The optical drive is located at the front. It is an 8x slot-loaded DVD-burner. The eject button can be found in the top right corner of the main keyboard.
Also on the front panel there is an infrared sensor for the remote control included with the notebook.
The notebook’s audio subsystem is based on a HD codec from Realtek. There are rather large speakers on both sides of the keyboard that deliver a good sound across all the frequency range (except for the bass, of course). External speakers you can connect via the analog interface won’t sound good, unfortunately, because the interface itself is rather noisy. You should use the digital interface only if you want to have a really good sound.
The cooling system is interesting, too. The vent holes are hidden well: the bottom panel is absolutely blank.
You can find the vent holes below the display, in the hinge. It is virtually impossible to block the intake of air for the cooling system but I should note that the aluminum case of the notebook gets very hot at work. The components are not cool, either. The CPU and GPU can be as hot as 80-90°C under load. As for the noise factor, the notebook is absolutely silent most of the time, its fan turned off. The fan is enabled on rare occasions, and it is quite audible then.
On the hardware side, the MacBook Pro features a modern and high-performance set of components. Like every other implementation of the Santa Rosa platform, it is based on the Intel PM965 chipset. Our sample with a 15” screen is equipped with a Core 2 Duo T7700 processor (a clock rate of 2.4GHz, an 800MHz FSB, and a 4MB L2 cache).
The MacBook Pro offers a generous 2GB of system memory (it is dual-channel DDR2-667 SDRAM) and supports up to 4GB, so you can replace the default 1GB DDR2 SO-DIMMs with 2GB ones.
The graphics subsystem of the MacBook Pro consists of a PCI Express x16 solution based on the GeForce 8600M GT chip with 256 megabytes of dedicated GDDR3 memory. This chip incorporates 32 streamed processors and has a clock rate of 500MHz (the shader domain is clocked at 1000MHz). The graphics memory is clocked at 1200MHz. With such characteristics the notebook feels at ease even in modern 3D games.
Besides everything else, the GeForce 8600M GT supports hardware decoding of H.264 video for viewing movies in HD formats easily and economically.
Note that despite its pricing and positioning the MacBook Pro is based on the Centrino rather than Centrino Pro platform. The notebook doesn’t have a Trusted Platform Module and does not support the remote administration technology Intel AMT. It’s all right because Mac OS X doesn’t support these technologies. That’s also the reason why the notebook doesn’t have an Intel Turbo Memory module.
The notebook’s battery has a capacity of 60W/h that ensures a long battery life. The MacBook Pro lasted for three hours under Windows Vista in my tests but Apple claims it can last as long as 5 hours and more under Mac OS X.
And finally I’d want to show you the power adapter included with the MacBook Pro. It is interesting for its white color as well as original design.
Note the peculiar design of the connector that is plugged into the notebook. It uses a safe magnetic fastening mechanism that cannot damage the connector if you accidentally pull at the power cord.
By the way, if your MacBook Pro falls from a desk accidentally, it should survive just fine. The notebook’s case is robust, and the hard disk is equipped with an acceleration sensor that parks the heads in case of danger.