When the MacBook Pro with Retina display is in the game, Apple’s “regular” Pros may seem a bit like also-rans. After all, why would you choose them when you could get a brilliant 15-inch 2,880 x 1,800 IPS panel and a Core i7 Ivy Bridge processor? Well, price, for one thing. While we walked away from our Retina MBP review mighty impressed, that model starts at $2,199. The latest crop of Pros, meanwhile, keep the same pricing scheme as last year’s models ($1,199 and up), but step up to Intel’s third-generation Ivy Bridge processors. We took the entry-level 13-incher for a spin to get a feel for how the dual-core Core i5 CPU, 4GB of RAM and Intel HD Graphics 4000 stack up to the competition. Read on to see how it fared.
Look and feel
The latest MacBook Pros look nearly identical to their 2011 predecessors, with the same aluminum, unibody construction, backlit, island-style keyboard and glass trackpad. The dimensions and weight also remain unchanged: the 13-inch version tips in at 4.5 pounds and measures 0.95 inches thick, while the new 15-inch Pro weighs 5.6 pounds. Those who salivated when Apple revealed the Retina model’s 0.71-inch-thick, 4.46-pound body may be unimpressed by this guy’s slightly beefier profile, but the Pro looks as polished as ever, and is definitely compact enough that toting it around shouldn’t be an issue.
The latest system ships with two USB 3.0 sockets (up from USB 2.0), but otherwise you’re looking at a very familiar selection of ports. Most of those connections, including Gigabit Ethernet, Thunderbolt and the SDXC card slot, are crammed on the left edge of the machine, with the slot-loading optical drive occupying the right side. While the Retina Pro and the latest MacBook Airs sport new MagSafe 2 connectors, the 13-inch Pro (along with its 15-inch sibling) still has the last-gen version.
We won’t spend too much time rehahsing the MacBook Pro’s keyboard and touchpad, as they haven’t changed since we last took a peek. Still, it’s worth reiterating that these are two of the strongest weapons in Apple’s hardware arsenal. Typing on the chiclet-style keys is a pleasure, and the glass trackpad is smooth and responsive. Similarly, the display and sound don’t pack any surprises. The 1,280 x 800 panel delivers crisp images with accurate colors, and viewing angles are wide enough to comfortably watch movies from off-center. That said, we wouldn’t mind a higher resolution — after all, the 13-inch Samsung Series 9 boasts a stellar 1,600 x 900 panel, and ASUS’ Zenbook Prime lineup includes systems with up to full 1080p resolutions. And while we appreciate that the speakers pump out sufficiently loud audio, songs have a thin, somewhat tinny quality to them. If you’re going to spend $1,200-plus on a laptop, you may as well spring for some desktop speakers too.
While Intel HD Graphics 4000 are an improvement from the 3000 edition, the lack of discrete graphics holds you back from any soul-crushing gaming power. Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t fire up your favorite titles. When we played some World of Warcraft, frame rates stayed within the 30 to 60 fps range. When running Windows, the system averaged a respectable 60 fps in Batman: Arkham Asylum.
Still, you’re not buying a MacBook Pro to get your frag on (or you shouldn’t be, anyway), so the MBP’s modest graphics performance is far less important than its day-to-day capabilities. In that regard, this machine is more than passing. Throughout our testing, we worked across three browsers, ran a chat client, wrote in TextEdit and did some light gaming, all without noticing any glitches or sluggishness.
In our video rundown test, the 13-inch Pro lasted six hours and 51 minutes in OS X, which is in line with Apple’s rated battery life of up to seven hours. That longevity is also on par with other Macs, including the early-2011 Pro, which lasted about 40 minutes longer. When we ran the test on the Windows side, the system logged four hours and 25 minutes, which puts it in line with ultraportables such as the 13-inch Series 9.
More anecdotally, the laptop’s 63.5Wh battery gave us roughly five hours of runtime when we had about six programs running in the background while surfing the web, writing emails, working in the word processor and doing occasional photo editing.
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Price and availability of the MacBook Pro 13-inch(2012) Laptop in USA
The MacBook Pro 13-inch(2012) Laptop is priced at 1,139$ for the basic model and you can buy it directly from Amazon USA.