Apple MacBook Pro 15.4in Notebook Deals

By Hugo Jobling



December 1, 2008, 6:25 pm

Couldn't agree more. I'm using a previous gen MBP and I was fully prepared to sell it to get the latest one, but nope. Just not enough to persuade me so instead I'll most likely got for the MacBook. Problem is the OS Tax is getting bigger and is harder and harder to justify now esp when the misses has just spent 𧶀 less than a Macbook on a Dell which is WAY better speced.

December 1, 2008, 6:26 pm

They had the new 17" macbook pro in store this weekend.

Apple Store

Trafford Centre


December 1, 2008, 6:33 pm

@AndyR "misses has just spent 𧶀 less than a Macbook on a Dell which is WAY better speced."

Well I think that is & has always been the case. But on the plus side hopefully the machine will not get slower everyday for no apparent reason. Of course that's more to do with the OS than the Hardware. Bloody M$, why does my Q6600 run like a 486 after 6 months, I'm just fed up to the eyeballs of having to re-install M$ OS's. Or course there is Linux I suppose.


December 1, 2008, 7:11 pm

I'm no Mac expert, but for a 'Pro' notebook, isn't a 320GB 5400RPM disc a bit stingy?


December 1, 2008, 7:13 pm

Funilly enough I was the opposite way around I upgraded from the previous white macbook to the current pro, and unfortuantely what swung it for me was the need for the firewire port for use in audio production. Anything without one is useless for me and USB just isn't an option, one for the money already invested in firewire and two as USB just isn't as reliable for audio.

Having said that it's been a good upgrade, I'm with you on the screen res, it should be higher but the quality of the screen is miles better than that of the macbook with deeper blacks and a much much better viewing angle than on the macbook. As mentioned the build quality is superb and I am really happy with it, just a shame it costs so much money. If they had kept firewire on the macbook no doubt that I would have bought one of those, and if they still had logic for the PC then I may not have bothered at all despite the awesomeness of OS X ;-)


December 1, 2008, 7:17 pm


I've never understood what people do to machines that causes them to take drastic measures by choosing to reinstall the OS. Are you using cranky old discs in your PC or something?

In all the years of owning PC's and supporting all my families PC's, I've only ever had to reinstall the OS once (technically speaking it wasn't an reinstall as I removed the disastrous WinME and replaced it with XP on my parents machine).

Robert Elliot

December 1, 2008, 7:18 pm

There's a huge hole in the market for a commerical O/S that tries to do the same thing as Windows (i.e. can be installed on any PC, work with just about all peripherals). Apple aren't competing on that front, and Linux just isn't polished enough, you end up in poorly documented text files far too often. I wonder why commercial Linux distributions have never really hit the sweetspot?


December 1, 2008, 8:30 pm

@Steve, people don't have to do anything to there PC's when M$ OS is installed, that was my point. My Vista install is now really starting to feel sluggish, and that's with a Q6600, 2 WD raptors in Raid etc. I'm actually a PC software developer, so it's not like I'm some computer newbie either, It might be because I install/remove lots of software, but that in itself should be no reason why the OS should get more sluggish. It might be because my HD's need a defrag, personally never really noticed a difference doing that. But if your telling me your XP/Vista etc is running like it did when first installed then I'd be mighty surprised.

Steve Ayres

December 1, 2008, 8:42 pm

Having worked in "IT Support" in the past there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that a Windows installation "degrades" with time. I have reached the point where I simply accept this as fact. Setting a day every year or so aside to reinstall Windows pays no end of benefit to the speed of my machine. I'm seriously considering the "move" to Mac, but to be honest the main reason for this is that I'm simply a bit bored of looking at Windows.


December 1, 2008, 9:11 pm

@ Keith - My machine is running just as well as when it was first put together, it seriously sounds like you don't know what you're doing when it comes to maintenance, you may be a software developer but seriously what programs do you use for security/cleaning? Loosing that much performance that quickly I doubt you have anything. And it's not like OSX is immune to being slowed down either.


December 1, 2008, 9:36 pm


Do you schedule regular defrags & what sort of maintenance do you do? I fully accept a machine's performance will degrade over time. PC's are like cars in that respect but I'd want to know what the user is doing to require a PC to be rebuilt every 12 months!

As I said above, I'm no Mac expert but it's not like Mac owners don't complain of the same issues....


December 1, 2008, 9:37 pm

@Robert Elliot


Just give it time...



December 1, 2008, 10:03 pm

Good review!

But i must really have bad taste when it comes to laptops, because i think the Macbooks generally look ugly. I know some people prefer that basic looked, which the mac offer, but to me its boring and rather plain looking. The Sony Vaio Z / TZ beats that hands down for looks.


December 1, 2008, 11:57 pm

It's well documented that Windows installations degrade over time... but it means people look to me for help for reinstalls and fixes, which keeps me busy!

With Vista I find defrag problems negligible, but with XP I use Diskeeper Defrag (the company made the cut-down rebadged version that shipped with XP).

Another felony with Windows is the way software installations casually place new items among your startup items. I'm looking at you, Acrobat reader!

When I 'prep' windows pc's for use, it means installing all manner of free software just to make up for Microsoft's shortcomings. More codecs, startup managers, firefox, foxit reader, browser plugins, burnaware etc. I hope the modular nature of Windows 7 means it'll add competent utils that SHOULD be standard, like a decent CD burner and a substantial image editing app.

Rant over, sorry guys!


December 2, 2008, 3:17 am

I've just upgraded to Vista x64, and I find the only maintenance I have to do is to defrag every month/few months or so. (I use the free Auslogic's defragger for this).

