Using The Santa Rosa Macbook Pro

Yesterday, the Fedex man dropped off a package from Apple Computers. Inside was a brand new Macbook Pro. Anyone who know me know that Apple isn’t on my list of favorite computer makers. To me, Apple is a music company that happens to make computers as well.

The new Macbook Pro is the first Apple laptop to make use of the new Intel Penryn processor, which helps to increase the performance gap between it and the weaker non-pro Macbook. The Pro is available in two models, a big 17″ monster and my 15.4″ unit, which happens to be the lightest 15.4″ laptop in the world (it weighs only 0.4lbs more than the 13″ Macbook). Until recently, the Macbook Pro was also the world’s thinnest laptop at 1 inch thick. That title now belongs to the Macbook Air.

It Makes a Good First Impression


My first impression of the Macbook Pro was it sure looks good. One thing you can’t fault Apple for is style. The Macbook Pro is just oozing it. The Pro is one of the best looking laptops I’ve ever seen. However, good looks will get you only so far.

Upon opening the new Macbook, I noticed a few things missing from the keyboard. There was no print screen key or a backspace. I later found out that you need to hit three keys to do a screen capture and the delete key is really the backspace.

Since I only had the Macbook Pro for a day, I haven’t really drove into it enough to give a final verdict. I’m having a love hate relationship with the Mac OS. I love that this thing can boot up in just 25 seconds but I hate that there’s only one way to resize a window. I also find it a little unnerving that an Intel powered laptop doesn’t need any anti virus software. So far, the OS has been as stable as a rock. I’m waiting for the first crash. The Mac users on my IM list tell me I’ll be waiting till the cows come home.

How Much Does It Cost?

For the price of the Macbook Pro, you can get one hell of a powerful Windows laptop with more features. However, the Mac fan boy would say it still isn’t a Mac. Right now, I really don’t see what the big deal is about. I’ll be using the Macbook with the Mac OS X for a week. If I can’t get use to it by then, I’m replacing with it with Windows and sticking a Microsoft sticker on the back of the screen. 😈

Look for an update in a week. Place your bets now on whether this Pro will remain a Mac or become a Windows machine.

105 thoughts on “Using The Santa Rosa Macbook Pro”

    1. John Chow says:

      Now how did I know the first comment will come from a fan boy? πŸ˜›

      1. Steven says:

        Did you get it directly from Apple as a free gift. I’ll assume you didn’t purposely order it.

    2. Tyler Ingram says:


      Ah well if I had the money or someone gave me a Mac I’d use it. I like their styling. Besides the only thing I can’t use a Mac for is Gaming..

      Anyone out there willing to send me a MacBook? I don’t need the pro πŸ˜‰

    3. Amen to that. I just got mine and now I want to have its babies. I second that emotion.

  1. I am surprised you don’t like macs i fix computers for a living and I have to say windows is crap (well they do keep me in business) hay jhon I emailed you about doing the ad pooling for your site I haven’t gotten a response please email me I’ll try again later.

    1. John Chow says:

      I did reply. I don’t do pools.

      1. oh that really s**ks but I’ll try coming up with something else thanks anyway

  2. Mac OS X > Windows Vista

    ‘Nuff said.

    1. this reaLLy IS a GOOd post I haven’t seen nate post here in a long time

    2. RacerX says:

      To be fair though…


      See a pattern πŸ™‚

    3. Haha.. now that, I agree with. Although, OS X does make me put my password in every time I want to install something new.

      But then again, I don’t mind when Vista or OS X does it really. Whatever keeps the boogie man away.

  3. I’ve tested them out in the Apple store and they seem to be cool but XP and my PC seem to be doing just fine for now. Maybe in the future I’ll change over.

  4. I am a Window’s guy too, but you can’t beat Mac for publishing. My day job requires that we have Mac’s, but by night I am a window’s man! I feel so dirty 2 timing them!

  5. I switched to Mac in 2001 and stayed with it until now. I never had any problem and will most likely stick with it for a very long time. Enjoy your Mac!

  6. Nick says:

    “cmd + shift + 4” is the smartest idea ever. Being able to choose where you screen capture rocks. Otherwise “cmd + shift + 3” is just the standard screen capture. The fact that it saves it as a file also rocks, and the fact that you can change the file type of screen captures.

    My Mac has never crashed and I have had it for almost 2 years now. I have used Tiger and currently am using Leopard. I had XP “emulating” w/ vmware fusion and it was the fastest windows I have ever experienced. Ubuntu also runs like a blazing fire on vmware with only 128mb memory.

