632 of 654 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 2010
The Macbook Pro has just been updated on April 13th 2010. There are some upgrades and a few changes between this year and last years model, detailed below.
1) The MBP 13 now has 4 gb of ram standard (2 x 2 gb sticks). This allows you to multi-task easily without any issues ( last years model had only 2gb of ram which was inadequate) Now there's no need to spend more money upgrading your ram UNLESS you're really into heavy duty multimedia work
2) It also features the Nvidia GeForce 320M integrated graphics processor with 48 processing cores. This is an improvement compared to the Geforce 9400M graphics chip in last years model and will help in graphics and content creation.
3) The included hard drive is 250 gb (160gb in last years model).
4) Mini display port now supports video AND sound with a compatible Mini-DP to HDMI adapter (last years model only supported video)
STANDARD FEATURES - from last years 13 inch model (minor changes noted in brackets) are
An Aluminum unibody,
Core 2 Duo Processor ( 2.4 ghz - up from 2.26ghz ),
1280 x 800 resolution Glossy LED backlit screen,
8x slot-loading SuperDrive dvd burner
Large glass multi-touch trackpad ( Intertial scrolling is now enabled ),
Backlit keyboard with comfortable chiclet keys
Magsafe power adapter (with redesigned tip to reduce stress on the cable)
1 Firewire 800 port,
2 USB 2.0 ports ,
SD Card slot,
Wi-Fi - 802.11n specification; 802.11a/b/g compatible, Bluetooth 2.1 and Gigabit Ethernet -10/100/1000.
Software included is OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard and the iLife 09 suite of content creation tools. A 1 year warranty on parts and 90 day telephone technical support is standard.
The lack of the latest Intel Core i5 or i3 processors processors in this machine is disappointing ( Anybody paying $1200 for a notebook positioned as a pro product, would expect new rather than "old" processors to be part of the configuration ) but I'd still recommended the MBP 13 to people looking to buy the lightest and most portable Macbook Pro as well as a capable machine in it's own right. Demanding applications like Skype, Photoshop, Lightroom, iMovie run smoothly.
I would also consider purchasing applecare - AppleCare Protection Plan MC258LL/A - For Portable Apple Computers 13.3 Inches and Below along with the notebook.
The truth is, Apple uses most of the same parts (hard drives, processors, dvd drives, wireless cards) that other laptop manufacturers use so their reliability is no worse or better than other laptop manufacturers. Unfortunately what most customers don't know is that if a product / part malfunction occurs after the first year limited warranty has ended, Apple charges extremely high fees for repairing and replacing parts (when compared to other laptop manufacturers ) IF you don't have Applecare.
Keep in mind, the A.P.P. only covers hardware failure - not accidental damage so it's still expensive for what you get but it's better than paying Apple's prices for repair/replacement parts.
Another warranty extension option to consider is Squaretrade (which also includes damage protection). It's better to pay once for Applecare or Squaretrade (whatever you prefer) and be covered for 2 more years after the first year is up than pay exorbitant repair/replacement fees if a part malfunctions.
About the battery, Apple advertises it as lasting for 9 to 10 hours of use. In reality, it allows you to be mobile for 3 to 6 hours - depending on what task you're using the computer for. Also, it's an inbuilt battery so once it's exhausted, you will have to take your machine back to an Apple store or an Apple Authorized Service Provider for replacement. However, Apple states that the battery will hold 80% of it's charge for up to a 1000 charges which means approximately 3 to 4 years of daily use. So it should be a while before you have to go in for that battery replacement.
