Apple MacBook Pro MA896 review

Before I begin to present my impressions of the Apple MacBook Pro, I want to specifically note that I am not a "notebook" browser. Therefore, below you will not find the results of any tricky synthetic tests, direct comparisons with other devices, figures and graphs (with rare exceptions). I will try to focus more on the user experience of the laptop, on what its design and capabilities allow, impressions of the laptop as a thing and a working tool.

The test sample is marked MA896 and belongs to the most "fresh" family of notebooks based on the Santa Rosa chipset. These devices are equipped with displays with a diagonal of 15.4 and 17 inches. As usual, there are several configurations in the lineup, differing in processor power, memory and hard drive capacity. Models with the Pro index are positioned as serious tools, so their characteristics are suitable for potential tasks: Intel Core 2 Duo processors from 2.2 to 2.6 GHz and two gigabytes of DDR2 RAM. The graphics chip is the Nvidia GeForce 8600M GT, which I believe is one of the most, if not the most powerful graphics solution for laptops.

The rest of the technical details, if they are relevant, I will give as the story progresses.

Body and design

MacBook Pros are famous for their metal body, which is, in fact, the "trade mark" of the line. Other Apple laptops have a plastic body and look less presentable. Against this background, and indeed, the MacBook Pro looks very impressive and solid, mainly, of course, due to the color and material of the case. Metal is used for external and internal panels, only the keyboard is made of plastic. The surface of the metal panels is not covered with paint and is instead treated in a special way. I wouldn't call it anodizing in the usual sense, say, on casings of consumer electronics like receivers, rather, the coating feels like a "telephone" soft touch. Unfortunately, it is not very resistant to scratches and abrasions, you can’t just rely on metal and forget that a laptop in a bag or on a table can get scratched about something. This fact slightly reduces the very high positive impression made by the MacBook Pro case. The fact is that the metal in the design always leaves an underlying feeling of higher strength and reliability than other similar devices. And when you notice small scratches and scuffs, it becomes clear that the MacBook Pro will have to be protected no less than other, ordinary laptops.

I'll say a few words about the appearance of the device, now I would like to list the structural elements on all surfaces of the laptop, since there are quite a lot of them. However, not as much as one would expect from a model of such dimensions and price.

The top cover has a branded bitten apple that glows a uniform white color when the computer is running. On the bottom cover, you can see the top surface of the battery and a line of LEDs that report health and charge level. All connectors, of course, are scattered on the side panels, as is usually the case. The right side panel is loaded the most, there was room for most of the connectors. These include DVI (a DVI-VGA adapter is included with the laptop, it is used to connect to external displays), two types of FireWire, 400 and 800 Mbps, and the well-known USB 2.0 with Ethernet.

The front sidebar, the one closer to the user, is less busy. But there is a DVD drive slot, a latch button for the cover with an LED and an IR receiver “window”. The LED in the latch, when the computer is "immersed in sleep", slowly "breathes", smoothly lowering and increasing the brightness. A trifle, it would seem, but in fact this touch to the image of a computer is quite noticeable.

Finally, on the left, the designers placed connectors for a network adapter, another USB, an audio input and output on 3.5 mm mini-jack connectors, and an ExpressCard / 34 slot.

The connectors are located quite conveniently, there are no problems with finding them and using several cables in parallel. However, the work has its own small nuances. For example, the hole of the USB connector exactly matches the size of the plug, so you have to insert it carefully, otherwise you just won't get it. Otherwise, everything is the same as on any decent PC laptop.

The quality of the MacBook Pro case is at its best, which is quite expected, after all, laptop prices start at about seventy-five thousand rubles. Especially, in my opinion, the uniformity of the gap between the display and the case is important, because an uneven load on the hinges will lead to their accelerated failure. The MacBook Pro was fine with that, at least by eye. The lid fits snugly and securely snaps into place. True, the surface at the latch is flush with the case, so at first you will need to get used to its location in order to easily open the laptop blindly.

On the inside, everything is typical for laptops: a keyboard, which will be discussed in a separate story, TouchPad, power button and speaker grilles.

Concluding the story about the body, I will once again mention the appearance of the device. Bribes here is the fact that even without a glowing apple on the lid, the MacBook Pro is not like other laptops and is instantly recognizable. The wide metal body looks very profitable and "expensive", it's even strange that Apple's approaches have not yet been copied, as is the case with its players. However, the same Dell is already releasing large and powerful devices in a large silver case with a branded round shape exactly in the center of the lid.

The buttons on the MacBook Pro, in addition to a large surface area, can also boast of the concavity of this very surface. They say that this little thing significantly increases the comfort and speed of typing. Unfortunately, I can’t confirm this with full responsibility, simply because I didn’t feel anything special. But the length of the stroke and the softness of the return of the laptop are very pleasant. Again, this is a rather subjective matter, since everyone gets used to their keyboard, however, in my opinion, the MacBook keyboard is a very decent compromise between size and comfort. In addition, it, as already mentioned, is soft and with large buttons. However, despite the positive reviews, in the place of a consumer who is not tactilely familiar with the "Mac" keyboards, I would first try them "on my fingers", since we have more and more stores with an open display.

Now a few words about the touchpad. With regard to this common input device, opinions are divided: there are true “apologists” who can very quickly manage all the functions of a computer with it, and there are “mouse guides” who use the touchpad only when necessary. I belong to the latter, but, to be honest, I even envy those who can easily do without a mouse. Probably, with regard to the MacBook Pro, it is easier to refuse a mouse: the touchpad area of ​​\u200b\u200bthis device is one of the largest of all that I have seen.But there is only one button, according to the old "Mac" tradition. The MacBook Pro touchpad does not have the tap feature enabled by default, that is, simulating a button press by "tapping" on the surface. It must be activated through the settings menu. A good addition is the possibility of "two-finger scrolling, and in the near future they also promise a massive increase in the number of applications that support iPhone-style multitouch. As far as I understand, this feature is already supported in hardware.

Sensitivity and generally tactile sensations from working with the touchpad on the MacBook Pro are quite decent, there are no special differences in one direction or another from other samples of the genre.

Display

Remember, at the very beginning, I promised to try to do without direct comparisons? Making an effort to do this, I still cannot but make one remark: a person’s opinion on this or that occasion always depends on his life experience, seen, thought over and experienced. Therefore, making up my mind about the laptop display, I willy-nilly compare it with all the displays of all laptops, conventional monitors, portable equipment and flat-panel TVs I have seen, you can’t run against nature. So, due to the type of activity of these same displays, I had a chance to see quite a lot. And if, depending on the image quality, brightness and color saturation, line them up in one long list, then the MacBook Pro will definitely be in the top ten. At least for today. Perhaps in a year the alignment of forces will be completely different, but today this laptop has one of the best screens that I have ever seen. At the same time, I do not divide them into groups according to the type of matrix, the presence or absence of a glossy surface, or other technical features. On the contrary, I try to forget about them as quickly as possible and judge only by visual impression.Agree, what does the average user care about the technical characteristics of the matrix, such as the time it takes for each pixel to switch from black to white, and then back? The main thing is that it should be “beautiful”, that a good picture pleases with itself. The MacBook Pro has it. Literally in the process of writing these very lines, I read one of the posts in LiveJournal, where a user asked the Apple community for help in choosing between a Mac Pro (these are professional desktop computers) and a MacBook Pro for serious graphics work. The main number of votes, of course, was given to the desktop version with a separate expensive display, “sharpened” for the correct display of all the subtleties of printed layouts, but a lot of words were also expressed in support of the MacBook Pro. At the same time, they sounded just from people employed in similar areas. Of course, I can’t, and don’t want to, recommend the MacBook Pro for this or that job, but from a purely consumer point of view, its display is great for watching videos, and playing games, and surfing the web, and what has attitude to me personally, for long sitting in text editors.

Obviously, there is no point in describing the operating system, everything has been said here for a long time. I send those who are interested to my own “notes about the leopard”, links to the materials are at the bottom of the page.

