New Mac Hardware

Earlier this year I decided that I wanted to get a new laptop.  I really was interested in the Macbook Pro line from Apple but knew they were in the middle of a release cycle so I started to do my homework.  As the months passed rumors started to circulate containing details about the new Macbook Pros that were going to be out in the fourth quarter of 2008.  So I kept waiting and doing my homework, and finally the product launch event came where they released the details.

Shortly after the launch event in October I placed my order for one of the new 15″ Macbook Pros.  Some of the cool new features that made this model worth waiting for were:

  • Precision aluminum unibody enclosure
  • Ultrathin 15-inch LED-backlit display
  • High-performance NVIDIA graphics
  • All-new, smooth glass Multi-Touch trackpad

The standard technical specifications show what you get out of the box.  The options that I configured my 15″ with are:

  • Processor – 2.8GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
  • Memory – 4GB 1066Mz DDR3 SDRM-2x2GB
  • Hard Drive – 320GB Serial ATA @ 7200

The machine has definitely shown that it’s quick and very solid.  I have no problems running VMWare Fusion with Windows 2008 Server for my Windows development (using Visual Studio 2008 and SQL Server 2008).  I was initially a little disappointed that they didn’t revamp the 17″ Macbook Pro at the same time, but after further consideration I figured that it would probably be smarter to get the 15″, which will save me some money, and probably pickup an external display later.  Because I was going to use this laptop as a desktop replacement, I definitely needed some way to work with more screen real estate than the 15″ display offers.

Fortunately (or un-fortunately) for me Apple also previewed a new 24″ LED Cinema Display at their October 2008 launch event (a review can be found here).  And while it wasn’t going to be available to ship until late November, it’s features made it a perfect match with the new Macbook Pro line.  Not only is it a stunning display but it also basically works as a docking station for your Macbook or Macbook Pro (the new ones, that is).  So while the price tag may seem high initially, by the time you factor in buying a display adapter so you can hook your new Macbook’s mini-display port to a non-Apple monitor, and another power brick that you can leave at home, you’re probably in the same ballpark as any other non-Apple monitor with comporable specs.  And, none of those models will be LED backlit (which, as you can see here is very good with power usage and environmently friendly – like the Macbook).

Anyways, luckily for me I’ve done pretty well in Fantasy Football this year.  My winnings from that at the end of the season will probably cover most of the price for the display.  Maybe I’ll get lucky and it will go on sale or I’ll find some coupon code by then 🙂

More reviews of the LED display can be found here.

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