Saturday, July 3, 2010

Fluid pleasure

Nothing compares to the pleasure of using a Mac, if you can afford it
THERE are times when even writers find themselves at a loss for words. For me, one of those moments came when I was fiddling around with the new upgraded 17” MacBook Pro. If there is one word that can summarise a Mac, it has to be fluid – from the unibody design to the lightning fast OS X Snow Leopard, everything about the MacBook has a liquid quality to it.

But before I go more gaga over this aluminum dream box, let me alert you that buying one of these is like getting yourself a yacht. It’s great to ride and show off, but you need to have serious moolah to even get to the wharf where it is anchored. Plus, if you are really attached to your Windows PC, an Apple might actually land you up in front of a doctor. The OS is very different from Windows, and despite its ease-of-use, takes some getting used to. But this is also the sort of thing you would want to get used to once you get a feel of it. 
The MacBook Pro might not be the thing for regular PC users, but if you are a photographer, graphic artist, musician or painter, this is as close to the Holy Grail as you can be. With the 2.53 GHz Intel Core i5 with 3MB shared L3 cache and Apple’s new automatic graphics switching technology that toggles seamlessly between powerful NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M and energy efficient Intel HD Graphics processors, this one renders pictures and graphics like no others. Pictures from my Digital SLR, which take half a minute to load on regular PCs, were zipping through in the iPhoto slideshow and clearer than I have ever seen them before. In fact, Mac claims its new Pro 15” and 17” are “50 per cent faster than the previous systems” – it sure feels so, especially during start-up and shut down.  
Push a DVD into the slot drive and you get another feel of this fluidity. While running a movie, push the cursor to the top of the screen to make a filmstrip of the chapters appear. You can just click the screenshots to jump to the part of the movie you want to see, with not even a second’s lag.
Then this also has the best pair of speakers I have ever encountered on a laptop. Even the constant drone of the vuvuzelas from the TV behind could not drown out the dialogues of the movie playing on the Mac.

If that doesn’t impress you, there is the glass Multi-Touch trackpad and illuminated keyboard, nestled in the midst of some serious wrist space, to give you second thoughts. The 17-inch widescreen LED-backlit 1920 x 1200 glossy display means there is also extra large real estate facing it. Then there is the built-in, 95WHr lithium polymer battery; which Apple promises can deliver “up to 10 hours of wireless productivity on a single charge and up to 1,000 recharges”. 
The 17” version features a 4GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, expandable to 8GB, 500GB serial ATA hard drive with Sudden Motion Sensor, AirPort Extreme 802.11n wireless networking, Gigabit Ethernet port, a state-of-the art iSight video camera and three USB 2.0 ports for connectivity options. All you have to do now is apply for a bank loan so that you can pay Rs 1.36 lakh to get hold of this wonder machine. 

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