Impressions, games

In this section, I decided to collect feedback on the sensations of working on a laptop in general, it makes little sense to break them into small pieces.

If you log in with pure New Laptop HP EliteBook 840 G5 8GB Intel Core I5 ​​SSD 256GB technical edge, I, oddly enough, really liked the built-in speakers of the MacBook Pro. I fully admit that many modern laptops have them not only no worse, but even better. Only in my personal practice, the MacBook Pro is the second laptop on which you can easily watch movies without connecting it to an external audio system. The “test”, if you can call it that, the MacBook Pro passed on the recently appeared branded Russian edition of one of the best films of the outgoing year, Transformers. The film track contains a lot of relatively quiet dialogue, along with a lot of explosions, screams, gunshots, metal scraping and servo whirring. The MacBook Pro coped with the task perfectly, all the nuances of the sound were adequately reflected, of course, with a discount on the design of the speakers, but even in this case the sound was very decent. Only Toshiba Qosmio with built-in speakers and a Harman/Kardon subwoofer “sounded” better than it, but there, obviously, special attention was paid to this.

There are a few words for the built-in DVD drive of the device. In terms of its capabilities and speed characteristics, it fully corresponds to today's realities, there is no surprise in this. On the other hand, the process of loading a disc into the drive is rather controversial in terms of the impression it makes. He, like many things in this device, can both please and cause bewilderment or even discontent. The fact is that the drive has a slotted loading. On the one hand, this negates the possibility of accidental damage to the drive, as sometimes happens with drawers of other models. On the other hand, the drive “chews” discs with a strange buzzing-crunchy sound, which causes, albeit unfounded, concerns about its reliability. In addition, for example, I often come across mini-CDs: Asian companies often complete their players with them, burning a couple of programs and documentation on the disc. It is highly not recommended to insert such discs into the MacBook Pro drive, unless, of course, you want to shake them out and pick them out for a long time, risking damage to the device.

Special attention should definitely be paid to the ability of the MacBook Pro to work with graphics. More precisely, with 3D graphics, and to be completely honest, when I received the device for testing, I immediately noticed the presence of the GeForce 8600M GT and was looking forward to the moment when they (the card and graphics) would be tested properly. Here you need to make a digression. The fact is that the only 3D game that I really (that is, at least for more than a couple of hours) played on a laptop was the unforgettable and well-known Quake III Arena. I have repeatedly informed readers that my own laptop, a faithful comrade, is, frankly, rather weak and suitable only for working with texts and the network. But it is easy to carry it with you always and everywhere, as I, in fact, do. And in light of the fact that today computer games have reached a very exciting level in terms of graphics, I no, no, and I wanted to play something like that. Of course, I successfully hid this desire under a mask of indifference, but, to be honest, I secretly even envied Serezha Kuzmin a little, who regularly and skillfully shoots all sorts of three-dimensional computer enemies on his laptop.

My first thoughts about using the laptop I received for work purposes for other purposes arose in the address of a regular MacBook (see "notes of a migrant"). And for this purpose, I even got a disc with the game Doom 3 (surprisingly, there were no branded ones anywhere, I had to bow to the pirates). Unfortunately, I mercilessly overestimated the capabilities of the Intel GMA950 video adapter. Of course, it turned out to look at the game with one eye, but it was impossible to play it comfortably.

And then I get at my temporary disposal a device with two gigabytes of memory, a powerful processor and a modern video card, better than in many desktop devices. Hands reached the games, of course, after the two parts of the "notes about the leopard" were already left behind, but still they did. And they immediately realized that the amazing, as they say, is nearby. I can’t speak for our entire large country, but in Moscow Apple computers have recently been sold quite actively. Shops appear, tons of accessories are imported. But there are no games for Macintosh. Not at all. I spent about an hour looking through the offers of stores on the network, then the same amount of time I called all the more or less large companies. Re:Store has three or four older games and that's it. There are no new ones anywhere. I will make a reservation: we are talking about legal, branded products. I wanted to get some brand new game, how to “drive” it on a Macbook, and then give it to one of my “macbook” friends or leave it until the moment when I can afford both PC and Mac technology. Unfortunately, nothing came of it.I had already decided to fall into a text rampage, when the valiant employees of the Apple Press Office and Apple IMC Russia came to the rescue. The help turned out to be extremely simple, but very effective: I was given a link to a small section hidden in the wilds of the official Apple website. It lists games that have been released for Macintosh, and many of them have demo versions that are more or less enjoyable to play. I opted for Colin McRae Rally Mac. In order not to spread my thoughts along the tree, I report: at full display resolution of 1440x900 pixels, with maximum settings and full-screen anti-aliasing, the game “flies with a whistle”. The process "for fresh yeast" is so exciting that you forget about your immediate work responsibilities.

After racing on accessible tracks, I wanted to shoot someone (virtually, of course), and then the America's Army game caught my eye. As far as I know, it was created by order of the US Department of Defense and its purpose is to improve the image of the military in the eyes of the civilian population. The game has appeared quite recently, and the graphics are quite decent. Most importantly, the full version of the game is free. So for those who want to properly master the weapons and methods of warfare of a potential enemy (just kidding), as well as play modern action on their Macintosh without ordering game discs “over the hill”, I can recommend America's Army. The graphics in the game are excellent, perhaps in my not very sophisticated look. In any case, on the MacBook Pro, the game behaves without any lag, as it should be. Moreover, I have an idea that a regular MacBook will also pull it, just set the settings simpler.

This is the story about the MacBook Pro. By no means does it pretend to be an exhaustive review; rather, it can be attributed to the same genre as my “notes”, that is, to user observations, presented, I hope, in an understandable language. Over time, we will develop a new strategy for testing laptops and we will definitely write about the most interesting models.

Initially, I still planned to give some figures on the performance of the device, measurements of the time it took to transcode video and process heavy files in Photoshop. However, in the end, I still decided to leave these boring activities to journalists of specialized publications. In the end, I’m not lying if I say that everything works very quickly on the MacBook Pro, just like on any modern computer. Nevertheless, a device with serious characteristics and an even more serious price is simply obliged to work quickly, please the eyes, hands and family members. The MacBook Pro performs all these tasks well, which, as they say, was to be proven.

When trying to remember the roughness and problems, only a “crunchy” DVD drive came to mind, and the high price of the laptop itself and accessories like a branded “mouse”. Otherwise, the MacBook Pro looks like a serious and expensive laptop for business and entertainment, fanned by the flair of the manufacturer and proudly carrying the famous bitten apple on the top cover.

The Moscow retail price for a MacBook Pro MA896 with a 15.4-inch display today is about 90 thousand rubles. Its high level, I think, is due, in addition to high prices for Apple products in Russia in general, also due to the “freshness” of the model. We can only hope for a tangible decline after the New Year.

Apple MacBook Pro MA896 review

Before I begin to present my impressions of the Apple MacBook Pro, I want to specifically note that I am not a "notebook" browser. Therefore, below you will not find the results of any tricky synthetic tests, direct comparisons with other devices, figures and graphs (with rare exceptions). I will try to focus more on the user experience of the laptop, on what its design and capabilities allow, impressions of the laptop as a thing and a working tool.

The test sample is marked MA896 and belongs to the most "fresh" family of notebooks based on the Santa Rosa chipset. These devices are equipped with displays with a diagonal of 15.4 and 17 inches. As usual, there are several configurations in the lineup, differing in processor power, memory and hard drive capacity. Models with the Pro index are positioned as serious tools, so their characteristics are suitable for potential tasks: Intel Core 2 Duo processors from 2.2 to 2.6 GHz and two gigabytes of DDR2 RAM. The graphics chip is the Nvidia GeForce 8600M GT, which I believe is one of the most, if not the most powerful graphics solution for laptops.

The rest of the technical details, if they are relevant, I will give as the story progresses.

