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3 thoughts on “Apple MacBook Pro MC723LL/A 15.4-Inch Laptop (OLD VERSION)

  1. Edubya in Texas says:
    138 of 142 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Excellent, March 8, 2011
    By 
    Edubya in Texas (Kerrville, TX, USA) –

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Apple MacBook Pro MC723LL/A 15.4-Inch Laptop (OLD VERSION) (Personal Computers)

    First, a little background. Aside from a TI-99 we had when I was a kid and the Apple IIc computers at my middle school, I’ve always been a Windows guy. I feel very comfortable in the Windows environment and have been building my own PCs for about 15 years. I don’t hate Microsoft. But when the need for another laptop became clear, I decided to focus my search on the higher end machines. I wanted good horsepower, but I especially wanted a nicer form factor than the creaky Dells I had become accustomed to. As I had fallen in love with the interface on my iPhone, I decided it was time to give MacBooks a try. I kept my Windows desktop in case I ran into compatibility problems.

    The short version of that story is that I quickly dismantled my PC and now use this laptop as my only machine. I am fortunate to be able to do so because my work as an attorney requires only Word, Excel, and an internet browser. As a bonus, my copy of Lightroom 3 also installed on the MacBook. I’m trying not to sound like a Mac zealot, so let’s have a list:

    -Aluminum unibody is no marketing gimmick. It’s sturdy and feels great with no flex and no creaking. Looks nice, too.

    -Keyboard is well-engineered. The key travel and spacing between keys feel just right for my taste. There is no flex here, either, which I often find disconcerting on other laptops.

    -Trackpad is a marvel. It really is. It’s very large, but I’ve yet to feel like it’s in the way. And the finger movements are intuitive and work very well.

    -The screen is bright, clear and has great color. The reflectivity is sometimes an issue in bright locations, but I find tilting it a little solves most problems. Otherwise, you can custom order the anti-glare screen direct from Apple.

    -The lid closes with a magnet, so there’s nothing to break.

    -It is very fast. In my experience, Mac OS X starts up and shuts down far faster than a comparably spec’ed Windows machine. I have yet to feel a need for 8 GB of RAM, but an upgrade would only cost $90 if you know how to do it yourself. Otherwise, I have no issues running lots of standard programs at once.

    -Comes with Time Machine. As an attorney and amateur photographer, I have lots of stuff that needs to be backed up regularly and reliably. Time Machine works so well and so seamlessly that I can’t imagine how I survived before.

    -Spotlight is brilliant. Type in any word, and Spotlight almost instantly gives you results from your entire hard drive, including INSIDE your searchable documents, preferences, web results, and even definitions of words.

    -Seven hours of battery life is very possible, even on wireless. I can sit in Starbucks for hours unplugged and still have plenty of life left. The caveat is that you really can only surf and use programs like Word. I also have Flash installed, which is a huge battery drainer, so I grabbed a Flash-blocking program that let’s me choose which Flash files to activate. Nice solution.

    -HD webcam. Nice quality, though I haven’t really done more than messed around with it.

    -The magnetic power cable is slick.

    -As a former Windows user, I find the Mac OS X interface to be really nice and intuitive. There’s obviously a learning curve, though I’ve found it be surprisingly short. Lion is anticipated to be a nice upgrade, too.

    -PRICE! Well, a lot of people complain about the Apple premium, and it definitely exists. I found this laptop to be a few hundred dollars higher than the really nice Windows laptops with mostly similar specs, although I don’t think comparing raw horsepower between two different operating systems is always an accurate benchmark. I live on my computer, so I’m willing to pay a little more to get what I want. It’s like buying a BMW because you have to spend three or four hours a day in your car. Whether that value equation works for you or not is up to you and your checkbook.

    -Anything I dislike? Not really. I’d like maybe one more USB port and a CF card reader. I’d love to start seeing cheaper SSDs in these things, but that’s really not Apple’s fault. Decent SSDs with any size are still expensive for everyone. I was a little nervous about having a 5400 RPM HDD. I think transferring large NEF files from the card reader might be fractionally slower. The tradeoff in battery life is probably worth it. Will Thunderbolt be worth it? Who knows? I don’t care just yet, but ask me next year.