Also, Since the MBP has a mini display port, you'll have to buy a MiniDP to VGA convertor or MiniDP to DVI convertor if you ever want to connect your MB Pro to a larger monitor - since Apple does not include it with the machine it will cost you $30 more IF you buy it from Apple. Here's a cheaper option - Mini DisplayPort to DVI Female Adapter Cable for Apple Macbook, Macbook Pro, iMac, Macbook Air, Mac Mini Laptop
For those who are confused about whether they should purchase the $1199 MBP 13 or the $1499 MBP 13 - the only difference between this model and the higher priced model is processor speed and hard drive space - the $1199 MBP 13 has a 2.4 ghz processor and 250 gb hard drive and the $1499 MBP 13 has a 2.66ghz processor and 320 gb hard drive. Whether a 266 mhz (10% difference) and 70 gb more of hard drive space is worth 300 dollars more is your call. (Although you can purchase a 500 gb notebook hard drive for approximately $80 and install it yourself. Instructions are in the MBP 13 manual and you'll need a Philips #00 screwdriver. Installation videos are also available online)
Hope this helps!
UPDATE - The MBP has a good quality screen but I have to add that it may not be for everybody. Online reports on Apple's MB Pro support forums and personal experience indicate that the glossy LED screen causes tremendous eye strain and headaches for some people. A few users have said that they cannot use the computer for more than an hour at a time because of the eye strain and headaches.
Mine and other's issues with the screen are individual cases but the possibility does exist that the screen may not suit you and cause eye strain and other health issues. At the same time, you may not face any of these issues. My advice would be to use the MB Pro as a notebook extensively within the fourteen day return window and if you face any of these issues, do not hesitate to return it. If you do not face any of these issues, then please enjoy using your MB Pro.
146 of 158 people found the following review helpful
on April 16, 2010
i just picked one of these up and I love it. I have read reviews complaining that Apple did not try to cram an i5 or larger CPU into this 13 inch machine. True, the chose to use the Core 2 Duo but that's not all bad. This is a stable, cool running, capable processor. The machine now includes 4 G of ram and a much improved video card from the previous version. I use this mostly for work where stability, battery life, portability, and longevity are the most important things to me. I rarely play games. I wouldn't use a portable for video work when I have a desktop available. I run office applications, safari, email, ever note, and skype. It all works great. The machine feels substantial in my hands. Pick it up and try to twist it. It is perfectly rigid. My Toshiba feels like the battery would fall out if I twisted a bit more. This one feels well built. I especially like the backlit keyboard.
158 of 173 people found the following review helpful
on April 26, 2010
I never write reviews. NEVER. But this is something that just has to be reviewed because everyone should have one of these. It's a little long but I feel that this has to be said. If I can't convince you, go to the store and mess around with one if you'd like. Better yet, read all the reviews. They all can't be wrong.
I've been a windows user for all my life. The experience has been great all the way through XP. With all the negativity surrounding Vista, I decided not to persue it. I've had relatively little problems with windows honestly except dealing with all the problems I deal with on a daily basis (Help Desk Tech). If there's anything that I feel like touching least when I come home, it was my XP machine.
Why did I go Mac? I've seen the hundreds of things that can go wrong with Windows. I've heard all the complaints about Vista. Haven't played much with 7 but just messing around with it @ Best Buy I thought, "Yea maybe it's better than Vista but it's pretty much the SAME OLD WINDOWS when it comes down to it." I'm deploying soon and I had a 17" Dell Inspirion 1705 Windows XP machine (See how long that is? I am happy to say that when someone asks me what I'm rollin with, I reply, "13-inch MacBook Pro" A lot shorter but that's besides the point). Anyways, the screen is HUGE and there was no way I'm taking that tank with me over there. WAY to heavy and WAY to bulky! So I was in the market for a Laptop that was at most 14". When it comes to electronics, I research a ton.
What was the first thing I typed up when I was looking for a new PC?
"What is the best brand of laptops (Windows)?"
Yea that didn't help any. I got "HP is the best!" Then I got "HP is the worse!" So it was a lot of mixed reviews for mostly all of them. So I thought that I'd venture into Mac since I've never owned one. Went to the site and it gave me 2 options: Macbook and Macbook Pro. I opted for the Macbook Pro because 1) I wanted 4GB of RAM (I read it just works better all around) and 2) I wanted an SD slot. There are other reasons why Macbook Pro is nicer but I'll get into that later.
