Apple Macbook Pro Late 2011 Represents Great Value for Money

Some users might baulk at the prospect of spending £1000 on a laptop, even if it is an Apple Macbook Pro; though if the truth be told, we found that the cheapest member of the Macbook Pro family, the £999 model, represents an excellent bargain especially when compared to the upper end of the market.

The most affordable model comes with an Intel Core i5-2430M, a Sandy Bridge processor clocked at 2.4GHz (with turboclocking adding another 25 per cent overclock), a 600MHz Intel HD3000 that can overclock to 1.2GHz, 3MB L3 cache and a 35W TDP.

There's also a 63.5Whr battery that promises up to seven hours life expectancy, 4GB onboard storage, a 500GB hard disk drive, OS X Lion, 720p front facing camera, Wi-Fi, Thunderbolt, two USB ports, GbE, SDXC card slot, Bluetooth 2.1, a 13.3-inch 1280x800 pixels all topping the scale at just over 2Kg.

Compare that with the Lenovo ThinkPad T420 which inherits the conservative aspects of its forefathers. The T420 is built like a tank and costs £999.97, underneath its bonnet is roughly the same hardware as the Macbook Pro.

Lenovo's business laptop comes with a slightly less powerful Core i5-2410M (2.3GHz, turbo clocked to 2.9GHz), 4GB RAM, 500GB hard disk drive. The T420 has a slightly bigger screen (14-inch) but a much high resolution at 1600x900 pixels, 40 per cent more. It also has a dedicated Nvidia NVS420M graphics module with Optimus technology with 1GB dedicated memory (The HD3000 on the Macbook Pro uses 384MB worth of onboard memory).

Like the Macbook Pro, it has GbE, Ethernet, Bluetooth, a seven hour battery life, card reader and Webcam. It lacks the Thunderbolt port but comes with an optical drive, DisplayPort, Expresscard, eSata, a fingerprint reader and Integrated 3G module and weighs only 10 per cent more than the Macbook Pro.

Unlike the state of affairs a few yeas ago, Macbook laptops are now almost as competitive as their Windows counterparts as Apple astutely aimed for the very top of the market where competition is less intense. Unless you are constrained by external factors, a Mac or a Windows laptop will fit the bill at the top of the market (£1000 or more).