The ultimate portable Mac
The most recent MacBook Pro line was released in October 2011. The MacBook Pro continues to sport the aluminium unibody design that was introduced in 2008. The current models feature Core i5 and Core i7 processors and Thunderbolt ports that can be used to daisy-chain up to six devices at 10Gbps.
The 15in and 17in MacBook Pros feature integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000 and a discrete AMD Radion graphics chip. The 13in models use just an integrated Intel graphics processor, like the MacBook Air, but they have more features and processing power than that model.
There are five standard configurations of the MacBook Pro. The entry-level 13in MacBook Pro, with a dual-core 2.4GHz Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 500GB hard drive, costs £999. The 13in MacBook Pro with a dual-core 2.8GHz Core i7 processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 750GB hard drive costs £1,299.
There are two 15in models. For £1,549, you get a quad-core 2.2GHz Core i7 processor, a 500GB hard drive, and a 512MB AMD Radeon HD 6750M discrete graphics chip along with the integrated Intel graphics. The next model up (at £1,849) has a quad-core 2.4GHz Core i7 processor, a 750GB hard drive, and a 1GB AMD Radeon HD 6770M discrete graphics chip along with the integrated Intel graphics.
The 17in MacBook Pro is the same as the £1,849 15in model but with a larger screen. It has a quad-core 2.4GHz Core i7 processor, 750GB hard drive, 1GB AMD Radeon HD 6770M discrete graphics chip, and the integrated Intel graphics. It costs £2,099.
The 15in and 17in MacBook Pros are the only Apple laptops that offer an antiglare screen option. It costs an extra £120 for the 15in MacBook Pro, and an extra £40 for the 17in MacBook Pro.
The £1,849 15in MacBook Pro 2.4GHz Core i7 was the fastest laptop in our Speedmark 7 testing. The £999, 13in 2.4GHz Core i5 MacBook Pro offers performance that’s similar to that of the £849 11in MacBook Air with a 1.6GHz Core i5 processor and 64GB of flash storage. However, the MacBook Pro has features the MacBook Air lacks, including FireWire 800, a bigger screen and more storage.
Macworld’s buying advice The MacBook Pro combines the performance of a desktop Mac with the portability of a laptop. If you want the fastest MacBook Pro, the 15in 2.4GHz Core i7 model is the one to get. If you just want a device for travel and are trying to decide between a MacBook Air and 13in MacBook Pro, go for the Air, unless you need the extra processing power and graphics capabilities for heavy-duty tasks or you want a Mac with FireWire built in.