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Apple MacBook Pro 13 Inch

"Another classic piece of Apple design with near top notch performance."
PC Site score:
 
80
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Overview

It cannot be denied that MacBooks are things of beauty. On the 13 inch model this year’s updates have brought the MacBook not just up to speed, but above expected standards, as far as we’re concerned.

The MacBook Pro is now the default Mac model since the standard MacBook has now, sadly, been shelved. It offers a little more under the hood than its ultraportable cousin the MacBook Air whilst still managing to keep a rather trim and elegant looking chassis.

What we like best

This is ultimately a very usable laptop. We hate to gush but Apple really knows how to present their products, from de-boxing you will get a thrill of excitement. The MacBook Pro manages to keep a new look to it long after you’ve taken it home so it will never fail to impress.

These laptops are built from a single piece of recyclable aluminium which gives it a solid feel. The look of MacBook Pros have been adopted by competing laptop manufacturers: machines like the HP EliteBook are very similar in style. This is indication enough that the build of these laptops are highly functional and attractive to people who use computers for both business and personal use. Its chiclet-style backlit keyboard has also been adopted by other laptop makers. They’re very comfortable for sustained writing and looks nice with the spacious touchpad.

MacBook Pros are now available with Intel’s 3rd generation (Ivy-Bridge) processors, these put the prices up to a similar cost of the 15 inch model but you can’t really put a price on high functionality. You’re also able to configure your laptop with a 750 Gb hard drive or up to 512 Gb SSD. That latter will make your model much more expensive but again if speed is what’s required you may as well do things right.

What we like least

The narrow keys will take a little while to master and can slow you down whilst typing. We also found that these laptops got a little warm during prolonged use which is troubling with expensive technology.

All screens pale in comparison to apple’s retina displays, it is unfortunate that you can’t get them with the 13 inch Macbook Pro and they are pricey to boot. The display is ok and with the standard graphics card you’ll be able to game on this machine but nothing to new and intensive.

The verdict

People in the market for an excellent laptop that are willing to pay for it don’t really need to look much further. The Apple MacBook Pro 13 inch can also be bought with a pay plan so you can pay it off in monthly instalments. The default model is a worthy choice for students who are after a laptop that will last a long time, impress your peers and handle any task that you throw at it.

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Specifications

Processor Speed

2.5 GHz
2.9 GHz

Processor

Intel Core i5
Intel Core i7

RAM

4 Gb
8 Gb

Screen Size

13.3 inch

Graphics

Intel HD Graphics 4000
nVIDIA GT 650M

Hard Drive Storage

500 -750 Gb HDD
512 Gb SSD

Battery

63.5 watt-hour battery
7 hours wireless web

Multimedia

Stereo speakers with subwoofer
Omnidirectional microphone
Combined audio line in/out
Support of iPhone headset
720p FaceTime HD camera

Ports

MagSafe power port
Gigabit Ethernet
FireWire 800
2 x USB 3.0
Thunderbolt port
SDXC card slot
01

Weight & Size

(W) 325 mm x (H) 34.1 mm x (D) 227 mm
2.06 Kg

Connectivity

802.11n Wi-Fi
Bluetooth 4.0

Operating System

OS X Lion

Product Description

This laptop is the featherweight of all notebooks weighing in at a tiny 1.38kgs, but in no way feels unstable.

The good…

The keyboard is delicate and the keys nicely spaced and illuminated with a subtle backlight. The touchpad is not over responsive, only awakening at the touch of a finger rather than every brush of your misguided palm.

The MacBook Air has not compromised on the size of its screen either, boasting an LED backlit 13.3-inch display.

The bad…

Connectivity with the MacBook Air is not one of its strongest attributes. It only has a Broadcom 802.11n wireless card and to get an Ethernet connection you would have to shell out £19 for an extra cable which takes up the one and only USB port on the laptop.

There is no disc drive built into this laptop, making it difficult to upload software. You must either connect the MacBook Air to another Apple Mac and then transfer software, or pay out a further £65 for an external USB SuperDrive.

…And the pretty

The Apple MacBook Air is a beautiful and elegant creation most suited to those who are into cloud computing who will mainly use it for social networking and a bit of light work or Internet browsing.

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