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Laptops Reviews
15,669 Reviews

15in Apple MacBook Pro (summer 2009) review

£1708.02 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Apple

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

The 15in Apple MacBook Pro now comes in three varieties, all of them with 4GB of RAM - which you can double to 8GB for a massive £799 - and hard drives with between 250GB and 500GB of space, or solid-state disk drives of 128GB or 256GB.

The 15in Apple MacBook Pro now comes in three varieties, all of them with 4GB of RAM - which you can double to 8GB for a massive £799 - and hard drives with between 250GB and 500GB of space, or solid-state disk drives of 128GB or 256GB.

For £208 more, the 2.8GHz model can be ordered with a 3.06GHz chip - the first time Apple has offered a processor beyond 3GHz in a laptop. It's also an option on the 17in MacBook Pro.

For those who plan to take their laptop on the road, the 15in MacBook Pro weighs in at 2.49kg.

The most obvious change to the MacBook Pro line is the loss of the ExpressCard/34 slot. It's been replaced by an SD card slot to make transferring pictures from digital cameras easier, according to Apple officials. (You can even install Mac OS X on an SD card and use it to boot the computer, according to an Apple Knowledge Base document explaining the SD slot's use. Talk about an OS in your pocket!)

The only MacBook Pro model that retains the ExpressCard slot is the 17in one, and we wouldn't be surprised if the next generation of this model drops the slot as well. Why the change? Apple says its research shows customers are interested in more easily transferring digital pictures from their cameras. The SD slot means no fumbling for cables.

The Apple MacBook Pro slot works exactly as you'd expect. Just slide an SD card in - metal contacts side down - and an SD card icon pops up on your desktop. When we tested it, iPhoto promptly launched and quickly imported our photos. We then dragged the icon to the trash can to "eject" it, and pulled it out of the slot.

There's no spring mechanism; you just slide it in and pull it out. If you don't see an icon show up on the desktop, you may have to try again. Apple recommends inserting it with a smooth sliding motion.

Another minor change - one you'd have to look for to really notice - is that the Mini DisplayPort video port is now sandwiched between a FireWire 800 port and two USB ports. All of the ports are on the left side of the Apple MacBook Pro's case; the SuperDrive for playing and burning CDs and DVDs is on the right.

Otherwise, the new Apple MacBook Pro sports the same unibody aluminum-and-black look as before. The glass-coated one-piece trackpad/clicker button is back unchanged, and the laptop feels comfortably solid - a credit to the unibody design.

NEXT PAGE: built-in batteries >>

15in Apple MacBook Pro summer 2009 [PC] Expert Verdict »

Apple MacBook Pro MC226B/A (Mid 2009) reviews verified by Reevoo

Apple MacBook Pro MC226B/A (Mid 2009)Scores 9.6 out of 10 based on 8 reviews
2.53GHz or 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 3MB L2 cache, or 2.8GHz or 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 6MB L2 cache
1066MHz frontside bus
4GB 1066MHz DDR3 memory, up to 8GB
15.4in LED widescreen display
MagSafe power port, Gigabit Ethernet port, One FireWire 800 port, Mini DisplayPort, 2x USB 2.0 (up to 480Mbps), SD card slot, Audio line in/line out, Kensington lock
AirPort Extreme Wi-Fi wireless networking
IEEE 802.11a/b/g
Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
10/100/1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45 connector)
stereo speakers
250GB, 320GB, or 500GB 5400rpm Serial ATA hard drive, optional 320GB or 500GB 7200rpm hard drive, or 128GB or 256GB SSD
8x slot-loading SuperDrive
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

The 15in Apple MacBook Pro seems larger than it is. This is a good thing. Given that the overall design of the MacBook Pro is unchanged, the updates to the model line are evolutionary. It's the price cuts that, for Apple, border on the revolutionary. Ask Apple officials about that and they talk about wanting to "bring more value" to the laptop equation. That, Apple has done. At a time when the economy is soft, companies are squirreling away every IT panny they can, and consumers are leery of big, new purchases, they need every justification possible before plunking money down for a new computer. Price cuts, solid construction and innovative features, combined with a new OS that'll be just £19 in three months, might just do the trick.

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