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Apple - MacBook Pro 13.3" Refurbished Laptop - Intel Core i5 - 4GB Memory - 320GB - Silver
- Model: MC700LLA
- SKU: 9755322
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1280 x 800 native resolution. Energy-efficient LED backlight.
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Offers quite a bit...March 9, 2011
Having built my own desktops for years I took the plunge into the world of Mac in early 2009 with the purchase of a 24-inch iMac. I was impressed. Not blown out of the water or anything like that, but impressed. Perhaps I wasn't blown away only because my home-built desktops were very robust beasts made with quality components and only loaded with good software, well tended by yours truly. Unfortunately my experience with laptops has not been the same seeing how I couldn't build them myself. Three laptops in nine years is disappointing in my opinion, especially when one considers I wasn't purchasing entry level devices from the cheapest of manufacturers. Always mid-level machines from quality manufacturers. But none lasted more than three years before some sort of hardware failure forced the contemplation of replacement or expensive repair. And so it was with my last laptop when the optical drive gave up the ghost and the power port began to work only intermittently. Depressed with the idea of purchasing yet another 3-year laptop I elected to look at MacBooks. Already knowing and being familiar with OS X made the jump less daunting and I really, really love Apple's trackpad (I have the Apple Magic Trackpad on my iMac). However, the steep price of $1,200 for the entry level MacBook Pro was daunting. But I thought about it for a minute. I often read of folks who keep their Apple laptops for five, six and more years. If I could get six years out of one Apple laptop that would be the same as having bought two Windows-based laptops over the same time period. Net result: no fiscal loss and the added benefit of not having to migrate to a new laptop during the six years. And so I waited for the update and pulled the trigger. And I'm impressed. The unit feels incredibly solid in one's hands. It doesn't flex and creak and pop like the plastic laptops. It feels substantial, but not heavy per se. Even though it sounds a bit silly you feel like you actually got your money's worth just in terms of build quality. Mac OS X? A great operating system. I didn't really find the jump to OS X to be that difficult after having spent a lifetime in the Windows (both DOS and Windows) camp. It has it's own quirks, but on the whole I can't say I miss Windows in the slightest; even Windows 7, which is arguably the best Windows OS yet. And let me not forget that Apple computers include a lot of great software and applications which I paid good money for in the Windows-world. The keyboard is nicely sized with full-sized keys and good spacing between each. This is not one of those slightly smaller keyboards you often find on 14-inch and smaller laptops/netbooks. And it's backlit, which is a great feature you don't realize you're missing until you've had it for a few days. Battery life is quite exceptional. Brand new none of my previous laptops lasted more than 3.5 hours on a full charge just doing everyday b.s. (e-mail, web browsing - nothing taxing on the CPU). This MacBook Pro has gotten me to 7.5 hours. Simply awesome. And the magnetic connection technology is brilliant. I can't count the number of times I accidentally yanked the cord from my other laptops. In addition, Apple provides a two-part AC adapter. The first includes the adapter and a longish cord for plugging in your laptop. If this longish cord isn't enough there is an extension cord which can be attached to the AC adapter. Brilliant. A far more sensible solution than anything else I've encountered on laptops from any other manufacturer. The specs themselves are a bit of a mixed bag. The processor (Core i5 at 2.3GHz) is more than enough for any everyday task and could easily work through intensive applications like Lightroom (which I use), Photoshop or video editing software. 4GB of DDR3 RAM is great too. Some say the video is actually a very minor step backwards from the previous generation's, but having played extensively with the previous generation model I can say I don't see the difference and I've yet to read any review which suggested the difference was noticeable. However, there is one thing I don't like and another which leaves me a bit confused. The hard drive in this entry-level version is only 320GB and spins at 5,400rpm. Personally I think they should have dumped a 500GB unit into this laptop for the same price and that 7,200rpm should be the standard across the MacBook Pro line. I'd rather have the extra space than the faster spinning, but both make more sense to me at this price point. I know one can order from Apple with the 500GB hard drive for an additional $50, but I still think it's the wrong way to go about offering this product. Second, much has been made in the press of how this MacBook doesn't have both the 16:9 ratio screen or the higher resolution (or even the option for it) compared to the 13-inch MacBook Air. This confuses me as much as it seems to confuse other reviewers and the press. That said, I have zero problems with the