Apple MacBook Pro 13"
Apple MacBook Pro 13 inch
1) Decision motivators: Apple uses extremely uniform hardware in their systems. Almost every system in a model series is exactly identical to every other; aside from any design modifications due to manufacturing bugs, etc. Mac OS X is not only one of the most secure operating systems, it is also extremely stable and very easy to use.
2) Factory specs: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.26 GHz Processor, 2GB RAM, 320GB HDD, 13" LCD (Glossy) with integrated iSight webcam at 1.3MP, multi-touch touchpad.
Upgrades performed: 8GB RAM (removed 2GB from factory and installed 2x 4GB DIMMs), 500GB HDD (removed factory HDD).
3) Best things: Extremely stable, excellent battery life (~6 hours), vibrant display, great performance.
Worst things: MagSafe Adapter cable shorted out after 6 months; however, Apple replaced it at no charge as it was a manufacturing defect. They have since discontinued distribution of that specific model adapter.
4) Ratings: Keyboard - excellent, shallow range of motion, like all Apple keyboards. Very responsive and has good tactile response. In low light, the backlit keyboard is very handy.
Touchpad - spacious and very responsive, made even better with MultiTouch features. Your fingers glide across it like glass.
Speakers - considering the speakers are hidden within the screen's hinge (also serves as primary ventilation duct), sound quality is excellent, for notebook speakers. Bass leaves a little to be desired, but the volume capacity has never been a problem, even in a noisy room.
5) Speed & performance: This notebook is by far the best I've used. Performance is excellent even when running multiple Virtual Machines in VMWare Fusion. The extra RAM makes this a breeze. The combination of quality Apple hardware and the intelligent resource management of Mac OS make this machine a joy to use.
6) Recommend to a friend?: Absolutely. I couldn't be happier; it's the perfect marriage of size and functionality. This tiny notebook is a workhorse.
Purchase from Apple again?: Already have! I originally converted my Windows Media Center PC to Linux, for increased functionality (I'm a Unix server engineer by trade), but quickly retired Linux in favor of Mac OS's media handling abilities. I'm now using a Mac Mini for my media center (great form factor as well) and a Mac Pro for my primary workstation.