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1,139 of 1,199 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast, new processor runs cooler, beautiful screen
Customer Video Review     Length:: 4:55 Mins
I had eagerly been awaiting the new Mid-2012 MacBook Pro upgrade primarily because of the move to the new Intel processor, "Ivy Bridge." The 2.9GHz Intel Core i7 dual-core processor just makes this MacBook Pro fly. And it runs much cooler than its predecessors. I had my laptop running while on my lap for a couple hours and the bottom case was...
Published on June 22, 2012 by M. Erb

544 of 639 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly unimpressive compared with new MacBook Air
I purchased the newly updated 13" MacBook Pro and the newly updated 13" MacBook Air the day they were announced at WWDC and released for sale in June 2012. (My 13" MacBook Pro is the 2.9 GHz i7 model, and my MacBook Air is factory upgraded to a 2.0 GHz i7 processor and 8GB RAM.)

After using the two machines side-by-side for a couple weeks now, I can say that...
Published on June 29, 2012 by Farb Dannon

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1,139 of 1,199 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast, new processor runs cooler, beautiful screen, June 22, 2012
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Length:: 4:55 Mins

I had eagerly been awaiting the new Mid-2012 MacBook Pro upgrade primarily because of the move to the new Intel processor, "Ivy Bridge." The 2.9GHz Intel Core i7 dual-core processor just makes this MacBook Pro fly. And it runs much cooler than its predecessors. I had my laptop running while on my lap for a couple hours and the bottom case was barely warm. Fan noise was not noticeable whatsoever. To be honest, I don't even know if the fan was operating or not, it was that quiet.

The aluminum unibody case has remained pretty much unchanged for several years. In fact, my previous MacBook Pro, a 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 4GB of RAM has the identical case that this new laptop has... it is designated as Model No: A1278 if you look at the bottom of the laptop case.

What Apple threw into the mix, which made my decision of which new Apple laptop to purchase more difficult, was the addition of the Retina Display MacBook. Initially I was tormented with making the correct decision of which computer to purchase. After I weighed the differences and factored in the cost, it became clear to me that for my use, the 13" MacBook Pro was the way to go rather than an Air or Retina Display MacBook Pro. Here are my reasons...

-The Retina Display MacBook lacks an optical drive. For me, that was a critical feature as I am a Mobile DJ and still rip a lot of CD's to my computer. I did not want to have to carry around an external optical drive so having the internal optical drive on the new MacBook Pro was key.

-The Retina Display MacBook does not have an Ethernet port. Again, this won't affect all people, but for me it was an essential feature that I use all the time. I wasn't ready to give up my dedicated ethernet connectivity port.

-The Retina Display MacBook was priced out of my comfort zone. It's a phenomenal computer but I just could not justify the price.

-The Air doesn't offer the disk space that I need nor the right combination of ports.

Honestly, the display on the 13.3" MacBook Pro is gorgeous. I can see where a photographer might enjoy the Retina Display, but for me, the 1280x800 resolution of the screen on this laptop is perfect. The display is bright, very bright, sharp and has excellent viewing from side to side. I'm a little conflicted with the glossy screen, but I think I have grudgingly accepted it for the most part. In most situations I find it nicer than a glare-free screen. For some situations however, it is not the best because of the reflections on the screen of surrounding lights and such. You must remember that while reducing glare on a screen might make it easier to view in certain situations by reducing reflections of light and surroundings, by its nature the anti-glare will reduce sharpness of the screen image. By having the glossy screen you have an amazingly bright, clear and sharp image that is just beautiful to view.

I had also considered getting an early 2012 refurbished MacBook Pro. That was my second-best option. But for the small difference in price, I would not have gotten USB 3.0 ports and that was important to me, as well as getting Thunderbolt. Admittedly, there are not yet many peripherals that utilize Thunderbolt or USB 3.0 but that is certainly going to change quite rapidly. USB 3.0 is 10 times faster than USB 2.0 and offers throughput of up to 5Gbps. Thunderbolt is even faster and allows daisy-chaining of monitors and other devices. This new MacBook Pro also has an upgraded facetime camera. It is now 720p HD and that's pretty awesome.