What was my only doubt before buying Mac? What if I need Office? Well there's bootcamp. I'll tell you what, so far I've had no use for Windows yet (waiting to see how Office for Mac 2011 is before I decide). So I did it and let me tell you, I've never had more fun messing with a computer than I've had with my Mac. Ok enough ranting, what do I like? What don't I like?
+Great design- A reason to get Macbook Pro over Macbook: the construction. All PCs=Plastic
+OS is so easy- Navigating through my files couldn't be easier. No more "Well that file is in c:\windows\localprofile\temp\settings\...ETC" It's all simple to find (It also helps using Spotlight)
+Dashboard and Expose- Widgets + Easy way to find what you have open = FUN
+iLife- Bottom like, iPhoto and iMovie BLOW AWAY windows standard photoviewer and windows movie maker (garbage, cheap)
+ The touchpad- It's more than just being big, it's amazing. The gestures make the experience so much easier and fun. Want to scroll down? Place to fingers on the pad and swipe down. There are others but hard to explain ;)
+ It's just flat out fun to use- Windows just started getting dull for me. Mac is fresh and exciting. When you buy a car do you want to get a transportation (PC) or do you want to get something that you enjoy driving (MAC)? I enjoy driving Mac everyday.
- Adjusting: It's difficult adjusting using windows all my life. But apple has set up many videos online to help you along. Thanks!
- The little things I was used to: again goes back to adjusting to a new OS. Alt+F4 is now Command+W. Gotta get used to it. No biggie.
Honestly, maybe I'm being biased (sue me) but I can't find a lot of cons yet as I'm still very new to this.
Bottom Line: You want a mac. Start a new adventure in your life. It's not too late. Mac will make your life easier in ways you couldn't imagine.
And hey, you might just have a little fun while you're at it ;)
66 of 70 people found the following review helpful
on April 17, 2010
This is my umpteenth Mac and as usual, it's a very satisfying purchase. Although the styling of this laptop, with the dark hinge and keyboard isn't quite my cup of tea (and is a matter of taste), this machine is far and away the most solidly built. It feels like it would stop a bullet, and it probably could. It's reassuring rigidity gives it a feeling of quality and sturdiness second to none. For someone who man handles his laptop all day every day, this is very important.
To be seen over the next months and years is if the reliability of the machine is as good as its build quality.
One final, off-topic note on delivery: Amazon service has been excellent. Yes, their systems are not perfect, but their customer service has made up for it. I originally got an inexplicable delivery date, but a call fixed that.
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on May 19, 2010
This is my fourth Mac and they keep getting better.I had some reservations about the glossy screen and even though it does reflect it works and works very well.I loved the matte screen but this has taken little time to accept and get used to.
Now,the track pad and this is impressive in that it is not a gimmick and eliminates so much clicking and dragging and fishing around for back buttons and the like.And all done with subtle gestures on the good sized trackpad.Be sure to activate the tap to click function so you can use this subtle method to click or secondary click or drag with one finger.No need to go up for a back button to go back page-just swipe three fingers.Desktop and expose can be activated by vertical swipes,etc.It even has a lighted keyboard for a poor typer like myself.
The case is of course milled from a solid piece of aluminum and along with the Mac OS this is a thing of beauty.Apple is to computers what Leica is to cameras so even though I never got that Leica I do have this Macbook Pro in my hand right now.Treat yourself if you can.
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on May 25, 2010
When you're out shopping for a new computer, one of the most important things you look for is price. As consumers, we always want the best deals possible on every item we spend our hard earned money towards. Apple MacBooks and all Apple computers in general always tend to be priced significantly higher than their Windows counterparts. Some may argue there is just cause, others may argue there is no reason why a similar computer should be priced much higher. The 13.3 MacBook Pro was my first foray in the Mac world. After having it for a few days now, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that it's been worth every penny. I've been using PCs for 20 years now, and even have a degree in computer engineering. So it was very hard for me to make the switch, and it does take time. The first thing I will tell every potential buyer is that you have to give it some time to get used to using a Mac. If you buy a Mac and think you will be an expert at it in one day, you will be in for a rude awakening. Obviously, I am still new to this and am learning new things every day about the Mac Operating System.
