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Apple MacBook review

A slightly overpriced laptop, but its style, usability and software ably compensate

Our Verdict

Slightly overpriced, but its style, usability and software ably compensate

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1280 x 800
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Stunning performance
  • Excellent keyboard
  • Multi-touch touchpad
  • Impressive screen
  • Easy to use

Against

  • Limited connectivity
  • Low storage
  • Overpriced
  • Old system

With the continuing popularity of the iPad, iPhone and iPod range, Apple's laptop sales have seen an impressive boost in recent months. The Apple MacBook is its entry-level model, and while some could argue it offers limited value, it's still a great choice. And here's our Apple MacBook review of the mid-2010 model.

The main argument against Apple's laptops is that despite their use of older technology, they still cost the same as cutting-edge Windows-based machines.

The MacBook uses a last generation Intel 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo P8600 processor, rather than a Core i5 chip as seen in the Acer Aspire 5943G and Fujitsu Lifebook S710. While the difference in performance is significant, there's still ample power to run the excellent Mac OS X 10.6 operating system and software with plenty of speed.

Graphics are just as capable. While outperformed by the Acer Aspire 5943G and Samsung RF510, the dedicated Nvidia GeForce 320M graphics card has treble the power of the Fujitsu Lifebook S710, running photo and video editing tasks with ease. Even light gaming is possible.

Benchmarks

Battery life: 505 minutes
MobileMark 2007: 204
3DMark 2003: 10,375

This multimedia ability is aided by the impressive 13.3-inch screen. Despite having a low resolution of 1280 x 800, brightness, colour and contrast are stunning. Photos and videos look fantastic, and even the glossy screen coating manages to hide reflections well.

Stunning usability

As with all Apple laptops, an isolated-style keyboard design is used, with each key cut through an individual hole in the laptop's top panel. This allows plenty of space between keys and stops dirt falling beneath them. Usability is excellent and the keyboard is a pleasure to use.

Apple was among the first to use multi-touch touchpads and the technology is used in the Apple MacBook (2011) with aplomb. The huge 104 x 75mm glass touchpad allows effortless gesture control, for scrolling documents and zooming and rotating images with just a simple pinch or swipe of your fingers.

Unfortunately, where the MacBook falls short of its rivals is its limited connectivity options – offering just two USB 2.0 ports. Storage, at 250GB, is also low, but will nevertheless suit most needs.

Apple macbook 2011

Far more impressive is the fantastic mobility and software. With 505 minutes of battery life, you can work on the move for over eight hours. Apple's iLife suite is also included, providing an outstanding range of photo editing, movie making, web design and music creation tools.

While there's no denying the MacBook is overpriced, considering its use of older technology, Apple's renowned usability and stunning design go a long way to compensate for this. As long as you don't want the most cutting-edge machine, this is a stunning laptop that the whole family will enjoy using.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Hard Drive Capacity320 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelHD 3000
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeDVD-Writer
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
Maximum Battery Run Time7 Hour
FireWire/i.LINKYes
WebcamYes
Backlight TechnologyLED
DisplayPortYes
Product FamilyMacBook Pro
Keyboard BacklightYes
ThunderboltYes
Processor Modeli5-2410M
Operating SystemMac OS X 10.7 Lion
Brand NameApple
Processor Speed2.30 GHz
Processor TypeCore i5
Screen Size33.8 cm (13.3")
Screen Resolution1280 x 800
Standard Memory4 GB
Weight (Approximate)2.04 kg
Cache3 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
64-bit ProcessingYes
Number of Total Memory Slots2
Optical Media SupportedDVD±R/±RW
Dual-Layer Media SupportedYes
Graphics Memory CapacityUp to 384 MB
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Ethernet TechnologyGigabit Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports2
Memory StandardDDR3-1333/PC3-10600
Height24.1 mm
Width324.6 mm
Depth227.1 mm
Screen ModeWXGA
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
ManufacturerApple, Inc
Product ModelMC700LL/A
Product NameMacBook Pro MC700LL/A Notebook
Pointing Device TypeTrack Pad
Product LineMacBook Pro
Aspect Ratio16:10
Manufacturer Part NumberMC700LL/A
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.apple.com/uk
Marketing Information

Strength. Lightness.
Beauty. Seamlessly integrated.

MacBook Pro is machined from a single piece of aluminium, an engineering breakthrough that replaced many parts with just one. It's called the unibody. And the first time you pick up a MacBook Pro, you'll notice the difference it makes. The entire enclosure is thinner and lighter than other notebooks. It looks polished and refined. And it feels strong and durable - perfect for life inside (and outside) your briefcase or backpack.

Maximum Memory8 GB
Battery ChemistryLithium Polymer (Li-Polymer)
Limited Warranty1 Year