Recently I did a few favours for a friend in the broadcasting business and in return he bought me a new Mac. That was nice as my girl friend had been wanting my old 15' Powerbook for a while. That's how things work in my house, at some stage my girl friend wants my laptop and so either I can stop having sex or buy a new one. I suspect I'm not the only one where things work like that at home but we'll leave that subject for another posting.
So firstly let me tell you that I have some experience with Macs. I have owned 12' and 14' iBook and several 15' Powerbooks before getting the new Intel based 17' Macbook Pro. I first came in to contact with Mac OS X at a FreeBSD conference in Brighton (South UK coast) I was attending with FreeBSD hacker Michael Hostbaek (Mich) that also blogs here. Anyhow what I liked about the operating system is the fact that it is based on Unix/BSD and so I was familiar with shell etc + I thought the GUI was nice and you could even run your office apps etc. Interestingly enough Steve Jobs also mentions Creative Professionels and Education customers but never spends much time on IT/Telecoms people for which the Mac OS X system is perfect.
After having run Mac for many years (pretty much since the first versions of OS X) I have always been extremely pleased with the performance and stability of the OS. Apps rarely crashed and configuring network stuff is easy. I am btw working in the Telecoms sector and I do a lot of technical work on the network level (around layer 2-5 if that means anything to you) and so the Unix tools that are available off the shelf leaves windows in the dust. Sure you CAN run Ethereal and other diag tools on windows but it's just not as nice and integrated as Unix.
Anyhow, back to the Macbook Pro. Firstly let me say that although I have installed bootcamp and Windows XP (as I wanted to play Red Alert II with my neighbour a while back - let me assure you I don't own a license for either) I'm not going to show you a screenshoot of that as it seems every other review does exactly that. Rather let me sho you the laptop with Expose.
Overall the Macbook Pro is a great Laptop. Mine has nice specs:
2.16Ghz Intel Core Duo
2 Gigs of memory
7200 spin 100GB disc
+ Mac niceties iSight, Apple Remote DVD drive that reads and writes every (current) format
As a network guy I btw like the fact that it comes with auto crossing (or whatever its called) gigabit capable NIC. I.e if you connect to another host or switch the mac will cross the connect or provide straightthrough connectivity regardless of the cable you use.
It also runs fast, noticeably faster than my old Powerbook (which was the fastest when they discountinued the Powerbook range).
The OS is still new on Intel and it is NOT AS STABLE as on the G4 processor. This is a shame. I'm sure it's not the processors fault, rather Apple has yet to clean up all the bugs.
So overall I think it's a great piece of hardware. It's very expensive - I paid £2000+ for mine, but if you don't care about money it's great. Really it's like a good bed or a nice car. If you use it a lot it makes sense to buy something nice.
The look and feel is also great. It's pretty and the design is clean and pleasant.
I would recommend it to anyone that's serious about their hardware.