I haven't done a defrag on my Mac since I bought it a year ago, as I believe that the OS X file system is more resistant to fragmentation. I just have to remember to repair the permissions form time to time. Overall, I'd be happy to use either OS as my main system, but it's nice having the choice.

As far as the new Macbooks, it's a shame they had to raise the price over the old ones, but I suppose the Unibody construction comes with a price.


December 2, 2008, 5:00 am

I find Vista (and any Windows OS I've ever used) degrades significantly over time. My Samsung R20 is noticeably slower now then when I bought it 18 months ago, and that's after doubling the Ram to 2GB.

I always reinstall the OS every so often. The performance gain makes it feel like a new computer. I'm no expert as to why this happens and I do the regular maintenance. No idea what I'm doing wrong. Thought it was just a fact of life.


December 2, 2008, 2:39 pm

Hey, its true, every Windows I had degraded over time, but since I use TuneUp to clean the machine and reduce background programms to the minimum, my XP installations have been lasting for years. The new version also defrags the hard drive. Such a tool should have been included by now I have switched to Mac and they have virtually zero maintenance needs, if you don't want to do something realy nerdy. I just love them....

Also, the review states that the Macbook Pro is not a great gaming laptop. I could not disagree more. I installed Windows XP on my early 2008 MBP in Bootcamp, hooked it up to a 20" display and played Crysis and lots of other titles in medium to high settings. Everybody knows there are not that many games on Mac OS, but with Bootcamp XP you have the whole Windows Gaming world available, and for doing the "Pro" stuff you go back to a OS thats so much better to use and maintain...thats makes the MBP the perfect desktop replacement where you don't want to sacrifice the appility for gaming, and you can take the desktop in a bag with you! :)

Anyway, will stick to my old MBP for now, see you in 2 years Apple.


December 2, 2008, 2:54 pm


I like Vista but I can't help but think MS deliberately bloated it so that it requires a high-spec machine to run efficiently. With the global economy in the current state, it's amazing that Windows 7 will run on the same hardware that people run XP on (due to the fact that many people will not be in the position to buy a new PC). Hmmm!


December 2, 2008, 3:40 pm

@Gnormie, Keith, My machine is running just as well as when it was first put together, it seriously sounds like you don't know what you're doing.

Yep, of course a software developer doesn't know what he's doing, LOL. Yes, I've been there done the defrag, Even used some of these so called tune-ups, that defrag the registry etc etc, delete the Prefech etc, but my point is I shouldn't even need too, the "what sort of maintainable scheme do you use" Is a total cop out, my machine has a Q6600 surely it has the power to look after itself without me having to prompt it all time, IOW: I've got better things to do. What really makes my machine fly again is a re-install, or better still use something like Acronis TrueImage to do a Sector by Sector backup right after a clean install. Windows is known for slowdown over time, always has.

Yes the Mac can suffer slowdown but looking on the internet this usually requires a reboot, something mac users don't do that often as the Sleep mode works really well, unlike windows, do a google on S3 sleep for an example of the messing about that is sometimes required. Also my Vista machine has decided for no apparent reason to sometimes BSOD from a resume, and to be honest I just can no longer be bothered to find out why. Do you get it now?, M$ please make your OS look after itself, I've got better things to do thankyou.


December 2, 2008, 10:24 pm

@ Keith

So taking 5 seconds every few weeks to click a 'run cleaner' button like that found on CCleaner is a waste of time, but reinstalling the OS taking at least an hour or so isn't? Yes Windows will slow down over time, at the rate you mentioned? Only unless you were never cleaning stuff out...


December 3, 2008, 12:03 am

@PCWeenies: Yawn.


December 3, 2008, 4:02 pm

@Gnormie, you never heard of TrueImage/Ghost etc, 1 hour LOL. I shouldn't need to use CCleaner, and in fact in the past using some of these third party utils just causes more problems. I've been there, done that, got the T-shirt. And I'll also repeat, the OS should be looking after itself. Also most of what CCleaner does is just deleting temporary files, that in in itself shouldn't even be slowing down a PC. I'm sure if I spent some time I could find out what's slowing it down, it could be multiple codecs, it could be some bad registry entries, it could be a bad driver, it could be a recent update that broke my resume, it could be this, it could be that, the thing is I just now longer can be bothered to find out, all I do know is CCleaner will only act like a placebo.


December 3, 2008, 5:16 pm

@Keith - are you not being just the tiniest bit obtuse? I presume given your loathing for the system that you use your PC out of necessity (work?) rather than choice. Given that you use it at all, doesn't it make a bit of sense to keep it ticking over. I'm not a software developer, more an average user and I find that running Ccleaner (and uninstalling horrid ZoneAlarm) makes mine work perfectly well.

Treating your PC like a Mac when it isn't one, and then expecting it to perform to standard is pointless. It also seems to be making you ranty and angry!


December 3, 2008, 8:56 pm

@ Keith - So we should never service our cars, because they should be good enough to take care of themselves? Anything mechanical will rack up problems over time, and it is as easy as ever to fix those problems for free as a Windows user.


December 3, 2008, 9:36 pm

@purephase, I maybe use my PC a different way to you, install different software etc, because you don't suffer slowdowns etc, doesn't mean plenty more don't. To be honest I'm maybe been a little harsh on M$, but it would certainly be nice if they spent more time on the OS with self optimization, than creating fancy looking widgets that nobody is likely to use. Anyway, I do know that my best option is going to be a re-install, I'm maybe more angry with myself for not doing a TrueImage last time. :)

@Gnormie, Eh, no I don't expect my car to self maintain, mainly because it physically cant, a PC on the other hand can.

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