MacBook Pro 13″: Big things in a little package

Posted: May 6, 2010 in Apple, computers, hardware, Mac OSX
Tags: , , , ,

Sweet! It’s a word I may use a little too often lately and mostly when describing my new little tech-toy, a 13″ MacBook Pro (MBP).

I’d been holding off upgrading for a while  but finally took the plunge.  I was waiting for Apple to update the processor to the i5 chip, which they did, but not for the 13″ version which is my form factor of choice.  I decided to upgrade anyway, as i mentioned in a previous post.  (see here for previous post) I picked up my new MBP from my fave local Apple retailer. I had to pick up a $22 Firewire 800 to Firewire 400 adapter to use the migration assistant to transfer from my trusty old black MacBook to the new MBP and suppose I could have tried the ethernet transfer, but i’ve always done it the Firewire way and never had any troubles so why change what ain’t broke, besides, I use Firewire for my TimeMachine backup and knew I was gonna need the adapter for that.  I may have to find a different adapter or cord since this one extends the fixed non-flexible connector out the side of the MBP approximately 3-1/2″ which means nothing can be too close to that side on my desk.  Aside from that it doesn’t feel like a good sturdy fit and i’m afraid it will sag thereby losing contact and connection in the midst of a backup.

The list of things I love about the MBP is quite long, but most of all I have to say the touch-pad is my favorite so far.  The things I take for granted when using my iPhone I can now do with my MBP touch-pad (at least until the next iPhone OS comes out that is)  Some of the other new features like the back-lit keyboard and its ease of adjusting the brightness independently of the screen brightness, the feel of the case (oooh smooth edges and tapers), the addition of an SD-card slot, the brightness and clarity of the screen (even though I find it a bit glarey in certain light compared to my old MacBook), the new style of the magnetic power connector, the speakers sound better than my old MacBook, etc., etc..  I could go on and on, but i’m sure everyone has already heard about all the changes and updates and poured over the comparison benchmarks.  All in all, I’m a very happy camper, with one exception.

One thing that isn’t working is BootCamp.  Well, it’s not that it isn’t working, it’s just that Apple hasn’t updated the drivers for the latest Macs yet.

I had used Winclone to create a .dmg of my old MacBook’s BootCamp partition and set it up with no problem on the new MBP.  If you are not familiar with WinClone, check out this older post about it – 2009/01/03/winclone-gotta-love-it/ – it’s a great way of moving your windows BootCamp partition from one machine or drive to another.

The problem I was having is mostly due to the fact there are no working drivers for the touch-pad, as well as a few other missing devices (as seen in the screen capture below), but the one that affect me the most is the touch-pad.  Thankfully the mouse works, otherwisetab-ing” your way through the dialogue boxes would get real tired real quick.

Getting it set up and working in BootCamp is not all that important for me, since most of the time i don’t actually boot into BootCamp.  Typically I use Parallels Desktop instead and just use the BootCamp partition as my virtual machine.  Parallels Desktop doesn’t uses the windows drivers for the devices so the touch-pad works fine.

Battery life is another thing that you just have to love, i was working on this blog entry for instance and looked up to see that i still had over 9 hrs of battery life left.  And the best part is, they are not stretching the truth as so often happens with manufacturers performance claims.  Depending upon your power settings and what apps you are running you can get around 9 hours out of the battery. I even saw the time left indicator climb up to over 11-1/2 hours once.

Aside from the little issue with missing drivers, the new MacBook Pro delivers in so many ways that it’s a winner overall and a perfect fit for anyone wanting a small laptop that delivers big.  If you already have a 13″ MacBook Pro from when they first introduced it however, there is nothing earth-shattering about this update that will make you run out and replace it.  If however you are like me and have been waiting, it may be time to take the plunge, since i don’t see the chipset getting an update to the i5 like the 15″ version has anytime soon.


  1. TomPier says:

    great post as usual!


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