Confessions of a lifelong PC user: The MacBook Pro is solid.

As a lifelong PC user (read: not a fanboy, just stating the facts), I was a bit anxious to find out that I’d be using a MacBook Pro (13.3″) at my new job. Right from the start, I was unable to follow the seemingly simple setup instructions I was given by the friendly IT folks, and soon found myself “behind” in getting my shiny new aluminum workmate up and running.

That was over two months ago. Now that I’ve had time to learn and adjust to using a Mac for work (while still using a PC at home), I am happy to admit that OS X definitely shines in many areas. However, it is not the end-all, be-all operating system that Apple fans always seem to make it out to be. But enough about the software.

What is truly impressive to me is the physical hardware. Operating system pluses (quick to boot-up / shutdown / connect to known wifi networks) and minuses (no right-click; no “forward” delete button; not all apps maximize to fill the display) aside, I really like the MacBook Pro’s industrial design and materials.

Clearly this is not a groundbreaking conclusion, but I felt the need to share my own enthusiasm about the overall build quality of the machine…especially since I’ve only ever used PCs. Simply put, the MBP is an aluminum beast.

The slim display opens and closes with (magnetic) authority. The sub-1″ height (when closed) is really noticeable (in a good way) when carrying the machine around; not to mention, there is practically zero flex in the machine’s frame (thanks to the unibody construction). And the inclusion of a physical battery level indicator along the side is just awesome.

Does it have the best looking (LED-backlit, glossy) display I’ve ever seen? No. Also, it’s definitely not the lightest 13″ laptop on the market. But, it is certainly one of the most sturdy. Oh, and the backlit keyboard…yea, that’s been really helpful in various situations.

All in all, there is little to no room to argue about the build-quality of these aluminum MBPs. I remain steadfast in my belief that OS X is not the “ultimate” operating system…but as far as hardware is concerned, these aluminum unibody machines are in a league of their own.