MacBook Pro Retina 13-Inch (Early 2015) Product Review

The MacBook Pro Retina 13-Inch (Early 2015) laptop has served me well for the many years I’ve had it. I bought it when it was new, in 2015, and it has held up well over the years of traveling, life, and extended periods of use.

My exact model is: MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Early 2015) – 2.7 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5 – 8GB RAM – 250GB SSD

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I will be providing a full review of this laptop as someone that uses it daily for professional and personal use.

Related: Dell XPS 15 Laptop Review

What the MacBook Pro Retina is Like

The MacBook Pro weighs 3.48 lbs. (1.58 kg.) while the Air weighs 2.8 lbs. (1.29 kg.). My primary use for my MacBook Pro was to get me through college, as an English major (lots of papers).

I occasionally do video editing, and now using it as a freelance writer. Of course, I also use my laptop to stream Netflix and different music services.

Like many Apple products, the MacBook Pro offers seamless integration between all of my devices. It’s powerful and durable, able to withstand bumps in a backpack as I move throughout my day.

It also holds up pretty well with the various programs I’ve downloaded on it such as the entire Microsoft Office Suite and the Adobe Creative Cloud. For the most part, the laptop runs these programs without a problem although there can be some speed lagging.

My MacBook Pro has a reliable video camera, speakers, and microphone which came in handy while everyone was using Zoom. The keyboard has a great, natural layout to it although it doesn’t have a number pad, just the numbers across the top of the letters.

My biggest complaint about this laptop is the battery power. This MacBook Pro claims to have up to 10 hours of battery life.

Over the years of use, this has dwindled to maybe 3 hours of uninterrupted use. Also, because of the older model, the charger can be flimsy and slip out of the port.

MacBook Pro Retina Compared to Other Models

Apple has made significant improvements to MacBooks since this laptop came out. There are ways you can still get this model, but most newer models are available.

The most recent line of MacBook’s has a new M1 processing chip which is faster and more powerful than the Intel Core i5 or i7 chips previously used.

They have also upgraded screen size. Before MacBooks were offered in 13-inch or 15-inch screen sizes and now they are available in 14-inch and 16-inch sizes.

It seems that all-around improvements have been made which isn’t surprising considering how much time has passed since my MacBook Pro model came out.

Who Should Buy MacBook Pro Retina

The MacBook Pro is best suited to students and professionals who like the ability to have all their devices link up together to have accessibility on multiple devices. It has decent power in an easy-to-carry package and a clear screen.

I would not use this laptop for any PC gaming or if I was just browsing the Internet. Other laptops would better suit those needs.

With many business models switching to Mac computers, learning the operating system provides users with an advantage over Windows users.

MacBook Pro Retina Pros and Cons

Pros
  • More Durable Than MacBook Air
  • Apple Device Integration
  • Good Multitasking
Cons
  • Heavier Than MacBook Air
  • Poor PC Gaming Performance
  • Apple Price Tag

MacBook Pro Retina Pros

The MacBook Pro is more durable than the MacBook Air counterpart. This means the components within the computer have more protection from dings and bumps.

One of the most popular draws to a MacBook is the Apple device integration. You can connect all your Apple devices and use them together seamlessly.

With the Force-Touch Trackpad, the MacBook Pro is good at multitasking. You can swipe three fingers on the pad to see all the windows you have open on the laptop or swipe three fingers left to right to toggle between two different desktops.

MacBook Pro Retina Cons

While it is heavier, the MacBook Pro is a good option for someone who prefers the feel of a sturdier laptop.

While the Pro is good for multitasking, the processing power is not suitable for PC gaming. There are better options on the market for similar prices.

Another con is the Apple price tag. Part of what customers are paying for is the ability to sync all their devices together for convenience.

Currently, you can find a renewed MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch for around $500-$700 on Amazon.

My Verdict on MacBook Pro Retina

DescriptionRating 0/10
OSmacOS Monterey8
Battery3 Hours Max3
Price$1,299*7
BrandApple9

*When I bought my laptop as new in 2015.

OS

Like almost all other Apple products, the operating system has frequent updates which can be time-consuming and annoying, especially if you are in the middle of a big project. However, if you have an iPhone, most of the navigation is similar.

Battery

Over time, the battery life in this MacBook Pro has significantly decreased. Most of the time, if I know I am going to be using it for a long time, I’ll just keep it plugged into the charger which has also become flimsy. Unlike newer models, this model’s charger is magnetic to the port and often falls out.

Price

When I bought my MacBook Pro, I was pooling together graduation money and investing in something that would take me through college. With an Apple product, you are not only paying for one device, but also for the ability to link up all your other devices. This is not a selling point to people who don’t have other Apple devices.

Brand

Part of the appeal is the brand. I have been an Apple customer for a long time whether I was willing or not. I know lots of people who refuse to get sucked into the world of Apple products and they have found other great laptops that work for them.

Was the MacBook Pro Retina 13-Inch Worth It?

For a college student or working professional, I think a MacBook Pro is worth it. However, I would look for a newer model with processing and technology upgrades. If you’re going to spend the money, invest in a MacBook that will do what you need for a long time.

MacBook Pro and Air offer Apple customers the ability to use their devices across the board. Sending messages from your laptop while working, listening to music on your laptop and switching to your phone, and answering emails from your phone on the go are a few of the things that syncing your devices can offer.

The MacBook Pro is not the best for gamers or anyone that just needs to browse the web; there are more powerful options for gamers and cheaper options for regular browsers. However, for students and professionals, MacBook Pro provides a great option for a laptop.

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Last update on 2024-07-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API