Unibody MacBook Pro 13.3" - My Impressions

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Unibody MacBook Pro 13.3" - My Impressions

Postposted on Tue Jun 30, 2009 11:43 am

So I sold my 15" old style MacBook Pro. For one it ran super hot, roasting my lap, and it was little too big for lap computing and bedtime use. I just picked up the 13.3" MacBook Pro. I also sold my wife's late 2006 white plastic Macbook and got her the same MBP. A few observations...

- The Unibody design is top notch. Very slick. Connections are now all on one side of the laptop. There is no denying the quality

- The thing is dead quite. Even after an hour long play session of UT2004, no noise at all

- LIGHT and THIN

- Screen. Some people hate the glassy/glossy but it's very nice. I like that look. The brightness transitions are smooth now, versus being able to notice the "step" of each brightness increase or decrease. Overall screen clarity is excellent.

- Multi-Touch and "no button" pad. The hand gestures are great. Double tap for right click, three fingers to go forward or back, and 4 fingers for Expose access are all great and make it very easy to navigate when the mouse is not connected.

- It's subtle, but the optical drive no longer makes a sound seeking a disk when waking or powering up. Before, the Mac would always make a "DAH UH AH NAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA UA UA!" noise.

- Lighted keyboard and feel. Coming from the MBP already this was a feature, but my wife is pleasantly surprised to have this. The keys are very easy on the fingers, and I find that I can type very fast.

- 9400M performance is decent. I do all my gaming on the 360/PS3/Wii these days, but I still play some oldies such as UT2004 and Jedi Academy and they play perfectly. They should considering how old they are. :)

- Battery Life. WOW. Yeah yeah it's not user replaceable but in my first week I am getting about 6:45 with web browsing, working on docs, etc. The MBP would last about 4:15 on a full charge so I am obviously VERY happy about this one.

Overall I am quite pleased with the Unibody MBP. I like the fact that they brought the Pro features down to the 13" model. I know 13" might be too small for some but some but for my use it works out great. Anyone else pick one of these up?
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Re: Unibody MacBook Pro 13.3" - My Impressions

Postposted on Wed Jul 01, 2009 2:15 am

Thanks for sharing! The unibody MacBook Pros are solid machines. I have a 15" unibody MBP and love it. It feels a lot tougher than my old rev. a MBP (runs a lot quieter, cooler, and faster too).

The only thing I'm not too happy about with the newest MBPs is the battery. But, it looks like they are performing like champs, so who am I to stand up to Steve? :D (Although, I am happy with my user-replaceable battery in my 15" ubibody MBP!)
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Re: Unibody MacBook Pro 13.3" - My Impressions

Postposted on Wed Jul 01, 2009 3:49 am

Err 6:45? You're some how managing more than two hours what most reviews are reporting in battery life? I highly doubt you would get an actual near 7 hours of use out of the system. The indications can be very misleading.
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Re: Unibody MacBook Pro 13.3" - My Impressions

Postposted on Wed Jul 01, 2009 4:24 am

Skrying wrote:Err 6:45? You're some how managing more than two hours what most reviews are reporting in battery life? I highly doubt you would get an actual near 7 hours of use out of the system. The indications can be very misleading.


um, durrrr?

Just picking a website at random, anandtech reports 8 hours with web browsing.

Seven hour battery life is what is luring many away from pc notebooks.
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Re: Unibody MacBook Pro 13.3" - My Impressions

Postposted on Wed Jul 01, 2009 6:03 am

Skrying wrote:Err 6:45? You're some how managing more than two hours what most reviews are reporting in battery life? I highly doubt you would get an actual near 7 hours of use out of the system. The indications can be very misleading.

Can I see these "most reviews"? The only reviews I trust are my own experiences!
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Re: Unibody MacBook Pro 13.3" - My Impressions

Postposted on Wed Jul 01, 2009 6:12 am

PerfectCr wrote: The only reviews I trust are my own experiences!


And because of that I want to find a buyer for my pristine 17" MBP and upgrade, Damn you PerfectCr!
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Re: Unibody MacBook Pro 13.3" - My Impressions

Postposted on Wed Jul 01, 2009 7:20 am

tanker27 wrote:
PerfectCr wrote: The only reviews I trust are my own experiences!


And because of that I want to find a buyer for my pristine 17" MBP and upgrade, Damn you PerfectCr!

Unfortunately I had to settle for eBay but I managed to get a good buyer.
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Re: Unibody MacBook Pro 13.3" - My Impressions

Postposted on Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:19 pm

I picked up one of these about a week ago, and I feel the exact same way about everything. This is my first mac (and laptop) I have ever owned.

Thanks to the student discount, rebates, and making the trip to no sales tax Delaware...the mac was reasonably priced. (After selling the free ipod touch and printer, I will have spent roughly $1000 for the macbook pro 13", apple remote, VGA adapter, iwork, and mobile me)

I am planning on getting InDesign/Photoshop on this thing and seeing what it can do. I have a 24 inch external monitor I can hook up to it when I am home, so screen size won't be an issue.