Firewire 800 is still included on this MacBook Pro. Undoubtedly, Firewire is getting towards the end of its lifespan but many videographers are still using video cameras that use Firewire and I also have external hard drives using firewire, so this is still useful for me.

The newly added Tunderbolt port is also useable as a mini-display port and you can easily obtain adapters to enable you to hook up to DVI, VAG and HDMI. I do miss not having a dedicated HDMI port, but at least it is possible to get an adapter to fill that need.

The Lion and soon to be released Mountain Lion operating system has garnered a lot of comments both positive and negative. Personally I have not experienced any issues with Lion. The integration with iCloud is fantastic and allows me to keep my contacts, address book, bookmarks all in sync across all my devices (iMac, iPhone, iPod Touch and another MacBook Pro.)

The iLife suite of applicatons included with the computer are excellent. iPhoto, iMovie and GarageBand are tightly integrated and work well. There is room for improvement, to be sure, but I use iPhoto and iMovie all the time and it is an amazingly capable duo.

If you're considering a MacBook Pro for the first time and are coming from the PC world, welcome. You will have a little adjusting to do but it's really easy and you will probably be impressed with how straightforward the operating system is. It just works. I can't even think of when I had a crash or freeze.

I've not yet reached the 7-hours mark for battery life, but still, I've been getting at least 5 hours plus so no complaints.

If you are considering the new MacBook Pro and you're already a Mac user then you will welcome the addition of a much faster processor, the addition of Thunderbolt and USB 3.0.

I am really liking my new MacBook Pro and with 8GB of RAM, and the new i7 Processor running at 2.9GHZ (turbo-boost to 3.6GHz) you will be very happy with the performance.

Regarding the 8GB RAM memory maximum for this MacBook Pro, it is interesting to note that Crucial sells a 16GB RAM kit for this particular model. Despite this, Apple does not acknowledge that the computer will accept 16GB of RAM. I called Apple Technical Support to ask about this and I was told that even though the computer may accept 16GB of RAM and seem to run without any problems with 16GB of RAM, the full amount of RAM may not actually be used by the MacBook Pro. It's kind of hard to say what the implications are of adding 16GB of RAM when Apple says the maximum is 8GB for this model. What will happen though is if you have any issues with the computer and Apple discovers that you've put 16GB of RAM in it, you could be denied service under the warranty. So I guess I'd be happy with 8GB of RAM until this issue gets more clarification, either by benchmark tests that show an improvement in performance or a firmware update or some acknowledgment from Apple approving the option of 16GB of RAM. I"d like to think that if Apple wanted to make as much money as possible that they would offer this computer with an 16GB option. Since they don't, there must be a technical reason why.

I've been using a protective case for my MacBook Pro and I recommend it. It's priced very fairly, comes in a variety of colors and has worked really well for me. It even lets the Apple Logo shine through the case. Here is a link to the Red color version of the case. RED iPearl mCover® Hard Shell Case for A1278 Aluminum Unibody MacBook Pro 13-inch (RED color)

UPDATE: July 1, 2012 - I've been reading reports online about the fact that the new Retina Display MacBook Pro has pushed the graphics handling capabilities of the computer to the max. This has resulted in some problems that are only just beginning to manifest themselves, such as sluggish screen draw in some situations, slow frame rates in other situations and image retention issues.

In other words, by pushing the limits, as Apple frequently does (and I'm not suggesting that that's a bad thing) early adopters are paying the price. So I'm feeling even better about choosing this particular model rather than spending significantly more for the Retina Display MacBook Pro and having to deal with the first generation issues.

UPDATE: July 5, 2012 - Note to PC users considering the switch to a Mac. Don't be intimidated to switch. Mac OSX is a fantastic operating system and not difficult to learn at all. But there are definitely some subtle differences between the PC and Mac user interface and experience. I would strongly suggest getting a good book such as Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual, Lion Edition. It's an excellent overview of what you'll need to know regarding the Mac experience and the Lion operating system. I use both Windows 7 and Mac OSX and own both a PC laptop and Mac laptop and desktop machines. I consider Macs to be my primary computer because of my familiarity with them and their ease of use. However, a helpful book will ease your transition and eliminate the guesswork.

