The Bottom Line
- Stylish And Durable Aluminum Case
- Excellent Keyboard And Trackpad
- Long Battery Life
- Core 2 Duo Processor Really Shows Its Age
- Glossy Screen Difficult To Use In Certain Lighting Conditions
- DisplayPort Adapters Not Included
- Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 Dual Core Mobile Processor
- 4GB PC3-8500 DDR3 Memory
- 250GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
- 13.3" WXGA (1280x800) LED Backlit Display With 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
- NVIDIA GeForce 320M Integrated Graphics
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11a/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
- Two USB 2.0, FireWire, Mini DisplayPort, SD Card Slot
- 12.8" x 9" x 1" @ 4.5 lbs.
- Mac OS X 10.6, iLife
Guide Review - Apple 2010 MacBook Pro 13 Ultraportable Laptop PC
Sep 8 2010 - Apple has been slow to update most of its computers to the new Intel Core 2010 series of processors. While the larger 15 and 17-inch MacBook Pros have recently received the updates, Apple has left the MacBook Pro 13 to use the older Core 2 Duo processors and this was a poor move on their part. The Core 2 Duo P8600 may be a fine processor but it falls short of the performance of the newer Core i3-350M budget processor found in many competing ultraportables priced much less than this. At least Apple has upgraded the standard memory configuration to be 4GB of DDR3 compared to 2GB in the previous version.
Apple still retains the internal slot loading DVD burner which is a huge boon for such a compact system as many companies have gone back to not including hem in their ultraportables. Hard drive storage still lags with just a 250GB hard drive for storing programs, documents and media files. It stills keeps an SD card slot for using with digital peripherals.
The 13.3-inch display of the MacBook Pro 13 continues to use the glass covered glossy coating that helps give it bright colors but also be highly prone to glare and reflections. It also retains the 16:10 aspect ratio with 1280x800 resolution rather that using the more common 16:9 ratio and 1366x768 resolution. The graphics have changed pretty much in name only to the NVIDIA GeForce 320M integrated graphics from the previous 9400M. It certainly is a step up from the Intel integrated graphics by giving some 3D gaming capabilities with limited details but still falls well short of a true dedicated processor.
The overall design of the Apple MacBook Pro 13 remains identical to previous versions. This includes the extremely stylish and durable aluminum design with its superb keyboard and trackpad. Unfortunately, it still retains the problems with the peripheral ports including just two USB ports that are very close that prevent use of some USB devices together. The mini-DisplayPort graphics port while fine with Apple's CinemaDisplay is also difficult to use with non-Apple monitors as the company does not include any adapters to use with HDMI or DVI.
Probably one of the best features of the Apple MacBook Pro products have been their battery life. The systems offer extremely long running times while not sacrificing performance. The lithium polymer batteries are supposed to last up to 10 hours of general use. DVD playback testing yields much lower than that with roughly five hours before going into standby. This is still much greater than pretty much any other ultraportable on the market save a few that offer much less overall performance and features. More typical use will probably yield around 8 hours.