Body and design

MacBook Pros are famous for their metal body, which is, in fact, the "trade mark" of the line. Other Apple laptops have a plastic body and look less presentable. Against this background, and indeed, the MacBook Pro looks very impressive and solid, mainly, of course, due to the color and material of the case. Metal is used for external and internal panels, only the keyboard is made of plastic. The surface of the metal panels is not covered with paint and is instead treated in a special way.I wouldn't call it anodizing in the usual sense, say, on casings of consumer electronics like receivers, rather, the coating feels like a "telephone" soft touch. Unfortunately, it is not very resistant to scratches and abrasions, you can’t just rely on metal and forget that a laptop in a bag or on a table can get scratched about something. This fact slightly reduces the very high positive impression made by the MacBook Pro case. The fact is that the metal in the design always leaves an underlying feeling of higher strength and reliability than other similar devices. And when you notice small scratches and scuffs, it becomes clear that the MacBook Pro will have to be protected no less than other, ordinary laptops.

I'll say a few words about the appearance of the device, now I would like to list the structural elements on all surfaces of the laptop, since there are quite a lot of them. However, not as much as one would expect from a model of such dimensions and price.

The top cover has a branded bitten apple that glows a uniform white color when the computer is running. On the bottom cover, you can see the top surface of the battery and a line of LEDs that report health and charge level. All connectors, of course, are scattered on the side panels, as is usually the case. The right side panel is loaded the most, there was room for most of the connectors. These include DVI (a DVI-VGA adapter is included with the laptop, it is used to connect to external displays), two types of FireWire, 400 and 800 Mbps, and the well-known USB 2.0 with Ethernet.

The front sidebar, the one closer to the user, is less busy. But there is a DVD drive slot, a latch button for the cover with an LED and an IR receiver “window”. The LED in the latch, when the computer is "immersed in sleep", slowly "breathes", smoothly lowering and increasing the brightness. A trifle, it would seem, but in fact this touch to the image of a computer is quite noticeable.

Finally, on the left, the designers placed connectors for a network adapter, another USB, an audio input and output on 3.5 mm mini-jack connectors, and an ExpressCard / 34 slot.

The connectors are located quite conveniently, there are no problems with finding them and using several cables in parallel. However, the work has its own small nuances. For example, the hole of the USB connector exactly matches the size of the plug, so you have to insert it carefully, otherwise you just won't get it. Otherwise, everything is the same as on any decent PC laptop.

The quality of the MacBook Pro case is at its best, which is to be expected, after all, laptop prices start at about seventy-five thousand rubles. Especially, in my opinion, the uniformity of the gap between the display and the case is important, because an uneven load on the hinges will lead to their accelerated failure. The MacBook Pro was fine with that, at least by eye. The lid fits snugly and securely snaps into place. True, the surface at the latch is flush with the case, so at first you will need to get used to its location in order to easily open the laptop blindly.

On the inside, everything is typical for laptops: the keyboard, which will be discussed in a separate story, TouchPad, power button and speaker grilles.

Concluding the story about the body, I will once again mention the appearance of the device. Bribes here is the fact that even without a glowing apple on the lid, the MacBook Pro is not like other laptops and is instantly recognizable. The wide metal body looks very profitable and "expensive", it's even strange that Apple's approaches have not yet been copied, as is the case with its players. However, the same Dell is already releasing large and powerful devices in a large silver case with a branded round shape exactly in the center of the lid.

Apple is constantly being asked by the user community to release a compact MacBook Pro that combines performance and high mobility. Perhaps in January such a device will be presented - after all, the New Year is coming soon, the time for making wishes and fulfilling wishes.

Keyboard and touchpad

Unfortunately, I do not have secret knowledge about the differences between laptop keyboards and the features of their work. Therefore, I look at the MacBook Pro keyboard in terms of its similarities or differences from the keyboard of a small and old Rover laptop, which I do not part with, apparently out of sentimental moods, and the Logitech UltraX Keyboard, which I work with in the office.

At first glance at the opened MacBook Pro, the keys are significantly larger than those of other laptops. It seems that they are even larger than those of a conventional computer keyboard. This is true, you just need to compare the buttons by applying one keyboard to another. True, the difference in design plays a role. On conventional keyboards, the buttons are "high", with a long stroke and relatively far apart from each other. On laptops, the opposite is true, the buttons are flat and closer together, the same approach is used in the UltraX keyboard. That is, a balanced look will not work, because I simply weaned from a regular computer keyboard and got used to a laptop one, regardless of which laptop it is installed in and which computer it is connected to.

The buttons on the MacBook Pro, in addition to a large surface area, can also boast of the concavity of this very surface. They say that this little thing significantly increases the comfort and speed of typing. Unfortunately, I can’t confirm this with full responsibility, simply because I didn’t feel anything special. But the length of the stroke and the softness of the return of the laptop are very pleasant. Again, this is a rather subjective matter, since everyone gets used to their keyboard, however, in my opinion, the MacBook keyboard is a very decent compromise between size and comfort. In addition, it, as already mentioned, is soft and with large buttons. However, despite the positive reviews, in the place of a consumer who is not tactilely familiar with the "Mac" keyboards, I would first try them "on my fingers", since we have more and more stores with an open display.

Now a few words about the touchpad. With regard to this common input device, opinions are divided: there are true “apologists” who can very quickly manage all the functions of a computer with it, and there are “mouse guides” who use the touchpad only when necessary. I belong to the latter, but, to be honest, I even envy those who can easily do without a mouse. Probably, with regard to the MacBook Pro, it is easier to refuse a mouse: the touchpad area of ​​\u200b\u200bthis device is one of the largest of all that I have seen.But there is only one button, according to the old "Mac" tradition. The MacBook Pro touchpad does not have tap enabled by default, that is, simulating a button press by "tapping" on the surface. It must be activated through the settings menu. A good addition is the possibility of "two-finger scrolling, and in the near future they also promise a massive increase in the number of applications that support iPhone-style multitouch. As far as I understand, this feature is already supported in hardware.

Sensitivity and generally tactile sensations from working with the touchpad on the MacBook Pro are quite decent, there are no special differences in one direction or another from other samples of the genre.

Display

Remember, at the very beginning, I promised to try to do without direct comparisons? Making an effort to do this, I still cannot but make one remark: a person’s opinion on this or that occasion always depends on his life experience, seen, thought over and experienced. Therefore, making up my mind about the laptop display, I willy-nilly compare it with all the displays of all laptops, conventional monitors, portable equipment and flat-panel TVs I have seen, you can’t run against nature. So, due to the type of activity of these same displays, I had a chance to see quite a lot. And if, depending on the image quality, brightness and color saturation, line them up in one long list, then the MacBook Pro will definitely be in the top ten. At least for today. Perhaps in a year the alignment of forces will be completely different, but today this laptop has one of the best screens that I have ever seen. At the same time, I do not divide them into groups according to the type of matrix, the presence or absence of a glossy surface, or other technical features. On the contrary, I try to forget about them as quickly as possible and judge only by visual impression.Agree, what does the average user care about the technical characteristics of the matrix, such as the time it takes for each pixel to switch from black to white, and then back? The main thing is that it should be “beautiful”, that a good picture pleases with itself. The MacBook Pro has it. Literally in the process of writing these very lines, I read one of the posts in LiveJournal, where a user asked the Apple community for help in choosing between a Mac Pro (these are professional desktop computers) and a MacBook Pro for serious graphics work. The main number of votes, of course, was given to the desktop version with a separate expensive display, “sharpened” for the correct display of all the subtleties of printed layouts, but a lot of words were also expressed in support of the MacBook Pro. At the same time, they sounded just from people employed in similar areas. Of course, I can’t, and don’t want to, recommend the MacBook Pro for this or that job, but from a purely consumer point of view, its display is great for watching videos, and playing games, and surfing the web, and what has attitude to me personally, for long sitting in text editors.

Obviously, there is no point in describing the operating system, everything has been said here for a long time. I send those who are interested to my own “notes about the leopard”, links to the materials are at the bottom of the page.

