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Deep-dive review: New 13-in. MacBook Pro brings Force Touch to the trackpad

Michael deAgonia | April 1, 2015
Apple's newest laptop offers a trackpad that delivers new features and abilities, together with improved performance.

However, for those looking for the ultimate performance, the 15-in. model with quad-core architecture is still the best bet. While I never experienced any slow-downs during day-to day-work, the 13-in. MacBook Pro is not the fastest Mac available.

I decoded a 43-minute video on both the 13-in. MacBook Pro and a Core i7 quad-core 15-in. MacBook Pro from 2012, and the results were pretty much would you would expect: The three-year-old quad-core MacBook Pro was much faster than the dual-core device. Decoding the video took 32 min. 35 sec. on the 15-in. model compared to 56 min. 05 sec. on the 13-in. model. Exporting a 720p movie in iMovie 10.0.7 took 3 min. 36 sec/ on my 15-in. machine while it took 9 min. 56 sec. on the 13-in. model.

On the other hand, the battery life is amazing. During my first day of use, after six and a half hours of straight use (Wi-Fi on, Bluetooth on, screen at 80% brightness, and using apps like Mail, Safari, Pages and an Activity Monitor Dock icon set to show CPU history), I still had 40% of battery remaining, which gave me nearly four hours of additional use the next day. (Of course, battery life is dependent on what you're using the computer for.)

Bottom line
The 13-in. MacBook Pro is not the lightest on the market -- however, for road warriors, students and anyone who wants a great size/performance notebook, this one is tough to beat. When you factor in its full complement of ports, unmatched build quality, support for the Apple app and hardware ecosystem -- including integration with other Apple products via support for Continuity and Handoff -- the value proposition rises enormously. This computer will not disappoint.


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