Apple MacBook Pro 13.3-Inch Laptop

Price: from 1014$ to 1044$
  • Article: Apple MacBook Pro 13.3-Inch Laptop Intel Core i5 2.5GHz / 4GB DDR3 Memory / 500GB SSHD (Solid State Hybrid) Hard Drive / Os X 10.10 Yosemite / ThunderBolt / USB 3.0 / DVD laptop
  • Type: Work laptop
  • Operating system: Mac OS
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • CPU: Intel Core i5
  • CPU frequency: 2.50 Ghz
  • Diagonal display: 13.3 Inch
  • Display Resolution: 1280x800 pixels
  • Type of hard disk: SSD plus HDD
  • Hard disk size: 500 GB
  • Bluetooth: Yes

This is powerful, modern MacBook Pro is still sold at the Apple store. Ours is heavily upgraded with new components. Our machine is upgraded with 4GB of 1600MHz memory, with a super fast brand new 500GB SSHD (Solid State Hybrid) drive , and a clean installation of the latest OS X 10.10 Yosemite. This is about as high-end as a MacBook Pro can be, and would be a superior option for doing any graphics work (1024MB / 1GB Video memory) or gaming. Of course, this machine also has the modern Thunderbolt port, DVD drive, and can do full video streaming through AirPlay. Machine is in very good physical condition and perfect working condition. * 2.5GHz Intel Core i5 64-bit Processor * 4GB 1600MHz DDR3 Installed Memory * 500GB SSHD (Hybrid) drive * Intel HD Graphics MB of DDR3 graphics * ThunderBolt Port * Ethernet, wifi, Two USB 3.0 ports, bluetooth, Firewire “800” * multi-touch” (4 finger) trackpad * Web Cam (iSight) * SuperDrive: DVD/CD Player/Burner * LED-backlit 13.3″ widescreen TFT active-matrix “glossy” display (1280×800 Native Resolution) * Second Display Support (2560×1600 Maximum Resolution) * LED-backlit keyboard * Brand New Authentic 60W MagSafe power adapter and extension * Lightly used 7 hour battery (Realistically, more like 4 hours)​.

It was inevitable that the original Retina-class notebook, the 15in MacBook Pro, would be joined by a similarly bescreened 13in model.

In the case of this 13in Retina Mac, the display’s pixel count has likewise been doubled in both directions, from 1280 x 800 to 2560 x 1600 pixels. This unlocks a HiDPI mode, whereby the desktop interface looks the same size and proportion as before, but with every element literally twice as sharp.

It’s still a reflective glass display, like the 15in Retina Mac’s screen, yet one of the least annoying of such polished mirror-like displays. That’s thanks in part to the reduction of the number of reflective layers that sit between you and the TFT matrix. The LCD and glass are bonded as one.

This means expensive repair bills should the worst happen, but rich, saturated colours you’d expect from a gloss screen, and fantastic viewing from any angle, thanks to the in-plane switching (IPS) technology that underpins the panel.

Apple also applies an anti-reflective coating to the surface. Together, these strategies create one of very few glass screens that won’t drive you to distraction with aggravating reflections.

Apple must also be one of very few notebook designers still specifying 16:10 aspect ratio screens. This provides a much more comfortable viewing experience than the nearly inescapable 16:9 screen now used across the computer industry; fine for watching widescreen film and video, very far from optimal when trying to be productive or even just read down web pages.

The ins and outs of ports are identical to the 15in version, so we see fast USB 3.0 (times two) for desktop peripherals, as well as a formidable pair of even faster – and more versatile – Thunderbolt ports.

Either or both of these Thunderbolt ports can be connected to external monitors or projectors. Apple says that both external screens can be up to 2560 x 1600 pixels in size, the same as the built-in Retina screen. That’s surprising given the modest integrated Intel graphics processor.

Even driving just the built-in screen, there are occasional moments when you can perceive some juddering – such as fast scrolling in Safari web browser. While this suggests that some apps’ video rendering is not optimised for perfect Retina motion, we believe this may yet be improved in forthcoming software updates.