screen's quality or resolution as it is. Well... that's not completely true... I miss the larger screen I had on my previous two laptops; both 15.6-inch. At the end of the day when my eyes are more tired (ok.... I'm 46, but I'm still 20/20 without the need of glasses!) I find the smaller screen and the subsequently smaller images/print/etc. a bit difficult to read. Granted, there is CMD++ to enlarge fonts or the pinch out to zoom option, but I wish I could have gone with the 15-inch MacBook Pro, but that was simply too much computer and more importantly too much money for my budget. Mind you, this particular issue isn't the fault of the MacBook Pro as the same would be true of any 13.3-inch or smaller screen. I mention it only because it's worthwhile to consider if your needs might dictate a larger screen for the sake of easier reading. It should be noted that the included two USB 2.0 ports are next to each other on the left side and if you need both you may run into a problem. If the USB devices you wish to connect include large-headed plugs they might not both fit next to one another. I see this as a design flaw by Apple. Granted, Apple usually keeps the head of their USB plugs pretty small so maybe they are seeing things through their design ideal, but that's hardly practical for the rest of the world. In addition, their slot-loading optical drive means you cannot use mini-CDs if you have any. I know they're pretty rare, but I do have two software titles loaded on mini-CDs and now I have to make other arrangements to get that software onto this laptop. Lastly, migrating files and such from my dying Windows-driven laptop is the usual fair of copying to an external hard drive and pasting over to the MacBook Pro. But I elected to use Migration Assistance to move my user profile on my iMac to the MacBook Pro and what a wonderful thing that is. I wish Migration Assistant had more options and more user-controls, but all-in-all it was a very quick and smooth way to migrate my iMac user profile (including software, documents, iTunes library and iPhoto library) to the MacBook. While not perfect it certainly made things a lot easier and quicker for me. Bottom line: if you're already a Mac user there's no reason not to consider buying a MacBook Pro for your laptop needs. The price was hard on me as I walked out of the store, but now that I've had it up and running for a two weeks I haven't looked back once. If you're a Windows-laptop user and aren't certain about making the expensive change to Mac then it's a harder question. This product offers an awful lot and I'm really sold on the idea that this device should (at least according to everything I've read) last me at least as long as two cheaper laptops would so the break-even point is simply further down the road. Apple devices aren't perfect. Mac OS X isn't perfect. But let me sum it up this way: I have spent a lifetime of fiddling and tweaking and fooling around with my Windows-based laptops and desktops in an effort to keep them running lean and mean, and it has been a long and hard battle. In my two years of iMac ownership I've done nothing and it still runs as quickly and reliably as the day I brought it home and plugged it in. If I can get the same from this MacBook Pro I may never go back to Windows. (he types wistfully while looking over his shoulder at his last home-built, XP-Pro running desktop).
I would recommend this to a friend
Try it before you dis it...March 7, 2011
I wasn't a believer of MACs until I purchased this Macbook pro to try out for a little while myself. I was the guy that criticized the MAC guys for making a steep investment into an over-rated, priced and proprietary product. However, I have to say Apple is passionate about what they do compared to their PC counterparts. I respected that and so I gave them a try. The Apple Corp does many things well, most of all, they take pride in designing quality products that their consumers will enjoy reliably for years to come. I am very happy with my Macbook, I was just giving the Macbook a trial out of curiosities' sake when I purchased it, now I'm quite confident I will not be looking towards PCs anytime soon or returning it. I have a quality built product with an extremely stable OS. Although Apple is proprietary, it gives them the ability to keep and control a stable platform the is compatible with all it's other counterparts/Apple products across the board. Apple must do this to keep the brand image looking good. As long as Apple love's what it does, this company will carry on it's legacy of success. I find it ironic that I've not heard a MAC owner complain about their systems yet. PCs, well we all have horror stories and experiences of our own without myself rambling on. The battery life is phenomenal rated at 7 hours; however, I cant get 10+. Performance is great and there is up to 4x the performance of the previous 13" Macbook Pro when converting files. The system feels great and solid in the hands. All my applications I have running on my system are fluid, I have not had any crashes and freezes yet. It also runs multiple programs at once without hiccup; I wouldn't say it's perfect, but pretty close. If you are in the market for a MAC, I don't think you will be disappointed with the 13" Macbook Pro, give them a try. I was blind, but now I see.
