our Editors’ Choice and may convince some non-MacBook pro owners to give it a try. The line is due for a design upgrade in January, though, so current MacBook Pro owners may do well to wait.Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch (LED): $1.999 directCheck This Out:Toshiba Satellite P205-S6237: Bargain Laptop ColossusAlienware Area-51 M9750: Top of the Gaming HeapLenovo ThinkPad R61: A newly Graceful ThinkPad