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3 thoughts on “Apple MacBook Pro MC721LL/A 15.4-Inch Laptop

  1. J. Corbett says:
    147 of 151 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Apple MacBook Pro 15.4 Inch – Base Model, April 29, 2011
    By 
    J. Corbett (California) –

    This review is from: Apple MacBook Pro MC721LL/A 15.4-Inch Laptop (Personal Computers)

    Note: This review is from someone who knows very little about computers.

    Although I truly enjoy PCs and will still continue to keep and use my PC laptop, I felt it was time for a change. It took minutes to load up videos and photos, and I was starting to get very frustrated with the entire process. I hadn’t considered purchasing a Macbook Pro before, because I felt the cost wouldn’t be worth it. I spent over a month researching and reading and watching reviews. I finally took the leap. The following describes features of the Macbook Pro that I find important to an everyday user.

    External Appearance: I sometimes look at the laptop and get surprised by how thin it is. However, once I lift it up, I am surprised again by how heavy it is. Apple has done an amazing job at creating a laptop that thrives on outward simplicity. The cold aluminum feels strong and almost indestructible. The Magsafe adapter is a great feature to have, especially if you need to connect your laptop and sit further away. A trip over a cord easily separates the adapter from the laptop, and nothing is harmed. At first I was surprised that there were only two USB ports, but I can’t imagine a time where I will need more than two. The difference I noticed from my other laptop is that there is a lack of ports which might add to the fact that it has an incredibly simple design and that it uses only what it needs. What it thrives on is what’s inside.

    The Screen: I was originally considering getting a large monitor for the Macbook Pro, so I could easily edit documents and pictures. It’s not worth it. Even watching Youtube videos looks great. I was looking at pictures taken on a simple point and shoot camera, and they looked phenomenal on the screen as well. However, the glossy screen can seem like a mirror at times and can get incredibly annoying. 15.4 inches is perfect for anyone considering making the Macbook Pro their primary computer at home.

    iLife & other apps: I haven’t used iLife as much as I would want, but I was able to look at the Mac app store, and I am pleasantly surprised by the quality of apps provided. If you love writing, Scrivener is great for drafting stories, novels, screenplays, and poetry. iWork is also available at the app store. Each of them are sold separately for $20.00 each, which is cheaper than purchasing iWork altogether! Pages and Numbers are incredibly intuitive, and they definitely compete with Microsoft Word and Excel. Like the app store for the iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad, there’s something for everyone. There are apps for work, play, and everything in between.

    Speed: From opening Safari to opening apps, there isn’t a glitch in speed. Once I start editing film, I’ll update if it changes but if not, that means it’s still working amazingly. I did play a few games and not only are the graphics amazing, but there isn’t any stopping or starting.

    Finder: I didn’t think it would be very useful until I downloaded a program and had no idea where it went. Finder (of course) finds every single thing on your Macbook Pro, but it does it with speed.

    Trackpad: I wasn’t sure whether or not I would like the trackpad. I didn’t like the original settings but once I changed it, I’m not even considering getting a mouse. It’s fun experimenting with it at first and learning the different motions on your own. The trackpad has made surfing the web easier than before.

    Keyboard: I was hesitant about the backlit keyboard. I love that I can type at night, but I am used to the keys being closer together. It did take a couple of hours to get used to it but once I did, it vastly improved my typing speed. The spaces between the letters helped, and the fact that the keys aren’t raised high definitely helps. Even better? The keys are practically silent.

    Heat: I had read reviews about how hot a Macbook Pro gets but after a week, I haven’t noticed any extreme heat. Again, I haven’t done anything extreme, so I will update if it changes.

    Portability: If you decide to take the laptop around, I would recommend getting a case for it. It is prone to scratches and dents, so any protection helps. I carry the laptop in my backpack, and the weight is quite noticeable. I think it’s something I’ll get used to, but I’m still surprised by its weight. It is, however, a great device to carry around but if I wanted it for true portability, I might have gone with the 13.3 inch or possibly a Macbook Air. Given the fact that this my primary device used at home, I prefer to keep it there unless I know I will absolutely need it.

