Apple MacBook Pro MB991LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop

Apple MacBook Pro MB991LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop
From Apple Computer

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Product Description

MacBook Pro brings high performance and precision design to everyone. Every new MacBook Pro features a breakthrough, long-lasting battery that delivers up to 7 hours of wireless productivity on a single charge and can be recharged up to 1000 times—nearly three times the lifespan of typical notebook batteries. The new LED-backlit display has a 60 percent greater color gamut than that of previous generations, giving you richer, more vibrant colors. Every MacBook Pro features the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M integrated graphics processor, which provides an outstanding graphics experience for everyday tasks. Power your way through the latest 3D games—including Call of Duty and Quake—and enjoy improved graphics performance with iWork, iLife, and everything you do in Mac OS X. And with the latest 2.53GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, it’s the most powerful Mac notebook ever. All in a precision aluminum unibody enclosure that’s less than an inch thin.

Product Details

  • Amazon Sales Rank: #44 in Personal Computers
  • Brand: Apple
  • Model: MB991LL/A


  • 2.53 GHz Core 2 Duo Processor
  • 4 GB DDR3 RAM
  • 250 GB hard drive, DVD/CD SuperDrive
  • Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard Operating System
  • NVIDIA GeForce 9400M Graphics, 13.3 inch LED Display

Editorial Reviews Product Description Featuring a precision unibody enclosure crafted from a single block of aluminum, the MacBook Pro is thinner and lighter than its predecessor as well as stronger and more durable. But Apple didn't stop innovating with the body's design. The MacBook Pro also includes a new 13-inch, LED-backlit glass display (instead of an LCD panel) as well as a glass trackpad that doesn't include a button (for larger tracking area) that features Apple's Multi-Touch technology.
The 13-inch unibody MacBook Pro (see larger version).
This 13-inch MacBook Pro (model MB991LL/A) also now includes Apple's innovative built-in notebook battery for up to 7 hours of wireless productivity on a single charge without adding thickness, weight or cost. Using Adaptive Charging and advanced chemistry first introduced with the 17-inch MacBook Pro the built-in battery delivers up to 1000 recharges before it reaches 80 percent of its original capacity--nearly three times the lifespan of conventional batteries. Under the hood, the MacBook Pro is powered by a powerful 2.53 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor (with 3 MB L2 cache and 1066 MHz front-side bus), which runs applications faster and more efficiently as well as helps to reduce power requirements and save on battery life. And video is powered by the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M integrated graphics processor, which provides an outstanding everyday graphics experience with up to a 5x performance boost. Other hardware features include a 250 GB hard drive, 4 GB of installed RAM (which can be upgraded to 8 GB), an 8x combo Superdrive (for burning dual-layer DVDs as well as CDs), built-in Gigabit Ethernet for high-speed networking, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR (Enhanced Data Rate), FireWire 800 port, Mini DisplayPort video output (for DVI and VGA connections), and a Secure Digital card slot for easy access to digital photos and audio stored on SD and MMC memory cards. It comes pre-loaded with Apple's Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard operating system, and is ready to run the Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard operating system. It also comes with the iLife '09 suite of applications, including iPhoto, iMovie, Garageband, and iTunes. The Unibody MacBook Pro Design Traditionally notebooks are made from multiple parts. With the MacBook Pro all of those parts with just one part--the breakthrough unibody enclosure. Every MacBook Pro starts its life as a single block of aluminum, which is precisely machined into the basic unibody design. Another pass and the unibody takes shape. Another, and the integrated keyboard emerges. When you pick up a new MacBook Pro, you immediately notice the entire enclosure is thinner and lighter. And it feels strong and durable--perfect for life inside (and outside) your briefcase or backpack.
Off-the-shelf lithium-ion cells come in fixed, cylindrical shapes. The 13-inch MacBook Pro is powered by custom-made, ultrathin lithium-polymer batteries.