UPDATE: August 24, 2012 - I've upgraded my OS to Mountain Lion, 10.8, and have been running it for about 2 weeks. I have not noticed any issues and the upgrade went very smoothly. Some of the new features are great. I particularly like the dictation feature that lets you speak while in any application that accepts text input and the MBP will automatically and accurately convert your speech to text. The new way that messages are handled is very similar to IOS and I like it. Some users are reporting less battery life but I have not noticed any degradation in battery life on my comptuer.
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187 of 202 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars macbook air 13inch vs macbook pro 13inch, March 15, 2013
This review is from: Apple MacBook Pro MD101LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop (Personal Computers)
this review is about my personal honest experience, i am not a computer wizard.

like most of you, i had a hard time thinking which one to buy, an air or a pro. what i did is purchased the two and see which one will better suit my needs and send back the one that I won't like. so I went at my local best buy and did so. after using both products for 14days, here are my thoughts.

the macbook air looks very beautiful on the outside. it's so thin and light and can be used anywhere like a tablet. to sum things up, the MB air is more of a fashion statement than a work horse. is it faster than a pro? yes only by 10-15secs during start up. the audio quality sounds thin but loud. the pro has a deeper sound. air has higher resolution but the fonts are small. what I hate about it is the screen display color. macbook pro by far has more vivid colors and if you love to watch netflix and hd videos like me, the pro is a better choice. i like the design of the air but i'm sorry to say that it is more like a toy than a real life laptop. if you have a main computer, the air is a very good addition but if you only need an all in one computer like me to take with you, store data, watch videos, do picture and video editing and plan to use for a very long time, then the macbook pro is a better choice and for me is more sturdy. one reviewer says that the air has better screen display but I don't agree with that because i am an amateur photographer and im pretty sure i know which has the better display. in the long run you will be needing that dvd drive, the storage and ram that you can customize, the ethernet and ports that are already built in and most of all the screen display. the macbook pro still looks stunningly beautiful and is a more capable laptop. even the keyboard is better to type on. the air is super light weight but the pro still is light. we still need to use our muscles sometimes. battery life are identical 5-6 hrs.

I got more from my money on the pro and it is a better choice for me that's why I kept it and sent the air back for a refund. again this is just my personal honest opinion.
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468 of 518 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loving it!, June 19, 2012
This review is from: Apple MacBook Pro MD101LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop (Personal Computers)
This is not my first Mac computer, and certainly will not be my last. Before I begin, I will say that I am not like a good percentage of the people that will end up writing a review on this computer - I am not an Apple fanboy. I have owned many PC computers as well, and like them too. I currently own a Lenovo laptop as well as my new MacBook Pro, and each have their own strengths and weaknesses.

To start with the strengths:
1. OSX Lion is a great performer..extremely fast and reliable. I have it installed on my iMac desktop computer as well and love it. Not to mention this comes with a free upgrade to Mountain Lion, which is very nice.
2. Screen looks great. Even though it is not the Retina display you can get on the 15.4 inch model, the screen is fantastic. Very bright and crystal clear with excellent color.
3. Quietest laptop I have ever owned. Keeps quiet even when the computer is under a heavy load.
4. First computer I have owned with USB 3.0. I bought an external hard drive when I purchased this laptop as well so I could utilize the USB 3.0. I got the hard drive yesterday and transferred all of my files from my old laptop to the new hard drive so I could put them on my MacBook. It took about 1/5th of the time it did with USB 2.0.
5. My Lenovo laptop does not have an illuminated keyboard, so the keyboard on this laptop is a big plus in my opinion. Excellent for people that like to work or surf the web while their significant other is sleeping.
6. The trackpad - can't even compare it to any trackpad I have seen on any other laptop computer.
7. Excellent battery life while being a very fast performer. It definitely has the best of both worlds. I average about 6 hours on a charge. My Lenovo (with similar graphics, processor, etc. and same use) only lasts about 4 or 5 hours on a full charge.
8. Typical Apple simplistic styling. I love the look of the Apple products. Simple and clean.
9. Many, many more...but those are the most notable ones to me.

