After more than two weeks of carrying and living with the new 17-inch MacBook Pro, flipping over to the Core 2 Duo model periodically for testing, the difference is palpable. Every task and action starts and finishes markedly faster, making each return to the "old" MacBook Pro a frustrating experience. Two years is any Mac's prime.
Other differences, like the higher-quality built-in microphone, higher-resolution FaceTime HD Webcam, and support for the mic on an iPhone headset cord just made the experience that much more enjoyable. The only changes I'd make to the test machine are an increase in RAM to the 8GB maximum, and perhaps a trial of the 7,200-rpm hard drive. I expect that these tweaks would handily close the gap between the new MacBook Pro and a desktop. When Thunderbolt peripherals become more commonplace -- a given in light of Apple's brisk sales -- the Thunderbolt MacBook Pro won't just be the only notebook worth carrying. It may be the only computer a professional needs.
This article, "Thunderbolt MacBook Pro: The last notebook you'll ever need," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in computer hardware and mobile technology at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.
Read more about computer hardware in InfoWorld's Computer Hardware Channel.