Impressions, games

In this section, I decided to collect feedback on the sensations of working on a laptop in general, it makes little sense to break them into small pieces.

If you log in with pure New Laptop HP EliteBook 840 G5 8GB Intel Core I5 ​​SSD 256GB technical edge, I, oddly enough, really liked the built-in speakers of the MacBook Pro. I fully admit that many modern laptops have them not only no worse, but even better. Only in my personal practice, the MacBook Pro is the second laptop on which you can easily watch movies without connecting it to an external audio system. The “test”, if you can call it that, the MacBook Pro passed on the recently appeared branded Russian edition of one of the best films of the outgoing year, Transformers. The film track contains a lot of relatively quiet dialogue, along with a lot of explosions, screams, gunshots, metal scraping and servo whirring. The MacBook Pro coped with the task perfectly, all the nuances of the sound were adequately reflected, of course, with a discount on the design of the speakers, but even in this case the sound was very decent. Only Toshiba Qosmio with built-in speakers and a Harman/Kardon subwoofer “sounded” better than it, but there, obviously, special attention was paid to this.

There are a few words for the built-in DVD drive of the device. In terms of its capabilities and speed characteristics, it fully corresponds to today's realities, there is no surprise in this. On the other hand, the process of loading a disc into the drive is rather controversial in terms of the impression it makes. He, like many things in this device, can both please and cause bewilderment or even discontent. The fact is that the drive has a slotted loading. On the one hand, this negates the possibility of accidental damage to the drive, as sometimes happens with drawers of other models. On the other hand, the drive “chews” discs with a strange buzzing-crunchy sound, which causes, albeit unfounded, concerns about its reliability. In addition, for example, I often come across mini-CDs: Asian companies often complete their players with them, burning a couple of programs and documentation on the disc. It is highly not recommended to insert such discs into the MacBook Pro drive, unless, of course, you want to shake them out and pick them out for a long time, risking damage to the device.

Special attention should definitely be paid to the ability of the MacBook Pro to work with graphics. More precisely, with 3D graphics, and to be completely honest, when I received the device for testing, I immediately noticed the presence of the GeForce 8600M GT and was looking forward to the moment when they (the card and graphics) would be tested properly. Here you need to make a digression. The fact is that the only 3D game that I really (that is, at least for more than a couple of hours) played on a laptop was the unforgettable and well-known Quake III Arena. I have repeatedly informed readers that my own laptop, a faithful comrade, is, frankly, rather weak and suitable only for working with texts and the network. But it is easy to carry it with you always and everywhere, as I, in fact, do. And in light of the fact that today computer games have reached a very exciting level in terms of graphics, I no, no, and I wanted to play something like that. Of course, I successfully hid this desire under a mask of indifference, but, to be honest, I secretly even envied Serezha Kuzmin a little, who regularly and skillfully shoots all sorts of three-dimensional computer enemies on his laptop.

My first thoughts about using the laptop I received for work purposes for other purposes arose in the address of a regular MacBook (see "notes of a migrant"). And for this purpose, I even got a disc with the game Doom 3 (surprisingly, there were no branded ones anywhere, I had to bow to the pirates). Unfortunately, I mercilessly overestimated the capabilities of the Intel GMA950 video adapter. Of course, it turned out to look at the game with one eye, but it was impossible to play it comfortably.

And then I get at my temporary disposal a device with two gigabytes of memory, a powerful processor and a modern video card, better than in many desktop devices. Hands reached the games, of course, after the two parts of the “notes about the leopard” were already left behind, but still they got there. And they immediately realized that the amazing, as they say, is nearby. I can’t speak for our entire large country, but in Moscow Apple computers have recently been sold quite actively. Shops appear, tons of accessories are imported. But there are no games for Macintosh. Not at all. I spent about an hour looking through the offers of stores on the network, then the same amount of time I called all the more or less large companies. There are three or four older games in Re:Store and that's it. There are no new ones anywhere. I will make a reservation: we are talking about legal, branded products. I wanted to get some brand new game, how to “drive” it on a Macbook, and then give it to one of my “macbook” friends or leave it until the moment when I can afford both PC and Mac technology. Unfortunately, nothing came of it.I had already decided to fall into a text rampage, when the valiant employees of the Apple Press Office and Apple IMC Russia came to the rescue. The help turned out to be extremely simple, but very effective: I was given a link to a small section hidden in the wilds of the official Apple website. It lists games that have been released for Macintosh, and many of them have demo versions that are more or less enjoyable to play. I opted for Colin McRae Rally Mac. In order not to spread my thoughts along the tree, I report: at full display resolution of 1440x900 pixels, with maximum settings and full-screen anti-aliasing, the game “flies with a whistle”. The process "for fresh yeast" is so exciting that you forget about your immediate work responsibilities.

After racing on accessible tracks, I wanted to shoot someone (virtually, of course), and then the America's Army game caught my eye. As far as I know, it was created by order of the US Department of Defense and its purpose is to improve the image of the military in the eyes of the civilian population. The game has appeared quite recently, and the graphics are quite decent. Most importantly, the full version of the game is free. So for those who want to properly master the weapons and methods of warfare of a potential enemy (just kidding), as well as play modern action on their Macintosh without ordering game discs “over the hill”, I can recommend America's Army. The graphics in the game are excellent, perhaps in my not very sophisticated look. In any case, on the MacBook Pro the game behaves without any lag, as it should be. Moreover, I have an idea that a regular MacBook will also pull it, just set the settings simpler.

This is the story about the MacBook Pro. By no means does it pretend to be an exhaustive review; rather, it can be attributed to the same genre as my “notes”, that is, to user observations, presented, I hope, in an understandable language. Over time, we will develop a new strategy for testing laptops and we will definitely write about the most interesting models.

Initially, I still planned to give some figures on the performance of the device, measurements of the time it took to transcode video and process heavy files in Photoshop. However, in the end, I still decided to leave these boring activities to journalists of specialized publications. In the end, I’m not lying if I say that everything works very quickly on the MacBook Pro, just like on any modern computer. Nevertheless, a device with serious characteristics and an even more serious price is simply obliged to work quickly, please the eyes, hands and family members. The MacBook Pro performs all these tasks well, which, as they say, was to be proven.

When trying to remember the roughness and problems, only a “crunchy” DVD drive came to mind, and the high price of the laptop itself and accessories like a branded “mouse”. Otherwise, the MacBook Pro looks like a serious and expensive laptop for business and entertainment, fanned by the flair of the manufacturer and proudly carrying the famous bitten apple on the top cover.

The Moscow retail price for a MacBook Pro MA896 with a 15.4-inch display today is about 90 thousand rubles. Its high level, I think, is due, in addition to high prices for Apple products in Russia in general, also due to the “freshness” of the model. We can only hope for a tangible decline after the New Year.

Apple MacBook Pro MA896 review

Before I begin to present my impressions of the Apple MacBook Pro, I want to specifically note that I am not a "notebook" browser. Therefore, below you will not find the results of any tricky synthetic tests, direct comparisons with other devices, figures and graphs (with rare exceptions). I will try to focus more on the user experience of the laptop, on what its design and capabilities allow, impressions of the laptop as a thing and a working tool.

The test sample is marked MA896 and belongs to the most "fresh" family of notebooks based on the Santa Rosa chipset. These devices are equipped with displays with a diagonal of 15.4 and 17 inches. As usual, there are several configurations in the lineup, differing in processor power, memory and hard drive capacity. Models with the Pro index are positioned as serious tools, so their characteristics are suitable for potential tasks: Intel Core 2 Duo processors from 2.2 to 2.6 GHz and two gigabytes of DDR2 RAM. The graphics chip is the Nvidia GeForce 8600M GT, which I believe is one of the most, if not the most powerful graphics solution for laptops.

The rest of the technical details, if they are relevant, I will give as the story progresses.