Now, for the weaknesses.
1. The only thing I dislike about this laptop are the rubber pads found on the bottom of the computer for grip. They may get softer and more sticky as time goes by, but right now they are far from that. The pads on the bottom of my Lenovo are definitely much better and don't allow the computer to slide around while I am using the computer on a glass topped desk.
2. Price - it's a bit pricey for the performance you get, but the added perks of Mac OSX and the durability and support of Apple products makes up for it. For the same price, you can get a PC with more memory, larger hard drive, better graphics, and a faster processor, but then you remember you're running Windows 7, which isn't nearly as well built as Mac OSX.

In conclusion - this is a great laptop. Although it is a little pricey, it is well worth the extra money. So far, the only issue I have with it (rubber pads) is a very small problem that does not change how this laptop performs in any way.

If you are thinking about getting a MacBook Pro laptop but do not want to spend a huge amount of money for one, this is definitely the way to go. It may be considered the "base model" MacBook Pro, but it still an excellent computer. The size and battery life of this computer makes it excellent for people that need a laptop that is very mobile. Between work and college classes, I needed a lightweight yet durable computer and this definitely fits that criteria.

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544 of 639 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly unimpressive compared with new MacBook Air, June 29, 2012
Farb Dannon (Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
I purchased the newly updated 13" MacBook Pro and the newly updated 13" MacBook Air the day they were announced at WWDC and released for sale in June 2012. (My 13" MacBook Pro is the 2.9 GHz i7 model, and my MacBook Air is factory upgraded to a 2.0 GHz i7 processor and 8GB RAM.)

After using the two machines side-by-side for a couple weeks now, I can say that the MacBook Air outperforms the MacBook Pro in almost every task and in terms of overall speed and performance. Compared with the newly refreshed and updated Air, the new MacBook Pro is frankly a significant disappointment, and I've pretty much stopped using it altogether in favor of the faster Air. Despite the Air's slower CPU clock speed, it performs faster than the Pro in actual tasks due to the performance boost afforded by it's SSD hard drive. The SSD drive on the MacBook Air makes an enormous difference in everything from casual web browsing to video editing.

If you're debating which 13" MacBook to buy, the 13" MacBook Air or the 13" MacBook Pro, here's a side-by-side comparison...

Speed and Performance: Advantage MacBook Air

Apart from the hard drives and port configurations, the technology inside the machines is virtually identical in both the newly refreshed MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. Both Pros and Airs come with either i5 or i7 Intel "Ivy Bridge" processors, Intel HD Graphics 4000, USB 3.0, and lightning-fast Thunderbolt ports. While the MacBook Air models are at a disadvantage to the MacBook Pro models in terms of CPU clock speeds, any performance disadvantage from the processor speed is more than made up for by the lightning fast performance of the Air's SSD hard drive, which Apple markets as "Flash" storage. In everyday tasks from gaming to web browsing to watching Flash movies and editing video, the MacBook Air is faster significantly faster in virtually every task. The Air boots up in less than 12 seconds while the Pro takes upwards of one minute.

Screen: Advantage MacBook Air

If you've never used a MacBook Air, much less the new Retina display 15" MacBook Pro, then you won't notice just how outdated the MacBook pro's screen is. However, once you get used to the super high resolution 1440 x 900 LED display on the MacBook Air, the 1280 x 800 back-lit LED display on the MacBook Pro looks downright grainy and primitive. Simply put, once you get used to a higher resolution display, the 1280 x 800 display on the 13" MacBook Pro just isn't acceptable. Even for simple tasks like email or word processing where you wouldn't think the resolution would matter, the graphics look grainy and pixelated, which just isn't acceptable for a pro-level laptop in 2012.

Upgradability: Advantage MacBook Pro

The Pro's only major advantage over the Air comes in terms of the flexibility of its hardware, ease of repair, and upgradability. With only a screw driver and about 10 minutes of your time, you can add more memory to the Pro, replace the hard drive, and even add a second hard drive in place of the optical disc drive. The Air, on the other hand, is stuck in the configuration you purchase it in except that you can opt to replace the SSD "Flash" hard drive with a higher capacity SSD drive.

