Apple MacBook Pro - 13.3" - Core i5 - MacOS X 10.7 Lion - 4 GB RAM - 320 GB HDD

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Apple MacBook Pro - 13.3" - Core i5 - MacOS X 10.7 Lion - 4 GB RAM - 320 GB HDD

MacBook Pro is machined from a single piece of aluminum, an engineering breakthrough that replaced many parts with just one. It's called the unibody. ...

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Review of "Apple MacBook Pro - 13.3" - Core i5 - MacOS X 10.7 Lion - 4 GB RAM - 320 GB HDD"

published 23/06/2011 | PureDark
Member since : 16/05/2010
Reviews : 41
Members who trust : 0
About me :
I'm from DooYoo but quite like this too :)
Super
Pro The best general use laptops out there
Cons The price is too high
very helpful
Speed
Look & Feel
Memory / capacity
Comfort & Portability
Robustness & Durability

"Why Compromise?"

There are a lot of Macbook's on here, but I'm pretty sure this is the one I've just bought.

I'll start off by telling you why I bought it. Essentially, I owned the standard white 13" Macbook and then managed to break it beyond repair. My insurance coughed up the dough and I found myself in the market for a new laptop. Looking at the specs of my old laptop and then the price tag to get a new one (£867 at the time of writing but slightly cheaper for students such as myself),
I figured that I could get a more powerful laptop for around £300 less. I began to look around at different laptops which would exceed the specs of my humble old Macbook but which would encompass all of it's features and possibly more. I was looking for something lightweight and portable with no bigger than a 13" screen, Intel i3 processor at least, 4gb of RAM, 250gb HDD and a 6 hour battery life.
Sure I managed to find a couple of OK machines but they were clunky with poor build quality and atrocious battery life (we're talking around 200 mins). The cost of a Macbook is huge when compared to other notebooks of it's size but the unfortunate truth is, they're worth it. In the end I caved and decided that I'd had a Macbook all this time and with my student discount I could upgrade to a more powerful Pro version and reap the rewards. This is a consumer review so let me tell you how I've been consuming my new Macbook Pro.

Once you open the sleek looking minimalistic box your eyes will widen at the sight of your new shiny Macbook Pro. The laptop is made of aluminum with for a seriously premium quality feel. The only laptop's which I understand rival the Macbook Pro's for their design are the HP Envy range, although I've never seen them in the flesh (or metal ... whatever). What I liked too was that they give you the luxury of a black screen cleaning cough with the pro models but not the standard one. I guess Apple must think that the masses of poor people that buy the standard model are going to make it grimy no matter what so a cleaning cloth would just be a waste of resources. Oh well, look at me now world I've got one! Also in the box is the standard Magsafe AC adapter which I think still has a 'cool' factor when you first assemble it. Then there's the standard documentation and restore CD etc blah.

Setting Up the Laptop is a breeze, as soon as you power it on for the first time (it's ready to go out of the box with around half a charge already in it) you're greeted by a multi-lingual flashy video which leads you neatly into initial setup. You'll be asked to choose your language settings, so make sure you choose BRITISH rather than US English. That's a pet hate of mine but there we go. You then connect to the internet and register an Apple ID for use on the App Store, ITunes etc. Then you're in, you can start using it to do as you please. I was a little unnerved by this the first time I set one of these up. Being used to windows I'm used to my laptop/PC being chatty and confirming every single last detail with me but the simple setup is definitely welcome and I think Microsoft can learn from this.

The laptop is very nippy due to the inclusion of it's Intel i5 processor which can handle anything general users can chuck at it. You'll be able to use Photoshop too and other applications with similar resource demands. The 4gb of RAM helps out here. If you want to do heavy video editing / recording then you'll be looking to go for the i7 model but then I doubt you'd be buying a 13 inch notebook for these tasks anyway. Battery life is a big one for most people and the Macbook range is famous for it's great battery life, they quote 7 hours of general use. I find I can get longer out of it to be honest by dimming the screen (on it's brightest it's too bright IMO) and keeping it offline when I don't need a connection. I'll get around 8 hours use out of it in a day which is awesome!