The standard aluminum electro-static trackpad has been replaced with a new glass Multi-Touch trackpad, which provides 40 percent more tracking area than before. Use two fingers to scroll up and down a page. Pinch to zoom in and out. Rotate an image with your fingertips. Swipe with three fingers to flip through your photo libraries. Swipe with four fingers to show your desktop, view all open windows, or switch applications. The entire trackpad surface is also a button, allowing you to both track and click virtually anywhere on the trackpad. And you can easily enable multiple virtual buttons in software, such as right-clicking. The keyboard has also been improved, with the rigid aluminum keyboard webbing cut precisely to hold the keys, which are curved to perfectly fit fingers. And it's illuminated, so when you're in low-light settings, such as airplanes or conference rooms, you can always see what you're typing. The 13-inch display is made of edge-to-edge, uninterrupted glass for a smooth, seamless surface and features LED backlighting for brilliant instant-on performance that uses up to 30 percent less energy than its predecessor. The ultra-thin displays provide crisp images and vivid colors which are ideal for viewing photos and movies Long-Lasting Battery The 13-inch MacBook Pro now includes a newly engineered lithium-polymer battery that that lasts up to 7 hours on a single charge thanks to advanced chemistry, intelligent monitoring of the system and battery, and Adaptive Charging technology. The battery is built right into the computer, eliminating the space-consuming mechanisms and housings that standard removable batteries require. This non-removable battery also provides a longer battery lifespan of up to 1000 recharges--meaning fewer depleted batteries and less waste, which is better for the environment. Giving it a lifespan of up to 1000 recharges required breakthroughs in battery technology. Apple electro-chemists developed advanced chemistry that maintains the battery's charging capabilities longer than ever. And while most notebooks wear down their batteries by charging them at a constant rate, the 13-inch MacBook Pro takes a different approach. Using an Apple-developed technology called Adaptive Charging, a microchip on the battery constantly communicates with the computer to determine the optimal way to charge its cells, adjusting the current up and down depending on a variety of conditions. Combined, these advancements offer a dramatic improvement in battery lifespan: more than three times the lifespan of typical notebook batteries--up to five years. Intel Core 2 Duo Processor Experience improved energy efficiency, expanded wireless connectivity, and amazing battery life with the 2.53 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, which has a super-fast 1066 MHz front-side bus (FSB), and an large 3 MB L2 cache. (An L2, or secondary, cache temporarily stores data; and a larger L2 cache can help speed up your system's performance. The FSB carries data between the CPU and RAM, and a faster front-side bus will deliver better overall performance.) The hafnium-infused circuitry--which reduces electrical current leakage in transistors--conserves even more energy, giving you more time away from the wall outlet. With 3 MB of shared L2 cache, data and instructions can be kept close to the two processor cores, greatly increasing performance and allowing the entire system to work more efficiently. And, because the processor cores share the L2 cache, either can use the entire amount if the other happens to be idle.
Video Processing & Output The MacBook Pro delivers both powerful graphics performance and long battery life via the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M integrated graphics processor, which provides an outstanding everyday graphics experience with up to a 5x performance boost. Power your way through the latest 3D games--including Call of Duty and Quake--and enjoy improved graphics performance with iWork '09, iLife '09, and everything you do in Mac OS X. The power-saving NVIDIA integrated graphics processor also keeps you up and running throughout the day, with up to 7 hours of battery life. The MacBook Pro includes a next generation Mini DisplayPort, which delivers a pure digital signal that can drive up to a 30-inch widescreen display. The Mini DisplayPort is ultra-compact at just 10 percent the size of a full DVI connector, and is compatible with Apple's 24-inch Cinema Display. Adapters are also available for using VGA, DVI/HDMI and Dual-Link DVI displays Hard Drive and Memory The 250 GB Serial-ATA (SATA) hard drive (5400 RPM) quickens the pace with a higher speed transfer of data--akin to USB 2.0. The 4 GB of PC3-8500 DDR3 RAM (two SO-DIMMs of 1024 MB) has an industry-leading 1066 MHz speed, and the RAM capacity can be increased to 8 GB. Wireless Connectivity The built-in 802.11n wireless networking provides up to five times the performance and twice the range of 802.11g, but it's also backward-compatible with 802.11a/b/g routers, enabling you to communicate with the a wide variety of Wi-Fi resources. It works seamlessly with the new AirPort Extreme with 802.11n. Use the built-in Bluetooth wireless technology to connect to your PDA or cell phone, synchronize addresses, or download pictures from your cell phone. You can also use a wireless headset for iChat audio chats and VoIP calls as well as quickly share files with a colleague. Video Conferencing with Built-in iSight Artfully placed in the glass display is an iSight camera, which enables easy video conferencing as well as allows you to snap pictures of yourself and create video podcasts. Using the iChat AV application, video conferencing is integrated into your iChat buddy list, so initiating a video conference is a breeze. iChat also lets you hold audio chats with up to 10 people and provides high-quality audio compression and full-duplex sound so conversation can flow naturally. For video podcasting, you can record a short clip using the iSight camera, then use iWeb to create a video blog entry or post your GarageBand-recorded podcast. Other Features