Design, Weight, Portability, Battery Life, and Form Factor: Advantage MacBook Air

The MacBook Air is the most beautiful computer ever produced by man, and the MacBook Pro looks like it's older, pudgy relative. The Air's aluminum case is impeccably designed, almost tailored to accommodate the necessary internal components, while maintaining practical ergonomics. It's an incredibly thin, svelte, sexy little notebook. The MacBook Air's aluminum case seems sturdy and durable, and its mechanics are very similar to the time-test unibody construction of the MacBook Pro. The MacBook Pro, on the other hand, is a bit of a dinosaur in its bulky circa 2006 unibody. The Pro is heavier than a half gallon of milk at 4.5 lbs, while the MacBook Air weighs in at less than 2.9 lbs. Battery life is roughly even on both machines at anywhere from 4 to 7 hours depending on workload and settings.

Summary Judgement: Buy the MacBook Air (or opt for the new 15" Retina display MacBook Pro)

Simply put, the guts of the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro are basically the same, but the Air's SSD hard drive gives it a tremendously significant boost in performance. Sadly, the MacBook Pro's 5400-rpm hard drive leaves the machine unable to capitalize on the newest, most expensive Intel "Ivy Bridge" i5 and i7 processors that you're paying a $300 premium for in the newly updated Pros. If you are going to buy a Pro, invest the extra money and get it upgraded with a SSD hard drive and get an extra external hard drive if you need additional cheap storage space for multimedia files. When you also consider the superior display, lighter weight, increased portability, and lower price of the MacBook Air, it's hard to find a reason to justify purchasing the current 13" MacBook Pro, which to me looks like a dinosaur rapidly headed for extinction.

Specs on the models compared:

13" MacBook Air (mid 2012) factory upgraded to the 2.0 GHz dual core i7 processor and factory upgraded to 8 GB RAM (1600MHz DDR3L SDRAM) with standard 256 GB SSD ("Flash") hard drive

13" MacBook Pro (mid 2012) with 2.9 GHz dual core i7 processor, 8 GB RAM (1600MHz DDR3L SDRAM), and 750GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm
Both feature Intel HD 4000 Graphics, 3.0 USB, Thunderbolt, 802.11n, etc.
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358 of 422 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the best computer I've ever used... with one possibly irrelevant issue, June 22, 2012
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I used to be a die hard windows fan. I was always bashing OSx for the usual things (too expensive, too dumb, et cetera, et cetera), and I never really gave it a chance. Windows 7 was my OS of choice from the day it came out, and I used it on many different computers with (or at least what I thought then) good results. It's certainly not a bad OS but...
This past holiday season, I got an Asus tablet PC. I wanted to love it, I really did. I gave it a five star review here on Amazon, and I tried my very hardest to use it to it's fullest potential. It was working fine for a while, until I tried the Windows 8 beta. It was all down-hill from there. Viruses, problems (beyond those that should be in a beta, and a general ugliness drove me absolutely insane, and I decided to move away from Windows, at least temporarily. I bought a Chromebook, and while I absolutely love it and highly recommend it, I wanted more out a computer than it offered.
So, nearly on a whim, I bought a Mac. I have never made a better tech decision. Literally everything about it is better than any computer I've ever used, from the operating system to the hardware.
People typically say that the real reason they love Macs and other Apple products is because of the build quality. While the build quality on this computer is INSANELY good (I feel bad hauling it around with me; I feel like it should be in an art museum), I really think it's the software that makes this a standout computer and computing experience. I've had absolutely zero backround in OSx up until now, and already I am easily finding my way around this computer. Granted, I've had a good backround in Linux and OSx is similar, but the fact that I'm easily navigating a brand new operating system after only one day is quite the contrast from Windows, now that I can look at it objectively. OSx Lion is wonderful. The multi-touch gestures and the multi-touch mouse itself are immensely helpful, and it's because of features like these that make it clear to me that it's almost necessary for a company to make the hardware for a product if they're making the software as well. Everything works extremely well together.
Like I said, the included apps put Windows to shame. With the exception of Outlook (which I personally hate, but my Mom has a Mac and can't stand the contacts App and uses Outlook), I can't think of a single, rational person who would pick Windows software over Apple software when it comes to things like media, photo/video editing, and email. To be perfectly honest, it's ridiculous how well all this stuff works. I downloaded the iWorks office suite (which is not free, though significantly cheaper than Microsoft Office), and they also work like a charm. I really don't create a whole lot of spreadsheets or slide shows so I can't guarantee a qualified opinion on Numbers (Excel) or Keynote (PowerPoint), but the Pages app is lightyears ahead of Microsoft Word. I also downloaded Logic Pro 9 (an music synthesizer/recording studio app) after having used it with friends a few months back, and have spent hours digging into another fantastic piece of Mac Software, and I can say for a fact that it is truly unparalleled in the Windows world.
The actual hardware internals of the computer are amazing. The new Ivy Bridge processors whip through anything I can throw at them, and the 8 gb of fast (1600 mhz) ram makes multi-tasking a breeze. The nVidia graphics card, while not a show-stopper, is completely adequate for some heavy-duty video editing in something like Final Cut or Photo Shop (though I haven't used Photo Shop in about a year now, so I'm not COMPLETELY sure about the latter of the two statements), or gaming (whether you dual-boot or pick one of the games from the increasingly impressive OSx catalogue). The speakers, while not mind-blowing, are much better than what I'm used to from integrated laptop speakers, and the screen, even though I opted for the non-HD screen, is very good; colors are bright and saturated, the pixel density is more than satisfactory, and the viewing angles are some of the best I've ever seen. Battery life is as good as advertised, and the computer starts and runs much more quickly than I'm used to, especially considering that this computer doesn't have flash storage.
I haven't run into a single thing I would change about this computer up to this point. I love the software, I love the hardware, and I love my decision. If you're in the market for an exceptional, powerful notebook, look no further. I can't recommend this computer highly enough.

