MacBook Pro 13 review: Apple’s pure essence

Although they don’t stir the same noise in the media as other products, the new MacBook Pro has just been presented in society by Apple. In this event the "forgotten" MacBook returned to life, as well as the new MacBook Air, of which we will keep you informed promptly. But undoubtedly the star product was the new MacBook Pro 13 with Retina display, fully loaded of very interesting features.

It maintains its essence

It may sound counterintuitive, but to analyze a change it is important to remember what came before and what elements remain in the new MacBook Pro 13. For this reason, we will make a brief tour of what features are not there, so you can differentiate this new MacBook Pro from its predecessor.

An unmistakable design

Externally, the MacBook Pro 13 is still committed to the elegant aluminum unibody design that has always distinguished their high end laptops.

Also, the rounded edges and the distribution of all connections on the sides leave the front part clean and reserving the rear area for the fan, which becomes very active when we work on the computer at peak performance.

MacBook Pro 13

Once opened, it’s the same keyboard with 79 rigid keys with wide spaces between them and a large touchpad that we will discuss in depth later.

And in regards to the MacBook Pro 13” screen, it still doesn’t incorporate touch functions and it remains on the 2,560 x 1,600 pixels of the previous model.

Some increased benefits

The renewal of new MacBook Pro 13 begins with its inside area and on a performance level, we begin to discover the benefits of the new components chosen by the Cupertino guys for one of its star products.

New Intel Broadwell processors

The 5th generation of Intel Core family is the chosen to provide computing power to the MacBook Pro 13.

In order to not to sacrifice autonomy, which is so important in this type of mobile computers, they have chosen the Intel Core i5-5257U, which has been able to offer a brilliant performance, while its TDP of 28 W (with descent capability to 23W) has delivered almost seven hours of intensive use by playing in-streaming videos.

The CPU of the MacBook Pro 13 features Intel Iris integrated graphics, the evolution of the HD Graphics series, which offers up to 48 execution units and after the tests they have enough power to enjoy current games with minimum settings. However, despite the improvement, these are still far from meeting the needs of most gamers.

More Speed

As usual, Apple allows you to configure the MacBook Pro 13 at the time of purchase, either increasing the memory or the hard disk capacity.

The model that we have been able to review had 8 GB RAM at 1,866 MHz (expandable to 16) and a PCIe flash drive of 128 GB.

Flash storage has always offered and read/write rates well above traditional mechanical hard drives. But even within these units it is easy to find large performance differences.

The model that is mounted on the MacBook Pro 13 represents one of the most remarkable developments, with access times of less than a thousandth of a second and read rates close to 450 MB/s.

A whole that is greater than the sum of its parts

The magic of technology is not to choose a number of ‘flashy’ components and put them in a case. The greatest achievement of engineers is the electronics that allows the synergy between them to squeeze their abilities to the fullest.

And this is where the MacBook Pro 13 is ahead of many rivals. Each component complements and amplifies the work of the previous; by avoiding those fatal bottlenecks and the connections of this computer play a key role.

Performance Tests Results
3DMark  (Ice Storm / Ice Storm Extreme / Ice Storm Unlimited) 1.036 / 4.142 / 6.377
PCMark 8 Conventional (Home 3.0 / Creative 3.0 / Work 2.0 / Storage 1.0) 2.384 / 2.641 / 2.749 / 4.944
Cinebench 11.5: relationship core/multicore 2.4x (2 cores)
Call of Juarez (DX10) / Unigine Heaven (DX11) 44,1 fps / 30 fps
Battery life (working / playing video) 2h 57m / 6h 36m

To the standard USB 3.0 port, Apple adds its famous Thunderbolt connectors in its second revision, capable of delivering transfer rates up to 20 Gb/s, and, thanks to their multifunctionality, allow you to connect monitors, peripherals and even adapters that add new functionality to your computer.

Reinventing the Touchpad

A new feature that most will talk about in this new MacBook Pro 13 is the Force Touch Trackpad, a pressure sensitive panel that offers quite surprising multiple functions.

The first time you use it, you will note two levels of tracking, just like a camera, because you can double click without lifting your finger from the trackpad.

MacBook Pro 13

By carrying the surface to a first level, the system will detect the traditional left-click (in which returning to the camera comparison, it would be the equivalent to the focus pressure), while if you continue till the end, it will complete the double click.

And many other features that come with the new MacBook Pro 13 go from searching the dictionary, to receiving vibrations through the haptic technology, so you can feel that you touch what you see on the screen. (Read More: Best Monitor for Macbook Pro)

High-end software

To take full advantage of the hardware of the MacBook Pro 13, Apple presented the Mac OS X Yosemite, which includes the major productivity applications, their office package, and this time it devotes special attention to the work integration to the cloud and with the rest of the iOS ecosystem, by using utilities such as AirDrop to exchange files between your iOS device and your Mac, or Handoff, which lets you continue certain tasks on your computer that you were doing on your mobile device, such as writing an email or checking a spreadsheet in Numbers.

 MacBook Pro 13

Nor should we forget the new notifications panel, inherited from iOS development.


Many still think that the Apple name pays for itself, but it is an indisputable fact that innovation and performance improvement are always present on their computers.

Keeping a design that from the beginning captivated the audience, this update of the MacBook 13 provides you with great hardware upgrades, new features and software to match them.

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