For the first test, a USB hard drive was plugged in for 45 minutes. The battery lasted 4 hours and 40 minutes. At no point did the computer sleep, and it always maintained a persistent wireless connection. Once I plugged it back in, the battery recharged to 100% in just over two hours.
I tested the MacBook Pro again, with everything the same except I did not have the external drive plugged in at all. The battery lasted 5 hours and 29 minutes. Finally, I ran the test with the external monitor unplugged, running the same apps. This time, the battery lasted six hours and 20 minutes.
The MacBook Pro offers nearly a workday's worth of battery life, even when performing a variety of simultaneous processor-intensive tasks (like running two operating systems and accompanying apps at the same time). Clearly, with careful power management (like dimming the display and disabling Bluetooth) and shorter bursts of processor-intensive tasks, you should be able to squeeze more time out of this laptop, making Apple's eight-hour battery life boast a reasonable expectation.
Is the MacBook Pro worth the price? The short answer is yes. Though it's not cheap, what you get is the latest technology in a well-built machine that should last for several years. It does everything you'd expect from a computer in its class, delivering great performance, a gorgeous high-density screen, Apple's consistently great design, excellent battery life and extensive software support.
If you bought a MacBook Pro last year, there's probably no need to upgrade unless you're compelled to always have the latest and greatest — a habit that can become rather costly over time. But if you're using an older MacBook Pro, or looking to make the jump from Windows, you won't find a laptop better than the 15-in. MacBook Pro.
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