I am by no means a fanboy, but Apple sure does know how to make a sale. I bought everything at a Retail Store and the man who helped me had to be over 75 with tattoos, a handlebar mustache, white striped fedora hat, and spoke broken enlgish. Apple's broad hiring process ensures that a non-technical person can be helped with someone and still feel comfortable. It beats that technology guy at Best Buy.

I wanted to comment on their rebate process. I have completed dozens in my life and Apple's by far were the easiest. It took roughly 1 minute from start to finish and there was not cutting and mailing. I only have to wait 30 days as well instead of 3-4 weeks for a company to recognize I sent it in and 8-10 weeks after that to receive a check.

I never thought multitouch was anything special, but boy is it a nice time saver. I even find myself a week later annoyed with my parent's laptop and not being able to do a two finger scroll.

Battery life is incredible too. At night I turned down the screen brightness once notch above off and the backlit keyboard on, I was given over 8 hours of estimated battery life. Even though that is unrealistic, even half of that is good enough for me.

PerfectCR, you have probably used this, but I found Battery Health Monitor to be what I have always wanted with battery-operated electronics. It lists initial and current capacity as well as the current voltage. It is a great tool to see how much energy your laptop really has instead of an arbitrary percentage.

I am slowly coming around to OS X, and Snow Leopard might just make me switch to the macbook Pro as my primary computer from the desktop.

Now to save up for a $300 Photoshop/InDesign package, 4GB of DDR3 memory and an upgrade to my 160GB hard drive.
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Re: Unibody MacBook Pro 13.3" - My Impressions

Postposted on Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:28 pm

PerfectCr wrote:Can I see these "most reviews"? The only reviews I trust are my own experiences!


Engadget's review gave the 13" model a range on average of 4 to 5 hours of real use. They even discussed in in their podcast at how completely unrealistic some sites are being. Anandtech's results come from using a script which is about as useless as a test can be. No one uses their laptop like that. It's quite clear that the battery inside the new MacBook's is very good for its size and weight but it isn't 8 hours good or even 7 hours good. It's probably more like five to six hours good with moderate use. Sites that rely on a script (the big lazy ones...) are hardly worth trusting in such a department. The Anandtech article is like reading an ad, he dropped superlatives everywhere. Maybe I'm just annoyed that posts like this turn into pat each other on the back sessions than actual looks at the product you bought.
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Re: Unibody MacBook Pro 13.3" - My Impressions

Postposted on Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:32 pm

themattman wrote:PerfectCR, you have probably used this, but I found Battery Health Monitor to be what I have always wanted with battery-operated electronics. It lists initial and current capacity as well as the current voltage. It is a great tool to see how much energy your laptop really has instead of an arbitrary percentage.

Cool, but it looks a bit old. Has it been updated recently? Also, iStat Pro also give Battery Health stats :)
Skrying wrote:
PerfectCr wrote:Can I see these "most reviews"? The only reviews I trust are my own experiences!


Engadget's review gave the 13" model a range on average of 4 to 5 hours of real use. They even discussed in in their podcast at how completely unrealistic some sites are being. Anandtech's results come from using a script which is about as useless as a test can be. No one uses their laptop like that. It's quite clear that the battery inside the new MacBook's is very good for its size and weight but it isn't 8 hours good or even 7 hours good. It's probably more like five to six hours good with moderate use. Sites that rely on a script (the big lazy ones...) are hardly worth trusting in such a department. The Anandtech article is like reading an ad, he dropped superlatives everywhere. Maybe I'm just annoyed that posts like this turn into pat each other on the back sessions than actual looks at the product you bought.

Well obviously it depends on individual use. If I sit here and play games it's going to last 2 hours. If I surf the web and do light work it's going to last 6 or more. So really each test is different. Your point?
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Re: Unibody MacBook Pro 13.3" - My Impressions

Postposted on Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:35 pm

PerfectCr wrote:Well obviously it depends on individual use. If I sit here and play games it's going to last 2 hours. If I surf the web and do light work it's going to last 6 or more. So really each test is different. Your point?


Clearly we're talking about web browsing and general use, not gaming. My point is that if you're going to discuss something and claim it as a benefit of the product than provide a real indication of what you're getting. 7 hours of battery life reported from the tray icon is nothing but misleading.
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Re: Unibody MacBook Pro 13.3" - My Impressions

Postposted on Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:37 pm

Skrying wrote:
PerfectCr wrote:Well obviously it depends on individual use. If I sit here and play games it's going to last 2 hours. If I surf the web and do light work it's going to last 6 or more. So really each test is different. Your point?


