OK, so the X-Men don’t really have anything to do with my Mac, except sharing this post.
X-Men 3 is very much worth seeing, and neatly wraps up the story arc from the first two movies. In my opinion the writers were very smart in ending a good story while it’s good. The character wrap-ups for the major characters was handled pretty well, except for some deus-ex-machina moments… but that’s how comics work.
A month with a Mac - in a word, great! I traded in the 15” MacBook Pro for the 17”, and it’s worth every penny. All the issues with the 15” - excessive heat and the hiss, all nonexistent with the 17”. The extra screen estate is huge! Now… the 17” runs warmer than some other laptops, but not uncomfortably so. It does get significantly hotter when running in AC - this is due to the inverter and charger. But on battery, as long as you’re not running 100% CPU, it’s comfortable for use in your lap.
How are the games? Let me tell you - wonderful and fantastic! I’m not a huge game player; the last two major game purchases were Guild Wars and Half-Life 2. I went to Louisiana over Memorial Day, visiting a friend who also bought a MacBook Pro 17”. We did some HL2 deathmatching, and it was gorgeous. For HL2, Deathmatch, and Lost Coast, we were running at native resolution (1680 x 1050) with all video settings on high, and HDR enabled. Pretty much the only things not “recommended” was water reflect all (it defaulted to reflect world, OK by me), and antialiasing. Everything else was just peachy. And no slowdowns in HL2 or Deathmatch. I did notice a little lag in places in Lost Coast, but that is a technology demo with some intensive HDR (high dynamic range - “bloom” lighting effects among other advanced lighting techniques) and higher-resolution tectures; however it did not affect gameplay.
I haven’t tried Guild Wars yet, but I imagine it will be just a glorious.
A bit of discussion ensued on the Apple discussion forums regarding the MacBook’s glossy screen and its merits. I looked at them briefly when I was at the Apple Store, and it is a personal preference. I dislike glossy screens from my Palm Pilot days; you have to hold it just so, otherwise the glare can be annoying. Especially for a portable computer that you can use anywhere, sometimes it’s difficult to find a decent angle and position for the screen.