Other I/O ports include an SDXC card slot for high-capacity flash cards, and the revised MagSafe 2 magnetic power clasp. Absent from the 19mm-thick Unibody casework are the once-standard accoutrements of gigabit ethernet and DVD optical drive.

The former can be covered by an optional Thunderbolt-to-Gigabit Ethernet Adapter (£25), while external USB optical drives – Blu-ray as well as DVD – are readily available.

Also missing in the new generation of Retina MacBooks is the comforting, slow pulsing sleep light, plus any means to physical secure the hardware. The once-ubiquitous Kensington lock slot is once again forsaken. The infrared remote receiver is also now absent.

More disappointing for bleeding-edge technology enthusiasts is the continued absence of ‘gigabit wireless’, otherwise known as 802.11ac. This is still fledgling wireless technology, although that didn’t prevent Apple from showing the industry the way before with first its early adoption of first 802.11b, and later the 11g and 11n standards that followed.

Underlining Apple’s interest in voice recognition technology, with more integration seen in the latest Mountain Lion operating system, the new 13in MacBook Pro includes dual microphones. Dual mics assists in voice capture clarity, by allowing sophisticated noise-cancellation algorithms that help remove unwanted background noise.

These mics are sited on the left flank now, just in front of the single headset jack that replaces separate audio-in and headphone-out sockets on earlier models. Still present is the useful Toslink digital audio output, available through the centre of the 3.5mm combo jack.

At less than 19mm thick, and 314mm by 219mm in plan view, the 13in Apple MacBook Pro with Retina display remains very much a portable notebook. Not only ultraportable, we’d venture, but appropriate for the Ultrabook category that Intel invented to sell more processors to Windows laptops makers.

The Apple MacBook Pro 13in with Retina display weighs just 1.64kg – a most modest mass that notably undercuts the 2.06kg of the ‘classic’ 13in MacBook Pro Unibody design.

The latter, like its even chunkier 15in counterpart, remain in production; perhaps to satisfy those that need more expansion and upgrading options, as much to help those with smaller budgets.

In contrast to the 15in Retina MacBook Pro, the 13in model loses out on a quad-core Intel processor. Instead of 2.3GHz or 2.6GHz Core i7 chips, the smaller notebook is fitted with either a 2.5GHz Intel Core i5; or optionally and for an extra £160, a 2.9GHz Core i7. Both options are dual-core with Hyperthreading to present four virtual cores to the software.

Memory is not so customisable. Where the 15in can have either 8GB or 16GB of DDR3L RAM – albeit totally upgradeable after purchase – the 13in is only available with 8GB of 1600MHz memory. This again may push those who demand more, up to 16GB of memory, toward the 15in option.

Flash storage is the present as well as the future, the logical choice for a high-performance notebook that’s been shrunk to 19mm thin.

Apple starts with a relatively small 128GB SSD as standard for £1449, with a 256GB SSD model costing £1699. Doubling that 256GB to 512GB adds £400 to the price; maxing out to 768GB results in a 13in Retina portable that costs £2499.

Like memory, storage upgrades on the new MacBooks are not supported; unlike the soldered memory though, there may be scope for third-party flash cards to upgrade the new-style storage.

Higher performance and a multi-megapixel IPS display results in increased drain on the (non-replaceable) internal battery. To this end, the 13in Retina MBP packs several lithium-polymer batteries, amounting to a 74Wh.

That's up from the 63.5Wh of the non-Retina model but well short of the massive 99Wh pack fitted to the 15in MacBook Pro with Retina display and its 45W TDP quad-core processor and two graphics processors.

Apple once again lists 7 hours of wireless web battery life, the same figure cited for all its Mac portables now.

We tested battery life first, using the industry-standard MobileMark 2007 test in Windows 7. Apple lists 7 hours of wireless web battery life, the same figure cited for all its Mac portables now. We saw a usefully extended runtime of nearly 9 hours (524 mins, Productivity test). It’s possible that Mac users may benefit from even longer than that figure.