My Macbook Pro came with OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard installed but I understand that a free upgrade will be offered next month (July 2011) when 10.7 Lion is released. I find it a joy to use due to it's heavy focus (and about to get heavier with Lion) on multi-touch gestures which make navigating around the screen easier than it would be with a mouse in most cases. For example you do not need to click on the scroll bar on the right of the screen, simply use 2 fingers instead of 1 and you'll be scrolling. To view all of your open windows and select the one you want to focus on you simply swipe 4 fingers down on the trackpad. I think my favorite feature has to be Spotlight though. No matter what you're doing, you can press CMD+SPACE to be presented with a text entry field. In here you can search for applications, files, folders, do basic sums and get dictionary definitions. Being a student this is an excellent feature and one that I couldn't do without after being spoiled by it for so long. I'd recommend this as a general use laptop and by that I mean don't expect to be playing many games. Although the new Intel 3000 chip is a great improvement on old integrated graphics, it still can't compete with a standalone card found in the bigger models. Also this is a Mac and they aren't known for their great game releases. Saying that it handles videos really well so you can watch as many of those as you please.

I'll talk a little bit about the hardware on offer here. The screen is the perfect size for what I need to do and it looks incredibly vibrant when set to maximum, for general use this will be overkill. A nice feature on the pro range is the backlit keyboard which has adjustable brightness depending on how blind you are (in my case it's very blind). They've bunged a new camera in there too so you can now make HD video calls. Some reviewers have flamed the camera for not being much improved and while it hasn't been improved 'greatly' it's still noticeable and I find it looks great in well lit environments when compared to the older model. I'd imagine it would perform quite similarly in the dark. Just open a blank webpage in the background and set your brightness up for extra light on your face. Apple have been pushing the new fast Thunderbolt port as a key seller`` but in reality there are very few peripherals available to use with it, I can't imagine I'll be using it at all.
I do wish the speakers on it were a little better though. I know the HP Envy range features the 'beats' technology or something like that. Those laptops sound awesome even with their tiny little speakers. Unfortunately you're getting the standard laptop speaker experience here which isn't so bad. This is a laptop after all, just get yourself some speakers or headphones and you'll be sorted.

Right then I think I've covered the most important points. I've let 1 star go because of the price, they could be cheaper if they wanted them to be! If you want to know anything else and value my humble opinion then feel free to comment and I'll do my best to answer. Stay cool.

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Comments on this review

  • PureDark published 24/06/2011
    Aha thanks for that! Knew I'd leave something like that in there.
  • AddictedToBeauty published 23/06/2011
    Great review, but you could do with editing out that second sentence about Dooyoo! x
  • Did you find this review interesting? Do you have any questions? Sign into your Ciao account to leave the author a comment. Log in

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Product Information : Apple MacBook Pro - 13.3" - Core i5 - MacOS X 10.7 Lion - 4 GB RAM - 320 GB HDD

Manufacturer's product description

MacBook Pro is machined from a single piece of aluminum, an engineering breakthrough that replaced many parts with just one. It's called the unibody. And the first time you pick up a MacBook Pro you'll notice the difference it makes. The entire enclosure is thinner and lighter than other notebooks. It looks polished and refined. And it feels strong and durable - perfect for life inside (and outside) your briefcase or backpack.

Product Details

Product Description: Apple MacBook Pro - 13.3" - Core i5 - MacOS X 10.7 Lion - 4 GB RAM - 320 GB HDD, Apple MacBook Pro - 13.3" - Core i5 - MacOS X 10.6 - 4 GB RAM - 320 GB HDD

Product Type: Notebook

Operating System: MacOS X 10.7 Lion, MacOS X 10.6

Processor: Intel Core i5 2.3 GHz / 3 MB Cache

Memory: 4 GB DDR3

Storage: 320 GB HDD / 5400 rpm

Optical Drive: DVD-Writer DL

Display: 13.3" LED backlight 1280 x 800 / WXGA

Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 3000

Networking: 802.11n, Bluetooth 2.1 EDR , Gigabit Ethernet

Battery: Up to 7 hours

Dimensions (WxDxH): 32.5 cm x 22.7 cm x 2.4 cm, 32.5 cm x 22.7 cm x 2.41 cm

Weight: 2 kg, 2.04 kg

Localisation: English, Swedish, French, Dutch, Polish, Czech, German, French, Danish, German / Germany, Dutch, Spanish, French, Italian, Norwegian, Finnish, Portuguese / Portugal

