A 15in widescreen is a good balance between portability and productivity. But sometimes you may prefer a notebook that's a bit smaller. Our first efforts to review the new 13in Apple MacBook Pro were thwarted by issues with Apple's Boot Camp drivers, which prevented our Windows benchmarks completing.

Now remedied with updated drivers, the Apple MacBook Pro produced a WorldBench 6 score of exactly 100 points, so it has comparable performance to PC World Labs' reference desktop machine, with 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E6600, nVidia 7900GS graphics and two 7200rpm disks in a striped RAID 0 array.

Unlike its 15in brothers, the 13in Apple MacBook Pro runs last year's Intel Core 2 Duo processor. Instead of auto-switching dual-graphics technology, the 13in takes a single nVidia GeForce 320M. This packs less power than the 15in's nVidia 330M, but is more useful than Intel's integrated GMA HD.

As well as helping to show a clearer upgrade in performance between 13in and 15in models, the selection of venerable Core 2 Duo chippery almost certainly has a technical basis.

Given space and thermal issues, a discrete graphics card was out. And if Apple had opted for an Intel Core i3 or i5, it would been saddled with only an Intel GMA HD controller; in effect, the Apple MacBook Pro 13in would have received a graphics downgrade.

Two versions of 13in Apple MacBook Pro are offered, with 2.4GHz (£999) or 2.66GHz (£1249) Core 2 Duo, their other differences resting in disk capacity of 250GB and 320GB.

Both arrive with 4GB of DDR3 RAM, and feature two USB 2.0 ports, FireWire 800, SD card slot and gigabit ethernet. Wireless connectivity is a dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n adaptor, along with Bluetooth 2.1.

In graphics tests, this Apple MacBook Pro averaged 27fps in FEAR at Maximum detail, and 55fps at High settings. Battery life is pegged by Apple at up to 10 hours in its native Mac OS X environment. We tested in Windows with MobileMark 2007 Productivity, where it lasted around 6 hrs 20 mins.

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NEXT: our expert verdict >>

Apple MacBook Pro 13in (Mid 2010): Specs

  • 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P8800
  • 3MB L2 cache
  • 13in (1280 x 800) LED-backlit glossy display
  • Mac OS X 10.6.4 Snow Leopard
  • 320GB 2.5in 5400rpm SATA HDD
  • 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1066 RAM
  • 2 x USB 2.0
  • FireWire 800
  • gigabit ethernet
  • SD card slot
  • dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • combo audio in/out jack
  • MagSafe power connector
  • 63.5Wh lithium-polymer battery
  • 227x325x24mm
  • 2.04kg
  • 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P8800
  • 3MB L2 cache
  • 13in (1280 x 800) LED-backlit glossy display
  • Mac OS X 10.6.4 Snow Leopard
  • 320GB 2.5in 5400rpm SATA HDD
  • 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1066 RAM
  • 2 x USB 2.0
  • FireWire 800
  • gigabit ethernet
  • SD card slot
  • dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • combo audio in/out jack
  • MagSafe power connector
  • 63.5Wh lithium-polymer battery
  • 227x325x24mm
  • 2.04kg

OUR VERDICT

You can save half a kilo on the 15in version with the 13in Apple MacBook Pro, although last season’s CPU and integrated graphics means you lose the faster performance. Yet the baby MacBook Pro still offers build quality, attention to detail and software unmatched by comparable Windows notebooks.

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