Body and design

MacBook Pros are famous for their metal body, which is, in fact, the "trade mark" of the line. Other Apple laptops have a plastic body and look less presentable. Against this background, and indeed, the MacBook Pro looks very impressive and solid, mainly, of course, due to the color and material of the case. Metal is used for external and internal panels, only the keyboard is made of plastic. The surface of the metal panels is not covered with paint and is instead treated in a special way.I wouldn't call it anodizing in the usual sense, say, on casings of consumer electronics like receivers, rather, the coating feels like a "telephone" soft touch. Unfortunately, it is not very resistant to scratches and abrasions, you can’t just rely on metal and forget that a laptop in a bag or on a table can get scratched about something. This fact slightly reduces the very high positive impression made by the MacBook Pro case. The fact is that the metal in the design always leaves an underlying feeling of higher strength and reliability than other similar devices. And when you notice small scratches and scuffs, it becomes clear that the MacBook Pro will have to be protected no less than other, ordinary laptops.

I'll say a few words about the appearance of the device, now I would like to list the structural elements on all surfaces of the laptop, since there are quite a lot of them. However, not as much as one would expect from a model of such dimensions and price.

The top cover has a branded bitten apple that glows a uniform white color when the computer is running. On the bottom cover, you can see the top surface of the battery and a line of LEDs that report health and charge level. All connectors, of course, are scattered on the side panels, as is usually the case. The right side panel is the busiest, with room for most of the connectors. These include DVI (a DVI-VGA adapter is included with the laptop, it is used to connect to external displays), two types of FireWire, 400 and 800 Mbps, and the well-known USB 2.0 with Ethernet.

The front sidebar, the one closer to the user, is less busy. But there is a DVD drive slot, a latch button for the cover with an LED and an IR receiver “window”. The LED in the latch, when the computer is "immersed in sleep", slowly "breathes", smoothly lowering and increasing the brightness. A trifle, it would seem, but in fact this touch to the image of a computer is quite noticeable.

Finally, on the left, the designers placed connectors for a network adapter, another USB, an audio input and output on 3.5 mm mini-jack connectors, and an ExpressCard / 34 slot.

The connectors are located quite conveniently, there are no problems with finding them and using several cables in parallel. However, the work has its own small nuances. For example, the hole of the USB connector exactly matches the size of the plug, so you have to insert it carefully, otherwise you just won't get it. Otherwise, everything is the same as on any decent PC laptop.

The quality of the MacBook Pro case is at its best, which is quite expected, after all, laptop prices start at about seventy-five thousand rubles. Especially, in my opinion, the uniformity of the gap between the display and the case is important, because an uneven load on the hinges will lead to their accelerated failure. The MacBook Pro was fine with that, at least by eye. The lid fits snugly and securely snaps into place. True, the surface at the latch is flush with the case, so at first you will need to get used to its location in order to easily open the laptop blindly.

On the inside, everything is typical for laptops: a keyboard, which will be discussed in a separate story, TouchPad, power button and speaker grilles.

Concluding the story about the body, I will once again mention the appearance of the device. Bribes here is the fact that even without a glowing apple on the lid, the MacBook Pro is not like other laptops and is instantly recognizable. The wide metal body looks very profitable and "expensive", it's even strange that Apple's approaches have not yet been copied, as is the case with its players. However, the same Dell is already releasing large and powerful devices in a large silver case with a branded round shape exactly in the center of the lid.

Apple is constantly being asked by the user community to release a compact MacBook Pro that combines performance and high mobility. Perhaps in January such a device will be presented - after all, the New Year is coming soon, the time for making wishes and fulfilling wishes.

Keyboard and touchpad

Unfortunately, I do not have secret knowledge about the differences between laptop keyboards and the features of their work. Therefore, I look at the MacBook Pro keyboard in terms of its similarities or differences from the keyboard of a small and old Rover laptop, which I do not part with, apparently out of sentimental moods, and the Logitech UltraX Keyboard, which I work with in the office.

At first glance at the opened MacBook Pro, the keys are significantly larger than those of other laptops. It seems that they are even larger than those of a conventional computer keyboard. This is true, you just need to compare the buttons by attaching one keyboard to another. True, the difference in design plays a role. On conventional keyboards, the buttons are "high", with a long stroke and relatively far apart from each other. On laptops, the opposite is true, the buttons are flat and closer together, the same approach is used in the UltraX keyboard. That is, a balanced look will not work, because I simply weaned from a regular computer keyboard and got used to a laptop one, regardless of which laptop it is installed in and which computer it is connected to.

The buttons on the MacBook Pro, in addition to a large surface area, can also boast of the concavity of this very surface. They say that this little thing significantly increases the comfort and speed of typing. Unfortunately, I can’t confirm this with full responsibility, simply because I didn’t feel anything special. But the length of the stroke and the softness of the return of the laptop are very pleasant. Again, this is a rather subjective matter, since everyone gets used to their keyboard, however, in my opinion, the MacBook keyboard is a very decent compromise between size and comfort. In addition, it, as already mentioned, is soft and with large buttons. However, despite the positive reviews, in the place of a consumer who is not tactilely familiar with the "Mac" keyboards, I would first try them "on my fingers", since we have more and more stores with an open display.

Now a few words about the touchpad. With regard to this common input device, opinions are divided: there are true “apologists” who can very quickly manage all the functions of a computer with it, and there are “mouse guides” who use the touchpad only when necessary. I belong to the latter, but, to be honest, I even envy those who can easily do without a mouse. Probably, with regard to the MacBook Pro, it is easier to refuse a mouse: the touchpad area of ​​\u200b\u200bthis device is one of the largest of all that I have seen.But there is only one button, according to the old "Mac" tradition. The MacBook Pro touchpad does not have tap enabled by default, that is, simulating a button press by "tapping" on the surface. It must be activated through the settings menu. A good addition is the possibility of "two-finger scrolling, and in the near future they also promise a massive increase in the number of applications that support iPhone-style multitouch. As far as I understand, this feature is already supported in hardware.

Sensitivity and generally tactile sensations from working with the touchpad on the MacBook Pro are quite decent, there are no special differences in one direction or another from other samples of the genre.

Display

Remember, at the very beginning, I promised to try to do without direct comparisons? Making an effort to do this, I still cannot but make one remark: a person’s opinion on this or that occasion always depends on his life experience, seen, thought over and experienced. Therefore, making up my mind about the laptop display, I willy-nilly compare it with all the displays of all laptops, conventional monitors, portable equipment and flat-panel TVs I have seen, you can’t run against nature. So, due to the type of activity of these same displays, I had a chance to see quite a lot. And if, depending on the image quality, brightness and color saturation, line them up in one long list, then the MacBook Pro will definitely be in the top ten. At least for today. Perhaps in a year the alignment of forces will be completely different, but today this laptop has one of the best screens that I have ever seen. At the same time, I do not divide them into groups according to the type of matrix, the presence or absence of a glossy surface, or other technical features. On the contrary, I try to forget about them as quickly as possible and judge only by visual impression.Agree, what does the average user care about the technical characteristics of the matrix, such as the time it takes for each pixel to switch from black to white, and then back? The main thing is that it should be “beautiful”, that a good picture pleases with itself. The MacBook Pro has it. Literally in the process of writing these very lines, I read one of the posts in LiveJournal, where a user asked the Apple community for help in choosing between a Mac Pro (these are professional desktop computers) and a MacBook Pro for serious graphics work. The main number of votes, of course, was given to the desktop version with a separate expensive display, “sharpened” for the correct display of all the subtleties of printed layouts, but a lot of words were also expressed in support of the MacBook Pro. At the same time, they sounded just from people employed in similar areas. Of course, I can’t, and don’t want to, recommend the MacBook Pro for this or that job, but from a purely consumer point of view, its display is great for watching videos, and playing games, and surfing the web, and what has attitude to me personally, for long sitting in text editors.

