Apple MacBook Pro MD101LL/A review

Apple MacBook Pro MD101LLA image 1

The Apple MacBook Pro features Intel’s new third-generation Core architecture for a boost in processor and memory speeds.

Short Specifications:

Screen: 13.3 inches
Processor: 2.5 GHz Intel Dual-Core i5
Graphics: Intel HD 4000
Ram: 4 GB DDR3
HDD: 500 GB
Apple MacBook Pro MD101LLA thumb 1


Apple MacBook Pro MD101LL/A

The Apple MacBook Pro features Intel’s new third-generation Core architecture for a boost in processor and memory speeds. New next-generation graphics deliver performance levels that are up to 60 percent faster than before. And high-speed Thunderbolt I/O lets you transfer data at rates up to 10 GBps. The MacBook Pro is a great computer that just got even greater. As with previous models, the MacBook Pro features a precision unibody enclosure crafted from a single block of aluminum, creating a thin and light mobile computing workhorse (less than 1 inch thin and just 4.5 pounds) that’s also highly durable. It includes a 13.3-inch, LED-backlit glass display as well as a glass trackpad that doesn’t include a button (for larger tracking area) that features Apple’s Multi-Touch technology. You’ll also get up to 7 hours of battery life while on the go. Apple MacBook Pro MD101LL/A review 1The MacBook Pro also now includes both a high-speed Thunderbolt port and two USB 3 ports, enabling you to easily connect to external displays and a wide variety of high performance peripherals. This version of the 13.3-inch MacBook Pro (model MD101LL/A) features a 2.5 GHz Core i5 dual-core processor, 500 GB hard drive, and 4 GB of installed RAM. Other features include an 8x SuperDrive, ultra-fast Wireless-N Wi-Fi networking, Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, an SDXC card slot, and a FireWire 800 port. Includes iLife ’11 suite with iPhoto, iMovie, and Garageband.

Key Features

Apple MacBook Pro MD101LL/A review 2Intel Core i5 Dual-Core Processing The MacBook Pro packs plenty of power thanks to the latest Intel Core i5 processor, which features a faster processor, more powerful graphics, and a memory controller integrated into a single chip. The third-generation dual-core Intel Core i5 has a 2.5 GHz speed, which can dynamically accelerate up to 3.1 GHz to match your workload thanks to updated Intel Turbo Boost Technology. And with the Intel HD Graphics 4000 processor, you get up to 60 percent faster graphics. So the video you watch, the FaceTime calls you make, and pretty much everything else you do is smoother and more detailed.

High-speed Thunderbolt and USB 3 Ports

A high-speed Thunderbolt port allows the MacBook Pro to transfer data at lightning-fast speeds and connect displays like the Apple Thunderbolt Display, enabling you to turn this highly portable notebook into a highly versatile workstation. And with two USB 3 ports, you’ll be able to connect the latest USB 3 devices and access a pipeline that’s up to 10 times faster than USB 2. Because Thunderbolt is based on DisplayPort technology, you’ll be able to connect to a high-resolution display from the same port. Any Mini DisplayPort display plugs right into the Thunderbolt port, and you can also connect displays that use DisplayPort, DVI, HDMI, or VGA connections with an existing adapter. You’ll also be able to include your display into a daisy-chained set of peripherals.

Integrated HD FaceTime WebcamApple MacBook Pro MD101LL/A review 3

You’ll be able to easily connect with friends, family, and business colleagues using the MacBook Pro’s HD 720p FaceTime camera, which is integrated into the thin bezel above the display and features three times the resolution of the previous FaceTime camera. And with Apple’s FaceTime application, you’re not limited to video chats with other Macs–you can now make video calls to iPhone and iPod touch users.

Buttonless Multi-Touch Trackpad

With no button on the glass trackpad, there’s more room to track and click–left, right, center, and everywhere in between. Without a separate button, the trackpad gives your hands plenty of room to move on the large, silky glass surface. It also incorporates Multi-Touch gestures–including swipe, pinch, rotate, and four-finger swipe. And it also now supports inertial scrolling, an intuitive way to scroll through large photo libraries, lengthy documents and long web sites.

