MacBook Pro
So I bought a MacBook Pro, and named it ‘dude’. How very novel!
My previously current laptop is bish, who served well, but is a bit old for serious use. Though I don’t really need a laptop in my current routine, I can definitely make use of it... even if only for the ‘reclining before bed’ time. I do enjoy a good slouch, and given that I don’t own any sitting furniture other than my desk chair, the only real slouching can happen in bed. Anyway.
It’s a pretty fly laptop. By several important measures, this machine is faster than my dual 2.3 GHz g5 tower. Actually, it’s faster for just about everything, in my every-day uses. It runs Quake4 better than both my g5 and my windows machine. Plugged into a KVM with a good display / mouse, it is very much powerful enough to feel like a fast desktop system. Kinda cool :)
I took the stock 2 GHz model and stepped up to the 7200 rpm drive. I bought another 1 GB sodimm that arrived the day before the laptop did. Other than that, dude is pretty vanilla, hardware-wise. Future upgrade possibilities include more RAM (I think it supports the 2 GB sodimms, though they are hideously expensive right now), and a larger HDD. It’s theoretically possible to upgrade the CPU, but that depends on how apple decided to build it...
There are a couple downsides. As with every macbook I’ve seen to date, there is some CPU noise.  It’s not horrible, but definitely loud enough to be rather annoying in a semi-quiet room. There is also the heat. It gets pretty damn hot when plugged in and driven hard (say, 8 hours of quake4 in windows). Several key software titles are still not built natively for OS X / intel; so far, app developers have been doing a pretty good job at getting their apps built for both ppc and intel.
Overall it’s a great laptop, pretty packed with cool abilities. The built-in video camera is sweet. It sounds silly, but I’m completely hooked on the backlit keyboard - it is unbelievably useful and convenient. The x86 nature of the CPU allows for running other OSes natively, and that is made quite easy with Apple’s Boot Camp software. I installed XP on a smaller partition and now use it for the sole purpose of playing quake4; the windows version performs better, fancy that. Mac OS X general runs quite well (and fast) on this machine. Non-native apps aren’t fast, but are otherwise totally useful. All in all, a pretty impressive rev A product. I am pleased :) The employee discount didn’t hurt, either!
  1.  March 30, 2006: dude is delivered via FedEx!