There’s no Retina display in the updated Macbook Pro 13in, but this little laptop retains its pint-sized appeal.
At 2.06kg, it’s relatively light, and the build quality is superb; the taut metal chassis makes most laptops feel cheap by comparison.
Two ports on the left see USB 3 make its Mac debut alongside FireWire 800, Thunderbolt, Gigabit Ethernet and an SD card reader. Meanwhile, the optical drive and the LED battery meter are a welcome sight - both items have since disappeared from the larger Pro models.
This is the better specified of the two 13in models and has a dual-core Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 750GB hard disk. It can’t keep pace with the quad-core models in our latest group test, but its result in our benchmarks was impressive.
The huge battery does its job, too, lasting only 5hrs 23mins in our light-use test in Windows, but surviving a much more impressive 9hrs 20mins with a similar test in OS X.
With no dedicated graphics chip, you’re stuck with Intel’s integrated HD Graphics 4000 chipset. this shouldn't be an issue if you will be using it for basic work tasks, although there is enough power for basic gaming if you like a bit of entertainment while travelling.
Touchpad, keyboard, display
Using the Pro is a delight. The large touchpad makes light work of pinching, flicking and gesturing your way through OS X, and the keyboard is great. Every key bounces back with a crisp, lively feel, and the layout is perfect.
If there’s a disappointment, it’s that the 13in display has a low 1280 x 800 resolution. Image quality is great, however, with high brightness combining with a 593:1 contrast ratio and the most accurate colour reproduction of all the laptops in our latest group test.
The MacBook Pro 13-inch is superb. Those who want more power should look to its 15in stablemates, but this 13in machine is a long-lasting laptop that’s well worth the money, even if it doesn’t have a fancy Retina display.