back to article Apple MacBook Pro 15in June 2009 release

The recent rapid evolution of Apple’s laptop range continues apace this month, with changes to virtually every model. The 15in MacBook Pro – or, to be precise, the 15.4in MacBook Pro – received a major update back in October when Apple introduced its new ‘unibody’ aluminium design, so we weren’t expecting anything other than the …


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  1. Ewen Bruce

    Limiting choice?

    How is Apple "limiting consumer choice" by building the battery in? That sounds dangerously like touchy-feeley marketing-led gibberish to me. You have the choice to not by the laptop if you want a removable battery, but since 98% of laptop users don't buy a spare battery anyway, who really cares? I suppose they're 'limiting consumer choice' by making is silver too; don't people who want pink and yellow stripey laptops have rights too?

  2. Richard Cartledge

    Replaceable batteries

    Replaceable batteries will be a thing of the past, Apple just got there first with PiPo technology. There is no way manufacturers can let dumb users handle these.

    Just do a youtube search for "lipo battery" to see how explosive they are when dropped..

  3. Anonymous Coward

    at that price...

    .... and still doesn't have a blu-ray drive?

    wither Jobs like the blu-ray contract or not is irrelevant.... some of us wants to watch HD videos on the blood thing.

  4. Anonymous Coward


    Explain to me how a laptop with no noticeable downsides and a lowered pricetag can still only garner a 85% rating? What the hell does it take to reach a 100%

  5. Eric Dennis
    Thumb Down

    It takes being a mac finatic like me to reach 100%

    After all, we're talking about Macs here. Perfection isn't for you common folk. Perfection is only for those of us who are the master race. LOL!!!!!

  6. Darren Coleman

    @Buck Futter

    "What the hell does it take to reach a 100%"

    An unashamed Apple fanboy for a reviewer I guess?

  7. Big Bear

    @Buck Futter

    Oh the impetuosity (sic?) of youth... wait till the next Apple Conference to see the new, better, 100% product!

    PS. @Ewen Bruce

    Swapping batteries isn't the only reason to remove a battery from a laptop - it is good to have the ability to do such things when changing components, or opening it up for cleaning, as well as those occasions where the machine is the recipient of spilt liquids.

  8. RPF

    Lets the side down...

    Shame about that slow HDD... ...why use such poor-performance hardware in such a fine machine?

    Those "uni-bodies" do feel so much stronger than the previous model (I am one of those seething previous-model guys, although at least I paid nothing like £1799!), but to NEVER be able to change the battery is of concern; I'd be worried every time I unplugged the thing!

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Graphics Discrepancy?

    How is it that the discrete and integrated graphics on the same machine score nearly the same on the OpenGL and Quartz tests?

  10. Michael C

    "only" a 9400m GPU?

    OK, first, other than really high end XPS systems from Dell, they donlt offer systems with a better (or even equal) GPU to the 9400m in 13 or 15" systems for this price or less, and even the systems that do have a 9500m don;t offer near the features, and have crappy 2 hour batteries and lower general specs.

    Take the $300 step up to the 9400/9600 combo 15" and then Dell doesn't even OFFER a competitor, nor doeas HP. All their close systems are well over $2K, are all 17", and are all over 10lbs (Dell's closest is an alienware at 11.8lbs and over $2700...).

    Even the $999 white Macbook beats the snot out of everything else close to it now that it also has a 9400m. If you;re interested in less performance than that, you better plan on running XP and doing little more than web and e-mail... and if that's all you want, then why are you comparing a $599 POS notebook to a media machine like a Mac?

    Compare a MEDIA machine, capable of video editing and supporting 4GB or RAM to any of the equivalent Macs and you'll find typically the Mac is CHEAPER and better equipped. in a few rare models Dell and HP come in about $100-150 cheaper, but adding the 3rd party software to do proper pict and vid editing, and other software you'd need for Vista or 7 you likely don;t already own on your Xp machine, then you're still above Apple's prices...

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Shiny Screen?

    Doesn't this replace the last of the Apple laptops that don't have the shiny screen? I don't know about other gasses wearers but I can't use glossy screens at all. Have we reverted back to the days of add on anti-glare screens?

  12. Mark Greenwood

    How Much ?!?!

    I mean, come on, HOW MUCH?

  13. Inspectre cluas-o
    Jobs Halo

    What about the previous 2.93 Ghz CPU model...

    ...surely that is faster- and hotter (35W)? I picked up one of these as a refurb for less than the current 'medium' iteration. Nowhere near the same battery life but decent grunt and 512Mb VRAM in case Snow Leopard actually does manage to divy out work to the graphics processor.

    I suppose I could get a spare battery...

  14. Ted Treen
    Jobs Halo

    @Ewen Bruce

    Good grief, man:- a comment of common sense! Whatever next? No doubt you'll be flamed...

    @Big Bear

    "...those occasions where the machine is the recipient of spilt liquids...".

    I've never thought of making a laptop "the recipient of spilt liquids".

    Is there any advantage in doing so?

  15. Fazal Majid

    A solution for battery expansion

    HyperMac makes an external battery pack with a MagSafe connector. Apple has patents on MagSafe, but it looks like they worked around that by splicing cables harvested from the Apple car battery adapter cable. I have the small one for my MacBook Air, and it works quite well.

  16. Michael Brown
    Jobs Halo

    @Mark Greenwood

    "How much?" - what's your point? Are you saying it's expensive? See Michael C's post above. There isn't another PC laptop that compares to the MBP 15", and those that come close cost much more than the Mac and weigh a ton.

  17. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
    Jobs Horns

    The 1%

    I was thinking that maybe Apple fixed the limp screens and I can buy a 15" laptop for work and play. Nope. They got rid of the ExpressCard where I'd need to plug in a cell modem.

