The most well-rounded 13-inch notebook gets a serious speed boost and lasts even longer on a charge than its predecessor.
- Superb battery life
- Fast overall performance
- Sturdy, luxurious design
- Excellent keyboard and touchpad
- Robust software package
By design, 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).
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 decided to the replace Nvidia GeForce 320M graphics in the previous 13-inch MacBook Pro with an integrated Intel HD 3000 chip. The result was a 3DMark06 score of 4,509, which is 245 points lower than last year’s model. Even so, the MBP’s showing is well above the current thin-and-light average of 3,069. It also trumped other 13-inch notebooks, such as the Asus U36Jc (3,518 with GeForce 310M). Of course, compared to HP Envy 14 (6,876 with ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650), the 13-inch MacBook Pro doesn’t measure up. You’ll want to step up to the 15-inch MacBook Pro if you want serious graphics muscle.