Apple's Macbook Pro 13 laptop proves there is still design greatness in portability

Apple's Macbook Pro 13 laptop proves there is still design greatness in portability

Apple’s MacBook Pro is a design masterpiece, even if its brilliance is marred by a few annoying niggles.

Battery Life:
Features & Design:
Value for money:

> Product website
Price: $1899
> Pricing info
Price 1899
CPU model/brand Intel Core 2 Duo P7550
CPU speed 2.26Hz

Keep your eye firmly fixed on the picture to the right and it's difficult not to fall for the MacBook Pro 13. Stripped of the glossy, attention-seeking clothes of the average laptop, its body is hewn from a single chunk of aluminium, with just the black of the keyboard and display bezel to contrast against it.

That all-aluminium construction works wonders too. Where even the burliest laptops here still exhibit the odd creak or bit of flex, the Apple is rock-solid.

Twist the base and your arms will give way before it does, and even the slimline display feels taut and resilient. And it isn't heavy either, at just 2.02kg.

The internal lithium-polymer battery keeps the MacBook going for more than nine hours under Apple's OS X. However, we found battery life shrank to short of six hours while running under Vista.

And, nice as it is to be able to run Vista and OS X on one laptop, Boot Camp has some aggravating niggles that need to be addressed. The MacBook's speakers refused to work under Vista, for example, despite the fact they were loud and capable under OS X.

Look to the MacBook's strengths, however, and it impresses in all the right areas. The 13.3in screen might only have a 1280 x 800 resolution, but quality is superb, with great contrast and colours that leap out at you.

Performance is as solid as the build quality too. The 2.26GHz processor buddies up with Nvidia's excellent integrated graphics chipset, the 9400M, and this partnership earned 1.12 in our application benchmarks.

It also had enough graphical grunt to achieve 30fps in our low settings Crysis test.

There's no doubt that 2GB of RAM and a 160GB hard disk is stingy, and having to spend extra on a converter before you can connect it to a monitor is downright cheeky, but it's testament to the MacBook Pro's brilliance that it shrugs off such criticisms.

If you want a sturdy, attractive, powerful and versatile laptop with the stamina to travel, Apple's latest is a superb choice.

This Review appeared in the December, 2009 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine

See more about:  apples  |  macbook  |  pro  |  13  |  laptop  |  notebook  |  netbook  |  pc  |  computer  |  portable

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