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Monday, June 7, 2010

Review: 2010 MacBook Pro 13"

After spending some time with my MacBook Pro, i'm finally able to start a review going for it. When i say start, it's because reviewing something as complex as a computer would probably need some time  (at least i would need it) and several installments to review.

I'm trying to cap the review in 3 or 4 parts:
I. Exterior and Start-up
II. The Operating System (Mac OS X)
III. Usage (applications) and Battery life
IV. Extras 

As usual, i'll try to make it short and sweet, just including the practical info that i think people would want to know before getting a MacBook Pro. Also, as usual, i will have an accompanying Video review :p

Ok let's start with Part I

The unit I am reviewing is the 2010 MacBook Pro 13" aluminum unibody. This can be purchased at Apple stores for $1,200, or in Apple Philippines dealers for PhP62,000.

General Specs are:
Processor - 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
RAM: 4GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x2GB
Storage: 250GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics processor with 256MB of DDR3 SDRAM

The Specs are an upgrade from the last model, though not by much. The 13" MacBook Pro does not get the upgraded Intel "i" processors like it's bigger brothers (which sport the i3, i5, and i7 processors). Steve Jobs himself mentioned that the trade-off for this model was the size and battery life. The 13" model can reach 10 hours battery time, and is more handy to carry around.

Whats included:
MacBook Pro showing keyboard.

  • MacBook Pro
  • MagSafe Power Adapter, AC wall plug, and power cord
  • Software DVDs
  • Display polishing cloth
  • Printed and electronic documentation
Pre-Installed Software (Mac OS X SNow Leopard, and iLife)

The Exterior

0.95 inch (2.41 cm)
12.78 inches (32.5 cm)
8.94 inches (22.7 cm)
4.5 pounds (2.04 kg)
Connections and Expansion on the 13-inch MacBook Pro

I find the size and weight to be perfect mix of mobility and power. Yes, a netbook is smaller and lighter, but there's no way it can have as much computing power as the MacBook Pro. Anything more than the 13" model might already be considered as not convenient to bring around all the time. For this reason, the MacBook Pro is considered by some to be best in its class.

Exterior Features:

  • MagSafe power port
  • Gigabit Ethernet port
  • One FireWire 800 port (up to 800 Mbps)
  • Mini DisplayPort
  • Two USB 2.0 ports (up to 480 Mbps)
  • SD card slot
  • Audio in/out
  • Kensington lock slot
  • DVD Superdrive
The video below shows the external features of the MacBook Pro, and also how fast it can start.

As you can see, the booting time of the MacBook Pro is far superior to many Windows Computers. The start-up time is exceptionally brief, and i find it to be a pleasant change after using machines loaded with Windows XP and Vista. 

Is the learning curve from Windows to Mac also going to be that short and pleasant? We'll find out in Part II of the review.

Update 06/13/2010: Part II of the review is already available here. Find out how the OS X fares with old-time Windows users.

UPDATE 06/23/2010: Part III of the review is here. In that section we cover the battery life of the 2010 MacBook Pro 13". Is it really as fantastic as Apple claims it to be? Let's find out!

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