Apple Macbook Pro
The 2011 13-inch MacBook Pro is virtually identical to its predecessor. Slim with its iconic curved lid, the aluminium unibody chassis exudes premium build quality from all angles. Measuring 12.8 x 8.9 x 1 inches, and weighing 4.6 pounds, the new machine has the same dimensions as before but is a fraction heavier (0.2 pounds). Of course, the 13-inch MacBook Air (0.7 inches thick, 2.9 pounds) makes the Pro look heavy by comparison, but this 13-incher still slips into bags easily and is relatively easy to carry.
Users will also find the same black Island-style keyboard and large multitouch touchpad that have graced previous models. Chiseled from a single block of metal, the MacBook Pro feels extremely sturdy. One drawback is that the MacBook Pro's battery is not replaceable, at least not without Apple tech support. Also, the chassis can scratch easily if exposed to sharp objects, making a custom-fit cover a smart investment.
Despite its metallic construction, the MacBook Pro mainly kept its cool on our heat tests. After playing a Hulu video at full screen for 15 minutes, we measured a temperature of 90 degrees Fahrenheit at the center of the keyboard, while the notebook's underside returned the same reading. The touchpad was cooler at 80 degrees. The bottom back end of the 13-inch MacBook Pro did get toasty, logging a temperature of 109 degrees; we consider anything over 100 degrees cause for concern.
Keyboard and Touchpad
Folks familiar with the MacBook Pro Laptop know that its keyboard is one of the best around. The laptop's big square keys have a soft finish and are arranged in an island-style setup, offering plenty of spacing.
They also make little sound when hit, yet provide a satisfying click. Equipped with an ambient light sensor, the keyboard is backlit as well, one of the advantages the 13-inch MacBook Pro has over the 13-inch Air.
Like MacBook Pros before it, the current version has a vast 4.1 x 3-inch touchpad that doubles as one massive button. Frankly, it's the gold standard; it let us glide our fingers across it with minimal friction and intuitively press down to make selections. We never missed the lack of a discrete mouse button, or even two.
The full gamut of familiar multitouch gestures are here as well. We easily used two fingers to scroll up and down through webpages and zoom in and out of photos and documents. With four digits we pushed all windows out of the way for a clear view of the desktop, and with three fingers swiped our way from app to app.
Display and Audio
This MacBook Pro's 13.3-inch display serves up a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels, and it gets very bright. We wish, though, that it had the same 1440 x 900-pixel resolution as the 13-inch MacBook Air. While watching Hulu episodes of Fringe and 30 Rock, colors were pleasantly saturated with rich, deep blacks. Unfortunately, the screen's glossy surface is prone to reflections, so viewing video in darker environments is advised. Viewing angles are also average, with image quality dropping off
as we tilted the display off-center forward or moved side to side.
Audio through the MacBook's stereo speakers was definitely loud when playing "Living In America" by Dom using Slacker, but bass was certainly lacking. Even so, highs and vocals were clear and we found fidelity to be quite good.
Thunderbolt and Ports
New to the 13-inch MacBook Pro is Intel's Thunderbolt technology, formerly known as Light Peak. Occupying the same physical connection as the DisplayPort (which now has a lightning bolt icon next to it), ThunderBolt offers a theoretical throughput speed of 10 Gbps. The port is also able to power peripherals such as external hard drives without the aid of an additional electricity source, since it can carry up to 10 watts of juice.
The new connection will also allow users to daisy-chain up to six devices, meaning you could connect a large monitor along with multiple high-speed hard drives. That's sure to please video editors. No peripherals exist yet that use ThunderBolt, but products are expected to arrive this summer. Apple has demonstrated a 4.42GB folder being copied in about 10 seconds, a blazing data rate of 452.6 MBps.
Besides Thunderbolt, the 13-inch MacBook Pro's port spread remains the same as on prior versions. Along the left edge are two USB ports, a fast FireWire 800 connection for quick system backups (using Time Machine), and an SD card slot. There's also Ethernet, headphone, and slick magnetic power jack (called MagSafe), which will keep the MacBook Pro from flying off your desk if someone trips over the power cord. On the laptop's left sits the slot-loading DVD burner and a Kensington lock slot.
FaceTime and HD Camera
Thanks to a new FaceTime HD camera, the new 13-inch MacBook Pro now supports 720p HD video calls. Couple the cam with a newly installed FaceTime app that first debuted on the iPhone 4, and you've got a powerful video chat tool. In our tests, we called someone who was using the new 15-inch MacBook Pro over FaceTime and noted bright, life-like colors. Image quality was also sharp and motion was smooth. Defaulting to portrait mode, FaceTime can be flipped over to landscape view or full screen. Keep in mind that the app will only transmit a hi-def video stream if hardware on the other end can handle it.
Apple has once again created a winning notebook. The 13-inch MacBook Pro is considerably faster than its predecessor yet lasts over 8 hours on a charge. We also like the new FaceTime HD camera and look forward to seeing Thunderbolt-enabled peripherals that take advantage of the new port. Gamers and other users who want more graphics power will want to look elsewhere. And the 13-inch MacBook Air offers a higher-resolution display in a much thinner and lighter package. But if you have a need for speed and epic endurance, the 13-inch MacBook Pro will definitely satisfy.
Apple Macbook Features:
13.3 inch Widescreen Glossy Widescreen display with vivid colour
Intel Core 2 Duo CPU with nVidia Graphics
Upto 7-Hours of Battery Life
Built-in iSight Webcam
AirPort Extreme 802.11n Wi-Fi
Magnetic Power Connection
Macbook Specification & Configuration:
Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard with iLife 2011
2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 3MB on-chip shared L2 cache
NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics processor with 256MB of DDR3 SDRAM
2GB DDR3 RAM
250GB 5400-rpm Serial ATA hard disk drive
8x slot-loading SuperDrive
13.3-inch (1280800 pixels) LED-backlit display
AirPort Extreme 802.11n Wi-Fi wireless
Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
10/100/1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet
Stereo speakers + Omnidirectional microphone
Built-in 63.5-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery
60W MagSafe Power Adapter with cable management system
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