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.

One underappreciated feature of MacOS X Snow Leopard is the built-in Exchange support. The pre-installed mail and calendar clients can connect to Exchange 2007 and 2010 servers. The clients are generally quite basic though, so you may therefore still need Microsoft's Mac version of Outlook although it doesn't support older Exchange 2003 servers either.

One longstanding feature of Apple's laptops that we're fond of is the magnetic MagSafe connector on the power adapter. If someone trips over it then it falls away harmlessly, rather than dragging the laptop to the floor or wrenching itself free, preventing damage to both the laptop and the connector. Apple refuses to license the MagSafe design though so car and airline power adapters are hard to come by. There's also no support for more specialised hardware features, such as biometric or smartcard security hardware, Blu-ray writers or docking stations.

The one year warranty doesn't provide on-site service. The optional AppleCare two year extended warranty doesn't include on-site service either, but it does at least provide international coverage.

So what's our verdict?

Verdict

The 13in Apple MacBook Pro doesn't include all the specialist hardware and support services an enterprise might want, but it's still one of the best laptops we've seen thanks to its fast performance, long battery life, comfortable keyboard, bright display and excellent build quality. The Thunderbolt port could be immensely useful in future too. If you're happy deploying and using MacOS X instead of Windows, it's a superb laptop. If the price is too much, a cheaper version with a Core i5 processor and a 320GB hard disk is available for just £800 ex VAT.

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) Weight: 2kg Warranty: 1 year C&R or customer carry-in warranty OS: MacOS X 10.6.6 Snow Leopard BENCHMARK RESULTS Image editing 134 Video encoding 111 Multiple apps 121 Overall 118 Light usage battery life – 10h12m POWER CONSUMPTION Sleep 1W Idle 12W Active 41W

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