  • Two USB 2.0 ports (up to 480 Mbps), one FireWire 800 (up to 800 Mbps), SD card slot
  • Mini DisplayPort compatible with DVI, VGA, and dual-link DVI connectors (all optional)
  • Dual display and video mirroring: Simultaneously supports full native resolution on the built-in display and up to 2560 by 1600 pixels on an external display, both at millions of colors
  • 8x slot-loading SuperDrive with the following write speeds: 8x DVD±R; 4x DVD±R DL (double layer); 4x DVD±RW; 24x CD-R; 10x CD-RW
  • Built-in full-size backlit keyboard with 78 (U.S.) or 79 (ISO) keys, including 12 function keys and 4 arrow keys (inverted "T" arrangement)
  • Internal omnidirectional microphone and built-in speakers
  • Combined optical digital output/headphone out with selectable analog audio line in (minijack)
  • Kensington lock slot
  • Measures 12.78 x 8.94 x 0.95 inches (WxDxH) and weighs 4.5 pounds (including battery)
Environmental Considerations Apple has worked hard to eliminate many of the toxins that are a common part of computer manufacturing. Apple engineers removed the majority of brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) from circuit boards, internal cables, connectors, insulators, adhesives, and more in the MacBook Pro. Because Apple makes both the hardware and the software for the MacBook, they're designed to work together to produce a smarter product that uses less electricity. For instance, to reduce energy consumption, the hard drive spins down automatically when inactive. MacBook Air also decides which processor--CPU or GPU--is best suited to efficiently perform a task. The LED-backlit display in the MacBook Pro is another feature that plays an important part in conserving energy, consuming 30 percent less power than conventional LCD displays. And the display is designed to dim when you enter a darkened room. The MacBook Pro meets the stringent low power requirements set by the EPA, giving it ENERGY STAR certification. MacBook also meets the latest efficiency requirements of ENERGY STAR Version 5.0 Specification for Computers before its July 2009 effective date. The MacBook Pro has also earned the highest rating of EPEAT Gold. The Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool, or EPEAT, evaluates the environmental impact of a product based on how recyclable it is, how much energy it uses, and how it's designed and manufactured.
Preloaded with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, you'll enjoy enhanced productivity and a clutter-free desktop (thanks to the the redesigned 3D Dock with Stacks).
Preloaded with Leopard and iLife '09 This MacBook Air is pre-loaded with the Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard operating system--and it's ready to run the Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard operating system, which is scheduled to be released in September, 2009. Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard introduced a bevy of innovations--over 300 new features--including:
  • Time Machine, an effortless way to automatically back up everything on a Mac
  • A redesigned Finder that lets users quickly browse and share files between multiple Macs
  • Quick Look, a new way to instantly see files without opening an application
  • Spaces, an intuitive new feature used to create groups of applications and instantly switch between them
  • A brand new desktop with Stacks, a new way to easily access files from the Dock
  • Major enhancements to Mail and iChat
Leopard's desktop includes the redesigned 3D Dock with Stacks, a new way to organize files for quick and easy access with just one click. Leopard automatically places web, email and other downloads in a Downloads stack to maintain a clutter-free desktop, and you can instantly fan the contents of this and other Stacks into an elegant arc right from the Dock. The updated Finder includes Cover Flow and a new sidebar with a dramatically simplified way to search for, browse and copy content from any PC or Mac on a local network. Time Machine lets you easily back up all of the data on your Mac, find lost files and even restore all of the software on their Mac. With just a one-click setup, Time Machine automatically keeps an up-to-date copy of everything on the Mac. In the event a file is lost, you can search back through time to find deleted files, applications, photos and other digital media and then instantly restore the file. It also comes with the iLife '09 suite of applications that make it easy to live the digital life. Use iPhoto to share entire high-res photo albums with anyone who's got an email address. Record your own songs and podcasts with GarageBand. Break into indie filmmaking with iMovie and iDVD. Then take all the stuff you made on your MacBook and share it on the web in one click with iWeb. Included Software Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard (includes iTunes, Time Machine, Quick Look, Spaces, Spotlight, Dashboard, Mail, iChat, Safari, Address Book, QuickTime, iCal, DVD Player, Photo Booth, Front Row, Xcode Developer Tools) iLife '09 (includes iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, iWeb, GarageBand) What's in the Box MacBook Pro, display cleaning cloth, 60W MagSafe Power Adapter, AC wall plug, power cord, install/restore DVDs, printed and electronic documentation

