Apple MacBook Pro (15-inch, early 2011)

Basic Specs

Laptop type Mainstream
Thickness 0.95 inches
Weight 5.6 pounds
Operating system Mac OS X
Screen size (diagonal) 15.4 inches
CPU brand Intel
CPU family Sandy Bridge
Graphics type Switchable
Integrated GPU model HD Graphics 3000
Base discrete GPU brand AMD
Optical drive type Slot-loading

Recent News

No recent news about Apple MacBook Pro (15-inch, early 2011).

Recent Discussions

No recent discussions about Apple MacBook Pro (15-inch, early 2011).

Tech Specs

Hardware

Laptop type Mainstream
Width 14.35 inches
Depth 9.82 inches
Thickness 0.95 inches
Weight 5.6 pounds
Color Silver

Software

Operating system Mac OS X

Display (base)

Screen size (diagonal) 15.4 inches
Display surface Matte, Glossy
Technology LCD
Backlight LED
Resolution (X) 1440 px
Resolution (Y) 900 px

Display (max)

Resolution (X) 1680 px
Resolution (Y) 1050 px

Keyboard

Type Chiclet
Backlit Yes
Number pad No

Mouse

Type(s) Trackpad
Multitouch Yes
Multitouch points 4

Processor (base)

CPU brand Intel
CPU family Sandy Bridge
Model Core i7-2635QM
Cores 4
Clockspeed 2 GHz
Turbo clockspeed 2.9 GHz

Processor (max)

Brand Intel
Family Sandy Bridge
Model Core i7-2820QM
Cores 4
Clockspeed 2.3 GHz
Turbo clockspeed 3.4 GHz

GPU (base)

Graphics type Switchable
Integrated GPU brand Intel
Integrated GPU model HD Graphics 3000
Base discrete GPU brand AMD
Discrete GPU model Radeon HD 6490M
Dedicated VRAM size 256 MB

GPU (max)

Discrete GPU brand AMD
Discrete GPU model Radeon 6750M
Dedicated VRAM size 1 GB

Memory

Base RAM size 4 GB
Max. config RAM size 8 GB
RAM type DDR3
Base RAM speed 1333 MHz
RAM slots 2

Storage

Options HDD (5400RPM), HDD (7200RPM), Flash Memory (SSD)
Base drive type HDD (5400RPM)
Base drive capacity 500 GB
Max. config HDD 750 GB
Max. config SSD 512 GB
Card reader Yes
Card reader support SD

Optical Drive

Optical drive type Slot-loading
Compatible media DVD/CD-RW combo, DVD+R/W, DVD-R/RW, DVD±R/RW, Dual-layer DVD burner

Audio

Speakers 2
Subwoofer Yes

Webcam

Video resolution 720p

Sensors

Ambient light Yes

Port options

USB 2
FireWire 800 1
Thunderbolt 1
Ethernet 1
Ethernet type 10/100/1000 (Gigabit)
3.5mm headphone 1
3.5mm line-in / microphone 1

Connectivity

Wi-Fi Yes
Wi-Fi options 802.11n, 802.11g, 802.11b, 802.11a
802.11n frequencies 5GHz, 2.4GHz
Bluetooth Yes
Bluetooth version 2.1 + EDR

Battery

Size 77.5 Wh
Chemistry Lithium Polymer (Li-Po)
Removable No
Quoted time 7 hr

Benchmarks

GeekBench 8844
XBench 220.07

Recent News

No recent news about Apple MacBook Pro (15-inch, early 2011).

Recent Discussions

No recent discussions about Apple MacBook Pro (15-inch, early 2011).

9.2

Average User Review

of 5 total reviews
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  • 9
  • 10
  • Design 9
  • Keyboard 10
  • Touchpad 10
  • Display 8
  • Performance 9
  • Heat / noise 6
  • Battery life 8
  • Software 9

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  • 9.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by simeon03 (Currently owns)

    Truly an excellent laptop to meet many needs, with a excellent best-in-class keyboard and trackpad with the finest desktop OS ever crafted. It has above average battery life, a great but dated design (a bit thick and could be lighter if the internals where re-designed). The display should come with the high-res option as standard as it is an expensive computer and a higher 1920 x 1200 high-res option if Apple decide to keep the 16:10 aspect ratio. It is an expensive computer, but that isn't a barrier for nearly all users as if you want a Mac you'll make it happen it just isn't an excuse its a bogus reason to ignore good reasons to get one.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 8
    • Keyboard 10
    • Touchpad 10
    • Display 7
    • Performance 8
    • Heat / noise 7
    • Battery life 6
    • Software 9
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 9.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by grahamnp (Currently owns)

    Well built and nice looking. Not the best looking laptop ever but when everyone else is copying it and failing, it looks pretty decent. I still wish it didn't look like the same laptop that came out in 2009, but it looks ok so no complaints really.

    Keyboard is functionally excellent. Feel and travel is great but the keys show wear very quickly.

    Touchpad is perfect, no complaints.

    Display could be a little bit higher res and the gloss is annoying but the quality of the panel is undeniably good and sets the standard for mid/high end 15.4" notebooks.

