First Impressions of New 13.3″ MacBook Pro With i7 Processor

If you’ve been a loyal Buddha fan you’ve undoubtedly been following my gadget saga in regards to my switch from the PC world to the land of Apple.  I took the next step in my transformation to the Darkside yesterday when I purchased the latest model of the 13.3″ MacBook Pro from Best Buy.  Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I’d pay through the nose for an Apple laptop, but it was time for a drastic change in my computing philosophies.  Plus, with my Best Buy card I get 18 months no APR, which to me is free money (that is until I get the bill each month, mouth puke), so I took the plunge into the magical space of owning an Apple laptop.

After consulting with Apple fanboy numero uno, Hank the Gank, I decided to go with the smaller 13.3″ MacBook Pro versus its insanely expensive big brothers.  Besides, I had a 17″ Vaio that convinced me that smaller is better these days when it comes to portable gadgets.  The best part about the new 13 inch MBP is that it now has the i7 dual-core processor, 4GB of RAM, Thunderbolt port, and a 500GB HDD, which the last 13 inch model did not have.  I really didn’t think I needed the quad-core, which is available on the 15 and 17 inch models, so I took the sensible approach and picked up the little guy.

Thunderbolt Port Ho!

Without a doubt this machine is a piece of art.  From its smooth aluminum styling to the flashy OS X I’ve been more than impressed.  Setup was a breeze, and nothing like the clusterf*ck that setting up a new Windows PC can be.  In fact, I spent more time just staring at all of the bells and whistles on the MBP than I did setting it up.  Once the the setup process was complete I was turned loose to a brand new world that I’ve never experienced before in a computing environment.  Boy do I have a lot to learn, as well as a lot of behaviors to forget.

You see, I’m so used to having to know the inside and outs of a Windows PC that it’s hard for me to just accept that Macs pretty much just work.  You really don’t have to manage memory by checking on a task manager constantly, and there’s really not much to configure in the OS X environment.  Outside of a few simple settings the environment is what it is.  I used to think this was a negative for Apple, but I kind of dig not having to learn the guts of this OS just so I can use it efficiently.

The speed of the MBP is amazing to say the least.  You can really see the i7 in action on this thing, and the memory management is stellar.  I literally have to stop myself from always wanting to shut apps down completely.  OS X does a fine job of managing them without my help, so I need to keep my hands out of the cookie jar.  I did have one lock up, but it’s because I installed MS Silverlight.  Go f*cking figure right?

Gadget Elegance

Graphically this device is sharp.  The HD screen looks beautiful, and all of the animations built into the OS execute without a hiccup.  The screen itself feels very familiar due to the fact that it looks just like the iPad 2’s, albeit with better resolutions.  I love the Expose feature, which allows me to swipe around open windows without causing the processor to skip a beat.  She just runs smooth no matter what operation I throw at it.

In all honesty though, my favorite feature of the 13.3″ MacBook Pro has to be the trackpad.  In my PC days I hated the touchpads so feverishly that I’d disable them.  This is totally not the case with Apple’s version of the touch interface.  I thought I’d at least need a mouse with my new MBP, but after a day on the trackpad I’ll never need one of those little rodents again.  This think can work wonders all with a few gestures.  It really does make the experience feel like your sitting at a desk and just winging files and folders over it for easy retrieval.  I can’t wait to get the Lion OS this July, which will bring iPad like functionality to this already awesome trackpad.

There’s Some Magic in That Trackpad

I’m not going to bore you with a full review, because many people have done that already for the newest MBP models, but I do want to stress my satisfaction with my latest purchase.  If I had to give it a score it’d be an EB 9.5/10.  The 13.3″ MBP is a thing of magic and wizardry, which will only get better as I learn may way around the OS X environment.  It provides a liberating experience even though it has limitations that a Windows PC might not have when it comes to customization features, but it makes up for that in its sexiness.  I took the plunge and I landed on my feet.

If you were like me and hated on Apple because you never tried it, I suggest giving them a go before you make the same mistakes I did by talking sh*t about their products.  It is a very pompous and controlling company, but these days I think I’m down with someone telling me what to do.  I’m burnt out on the whole I can customize the living sh*t out of my laptop mentality, so this is a perfect time for me to get acquainted with Mr. Jobs and his toys.  If you’ve got the funds and need a new laptop I can recommend a MBP in full confidence.  Stay tuned for further updates as I’m sure I’ll learn new things with the MBP as the weeks go bye.  For a listing of its guts you can take a look below.  You’ve been prodded to sip the Kool-Aid…


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Tags : applecool techFirst ImpressionsMacBook Pro
Matt Heywood

The author Matt Heywood

Matt Heywood is the founder and EIC of where he strives to make you a better geek, one post at a time! When he’s not scouring the Internet for interesting nuggets of awesomeness he can be found in his secret lair enjoying the latest and greatest video games, taking pictures of toys, or talking Star Wars on EB’s Star Wars Time podcast show.