Apple MacBook Pro 15″ 2 GHz Core i7

apple-macbook-pro-15-2-ghz-core-i7

Power and stability on a 15 inch laptop

One of the latest products launched by Apple is the new version of its 15 inch notebook. This model is pleasant and extremely fast. It’s the first time Apple chose a quad core processor for a notebook.

Expectations

This is the second time Apple continues to follow the latest updates of Intel processors. This time the popular producer offer consumers a powerful version of its notebooks – the 15 inch one. The Cupertino platform used here has evolve even more. The processors are more than powerful (quad cores) and the new graphics cards involved are some of the best ever created. One new features were introduced: the interface input / output called Thunderbolt Intel, with promising potential. But it is impossible to judge it just now, because we still not don’t have the peripherals. Apple is ahead of competition with attractive performance, power, graphics rendering and speed. But how does the device behave in tests ? Let’s see the review !

Reality

apple-macbook-pro-15-2-ghz-core-i7The latest MacBook Pro 15-inch (15.4 inch in fact), weighing just 2.54 kg, has a resolution of 1440 x 900 pixels. The design is called Unibody and the aluminum finish seems to be the perfect compromise for a product which is a cross between your usual netbook and one with a 17 inch display. If you want to see how it acts in reality, you must read our review.

Good ergonomics, as usual

For starters, we are interested in the ergonomics of the new MacBook Pro 15 inch. The glossy aspect of the series is the only weak point we could find. However, to change that, it’s enough to modify the brightness panel backlit by LEDs a little bit. And you’ll suffer no more disturbing light reflections for your eyes.
A very good point is the backlit keyboard. It is a real pleasure to use, both in terms of comfortable typing and readability if you have very low light in your room. We have no complaint to make about that. The touchpad of the notebook is very broad and is particularly useful in Mac OS X. You have the ability to easily scroll or zoom in on images you like.
If you look at connectivity, you must know that the notebook has only two USB 2.0 ports. We are a little bit disappointed because of that. However, instead of another USB port we found the Thunderbolt Part connector. This new standard will serve mainly for when you wish to connect displays with a Mini DisplayPort to DVI or HDMI. This feature seems to be a little bit frustrating to have because it is only revolutionary in theory.

Quad Core i7 processor from Intel

It’s the first time in the history of Apple notebooks when the processor selected (a Core i7 with Sandy Bridge architecture running at 2 GHz) has 4 cores (quad core). The Cupertino company has already announced a better performance. Two times better, actually. In fact, we tested and compared this version to the previous 15-inch (Dual Core i7 processor at 2.6 GHz) and we used different applications during tests. The result was that the performance became better by with 1.5, not by the advertised 2 times. Anyway, this almost doubling in performance registers at the level of the built-in operating system (compressed archives). Running a few applications (like PhotoShop CS5) seemed to have had heavy positive effects. It’s the same result for calculations for 2D and 3D renderings with 3D StudioMax, for example.
After that we wanted to know more about the hard drive and the transfer rates allowed by the disk. The disk used by default had a 500 GB capacity at 5400 rpm. It was quite good, but you can choose a faster hard drive with 7200 rpm or an SSD disk if you have enough money to buy one.

Dedicated Radeon video graphics

Compared to the two 13-inch models offered by the Intel Graphics HD 3000, the 15 inch model has a dedicated Radeon video card. For this model Apple has developed a proprietary technology, already present in previous models equipped with an Nvidia card. They are able to perform switches from one chip to another depending on the needs of applications used. This way you can save battery life when you are working on an office task and you don’t need a lot of resources. So you will have power just when you need. The power of the video card is entrusted to a Radeon HD 6490 with 256 MB of video memory. In the test, its performance was not weak, but not impressive either. This model of video card is far superior to all previous models, but still far away from the performance announced by Apple in its press release.
Another thing: you can use a multiplier which achieve better quality. Though more regularly with the graphics card (AMD Radeon HD 6750 with 1GB of dedicated memory) of the 15-inch model. This version is more expensive, costing 400 euros.
This version costs 1749 Euros. However, if you don’t use the HD editor very often or you are not addicted to games which need a lot of resources, this entry level 15 inch version will not fail to satisfy you.
The autonomy is relatively good, with about 4 h and 40 minutes in our tests. We said that because this amount of time was achieved when the video card was used at medium level. That didn’t empty the battery very fast. The Apple MacBook Pro 15″ should be on top of the best 15 inch laptops.

Review conclusion

You must know that the first MacBook Pro 15-inch costs about 1749 euros. It has less in terms of configuration than its brother (that has a price of 2149 euros). But this is the only difference between these two configurations. Our conclusion is that the MacBook Pro 15″ 2 GHz Core i7 made by Apple is a perfect choice for those who want to have a choice between the portability of 13 inches notebooks and the high cost and weight of 17 inches models.

Technical specifications

Display Size15.4 inch
Remote ControlNo
Number of CPU Cores (s)2
Clock Speed in MHz2660
BluetoothYes
Fingerprint readerNo
FirewireYes
ResolutionWXGA +
CPUIntel
Storage MediumHard Disk Flash Memory
Processor ModelCore i7
Battery Life in Hours9
LED technologyEdge LED

  1. MacLean at 4:28 am

    Great review!

    Thanks for posting!