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Review: 13-inch MacBook Pro Summer 2009

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13-inch MacBook Pro: Review of 13-inch MacBook Pro Summer 2009

MacBook Pro 13-inch

Courtesy of Apple

The Bottom Line

The 13-inch MacBook Pro didn’t undergo many changes from its earlier incarnation as a 13-inch MacBook to earn its new designation as a member of the MacBook Pro line. Still, it has a lot to offer, and at its base price of $1199 it’s a great value for a MacBook Pro.

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Pros

  • 13-inch LED backlit widescreen display
  • 2.26 GHz or 2.53 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor
  • 2 or 4 GB of DDR3 RAM (1066 MHz)
  • NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics processor
  • 160 GB, 250 GB, 320 GB, or 500 GB hard drive; 160 or 256 GB SSD (Solid State Drive)

Cons

  • Glossy display
  • No graphics processor options
  • Battery not user replaceable

Description

  • Aluminum unibody construction
  • 2.26 or 2.53 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor
  • 1066 MHz front side bus
  • NVIDIA GeForce 9400M with 256 MB shared memory
  • Built-in iSight cam, Mini DisplayPort
  • FireWire 800, 2 USB 2.0 ports
  • SD card slot
  • Built-in AirPort Extreme WiFi (802.11n)
  • Built-in Bluetooth 2.1
  • Gigabit Ethernet

Guide Review - Review: 13-inch MacBook Pro Summer 2009

The 13-inch MacBook Pro is a new offering from Apple in this category. Previously, the 13-inch model was a member of the MacBook lineup, Apple’s consumer-based notebooks. To help this notebook make the jump to the pro level, Apple pumped its processor speeds up slightly, added a better LED backlit display, a FireWire 800 port, and, something new for Apple, an SD card slot in place of the Express Port slots seen on earlier Mac notebooks.

What Apple didn’t change was the graphics processor. The 13-inch MacBook Pro still uses the same NVIDIA 9400M processors as it did when it wore MacBook clothing. This is unfortunate because one of the features that distinguished the MacBook Pro line from the MacBook line was high-quality graphics capabilities.

On the bright side, the 13-inch MacBook Pro gets the amazing lithium battery technology that was originally used in the 17-inch MacBook Pro. This new battery should be able to run for 7 hours on a charge, and last for an impressive 5 years before it needs to be replaced. The battery itself isn’t meant to be user replaceable, but if it’s like the 17-inch MacBook Pro’s battery, replacing it shouldn’t be a problem for any Mac user who is handy with a screwdriver.

Performance-wise, the bump to the processor speed should propel the littlest MacBook Pro into nearly the same performance level as its sibling, the 15-inch MacBook Pro, which is no slouch when it comes to crunching numbers.

With the inclusion of a FireWire 800 port and the new SD card slot, the 13-inch MacBook Pro should excel at multimedia tasks, and serve as a great notebook for students and professionals on the go.

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