• Newsletter Issue #338 Preview: The Night Owl Review: 17-inch MacBook Pro

    May 22nd, 2006

    Night Owl Rating: ★★★★★

    After spending roughly 10 days with Apple’s latest professional desktop, my opinion stands: This is a superb note-book computer and desktop replacement. But let’s look at the details.

    Apple’s transition to Intel processors is moving at a fever clip, and the biggest MacBook Pro shipped roughly three weeks after the 15.4-inch version. This was sufficient to get a handle on some early production issues, such as excessive heat and a strange whine that seemed to emerge, spirit-like, from the processor.

    In case you’re wondering, that mysterious SMC firmware update that appeared in the Software Update panel for early adopters of the MacBook Pro reputedly fixes the heat issue, by allowing the cooling fans to run more efficiently. Apple’s information about the update is oblique, saying that “The SMC Firmware Update addresses boot issues with the MacBook Pro.” Well, I don’t see where that changes the operation of the cooling fans, but I’m not a design engineer, so what do I know?

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