I would recommend this to a friend
Long-time Windows userApril 20, 2011
Wow. I've been using Windows OS since I can remember. I never approached Apple products simply because of their flashy, pop-culture appeal. To me, Apple was just a non-essential, overpriced computer. Man, have I been wrong. I just purchased this MacBook Pro 2011, not really knowing what to expect, and I can definitely say I haven't been disappointed yet. Well, here are some of the things that I LOVE about this laptop and some of the few things that I don't. PROS - Compared to other non-Apple laptops, this machine is built with great quality material. I believe it's aluminum but I may be wrong. In any case, it's amazingly sturdy and looks great! - The display is very beautiful. I love it. - The applications (software) that come preloaded are more fun than useful but sure beats getting a Windows laptop with a bunch of junk, useless commercial software. - Webcam is nice, - The keys are very easy to access and have a high quality feel to them. - The keyboard controls are also very handy and easy to use. - Light and portable; and looks great! CONS - Although the advertised battery life is 7 hours, I've yet see the battery timer display any time remaining greater than 5 hrs and 30 minutes; consistently, that is. (But hey, 5 hours isn't bad at all.) - The OS is fairly easy to use but being a life-long Windows OS user, it's pretty challenging to get used to at first. I suppose this isn't a CON of the device but rather based on my personal experience. - You guessed it, it's expensive! However, I quickly being convinced that it was a worthy purchase. In conclusion, although I was apprehensive on making such a dramatic shift from Windows to Mac OS, I'm beginning to like this device. I don't intend on becoming an Apple snob or fanboy because I still believe that Windows is a wonderful (...and more productive) OS than Mac OS. Oh! You can install Windows on this device. Definitely a good purchase if you can spare 1200-1400 dollars. Even better if you qualify for the Best Buy 18 months interest-free financing deal. I love this thing :)
I would recommend this to a friend
Amazing experience, doesn't need to match PC specsMarch 30, 2011
I usually am an anti apple individual, more for the "macophiles," who blindly bought products without really knowing anything about them. After getting 4 years out of my gateway computer that is still running without problems save for a loud fan, I needed a new computer. I had every intention on getting a $600 PC that truly had all the bells and whistles of Macs and then some. However, after using both computers for a while, I realized that Macs do not offer all that a PC does in terms of specs, however, it truly trumps the PC in terms of the experience. In my opinion the reasons Macs are more pleasurable to use include the flawless track pad that i actually prefer to a bluetooth mouse, the wonderful back lit keyboard, the speaker quality, the start up time, the magsafe charger, the dimensions of the product, and most importantly, the ease of navigation between and in windows. All of these ultimately end up in my desire to use the computer as much as I can, something I couldn't say about my PC. As for price purposes, its similar to paying for an Audi when you get all of the same features and then some for a ford taurus at half the price, however, anyone who has driven an audi can attest that the experience is the difference.
