Pros Multi-touch trackpad, battery life, keyboard, LED display, Mac OS.
Cons USB ports are too close together to utilize at the same time. No anti-glare option for the 13" model.
Summary I can't really list all the pros, it is best to experience one in person at an Apple store. The engineering and design is unmatched: from the lack of a breakable latch (a magnet holds the laptop closed) to the backlit keyboard, most of the best parts will go unnoticed until you use a laptop from another company. I can not say enough good about the trackpad, but I can say that I will never be able to use a regular trackpad again. I have also found I greatly appreciate the glass and aluminum construction, the glass makes the monitor feel much more durable and very easy to clean, and the aluminum feels substantial with no flex unlike plastic.
The processor is quick and agile while running multiple programs at the same time and for 'regular Joe' to not need anything faster, the same can be said for the 4gb of memory. The 13" is a great package because of it's portability combined with ease of use. I really don't have anything substantial to complain about. It would have been very nice if Apple offered an antiglare option for this model, but they don't. The glossy display is only a problem in very bright light such as being outdoors or under brighter than normal fluorescent office lighting (I have no problem with the lights in my office). The screen does get very bright at maximum brightness, which overcomes the glare problem in most circumstances.
Overall I'm very happy with my decision. Yes, it is a more expensive computer, but it is not the $500+ jump that most claim when compared to laptops that are of the same build quality like a Thinkpad or VAIO, instead of comparing it on hardware and specs alone. I believe that the amazing battery life (10hrs at settings ideal for the battery and 6-7 hours of regular use with the brightness on high), top of the line display, great OS, great trackpad, great keyboard are worth the premium.
"Hard to justify"on by jkrny09
Pros Great battery life, great body construction, awesome keyboard and trackpad, OSX is still the best, applecare is still superb in my opinion, same price?
Cons cons but are expected from Apple, no ESATA, no HDMI (less of a concern that mini display ports now carry audio), and no Bluray
small HD, 2 USB ports, similar configuration to Mac Book, old processor
Summary My sister just got one and I played with her's and the one in the 5th Ave NYC store. My first thought on the computer was wow this is great but it has the same specs as the Mac Book. Yes you get the metal case, back-lit keyboard, and the card reader if that matters to you but besides that, is $200 more worth it? Maybe maybe not...
If you have the extra $200 splurge and get the pro because the case alone is an upgrade. I have never been a fan of the previous Mac Books because their white cases get discolored and the cases always seem to crack.
With that being said is the computer worth the $1200 Mac is asking for? Probably not, because it lacks so many of the standard features found on a PC. I could careless about Bluray, but please mac give us a micro HDMI or something. At the end of the day we all know you don't buy a Mac for it's price point but for it's reliability and the fact that everything works right out of the box.
Like Mark said in the review, the trackpad and keyboard are great. The multi-gesture is perfect and makes surfing the web fun. The keyboard is no IBM but it's solid and has no flex like cheaper Asus's or Acer's.
My biggest gripe is the old processor. Mac Book Pros are known as the high end multimedia machines. A lot of professionals use MBP for music, video editing, and etc. The base processor for this computer is the same as the Mac Book and the Mac Mini. Don't get me wrong the processor smokes all netbooks and still manages to get amazing battery life, but it's limited to basic office work and maybe light video editing. I have the new Mac Mini and noticed it does basic tasks fine, but anything graphics or processor heavy the computer stutters. At a base price of $1200 an i5 would have been ideal because the i3's don't really offer anything special over the core 2 duos. Even if Apple had to push the price for the 13' MBP to $1300 base with an i5 so be it.
After stealing my sisters laptop for a better part of the week I have come to the conclusion that the notebook is a solid computer. I do recommend it but beware that the Mac Book offers similar features and specs. If construction and styling is important, go with the MBP
Battery life: 8
Pros Keyboard has a nice feel
Backlit keyboard is a nice touch
Very good wifi
Cons Battery life does NOT match promise
DVD/CD combo drive is screwy
Glare on screen if there are ANY lights in the area
Summary After being told by too many people that Apple really had its act together and MacBooks are great, I made this purchase in August. Have regretted it ever since.
The preloaded software is great if you shoot digital video or want to write music. I do neither; I write documents, so I had to shell out another $80 (above the $1200 for the Mac) to get the lame iWork package. The preloaded Safari browser refused to load two weeks after purchase to I downloaded the free Firefox, which is a great browser. Although the wifi adapter makes a strong connection with my old D-Link router event at the end of the router's range, I really didn't plan to spend $1200 for netbook functionality.
I had really hoped to have some freedom from the electrical outlets, but instead of the 7 or 8 hours of battery life everyone claims, I get 4 or 5. And that's writing documents, posting blog updates and general web surfing; I don't watch DVD movies on the battery. In fact, I rarely watch DVD movies. Last week I inserted a DVD which the MacBook failed to recognize and next thing I knew, the MacBook refused to recognize its own DVD-CD drive. A visit to the Support forums told me "this just happens sometimes" and you need to reset the SMC. I had forgotten what the Cult of Mac was like, but accepting the fact that an unexplained malfunction "just happens sometimes" is part of it.
Loving the strange interface of OS 10-point-whatever is also part of the cult, but after two months I'm still stumbling around the thing. Macs are supposed to be user friendly but so far we're just nodding acquaintences. And the high-gloss glass on the MacBook's display has terrible glare in any room light. The only time I can see the whole screen is when I'm using the machine in semi darkness.
My last Macintosh was a PowerBook 190 about 15 years ago. It was a true hunk of junk. When this MacBook eventually dies, it will take at least that long for me to try another Mac.
Pros Low-voltage fast CPU runs cool, good graphics, DP carries sound, plenty of RAM, larger HD, long battery life! Mac OS X is great, if you already got Mac software.
Cons Pricey, lacks HDMI, low-resolution LCD, no blu-ray, lags behind Core i5 CPU performance, no eSATA or USB 3.0, integrated graphics
Summary I carry my laptop to and from work, connecting it to a 24" LCD via DP-to-HDMI dongle and 120V power (it runs on battery power at home). The laptop sits inside a carry case, but doesn't over-heat even with a fan-less design. It launches MS Office and the Photoshop much faster than my 3-year old C2D T5500s 13" Toshiba U305 (beats Core i3 machines based on cnet's own Asus U30t review). Its obvious the nVidia GT320M is far superior to the old Intel Integrated Graphics at 1920x1200. Everything works as advertised including my Canon peripherals, it doesn't crash or re-boot.
At home, I use it for the internet and to edit the video with the Final Cut Express. I also connect it to my 32" 1080p Panasonic TV with a DP++ to HDMI dongle, which now carries sound. With that I'm able to watch the internet videos and even use my old iMac's IR remote control.
Overall, I'm glad I chose an MC374 vs old MB990 but I wish I've waited to buy it at Fry's for 999. At this price point and give that I already had Mac software, its unbeatable vs a Core i3 rig even the one with a switchable Optimus graphics. I would've preferred a Core i5 with a discreet GPU, but I don't think its possible in the 13" form factor with a long battery life.
Pros This is not a review but a sharing of a link as to why the MacBookPro 13" did not get Intel's i series processor lines.
It seems a reasonable theory to me.
Summary The trade off of graphics and extended battery life over processing speed is just reasonable.