I like the machine, or really want to. It's gorgeous, it feels very solid (contrast with a brand new Thinkpad T410 I tried at a store the other day, which audibly creaked when I rested the weight of my hand on it to type), and is plenty powerful. Part of me wants to complain that glossy displays are brain-damaged and 16:9 aspect ratios are the work of the devil, but that seems like a lost cause at this point. It's a bit frustrating that this 15" machine, which feels ridiculously huge compared to the 14.1" laptop it replaced, actually has less pixels in the display, and even fewer usable pixels when working due to the widescreen format (versus my Thinkpad's old 1400x1050 4:3 display). I fail to see what's "Pro" about a machine with a glossy widescreen display and a keyboard that omits basics like "Delete" (forward delete, that is), "Page Up" and "Page Down", but I shouldn't complain. I won't go in depth into my disdain for PC laptops. I'm not sure anyone makes one worth buying anymore. Older Thinkpads, up through the T60-series, are great. The newer models rub me the wrong way. Switching to the Mac seemed like the rational choice for a previously diehard Linux user with no patience for playing russian roulette with hardware purchases. It's nice knowing things like wireless, 3D acceleration, and suspend/resume will Just Work.
There's lots of things to love about his machine:
- Multitouch is awesome
- Gorgeous screen with great viewing angle
- Speakers sound good
- Fast CPU, great graphics, plenty of RAM
- Doesn't run Windows
- (minor gripe) Too much friction on the touch pad. Swiping a finger vertically upward causes my finger to grind and skip against the surface. This is excusable in cheap laptops where they want to make the touchpad surface out of the same material as the surrounding enclosure and can't be bothered to press some texture into the material, but on a laptop in this price range there's no excuse for screwing it up. Imagine Mercedes Benz making a car where the steering wheel was uncomfortable to hold.
- (major WTF) The wireless reception is terrible. Horribly, laptop-returningly terrible. I'm less than twenty feet from the access point in the hallway, with one wall between me and it, and the reception is spotty. The MacBook Pro will drop in and out while the piece of crap Lenovo netbook sitting next to it, at 1/6 the cost, happily continues browsing with no interruption. The whole time, The Macbook will claim four bars of reception, even as it reports that I'm "not connected to the internet". When a website takes suspiciously long to display, I've observed that moving the laptop a few feet to the left or turning it 90 degrees will cause it to instantly kick in and begin loading. I've had to rearrange my furniture just to access the web with this machine, because moving ten feet further into the room where I used to sit, the wireless becomes completely unuseable, struggling to load anything from the web even as it reports nominal signal levels, while the crappy netbook and my old Thinkpad worked perfectly fine.
The wireless issue is bad enough that I'm tempted to return the machine, and the only reason I don't consider doing so more seriously is that I can't imagine what I'd buy to replace it. A vanilla MacBook? An overpriced plastic Thinkpad? A dowdy Dell with a useless Fn key strategically placed to sabotage Emacs users? Some glimmering HP full of stupid gimmicks that will probably break in six months? The mind boggles. I'm fond of abusing the term "lemon market" in reference to computers (laptops in particular), but I had held out faith that paying the premium to enter the Apple club was a safe way out. Apparently not. Maybe Mac owners really are brainwashed.
While I'm ranting, why the hell does Backspace (sorry, "Delete") in Safari unpredictably navigate me backward, away from this page, instead of performing its expected text editing function? Very frustrating.