Obviously, there is no point in describing the operating system, everything has been said here for a long time. I send those who are interested to my own “notes about the leopard”, links to the materials are at the bottom of the page.

Impressions, games

In this section, I decided to collect feedback on the sensations of working on a laptop in general, it makes little sense to break them into small pieces.

If you log in with pure New Laptop HP EliteBook 840 G5 8GB Intel Core I5 ​​SSD 256GB technical edge, I, oddly enough, really liked the built-in speakers of the MacBook Pro. I fully admit that many modern laptops have them not only no worse, but even better. Only in my personal practice, the MacBook Pro is the second laptop on which you can easily watch movies without connecting it to an external audio system. The “test”, if you can call it that, the MacBook Pro passed on the recently appeared branded Russian edition of one of the best films of the outgoing year, “Transformers”. The film track contains a lot of relatively quiet dialogue, along with a lot of explosions, screams, gunshots, metal scraping and servo whirring. The MacBook Pro coped with the task perfectly, all the nuances of the sound were adequately reflected, of course, with a discount on the design of the speakers, but even in this case the sound was very decent. Only Toshiba Qosmio with built-in speakers and a Harman/Kardon subwoofer “sounded” better than it, but there, obviously, special attention was paid to this.

There are a few words for the built-in DVD drive of the device. In terms of its capabilities and speed characteristics, it fully corresponds to today's realities, there is no surprise in this. On the other hand, the process of loading a disc into the drive is rather controversial in terms of the impression it makes. He, like many things in this device, can both please and cause bewilderment or even discontent. The fact is that the drive has a slotted loading. On the one hand, this negates the possibility of accidental damage to the drive, as sometimes happens with drawers of other models. On the other hand, the drive “chews” discs with a strange buzzing-crunchy sound, which causes, albeit unfounded, concerns about its reliability. In addition, for example, I often come across mini-CDs: Asian companies often complete their players with them, burning a couple of programs and documentation on the disc. It is highly not recommended to insert such discs into the MacBook Pro drive, unless, of course, you want to shake them out and pick them out for a long time, risking damage to the device.

Special attention should definitely be paid to the ability of the MacBook Pro to work with graphics. More precisely, with 3D graphics, and to be completely honest, when I received the device for testing, I immediately noticed the presence of the GeForce 8600M GT and was looking forward to the moment when they (the card and graphics) would be tested properly. Here you need to make a digression. The fact is that the only 3D game that I really (that is, at least for more than a couple of hours) played on a laptop was the unforgettable and well-known Quake III Arena. I have repeatedly informed readers that my own laptop, a faithful comrade, is, frankly, rather weak and suitable only for working with texts and the network. But it is easy to carry it with you always and everywhere, as I, in fact, do. And in light of the fact that today computer games have reached a very exciting level in terms of graphics, I no, no, and I wanted to play something like that. Of course, I successfully hid this desire under a mask of indifference, but, to be honest, I secretly even envied Serezha Kuzmin a little, who regularly and skillfully shoots all sorts of three-dimensional computer enemies on his laptop.

My first thoughts about using the laptop I received for work purposes for other purposes arose in the address of a regular MacBook (see "notes of a migrant"). And for this purpose, I even got a disc with the game Doom 3 (surprisingly, there were no branded ones anywhere, I had to bow to the pirates). Unfortunately, I mercilessly overestimated the capabilities of the Intel GMA950 video adapter. Of course, it turned out to look at the game with one eye, but it was impossible to play it comfortably.

And then I get at my temporary disposal a device with two gigabytes of memory, a powerful processor and a modern video card, better than in many desktop devices. Hands reached the games, of course, after the two parts of the “notes about the leopard” were already left behind, but still they got there. And they immediately realized that the amazing, as they say, is nearby. I can’t speak for our entire large country, but in Moscow Apple computers have recently been sold quite actively. Shops appear, tons of accessories are imported. But there are no games for Macintosh. Not at all. I spent about an hour looking through the offers of stores on the network, then the same amount of time I called all the more or less large companies. There are three or four older games in Re:Store and that's it. There are no new ones anywhere. I will make a reservation: we are talking about legal, branded products. I wanted to get some brand new game, how to “drive” it on a Macbook, and then give it to one of my “macbook” friends or leave it until the moment when I can afford both PC and Mac technology. Unfortunately, nothing came of it.I had already decided to fall into a text rampage, when the valiant employees of the Apple Press Office and Apple IMC Russia came to the rescue. The help turned out to be extremely simple, but very effective: I was given a link to a small section hidden in the wilds of the official Apple website. It lists games that have been released for Macintosh, and many of them have demo versions that are more or less enjoyable to play. I opted for Colin McRae Rally Mac. In order not to spread my thoughts along the tree, I report: at the full display resolution of 1440x900 pixels, with maximum settings and full-screen anti-aliasing, the game “flies with a whistle”. The “fresh yeast” process is so exciting that you forget about your immediate work responsibilities.

After racing on accessible tracks, I wanted to shoot someone (virtually, of course), and then the America's Army game caught my eye. As far as I know, it was created by order of the US Department of Defense and its purpose is to improve the image of the military in the eyes of the civilian population. The game has appeared quite recently, and the graphics are quite decent. Most importantly, the full version of the game is free. So for those who want to properly master the weapons and methods of warfare of a potential enemy (just kidding), as well as play modern action on their Macintosh without ordering game discs “over the hill”, I can recommend America's Army. The graphics in the game are excellent, perhaps in my not very sophisticated look. In any case, on the MacBook Pro the game behaves without any lag, as it should be. Moreover, I have an idea that a regular MacBook will also pull it, just set the settings simpler.

This is the story about the MacBook Pro. By no means does it pretend to be an exhaustive review; rather, it can be attributed to the same genre as my “notes”, that is, to user observations, presented, I hope, in an understandable language. Over time, we will develop a new strategy for testing laptops and we will definitely write about the most interesting models.

Initially, I still planned to give some figures on the performance of the device, measurements of the time it took to transcode video and process heavy files in Photoshop. However, in the end, I still decided to leave these boring activities to journalists of specialized publications. In the end, I’m not lying if I say that everything works very quickly on the MacBook Pro, just like on any modern computer. Nevertheless, a device with serious characteristics and an even more serious price is simply obliged to work quickly, please the eyes, hands and family members. The MacBook Pro performs all these tasks well, which, as they say, was to be proven.

When trying to remember the roughness and problems, only a “crunchy” DVD drive came to mind, and the high price of the laptop itself and accessories like a branded “mouse”. Otherwise, the MacBook Pro looks like a serious and expensive laptop for business and entertainment, fanned by the flair of the manufacturer and proudly carrying the famous bitten apple on the top cover.

The Moscow retail price for a MacBook Pro MA896 with a 15.4-inch display today is about 90 thousand rubles. Its high level, I think, is due, in addition to high prices for Apple products in Russia in general, also due to the “freshness” of the model. We can only hope for a tangible decline after the New Year.

Apple MacBook Pro MA896 review

Before I begin to present my impressions of the Apple MacBook Pro, I want to specifically note that I am not a "notebook" browser. Therefore, below you will not find the results of any tricky synthetic tests, direct comparisons with other devices, figures and graphs (with rare exceptions). I will try to focus more on the user experience of the laptop, on what its design and capabilities allow, impressions of the laptop as a thing and a working tool.

The test sample is marked MA896 and belongs to the most "fresh" family of notebooks based on the Santa Rosa chipset. These devices are equipped with displays with a diagonal of 15.4 and 17 inches. As usual, there are several configurations in the lineup, differing in processor power, memory and hard drive capacity. Models with the Pro index are positioned as serious tools, so their characteristics are suitable for potential tasks: Intel Core 2 Duo processors from 2.2 to 2.6 GHz and two gigabytes of DDR2 RAM. The graphics chip is the Nvidia GeForce 8600M GT, which I believe is one of the most, if not the most powerful graphics solution for laptops.

The rest of the technical details, if they are relevant, I will give as the story progresses.