Still in Windows 7, we tried our nearly retired real-world benchmark suite WorldBench 6, and here the Retina 13in reaped a tidy 152 points.

PCMark 7 gave us a headline suite result of 4596 points, putting performance firmly into the premier league; the standard MacBook Pro 15in (Mid-2012) with quad-core processor but hard-disk storage scored 2697 points, for example.

Windows gaming tests showed a typical result that we see from other Ivy Bridge chips with Intel HD Graphics 4000 driving the screen – with 29fps averaged in both the old FEAR test at Maximum detail, and Hard Reset running at 1280x800 with High detail.

In short, overall system performance is very far from wanting, and all still backed up with fantastic battery life.

Lest we give the impression this is the perfect – if pricey – notebook, we should reiterate some of our misgivings about this undoubtedly advanced example of precision computing hardware.

Apple has always promoted the complete user experience, rarely acceding to the usual Windows PC industry way of bolting together computers. And that in-house ecosystem philosophy is evident when it comes to upgrading system components.

In the past Macs have been relatively easy to upgrade – the usual points of storage capacity and memory at least. In fact, some Macs we’ve seen, such as the Mac mini, have been engineered to have the easiest memory accessibility imaginable, such as popping off a large plastic hatch on the underside.

Other times, we’re frustrated by non-standard parts, such as the custom hard disks now required to repair recent iMacs.

Now we are finding some of the latest Apple high-tech hardware has reduced upgrade options to effectively zero. The trend may have started outside of Macintosh with Apple’s smartphones and tablets, but is now filtering across to the workhorse Mac computers too.

The 13in Retina MacBook Pro has RAM chips soldered to the logic board, and uses proprietary flash storage modules. Its lithium-polymer batteries don't pop out if you can get the baseplate unscrewed – they're epoxied to the chassis. All this is sealed down with tamper-discouraging pentalobe screws.

For future expansion of this 13in Retina MacBook Pro, you’re now limited to whatever can be adapted to work with USB or Thunderbolt ports.

And the move to super-thin construction also carries security issues. If you want to ensure your precious isn’t swiped from your desk when you turn your back, you will need to wait first for some innovative third-party to come up with a locking system to replace the classic Kensington lock slot, now that the slot itself has been swiped by Apple.

The essential specifications of the 13in Apple MacBook Pro with Retina display closely follow the groundbreaking original 15in version. Reduced size here necessitates integrated-only graphics, as well as a more efficient dual-core rather than quad-core processor. But this choice of components really delivers, and crucially in a state-of-the-art 13in notebook that takes the second-finest laptop display money can buy – beaten only by the 15in Retina model of the Apple MacBook Pro.


The New MacBook has grabbed most of the headlines in recent weeks, but Apple has refreshed some of its MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs too — except for one.

While the 15-inch MacBook Pro is waiting for Intel's newest Core i7 processors, the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro has received some changes that make it a significant upgrade. An upgrade to Intel's newest Broadwell CPU, along with a pressure-sensitive Force Touch Trackpad are the most significant of the lot.

Recent developments

Nearly a year and a half after its initial release, the MacBook Pro 13-inch with Retina display (early 2015) is finally due for an upgrade. The MacBook Pro 2016 is rumored to be announced at Apple's September 7 event with a hard release shortly thereafter. Apple's new professional-grade laptops will come fully stocked with more powerful 6th-generation Skylake processors, USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports and potentially even TouchID.

On the other hand, if you would prefer to stick with your current MacBook Pro setup, support certainly isn't slowing down. At WWDC 2016, Apple revealed macOS Sierra, the Siri-enhanced successor to OS X 10.11 El Capitan of yesteryear. The new operating system will be supported by these systems. The announcement was subsequently followed up by a beta released to the public on July 7, 2016.

macOS Sierra comes decorated with a handful of improvements that rethink the way you use your MacBook Pro. The newly open-source Siri, for instance, has been ported over with a few notable differences from its mobile counterpart. Not only will you be able to ask her (or him) the usual questions such as, "What's the weather like?," but now the virtual assistant can help you locate files and manage your disk space in ways that were previously unnecessary or impractical.

