At a Glance
- Classic design
- Runs Universal applications quickly
- Integrated iSight camera
- Bright screen
- Improved wireless range
- Comes with Front Row application and remote
- Innovative MagSafe power connector
- Optical drive inferior to PowerBook G4
- Non-native apps can run slowly
- Intermittent processor noise on some systems
- No FireWire 800 port
- Screen slightly shorter than PowerBook
The first Mac laptop to feature an Intel processor — two processors, actually, thanks to the chip’s dual-core architecture — the MacBook Pro features some significant departures from the PowerBook line. The MacBook Pro features a 4X DVD-burning SuperDrive (as opposed to the 8X SuperDrive in the PowerBook); it lacks an S-Video port and a built-in modem. However, the MacBook Pro’s screen is brighter, it boasts a faster bus speed and faster memory, and a new MagSafe Connector for hooking up the laptop to its power supply. Originally announced at 1.83GHz, this laptop’s processor was bumped to 2.0GHz when it shipped in February 2006. A build-to-order option lets you bump the processor to 2.16GHz for $300 more.
The 2GHz MacBook Pro is a fitting successor to the PowerBook G4. If most of the applications you use are available in Universal versions, or are relatively low-power programs running in Rosetta, buying a MacBook Pro will be to your advantage. If you’re upgrading from an older PowerBook G4, you’ll notice a massive speed boost in Universal applications, while Rosetta applications will run at the speed you’re used to. However, if you rely on programs that won’t run in Rosetta or you rely on resource-intensive software, you should delay your purchase until Universal versions of those programs become available.