    I know there’s more to say, but I’m running out of steam. I’m happy to discuss anything in the comments.

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  2. Steve H "books911" says:
    59 of 62 people found the following review helpful:
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Notebook New Era – Quad Core Processors, February 27, 2011
    By 
    Steve H “books911” (U.S.) –
    (VINE VOICE)
      
    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)
      
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: Apple MacBook Pro MC723LL/A 15.4-Inch Laptop (OLD VERSION) (Personal Computers)

    The update to the 15-inch MacBook Pro in February 2011 was significant. Indeed, significant may be an understatement when it comes to the increase of processor performance offered by the updated machines. 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 a 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. This higher end model is even better. 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 and 3x faster with this higher end model. 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.

    This model also includes a fantastic dedicated graphics card with 1GB of graphics memory. 1GB of graphics memory is a a first for Mac notebooks.

    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 750 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…

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  3. Robert Green says:
    54 of 59 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Simply the Best!, March 3, 2011
    By 
    Robert Green (Foothills of the Cascades, OR USA) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: Apple MacBook Pro MC723LL/A 15.4-Inch Laptop (OLD VERSION) (Personal Computers)

    Apple MacBook Pro MC723LL/A 15.4-Inch Laptop

    I have spent months reviewing different laptops. I’ve gone through at least 10 laptops in the last year looking for that one laptop that I will be pleased with and keep for more than a year or two. I’ve had Acer, HP, Compaq, Asus, Sony, Toshiba, and others. Sony was the only laptop that didn’t go FUBAR within a year or so.

    So, I thought I would give Apple a shot and I was not disappointed. I first tried out a 17″ dual core that was super but the resolution was just too small for my eyes and I returned it. But I was so impressed with the quality of the case, the screen (albeit the resolution too small for my eyes), the quality of the innards (no cheap stuff under this hood), the quality of the power cord, the very fast 800 firewire, the backlight keyboard, the ease of typing on the keyboard, and the mouse pad. The mouse pad on this laptop was the first one I have not had to disable while typing. I have no idea why we have been stuck with those stupid PC mouse pads for so long when the solution was so easy! On the Apple laptop you push the pad down instead of tapping it. This means the cursor does not move to some abstract place and you find yourself typing three pages back!

    But, then Intel released their new Sandy chips. I figured that Apple would not use these chips for some time so I started looking at PCs again just for the new chip. I couldn’t bring myself to buy a PC after owning a Apple. Fortunately Apple did release these new Macbook Pros with Intel’s new chip with increased graphic memory and the new Thunderbolt. Plus Apple increased the speed of the memory.

    I just could not help myself and I purchased this MBP 15″ with the 2.2 i7 Sandy Bridge with the 1G memory. I am very glad I did. This laptop is fast. Its unibody case makes this the most solid and durable laptop on the market. The innards are easy to access to upgrade memory and the hard drive. Everything inside this machine is neatly arranged and is of top quality. The battery is rated for seven hours which is pretty accurate. The Mac OS is written to take advantage of the quad core chip, memory, etc. The LED screen is crisp and clear, and with the regular 1440X900 resolution I can easily use this laptop without any eyestrain.

    I only have one puzzling complaint about this new laptop. Why in the world would a company build one of the fastest top quality laptops in the world and stick a hard drive spinning at 5400 RPM? Yes it is a 750 gigabyte drive, which few people including myself could never fill. But running at 5400 RPM? I just cannot understand this.

    You can order the drive spinning at 7200 RPM or opt for a SSD on the Apple online store. The strange thing is that the 7200 RPM drive is the same price as the drive spinning at 5400 RPM. But that is not the point. Yes, most people will never notice the speed difference between a 5400 RPM and a 7200 RPM drive unless you are doing some pretty intensive media editing or are a avid game player. The point is why build a top of the line laptop and stick in a old busted down 5400 RPM hard drive like an afterthought. I fixed this discrepancy by installing a new Intel 160G SSD (solid state drive).

    I have been using laptops since 1991 when they made great paperweights when they died. This is the best laptop I have ever owned. Do yourself a favor and try one. Even if you don’t like it you can always return it. I don’t think you will, but you do have that option.

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