Key Specifications

– 13.3-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen display with edge-to-edge, uninterrupted glass (1280 x 800-pixel resolution) – 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5 dual-core processor (3.1 GHz with Turbo Boost Technology; 3 MB L3 cache) – Intel HD Graphics 4000 integrated graphics processor – 500 GB Serial ATA hard drive (5400 RPM) – 4 GB installed RAM (1600 MHz DDR3; supports up to 8 GB) – 8x slot-loading SuperDrive with double-layer DVD support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW) – Built-in HD 720p FaceTime HD camera for video chatting – Wi-Fi wireless networking (based on 802.11n specification; 802.11a/b/g compatible) – Gigabit Ethernet wired networking (10/100/1000) – Bluetooth 4.0 for connecting with peripherals such as keyboards, mice and cell phones – Thunderbolt port (up to 10 Gbps) with native video output support for Mini DisplayPort plus DVI, VGA, dual-link DVI, and HDMI (requires adapters, sold separately) – Two USB 3 ports (up to 5 Gbps; backwards compatibility with USB 2) – FireWire 800 port (up to 800 Mbps) – SDXC card slot (supports cards up to 64 GB in size) – Stereo speakers with subwoofersApple MacBook Pro MD101LL/A review 4 – Combined audio line in/out (digital/analog) – Dimensions: 12.78 x 8.94 x 0.95 inches (WxDxH) – Weight: 4.5 pounds – Up to 7 hours of battery life

Product Description

The best design. For the best performance We designed every aspect of the all-new MacBook Pro with performance in mind. The entire internal structure was built to house the very best high-performance components: all-flash storage, the latest quad-core processors, powerful discrete graphics, massive amounts of memory. Yet despite packing such an enormous amount of power into such a slim design, we still achieved an astonishing 7-hour battery life. Together, they make this MacBook Pro the world’s most advanced notebook.

Operating System:

– Mac OS X Lion v10.8


– 60W MagSafe Power AdapterPorts, Slots & Chassis:Apple MacBook Pro MD101LLA image 6 – Native Mini DisplayPort Output – Auio line in – Audio line out – SDXC card slot – MagSafe power port – Gigabit Ethernet port – FireWire 800 port (up to 800 Mbps) – 2 USB 3.0 ports – Thunderbolt Port (up to 10Gbps) – Kensington® Lock


– Silver


– Backlit keyboard

What’s in the Box

13.3-inch MacBook Pro, display cleaning cloth, 60W MagSafe Power Adapter, AC wall plug, power cord, printed and electronic documentation.


  • Processor
    CPU: Intel Core i5
    Number of Cores: Dual-Core
    Clock speed: 2.5 GHz
    Cache: Level 3 Cache 3MB
    64-bit Computing: Yes


  • Memory (RAM)
    RAM installed: 4GB (2 x 2GB)
    Max RAM Supported: 8 GB
    Technology: DDR3 204-pin SO-DIMM
    Speed: 1600MHz
    Slots Qty.: 2
    Empty Slots: 0
    Features: Not populated


  • Video
    Graphics controller: Intel HD Graphics 4000
    Graphics memory: Shared
    Features: 1 x Thunderbolt


  • Storage
    Hard Drive: 500 GB
    Interface: SATA
    Features: 5400rpm


  • Display (Screen)
    Screen size: 13.3 inches
    Max resolution: 1280×800 pixels
    Widescreen: Yes
    Image aspect ratio: 16:10
    Features: LED-backlit LCD Glossy


  • Battery
    Technology: Lithium-Polymer
    Capacity: 77.5 Watts-Hour
    Run Time (up to): 7 hours
    AC Adapter: MagSafe 60W power adapter
    Features: Energy Star Compliant


