Monday, April 4, 2011

Macbook Pro (Early 2011) First Impressions

I know this isn't really that interesting a post, but I'm just going to put down some of the things that intrigued me when I started using my new macbook pro, and what I found was different compared to the early 2008 model that I used before.

First of all, they keyboard is quite nice, I think I prefer this keyboard to the old one, but I think that this chiclet is louder when typing compared to the older keyboard. The keys are very responsive, and I like how the spaces under they keys are smaller, so I would think that it's harder for dust to enter (compared to my older macbook pro).

Another thing is obviously going to be the glossy screen. I love how the colors just "pop out" at you, and the display seems vastly better. But the glossiness can be annoying sometimes, especially when it's in the daylight. I think it might be a bit easier to clean the screen now, though there are still crevices where dust can accumulate.

I love how the speaker grill holes are smaller, one pet peeve I had with the older macbook pro was how the dust would accumulate in the holes of the speaker, which would make it look clogged. However, with this new model since the holes are so small I don't think this will happen. Speaker quality is better as well in the new macbook pro.

For the USB ports I do sometimes wish that they would be opposite to each other (so one left one right of the computer). Sometimes I would have a really big USB device and it wouldn't fit, since there isn't that much space between the USB ports.

Superdrive/Firewire 400
I personally like the superdrive on the right side compared to at the bottom of the computer (facing you) since it fits my setup, but it could go either way. I am somewhat sad that there is no firewire 400 port, but I guess times have moved on (I have a firewire 400 drive, but I just use USB on it now since it had USB as well).

Line in port
I had a headset (where there's a headset and microphone component) which worked perfectly with the older macbook pro, but when I started to use this new one it didn't work at all (the mic part). I later realized that the mic port is actually a line in jack, something along those lines, so it no longer supported my headset mic. I luckily had those USB sound cards on hand so it now works (since it's powered). Somewhat disappointed at that

HD Webcam
I definitely see a difference in the video, seeing that this is a HD webcam, but the photo quality didn't seem that good (as you could see with the previous pictures). I'll continue to use it and see how it goes.

Display adapters
In the new macbook pro there is no longer the dual DVI port, but rather there is the minidisplay port. I think that apple should seriously consider giving out minidisplayport to VGA port adapters, since very little projectors etc. use minidisplayport. I don't really want to buy a $40 adapter, whereas for my older macbook pro it had a DVI to VGA connector, so I didn't need to buy anything.

The trackpad also feels different, because there's no longer a button at the bottom. I think that I personally like the old trackpad more, but I think the glass makes it harder for the trackpad to rub off (since I think for my old computer since I used it for so long sometimes a part of the plastic would rub off, and it would look more shiny). For some reason it feels like that the trackpad is not as sensitive to my old computer, but I'm pretty sure I'll get more accustomed to it over time.

Edit: I know I said I might get used to the trackpad sensitivity over time, but I never got used to it. Rather, by googling I realized that a lot of other people perhaps have been experiencing the same problem (though looks like their problem may be more hardware oriented). In light of this, in a specific post someone mentioned a software called Better touch tool, which is a free piece of software where you can freely augment many sensitivities settings with the trackpad. After downloading it, it may be just me but I think I'm enjoying the sensitivity of my old macbook pro trackpad. Bad thing is that it's another piece of software to run at startup, which doesn't really make me happy but what can you do? It's up to apple to provide good drivers for the trackpad and I have found this lacking.

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