or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mac Hardware › Current Mac Hardware › Review: Apple's early 2011 Thunderbolt MacBook Pros
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Review: Apple's early 2011 Thunderbolt MacBook Pros - Page 4

post #121 of 127
Sorry to be a bit pessimistic but this "review" seems only to restate specs. I had expected real-world tests of battery and performance, for instance. Or the quality of the screen.

/p
post #122 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Povilas View Post

Blu-Ray playback? What are you smoking. It's a notebook.

Have to say that I feel exactly the same about onboard HDM as wellI. HDMI is a one-trick-pony fro connecting to televisions. Most/all computer monitors seem to be using VGA/DVI and there is nothing but VGA in the university classroom.

The fact that you can have a single display port that can handle all these by selecting a different dongle is much smarter. The fact that Apple can get us to pay $30 bucks of the darn things is pure genius!!!!

Was one of those i7 reviews supposed to be for the dual core 2.7ghz i7, or did that one not get reviewed?
post #123 of 127
Have been using my new 2011 Macbook Pro 15-inch for about a week now. Impressions:

Good:
- Impressive speed - delivers as promised.
- Have the high-res matte screen. Sharp, bright, love the extra screen real-estate.
- Enjoying the trackpad - the multitouch gestures are more than a gimmick, extremely useful in a good number of situations.

Bad:
- Battery life in real world usage is very, very disappointing. Granted, if you browse using Safari on non-Flash websites at 50% brightness or so, you can get 7 hours ... however, the drop-off from 7 hours if you do almost anything else is precipitous. Real use battery life - doing something like moderate (not high intensity) ... layout in Pages, media browsing, Photoshop, Garage Band or X-Code - is only 2-3 hours. What seems to be different from previous Macbook Pros I have owned is how precipitous this drop-off is between the 'light usage' and real usage. If you are willing to spend your time managing battery life and limiting which software you use, the battery seems capable of impressive times ... BUT if you just get on with doing your thing, this new MacBook Pro's battery time suffers unlike any before.
post #124 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by delany View Post

Bad:
- Battery life in real world usage is very, very disappointing. Granted, if you browse using Safari on non-Flash websites at 50% brightness or so, you can get 7 hours ... however, the drop-off from 7 hours if you do almost anything else is precipitous. Real use battery life - doing something like moderate (not high intensity) ... layout in Pages, media browsing, Photoshop, Garage Band or X-Code - is only 2-3 hours. What seems to be different from previous Macbook Pros I have owned is how precipitous this drop-off is between the 'light usage' and real usage. If you are willing to spend your time managing battery life and limiting which software you use, the battery seems capable of impressive times ... BUT if you just get on with doing your thing, this new MacBook Pro's battery time suffers unlike any before.

The battery life compared to other machines is good, but there is an unfortunate flaws with the way the GPU switches between the integrated and discrete GPUs.

One, from what I recall reading its not based on actual graphic usage but on certain process types that trigger the usage. This includes Flash, so even if its just a Flash ad or if Flash is idle even though the Safari app is closed it will still be using the dGPU. I wish it was smarter.

Two, Apple only has two options for the dGPU. Either dynamic switching or the dGPU always on. Id like two things to change here. One being the option to only use the iGP, and the other to auto allow the iGP to run when using battery as the power source and dGPU when plugged in.

Here is a free workaround to increase your battery life.
http://codykrieger.com/gfxCardStatus
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
post #125 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

The battery life compared to other machines is good, but there is an unfortunate flaws with the way the GPU switches between the integrated and discrete GPUs.
...
Here is a free workaround to increase your battery life.
http://codykrieger.com/gfxCardStatus

Yes - 3rd party fixes for the lack of GPU control may be the way to go. I'm a little reluctant to use a 3rd party fix for something so low-level in the OS in case it affects the more general performance that I'm very happy with - but I hope that's unfounded.

This sort of thing is the big downside to buying Apple. When it works it *just works* - when it doesn't (and, happily, it's not that often), they mostly refuse to do anything for far too long (as well as trying to deny the issue up to the moment it is fixed). Even when there seems like something obvious they could do to improve things - like an 'always off' option here.

I've owned 5 Mac portables over about 15 years and to be frank, the battery is the one element that has always failed to live up to expectations (even with the understanding that all battery claims are, in general, huge exaggerations). I was very skeptical when Apple went with the non-user-replaceable design but optimistic if it the new batteries were really a significant improvement over previous ones. However, that really doesn't seem to be the case. Granted, they're a bit better, but not to the extent that you don't need a second battery when doing real world tasks on, say, a long flight. Hopefully the claims of longevity are not as caveated.
post #126 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by delany View Post

I've owned 5 Mac portables over about 15 years and to be frank, the battery is the one element that has always failed to live up to expectations (even with the understanding that all battery claims are, in general, huge exaggerations).

They arent exaggerations, they are using a specific set of tests. Youll get what they promise you.

If you want to run Photoshop Garageband and Xcode at the same time that duration will drop significantly. Thats not an exageration on Apples part, thats just the reality of it.

Apple has been making their tests more stringent over the years and announced another change to their battery measurements last year when the introduced the new MBAs which is why the 2011 MBPs have a lower battery duration despite running as long or better than the previous models.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
post #127 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

They arent exaggerations, they are using a specific set of tests. Youll get what they promise you.

If you want to run Photoshop Garageband and Xcode at the same time that duration will drop significantly. Thats not an exageration on Apples part, thats just the reality of it.

Apple has been making their tests more stringent over the years and announced another change to their battery measurements last year when the introduced the new MBAs which is why the 2011 MBPs have a lower battery duration despite running as long or better than the previous models.

There's no need to defend Apple to me - obviously I like 'em - I've been using their computers exclusively for over 20 years. Like most other Mac users, I know there's an asterisk that sits beside the claim of 7 hours.

However, as a long time user of Macs, I'm seeing that compared to the way previous Apple batteries performed in real work conditions vs. Apple's use case scenario, these batteries/computers are a bit different. The drop off between light use and real use is much greater. Anyone with previous experience of Apple batteries who is thinking of getting a new one based on the 7 hour claim should be warned: those 7 hours do not scale so well to real work use.

Anyway, just trying to inform. If you don't like the word 'exaggeration', pick another one that you prefer.

[Fyi I wasn't talking about using all those pieces of software at the same time ... just one will do it.]
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Current Mac Hardware
AppleInsider › Forums › Mac Hardware › Current Mac Hardware › Review: Apple's early 2011 Thunderbolt MacBook Pros