The biggest reason why I am now telling people to buy a Mac is simply the ease of use. As a society, we always tend to pay more for something that's easier to use or run. With a Mac, that's definitely the case. The second thing that we tend to pay more for is quality and craftsmanship. That's another thing you will find with Apple computers. Obviously with that said, any electronic item can have defects from a factory, that's to be expected, but I'd say that with a Mac, you'll be less likely to have issues out of box.
Now going back to the main reason why I recommend a MacBook Pro, is again the ease of use. Even though I am new to Macs, it's been a delight to see how easy things are to accomplish. If you want to install in new software, it's as easy as double-clicking an icon, then when the program opens, you drag the new icon to the application folder. Voila, you're done! There are a few pieces of software that take more effort, but in general, most programs I installed, took a matter of seconds. To uninstall a program, you just drag the icon from the application folder to trash. Then you empty the trash, and the program is uninstalled. How easy is that? Thats of course just one example, but again, in the case of a Mac, everything just seems easier to work with than a Windows Machine.
I'll talk again about quality of craftsmanship. When you take the MacBook Pro out of the box, you know immediately just how wonderful the build really is. When you buy a computer in this day and age, you just don't expect it to be so nice out of the box. You of course wish it was nice, but it usually isn't. When you take the MacBook Pro out of the box, you know you're holding something special. The quality of the unibody construction is second to none. I don't think I can find another manufacturer that has notebooks as high quality as Apple does.
Finally, there are still certain other features such as the glass touchpad that I haven't even talked about. It's one of those features that you don't realize you need until you've tried it out. Multitouch hand gestures is truly the wave of the future in touchpads on notebooks. The ability to have two, three, and even four finger gestures is amazing. The ability to scroll up and down a document or website, or the ability to go back and forth between pages, and finally, the ability to display all the programs and documents you have open at once. These are all little touches that Apple has added to their line of notebooks that make the MacBooks truly special and unique.
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on June 10, 2010
I sold a MacBook Pro 15" about 6 months ago as I wanted to downsize to something smaller and lighter. I liked Windows 7 and decided to save some money and try out a laptop other than a Mac for once. I am pretty picky and after a ton of research, decided on a Sony Vaio Y Series. Nice looking, great keyboard, light, but terrible display. I returned it and tried an Acer Timeline 13 incher. Nice looking, nice display, glossy/springy keyboard (yuk). Returned it as well. Picked up a 13" MacBook Pro at my Mom's house and used it for a while and fell back in love. I realized for a couple hundred more dollars, I get a laptop that is BY FAR the best engineered machine out there with the best fit and finish. It is night and day using a MacBook Pro vs the plasticky laptops that exist on Windows side.
This baby is SOLID, snappy, and has a beautiful screen and a great keyboard. All the websites rank this as the top laptop out there, and for good reason. The only downside is that the stock 250GB drive was a bit small for my needs. I wanted to create a triple boot system with Mac OSX, Ubuntu Linux and Windows 7. So I replaced it with a Hitachi 500GB 7200rpm drive I purchased from Amazon at the same time. Installation was easy, and the drive is silent and FAST! This little MacBook Pro is one sexy, snappy machine! I highly recommend, because you really do get what you pay for!
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 2010
This is my first mac notebook. I bought a mac mini last year and just love it. I ended up hooking it to the television as a home theater PC and found myself in need of a computer at times when the mac mini was acting as TV. I was upgrading from a 2004 dell laptop to this and I'm just noticing some things that I'd like to point out if you have never had a mac laptop.
Built in webcam that acts as an ambient light sensor when it gets brighter/darker in the room.
Touchpad/trackpad gestures that can be real time savers compared to a full keyboard (& i am a keyboard fanatic)
I have not messed with it yet, but I think you can talk to a macbook too and it will launch applications or do things (my friends do that)
The magsafe power adapter is like a magnet connection so if you kick the cord you won't break anything, it will just pop out.