    Oh shit you’re right about Windows having extra features. After all, I do wish I could have viruses on a mac. Now that would be awesome. I think mac would finally overtake the world (i.e. PC) if it had that extra “feature”.

    Once again Mac For the [email protected]#[email protected]#$!T!#>$T>#!!!

    1. O. M. G.

      I’m a Mac newbie and I had no idea you could choose coordinate-based screen caps. That’s !#*&ing beautiful!!

      Yes, Mac ftw.

    2. Brian Golatka says:

      cmd-shift-4 then press space is my favorite screen capture method. takes a cap of the image and even the drop shadow which is nice for putting screenshots in a web design.

  7. Tyler Ingram says:

    Hey John.. you forgot to mention how the mouse pad doesn’t have left & right buttons πŸ˜‰ Don’t ya love having to hold down Ctrl to do a mouse click? lol

    1. John Chow says:

      This Pro has the new fancy iPhone like touch pad so I don’t miss the second button that much.

    2. macman says:

      Who in there right mind uses the mouse pad anyway!!! 😐
      Get a mighty mouse John it rocks ❗

      1. Oh dear god, I’m so getting one of these. I <3 Mac.

  8. Ty Brown says:

    Lately I have been having a number of Mac Missionaries attempt to convert me to their gospel. I’ve been listening to their message and like what I hear. Your post helps put things in perspective

  9. Chris Akins says:

    Hi John

    I am actually surprised you aren’t a Mac fan. I own a MacBook Pro and a brand new Dell, and I must say the Mac is my computer of choice. The only reason I ever use the PC is when my wife has stolen the Mac and won’t give it back…

    I’ve had the Mac for nearly 2 years and have never had a virus. When I first bought it I was also freaked out by the lack of anti-virus software (although you can by anti-virus software for Mac… its just a waste of money at this point), but on reflection it is a truly sad fact that I was so conditioned by my years of PC use that I was so worried about viruses.

    At any rate, learning a new OS is sometimes a bit frustrating… but so is learning the new Office interface! Especially when there is no obvious added functionality! Down with Bill Gates!!!


  10. Steven says:

    Macs have their own benefits and PCs have their own, it’s like comparing Apples (fruit) and Oranges. It’s a matter of preference.

  11. says:

    You should test drive the new MacBook air. It’s very stable and efficient and it even comes with Leopard OS!
    MacBooks are targeted to producers not the common man so yea. Hope u like it.

  12. Jono says:

    What’s the story behind obtaining it?
    Did you purchase it from Apple? Did Apple send it to you as a review unit for either or

  13. Jay says:

    Ok, a couple errors in your article. The MacBook and the MacBook Pro have both been on the Santa Rosa platform since last summer. The new thing about the recent updates is that they now use Penryn processors.

    I’m kinda surprised you’re not a fan of Apple– I’ve always thought you were a stylin’ guy! Anyway, give it some time– I think after awhile you’ll find that the Mac is a great OS and Apple is a great hardware maker. I think many PC types care all about price and assume that a screen is a screen and a trackpad is a trackpad, and that all the things Apple puts into their hardware and software to add value to them don’t really count for much. (And I think most PC people think that Apple hardware is more expensive than the competition- this hasn’t been the case for a decade!)

    Give it some time and you’ll love it. You might install windows as well (bootcamp makes that pretty easy, but parallels is a good alternative if you want to run them both simultaneously.) But I expect you’ll probably not want to go back to other hardware.

    Also, if you miss the second mouse button, or third or wheel, etc, you can plug in your favorite windows USB mouse and it will work fine.

    Most of the frustration with Macs for PC users come from habits built up using PCs… Macs are a bit different and those habits can be annoying when things don’t work the way you expect. But every single choice- from the “one mouse button” to the menu at the top of the screen, was made to make things faster and easier for the user. They break your habits, but they do make you faster.

  14. Brad K. says:

    Back in 1986 or 1987, the tradition was that a PC was great for programming, for developing applications. If you wanted a PC for staff to work on, you got them a Mac. The Mac was dependable but semi-rigid, the user that had the best experience wanted to do work, people that wanted to develop things were happier with the PC.

    I haven’t seen much change in the last 22 years. Yes, there is development on the Mac, there are games. But for getting work done, it is tough to beat the consistent, dependable Mac. Note that the five volume interface library that Apple wrote to assure a consistent interface had a *major* impact on Window. Mac’s Command-C, Command-V became MS Control-C, Control-V.

