Apple MacBook Pro Spring 2010 review: Apple MacBook Pro Spring 2010

Integrated graphics in the 13-inch MacBook Pro are provided by the Nvidia GeForce 320M GPU, which shouldn't be confused with the very similar-sounding GeForce GT 320M. This isn't a truly discrete GPU, but the 48-core processor is a boost from the 9400M integrated graphics in the 2008/09 13-inch MacBook Pros.

The bottom line is that though this isn't a hardcore gaming processor and it lags behind the discrete, auto-switching graphics on the new Core i5/i7 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pros, its gaming chops are far more robust than what is usually found on small-screened laptops this thin. We bench-marked Call of Duty 4 and got 32.2 fps at the native 1,280x800-pixel resolution with high-end features such as 4x AA, and 36.3 fps at the same resolution with no anti-aliasing and medium graphics settings. That's pretty good, especially considering the Core i7 MacBook Pro ran COD4 at 34.9 fps at its native 1,400x900-pixel resolution (but nearly double that with graphics settings set to medium).

Juice box
Mainstream (Avg watts/hour)  
Off (60%) 0.35
Sleep (10%) 1.21
Idle (25%) 12.98
Load (05%) 36.24
Raw kWh Number 47.2
Annual Energy Cost $5.36

Annual power consumption cost
Asus U30Jc
Apple MacBook Pro - Core 2 Duo 13.3-inch - 2.4GHz
HP Envy 13

The 13-inch MacBook Pro has an integrated, non-user-removable battery that lasted an even 6 hours on our video playback battery drain test. Our test is more grueling than what most users experience as normal usage, and you can expect more life under different power settings and casual-use conditions. The 2009 13-inch MacBook Pro had a battery life of 5 hours and 15 minutes. The battery bump may not seem huge, but it's another step up from the already improved 2009 battery performance.

This year's boosts, according to Apple, come from a combination of CPU efficiency and new battery chemistry, since the 13-inch MacBook Pro retains the same compact dimensions as before. Six hours is more than we'd expect out of a mainstream laptop with decent graphics, and it led the pack compared against Core i3, i5 and Core 2 Duo laptop competitors.

Apple's support and service reputation is strong, thanks in part to its collection of retail stores (as long as you live in a market served by one). MacBooks include a standard, one-year, parts-and-labor warranty, but come with only 90 days of toll-free telephone support. To get more service and coverage you must purchase an Apple Care warranty, at $349 for three total years of coverage. Considering the alternatives and the proprietary nature of Apple products, we'd recommend it.

Multimedia multitasking test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Adobe Photoshop CS3 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Video playback battery drain test (in minutes)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Systems configurations

Apple MacBook Pro - Core 2 Duo 13.3-inch - 2.4GHz
OS X 10.6.3 Snow Leopard; Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz; 4096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1066MHz; 256MB Nvidia GeForce GT 320M; 250GB Seagate 5,400rpm

Asus U30Jc
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 2.27Hz Intel Core i3 M350; 4096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1066MHz; 512MB Nvidia GeForce 310M + 64MB Mobile Intel GMA 4500MHD; 320GB Hitachi 5400rpm

Apple MacBook - Fall 2009 - Core 2 Duo 13.3 inch - 2.26GHz
OS X 10.6.1 Snow Leopard; Intel Core 2 Duo 2.26GHz; 2048MB DDR3 SDRAM 1066MHz; 256MB Nvidia GeForce 9400M; 250GB Toshiba 5,400rpm

Sony Vaio VPC-Z116GX/S
Windows 7 Professional (64-bit); 2.4GHz Intel Core i5 M520; 4096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1066MHz; 1GB Nvidia GeForce GT 330M; 256GB Intel SSD

HP Envy 13
Windows 7 Professional (64-bit); 2.13GHz Intel Core 2 Duo SL9600; 3072MB DDR3 SDRAM 1066MHz; 512MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4330; 250GB Toshiba 5400rpm

Apple MacBook Pro - Core i7 M620 15.4 inch - 2.66GHz
OS X 10.6.2 Snow Leopard; Intel Core i7 M620 2.66GHz; 4096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1066MHz; 512MB Nvidia GeForce GT 330M + 256MB Intel GMA HD; 500GB Seagate 5,400rpm

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