"Impressive though some flaws, can't yet use Thunderbolt"4.0 starson by decisivemoment
Pros: Not slowed down by multitasking; high-res antiglare display excellent and color accurate; cool running in regular use; impressive built-in speakers; multitouch truly works on trackpad; crisp keyboard; excellent wireless performance; good battery life
Cons: Heatsink not big enough, meaning computer gets hot in heavy multitasking; Apple ought to better explain L3 cache difference between 2.2 and 2.3 models; Thunderbolt won't really be useful for another year or two; could use another serial port
Summary: This is a new computer for both work and home use; primarily for research and statistical analysis. As such, versatility was a must; it had to be lightweight enough to be portable; powerful enough to be useful; and able to perform routinely as a desktop computer without the kind of overheating that kills laptop components, especially the battery.
So far, it looks very good. The display is excellent; bright, sharp and usable as a two-pager. First time I've been able to say that about a laptop display. Deep color gamut too; you can actually judge color prints decently accurately on this. I'm not seeing the severe overheating of my Early 2008 Macbook Pro in things like running movies . . . . . although it still runs much too hot with Flash in full-screen model (e.g. Netflix if run in Google Chrome - a halfway workaround is to run it in Safari which deals with full-screen Flash more efficiently). Performance on office and web stuff is great, performance on Quicktime movies sensational. So far it doesn't represent that much of an improvement for my statistical work, but that's because I have a single-processor version of the software; upgrading to dual or quad-core, which I may do on the next version, will be interesting indeed on this computer. Dual and multiprocessor applications fly, but in heavy use it gets very hot because they simply took the rather small last generation heatsink, barely modified it, and plopped it down on what is a 45-watt processor - probably the highest power processor ever in this slim of a laptop. So I would be careful before doing stuff on this that requires high multicore usage over an extended period. A few minutes of peak action is fine, but running it full blast for an hour or more on a quad-core-aware stats or video app may cause you trouble.
Also, no explanation from Apple about the difference between the 2.2 and 2.3 GHz models. Fortunately MacWorld has done some pretty detailed testing, and the answer is that multi-tasking or multi-core gets maybe a six to eight percent boost from the faster processor due to the extra cache memory, but everything else is limited by the very modest difference in processor speed and the identical nature of every other aspect of the computer.
A word of warning; Thunderbolt, even when peripherals do come out, is simply too fast for even pretty impressive RAID disk systems to take full advantage. We're not really going to see the full benefits of this system until solid state drives come down significantly in price. At that point you'll be able to add external drives that run at hundreds of megabytes a second just like the best internal SSD.
Also, would it kill Apple to add an extra serial port? I don't really care which; Thunderbolt, Firewire or USB would be useful, especially Thunderbolt as it appears as though it will work with a wide variety of other standards through adapters, or USB as just about everything already runs on it. They'd probably have to shrink the battery slightly to add the extra port on the 15, but the next processor upgrade from Intel in 8-12 months likely will use quite a bit less juice, so it might be an opportunity. Just sayin'.
Thanks for your submission!
Write a Review
|Initial Sort Order|
|Get free shipping on orders over $35.00||Yes|| |
|Amazon.com Marketplace||No|| |
|4MD Medical||No|| |
|See all prices|