Edit: While the great things that I mentioned about OSx are all still completely viable and even after several weeks (months, perhaps?) of heavy usage I haven't experienced any problems. Mountain Lion is a great update and even though I don't own an iPhone or an iPad (I'm more of an android guy), I still like almost all of the additions it brings to OSx.
However, I have since installed Windows. Bootcamp is a marvelous program, and in about 20 minutes I had Windows 7 working great on my computer. All the drivers were installed and performance was great. Once I actually started playing games though, several design flaw were suddenly extremely apparent to me, and they were apparent in a very bad way.
I'm not sure if Windows is just a more demanding operating system or if a fan driver was left out of my Bootcamp install, but the cooling of this computer when doing ANYTHING intensive under Windows is absolutely atrocious. The unibody design is gorgeous. It's revolutionary, it's stylish, it's classy, and it has major practical issues. The vents are hidden under the hinges of the screen, and anything but the most perfect of screen angles will block off much of the fans output. Even with the fans blowing full blast at nearly all times while running Windows, the computer gets extremely hot during usage. I use a laptop as a literal "lap" top computer frequently. This works fine under OSx; it's impossible under Windows. The bottom of the computer gets painfully hot during heavy usage (to the point where I literally can't touch it for more than a few seconds), and the metal area (ironically) around the "wasd" keys gets extremely hot as well. I've had the computer completely overheat three times only in the past two weeks. Since I only play online games, this isn't a real issue, but I can't imagine what would happen were someone actually doing something important on a Windows partition and have the computer overheat and shut down. Even with good ventilation (meaning smooth granite surfaces and a laptop stand specifically designed to enhance ventilation), there is no avoiding an extremely hot computer and constantly whirring fans.
Long story short, I'm very glad they improved the fan design in the Retina Display Macbooks, because it is, frankly, very, very poor here.
I'm conflicted on whether I should change my overall rating of the computer though. Even though Macs are equipped (through Bootcamp) to run Windows, they weren't designed to do so, and I certainly haven't had a single issue while running (the far superior) OSx. Considering the fact that I should be basing my opinion of the product on its own merits and not on those of a competing product, I don't think I will change my overall scoring. I do think it is prudent to add, however, that cooling while running Windows 7 is terrible. If you NEED Windows, stick with a Windows computer. They will most likely handle Windows better than this one will.
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92 of 108 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Final Verdict: Well Worth the Money, July 28, 2012
This review is from: Apple MacBook Pro MD101LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop (Personal Computers)
After owning my MacBook for a month I finally feel ready to review it accurately. Let me start off by saying that I was highly reluctant to spend so much money on a laptop. I've always been a Windows guy so I've known that you can buy laptops with equivalent specs to Macs for a good deal cheaper. Though after comparing different laptops I was not able to find one that had a satisfactory build quality. The closest I could find were laptops made by Asus, but even then I read of too many build quality issues that made me uneasy. Ultrabooks made by other companies had good quality, but by then they cost just as much as the MacBook but with lower specs. So I decided to take the plunge with this MacBook after demoing it in a Apple Store. Here are the things that made me confident with my purchase:

Build Quality - Seriously, you can't beat a unibody construction. While other laptops creak when you pick them up due to the various plastic components screwed together, the Macbook feels firm. The only thing that initially concerned me was that the lid would slightly creak when you closed it. Running waxed dental floss through the hinges solved this.

Trackpad and Keyboard- This extra large trackpad is heavenly to use. Having the whole trackpad function as a giant button is a lot more comfortable to use. Plus two finger clicking as a replacement for the right click button is surprisingly intuitive. The keyboard keys are well spaced and the led backlighting is very cool.

Power System - I regularly get around 6 hours from the battery, which I am more than satisfied with. The magsafe plugin system is more handy than I thought it would be, and there is a neat led battery indicator on the side of the notebook that makes checking the battery level with the computer off easy.

OS X - Mine initially came with Lion, but after upgrading to Mountain Lion I am even more satisfied. Everything runs fast and animations are fluid. I love the multi touch features, which again is something I initially didn't think I would really need. It took me a little time to get used to using finder after being accustomed to windows explorer, but I am confident now in my ability to navigate through files just as quickly as in Windows.

Dual Booting - I have a few engineering programs that only run on Windows so I decided to install Windows 7 through bootcamp. Because it boots natively from the hard drive, it runs just as smoothly as any other Windows laptop. Remember folks, this computer doesn't have any magical internal components. The Intel Chipset is the same used in any other laptop and thus Windows runs just the same with the proper drivers installed.

Chipset - The Intel Core i5 runs very fast with minimal heat. The Intel Graphics 4000 is more than adequate for most applications.
I could even run Portal 2 on maximum graphics settings and play 1080p video without it breaking a sweat. The fan almost never revs up to an audible level. This is in part to the aluminum body being a giant heat sink. So yes, the laptop body can get warm at times. But it is never uncomfortably warm when I use it on my lap. Ill probably upgrade the RAM and the harddrive to an SSD in the future, but for now they are fine.

So all in all I am very happy with my purchase. I am officially a Mac convert and will use this laptop for a very long time.

Also, all the Windows "gamers" who are trashing Macs need to gain some perspective. Yes, I can get a Core i7 laptop with a dedicated graphics card for a lot cheaper than the MacBook. But I decided to spend the extra money to get a better engineered laptop with some nifty extra features.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Late 2012 high end non-retina, February 3, 2013
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The good

- unlike retina MacBook this one is still user upgradeable.
- comes with 750gb HDD I upgraded to a 512gb SSD ( the crucial m4)
- user upgradeable ram comes with 8gb up can put up to 16gb in. Personally 8 is enough for me (for now)
- the screen is super clear and crisp. I have a retina display iPad and I can't tell the difference.
- if you do any gaming I would suggest you get this over the retina because they have the same GPU but the retina display has more pixels to power so you'll get better better frame rates with this one.
- the retina display may be nice for photographers but this model has an edge for basically every other task.
- when your watching video you won't be able to tell the difference between this and the retina.
- built in DVD drive! I still love this feature call me old school but I still use it, and I'm not old either I'm in my twenties.
- if you no longer have a use for the DVD drive you can take it out and put in a second SSD OR HDD. They make a kit you can get really cheap on Amazon. Can't do that with a retina.
- with bootcamp you get the best of both worlds OS 10 and windows.
- great for gaming I've been running Far Cry 3 and Fallout New Vegas and it has plenty of power to spare.

My criticisms

- I really can't think of any. I wish apple would add a touch screen that would make this the perfect laptop.

