2012 mac pro 13 review

It's the way that you have to throttle back your expectations of what your laptop can crank out, the way you would while using a limited ultrabook. And for a lot of people, that's just unacceptable from a computer pushing three grand.


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The color, though, was a little off in hi-res photos. Out of the box it was displaying a little too dark, and colors were too deep and saturated. Messing with color calibration cleared it up, but it's a definite annoyance in a machine aimed so squarely at visual professionals.

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This is probably the best inch laptop you can buy right now, for all the good it'll do you. Sure, this computer makes some sense for a photographer or designer, but the inch Retina offers almost all of the same benefits, plus a lot more if you can stomach a little less portability and a fractionally higher cost. But it is. And for literally the exact same price as a moderately upgraded inch 2. At the cost of some portability. That's it. Or you could go with a Zenbook Prime, which has a drop dead gorgeous p screen for two thirds the price and a lot of the performance and also some trackpad issues, but hey!

Not to mention that the Air is due for a refresh on its displays soon. Maybe resolutions won't be doubled, as Apple has been doing, but if not retina, they'll be p at least. The point is, the rMBP 13 is wonderful, but it's not that much more wonderful than everything else. And certainly not as sky-high as its price would indicate. All of which is to say, there are better, or just more sensible options either out now, or just off the horizon. So unless you've got an extra grand to blow on a screen upgrade for a MacBook Air, it's probably prudent to hold off on this for now.

Processor: Intel Ivy Bridge 2. The A. Shedding some excess millimeters around the keyboard and trackpad gives it a more focused appearance — and a smaller footprint in a backpack. The computer charges with a MagSafe 2 port, which uses the new T-shaped connector the older L-shaped chargers require an adapter. So, great: it looks like a thinner MacBook Pro without an optical drive. But what about that Retina Display? All 4,, pixels of it. In fact, it looks noticeably sharper than the iPad.

Colors are vivid, and appear accurate under default settings. There is one downside.

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Fortunately, most other prominent apps have shifted to Retina graphics. Make no mistake. On a technical level, the entry-level rMBP rocks a dual core 2. Most apps open instantly a bounce or two in the dock at most. Processor-intensive tasks like high-res content-aware fill in Photoshop complete in a few seconds.

All but the very heaviest power users will find plenty of punch here. Apple also offers built-to-order models with a 3 GHz Intel Core i7 for the most extreme power-hungry users. My highly-unscientific testing conditions included web browsing, writing, reading, and Photoshopping high-resolution images. Brightness ranged between 50 percent and 75 percent. But it is inching closer. The tradeoff is some extra weight and a slightly thicker build. Someday soon, more affordable MacBooks and other laptops will sport similar displays. One rumor even suggests that the MacBook Air will join that club later this year.

But that will always be the case with any tech product. If nothing else, your eyeballs will love you for it. For more on the subject, you can check out our Retina MacBook Pro vs. MacBook Air comparison. LOG IN. Menu HOME. Landmark TB vaccine moves to final phase of human trials. Around The Home. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim manages to run without major lag. Using the native resolution of x pixels and high details proves too much for pretty much all current games. After game start, we teleport the character to the market square of New Tristram. From there on, we let him run along the street towards the upper right, have him turn around at the bushes, and run back the same way.

At the lowest settings, anti-aliasing off, and resolution set to x pixels, we were able to play the game without an significant lag, which means that even the harder levels that follow should be enjoyable. Since Apple does not offer a dedicated graphics card for the smallest MacBook Pro, the notebook is not particularly well-suited to play games.

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The Intel HD Graphics can handle older games, but newer ones are not a lot of fun. This is true for Windows as well as Mac OS. During idle, the fan spins at a constant RPM. We measured the noise level at 30 to 32 dB ; the latter number is caused by the DVD optical drive. While the maximum noise level of 44 dB is identical for both platforms, we noticed that the fan spins higher under Mac OS X at medium load levels. The benchmark results are based on Mac OS X, simply because this is what the manufacturer expects to be used. In this case, the native OS was not really at an advantage.

During idle , the aluminum unibody chassis stays cool to the touch. We didn't measure above 30 degrees Celsius 86 degrees Fahrenheit in most spots.

Hardware and design

To use the notebook on the lap is possible for hours on end without any ill effects even on bare skin, as it might happen during the summer season. There is no significant difference in this regard between Mac OS and Windows, even though that is not true for the noise level.

Mid 2012 13 inch MacBook Pro Review

Under maximum load during our stress test - which is not a scenario normally encountered - the notebook heats up as expected. The intermittent throttling therefore has no real impact on CPU performance itself. This is also true for Mac OS X. Another area where we have nothing new to report.

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The MacBook Pro inch has stereo speakers which sit above the keyboard and emit their sound towards the display. The speakers are not visible, but sound quality is very decent. The maximum volume level is surprisingly high , although the mids are slightly over-emphasized. The result is that both bass and treble are lacking.


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Overall, the speakers are usable for playing games and watching movies. Once Apple decides on a certain technology or design, they usually stick with it for quite some time.

Case in point is the lithium polymer battery used in the smallest MacBook Pro - the capacity of which has been Unfortunately, the battery is still not user-replaceable. Apple states that the battery should last at least recharge cycles. We measured the power consumption for the notebook under both operating systems.

Under Windows and during idle , the notebook consumed between 10 - 16 watts , under Mac OS between 7. This is a pretty significant difference and favors the Mac OS.

Under maximum load, there is no significant difference between Windows and Mac OS.