MacBook Pro 15-inch Earns PCMAG Editors' Choice Award

The 15-inch, 2.6 GHz Penryn-based MacBook Pro has fabulous design elements, is faster and lighter than competitors and has a 15 percent better battery life than its Merom-based predecessor, according to PC Magazineis review on Wednesday. It earned an Editorsi Choice award.

Cicso Cheng ticked off the key features of the MacBook Pro. Itis lighter than competitors like the Dell XPS M1530 and the HP Pavilion dv6500t even though those computers have a sloping frame to make then look thin and light.

The 1,440 x 900 screen is still the only 15-inch screen on the market to use LED backlighting. In addition, the LEDs "have power-saving characteristics, supposedly longer life spans, and a color gamut wider than that of their CCFL counterparts."

Mr. Cheng agreed with others and wrote that those who bought a Merom-based MacBook Pro in 2007 wonit feel much envy, but those who bought a first generation Yonah-based MacBook Pro will find the performance gains "intriguing." [The Yonah processor was 32-bit only.]

Mr. Cheng also took the time to point out the Green nature of the Apple notebook, both in its manufacturing, free of brominated flame retardants and PVCs, as well as the power consumption. While more power efficient than competitors as well as the previous generation, its 16 watts in idle state didnit quite earn the Energy Star 4.0 requirement [14 watts].

The reviewer loaded Boot Camp and Windows for some benchmark tests and found that competitors like the "Sony VAIO VGN-SZ791N and the Fujitsu LifeBook A6120, lagged behind the MacBook Pro (Penryn) on SYSmark 2007 Preview, CineBench R10, and video-encoding tests."

In a concise review that touched on every aspect of the new MacBook Pro, Cisco Chengis only complaint was that the design seems to be a bit dated. That doesnit mean itis not better looking than anything out there, but in time, if the design doesnit change, others could surpass it.

The review said everything that could be said, very concisely, including the fact that Apple supplied a unit with a 2.6 GHz processor [+$250] and 4 GB RAM [+$400]. So it was only fair to quote the corresponding retail price of US$3,149. However, with fairness, Mr. Cheng pointed out that one would still be very happy with 2.5 GHz, 2 GB RAM and a retail price of $2,499. Here is one case where Appleis exorbitant pricing for factory RAM hurts their case.

Mr Cheng concluded. "...until Apple can achieve EPEAT Gold status, itis not ready to receive the PC Magazine Green Approved seal." However, it did receive a PC Magazine Editorsi Choice award.