My new Windows notebook is a MacBook Pro

My new Windows notebook is a MacBook Pro

Summary: I suffered one year of sleep, hibernate and boot problems with my Sony Vaio VGN-AR69GU laptop. The last time I applied a Windows Update, it caused my laptop to hang for 30 minutes while booting up, which is unacceptable for my work.

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I suffered one year of sleep, hibernate and boot problems with my Sony Vaio VGN-AR69GU laptop. The last time I applied a Windows Update, it caused my laptop to hang for 30 minutes while booting up, which is unacceptable for my work. I hoped these problems would go away once I migrated from Windows Vista to Windows 7, so I bought a new notebook to make the transition easier.

I chose to replace my 17-inch Sony Vaio laptop with a 17-inch MacBook Pro. Why did I choose the MacBook Pro over other PC notebooks like Sony or Dell?

-- I can dual-boot Windows 7 and Mac OS X on the MacBook Pro. I plan to do most of my work in Windows 7, but if Windows 7 causes problems I can still fall back on Mac OS X to work on my e-mail and other documents.

-- The MacBook Pro battery lasts about twice as long as the Sony Vaio's extended battery. I was able to run the MacBook Pro for 4 hours on Mac OS X, based on my continuous usage of HSDPA/HSPA mobile broadband. I like the battery indicator by the side of the MacBook Pro--a series of LED lights tells me how much battery power I have remaining. Charging the MacBook Pro battery is faster than on the Sony Vaio; the MacBook Pro power adapter is a lot smaller and lighter, too.

-- The MacBook Pro is very much slimmer and lighter than my Sony Vaio with the extended battery (3kg vs 4kg). I like the sturdy aluminum build and unlike most notebooks, the MacBook Pro doesn't have a fan. It's completely quiet. (Correction: There are actually 2 fans, as you can see here. But there are no vents pumping out hot air, and I can't hear the fans, so I'm still happy.)

-- The 17-inch anti-glare screen (at additional cost) is better for my eyes, compared to the glossy, reflective screens of other notebooks.

-- Other nice features I like about the MacBook Pro: The illuminated keyboard that lets me type in the dark; the powerful Nvidia graphics processor; the power cable that snaps quickly to the power port without needing to poke around.

Ordering the MacBook Pro through the Apple Web site was easy and efficient. The notebook configured with additional options and accessories was delivered in four business days, faster than my experience with Dell.

What don't I like about the MacBook Pro?

-- It's costly. Adding all the options to the 17-inch MacBook Pro (3.06Ghz Core 2 Duo CPU, 8GB RAM, 256GB solid state drive, anti-glare screen) will cost about S$6,900 (US$4,800).

-- The battery is not removable. Apple claims that the battery can be recharged up to 1,000 times, nearly three times the lifespan of typical notebook batteries. So hopefully I won't need to send my MacBook Pro to Apple for battery replacement within the next two or three years.

-- The battery doesn't last as long when running Windows, according to some reviewers. I bought an external battery in case I need to spend many hours working on Windows without a power outlet.

-- There isn't a VGA port on the MacBook Pro, you need to connect a special cable to convert the Mini DisplayPort into a VGA port. This is one crucial cable that can be easily misplaced--I keep an extra cable in my bag just in case I lose it.

-- Some keys that are standard on a PC keyboard are missing in the MacBook Pro: Backspace, Home, End, Page Up/Down, Print Screen, Insert, Menu, etc. When you use PC programs on a Mac, you need to press special key combinations, e.g. for Home you need to press Command-Left Arrow.

-- Other shortcomings with the MacBook Pro: No built-in Blu-ray drive; USB ports positioned too closely to each other and located in a single spot; Need to buy two versions of Microsoft Office (for Mac and for Windows), if you want to work on both Mac OS X and Windows.

Next week, I'll share my experience installing Windows 7 on the MacBook Pro. Meanwhile, check my Twitter feed for tips on the MacBook Pro: http://twitter.com/MisterTechBlog

Topics: Laptops, Apple, Hardware, Operating Systems, Tech Industry, Windows

Lee Lup Yuen

About Lee Lup Yuen

Lee Lup Yuen is passionate about mobile phones and PDAs, as he is constantly buying new gadgets and programming them in J2ME, .NET, Symbian and AppForge.
He has developed commercial applications with mobile technologies like SMS, MMS, WAP, 3G video streaming and location-based services.

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8 comments
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  • My new Windows notebook is a MacBook Pro

    I just did essentially the same thing, and Win7 64-bit is running happily on my MacBook without problems. Win7 actually did much better than OS X at recognizing my network and attached printers, etc.. When it first came up and I signed it in to my wireless router, everything was immediately available. That wasn't the case with OS X, which couldn't see either of my printers and was completely uninformative about how to fix the issue.

    Trackpad ergonomics could use a bit of work. The MacBook trackpad requires a physical click which takes a lot of pressure. It got quite painful after an hour or two. Other than that, there's not much to complain about. The USB issue you noted can be problematic, but I've been able to work around it so far.

    Double-touch to scroll is a very nice feature, although I'd like to see it configurable. It's a mite too sensitive and I'm still getting used to it.
    anonymous
  • RE: My new Windows notebook is a MacBook Pro

    Hi Alan: I'm happy to hear about your positive experience with Win7 on the MacBook Pro. I sure hope running Win7 on my MacBook Pro will be a real pleasure :-)
    lupyuen
  • My new Windows notebook is a MacBook Pro

    "the MacBook Pro doesn't have a fan. It's completely quiet. "
    I hate to disappoint you, but the MBP does have a fan. It has two in fact, one on the CPU and one on the graphics. When they run at their maximum of 6000rpm, you WILL hear them. Loudly. :)

    Fortunately, Apple has decided to program these fans in favor of quietness, instead of maximum cooling, so most of the time you will not hear them at all.

    As for running Windows on a MBP, it runs well and it runs fast. But not all the drivers are as good as they should be and you cannot use the integrated 9400M graphics; you are forced to use the 9600M GT. This is fine, but it does run hotter and does drain the battery quicker.

    As for Windows/OSX, I have my MBP since April and I have yet to have the need to get into Windows. I can do everything I need to do in OSX. I have W7 in a VM for if I really need to use Windows, but rarely use it.
    anonymous
  • My new Windows notebook is a MacBook Pro

    Here we go again......Where have I seen this before.
    Let me google and yes
    http://www.techdigest.tv/2007/10/the_fastest_not.html
    anonymous
  • RE: My new Windows notebook is a MacBook Pro

    Hmmm surprised to hear that there are 2 fans - since there are no ventilation vents, where does the hot air go? When my CPU utilisation shoots up, I notice that the aluminum part above the keyboard gets quite hot to touch. Just as you said, I just noticed that Win7 only uses the Nvidia 9600M GT instead of the 9400M, it's a pity. Sorry I'm a real PC power user - I need to do multimedia programming in Microsoft Visual Studio, so I prefer to dual boot to Win7.
    lupyuen
  • What I like about Macbook Pro...

    ... is its long battery life
    gayathrik31
  • That way for years now

    PC Magazine has been naming the MacBook Pro as one of the best laptops for running Windows for years now, some years THE best laptop. They are not alone.

    Also a good way to run Linux, which is practically unavoidable now-a-days, so you can have Windows, Linux & OS X running on one box, along with Unix too!
    ChasmoeBrown