    Buy a USB modem and Velcro it to the side when not in use? No thanks. Buy a cellphone and tether it? Even more clunky.

  18. Thomas Bottrill
    Thumb Up

    Only one real complaint

    I got one of the 2.8GHz models the other week, and the only real complaint I have with it is that it has numerous problems with Windows 7. The sound's really quiet, Windows is unable to control the brightness of the screen, and there are reportedly problems with the keyboard backlight.

    Having said that, the screen is gorgeous, the trackpad is excellent (once you get used to it), and I'm even starting to like OS X (never owned a Mac before - was mainly going to use Windows on it, and only bought it for the hardware).

    Big thumbs up from me, other than the problems with Windows.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No expresscard slot, no eSATA, no thanks

    SDHC is nice, but at the expense of the expresscard slot?


  20. Marvin the Martian

    Seething over 1800 --> 1300 quid

    If you paid almost a year ago (october) 500 quid extra for a bleeding edge computer, then that was the fair price! Now the same model is upper-middle-market, so cheaper, and as an extra plaster on the wound the HD is shrunk.

    Compare pricefalls in processors... similar if not larger differences.

    Where's the time a laptop had 3years life expectancy? Then the old price would be the same or better deal: 1800 for 3year or 1300 for 2year before it's obsolete.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There's a more top-end than top-end option

    if you go playing in the Build To Order options, you can have a 3.06GHz processor in there for another £240. You can also go hog wild and pay £800 for the privilege of another 4GB of RAM... (mark you, even Crucial will relieve you of £625 for the same amount of memory: DDR3 is pricey)

  22. Chris iverson

    I love flame wars

    The price on mac vs laptop doesnt really stack up. Checking HP which is arguably the "premium" brand I found a nice 16" with a 9600m GT, 320 GB HD, 4 GB RAM, and blu-ray for less than the MBP. though $200 less not to mention that if you argue your way out of Vista there is even more saved. Doesnt have the dual video cards which I do very well on my 4 year old FX5900 but I guess that I am still in the school of thought that games should be played on real know the one with a hole for trees in the front and a big exhaust stack out back.

    any off to do what the icon says I should

    P.S. thank you el reg for the new many choices......

  23. Dave 142

    not just games

    Games aren't the only reason for a graphics card. Ever tried using visualisation software with vast numbers of particles & triangles without one? It's not good.

  24. Dennis Adams

    Can we get our money back?

    Does Apple (or Apple stores in the UK) have policies about people why buy laptops just before the price changes or newer model is launched?

    The difference is substantial.

  25. Big Bear

    @Ted Treen

    I find it generally livens my day up, as without a little panic I am usually on the verge of sleep for most of the afternoon in the office. A quick spillage really gets the adrenaline pumping as the muscles kick into action in a bullet-time-esque sequence of tearing laptop off its docking station and the fumbling around the release latch, while ignoring scalding hot tea streaming off the keyboard, and the laughter of the so-called team mates I am sat with.

    Ahhh... to be back in the halcyon days of using that old waterproof Itronix Go-Book which was up to milspec...

  26. Thomas Bottrill

    RE: Can we get our money back?

    I read somewhere else (an Engadget comment, I think) that Apple Stores will replace what you bought (and charge/refund you the difference) if an updated version comes out within 14 days of your purchase.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: No expresscard slot, no eSATA, no thanks

    Yup I agree. Stupid omission. Demanding HD 1080p video editing is possible but limited therefore. Thanks to ProRes422 intermediate codec on Final Cut Pro, 1080p is 220Mbps - well within Firewire800 so it is still possible.

    Alternatively, dual purpose USB/eSATA ports like on my 250quid Toshiba NB100 would have been useful.

  28. Barry Critchell
    Jobs Horns

    Nice hardware....

    ...shame about the price, OS and fanatical mouth foaming devotees.

    I needed to buy a Mac as around half of my work is native Mac based. The new Macbook Pro IS a lovely laptop with plenty of power and great hardware, it runs Windows beautifully.

    Now the people that sneered "Uh, WIN DOOOOZE....." and rolled thier eyes at me when I pulled out my trusty Toshiba now greet me warmly as if I've all of a sudden achieved enlightenment.

    I'm full of praise for the hardware, can't stand the unintuitive OS though.

    If I put a USB stick with some music on it into a PC, Windows asks me if I want to play it (using whichever apps will play it) or open the folder to view the files. In MacOSX, it asks me if I want to import them into iTunes and when I click "No" it assumes I'd rather do nothing at all with it....

    Same with pictures. Import to iPhoto? No? Ok, I'll do NOTHING!!!

    So much for "It just works".

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Superb battery life

    I just got a 13" model and I have to say the battery life on these non-user replaceable models is quite something.

    After using it in various ways I get no less than 6 hrs frequently getting almost 8 hrs out of it with continuous surfing and a reasonable level of brightness and after a full charge with the brightness right down and it reports 9 hrs even with wifi on.

    My work HP laptop is crying at this kind of performance with it's paltry 2hrs if I gently massage it.

    I can understand the issue of not being able to swap the field, but as a mostly home user this is a real win (and no longer constantly tied to a wall).

    Still, and along with other manufacturers, I still find it annoying that such a robust machine ships with only a one year warranty. Does any manufacturer have the balls to guarantee their machine for longer as standard? It doesn't scream of confidence in their build quality, does it?

  30. Rob Davis

    RE: Can we get our money back?

    I'd keep it: if your machine has an ExpressCard interface you won't get this in the newer hardware except for the 17"

  31. drbingo

    HDD Access

    Did you upgrade the Firmware to allow for the full 3Gbps SATA? Or were you stuck on the 1.5Gbps?

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