Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch Review - HotHardware

Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch Review

9 thumbs up
Our Test Methodologies: As the MacBook Pro uses the Mac OS, we weren't able to use our normal arsenal of Windows-based comparative benchmarks, and instead used set of tests that we had previously devised when we looked at last year’s MacBook Pro. With these tests, we could compare the MacBook Pro against a number of Mac and Windows systems. These tests are broken up into three sections: The first set are cross-platform tests, where the same workload was run on both the Mac and Windows systems. The second set is Mac-only tests. The third set is Windows-only tests that were run on some Windows comparison systems, and the MacBook Pro using Boot Camp and a native installation of Windows 7 Ultimate (64-bit). All tests were run several times on each system to ensure consistency. The Mac comparison systems are as follows:

  • Last year’s MacBook Pro. Its config is a 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-520M, 4GB of 1,066MHz DDR3 SDRAM, Integrated Intel HD Graphics and discrete NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M GPU (256MB) with automatic graphics switching, a 350GB 5,400-rpm hard dive, and running Mac OS X 10.6.4.
  • An older MacBook Pro that dates back to what is referred to as a "Late 2006" model. This older MacBook Pro's config is: a 2.0GHz Intel Core Duo T2500, 2GB of 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM, an ATI Radeon X1600 (128MB), a 120GB 5,400-rpm hard dive, and running Mac OS X 10.6.4. We readily concede that due to the age and low-end components (comparatively speaking) of this model, it is not the best comparison system; however, we chose to include it to exemplify how far the MacBook Pro's performance has come since the model was first introduced.
  • A three-year old, 24-inch iMac. The iMac's config is: 2.8GHz Intel Core 2 Extreme X7900, 4GB of 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM, an ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro, a 750GB 7,200-rpm hard drive, and running Mac OS X 10.6.4. When this iMac was released, it represented close to the top-end of available configs, and it is still considered somewhat powerful, albeit, getting a bit long in the tooth.
The Windows comparison systems include:

  • 2.13GHz Intel Core i3-330M, 4GB 1,066MHz DDR3 SDRAM, Integrated GMA HD, 320GB 5,400-rpm hard drive, and running Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit).
  • Lenovo ThinkPad T410S: 2.53GHz Intel Core i5-540M, 4GB 1,066MHz DDR3 SDRAM, integrated Intel Graphics and Nvidia NVS 3100M, 128GB SSD, and running Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.
  • Samsung R580: 2.27GHz Intel Core i5-430M, 4GB 1,066MHz DDR3 SDRAM, Nvidia GeForce GT 330M, 500GB 5,400-rpm hard drive, and running Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit.
  • Toshiba Satellite E205-S1904: 2.2GHz Intel Core i5-430M, 4GB 1,066MHz DDR3 SDRAM, Integrated Intel HD Graphics, 500GB 5,400-rpm hard drive, and running Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.

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These are decent yet a little overpriced. Of course they are Apple to so it is expected. From the they just work section of that I have heard a decent amount of malcontented rumblings in the background on these. I personally do not at the moment know the full details on it, but I am pretty sure there are some issues with them.

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I can tell you one thing they have made great strides in making them easier to repair hardware on them. I recently upgraded the memory in my fathers Macbook and it was only 6 screws granted they were 3 different sizes :)

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The 13" pro is about the only one I would consider buying. Mainly for its battery life.

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decent, i would still rather get a custom built one. :)

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I'm not sure why since i'm opposed to most things apple but for most people with generic computer needs the Apple Macbooks are user friendly, aesthetically pleasing, well built and are solid laptops

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Only if you are picking the 13" and don't mind paying a bit extra. The 15" and 17" both have some pretty nasty overheating, along with other nasty problems.

I don't believe Apple deserves a "HOT" for design, if your not going to include a "NOT" for 'Form over function'. Basic trend with them, make it look good no matter how many issues it causes in actual use.

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I agree with you Inspector. There are also some great units being released from OEM's the Samsung is a good one for sure. The only thing that does not directly compete with the Mac is the SSD is half of it's size. I am sure though in the ordering process that can be changed. One thing that gets me on the Macbooks though is a Core 2 Duo, Really, especially when competitively priced laptops on the PC side are using i3, i5, and i7 processors.

I thought Intel quit making Core 2 Duo processors anyway they are like 3 if not more generations back compared to current chips.

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This is a bit overpriced IMO, you can get a better performing 13 or 15 inch laptop for the same price.

nice review tho :)

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I'm ecstatic about thunderbolt technology. Working with the RED camera has required us to work via ESATA to handle heavy-duty data transfer. Thunderbolt could really help bring those RED CF cards back to camera team much quicker.

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You know the thing with me though is a 13 or a netbook I can use, but it is not really very convenient for me as I stand at 6'3" and each of my hands is 10" from top to bottom not to mention a width from thumb to pinkie of about a foot. So anything 13 inches or under can be tedious for me if I am on it for any length of time.

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