Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch 2.7GHz Thunderbolt review
The exciting Thunderbolt port isn't the only remarkable thing about Apple's latest 13in MacBook Pro laptop. Read on to find why we think it's a great computer in almost every way.
It's tempting to dismiss the 13in MacBook Pro as a more expensive, metal version of Apple's entry-range laptop, the white plastic MacBook. This would be a mistake though – while it lacks some of the advantages of the 15in and 17in models, the 13in model is an excellent laptop in its own right.
The 13in MacBook Pro weighs 2kg so it's just light enough to be used as an ultra-portable laptop. The unibody aluminium build looks sleek, yet feels robust and rigid. The battery is sealed and isn't designed to be user-replaceable, but we can overlook this since the battery lasted just over 10 hours in our light usage MacOS-based web browsing test. This is astonishingly long for a laptop that doesn't use one of Intel's special low-voltage processors. It's more than enough to last a transatlantic flight and is about an hour and a half longer than the last 13in MacBook Pro.
While previous 13in models have used Intel's older Core 2 Duo processors, which the white MacBook still uses, this latest model uses one of Intel's latest Sandy Bridge chips – the Core i7-2620M. At 2.7GHz it has the highest clock speed of any of Intel's dual core mobile processors and this is borne out in our benchmarks. It's just as fast, if not faster, than the comparably priced 21in iMacs, faster than the low voltage processors used in the MacBook Air and faster than any comparably priced Windows laptop we've seen so far.
This excellent performance is no doubt helped by the processor's Turbo Boost ability which temporarily increases its clock speed to 3.4GHz when performing certain tasks. The normally quiet fan can become louder when the processor is at work, while the underside can become a little warm too.
Processor: Intel Core i7-2620M, 2.7GHz
Memory: 4GB 1,333MHz DDR3 RAM
Graphics: Intel GMA 3000
Hard disk: 500GB hard disk
Display: 13.3in 1,280 x 800 pixels, LED-backlit screen
Features: 1.3 megapixel camera, microphone, stereo speakers
Connectivity: 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
Ports: 2 x USB2, 1x FireWire 800, 1 x Thunderbolt/Mini DisplayPort, 3.5mm headphone and microphone combo audio socket
Dimensions: 33x227x241mm (WxDxH)
Warranty: 1 year C&R or customer carry-in warranty
OS: MacOS X 10.6.6 Snow Leopard
Image editing 134
Video encoding 111
Multiple apps 121
Light usage battery life – 10h12m