Macintosh, Is a word that epitomises the best in personal computing hardware as well as software! Fondly referred to as Mac, the products are designed with consumer usability at the core. Apple sent us their MacBook Pro, and I was more than delighted to test it. Here's what I learnt about the MacBook Pro over the past month
Compared to earlier versions, the new MacBooks come in a nice, sleek box. Open the box and the immaculate packaging grabs your attention; every component fits snugly in the box. In my opinion this very attitude of paying attention to minute details is what makes Apple different from other manufacturers. Within minutes the notebook was up and ready!
The Mac OSX interface is sleek, but with eight years of Windows usage under the belt, my fingers seem hard-wired for Windows shortcuts. Mac OSX prefers the 'Command' key over [Ctrl]. I still make a few errors, but the interface is intuitive enough to get the hang of.
Though Apple is generally known for great design, when it comes to the MacBook Pro, Apple really needs to re-look at heating issues. This is one laptop you don't want to keep on your lap-sure, the complete alloy body provides the MacBook with killer looks, but it also causes massive heat retention.
The MacBook Pro that we got had some serious hardware: a 2 GHz Core Duo processor, 1 GB of RAM, 100 GB hard drive, X1600 graphics card, etc. Somehow, the current Intel processor-based machines feel more responsive as compared to the older Power PC-based ones. I opened every possible application simultaneously, and the MacBook Pro never dragged its feet. It's nice to have a laptop that boots up in 30 seconds flat.
The OS is a gem. Eye candy apart, the interface consists of a single menu bar called the 'Finder', a ribbon of icons at the bottom called the 'dock' and the super cool 'Desktop'-everything can be controlled from here. Being UNIX-based; command line fans do get to use a 'Terminal', a pretty-looking one of course!
I just realised the sheer amount of applications bundled with the OS. Compared to Windows XP, out of the box, Mac OSX sure is very user ready. iLife '06-a suite of digital applications for photos, movies, music, Web content, etc.-is a good software bundle to start off with. 'Front Row' provides media centric capabilities via the bundled remote, and the new MacBook Pro comes with an inbuilt Web camera that just rocks! The inbuilt speakers, however, are just too tinny.
To test the wireless capability, I connected to my Netgear router. The network was instantly recognized, and I was surfing the Internet within minutes. The network connection speeds are decent, as is the range. I also had no trouble getting the MacBook Pro to communicate with my Nokia E61, via Bluetooth. I have to say that the Bluetooth browser on the Mac made browsing my phone effortless.
I've found that apart from heating up, the notebook also suffers in terms of battery life. I was lucky to get two hours of juice, and that too with Wi-Fi turned off!
With Wi-Fi on, the battery life is just pathetic.
I found myself asking whether I would convert to Apple's religion? Maybe! If I do it, it will not be for the eye candy, which is what Vista will offer me anyway. What I love most about Apple products is the attention to detail, with regards to hardware and the OS, and also the out of the box usability.