New MacBook Pro – The First Five Days

After a week of debate with everyone at Gangplank, multiple trips to the Apple Store and serious consideration toward buying a bunch of new, USB-capable hard drives, I eschewed the extremely popular MacBook Air (at least among my circle) and pulled the trigger on a new 13.3″ MacBook Pro.

I got the base model, with 2.3ghz, dual-core i5s, 320gb of hard drive space, 4gb of RAM and an integrated Intel video card. After selling my year-old 13.3″ MacBook Pro to my sister for $700, I was able to shell out only $420 for my new beauty.

It was the most anticlimactic new Mac ever. First, it looks and feels EXACTLY the same as my previous MacBook Pro. Save for the Thunderbolt port that looks exactly like a Mini Display port, my new Macbook Pro is, aesthetically, the exact same machine.

Until I started using it.

One three-minute, 1080p video in iMovie, which used to take 10-15 minutes to render AND paralyzed my computer, now processes in just over five. Pages load just a little bit quicker. The fan doesn’t come on ever. It just feels…quicker, as it should.

They were also some new computer quirks. The USB ports feel very tight, but I expect those will loosen up as I use them. The Thunderbolt port feels loose, but it works just fine and the cord never falls out. The keyboard, which is the most important part of the machine for me, feels a bit springier but comfortable. The speakers sound MUCH better, ‘though I’m not sure they are in any way improved.

On the downside, battery life is slightly less, but not annoyingly so. I had no problem using my laptop on my nearly four-hour flight yesterday, with WiFi on for about half of that. I used it again when I got home, closed it for the night, and woke up to a battery with 30% capacity. Not quite as good as my previous model, but definitely not something that will become an issue.

Although the sexiness of the MacBook Air continues to entice me, I’m quite happy with my purchase. So, how are those iPad 2s?