    And I would give it more than a week. You can always revert to Windows. You may not have as many alternatives for applications on the Mac, but many DTP and graphics applications were born there.


  15. ViralKing says:

    hmm – I need to buy a new laptop and not sure, do i go PC or do I go Mac?

    1. Mayank Rocks says:


      Cheaper :mrgreen:

      1. Sly says:

        I agree. Macs are cool and have there place. But you pay for it.

        Plus, there is a ton more software you can get for PC. And if you’re a gamer, go the PC route.

        If you want something simple and easy to use, but don’t mind the extra cost. A Mac might be for you.

  16. Robert says:

    That looks like a pretty good machine to me.

  17. My bet is you will give it up at the end of a week and go with a Windows machine.

    1. I’d take that bet. I rarely see someone go back to a PC when they have put a mac to the test. Gamers excluded…

  18. Welcome to the Apple family John! I got an iMac in January and I love it.

    Make sure you get the Leopard OS X update that was released a few weeks ago. Check your Software Update menu for it. Enjoy!

  19. Manly King says:

    I’m pretty surprised you don’t like MACs. I will give you that they are pretty expensive in relation to PCs of equal speeds. Their main saving grace is that they are free of Windows Vista, though.

  20. Joseph says:

    I think is a waste of money.

  21. The Running Total says:

    I’ve been using PC’s for years, and now I have Vista πŸ™„ for all of my applications and I’ve gotta say I’m not a big fan of it so far. I haven’t had much opportunity to play around with a mac yet, that whole afraid-of-the-unknown-so-lets-not-go-near-it syndrome got me. Now though with the Dual Boot option I’m seriously thinking Mac for my next laptop. I still didn’t see an answer to the did you get it for free question too. Just wondering. :mrgreen:

  22. Tari Akpodiete says:

    John, I generally enjoy your posts, but this one is purely ridiculous. Clearly you know very little about Apple, its business, its history or its laptops. You’re definitely not the right person to do this review. Oh, I’m writing this from a Dell XPS laptop.

    1. Steven says:

      I hope you didn’t think this was one of his paid reviews LOL. He is merely expressing his opinion and therefore there is no right or wrong.

  23. Jason B. says:

    I don’t think you can do a REAL week-long comparison until you’re running Leopard.

    I’ve been a PC guy my whole life and in fact used to think Apple people were just weird… but as soon as I got used to the interface I’ve never looked back. Now, I understand WHY people are so into it.

    When millions of people are using something clearly inferior you want to help them!

    By the way, PC Magazine just did a comparison of Leopard, XP, Vista and Ubuntu.

    Guess which OS came out on top? Leopard.

    1. John Chow says:

      Good thing this Mac comes pre-installed with the Leopard, huh? πŸ™‚

  24. Paolo Gaspar says:

    I’ve had my Macbook Pro 15″ since OCtober and I love mine. I just recently installed Parallels on my computer to run Windows. I personally prefer boot camp cuz it’s faster, but as a whole I prefer to stay with Mac OS X because I worry too much about viruses when I’m running windows. Welcome to the fray! Can’t wait to see your next update!

  25. Doug says:

    this is a joke post, right?

    1. Mayank Rocks says:

      Not really? πŸ˜•

  26. Mike Huang says:

    Mac eh…I’m still hesitant on trying one of these things πŸ™


  27. Jacob Hester says:

    Man, I want a macbook Pro so bad! I wish I could afford it. πŸ™

  28. Pyjammez says:

    John Chow and I must be the only ones here who have played Crysis!
    The first time I touched an apple it crashed on me. I told the owner and he refused to believe me!!! Anyway, why complain about Vista if you can just uninstall it and install XP? I haven’t even bothered going to Vista because I have no problem at all with XP! Never crashes, never gets a virus with Firefox, runs every application and game on the planet, runs i-tunes. Fully upgradable and cheap.

  29. EarnBlogger says:

    We are sure that you are going to throw away Mac 😈

    1. Jorge says:

      He will use it as a prize. πŸ˜†

    2. Mayank Rocks says:

      He has promised to send that mac to me! :mrgreen:

  30. Jorge says:

    I crashed Mac OS 4 times! 😎

  31. Syed Balkhi says:

    lol i am not a mac fan either … Windows just make it simpler … i agree with you john you can buy a much better laptop for that price.