Customer Reviews

Macbook graduates to PRO status!5 Well I must say I am very happy i did not buy apple's first iteration of the 13" aluminum macbook last year b/c they really got it right the second time around upgrading it to a macbook pro! Its nice to have that "pro" stamp on a 13" now! Apple has listened to their customers adding almost everything we have asked for and more, and managed to reduce the price! Thanks Apple! CHANGES FROM LAST YEAR - $100 less - 13" aluminum macbooks became macbook pros - 2.53Ghz up from 2.4GHz dual core - 4GB RAM up from 2GB - led display has 60% greater color gamut than previous model - new advanced built-in battery that lasts up to 7 hours vs 4hrs - FireWire is back (after all the complaints of first model) - SD card slot (replaces express card slot) - new models now come with iLife '09 - digital audio input is gone - new model uses the same integrated mic and headphone port as the iPhone PROS - finally a price cut with a performance upgrade! i knew apple could do it. i was tired of paying for aesthetics and not performance. - upcoming Snow Leopard OS upgrade in September will be free + $9.95 shipping to anyone purchasing a mac from 6/9 til December! nice perk! - much better lcd screen! inline with the pro models...still glossy and still some glare but much nicer! - backlight keyboard on all 13" models now! ( i really enjoy this as it can be controlled from low to high) - battery life is significantly better than last year.( i get about 6 hours w/ regular use not the 7hrs that is reported) - the computer is designed beautifully truly a head turner. - iLife 09 suite is superb for pictures, movies, and music. Good software really does sell hardware. - SD card slot accepts SDHC, which goes up to 32GB and works like a charm. (can boot from SD card as well) CONS - none really but a few minor ones - power cord is really short and does not reach as many places as I would like...must sit very close to power outlet. - battery can't be removed easily - SD card sticks about half way out of slot. eye sore. - blu-ray option would have been nice but understandable given licensing fees. (many blurays are offering digital copies which help) Taking into consideration all the great improvements over last year with a nice price cut I can now truly recommend this near perfect Macbook Pro! STUDENTS: If you buy this from the Apple Store you get an additional $100 off, a new iPod Touch 8gb, and a new printer via rebate) lasts until september! Switched from Windows: More good than bad. Great hardware4 This is my first Mac computer. My first four computers ran Win 3.1, Windows 95, XP, and Vista (from about 1995-present). I have quite a lot of time spent on each of them. Switching from Windows to Mac is not difficult, but it can be a bit frustrating for a week or so. There are Windows features that you will miss, but they are mostly overcome by overall advantages in my opinion. I've spent two weeks with this machine now. If I had written this review after one day, I would have probably stated that I regretted the switch to Mac. After getting more proficient with the machine and realizing how well it works, I would definitely recommend it to a friend. This review is going to be a mix of my impressions of both the hardware and the Mac operating system from a new Mac user perspective. The only difference between my machine and the one on this product page is that I ordered directly from Apple and upgraded the hard drive to 250GB (from the 160GB base option). I am using 2gb of ram and the lower-end processor. My Mac OS impressions: The biggest thing I missed from Windows at first was the task bar. Mac uses the "dock" to replace the task bar. The dock is kind of like the quick launch toolbar in Windows spread out across the entire bar, with large icons. Having used windows with a task bar for the past 13 years, I missed the ability to see all open programs and switch between them with the task bar. The dock has a tiny dot below the icon on running-programs, but nothing else to separate it from other program and folder icons. The dock is not nearly as useful for multitasking as the task bar. The saving grace that rescues the Mac from awkward app-switching while multitasking is called expose. Expose is activated by either pressing a key or using a multitouch gesture (four-finger swipe). Expose uses the entire screen to display all open windows and allow you to switch between them. It's like alt+tab on steroids. Having used the machine for a couple weeks, I miss using expose when I use my Windows machine. As much as I hated the dock at first, I have to give the advantage to the Mac for managing multiple windows