Clearly we're talking about web browsing and general use, not gaming. My point is that if you're going to discuss something and claim it as a benefit of the product than provide a real indication of what you're getting. 7 hours of battery life reported from the tray icon is nothing but misleading.
Ok, but I've personally used the battery for almost an entire day's work. (working from home). Why are you so bent on this again?
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Re: Unibody MacBook Pro 13.3" - My Impressions

Postposted on Wed Jul 01, 2009 2:40 pm

Skrying wrote:Clearly we're talking about web browsing and general use, not gaming. My point is that if you're going to discuss something and claim it as a benefit of the product than provide a real indication of what you're getting. 7 hours of battery life reported from the tray icon is nothing but misleading.


Whats so misleading?

PerfectCr stated: in my first week I am getting about 6:45 with web browsing, working on docs, etc.

I take that for what it is, which is exactly what he states.

Only a moron would infer that: "If I game on this using the wireless with a bluetooth headset, I will get 6:45 hours of battery life." :roll: Now you could have politely asked, "Hey PerfectCr for comparison could you tell us the battery life if you gamed on it over the wireless and used a bluetooth headset." This would have been a better approach instead of coming off like an asshat about it.
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Re: Unibody MacBook Pro 13.3" - My Impressions

Postposted on Wed Jul 01, 2009 3:42 pm

If I was going to make an impression thread I would give a thorough impression, a review of sorts really. Otherwise it just seems like "look at what I bought!" or in the Apple world "look at what Apple product they have blessed us with!"
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Re: Unibody MacBook Pro 13.3" - My Impressions

Postposted on Wed Jul 01, 2009 3:53 pm

At first I thought you might have misread something, but now you're just trolling.
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Re: Unibody MacBook Pro 13.3" - My Impressions

Postposted on Wed Jul 01, 2009 4:17 pm

themattman wrote:I am by no means a fanboy, but Apple sure does know how to make a sale. I bought everything at a Retail Store and the man who helped me had to be over 75 with tattoos, a handlebar mustache, white striped fedora hat, and spoke broken enlgish. Apple's broad hiring process ensures that a non-technical person can be helped with someone and still feel comfortable. It beats that technology guy at Best Buy.


I beg to differ. Imho, there aren't much more unpleasant things in the world than an salesman of technical things that doesn't know anything about them. This is especially true for cars. I believe if you don't know the detailed specs you don't deserve to be there in the first place.

That aside, I have the previous gen aluminum Macbook (2.4GHz) and it's groovy. It's also the first computer I ever bought brand new. Of course I didn't pay retail price for it and it's unlikely I ever would. The machine is beautiful but the keyboard leaves much to be desired imho. The white Macbooks keyboard is better since the keys sit as well as the palmrest sit higher and keys have more travel.
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Re: Unibody MacBook Pro 13.3" - My Impressions

Postposted on Wed Jul 01, 2009 4:29 pm

Skrying wrote:If I was going to make an impression thread I would give a thorough impression, a review of sorts really.

Well, good for you! Here's a cookie!
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Re: Unibody MacBook Pro 13.3" - My Impressions

Postposted on Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:13 pm

PerfectCr wrote: I know 13" might be too small for some but some but for my use it works out great.


I'm perfectly with you on that. I love the mobility that 12-13in laptops afford, and will willingly sacrifice pure performance for portability and battery life.

I have a thinkpad X300, and I've read a lot of favorable things about the new T400s (14 in screen, 3.8 lbs (!)), but it is a good $400 more expensive than the 13in MBP, which it is closest to in weight (4.5 lbs).

It seems OSX is superior to Windows (any flavour) for mobile computing, especially with battery life, but for my computing needs, OSX is not a good fit. I can get 4.5 hrs wifi and browsing on my X300, but that's not a patch on the new MBPs.

Congratulations on your purchase!
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Re: Unibody MacBook Pro 13.3" - My Impressions

Postposted on Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:47 pm

That cookie looks delicious, got one more back there? :D

Congrats on the purchase PerfectCr. How was the downsize in screen resolution for you? I want to upgrade my 2007 15" MBP and i would love to get a 13" 2.53ghz MBP but i would have a hard time adjust to the loss in screen real estate. *Cross fingers on Apple bumping the 13" and 15" Screen resolution next upgrade*
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Re: Unibody MacBook Pro 13.3" - My Impressions

Postposted on Wed Jul 01, 2009 10:21 pm

Jive wrote:That cookie looks delicious, got one more back there? :D

Congrats on the purchase PerfectCr. How was the downsize in screen resolution for you? I want to upgrade my 2007 15" MBP and i would love to get a 13" 2.53ghz MBP but i would have a hard time adjust to the loss in screen real estate. *Cross fingers on Apple bumping the 13" and 15" Screen resolution next upgrade*
No, I actually don't mind the decrease in resoultion, it's really not too great anyway going from 1440 to 1280. Increased res would be nice but certainly not a showstopper for me. :)
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