There are more ports and sockets scattered around the thicker chassis, including ethernet and more than one USB socket, as well as an optical drive.
The Pro also boasts far more power than the Air – and many other laptops.
A 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7700 powered the MacBook to a respectable score of 1.20 in our 2D benchmarks, while running Windows Vista using Boot Camp – more than enough power to negotiate Mac OS X Leopard with ease. There’s also a 200GB, 7200rpm hard disk inside, which offers double the capacity of the Air.
It shares the design flourishes we’ve come to expect, including that magnetic power cable. And even if it fell to the ground, Apple’s build quality provides good protection. The Pro is superbly sturdy, with the lid protecting the 15.4in screen exhibiting barely any flex. The rest of the laptop is strong, too, with the wristrest and base rock-solid under pressure.
The screen itself is a high point. Excellent quality is matched by a generous native resolution of 1440 x 900, allowing for easy multitasking.
Another area where the Pro differs from the Air is the keyboard. It’s a more traditional layout that offers plenty of comfort, and is coupled with a large, responsive trackpad.
Battery life was disappointing for a laptop designed for road trips. The Pro lasted only three hours in our light-use test, and a mere hour under heavy use.
It’s reasonable, but the Fujitsu Siemens and Lenovo X300 offer more.
It’s also obvious that more laptop is available for far less this month. The Pro isn’t cheap, and there’s no HDMI output, fingerprint reader, card reader or ExpressCard slot – all common elsewhere.
If you’re willing to forego these features for the stunning design and solid build quality, the Pro is worth considering. Just take a close look at the less expensive alternatives here before you buy. New models were released as we went to press, with more power, but they are similarly expensive for the specification.
Impressive in several areas, but other laptops offer better features and more performance for less cash.
• www.apple.com/au: www.apple.com
• Price: 2699 • CPU model/brand: Intel Core 2 Duo T7700 • CPU speed: 2.4Ghz • Memory capacity: 2GB • Hard drive capacity: 200GB • Graphics type: Nvidia GeForce 8600M GT • Graphics: 256GB • Screen resolution: 15.4" • Weight: 2.4kg • Dimensions WDH: 357 x 243 x 26mm • Battery type (cells): 5400mAh • Ethernet: Yes • Wi-Fi: Yes • Bluetooth ports: Yes • USB ports: Yes • Speakers: Yes • Operating system: Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard • Manufacturer: Apple • Supplier: Apple • Warranty: 1 yr RTB