while multitasking. The controls for open-windows are quite different than in MS-Windows. In Mac, there is a resize, hide, and minimize button instead of maximize, minimize, restore, and close. To close an app on the mac you need to use a menu command or keyboard shortcut. The Mac resize button kind of works like restore/maximize, only it's a bit more awkward. A commenter here pointed out that it resizes the window for ideal viewing without using the entire screen. I find myself resizing windows by dragging corners more than I ever did on a Windows machine. I really miss the ability to maximize, if for no other reason but to avoid distractions. The green resize button may be better on an enormous monitor, but not on a 13" notebook. When you minimize or hide an app on the Mac, it is only available from the dock and is hidden from expose. I'll give the window size-management advantage to Windows in this contest. The windows system is just easier and more logical in my opinion. It isn't a deal-breaker, but I do miss the Windows "window controls." If you are a frequent user of the F11 key while web browsing in Windows you'll have to kiss that feature goodbye. Neither Firefox nor Safari will go full-screen. Windows Explorer is "replaced" with an app called Finder. Finder is kind of like the start menu and an explorer window all rolled up into one. Compared with older versions of Windows, finder is adequate but Vista's explorer is quite a bit easier and more logical to use. I prefer Vista's preview pane to Mac's coverflow. I miss the "up folder" button. I have found myself mostly using the view that puts files, folders and apps into a column view for easiest computer browsing, and it just isn't as elegant as Windows Vista. The lack of a maximize button has caused frustration especially in the finder, because the finder likes to stay in a very small window unless you drag the corners. The Safari web browser is nice and quick and has a decent security reputation. I have been switching back and forth between Safari and Firefox. Firefox has crashed a couple of times and I really like being able to use multitouch gestures with Safari, so I'm leaning toward making Safari my main web tool. Reading RSS feeds, and the bookmark toolbar are really well done in Safari. Browsers are so personal that it's difficult to recommend one over the other, but as a Firefox user in Windows I think I have high standard and Safari has met or exceeded them. I absolutely hate the iPhoto app. Iphoto does not allow you to organize and browse your photos in folders. It imports your pictures and sorts them itself based on time/date stamps on the photos. This works fine for personal vacation snapshots but it completely mixed up the rest of my images. Folders that were neatly organized for work projects, and fun web clippings, and adult stuff were all shuffled into one big mess after I imported my image collection. I ended up just deleting all of them and not using iphoto at all. Right now I'm just using Finder to browse my photos and the preview app to view them. Light editing work isn't possible in the preview app and I still haven't decided what to use for a basic photo editor yet. Vista's photo app is junk but it's still superior to iPhoto if you like to keep your photos organized using your own folder system. I know people who love iphoto. It comes down to whether you want the ability to organize your collection yourself. If you have a big mess of photos, you'll love iphoto's ability to organize them via event and face recognition. Edited to add: you can organize your photos into "albums" after you import them into iPhoto, but be prepared to spend a lot of time reorganizing everything. Even after you organize into albums, the main library screen gives you views of your entire collection (perhaps things you don't want everyone to see). I have not used Garage Band or iMovie yet. I'll update later when I get a chance. Edited to add: I played with garage band a bit and it's pretty powerful. It allows you to import and export AAC and MP3 tracks and record sound in multiple tracks. Very easy to use. The only other audio app i've ever used is audacity and I much prefer Garage Band. I haven't used any of the music lessons it offers yet but plan to soon. I played with iMovie for a few minutes and it seems pretty nice and very intuitive. I actually don't mind Windows Movie Maker, which is included with Vista. I would not consider it a big step up from Win Movie Maker, but it's a nice app. The mail, calendar, and address book apps are basic but work very very well. The address app will import common file types easily. It will sync with yahoo out of the box. Address book will only sync with Google contacts if you own an iPhone or iPod Touch. Everyone has an opinion about iTunes. I'm a big fan of it. It's exactly like the windows version only it runs a bit faster without the bugs. If you have an iPhone or iPod touch, the Windows-iTunes bug with time/date being wrong after the computer sleeps is not an issue on the Mac. Time machine is the Mac's backup app. It is amazing and very simple. I'm using an external drive plugged into my Apple Airport wireless router, as a backup disk. My wireless disk showed up on my desktop instantly once I plugged it into the router. Time machine noticed the external drive right away and went to work backing up my files (after asking permission of course). Now my machine automatically backs up any changes every hour as long as I'm in range of my wireless access point. Time machine is a big load off my mind. If I ever have a drive failure or my computer is destroyed I have an exact backup of everything without remembering to backup my files. Vista will backup according to a set schedule, but it lacks the ability to easily look through backups for specific files. Time machine is wonderful and make wireless backup effortless. The Mac disk utility is almost as good as the one in Vista and it's easier to use. It's far superior to the one in XP. I used it to format my external wireless drive because the Mac router couldn't read NTFS formating (although the computer can read NTFS drives via USB for some reason). The graphics control software is a joy to use. When I plug in my external monitor it immediately extends my desktop to the new monitor. Adjusting everything from resolution to rotation couldn't be any easier. Boot camp is a utility that allows you to create a partition and install Windows as a secondary boot system (you need to own or buy a legal single-disk 32bit copy of either Windows XP or Windows Vista). When you start up the boot camp utility, it gives you a choice between using either 5 or 32 GB of space for the Windows partition. I learned the hard way that Windows XP SP3 won't fit into 5GB. You need to give it at least the 32 GB (which left me with almost exactly 200GB on my "250" GB drive). Installing Windows using the Boot Camp utility is very very easy. Once you get Windows loaded, your OSX install disk makes quick work of installing drivers for all of your laptop's hardware. It's too bad that Nvidia and HP aren't as good at putting together easy Windows driver packages as Apple. In order to boot into Windows, you simply press the "option" key during bootup and it allows you to choose which OS to run. Windows XP absolutely screams on this hardware. The hardware: The hardware is where this computer really shines. The biggest advantage is stability. My last computer purchase was a vista machine. To say that I had stability and hardware compatibility issues with my HP Vista desktop is an understatement. The main reason I turned to mac for this purchase was the fact that the hardware, drivers, and software are made for each other. This machine has ran flawlessly for the past two weeks. I did have two crashes of the Firefox browser while watching Flash video, but only the browser went down rather than the entire system. I have connected an external monitor, camera, ipod, USB drive, and router to this machine. All of the drivers were already installed and everything has "just worked." The hardware is a joy to use when it just works. It is difficult to put into words how happy I am with the lack of effort in using this machine. The speed isn't blazing-fast but it runs very well, even with many many apps and windows running. My Vista desktop has similar specs, but my new Mac feels slightly faster. One outstanding productivity feature of this machine is the touch pad. I honestly prefer it to using a mouse for office and browsing tasks. I can't say enough good things about the multitouch gestures. Two finger scrolling, two finger right-click, three finger forward and back in Safari, and four finger expose make this machine feel like like it is part of you. Having the entire surface of the touchpad as the button is brilliant, especially for drag and drop operations. The large size of the touchpad makes it very precise. The keyboard is really nice. At first I thought the keys were a bit soft and the travel was too shallow, but I quickly got used to it and now prefer it to my more "clicky" desktop keyboard. I don't know how I lived this long without a backlit keyboard. The backlight is more useful than I thought it would be. The display is beautiful. It has good color, a wide viewing angle, and is plenty bright for indoor environments. I would prefer that the screen wasn't glass, but the reflections aren't as bad as I feared. If there is a bright light source behind you, you'll need to angle the screen to reduce the glare but it's workable. The DVD drive is a DVD drive. It feels slow and makes a lot of noise. I've never owned an optical drive that I considered fast and quiet, and this one isn't any exception. It works well, but isn't anything special. The battery life is incredible. The seven hour battery life is not an exaggeration if you are using the computer for light browsing and office apps. Expect about 4-5 hours if you're using it for heavy web browsing and a bit of media. Listening to music with the display off would easily last over the advertised 7 hours. Streaming high definition video on netflix using wireless will knock it down to at or below three hours. I haven't watched DVD movies on battery power but I expect it to barely get you through a single two hour film with a bit left over. The size and weight are ideal for portability. 