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My first notebook

March 2, 2008 Leave a comment

Some days ago I’ve ordered my first notebook ever. I’m quite excited since I’ve chosen a nice beast, without sacrificing mobility: an Apple MacBook Pro. Actually, I don’t really care about MacOS even though I’m in the need for that OS to test applications I write, with different OSes and hardware configs. One of the first things I’m gonna do is install WinXP since I’ve got already Vista on my desktop.

For all the people that might wonder what made me choose an Apple product… I just reply saying that an Apple product is just like any other product. Yes, they are quite a bit more expensive, but that’s because in commerce you ALWAYS pay more for better looking products. Always.

Having that said, what made me take that notebook instead of, say, a Dell or Asus product? Well, the specs. Pure and simple. What I was in the need was a notebook with:

  • Penryn Cpu, which is both fast and energy efficient (45nm, even better if the 3MB-chached version which consumes even less)
  • nVidia 8600 with at least 256MB of dedicated VRam, or if that was not available, an 8800 (actually the 8700 is being assembled with the old productive process, wich is way less efficient)
  • A good quality screen (possibly not with TN panel), with LED back-light in order to have better contrast and be less hungry on the battery
  • As a plus, my ideal notebook would have had a BTO option for a 7200RPM hard drive (even though capacity isn’t something I’m interested in as long as it’s greater than 60GB, an SSD option whould just be too much expensive)

I’ve studied all the possibile notebooks that could have met my standards, and actually there weren’t any at all. 😮

The old base MacBook Pro had led back-lit display, 8600 (but with just 128MB vram) and no penryn.. The dell XPSes had no led back-lit displays, nor the penryn; Toshiba alternatives were even worse. The only two possible candidates were the Acer 5920 (the top version) and the Asus M50v.

While the latter was a good solution all around (a very nice thing was the nVidia 9500.. DX10.1 with per-MRT blending, and such..) didn’t had a very good display (just 1280 without led back-lighting); the former was similar, even though with “just” the nVidia 8600 and similarly to the M50v, no LED display (with a nice resolution of 1440 though). Actually I was more interested in the ASUS solution just because Acer products seems “cheap” or “not-so-well-made”.

I sweared to myself: if Apple is not going to update their pro notebooks in a couple of days (I could hold on up to Tuesday-Wednesday), I was going to take the Asus’ one.

Fortunately Apple did the long awaited update and I took the base model, with a 7200RPM hard drive. Seeing the online reviews, I was also impressed with the display quality: it doesn’t seem to be a TN panel thanks to the high viewing angles and overall quality.

Now my shipment is in transit and I hope to put my hands on it on Tuesday or Wednesday at most. As it arrives, I’ll take some shoots and will discuss here the positive and negative aspects.

W00t!

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