I would recommend this to a friend
I used to be a PC...July 12, 2011
I was one of those people who said "I'll never buy an Apple product, let alone a Mac." I had to eat those words when I bought an iPod Touch a couple of years back, and now I totally feel stupid for ever making that statement now that I've purchased this computer! Let me start by saying that I've used PCs my whole life, except for a small space of time in grade school when we played games like Oregon Trail on the old Apple computers. So, needless to say, my Apple experience was limited. Before getting this lovely computer, my only exposure to the world of Mac was an old iMac running OS9. While OS9 was a truly horrendous OS, I'm glad to say that OSX is so sleek and easy to use! My PC laptop wouldn't turn on for me anymore after 5 years of use (which admittedly is a good run), and that was running XP. I had used Vista before, and hated that, and I was just so sick of all of the viruses and everything that my laptop had gotten, even with a good antivirus suite and SP3; I'd just had it with Windows, so I decided to give Macs a chance. Admittedly, at first I got a Mac so I would still want to fix up my old PC to use again, but the longer I use this, the less and less I miss Windows. Where do I start in explaining how awesome this laptop is? Well, first of all, if you're thinking of switching from a PC, JUST DO IT ALREADY! Seriously, it took me 2 hours out of the box to learn to use OSX just as well as I did Windows, and I'd consider myself an intermediate power user (basically I know what fun file extensions like .iso's etc are, but I don't do any actual coding). As well as being easy to use, it's just a pleasure to use. The things in Windows that didn't make sense are so streamlined in OSX. When you plug in a device (such as a portable hard drive) it shows up on the desktop, not as some little thing on the start bar. And when you want to go eject it, you just move the device to the trashcan and that ejects the device (as opposed to right clicking, stop device, etc). I know, it's a small thing, but it makes so much more sense and is so much more intuitive than the Windows way. Also, for those who say you can't use certain hardware with a Mac, I have some devices that are Windows only, but there are workarounds and I've gotten them to work with my Mac flawlessly. Another advantage is that there isn't a ton of crapware installed on the Mac out of the box. The hardware is just beautiful too! I love the lighted keyboard, the display, and it's just a totally sleek package! Also, the batter life is quite impressive! The only downside is that the multi-touch trackpad can be a little touchy sometimes, but that's hardly a huge issue. Highly, highly recommended!
I would recommend this to a friend
As close to perfection as you can getMay 15, 2011
This review is for the people who are on the fence and can't seem to justify spending 1,200 bucks on a laptop when so many PC laptops are available for under $600. I went through the same dilemma. It really boils down to 1) security and 2) value of time. It is Sunday morning May 15th as I write this review. I originally bought an HP G42 Windows 7 laptop for $400 on Thursday thinking I got this laptop so cheap that I might as well have stolen it. Although Windows 7 is a significant improvement over XP it is no where close to OSX (Mac's op system). The HP came with a ton of adware and trial account for Norton Securing which was next to impossible to disable. The unit ran very hot and had a noisy fan. I tried to partition the hard drive and install LINUX to get me a user experience close to the Mac. I spent 2 virtually all-nighters and couldn't get it installed, so I returned it back to Best Buy. I was an already a satisfied owner of a 24 in iMac desktop, so I knew I would be happy once I came to terms of spending a premium price. Is it worth it? YES. After personally checking out this Macbook Pro, I decided to pull the trigger and walked out of Best Buy $1200 lighter. Owning several Apple products, setting up this Macbook Pro was the usual Apple first class treatment. The setup was insanely quick and easy – as expected from Apple. The packaging and minimization of waste brilliant. This Mac has a fit and finish in a completely different stratisphere compared to the HP G42. The keyboard and the feel of the keys, which are lighted, are as perfect as you are going to get. This laptop runs cool and quit and feels very comfortable while typing this review on my bed. The screen resolution and graphics is amazingly crisp, yet isn't harsh on the eyes. The cold boot up time can be measured in seconds. NO CRAZY ADWARE! Just stuff that you really need. All Macs come with iLife pre-installed. If you aren't familar with it, you should check it out at the Best Buy or the Apple Store. Also there is a built-in HD camera. This Mac instantly recognized my WIFI network. Apple's OSX operating system is and will always be far superior to any version of Windows (including version 7). The touch pad and its 2 finger scroll feature is as perfect as possible. It also allows you to shrink and expand page view of text which I found out while typing this review using Open Office. I feel confident that you will be able to use most of the apps without reading the manual – its that intuitive. The hardware is optimized for the software and is built on a rock solid and secure architecture, so you will save time and money trying to configure and setup new software. You will save time messing with viruses, annoying adware and retrieving lost files. The Time Machine backup software (which is pre-installed) is easy to setup and use. For me, life is complicated and time has become very valuable, and this is laptop is one less thing you will worry about.