4.5lbs doesn't exactly feel light until you compare it to similarly spec'd machines that weigh a full pound (20%) more. I wouldn't want a larger machine if I had to lug it around much. The speakers are quite good for a small light machine. Don't expect much bass, but the sound is very clear with good mids and highs. The speakers are plenty loud for listening to podcasts or music in a semi-quiet medium sized room or office. I won't need to pack external speakers for use in my hotel room when I travel, like my last laptop. The "magsafe" power adapter is more than just a gimmick, and more than just a way to avoid tripping and breaking your machine. The "power brick" itself is a lot smaller than my last dell laptop. It's exactly the same size as the USB wall adapters that used to be included with ipods. The cord is 6ft long and the brick includes fold-out wings to wrap the cord around. It is very well thought-out for travel. With the cord wrapped up and the plug folded into the body, the power brick only takes up about 2.5" x 3" x 1" in your bag. When you are using it at home or at the office there is an included 6ft extension cord for the power brick so you aren't as tethered to your desk. The computer runs very cool compared to most laptops. Also, there are no vents where super-heated air blows out. While I'm sure it uses a fan, I've never audibly actually heard it run or felt a stream of warm air from it. I think it may vent through ports and the keyboard but it runs cool enough that you don't notice it. Edited to add: it does get rather warm when watching high resolution video, but stays quite cool when web browsing or using normal office apps. Even when very warm, the fan is still quiet (the only way to actually hear the fan is to hold it near your ear). The only drawback to the hardware compared to Windows machines is the fact that there is no option to hibernate when closing the lid. It sleeps when you close the lid but it still is using a small amount of power. If you're only going to be away for a couple hours this isn't an issue, but you must completely shut down when on battery power if you're going to be away much longer. This machine is a lot more expensive than similarly spec'd Windows machines but I feel that it's worth the money. I'm a very satisfied Mac switcher. Not sure why all of the haters keep griping about Compact Flash...5 I just got my brand new 13.3" Macbook Pro in the mail. I customized mine with 4GB of RAM and a 250 GB hard drive, but with the entry-level 2.26 GHz Intel processor. I unboxed it in front of my mother and sister, and they were both oohing and aahing about how beautiful and thin it was. They also loved the magnetic connector on the end of the power adapter that snaps the power cord into the computer nearly by itself. I powered the computer up, went through the Leopard setup screens, and within minutes was logged in. While starting up, the light sensor powered on, the screen dimmed, and the keyboard lit-up automatically. Everything about this computer suggests ingenious design and engineering, with great attention to every detail. It is very light, and since I am using this for school, I am very happy with the size and form factor, particularly the charger. Switching from a large Dell that sported a charger that could be used to bludgeon somebody to death, the small white charger that is about the size of a wallet is a breath of fresh air. This laptop will be a pleasure to travel with. Are there things this computer lacks? Yes, there is no Blu-Ray player, which would have been nice, but for me was not a deal-breaker. I suspect that the next-gen MBP's will phase out the rotary hard drives and switch to solid state as the standard, and will all have Blu-Ray players. Until that time, this little laptop is more than sufficient. If I had to come up with a gripe about this computer, there is really only one- and this is true for most of Apple's products- the iPod, iPhone, and MBP's- I wish that they would not coat portable products with textures that are so easy to scratch. It is apparent that after a few months of toting this to class, it is going to have some scuffs on it. It seems like a bit of a paradox that a company that puts so much value on aesthetics seems only to care about how the product looks when it is taken out of the original packaging. That said, this laptop feels extremely sturdy, and apart from normal wear and tear marks, I am not fearful that it will fall apart, which is a whole lot more than I can say for my previous piece of crap plastic Dell. In reading other reviews, people seem to be unable to understand that this qualifies as an ultra-portable laptop. It is simply not going to have a peripheral hookup for every type of flash card and five USB hookups. Are people serious with lambasting Apple for merging the audio jack in/out ports into one single port? Really, who gives a rat's a$$? This is a PORTABLE computer, not a media center. If you are a user who favors those things, then you are free to go out and purchase the necessary adapters, but I would rather have a lightweight computer that I can easily tote around. If you want a laptop that is prepared for any occasion, go buy an 8 lb. Dell desktop replacement, and have fun. I for one think people just want a reason to moan or find something to complain about. The fact is that for the money, you are not going to find a better laptop than this one. It costs a bit more than competing PC products, but I have owned Dell's and HP's, and I can tell you, you get what you pay for. If you use your laptop for at least a couple of hours a day, I think it is worth a couple hundred extra to get a really high quality product that makes you happy, and that is why I upgraded to the MBP.