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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > What is better about the new MacBook Pros?

What is better about the new MacBook Pros?
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Le Flaneur
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Oct 15, 2008, 09:53 AM
 
Are there any truly significant advantages to the new MacBook Pro? I see several significant disadvantages:

1. In battery-saving mode, they run integrated graphics which takes a minimum of 250 MB of RAM.

2. A glossy display is the only option

3. Only one firewire port

4. A GraphicsPort to DVI adapter isn't included

5. Memory is now more difficult to replace (the whole bottom case has to be removed)

For all the bouhaha about the new manufacturing process, this appears to be mainly an improvement for Apple.
     
jamil5454
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Oct 15, 2008, 10:41 AM
 
It seems the new MacBook pro is more of evolutionary step. The 9600M and displayport are arguably the only two feature enhancements; everything else that's supposedly better is based off preference.

Nevertheless, I still ordered mine right after the announcement ;-)
     
Maflynn
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Oct 15, 2008, 10:58 AM
 
better GPU, faster FSB, new design.

People have been clamoring for a refresh of the design, they got it and now there's complaining about the new design.

Like every other computer update (apple and others) its just an incremental update and people should realize that when these occur that it will not be a revolutionary leap but evolutionary step as Jamil stated.
~Mike
     
SierraDragon
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Oct 15, 2008, 11:23 AM
 
Originally Posted by Maflynn View Post
People have been clamoring for a refresh of the design, they got it and now there's complaining about the new design
I do not fault the new design, but not everyone wanted new design for the sake of new design; what I wanted was improved images-handling capability.

...not be a revolutionary leap but evolutionary step...
Unfortunately glossy-only displays are not an evolutionary step up but instead are a downhill leap! What we got was a huge downhill movement to glossy-only displays and no improvement in maximum RAM. A slap in the face to mobile graphics pros.

-Allen Wicks
     
markponcelet
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Oct 15, 2008, 11:44 AM
 
I will admit that if I hadn't been forced to update for work, I wouldn't have bought this generation. My home computer was a Revision A Macbook Pro, and suffered from a lot of growing pains from new, untested hardware. It's not that I won't enjoy this new laptop -- Faster processor, FSB, and graphics performance are all welcome changes. But like most people, glossy screens are an annoyance, and the fact that the 17-inch Macbook Pro is inferior (right now) to the 15-inch one is irritating.
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sek929
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Oct 15, 2008, 11:45 AM
 
I honestly do not see the huge problem with glossy displays, people here act like it's the worst thing in the world.

Even though my 20" iMac's glossy screen is supposedly a poor TN panel I have yet to see any other LCD in person that looks crisper, has better colors, and is as bright and beautiful.

Yes it catches some glare, but the brightness more than makes up for it.
     
SierraDragon
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Oct 15, 2008, 12:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
I honestly do not see the huge problem with glossy displays...
Most consumers actually like the added contrast and saturation of glossy displays. That is why they are so popular in the consumer marketplace; watching a DVD, for instance. However for professional or advanced amateur images review/editing work having one's display arbitrarily add contrast and saturation to images is a very bad thing.

Not offering matte displays as an option excludes graphics pros from the intended market of such laptops. That is why some of us here ...act like it's the worst thing in the world.

-Allen Wicks
( Last edited by SierraDragon; Oct 15, 2008 at 12:14 PM. )
     
OreoCookie
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Oct 15, 2008, 12:29 PM
 
+ The harddrive is user-replaceable again.
+ Longer battery life.
+ Possibly up to 8 GB RAM when suitable 4 GB notebook modules become available.
+ Very sleek design.
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SierraDragon
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Oct 15, 2008, 12:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
+ Possibly up to 8 GB RAM when suitable 4 GB notebook modules become available...
Really? I did not read it that way, but if it is possible that is a very good thing.

-Allen Wicks
     
applesbiggestfan
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Oct 15, 2008, 12:35 PM
 
The Macbook Pro has multiple better attritubes:
Desing:
- Curved (feels better, and looks nicer)
- New trackpad is larger
- Glossy screen makes everything look better

Power:
- 2.8Ghz Processor (much faster, and good for multitasking)
- The faster Fronside bus increases the capabilities of the CPU, making the whole computer a bit faster.
- The newer graphics cards have the same amount of VRAM (512Mb) but the newer ones have longer battery life.
- The new LED-backlit display uses less energy.
     
EdipisReks
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Oct 15, 2008, 12:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by SierraDragon
However for professional or advanced amateur images review/editing work having one's display arbitrarily add contrast and saturation to images is a very bad thing.
it's the other way around. the matte display, by adding a physical layer to the screen, is negatively distorting the actual contrast and color accuracy of the display. it's an unavoidable effect of adding a textured plastic film to a display. in a controlled light room (which is the only environment where close color matching can actually be done [no matter how matte your screen is, ambient light screws up human visual perception]), the glossy screen is quantifiably more accurate. ever notice that really good crts aimed at designers and visual artists are glossy? glossy is the natural state of the display (adding a layer of glass to the front of the screen also negatively affects the image, but well made optical glass, applied as a flat uniform layer, can have a vanishingly small distortion percentage).

sure, the matte display will have less glare if you're doing design work in your cubicle, or on an airplane, or under a tree outside, but you can't do careful color matching in those environments regardless of what kind of gear you're using.
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SierraDragon
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Oct 15, 2008, 01:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by EdipisReks View Post
it's the other way around.
We disagree. IMO glossy displays clearly add contrast/saturation to images. Few would call glossy displays more "neutral."