    Performance on the new quad i7s and 6750m is excellent. Apple frequently falls behind in the specs race but not this time. Quite pleased with this.

    Heat is terrible and as a result so is noise. The small frame and cooling system cannot handle the 55w (at max turbo) and 20-30W(??) of the GPU. In summer when ambient temps are high, the notebook overheats in Windows. Yes, it is Windows but boot camp is provided by Apple so I expect a good experience.

    Battery life is good and well above average but Lion cut my battery life by about 1h.

    OSX is great.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 9
    • Keyboard 9
    • Touchpad 10
    • Display 9
    • Performance 10
    • Heat / noise 4
    • Battery life 8
    • Software 9
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 10.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by ibejack96 (Currently owns)

    The design is perhaps the best of any laptop I've ever seen; it's really beautiful. The keyboard has a really nice feel to it, there is a good amount of space in between keys and they have just the right amount of click. The touchpad is really smooth, Apple is definitely doing the best at those right now; I've never seen a Windows laptop to compare with this trackpad. The display is really crisp (I upgraded to the Hi-Res version, but didn't go with the anti-glare due to hearing it didn't have as accurate color rendition). There are some issues with glare in direct sunlight, but I don't use it outside that much for it to make a difference. This computer is a beast in terms of performance; I upgraded the processor when I ordered it and upgraded to a 512GB SSD. HD video editing is no problem using Final Cut Pro X, and the only heat it lets off is when I'm doing that. Battery life, is pretty good, I can usually get 4-5 hours of pretty intense Internet usage while listening to audio, or watching and editing video. Software is awesome; it was already great with Snow Leopard (Lion wasn't out when I bought it), but Lion made it even better and faster.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 10
    • Keyboard 10
    • Touchpad 10
    • Display 9
    • Performance 10
    • Heat / noise 9
    • Battery life 9
    • Software 10
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 9.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by Tyler Gold (Currently owns)

    The early 2011 15-inch MacBook Pro may not sport a fancy redesign or any major new improvements upon its predecessor, but is nonetheless the best laptop I've ever owned.

    The stock 15-inch, 1440x900 glossy display is top-notch, but that's not to say it doesn't have a few problems. While the viewing angles on the display are great, using it in (particularly direct) sunlight remains a pretty glaring (pun intended) problem.

    The aluminum unibody body is absolutely beautiful and brilliant and perfect in every way. I couldn't possibly ask for a better designed laptop. Despite coming in at a little over five-and-a-half pounds, I can lug my MacBook around my college campus or on my commute to New York with relative ease.

    The backlit chiclet keyboard is great, but it can get a little loud if you type vigorously enough. I can't sing enough praise for the trackpad. Multitouch gestures work so well I've been rendered incapable of using any other trackpad. The speakers are surprisingly decent, and work fine for casual listening.

    OS X is wonderful as always, although Lion still has a few kinks. No surprises there.

    Battery life is solid but not amazing- I usually eke out just over five hours (two short of Apple's promised seven) before reaching for the MagSafe charger, which is one of the best ideas to ever come out of Cupertino. The one catch is that my battery only lasts this long when I'm exclusively using the integrated graphics, not allowing the machine to swap between that and its discrete card. Plus, when using the discrete graphics the aluminum body can get toasty, particularly around the top-left corner.

    The upgraded internals in my MBP work wonderfully for even moderately-hardcore gaming (using Bootcamp to run Windows 7, of course). I've managed to max out Call of Duty: Black Ops and can smoothly run Modern Warfare 3 with reasonably high settings, albeit at the expense of putting the fans hidden under the display's hinge into overdrive.

    The early 2011 models were the first generation of MacBooks to support Thunderbolt, a new port capable of data transfers at speeds as ludicrous as 10Gbps, or a blistering 20 times faster than USB 2.0. My one complaint about ports is that Apple neglected to include an HDMI-out. I can also count how many times I've used the disk drive on one hand, and plan on swapping it out for an SSD.

    The Early 2011 MacBook Pro fits all my needs wonderfully, and I have no regrets about buying it. But I wouldn't recommend buying this model now unless you're short on cash and get a refurb. If you're in the market for a new and reasonably powerful laptop, I can wholeheartedly recommend the newer late 2011 15-inch Macbook Pro- the same machine, but with a more powerful processor and graphics.

    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 9.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by camero (Currently owns)

    This laptop is the very best you could get before the air refresh with Intel's Core CPUs in my opinion. The design and size are perfect and the multitouch is phenomenal. The only problems with this thing is the blaze of heat given off when I decide to push the integrated GPU. This is, however, only occurring when I try to play games that I shouldn't and the fact that it CAN struggle through is a testament to the Intel HD 3000. Its like the little engine that could, but really shouldn't. Aside from this, the MacBook is more than competent for what I need and can have a exceptionally long life with the eventual addition of a SSD.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 10
    • Keyboard 9
    • Touchpad 10
    • Display 8
    • Performance 8
    • Heat / noise 5
    • Battery life 9
    • Software 9
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
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