MacBook Pro 2013 preview: Hands-on

The new MacBook Pro 2013 is lighter and more powerful with a better battery

What is a hands on review?
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MacBook Pro 2013 review
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MacBook Pro 2013 review
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MacBook Pro 2013 review
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MacBook Pro 2013 review
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MacBook Pro 2013 review
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MacBook Pro 2013 review

The new MacBook Pro 2013 comes with OS X Mavericks and sports a lightweight design and boosted battery life. T3 went hands-on

Alongside the new iPad Air and the iPad Mini Retina, Apple took the wrappers off its new MacBook Pro 13 and 15-inch models for 2013. Both come with brand-spanking new Intel processors, a lighter design and improved battery life. We went in for a closer look.

MacBook Pro 2013: Size and Build

As with the iPad Air, the MacBooks have been slimmed down. The 13-inch model now measures an incredible 1.8cm thin and weighs just 1.57kg with the 15-inch model coming in at the same thickness but weighing a tad more at 2.02kg.

Both are 25 percent lighter than their previous models. They are incredibly light, and almost as thin as the first generation MacBook Air at it's thickest point - pretty impressive.

In terms of other design points, the keyboard remains as standard, the optical drive is remains gone but they have added two Thunderbolt 2 ports and you'll also fond two USB 3 ports, HDMI port, headphone socket an an SDXS card slot.

MacBook Pro 2013: Screen

No change when it comes to the screen, both MacBooks remain with Retina with resolutions of 2560 x 1600, 227ppi on the 13-inch model and 2880 x 1800, 220ppi on the 15-inch. It's crystal clear, with apps popping out of the screen and contrasts in videos and images being particularly impressive.

MacBook Pro 2013: Perfomance

It's all new when it comes to performance on the new MacBook Pros. On the base 13-inch model you' find fourth generation dual-core Intel Core i5 processors with speeds of up to 2.6GHz and 3.1GHz with Turbo Boost or upgrade to Intel Core i7 processors and you'll get up to 2.8GHz and 3.3GHz with Turbo Boost. On the graphics front it's the new Intel Iris graphics taking care of business.

Inside the 15-inch base model, you'll find a fourth generation quad-core Intel i7 processors clocking-up 2.3GHz and up to 3.5GHz with Turbo Boost upgrade and you'll get up to 2.6GHz and 3.8GHz with Turbo Boost. It's the Intel's Iris Pro chip taking care of graphics here.

Both models are lightning fast, editing video in a flash and also opening multiple windows simultaneously and slicing through editing and viewing the new updated iLife and iWork apps, more on those later.

MacBook Pro 2013: OS and Apps

The new MacBook Pros land with the new OS X Mavericks with all the new functionality including the ability to add Tags to finder, new maps, shared links in Safari and also the bonus of free iLife and iWork apps. We had a play with the new OS on the MacBooks and the updates are impressive and all, of course, look pin sharp on that Retina screen.

One of the highlights was the update to pages and the ability to drag and drop images or texts and also collaborate editing in the Cloud. It worked with ease and the contextual editing panel is another bonus.

MacBook Pro 2013: Battery life

Apple is quoting nine-hours for 13-inch, upped by two hours from the previous model, and eight hours for the 15-inch, adding an hour to the battery life of its predecessor. As Phill Schiller said in the keynote, on the 13-inch, you'll be able to watch all the "Black Knight" films in one sitting.

Stay tuned for a full review - coming soon.

MacBook Pro 2013 release Date: Out now

MacBook Pro 2013 price: 13-inch: £1,099 (2.4 GHz i5 processor, 4GB memory, 128GB storage), £1,249 (2.4 GHz i5 processor, 8GB memory, 256GB storage), £1,499 (2.6 GHz i5 processor, 8GB memory, 512GB storage)
15-inch: £1,699 (2.0 GHz i7 processor, 8GB memory, 256GB storage), £2,199 (2.3 GHz i7 processor, 16GB memory, 512GB storage, NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M graphics)

What is a hands on review?

'Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view.