Other new features you'll soon be able to experience with your year-plus-old MacBook Pro include Universal Clipboard for copying/cutting/pasting across different Apple hardware, unlocking your MacBook Pro using an Apple Watch, improved photo categorization and – finally – Apple Pay.

Moreover, MacBook Pro excitement from third-party accessory makers hasn't ceased either. While one company has made multitasking a breeze with a triple-monitor expansion for laptops, another startup is aiming to make your present MacBook Pro configuration more capable using an external graphics solution, a useful tool for trying out the best Mac games.

In an attempt to cash-in on the back-to-school season, Apple is finding its own ways to push MacBook sales without the advent of new hardware. With the right credentials, you could save up to 15% on a brand-new MacBook as a student or educator if you buy right now.

Sure, Apple will inevitably phase out the MacBook Pro 13-inch with Retina display (early 2015) at some point, but even then, its legacy will not be forgotten. That's especially the case if you're, for some reason, repulsed by the move to USB Type-C, as we're unlikely to see an alternative to the new interface style on the next MacBook Pro given Apple's recent history with the 12-inch MacBook.

Luckily, you may still have a 5K standalone monitor to look forward to even without buying a new Mac.


On the outside, it's business as usual. The 13-inch Macbook Pro hasn't had a radical redesign, and its shape, dimensions, weight and port configurations are identical to the outgoing model. That means two Thunderbolt 2 ports, a USB 3.0 port, a headphone jack and a MagSafe 2 port on the left, and a second USB 3.0 port, SDXC card slot and HDMI 1.4 port on the right.

The screen resolution is 2,560 x 1,600 pixels, but you actually get the screen real-estate of a 1,280 x 800 pixel-resolution display due to the pixel-doubled effect that provides Retina-like sharpness. Apps like SwitchResX allow you to access even higher resolutions than OS X allows, stretching all the way up to 3,360 x 2,100.

Text is too tiny to be legible at that setting, but opting for one in-between, such as 1,920 x 1,200, lets you fit much more of spreadsheets and other apps into the display than any of the default screen resolutions at the expensive of clarity.

Still, even on the four default resolutions there's plenty of room for even the most screen-intensive pro apps, and OS X Yosemite's divisive design looks much better on Retina displays than it does on lower density screens.

It's a shame that Apple hasn't shaved even a millimetre or two off the MacBook Pro with Retina's chassis. The 2013 MacBook Pro with Retina was 25% thinner than its predecessor, and it made a huge difference to that machine's portability and overall appeal. Sure, Apple has outed the new MacBook which will attract the thin-and-light laptop die-hards, but those of us requiring power, ports and all of the rest would have still appreciated a slightly slimmer model.

Feel the force

The only external change is something you can't see: the way the trackpad works. The MacBook Pro has a new, non-mechanical Force Touch trackpad, which provides tactile feedback and can detect various levels of force. For example, you might press to fast-forward a video and press harder to speed it up more.

For now, the haptic feedback simply replicates the feeling of clicking a mechanical trackpad (something it does perfectly – you really feel like you're pressing a real button), but over time Apple is likely to find other uses for the pressure sensitive technology. You can adjust the sensitivity of the trackpad and the strength of its feedback in System Preferences, and while you're there you might want to re-enable the three-finger drag; it's switched off by default now.

Interestingly, Apple hasn't put its new MacBook keyboard into the Pro models just yet, so you get the familiar chiclet keys with a scissor mechanism underneath. To our fingers they aren't as comfortable as the non-chiclet keyboards in the first Intel MacBook Pros, but maybe we're just being nostalgic. Nevertheless, if you're all about the typing, the MacBook Air is a little more comfortable.

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