  32. Ryan Hughes says:

    I just bought my first mac a few weeks ago too. Just the other day I found a widget for your dashboard (once you figure out what that is =) that can take a screen capture. Up until now while reading the comments on your post had no idea you could take a screen capture without it. I’ve only used it once and so far it’s good but there are many more features on it that I haven’t tried yet. It can be found at

    Good luck adusting to the new Mac
    P.S. I think the best feature of the mac over the PC is all the keyboard shortcuts. You can do almost anything without the touchpad.

  33. Not really a fan of Macs. I’m old school- Windows XP.

  34. BuxRightNow says:

    I’m a fan of computers. For me there’s no big difference between Mac or Windows.
    I only don’t like the part: “There was no print screen key or a backspace”
    NO backspace??? I’d kill myself without backspace. Delete is too far…

  35. Windows is windows πŸ™‚ I don’t want to change nothing, i love blue crush screen! πŸ™‚

    1. Jorge says:

      Mac crash is black. πŸ˜†

  36. Armen says:

    It depends what you use it for John.
    I just got a MBP 2 weeks ago (yeah, I ordered it 5 days before the update!!), and I’ve been going through a big adjustment period. For the first few days I was less productive, and I’m still learning how to do everything. However, I ‘mult-task’ a lot, and most of the time I have Photoshop, FF, Filezilla, Adium, and maybe Dreamweaver going at the same time, and it switches between programs instantaneously. I’ve never had a Windows machine like it. There’s always a lag with Windows.

    A few tips. You can set it so that right-click is just a matter of placing two fingers on the trackpad, and clicking. The ‘delete’ key is a backspace, but to forward delete, press ‘fn’ and ‘delete’. To go to the end of a sentance, press ‘cmd’ and right arrow keys. There’s heaps more, and it’s quite frustrating. But, I can’t see me reverting back to Windows.

  37. I gotta say I do love windows XP. I’m still a little scared of taking a bite of the apple since I’ve never really used a mac. I did read about the dual boot though so it’s like having the best of both worlds, and I gotta give it to their Ad team. I thought their commercials were hilarious.

  38. Simon Lau says:

    I give credit to Apple for making sleek looking notebooks, but for the price you have to pay, there’s no way any average person can justify it. I generally see people using macs are those with a bit too much money and wanting because they want to be cool. I guess I’m far to practical for that. That said I would have no problems taking a few Macbook Pro and flipping it on ebay to get another Dell XPS 1330 to a Lenovo

    1. Jorge says:

      I think it all goes down to Style vs. Real notebooks.

  39. Nice notebook… Wow… I like it black. πŸ™‚

  40. Steve says:

    I’m starting to ,like Mac computers I think my net laptop will be a Mac.


  41. Blend says:

    I don’t know we can I own apple notebook. Maybe one day I will get it.

  42. natespost says:

    Does it come with a cd-rom? I know the macbook air doesn’t. I wouldn’t have it.

  43. Marita says:

    Why should you switch just because someone gives you a computer? Besides, you have to give it back, right?

    Having said that, I’ve always had a Mac. If you don’t want to have to deal with calling tech support, get a Mac. Yes, it doesn’t have certain features that a windows system has, but it makes up for it with features that are so easy to use that you rarely have to click the help menu.

    The best thing about it – I’ve never seen an error message since OS 10.2. I’m sure they exist, and previous systems had them, but this one seems to be devoid of them. And of course, for anyone out there who appreciates good design, a MacBook Pro is a beautiful thing to look at 12 hours a day πŸ™‚

    My prediction: you’re curious enough now that, even after you give this one back, you’d love to tinker around with one πŸ™‚ I also predict that someone will give you one for free – for keeps!

    PS: Have you worked on it in the dark yet? All the keys light up πŸ˜› nice!

  44. Macs rule. Started years ago with them doing Pagemaker. But, now use a Dell for all the internet stuff. You won’t be converted in a week. My say is the mac will go!

  45. Love to see a diehard Windows fan. Mac’s dont cut it, but I am impressed with the “air” notebook. Sleek.

  46. I thin you will stick to mac, looking forward to next week

  47. whydowork says:

    I haven’t had an OS crash since I switched to a mac in ’05.

  48. Jake Cohen says:

    Nice computer, this is something I am going to be buying soon. Mac truly is a great computer, but then again so is the PC.

  49. Robert says:

    How much does the 13″ Macbook weigh?

  50. Ryan Hughes says:

    I just weighed mine. It’s the Macbook base model before the processor upgrade (2.0/1GRAM/CDROM) and it weighs in at 2.24 kg.

