Apple MacBook Pro MF839LL/A (13.3″ Retina Display, 2015) Review

     
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Apple MacBooks have been long known as premium notebooks, whose price often surpasses their actual performance, features and overall utility. Yet, they are still among the most popular of laptops – I suspect this is because Apple has managed to brand their products to appeal the majority of users. In this review, we’ll take a look at the well-liked MacBook Pro from 2015. With 13 inches Retina display and Intel Core i5 processor there’s indeed something good going on with this notebook, but it also interests whether the MacBook has any unfortunate drawbacks hidden in its silver shell.

Guaranteed Apple Quality in The Display Department

One thing Apple notebooks are famous for are their high quality displays. The situation is great with this MacBook Pro (model number MF839LL/A) as well. The screen’s diagonal 13.3 inches puts it right in the ultrabook category of laptops, while the native resolution of 2560×1600 is high enough for productive work with images, videos and other multimedia. It also supports IPS and Retina technology, the latter providing high pixel density, which in turn manifests itself as sharper image than on many lesser displays. The display on this does not support touch.

The graphics processor is the integrated Intel Iris 6100. It doesn’t have its own memory, so the Iris uses must use the system RAM. When talking about pure gaming performance, this puts the chip at a disadvantage compared to graphics cards with dedicated memory. It can do for casual gamers, but I certainly wouldn’t hold my breath if playing games was your number one hobby. Then again, for light multimedia use like watching videos, the Iris chip is all you need.

Performance Enough for Tasks Heavy and Light

Being an early 2015 model, you can not expect the latest components on Apple MacBook Pro MF839LL/A. Indeed, also the processor comes from 2015, the Intel Core i5-5257U. It’s a little less popular CPU, however its dual-core setup, 2.7GHz clock speed and 3.1GHz turbo boost means suitability for not only web surfing, but programming, multimedia editing and more.

Like in many other modern ultrabooks, also the MacBook features 8 gigabytes of DDR3 memory. To the detriment of some techies, the RAM is soldered on the board, meaning there’s no way to install more after purchase. However, I don’t see this as a big issue since for most things you do, the provided 8GB will be sufficient.

Furthermore, the 128GB PCI-e based flash storage will offer the much-needed snappiness to the notebook. There is often confusion between solid-state drive and flash drives, however they are just the same thing said in two different terms. The takeaway is, SSD/flash drives are extremely fast, allowing the system boot up in more or less ten seconds. The only disadvantage is, this flash drive is configured in a way that makes it tough to replace – yet with right skills it will be doable. That said, if you opt for the MF840LL/A model, you will right away get a bigger 256GB flash drive.

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The Useful Interfaces Welcome Your Devices

The connection on this compact-sized MacBook include two USB 3.0, two ThundeBolt 2, one HDMI-output and a microphone/headphones jack. The amount of USB ports might not please everybody. However, this laptop being an Apple product, the two ThunderBolt connectors will certainly help with many peripherals. One thing you won’t find here is USB Type-C, as in the early 2015 this port type only started to gain popularity in computers. The familiar HDMI-output will be essential in connecting an external display to this notebook.

Apple, the pioneer of innovative technology, shuns everything old school. And what could be more “blast from the past” than an optical drive? Indeed, this notebook doesn’t feature it. To get access to DVDs, you can still opt for an external one, which will happily connect to the MacBook’s USB 3.0 port. Also, keep in mind that you are not completely left without means of local data transfer, as SDXC card slot is available on this laptop.

For network access you want to use the built-in WiFi card. It supports the 802.11ac standard, giving a stronger and longer signal than the older 802.11n technology. The wireless card also works with Bluetooth 4.0, welcoming the connection of mobile devices. Ethernet port is not available.

The Battery Lasts Long, and Other Benefits of The Laptop

Another thing MacBooks are known for is the long battery life, this model being no different. It features a Lithium-Polymer battery of 74.9 watt hours, with Apple advertising up to 10-12 hours battery life. That is quite an optimistic views – in my estimation, around 8 hours in day-to-day use is what you will be looking at in real life. The battery is integrated, so it can not be upgraded by yourself.

The laptop comes with an illuminated keyboard. Also Force Touch trackpad is enabled, allowing you to press the trackpad forcefully which opens some extra functionality in a few applications.

Pros:
Professional display - It is true the display on this MacBook Pro (and on any MacBook to that matter) is excellent to look at, providing vibrant colors and sharp image for power users and digital artists to scrutinize, and finally enjoy.

Runs fast - There is hardly any software that would make this notebook substantially lag, as the Intel Core i5 processor and flash storage drive will keep the system running smooth and respond promptly to your commands.

Long battery life - Enjoy the battery that will last a full day, be it workplace or school where you are taking this computer.

Cons:
Quite expensive - As a general rule, Apple products are pricey for some reason. People still buy them like hotcakes, but if you are looking for a similar yet cheaper model, this ZenBook is nothing to scoff at.

Like most Apple products are, also this MacBook Pro (MF839LL/A) from early 2015 is a sleek, powerful and expensive piece of fine crafted electronics. It competes in the ultrabook market, mostly bringing aesthetically pleasing design and accessibility of Apple products to the table. Truly, also performance section enjoys decent components, and the compact Retina display is wonderful for shoppers demanding sharp image. Other than being pricey, not many bad things can be said about the laptop. If you want the prestige an Apple item brings, and also a modern ultrabook, choosing this MacBook Pro should be something to ponder.

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