  • Other devices
    Optical Drive: SuperDrive DVDRW, 8x Slot-loading SuperDrive (DVD+R DL/DVDRW/CD-RW)
    USB ports: 2 x 3.0
    eSATA: No
    ExpressCard Slot: No
    Audio: Integrated Audio
    Headphone/microphone: Yes/Yes Combo (3.5mm) Built-in Microphone
    HDMI: No
    VGA port: No
    S-Video: No
    Webcam: FaceTime HD camera
    Input: Multi-Touch trackpad, Full-Size keyboard (Keys: 78), Backlight
    Wireless: 802.11n
    Bluetooth: Yes (4.0)
    Network: Gigabit LAN 10/100/1000 Network
    FireWire: Yes (800 (9-Pin))
    Card Reader: SDXC Card Slot
    Features: LAN RJ-45 x 1, Thunderbolt, Kensington Lock Slot


  • Dimensions & Weight
    Width: 12.78 inches
    Depth: 8.94 inches
    Height: 0.95 inches
    Weight: 4.5 lbs.



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9 Responses

  1. I used to be a die hard windows fan. I was always bashing OSx for the usual things (too expensive, too dumb, etc…), and I never really gave it a chance. Windows 7 was my OS of choice from the day it came out, and I used it on many different computers with (or at least what I thought then) good results. It’s certainly not a bad OS but…
    This past holiday season, I got an Asus tablet PC. I wanted to love it, I really did. I gave it a five star review here on Amazon, and I tried my very hardest to use it to it’s fullest potential. It was working fine for a while, until I tried the Windows 8 beta. It was all down-hill from there. Viruses, problems (beyond those that should be in a beta, and a general ugliness drove me absolutely insane, and I decided to move away from Windows, at least temporarily. I bought a Chromebook, and while I absolutely love it and highly recommend it, I wanted more out a computer than it offered.
    So, nearly on a whim, I bought a Mac. I have never made a better tech decision. Literally everything about it is better than any computer I’ve ever used, from the operating system to the hardware.
    People typically say that the real reason they love Macs and other Apple products is because of the build quality. While the build quality on this computer is INSANELY good (I feel bad hauling it around with me; I feel like it should be in an art museum), I really think it’s the software that makes this a standout computer and computing experience. I’ve had absolutely zero backround in OSx up until now, and already I am easily finding my way around this computer. Granted, I’ve had a good backround in Linux and OSx is similar, but the fact that I’m easily navigating a brand new operating system after only one day is quite the contrast from Windows, now that I can look at it objectively. OSx Lion is wonderful. The multi-touch gestures and the multi-touch mouse itself are immensely helpful, and it’s because of features like these that make it clear to me that it’s almost necessary for a company to make the hardware for a product if they’re making the software as well. Everything works extremely well together.
    Like I said, the included apps put Windows to shame. With the exception of Outlook (which I personally hate, but my Mom has a Mac and can’t stand the contacts App and uses Outlook), I can’t think of a single, rational person who would pick Windows software over Apple software when it comes to things like media, photo/video editing, and email. To be perfectly honest, it’s ridiculous how well all this stuff works. I downloaded the iWorks office suite (which is not free, though significantly cheaper than Microsoft Office), and they also work like a charm. I really don’t create a whole lot of spreadsheets or slide shows so I can’t guarantee a qualified opinion on Numbers (Excel) or Keynote (PowerPoint), but the Pages app is lightyears ahead of Microsoft Word. I also downloaded Logic Pro 9 (an music synthesizer/recording studio app) after having used it with friends a few months back, and have spent hours digging into another fantastic piece of Mac Software, and I can say for a fact that it is truly unparalleled in the Windows world.