  51. Mr. Javo says:

    Hey John, mac OS is simply better than windows, it’s an UNIX derivative. I use Linux which is another unix derivative, and I have to say that once you are accustomed with unix OS, you can’t go back to windows :grin:, it’s just impossible . I will be waiting for your update the next week.

  52. Matt says:

    I always love how the die hard Mac fans talk about how few viruses they get with OS X and their macs. I wonder if that has anything to do with 90% of the worlds computers running a windows OS? If I was going to write a virus (or some other malicious piece of software) I would probably go after the market that would give me the best “bang for my buck”.

    After all, isn’t that the mentality that we use when looking to do anything else in our lives?

    I’m sure that if Apple had the market share Microsoft did for operating systems, they’d get the same level of negative attention MS does now.

    Just trying to put things into perspective… (I own a mac and a PC btw)

  53. Rob says:

    Holy Jeez, that thing is tiny!. Is it sturdy at all?

  54. Terry Tay says:

    If you got it for free then it’s a pretty good laptop. πŸ˜‰

    For me I find it hard to judge a computer through online reviews. You have the Mac users who love all Macs and you have the PC users who say they have no reason to change. I like to go into a computer store and take a computer for a good spin before I buy it. I get the salesperson to show me every bell and whistle that I may not know about.

    If you don’t want this Macbook pro John, just give me a holler and I’ll take it off your hands πŸ˜‰

  55. Joseph gomez says:

    First post here but I have to say Mac is back!!
    I switch after buying a few laptops and will never go back to a PC. Take my word for it john you’ll never go back.


  56. Im in for it if you don’t want. I could get some good coin for it. Cheers.

  57. Ryan says:

    Ironically the only thing I’ve crashed on my Imac running OS X was Microsoft Office! Ha, Ha! I’ll never go back – except to do my taxes – Ugh!

  58. Ray Edwards says:

    I have the same experience — the only time my Mac crashes is if I’m running Microsoft Office, or if I’m running Windows under Parallels. Otherwise, the Mac never crashes (I have a Macbook Pro Intel Core Duo 2, with 4G of RAM).

    1. I’ve been a witness, never a victim. Parallels is (apparently) one of the Macs only weaknesses.

      What’s the deal with the Mac being supposedly more hack-proof than Windows? Is it because no one writes viruses for the Mac?

      With the recent release of the SDK for iPhone, I’m curious to see how that goes. 😐

  59. Great – I will buy it too. It will be my first MacBook AND Apple product, so I hope it will be really good πŸ˜‰

    1. That’s how I did it and I’m pretty happy so far. It just keep getting better. For instance, compare my 4.5+ battery life on my Mac to my 15-20minute battery life on my Dell. The choice is clear.

  60. iBusiness says:

    I built hackintosh..and it looks good but I am still using XP Pro everyday because I don’t have any softwares for OSX..any recommendation for FTP, Dreamweaver type editor?

    1. dcr says:

      Fetch for FTP and Dreamweaver for, um, Dreamweaver.

  61. dcr says:

    If you don’t end up liking it, give it away as a prize. Why ruin it by putting Windoze on it? There are plenty of us who would be happy to take it off your hands.

    I’ve never had a Windows PC live for more than two years. That’s not a good investment when compared to Macs I have that keep going after ten or more years.

  62. Kevan says:

    John, if you’re running Leopard, you gotta use F8. It’s a feature called Spaces. It lets you have several “desktops” at the same time, one for every application you have open. It’s like using Alt-Tab, only way more fun and customizable. You can set it up under System Preferences. Pretty much my favourite Mac feature.

  63. watercarving says:

    I love my mac. I have an iMac but the laptops are sweet as well.

  64. Mac-Sage says:

    Load Parallels and Windows XP on your MacBook Pro and you’ll have the best of both worlds. I routinely go back and forth for my work, and have no problems. (FYI, don’t even think about doing this with Vista.)

  65. Chip says:

    The battery is one of the strong features, just like the processing power. However, I used only Windows and Linux so far. No Mac. But there is time, I’m only 28.

  66. Granny Smith says:

    One week really isn’t long enough to fully appreciate a Mac. You hear of PC users switching to Mac, but rarely hear of Mac users switching to a PC. My guess is if you keep the Mac a month you won’t go back to the PC.

    If you haven’t seen the full series of Mac & PC commercials they are good, and they are right here

  67. Rich says:

    Having been an avid PC user for over 8 years, I recently converted to OSX for study purposes. Two years later I use OSX as my main platform, and run XP as a virtual machine inside it via VM ware – Very Stable indeed.

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