-Allen Wicks
     
OreoCookie
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Oct 15, 2008, 01:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by SierraDragon View Post
We disagree. IMO glossy displays clearly add contrast/saturation to images. Few would call glossy displays more "neutral."
Physically speaking, he is certainly correct: matte screens have additional compensators to roughen up the surface. They absorb light (different wave lengths at different rates) and reduce contrast and saturation. So matte screens have less contrast and saturation, because of these additional layers.

People have simply gotten used to less saturated screens.

My external screen has a lot larger gamut, so images look more saturated on my external screen than on my ProBook's screen. Ditto for contrast. Both are matte screens that have been calibrated.
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sek929
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Oct 15, 2008, 02:26 PM
 
Exactly, glossy screens are fine for color accuracy, except in a bright sunlight environment, which is the last place you'd be doing color-accurate work anyways.
     
EdipisReks
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Oct 15, 2008, 03:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by SierraDragon View Post
We disagree. IMO glossy displays clearly add contrast/saturation to images.
what you are describing is a physical impossibility.

Few would call glossy displays more "neutral."
perception is not reality.
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EndlessMac
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Oct 15, 2008, 03:42 PM
 
The glossy vs matte display issue is more about glare than color accuracy. My glossy CRT monitor is so much better and more accurate than any notebook I've used. I believe the reason why the issue has become a problem is that people aren't calibrating their monitors. I properly calibrated monitor will have the brightness and contrast adjusted so that it can be used for color correcting.

What's more important is that many notebook screens don't have the large color gamut of a CRT so they are just a poor device for color accuracy to start with. Any serious color accuracy and color correction used by professionals will not be using notebook screens. I do agree that the goal is to make notebooks screens usable for color accuracy work but I believe that issue has less to do with glossy vs matte and more about color gamut ranges and the degree to which the screen's settings can be changed. Things like contrast, brightness, tint, etc.
( Last edited by EndlessMac; Oct 15, 2008 at 03:49 PM. )
     
EdipisReks
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Oct 15, 2008, 03:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by EndlessMac View Post
The glossy vs matte display issue is more about glare than color accuracy. My glossy CRT monitor is so much better and more accurate than any notebook I've used. I believe the reason why the issue has become a problem is that people aren't calibrating their monitors. I properly calibrated monitor will have the brightness and contrast adjusted so that it can be used for color correcting.

What's more important is that many notebook screens don't have the large color gamut of a CRT so they are just a poor device for color accuracy to start with. Any serious color accuracy and color correction used by professionals will not be using notebook screens. I do agree that the goal is to make notebooks screens usable for color accuracy work but I believe that issue has less to do with glossy vs matte and more about color gamut ranges and the degree to which the screen's settings can be changed. Things like contrast, brightness, tint, etc.
you are correct. unfortunately, the people doing the complaining seem to think that the glossy screen has some kind of hex, or maybe a built in leprechaun, that magically super-dupers the contrast and colors (to make it blingy for the stupids!) while also ruining accuracy (to make it hard for all the designers who do layouts for Time magazine in their backyard under a tree on a laptop, or something).
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Scooterboy
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Oct 15, 2008, 03:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by markponcelet View Post
But like most people, glossy screens are an annoyance, and the fact that the 17-inch Macbook Pro is inferior (right now) to the 15-inch one is irritating.
I've been looking at more pictures of these new MacBooks and it seems with the added dimensions of the screen bezel it looks like the new 15" MacBook is as wide as the 17" PowerBook G4 I'm typing on. So maybe 15 is the new 17.
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EdipisReks
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Oct 15, 2008, 04:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by Scooterboy View Post
I've been looking at more pictures of these new MacBooks and it seems with the added dimensions of the screen bezel it looks like the new 15" MacBook is as wide as the 17" PowerBook G4 I'm typing on. So maybe 15 is the new 17.
hardly, the new 15" MBP is 14.35 inches wide, which is only fractionally different from the last design, which was 14.1 inches wide. the 17" MBP is 15.4 inches wide.
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GuyWithACamera
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Oct 15, 2008, 04:29 PM
 
Here ya go: http://www.compushade.com/viewarticle.php?page=3

I'm not a fan of glossy screens for the glare and reflections alone. Any color critical work I do with the desktop or work by the numbers if I have to. However, having the laptop tethered to the camera would make me pretty careful where the glossy screen was pointing when the lights fire during capture. Then again, it could be used as a reflector to bounce light intentionally in a pinch.
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Scooterboy
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Oct 15, 2008, 05:33 PM
 
Wider isn't the direction I wanted these to go. Even fractionally wider. A 17" new MBP would be nearly 16 inches wide. I don't fly in 1st Class anymore these days.
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zaghahzag
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Oct 15, 2008, 06:17 PM
 
its uglier, not much faster and otherwise about the same. having an easy to swap HD is useful i guess.

it has an lcd screen which is supposedly brighter. it has a crappier keyboard. did i mention its uglier?

i have a 2.13 gen 2 mbp and i can't see any reason to upgrade.
     
   
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