Body and design

MacBook Pros are famous for their metal body, which is, in fact, the "trade mark" of the line. Other Apple laptops have a plastic body and look less presentable. Against this background, and indeed, the MacBook Pro looks very impressive and solid, mainly, of course, due to the color and material of the case. Metal is used for external and internal panels, only the keyboard is made of plastic. The surface of the metal panels is not covered with paint and is instead treated in a special way. I wouldn't call it anodizing in the usual sense, say, on casings of consumer electronics like receivers, rather, the coating feels like a "telephone" soft touch.Unfortunately, it is not very resistant to scratches and abrasions, you can’t just rely on metal and forget that a laptop in a bag or on a table can get scratched about something. This fact slightly reduces the very high positive impression made by the MacBook Pro case. The fact is that the metal in the design always leaves an underlying feeling of higher strength and reliability than other similar devices. And when you notice small scratches and scuffs, it becomes clear that the MacBook Pro will have to be protected no less than other, ordinary laptops.

I'll say a few words about the appearance of the device, now I would like to list the structural elements on all surfaces of the laptop, since there are quite a lot of them. However, not as much as one would expect from a model of such dimensions and price.

The top cover has a branded bitten apple that glows a uniform white color when the computer is running. On the bottom cover, you can see the top surface of the battery and a line of LEDs that report health and charge level. All connectors, of course, are scattered on the side panels, as is usually the case. The right side panel is loaded the most, there was room for most of the connectors. These include DVI (a DVI-VGA adapter is included with the laptop, it is used to connect to external displays), two types of FireWire, 400 and 800 Mbps, and the well-known USB 2.0 with Ethernet.

The front sidebar, the one closer to the user, is less busy. But there is a DVD drive slot, a latch button for the cover with an LED and an IR receiver “window”. The LED in the latch, when the computer is "immersed in sleep", slowly "breathes", smoothly lowering and increasing the brightness. A trifle, it would seem, but in fact this touch to the image of a computer is quite noticeable.

Finally, on the left, the designers placed connectors for a network adapter, another USB, an audio input and output on 3.5 mm mini-jack connectors, and an ExpressCard / 34 slot.

The connectors are located quite conveniently, there are no problems with finding them and using several cables in parallel. However, the work has its own small nuances. For example, the hole of the USB connector exactly matches the size of the plug, so you have to insert it carefully, otherwise you just won't get it. Otherwise, everything is the same as on any decent PC laptop.

The quality of the MacBook Pro case is at its best, which is quite expected, after all, laptop prices start at about seventy-five thousand rubles. Especially, in my opinion, the uniformity of the gap between the display and the case is important, because an uneven load on the hinges will lead to their accelerated failure. The MacBook Pro was fine with that, at least by eye. The lid fits snugly and securely snaps into place. True, the surface at the latch is flush with the case, so at first you will need to get used to its location in order to easily open the laptop blindly.

On the inside, everything is typical for laptops: a keyboard, which will be discussed in a separate story, TouchPad, power button and speaker grilles.

Concluding the story about the body, I will once again mention the appearance of the device. Bribes here is the fact that even without a glowing apple on the lid, the MacBook Pro is not like other laptops and is instantly recognizable. The wide metal body looks very profitable and "expensive", it's even strange that Apple's approaches have not yet been copied, as is the case with its players. However, the same Dell is already releasing large and powerful devices in a large silver case with a branded round shape exactly in the center of the lid.

Apple is constantly being asked by the user community to release a compact MacBook Pro that combines performance and high mobility. Perhaps in January such a device will be presented - after all, the New Year is coming soon, the time for making wishes and fulfilling wishes.

Keyboard and touchpad

Unfortunately, I do not have secret knowledge about the differences between laptop keyboards and the features of their work. Therefore, I look at the MacBook Pro keyboard in terms of its similarities or differences from the keyboard of a small and old Rover laptop, which I do not part with, apparently out of sentimental moods, and the Logitech UltraX Keyboard, which I work with in the office.

At first glance at the opened MacBook Pro, the keys are significantly larger than those of other laptops. It seems that they are even larger than those of a conventional computer keyboard. This is true, you just need to compare the buttons by applying one keyboard to another. True, the difference in design plays a role. On conventional keyboards, the buttons are "high", with a long stroke and relatively far apart from each other. On laptops, the opposite is true, the buttons are flat and closer together, the same approach is used in the UltraX keyboard. That is, a balanced look will not work, because I simply weaned from a regular computer keyboard and got used to a laptop one, regardless of which laptop it is installed in and which computer it is connected to.

The buttons on the MacBook Pro, in addition to a large surface area, can also boast of the concavity of this very surface. They say that this little thing significantly increases the comfort and speed of typing. Unfortunately, I can’t confirm this with full responsibility, simply because I didn’t feel anything special. But the length of the stroke and the softness of the return of the laptop are very pleasant. Again, this is a rather subjective matter, since everyone gets used to their keyboard, however, in my opinion, the MacBook keyboard is a very decent compromise between size and comfort. In addition, it, as already mentioned, is soft and with large buttons. However, despite the positive reviews, in the place of a consumer who is not tactilely familiar with the "Mac" keyboards, I would first try them "on my fingers", since we have more and more stores with an open display.

Now a few words about the touchpad. With regard to this common input device, opinions are divided: there are true “apologists” who can very quickly manage all the functions of a computer with it, and there are “mouse guides” who use the touchpad only when necessary. I belong to the latter, but, to be honest, I even envy those who can easily do without a mouse. Probably, with regard to the MacBook Pro, it is easier to refuse a mouse: the touchpad area of ​​\u200b\u200bthis device is one of the largest of all that I have seen. But there is only one button, according to the old "Mac" tradition. The MacBook Pro touchpad does not have tap enabled by default, that is, simulating a button press by "tapping" on the surface. It must be activated through the settings menu. A good addition is the possibility of "two-finger scrolling, and in the near future they also promise a massive increase in the number of applications that support iPhone-style multitouch. As far as I understand, this feature is already supported in hardware.

Sensitivity and generally tactile sensations from working with the touchpad on the MacBook Pro are quite decent, there are no special differences in one direction or another from other samples of the genre.

Display

Remember, at the very beginning, I promised to try to do without direct comparisons? Making an effort to do this, I still cannot but make one remark: a person’s opinion on this or that occasion always depends on his life experience, seen, thought over and experienced. Therefore, when making up my mind about the laptop display, I willy-nilly compare it with all the displays of all laptops, conventional monitors, portable equipment and flat-panel TVs I have seen, you can’t run against nature. So, due to the type of activity of these same displays, I had a chance to see quite a lot. And if, depending on the image quality, brightness and color saturation, line them up in one long list, then the MacBook Pro will definitely be in the top ten. At least for today. Perhaps in a year the alignment of forces will be completely different, but today this laptop has one of the best screens that I have ever seen. At the same time, I do not divide them into groups according to the type of matrix, the presence or absence of a glossy surface, or other technical features. On the contrary, I try to forget about them as quickly as possible and judge only by visual impression. Agree, what does the average user care about the technical characteristics of the matrix, such as the time it takes for each pixel to switch from black to white, and then back? The main thing is that it should be “beautiful”, that a good picture pleases with itself.The MacBook Pro has it. Literally in the process of writing these very lines, I read one of the posts in LiveJournal, where a user asked the Apple community for help in choosing between a Mac Pro (these are professional desktop computers) and a MacBook Pro for serious graphics work. The main number of votes, of course, was given to the desktop version with a separate expensive display, “sharpened” for the correct display of all the subtleties of printed layouts, but a lot of words were also expressed in support of the MacBook Pro. At the same time, they sounded just from people employed in similar areas. Of course, I can’t, and don’t want to, recommend the MacBook Pro for this or that job, but from a purely consumer point of view, its display is great for watching videos, and playing games, and surfing the web, and what has attitude to me personally, for long sitting in text editors.

