MacBook Pro 13" Mid 2012 i7 Review


MacBook Pro 13" i7

First off, the biggest flaw with this laptop is the name. The official name for this laptop is "MacBook Pro 13" Mid 2012 i7". This is because Apple launches a new MacBook every Tuesday or something. So it has to have a different name corresponding to the launch date to differentiate from it's predecessors. It's a bit like the Porsche 911. Just like the 911, the MacBook evolves generation by generation, never radically changing its design. And just like the 911, the MacBook has around billion variations. So it's a nightmare to pinpoint the version you actually want. Spell something wrong, or say some words in the wrong order, and you get a completely different laptop. However, Porsche figured it out. By giving codenames like '991', and '997', generations can be differentiated. And with names like Turbo, Carrera, and so on, models can be differentiated. The MacBook Pro 13" series has 3 models. 1 retina display equipped model, and 2 non retina ones. The one I will be reviewing is the non retina display one. The non retina display model has 2 variations. On standard configuration, one has 4GB RAM, Intel 2.5 GHz i5 processor, and other one has 8GB RAM, and Intel 2.9GHz i7 processor. Now to simplify the naming, Apple should have taken Prosche's lead and called the i5 model, "Standard", and the i7 model "TURBO V RACING ROCKET FAST TURBO!!!!!!". Because the i7 model is really fast. In a hypothetical laptop drag race, it will do quite well.

[Now before I continue, if you just want to know whether you should buy this laptop, the answer is, yes. Don't hesitate. Go right now and buy it.]

It has a 750 GB hard drive, and although it nice to have a big hard drive, I'd rather opt for the optional smaller capacity flash drive. I didn't opt for the flash drive, because Apple took all my money away after I bought the laptop. Apple will not let you exchange your hard drive for a flash drive either, which is a bit unfair. But even without the flash drive, it is very fast. The processor is impressive(2.9GHz Intel Core i7), and at the time of launch, this has the fastest dual-core processor. In the world. Well, atleast according to GeekBench. I ran a few GeekBench tests, and this is what happened.

32 bit result
64 bit result

It's good isn't it? If you don't understand what these numbers mean, join the club. All I know is, bigger the number, the better. What it actually means is that I never struggle to run any application or game. This will run anything you throw at it. The 8GB RAM which comes as standard helps as well. Call of Duty: Black Ops, AutoCAD, Formula 1 2012, Final Cut Pro, Adobe Creative Studio, Aperture, this will handle it all with ease. Although you might want to upgrade to a quad-core Retina Display equipped 15" MacBook Pro if you actually are a pro user who depends on your laptop to earn money. But for about 80% of users, it'll do just fine. If you upgrade to a flash drive, it'll be even better. The 13" MacBook Pro with the Retina Display is much thinner and lighter, has that fantastic display(It really does make a difference) and comes standard with a 128GB flash drive. However, it has the slower i5 processor, and you can't upgrade the RAM after buying it, as the RAM cards are soldered on to the motherboard. And it is pricier by around $200. Regular pro users need not apply. This is for MacBook Air users who want something faster. So common sense dictates that you should buy the faster non Retina display version, and upgrade to the flash drive and 16GB RAM in a few years to essentially give a new lease of life to what might be a relatively slow laptop in the near future. So this laptop will last you for quite a long time. I think it will last for 5-6 years, which is impressive considering the fact that newer and faster laptops are being launched every 6 months or so.

This is a workhorse 

The webcam is pretty good, the speakers are decent as well, and the build quality is superb. The battery indicator lights, and the sleep light. will never cease to fascinate you. The keyboard is brilliant, but the backlit keyboard is something I have never actually used as I never really have any use for it. But the backlit keyboard has 16 brightness settings. Which is excessive considering the fact that you either want the light on or off. 2 settings would do just fine. The light sensor adjusts the brightness of the screen and keyboard according to the brightness of the surroundings, which works very well. These small touches all add up to your daily experience of using the laptop. You will not able to use normal computers after using the MacBook Pro. It's just not possible. What actually sealed the deal for me was the trackpad. The glass trackpad might actually be best thing about any MacBook. The person who made it deserves a Nobel Award. He really does deserve it. Unlike the president of a certain country. Ahem. The trackpad connects you, the user to the laptop. It is the most important part of the laptop interface. The multi touch gestures, the inertial scrolling, the feel and touch of the thing, it is simply superb. Why haven't other companies figured it out yet? A bad trackpad, is a bad laptop. And why are some trackpads offset to the left side of the laptop? Isn't it a bit racist against the left-handed people? Can I sue?

The magical trackpad

It's all good news till now, and it doesn't stop. The hardware is impressive. But there are other laptops out there with much more powerful setups at a lower price. But what other manufacturers haven't figured out yet, is that the operating system has to be perfectly calibrated with the hardware. A Windows user expects issues with the hardware and software right after opening a brand new laptop. A typical Macintosh user doesn't even know hardware and software compatibility issues exist. The operating system that come standard is Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion. Now 10.6 Snow Leopard is still better than Windows 8. And that is old now. 10.7 Lion was a disaster, and is Apple's Windows Vista moment. But just like Windows 7, 10.8 Mountain Lion(ML) irons out all problems and is the best operating system by a light year. It is intuitive, smooth, helpful, and comes pre-loaded with some stunning wallpapers. The notification bar with Facebook and Twitter integration is a neat touch, along with the iOS design elements that are now implemented in the Mail, Notes, and other Apple applications. 10.8 ML takes the trackpad multi touch to a whole new level, but because it is so intuitive, even a novice user can easily get to grips with it. As you use the MacBook Pro day in, day out, you begin to realize that this unity of hardware and software is incredibly important, and you take joy in the fact that everything simply works.

Mission Control

The only issues I face are really very minor and trivial. When you boot up, it's a bit slow and behaves as if it's hungover. But within a minute or so, it's back upto speed. I suspect this is because it's not using all RAM available at one go. I think it only uses 4GB initially, and only starts using the rest if it really needs it. Even the processor is a little lazy initially. With the hard disk drive, the boot up time is around 40 seconds or so. The solid state drive takes less than 10 seconds to boot up. If you keep your Mac switched on continuously for a few days, and only let it sleep, strange glitches begin to occur. Sometimes Mission Control doesn't work, or the ability to drag specific Finder windows stops working. It starts acting like an annoyed computer fed up with the user for not getting enough sleep. It does have a lot of character, Mountain Lion. The App Store is brilliant, and has better applications than Windows can ever dream of. There's nothing to worry about.

One of the best and most characterful laptops ever. This is a masterpiece.

UPDATE: Apple cuts 13" Retina Display MacBook Pro price by $200. It's still not worth it though.

Official Stats

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  1. very helpful post and informative keep the good work like this

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  2. Thanks for review, it was excellent and very informative.
    thank you :)


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