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Review of the 13-inch MacBook Pro With Intel Core 2 Duo Processor

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13-inch MacBook Pro 2010 - Preview of the 13-inch MacBook Pro With Intel Core 2 Duo Processor

13-inch MacBook Pro 2010

Courtesy of Apple

The Bottom Line

Overall, the 13-inch MacBook Pro 2010 looks like it will be a popular alternative for those wishing to step up to a MacBook Pro from the MacBook, while keeping the upgrade cost low. Its base cost of $1,199 will appeal to many, including those in the education market. And its performance, specifically in graphics, over the previous generation of the MacBook Pro will be well received.

Pros

  • Intel Core 2 Duo Processor
  • NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics processor
  • 10-hour battery life
  • 4 GB standard RAM (supports up to 8 GB)

Cons

  • Only two RAM slots
  • Video RAM is shared with the main memory
  • No 7200 rpm hard drive option

Description

  • $1,199 (2.4 GHz) or $1,499 (2.66 GHz)
  • 4 GB Ram
  • NVIDIA GeForce 320M
  • 5200 rpm and solid state hard drive options
  • 13-inch 1280x800 glossy display
  • Two USB 2.0 ports, one FireWire 800 port, SD Card slot
  • Mini DisplayPort
  • Built-in iSight camera and microphone
  • 8x SuperDrive
  • AirPort Extreme (802.11 a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 2.1 +EDR, 10/100/1000 Gigibit Ethernet port

Guide Review - Review of the 13-inch MacBook Pro With Intel Core 2 Duo Processor

We've been anticipating the release of new 13-inch MacBook Pros for some time. We had hoped Apple would use the Intel Core i5 and i7 processors across the MacBook Pro line. Instead, it chose to stay with the Intel Core 2 Duo processor, to help keep the cost down and continue to offer an affordable entry-level MacBook Pro.

Intel Core 2 Duo Processor

The new 13-inch MacBook Pro is available with your choice of a 2.4 GHz or 2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor. This is the same processor used in the previous generation of MacBook Pros, though the new 13-inch model gets a bit of a speed bump, from 2.26 GHz to 2.4 GHz in the base model, with a 2.66 GHz upgrade also available.

We expected Core i5 processors to be the base configuration for most of the MacBook Pro lineup, but affordability trumped speed in this case.

Memory

The new MacBook Pros use 1066 MHz DDR3 RAM. They will come equipped with 4 GB of RAM stock, and can be increased to 8 GB. The MacBook Pro has two SO-DIMM slots, both of which will be populated by 2 GB RAM modules, so getting to 8 GB will require tossing the 2 GB modules and replacing them with 4 GB versions.

Display

The 13.3-inch LED-backlit LCD widescreen display appears to be the same glossy model as the previous generation, which is fine with us because it proved to be tack sharp and a joy to use. The current model has the same 1280x800 resolution we have come to expect in a 13-inch model.

The display is only available in the glossy configuration. Unlike the other MacBook Pro models, there is no anti-glare version available for the 13-inch MacBook Pro.

Graphics

The 13-inch MacBook Pro comes equipped with a single NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics processor, which is equipped with 256 MB of shared RAM. According to NVIDIA, the GeForce 320M is a custom processor made specifically for Apple and the Core 2 Duo Intel processor. It has 48 shader cores, and supports PureVideo, an NVIDIA technology for high definition video decoding.

While we haven't yet been able to verify it, Apple claims the NVIDIA GeForce 320M should provide up to 80 percent better performance than the NVIDIA 9400M it replaces.

Battery Life

According to Apple, battery life for the 13-inch MacBook Pro is in the 10-hour range. That's a pretty good improvement over previous generations of the MacBook Pro. Of course, battery life will depend on how you use your MacBook Pro, and which of the two graphics processors you use.

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