    The hard drive and RAM are completely replaceable. People were disappointed with the slow performing 5400 RPM hard drives, but I honestly don’t see a difference in speed. If it is a huge problem, again, it can easily be upgraded. I plan on upgrading the…

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  2. Steve H "books911" says:
    92 of 102 people found the following review helpful:
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Quad Core Processor – New Era, February 25, 2011
    By 
    Steve H “books911” (U.S.) –
    (VINE VOICE)
      
    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)
      
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: Apple MacBook Pro MC721LL/A 15.4-Inch Laptop (Personal Computers)

    The update to the 15-inch MacBook Pro in February 2011 was significant. Indeed, significant is an understatement. Quick thanks to Amazon and Apple Stores for having these immediately available at launch.

    The primary upgrade to this revision? The processor! Intel has a brand new architecture called Sandy Bridge, and these MacBook Pros are the first Macs to feature this technology. Some have called it some of the most significant changes to Intel architecture since Pentium 4 was introduced. These 15-inch MacBook Pros as well as its big brother, the 17-inch, not only take advantage of Sandy Bridge, but the Quad Core i7 Variant. Quad Core processor in a notebook Mac! Wow.

    I actually chose the 13-inch model for my personal use (only Dual Core on the 13-inch), but this 15-inch is replacing an aging iMac at the office to save space and leap over its performance. These Quad Core Chips are amazing. Early benchmarks are showing this entry-level 15-inch, 50 percent faster than the upper end i7 15-inch MacBook pro from a year ago. A dramatic improvement. Furthermore, if you’re still on a Core 2 Duo machine such as the iMac I am replacing, the performance is as much as 2.5 times faster. At least in terms of the processor. This is most beneficial in processor intensive applications, for consumers such applications are iMovie and Garageband. Professionals will see the new processors beneficial in any professional photo editing, video, or music work.

    One downside is that due to cost, the machine still comes with a spinning hard drive standard. In this case, the standard drive is a 5400 RPM 500 GB drive. That offers plenty of storage, but is slightly slower than a desktop 7200RPM drive and much slower than a new, solid state drive. You do have options. You can special order the machine from Apple with a 7200RPM drive, or Solid State Drive. However, what I have decided to do, is simply, when I’m ready, swap out the drive myself. Other World Computing sells solid state drives compatible. It might not be easy for every user, but for those with some computer experience, it is a fairly easy swap. Then I can install a faster solid state drive, when the more acceptable capacity drives come down a bit in price. You might also choose to do the swap yourself because you can then put the hard drive that was originally in the machine, into an external enclosure, and use it as an external drive for backup. Of course, any damage you cause to the machine would not be covered under warranty. Therefore, if you have any concern, you might want to see if you can special order from Apple online, or in many situations, you will find the standard hard drive to be acceptable.

    After the processor advancement, Thunderbolt is the other great new technology included in this revision to the MacBook Pro. Thunderbolt looks like the Mini Displayport that was already included on the MacBook Pros. Indeed, it will still function perfectly as a Mini Displayport, for connecting an external display. However, Thunderbolt is more importantly a new interface to connect external devices in the future, such as, external hard drives, HD camcorders, and perhaps even iPads, iPods, or iPhones someday. Data would then transfer many times faster to and from these devices than it does currently. These devices were not available at the time of the MacBook Pro’s launch, but we have already heard that external drives should be available later this year with Thunderbolt connectivity.

    iSight camera has been upgraded to HD resolution and Face Time pre-installed on the computer. This gives you the ability to video chat, easily, with other Macs and notably, iPhone 4s and the newest iPod Touch with front facing camera.

    The consumer software you expect to be included by Apple is once again here. The latest version of Mac OS X Snow Leopard (operating system), iLIfe 11 including iPhoto, Garageband, iMovie, iDVD, and iWeb is all here. OS X always includes Safari web browser, iTunes, and Mail applications too. The average user would be good to go out of the box. You might pick up Microsoft Office for your office document needs, or simply purchase Apple’s iWork applications (Pages, Numbers, and Keynote) from new Mac App Store on your computer.

    The new MacBooK Pros, thanks to Sandy Bridge technology are fast. They will save you time, when using processor intensive applications. Time in business, saves people money and frustration. The average consumer might see less gains with this update as physically the MacBook Pro has retained it identical appearance, size, and weight. Nevertheless, under the unibody, improvements have certainly occurred which result in a much faster notebook. The fact that these 15-inch and 17-inch models now include Quad Core Processors standard is really extraordinary. This is putting recent top of the line desktop performance,…

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  3. Paul Corlatan "Paul Corlatan" says:
    46 of 51 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Wonderful machine, March 2, 2011
    By 
    Paul Corlatan “Paul Corlatan” (Santa Barbara, CA USA) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Apple MacBook Pro MC721LL/A 15.4-Inch Laptop (Personal Computers)