Overall, I like it. It's fairly light. I wanted something light with good battery life. I knew I was happy with the graphics card on the mini so I shouldn't be let down here either since this is an improvement on that. I have to question whether I will use the cd drive very much, but I guess it's cool if I need to rip a cd to iTunes. When I had this on today at work next to my dell and external monitor I could only notice how dingy/brown their screens look in comparison. The colors on this screen are really great. The keyboard has a nice tactile feel to it as well, I really never miss a beat with this thing. The firewire connection was useful to transfer my settings from the mac mini as well.
edit 2/8/2011. This laptop has a lot of wow factor going on for it. I buffed the ram up to 8GB and the hard-drive up to 500GB (7200rpm) using tools from iFixIt, some gear from amazon, and backup software (time machine and winclone). Starcraft2, left4dead 2, and other games that are not seriously taxing on the graphics chip are running flawlessly at the native resolution. I put XP in a virtual machine and it runs fantastic, which I use for VPN to my job. This laptop looks great and performs great as well.
36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on April 17, 2010
I am extremely satisfied with my new MacBook - glad I waited for the 2010 model. For those concerned about processor speed, the Core 2 Duo processor works very well - no need for the i5/i7. Battery life is great and the bottom of the computer stays cool to the touch - much cooler than my old HP laptop. Display looks great as well. The touchpad works very well - very similar to the iPhone touchscreen. Wish I would not have waited so long to switch to a Mac.
Edit: Just thought I'd share that full startup, not just wake from sleep, takes less than fifteen seconds and full shutdown takes less than five - much faster than any Windows PC I've had.
On the subject of shipping, I originally placed my order on Tuesday (4/13/2010) and received an email on 4/16 with a projected delivery date of 4/20. Being curious, I decided to check the delivery date for a new order placed on 4/16. The projected delivery date for an order placed on 4/16 was 4/17, so I canceled my original order and placed a new one at about 3:30 pm. UPS delivered the computer at 9 this morning - great turnaround time. Overall, I am very pleased with my MacBook and with Amazon.
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on April 16, 2010
I use a laptop for email, internet, movies, backing up iPhone and I need MS Office. I was tired of constant updates and the threat of viruses from my PC. I'm glad I went with the Pro version. The metal case feels solid. The backlit keys are handy when watching TV and browsing online. The screen and backlit keys are light sensitive. The screen dims in dark and the keys light up. It taking some getting used to using the HUGE thumb pad.
PROS: I love the long battery life. Close the case and the Mac goes into hibernation mode. I tested it yesterday, it had no negative effect on the battery after a couple hours. that means you can close the lid and walk away. Come back later and open it and touch the pad and you are back up immediately!! Sweet! I'm delightfully surprised how cool this thing stays. My old HP would get HOT and the fan never seemed to cool enough or shut off. This thing never gets hot. Heck it never seems to even warm up. The DVD/CD slot is just that, a slot. No drawer to slide out. Pretty slick. I was pretty nervous the first time I used it. The disc has to be all but 1/2" in for it to grab it. I love the lightness of this thing. Easy to grab and go. I love the brightness of the screen. I went from a 15.4" so I was concerned about this being too small. but it is the perfect size. I'm a happy consumer!! I haven't had a chance to try all the Mac programs. The wife had me print some pictures for her last night. I was really impressed how easy iPhoto was to edit. It really did a nice job with it's "enhance" button that adjust the colors. I am happy to finally have a SD slot. I love the fact that I can send Excel and Word documents to my PC. Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac Home & Student Edition
CONS: When installing the MS Office the DVD player seemed really loud. When copying CD's this noise didn't happen. CD read rate is slow. When ripping a CD to iTunes the player only got up to 7-8x. I'm not real excited about the power jack. It is held in magnetically. So it easily falls out when the Mac is in my lap. But with the long battery life I realized the I don't need to constantly charge it like the old PC. So kinda a mute point.
Packaging: Amazon has got it figured out. The box was well packaged and arrived in perfect shape. I went to UPS a day early and had them hold it so I could pick it up first thing in the morning instead of waiting impatiently for the truck.