Posted By andrew603

Apple’s 2011 MacBook Pro Refresh: I am Disappointed!

I currently have a, now aging, First Generation Style, Core 2 Duo, 15inch MacBook Pro, and expect my next laptop to be in that same area as far as size goes. I also use Boot Camp with Windows 7, lately, more often than OSX.

I have been anxiously waiting to see what Apple was going to do with the move to Intel’s new Sandy Bridge mobile hardware.  I was also hopeful for an NVIDIA GTX400M series GPU, preferably the GTX460M.  At the time, I knew my GPU expectations were likely too high.

Well the time is here, and Apple has updated the MacBook Pro product line…

Having now looked over the specs of the latest refresh of the MacBook Pro for 2011, I have to say, it’s quite a disappointing sight to see!  Now keep in mind, I only care about the 15 inch model.  I was really hoping they would get with the times on some key issues.  At least, they are key issues to me:

Issue 1:  Poor “High Res” Screen Resolution option of 1680×1050

No 1920×1080 option?  Any noteworthy 15inch laptop in the “PC” market for the same price, has a “Full HD” (1920×1080) screen as an option, or even standard.  This is inexcusable!

Issue 2:  Graphics Performance

They switched to AMD; and I don’t buy anything with an AMD logo on it.  It’s that simple, personal reasons.  Every time I have ever bought an AMD product, it has failed me miserably.  If it was still ATI branded, I would maybe consider it.  I know it sounds stupid but hey, it’s my choice.  Oh, and from what I’m seeing, the NVIDIA mobile GPU’s are still faster.

Issue 3:  Blu-Ray, where is it?

Again, any noteworthy “PC” laptop has a Blu-Ray option, even Blu-Ray WRITERS!  This also ties into the 1920×1080 resolution requirement of mine.  Remember, the native resolution of “Full HD” Blu-Ray content is 1920×1080.

Issue 4:  The Mac Tax is bad this time around!

I spec’ed out two laptops today:  a 15inch MacBook Pro and a  15.6inch laptop made by Sager (a leader in high-end “PC” laptops), the NP8150.  See Below:

Apple 15″ MacBook Pro Specs
2.3GHZ Core i7  CPU 2nd Gen. “Sandy Bridge”
8gb RAM
AMD Radeon 6750M GPU
500GB 7200rpm unknown HDD
15 Inch Screen (1680×1050)
DVD,CD – Reader/Writer 

Price: $2,749

Sager 15.6″ NP8150 Specs
2.3GHZ Core i7 CPU 2nd Gen. “Sandy Bridge”
500GB Seagate Momentus XT Hybrid HDD
15.6 Inch Screen (1920×1080)
Blu-Ray,DVD,CD – Reader/Writer 

Price: $2,672

Price and Specifications shown as listed on respective vendors on: 3/2/2011


Seems pretty clear, for basically the same price, you get a lot more computer by going with the “PC” this time around.  The GTX485M, Seagate’s Hybrid HDD, and Blu-Ray really make that machine the winner in the entertainment category.  That’s a bit disappointing, because I have liked my MacBook Pro and OSX, but for this much performance difference (at least from my perspective) the Mac is just not worth the extra cash.

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