REVIEW: 13” Late 2013 Macbook Pro

May 6, 2014 | Uncategorized

I’ve been using a mid 2009 15” Macbook Pro for four years now. It was my initiation to the world of Apple. I was a bit hesitant to switch since I was a Windows user ever since Windows 95 (actually since MS DOS). Anyway, I took the plunge and never looked back.


My newly issued 13″ Macbook Pro. Apple’s packaging is second to none!

A few days ago, our office switched me to the late 2013 13” Macbook Pro. It was a great decision! Let me tell you why.

1. The speed boost! Every thing is faster…really faster. Probably four times faster. The processor is a 2.4 Ghz Intel Core i5. My previous Macbook Pro had a 2.53 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo processor so you can imagine the big difference. Then there’s the 256Gb SSD (Solid state Drive). Using it will make you say, “Why didn’t I make this switch a long time ago?” Its that fast. My previous 7200 RPM 360Gb hard drive is nowhere near the speed of the SSD. Added to this is the 8Mb 1600Mhz DDR3 memory which made Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom and Premier Pro work smoothly aside from other apps running: Apple Mail, Google’s Chrome with 5 to 10 tabs open, and a host of other apps.

2. The awesome Retina display! The first time I saw a DSLR photo on a Macbook Pro’s Retina display, something like a few weeks ago, my saliva almost dropped. The density of the pixels are so tight that you can really see if the photo was in focus or not. You have got to see this for yourself. I only read about the Retina display when Apple launched it the first time and their succeeding MacBooks but really didn’t see it personally, so no excitement there.

This display was really made for photographers. Majority of the photos taken by DSLRs today are so big that you will not be able to appreciate it in the resolution monitors have today, which is around 1440px x 990px. If you are a photographer and you want to have a greater appreciation of your work, get a Macbook Pro with a Retina Display. I wonder what an Apple Cinema Display’s quality is. Hmm.

The newly setup 13" late 2013 Macbook Pro

The newly setup 13″ late 2013 Macbook Pro

3. The insane battery life! My old Macbook Pro can only give me less than an hour of battery life. Well it did have a problem. In less than a year, it was telling me to replace the battery already. Maybe because of the “memory” problem that was usual with Lithium Ion batteries or how it was charged. The fact is that I have not experienced any decent battery life in probably all of the laptops I’ve used, the many Windows and only Mac I’ve used.

Not until this Macbook Pro.

I haven’t used it long enough for a few hours straight, probably about two hours and during that time, the battery still haven’t reached midpoint. The only time the battery did drain fast was when an iPhone, a broadband modem, an external hard drive or the Superdrive was connected in one of the two USB 3.0 ports and was in a cold room. (FYI, low temperatures lower your battery life.)

4. The less weight! My back loves the 13” Macbook Pro already. Its only 3.46 pounds, versus the Macbook Pro’s  5.5 lbs. it replaces. The 15 incher was really heavy. It was in my backpack for four years—everyday. It was becoming a pain already that I was beginning to leave it at home when I go on photo shoots. Now, the 13″ model may be my constant companion for work outdoors.

5. The feel! It’s definitely sturdy and rigid. It does not feel inferior in any way. No plastic feeling here. It’s all aluminium and a unibody structure which as we can watch on Apple videos laser cut from one whole block of this element. It’s nice to hold. Not too heavy and not too light. It’s just right.


My setup as I transferred my existing data from the 15″ mid 2009 model (left) to the late 2013 model (right). Viewsonic 27″ monitor at the center.


I’ve been working with this Macbook Pro for a few days and already I am greatly satisfied with how it performs.

I need to mention also is that except for a few minor hiccups, my transition to the new Macbook Pro was almost pain-free. It was the first time that I was able to import my email to Apple Mail without a hitch which is, honestly, one of the reasons for holding out. You see, with my old Macbook Pro I would experience a hard drive failure two to three times…a year! Partly because of how I handle it. Now that it uses a SSD, I would be more confident that the problems I previously experienced would me minimal or hopefully, gone.

Another thing to note, is that if you ever get one and need to transfer data from an old Macbook, make a Time Machine backup first which I did. I was then able to import all my data and settings like email, browser bookmarks, passwords, etc with minor problems. I even did not have to reinstall all my apps! After restarting and loggin in, it was as if I had my old desktop again. It was a great time saver.

OS X Mavericks did well. Apple did well.



15″ Mid-2009 Macbook Pro: 1:00.31

13″ Late-2013 Macbook Pro: 00:11.55


15″ Mid-2009 Macbook Pro: 00:04.81

13″ Late-2013 Macbook Pro: 00:04.79


15″ Mid-2009 Macbook Pro: 00:3.55

13″ Late-2013 Macbook Pro: 00:1.56

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