Apple MacBook Pro 13.3" Laptop - MB991LL/A (June, 2009) Reviews

Apple MacBook Pro 13.3" Laptop - MB991LL/A (June, 2009)

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It's a tough nut to crack.

Dec 30, 2009 (Updated Feb 12, 2010)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Excellent

  • Ease of Use:
  • Quality of Tech Support:

Pros:Durable and egronomic

Cons:Fans prone to failure.

The Bottom Line: Excellent laptop, but check the fans frequently.


After getting my Macbook Pro a few months back, I decided to find out how much this machine can take. With a 2.26 Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB DDR3 RAM and 160GB 5400rpm Hard disk, I ran Photoshop, Windows XP through Parallels, iTunes, a Virus Scanner, and Pages together at the same time. Surprisingly, the machine performed very well, without any hangs or crashes. As compared to my iMac (late 2008 model) which crashed after I opened the virus scanner, I give this Macbook Pro 5/5 for performance.
How about the Macbook Pro's durability? Well, sad to say, but, when I was riding on the bus one day without my laptop bag (it was wet mind you), the bus suddenly braked, and the MAcbook Pro fell out of my hands and bounced off the floor of the bus. I frantically rushed to pick it up, only to find that the left side of the screen cover was dented. However, when I opened the Macbook Pro, I found out that although the aluminum enclosure was dented, it protected the fragile glass that covered the LCD screen of the Macbook Pro, as well as the innards that kept it working. Till today, one month later, the LCD screen still works perfectly. Compare that to my friend's Sony Vaio Laptop - She dropped it once and the keyboard buttons popped out, rendering half the keyboard useless. I give it 4/5 for durability, 1 mark short due to the dent received when I dropped the Macbook Pro despite Apple's claims that the aluminum enclosure was strong enough to withstand a 1 meter drop. 
However, the Macbook Pro has quite some trouble with its cooling issues. Despite running on Snow Leopard and opening only Safari, its CPU temperature shot up to 70 degrees celsius, as compared to my iMac which remained at 50. I dismissed this as a minor problem, until recently when the internal fan that cooled the innards of the Macbook Pro stopped working. I sent it for repair, and found out that the loss of a cooling fan had overheated the motherboard. Fortunately I had AppleCare which waived the fees for replacing both the Motherboard and cooling fan. That's 1/5 for its cooling system - 1 for succeeding to squeeze a big cooling fan into a small machine.
Battery life is next. Although some laptop users will get enraged at the fact that the Macbook Pro's battery is built-in and cannot be removed, some others will like it due to its long lasting battery life. At 7 hours on a full charge, my Macbook Pro was the only one alive and kicking after a long 5 hour meeting. 4/5 for battery - 1 short due to Apple making it not possible to replace or remove the battery by yourself.
Graphics. The 13.3 inch - although it is a small laptop, it packs a lot of graphics processing power. With nVidia 9400M and a bright LED backlit screen, it is not only environmentally friendly, but also good-to-look-at at the same time. But Apple still hasn't incorporated OLED technology into the Macbook Pro, which gives it a 4/5 for graphics.
Keyboard. The curved keys and backlit keyboard is still the best keyboard I can find in a laptop till now. Even the keys are hard to pluck out - i tried using my fingernails but the keys are still stuck to the machine. Wonder how did they put lights under those keys and at the same time stick it so firmly to the machine? That's a great 5/5 for the keyboard. 
Trackpad. For new MBP(Macbook Pro) users, this trackpad might be a little hard to use, but after some time spent on learning the basics on how to use the trackpad, its becomes a wonderful tool to use with your MBP. 4/5 for the trackpad, 1 short due to the glass surface which can be cracked if you hammer it.
Ports. With two USB slots, one Firewire slot, one SD card slot, one audio in-out jack, one mini display port, and one charging inlet, the ports on the Macbook Pro are limited, mostly due to the lack of space on the machine. That's a 2/5.
All in all, the Macbook Pro 13.3 inch is recommended for users who need good graphics and a durable laptop for either work or entertainment - but as for users who need more ports on the Macbook Pro, skip this 13.3 inch and checkout the Macbook Pro 17 inch.


Recommend this product? Yes


Amount Paid (US$): 1199
Operating System: Windows and Macintosh
Processor: Other
Processor speed: over 1000
Screen Size: 13 inches
RAM: More than 256
Internal Storage: CD-RW and DVD
Hard Drive (GB): Over 50

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