The bottom line

If your looking for a mobile powerhouse that is user upgradeable, and the quality that can only come from apple this is the computer for you. This is still the real MacBook Pro in my opinion. If you want a design that is tried and true and don't want to spend your life savings on a maxed out retina model (because you can't upgrade them) still like having a DVD drive and other practical ports give this one serious consideration.
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46 of 54 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Counterfiet product, June 21, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I was dissapointed by Amazon. The Apple Mac Book did not work from the very first time. I took it to the Apple Store where I was informed that some components of the mac book (the memory) were not part of the computer. Even though the cover of the computer said it was a 2012 model, I was told by the Apple Service that the computer was 2008. The computer's cover was exchanged and taken from a 2012 mac book for that purpose. I was also informed that the components of the Mac Book were dirty. Should I still consider buying through Amazon? I wish this review is useful for future Mac products buyers.
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111 of 136 people found the following review helpful
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Apple MacBook Pro MD101LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop (Personal Computers)
I am usually a fan of all things Amazon. They really screwed the pooch on this one. I ordered a new macbook and I got a used macbook, packaged in the very box that they originally sent to "Kim Nguyen". When I turn on the computer, the log-in reads "Kim Nguyen". A shipping label to "Kim Nguyen" is super-lamely covered up on the box. If you're going to try to sell me used merchandise as new, at least use a new box Amazon.

Do you want to pay full-price for an obviously used computer? Me neither.

I may be ending my consumer relationship with Amazon forever after this. Gross, nasty and shenanigans!
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48 of 58 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars PC to Mac to PC to Mac again - probably sticking with Mac for a while now, July 13, 2012
This review is from: Apple MacBook Pro MD101LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop (Personal Computers)
Protip: Upgrade with Crucial 256 GB m4 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive SATA 6Gb/s CT256M4SSD2 and Komputerbay 16GB (2x 8GB) DDR3 PC3-12800 1600MHz SODIMM 204-Pin Laptop Memory 10-10-10-27 with Black Heatspreaders to make your MBP perform faster than you can think.

I transitioned from PC all through high school to a white MacBook in 2006 for college. Added an iMac about 2 years later. Then, switched back to primarily PC for work on a HP Envy 14. I also took some time to build a sweet gaming PC rig. And now, after selling the iMac (not really used since college), the gaming PC and the HP Envy 14, I have hopped back onto this MacBook Pro 13 inch.

I'm very glad to be back on an Apple product. Having used PCs exclusively for the last 2 years, I can identify a few specific reasons why I wanted to get back to Mac.

1) Mouse mechanics - there is really nothing in the PC market that compares to the Mac trackpad. The closest alternative to its smooth, accurate and conveniently place functionality is the Lenovo ThinkPad's red nipple. Since I work often where having to pull out a separate mouse would be inconvenient, this was an important point for me.

2) Battery life - even new, the HP Envy only hits 3 hours or so on a full charge. I can squeeze close to 6 hours out of the MBP. Trips on the road make the doubled battery life very useful.

3) Lion productivity features - I remember having to use a second monitor on my PC setups just for the real estate. i can honestly say that I am fine without that now when able to swipe between desktops with 3 finger motions on this trackpad. Having a second monitor anyway is a bonus now that lets me just keep iTunes or Outlook open on the side.

4) Speed - Lion and the upgrades I've added to this MBP (listed above) have made this computer incredibly fast. I can crunch through 500,000 row Excel spreadsheets, update my iPhone firmware, and watch a 720p YouTube without any noticeable hitches. Startup takes less than 10 seconds, waking from start is instantaneous (so awesome and useful!), install speeds are zippy.

5) Prettiness - beautiful work machines can inspire better and more creative work. It does more than just make me want to use the MBP more - it's a constant reminder of how careful planning, bold design choices, good engineering, and hard work make inspirational products.

Clearly I'm a fan. Still, I'm going to deduct a star for three reasons:

1) Price - it's expensive for the components inside. The price essentially values the Lion OS X and integrated software/hardware at something like $200 over similar Windows systems.

2) Fragile aesthetics - the aluminum frame scratches a little too easily and the glossy screen picks up fingerprints/oil. I'm babying the hell out of this MBP, which means taking off my aircraft aluminum watch before using it and wiping its screen down about once every other day.

3) Glossy screen - screen glare makes working in sunlight basically impossible.
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Apple MacBook Pro MD101LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop
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