    The actual hardware internals of the computer are amazing. The new Ivy Bridge processors whip through anything I can throw at them, and the 8 gb of fast (1600 mhz) ram makes multi-tasking a breeze. The nVidia graphics card, while not a show-stopper, is completely adequate for some heavy-duty video editing in something like Final Cut or Photo Shop (though I haven’t used Photo Shop in about a year now, so I’m not COMPLETELY sure about the latter of the two statements), or gaming (whether you dual-boot or pick one of the games from the increasingly impressive OSx catalogue). The speakers, while not mind-blowing, are much better than what I’m used to from integrated laptop speakers, and the screen, even though I opted for the non-HD screen, is very good; colors are bright and saturated, the pixel density is more than satisfactory, and the viewing angles are some of the best I’ve ever seen. Battery life is as good as advertised, and the computer starts and runs much more quickly than I’m used to, especially considering that this computer doesn’t have flash storage.
    I haven’t run into a single thing I would change about this computer up to this point. I love the software, I love the hardware, and I love my decision. If you’re in the market for an exceptional, powerful notebook, look no further. I can’t recommend this computer highly enough.
    Edit: While the great things that I mentioned about OSx are all still completely viable and even after several weeks (months, perhaps?) of heavy usage I haven’t experienced any problems. Mountain Lion is a great update and even though I don’t own an iPhone or an iPad (I’m more of an android guy), I still like almost all of the additions it brings to OSx.
    However, I have since installed Windows. Bootcamp is a marvelous program, and in about 20 minutes I had Windows 7 working great on my computer. All the drivers were installed and performance was great. Once I actually started playing games though, several design flaw were suddenly extremely apparent to me, and they were apparent in a very bad way.
    I’m not sure if Windows is just a more demanding operating system or if a fan driver was left out of my Bootcamp install, but the cooling of this computer when doing ANYTHING intensive under Windows is absolutely atrocious. The unibody design is gorgeous. It’s revolutionary, it’s stylish, it’s classy, and it has major practical issues. The vents are hidden under the hinges of the screen, and anything but the most perfect of screen angles will block off much of the fans output. Even with the fans blowing full blast at nearly all times while running Windows, the computer gets extremely hot during usage. I use a laptop as a literal “œlap” top computer frequently. This works fine under OSx; it’s impossible under Windows. The bottom of the computer gets painfully hot during heavy usage (to the point where I literally can’t touch it for more than a few seconds), and the metal area (ironically) around the “œwasd” keys gets extremely hot as well. I’ve had the computer completely overheat three times only in the past two weeks. Since I only play online games, this isn’t a real issue, but I can’t imagine what would happen were someone actually doing something important on a Windows partition and have the computer overheat and shut down. Even with good ventilation (meaning smooth granite surfaces and a laptop stand specifically designed to enhance ventilation), there is no avoiding an extremely hot computer and constantly whirring fans.
    Long story short, I’m very glad they improved the fan design in the Retina Display Macbooks, because it is, frankly, very, very poor here.
    I’m conflicted on whether I should change my overall rating of the computer though. Even though Macs are equipped (through Bootcamp) to run Windows, they weren’t designed to do so, and I certainly haven’t had a single issue while running (the far superior) OSx. Considering the fact that I should be basing my opinion of the product on its own merits and not on those of a competing product, I don’t think I will change my overall scoring. I do think it is prudent to add, however, that cooling while running Windows 7 is terrible. If you NEED Windows, stick with a Windows computer. They will most likely handle Windows better than this one will.

  2. Hi,
    As I understand you have 8GB of RAM, but with the same model # as yours I have 4GB RAM. I do not play games, I just need for microsoft office (powerpoint, excel) or web browsing. Is a 4 GB RAM sufficient?

  3. Hi,
    Can you compare Macbook Air 1.3 GHz 4GB RAM(latest model) with Macbook Pro MD101LL/A 2.5 gHz 4GB RAM?

      1. Can you also post me the comparison results you have for Macbook Air 1.3 GHz 4GB RAM(latest model) with Macbook Pro MD101LL/A 2.5 gHz 4GB RAM?
        Thank you.

  4. I will right away grab your rss as I can not to find your e-mail subscription hyperlink or newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Please let me realize so that I may subscribe. Thanks.

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