    I discovered the new line of MacBook Pros the day after they became available for sale and immediately decided I was ready to upgrade. I’ve had a 13″ 2.26GHz Core2 Duo mid-2009 MacBook Pro for a few months and since it was my main computer I decided a bigger screen was necessary, and the CPU upgrade would be awesome. I ordered through Amazon Prime and paid the extra $4 for overnight shipping and it arrived yesterday. I considered buying through Apple but the $150 tax savings with Amazon Prime is a no-brainer. I would have loved if Amazon had the anti-glare screen option even if it was a little more expensive but I’ll live. I had a great cheap anti-glare (matte coating) screen protector from eBay on my 13″ and just ordered one for my new 15″.

    The packaging was great. The main white MBP box was packed inside two layers of plain brown cardboard boxes, so it was well protected. For cheaper, less-fragile items I don’t always understand why Amazon occasionally uses bigger boxes, but for something this fragile and expensive I welcome that. Once I opened the main white box I saw the usual stuff: the power cable, the manuals and discs, and of course the MBP. The MBP was enclosed in a plastic sheet which comes off easily.

    Once I booted the MBP I was surprised at how quickly it arrived at the desktop, given that the hard drive is a plain old 5400 RPM. I assume the CPU accounts for that extra speed. It was nice and snappy, but I knew I wouldn’t be using an HDD, rather an SSD. I also had an 8gb kit of RAM I would replace the 4gb with.

    I sold my ‘old’ MacBook Pro with it’s original hard drive and kept the 60gb solid state drive I had been using for a few months. I had previously upgraded from a 2008 unibody MacBook with the same SSD and it worked no problem in the 13″ MBP, but that was not the case with this new early 2011 MBP. The machine starts fine with the 500gb HDD that it came with, which is to be expected, but it won’t boot from the SSD. It freezes at the Apple logo with no spinning indicator. I assume it’s because of the significant change in hardware. I tried booting from my old Snow Leopard DVD and repairing permissions but no luck. I had a second 60gb SSD with Windows 7 installed (via boot camp) which started fine but at least 10 drivers needed to be installed. I used the Boot Camp installer on the Snow Leopard DVD and all installed well in Win7. Luckily I do not need to use Vista or XP on this machine since Apple has announced that only Win7 is supported for these early 2011 MBPs.

    After I finished getting Windows 7 back running properly I wiped the OSX SSD (I have backups on a network drive) and re-installed Snow Leopard. I did not monitor the installation but it definitely installed quickly. Of course the SSD and new RAM accounts for a lot of that speed, but the CPU definitely is quicker than the Core2 Duo I’ve been used to.

    Once I was up and running in Snow Leopard I was pleased with the smoothness of the machine. Time will tell whether there are any issues and I’ll be sure to update with any new findings or problems. I will say that if you can find good prices on an SSD (even a 60gb is enough for many) and an 8gb RAM upgrade it will definitely make the MacBook Pro experience much more enjoyable.

    UPDATE 3-15-2011:
    I’ve now had this laptop for a couple of weeks and I have to say it’s exceeded my expectations. I ordered an anti-glare screen protector and painstakingly applied it so now I have no problems with glare. I also ordered a new stand so now it sits at an angle which allows for better airflow out the back vent. I installed SmcFanControl to be able to monitor the internal temperatures and can adjust the fan speed in case it runs a little hot. I’ve installed Windows 7 in a virtual machine and no longer intend on using boot camp as I don’t like having to close all my Mac apps and things to reboot into Windows, so I just run it in a VM and all runs well.

    One thing I’ve noticed though is that Google Chrome takes up a LOT of CPU resources and increases the temp by 15 to 20 degrees and I can’t figure out why. It’s a fresh install with no extensions so I guess I won’t be using Chrome unless they resolve that. It’s not an issue with the laptop but I figured those Chrome fans out there would like to know that I’ve had an unfortunate experience with it on this MBP.

    Finally, it runs pretty cool on average but when I run a VM or a few things at once it does tend to heat up and I end up turning up the fan speed with SmcFanControl. There are only minor quirks, otherwise it’s great! Once I have some more free time I’ll try some games, such as a port of GTA San Andreas, and update with how they run and what happens to the MBP.

    UPDATE 2 on 4-11-2011:
    I decided that I would sell my month-old MBP on eBay and splurge on the high-resolution anti-glare version directly from Apple. I received a…

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