Friday, March 4, 2011

A disappointing 2011 MacBook Pro refresh

This past week Apple released their new MacBook Pro (MBP) lineup after a little less than a year since the previous refresh. The new MacBook Pro's include an Intel Core i7 processor, a new more powerful graphics processor and a "thunderbolt" port.

I've been waiting for the MBP updates for a few months so I could decide on how best to upgrade my current setup. I've been balancing my time between a Google Chrome Notebook, a Dell Studio XPS Desktop and the previous generation of the MacBook Air. The second generation MacBook Air had some very interesting improvements and if Apple followed the same formula I saw dropping my desktop and Air in favor of a more powerful, slimmer MacBook Pro. Needless to say this refresh was disappointing for me.

Of all the major improvements Apple could have made they choose the easiest: faster processor and better graphics. I was hoping for something more dramatic: a slimmer case, dropping the optical drive (debatable) and expanding the battery, making the SSD standard and adding the quick boot option. The most important I wanted to see was making the SSD standard which insured a quicker boot, sleep recovery and increased battery life. This would have put the MacBook Pro way ahead of it's competitors, instead it manages just to hang in and the SSD continues to be a $300 upgrade for the bare minimum 128GB.

The MacBook Air is a little too underpowered and the MacBook Pro isn't portable enough. I think it's time to reinvest in my desktop, get rid of my MacBook Air and cruise with my Chrome Notebook - which has 2 free years of Verizon data access.

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