I would recommend this to a friend
Even better than the Core 2 Duo version!March 2, 2011
Bought the Core 2 Duo version last week then swapped it out for this newer version since I was within the 14 day exchange period. Brought it to the Apple store with no problem. But since I frequent on BB, I figured I'd post my review here. I actually contemplated if I even needed to replace the 2010 MBP for this one...since it was fast already. But I looked at the upgrades of this version and I figured "why not!" The HD webcam (Facetime) looks alot better than the 480p resolution I used to have on the older version MBP. It was noticeable on Skype and when clowning around in Photo Booth (which I love btw). The i5 processor is an improvement but not by a whole lot IMHO. That's the beauty of Mac OS X. As long as it's not a processor from 5 years ago it will run smoothly. That's the beauty of Apple products working together. Anyways, not sure what else I can say. It's pretty much the same laptop I had before with the exception of the FacetimeHD, the better Hard Drive, the slightly faster processor, and the new Thunderbolt connection which may pay dividends down the road. P.S. The only reason why I gave "Value for Price" 5 stars is cause you get what you pay for and more down the road. Macs just work, and they work phenomenally right out the box. And they will last you for years, so you won't have to worry about buying new laptop chargers off Ebay or going to Geek Squad to have them remove viruses and do a Hard Drive replacement. With Macs, just purchase the AppleCare and you're good for 3 years, Only one place to go for any problems (nearest Apple store or give them a call). i'm out.... :D
I would recommend this to a friend
Wonderful overhaul from the previous Core 2 ver.April 22, 2011
As many know that Apple kept using the Core 2 class Intel processors in the 13" Macbook pro models up until the most recent release while the 15" and 17" models went onto the Core i class last year. This means it is a huge overhaul for the 13" line. The 2nd generation Intel Core i processors boosted the 13" mbp line with speeds up to 1.6x that of the previous generation with Intel Hyper-Threading and Turbo Boost 2.0 technologies. But that is NOT the biggest overhaul part. The reason behind why Apple couldn't incorporate the Core i series in the 2010 13" line is mainly due to the graphics processor. Intel no longer allows Nvidia to make Northbridge chips to work with their processors beginning the Core i class processors. This meant Apple had to cramp 3 huge chips into the 13" Macbook Pro (Northbridge, Processor, GPU), it was simply not possible. Previously Nvidia combined the Northbridge and GPU into one chip for the Intel Core 2 systems. But NOW the 2nd generation Intel i series processor contains a combined graphics core that had enough power to meet the needs of "Pro" tasks on the 13" line. This allows Apple to install only 2 chips again, (Processor with GPU + Northbridge). Compared to the 15" and 17" line which always had a discrete graphics chip, this is a major design change. Simply put, the GPU moved from the Northbridge to the CPU in the 13" line. The Graphics processing power of the new Intel HD Graphics 3000 in the 13" MPB is not magic, but it has WAY more power than the previous Intel Integrated Graphics solution. It exceeds Nvidia 320M in HD playback and desktop graphics including for design work (AutoCAD, Adobe CS etc.). But in gaming, it is slightly behind the 320M, but the 320M can't handle most games 2009-later on high anyways. It still has a brilliantly vibrant screen, the resolution did not change, still 1280x800, but for a 13" screen, it is enough. Besides, if the resolution got higher, it will strain the CPU and GPU, causing the system to consume more power and run less smoothly on extensive applications. Pricewise, it is a Macbook Pro, so compared to many other brands, it is on the higher end of the scale, but the 2011 13" release is well worth it. The only one little drawback is that no one manufacturer offers a Thunderbolt drive so far, and it has been a while since the new line of MBP has been released. Or should it be considered as Apple planning for the future?
I would recommend this to a friend
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