Obviously, there is no point in describing the operating system, everything has been said here for a long time. I send those who are interested to my own “notes about the leopard”, links to the materials are at the bottom of the page.

Impressions, games

In this section, I decided to collect feedback on the sensations of working on a laptop in general, it makes little sense to break them into small pieces.

Strange as it may seem, I really liked the built-in speakers of the MacBook Pro when I came in with a pure New Laptop HP EliteBook 840 G5 8GB Intel Core I5 ​​SSD 256GB technical edge. I fully admit that many modern laptops have them not only no worse, but even better. Only in my personal practice, the MacBook Pro is the second laptop on which you can easily watch movies without connecting it to an external audio system. The “test”, if you can call it that, the MacBook Pro passed on the recently appeared branded Russian edition of one of the best films of the outgoing year, Transformers. The film track contains a lot of relatively quiet dialogue, along with a lot of explosions, screams, gunshots, metal scraping and servo whirring. The MacBook Pro coped with the task perfectly, all the nuances of the sound were adequately reflected, of course, with a discount on the design of the speakers, but even in this case the sound was very decent. Only Toshiba Qosmio with built-in speakers and a Harman/Kardon subwoofer “sounded” better than it, but there, obviously, special attention was paid to this.

If you enter with a clean New Laptop HP EliteBook 840 G5 8GB Intel Core I5 ​​SSD 256GB New Laptop HP EliteBook 840 G5 8GB Intel Core I5 ​​SSD 256GB technical edge, I, oddly enough, really liked the built-in speakers of the MacBook Pro. I fully admit that many modern laptops have them not only no worse, but even better. Only in my personal practice, the MacBook Pro is the second laptop on which you can easily watch movies without connecting it to an external audio system. The “test”, if you can call it that, the MacBook Pro passed on the recently appeared branded Russian edition of one of the best films of the outgoing year, Transformers. The film track contains a lot of relatively quiet dialogue, along with a lot of explosions, screams, gunshots, metal scraping and servo whirring. The MacBook Pro coped with the task perfectly, all the nuances of the sound were adequately reflected, of course, with a discount on the design of the speakers, but even in this case the sound was very decent. Only Toshiba Qosmio with built-in speakers and a Harman/Kardon subwoofer “sounded” better than it, but there, obviously, special attention was paid to this.

There are a few words for the built-in DVD drive of the device. In terms of its capabilities and speed characteristics, it fully corresponds to today's realities, there is no surprise in this. On the other hand, the process of loading a disc into the drive is rather controversial in terms of the impression it makes. He, like many things in this device, can both please and cause bewilderment or even discontent. The fact is that the drive has a slotted loading. On the one hand, this negates the possibility of accidental damage to the drive, as sometimes happens with drawers of other models. On the other hand, the drive “chews” discs with a strange buzzing-crunchy sound, which causes, albeit unfounded, concerns about its reliability. In addition, for example, I often come across mini-CDs: Asian companies often complete their players with them, burning a couple of programs and documentation on the disc. It is highly not recommended to insert such discs into the MacBook Pro drive, unless, of course, you want to shake them out and pick them out for a long time, risking damage to the device.

Special attention should definitely be paid to the ability of the MacBook Pro to work with graphics. More precisely, with 3D graphics, and to be completely honest, when I received the device for testing, I immediately noticed the presence of the GeForce 8600M GT and was looking forward to the moment when they (the card and graphics) would be tested properly. Here you need to make a digression. The fact is that the only 3D game that I really (that is, at least for more than a couple of hours) played on a laptop was the unforgettable and well-known Quake III Arena. I have repeatedly informed readers that my own laptop, a faithful comrade, is, frankly, rather weak and suitable only for working with texts and the network. But it is easy to carry it with you always and everywhere, as I, in fact, do. And in light of the fact that today computer games have reached a very exciting level in terms of graphics, I no, no, and I wanted to play something like that. Of course, I successfully hid this desire under a mask of indifference, but, to be honest, I secretly even envied Serezha Kuzmin a little, who regularly and skillfully shoots all sorts of three-dimensional computer enemies on his laptop.

My first thoughts about using the laptop I received for work purposes for other purposes arose in the address of a regular MacBook (see "notes of a migrant"). And for this purpose, I even got a disc with the game Doom 3 (surprisingly, there were no branded ones anywhere, I had to bow to the pirates). Unfortunately, I mercilessly overestimated the capabilities of the Intel GMA950 video adapter. Of course, it turned out to look at the game with one eye, but it was impossible to play it comfortably.

And then I get at my temporary disposal a device with two gigabytes of memory, a powerful processor and a modern video card, better than in many desktop devices. Hands reached the games, of course, after the two parts of the "notes about the leopard" were already left behind, but still they did. And they immediately realized that the amazing, as they say, is nearby. I can’t speak for our entire large country, but in Moscow Apple computers have recently been sold quite actively. Shops appear, tons of accessories are imported. But there are no games for Macintosh. Not at all. I spent about an hour looking through the offers of stores on the network, then the same amount of time I called all the more or less large companies. Re:Store has three or four older games and that's it. There are no new ones anywhere. I will make a reservation: we are talking about legal, branded products. I wanted to get some brand new game, how to “drive” it on a Macbook, and then give it to one of my “macbook” friends or leave it until the moment when I can afford both PC and Mac technology. Unfortunately, nothing came of it.I had already decided to fall into a text rampage, when the valiant employees of the Apple Press Office and Apple IMC Russia came to the rescue. The help turned out to be extremely simple, but very effective: I was given a link to a small section hidden in the wilds of the official Apple website. It lists games that have been released for Macintosh, and many of them have demo versions that are more or less enjoyable to play. I opted for Colin McRae Rally Mac. In order not to spread my thoughts along the tree, I report: at full display resolution of 1440x900 pixels, with maximum settings and full-screen anti-aliasing, the game “flies with a whistle”. The process "for fresh yeast" is so exciting that you forget about your immediate work responsibilities.

After racing on accessible tracks, I wanted to shoot someone (virtually, of course), and then the America's Army game caught my eye. As far as I know, it was created by order of the US Department of Defense and its purpose is to improve the image of the military in the eyes of the civilian population. The game has appeared quite recently, and the graphics are quite decent. Most importantly, the full version of the game is free. So for those who want to properly master the weapons and methods of warfare of a potential enemy (just kidding), as well as play modern action on their Macintosh without ordering game discs “over the hill”, I can recommend America's Army. The graphics in the game are excellent, perhaps in my not very sophisticated look. In any case, on the MacBook Pro the game behaves without any lag, as it should be. Moreover, I have an idea that a regular MacBook will also pull it, just set the settings simpler.

This is the story about the MacBook Pro. By no means does it pretend to be an exhaustive review; rather, it can be attributed to the same genre as my “notes”, that is, to user observations, presented, I hope, in an understandable language. Over time, we will develop a new strategy for testing laptops and we will definitely write about the most interesting models.

Initially, I still planned to give some figures on the performance of the device, measurements of the time it took to transcode video and process heavy files in Photoshop. However, in the end, I still decided to leave these boring activities to journalists of specialized publications. In the end, I’m not lying if I say that everything works very quickly on the MacBook Pro, just like on any modern computer. Nevertheless, a device with serious characteristics and an even more serious price is simply obliged to work quickly, please the eyes, hands and family members. The MacBook Pro performs all these tasks well, which, as they say, was to be proven.

When trying to remember the roughness and problems, only a “crunchy” DVD drive came to mind, and the high price of the laptop itself and accessories like a branded “mouse”. Otherwise, the MacBook Pro looks like a serious and expensive laptop for business and entertainment, fanned by the flair of the manufacturer and proudly carrying the famous bitten apple on the top cover.

The Moscow retail price for a MacBook Pro MA896 with a 15.4-inch display today is about 90 thousand rubles. Its high level, I think, is due, in addition to high prices for Apple products in Russia in general, also due to the “freshness” of the model. We can only hope for a tangible decline after the New Year.