Environmental Standards: ENERGY STAR Qualified , EPEAT Gold

Manufacturer Warranty: 1 year warranty

General

MPN: MC700B/A, MC700S/A, MC700LL/A, MC700FN/A, MC700PL/A, mc700mg/a, MC700CZ/A, MC700SM/A, MC700DK/A, MC700D/A, MC700N/A, MC700Y/A, MC700F/A, MC700T/A, MC700H/A, MC700K/A, MC700PO/A

Product Type: Notebook

Operating System: Apple MacOS X 10.7 Lion, Apple MacOS X 10.6

Processor / Chipset

CPU: Intel Core i5 2.3 GHz

Number of Cores: Dual-Core

Cache: L3 - 3 MB

64-bit Computing: Yes

Features: Hyper-Threading Technology, integrated memory controller, Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0

Memory

RAM: 4 GB ( 2 x 2 GB )

Max RAM Supported: 8 GB

Technology: DDR3 SDRAM

Speed: 1333 MHz

Form Factor: SO DIMM 204-pin

Slots Qty: 2

Empty Slots:

Storage

Main Storage: 320 GB HDD / 5400 rpm

Interface: SATA 3 Gb/s

Optical Drive: DVD±RW (±R DL) - fixed, DVD±RW (±R DL) - fixed - slot-load

Read Speed: 24x (CD) / 8x (DVD)

Write Speed: 24x (CD) / 8x (DVD±R) / 4x (DVD±R DL)

CD / DVD Rewrite Speed: 10x (CD) / 4x (DVD±RW)

Display

Type: 13.3"

LCD Backlight Technology: LED backlight

Resolution: 1280 x 800 ( WXGA )

Widescreen: Yes

Features: Glossy

Audio & Video

Graphics Processor: Intel HD Graphics 3000

Memory Allocation Technology: Dynamic Video Memory Technology 5.0, Dynamic Video Memory Technology

Max Allocated RAM Size: 384 MB

Camera: Integrated webcam

Resolution: 1280 x 720

Sound: Stereo speakers, subwoofer , microphone

Input

Type: Trackpad, backlit keyboard

Keyboard Layout: UK, Swedish, English, Belgium AZERTY, Polish, Czech, Swiss QWERTZ, Danish, German, Dutch QWERTY, Spanish, French, Italian, Norwegian, Finnish, Portuguese

Features: Multi-touch touchpad

Communications

Wireless: 802.11n, Bluetooth 2.1 EDR

Network Interface: Gigabit Ethernet

Battery

Technology: Lithium polymer

Capacity: 63.5 Wh

Run Time: Up to 7 hours

AC Adapter

Input: AC 120/230 V ( 50/60 Hz )

Output: 60 Watt

Connections & Expansion

Interfaces: LAN ¦ FireWire 800 ¦ 2 x USB 2.0 ¦ Thunderbolt ¦ Headphone/microphone/SPDIF combo jack

Memory Card Reader: Yes ( SD Card, SDHC Card, SDXC Card )

Software

Software Included: Drivers & Utilities, Apple QuickTime, Apple iTunes, Apple Mac OS X Mail, Apple iChat, Apple iCal, Apple DVD Player, Apple iLife, Apple Address Book, Apple Safari, Apple Dashboard, Apple Spotlight, Apple XCode Developer Tools, Front Row, Photo Booth, Apple Spaces, Apple Quick Look, Apple Time Machine

Miscellaneous

Features: Security lock slot (cable lock sold separately), aluminum enclosure

Included Accessories: Cleaning cloth, power adapter

Localization: English, Swedish, French, Dutch, Polish, Czech, German, French, Danish, German / Germany, Dutch, Spanish, French, Italian, Norwegian, Finnish, Portuguese / Portugal

Case Material: Aluminium

Dimensions & Weight

Width: 32.5 cm

Depth: 22.7 cm

Height: 2.4 cm, 2.41 cm

Weight: 2 kg, 2.04 kg

Environmental Standards

EPEAT Compliant: EPEAT Gold

ENERGY STAR Qualified: Yes

Manufacturer Warranty

Service & Support: 1 year warranty

Service & Support Details: Limited warranty - 1 year ¦ Technical support - phone consulting - 90 days

Environmental Parameters

Min Operating Temperature: 10 °C

Max Operating Temperature: 35 °C

Humidity Range Operating: 0 - 90%, 0 - 90% (non-condensing)

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Listed on Ciao since: 09/03/2011