"Nice Mac ..not quite 7 hours battery life"4.5 starson by logdrum
Pros: It's a Mac. Even the entry level has plenty of good specs for the next 3-4 years. A lot of apps included to get a lot of things done
Cons: The warranty needs to be better
Summary: I have been using Macs for almost 3 decades now. My first Mac in a Box - the SE had a 20 MB HD and I paid as much as a new MacBook pro but that was way back then, . I have to say that aside from work issued or loaned Mac notebooks my last mac notebook that I perosnally owned was the G3 "Wall Street" laptop. It still boots the first OSX and I got that in 1999. So this year I am glad to have 2 MacBook pro's i7 with the thunderbolt IO interface. I have the 2.2 and 2.0 GHz versions with 8G and 4G memory. I'd like to contrain my summary to the 2.0 GHc version since the other one was given to me and haven't really played with it yet. It is a really capable speced laptop. I was going to get a Lenovo but when I price a T520 with the same CPU. memory HD the price was the same. With the Mac 40 backs more. But then by the time you add a music software, video and DVD software plyus a Virus scan, the Mac was actually cheaper.
My wife is the one primarily using this laptop although I plan to teach my son some programming with it too. The only thing that I noticed is this thing still runs kind of Warm and the aluminum body amplifies that. However I know that could be good for the machine as aluminum conducts heat really well
Yes it is costly but since personally we go through a 4-5 year refresh cycle, I figure that 1700 is not bad over the next 4 years with maybe a RAM and HD update of around 400 if that. My wife shoots in RAW instead of JPEG and uses Adobe Lightroom and it performs quite well. Video editing is easy too. I am using Codeweavers Cross Over for Windows applications and games plus VM Ware Fusion for a Windows and Linux if needed (My wife uses Light Zone for Linux for black and white work). I figured that time is money eventually so the 400 or 500 I may have saved by buying a Windows laptop that is good enough may eventually cost us more in the long run
Since I get discount from my work which also manufacures SSD drives, when the internal sale is offered. I will probably spec both laptops with SSD. After using SSDs for 2 years now I really do not want to go back to spinning platters.
Now I get less questions from my wife about IT type things, backup, searching for lost files etc, even web page updates. With the time machine setup it is all good. All she does is back using time machine when she goes to bed. Then once I week I copy the external drive to another drive and store it a her mothers and swap them every week or so.
Of course you get that Starbucks badge of honor displaying your Mac next time you sip your latte and suddenly your kid looks like you send them to private schools as they browse the net with your MacBook pro. I do abhor that image. They have their flaws if you want to get geeky. But as a photographer my wife really likes this machine and she gets uses it and gets work done that make money. The 500 to 1K premium of a Mac is worth the price of the ease of use or rather the time save dealing with some windows issues (even though windows 7 is alright now except for the once in a while blue screen). And for some that is even a bargain. I think Macbooks makes no sense if you don't use it for what it is built for. For that they made the iPad. I am hoping this baby last a while. My intel MacMini is still running since I got it in 2006 and good enough for browsing, video watching, netflix and some Flash games and even some development work (Android apps and QT). I am looking forward doing this on my other Mac plus some of the photo and video work.