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Apple MacBook Pro

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Apple MacBook Pro Notebook

For people who appreciate finer laptop accoutrements such as a backlit keyboard and a slot-fed DVD drive, Apple has crafted another tasty offering in the form of the 17-inch MacBook Pro. Sleek, powerful, and able to run Windows as well as the Mac operating system, the MacBook Pro makes a strong case for becoming anyone's ultimate notebook.

Equipped with a 2.4-GHz Core 2 Duo T7700 processor, the maximum 4GB of RAM, a 160GB hard drive, and nVidia's new top-of-the-line notebook graphics card, the nVidia GeForce 8600M GT, our $2949 test unit set new speed records (through 10/25/2007). The MacBook Pro outperformed the rest of the notebooks we tested, all of which claim Windows as their primary--nay, their only--operating system. We loaded Windows Vista Home Premium on the Apple notebook, and it snagged a WorldBench 6 Beta 2 score of 88. In games it achieved a blazing frame rate of 141 frames per second in Far Cry (with antialiasing turned off).

At 6.6 pounds and just 1 inch thick, the MacBook Pro is the lightest 17-inch notebook available. But it has no memory card slots and only three USB ports, and it comes configured with an ExpressCard/34 slot instead of the more versatile ExpressCard/54 slot. Though it has Bluetooth and 802.11n Wi-Fi, built-in cellular broadband is not an option. On the other hand, video editors will be happy to have not one but two FireWire ports. Battery life was disappointing: Apple pegs it at 5.7 hours on one charge, but in our tests we got less than 2 hours, 45 minutes.

Nevertheless, the MacBook Pro is elegantly designed and remarkably mobile for a 17-inch notebook.

Carla Thornton

Correction: The MacBook Pro's reign as fastest notebook ended on 10/25/2007, not 11/23/2007 as was previously reported. We apologize for the error.

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At a Glance
  • Lightweight 17-incher does Mac or Windows OSes and comes loaded with useful multimedia and creative software.


    • Thin and light for a big notebook


    • Hard drive isn't user-accessible
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