Apple 13in MacBook Pro (2017) UK Review: Oozes quality once again

Apple 13in MacBook Pro (2017) UK Review: Oozes quality once again

Apple’s 13" MacBook Pro 2017 has great battery life that matches the power of the hardware and the beauty of the design, buy you pay the price for it.

This revised version of the 13in MacBook Pro shows no obvious has changed on the outside, it now comes with the seventh generation Intel chips and the new version of MacOS High Sierra – and will get you through almost a whole working day without needing to recharge the battery.

The Apple MacBook Pro running High Sierra benefits from a new, faster file system. 


Apple 13in MacBook Pro (2017) Review

The MacBook Pro looks gorgeous and is available in silver or “space grey” aluminium. At 1.37kg and about 160g lighter than Microsoft’s Surface Book 2 and it's thinner than the Surface Book 2 at its 23mm thickest point.

It has a superb screen, with good viewing angles, brightness and colour accuracy. The keyboard is still a little loud at full tilt and has little give when you depress the keys, but is accurate, with a solid feel. 

Apple MacBook Pro MPXQ2B/A, 13.3-inch, i5, 2.3GHZ, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD Space Grey 2017 UK Model £1088.00 amazon uk

The Touch Bar will still prove tricky, with some saying it slows them down, but app support for it has grown enormously, with most high-profile apps benefiting from custom keys. The Touch ID fingerprint scanner also works, and it is a welcome addition.

The big pressure sensitive touchpad is one of the best there is, thanks to the haptic feedback.


  • Screen: 13.3in LCD 2560x1600 (227 ppi)
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 or i7 (7th generation)
  • RAM: 8 or 16GB
  • Storage: 128, 256, 512GB or 1TB
  • Operating system: macOS High Sierra
  • Camera: 720p FaceTime HD camera
  • Connectivity: Intel Iris 650, Wi-Fiac, Bluetooth 4.2, USB-C, Thunderbolt 3, headphone
  • Dimensions: 212.4 x 304.1 x 14.9mm
  • Weight: 1.37kg

Battery life

Apple 13in MacBook Pro (2017) Review

The four USB-C ports on the MacBook Pro are placed two on each side. 

The new 13" MacBook Pro has enough power for whatever you throw at it, while the new macOS High Sierra significantly speeds up some functions such as moving files. It’s at home editing video, photos and generally creating media. Even a light bit of editing video in 4K works like a charm, but anyone seriously attempting to use the 13in MacBook Pro to do heavy video or VR creation will probably struggle a little as the integrated Intel Iris 650 graphics card may not be quite good enough.

Having said that, it was capable of a light bit of gaming, managing to run Call of Duty on low detail and resolution settings with perfectly acceptable frame rates.


Apple 13in MacBook Pro (2017) Review

Trying out the new 13in TouchBar model with a Core i5 processor and 8GB or RAM, the biggest change for 2017 is the excellent battery life. The 2017 13in MacBook Pro gave me two hours more battery life than the 2016 MacBook Pro did while using both macOS Sierra and macOS High Sierra, lasting just under eight hours between charges when used for a whole working day. That included using screen at around 70% brightness and having between five and 10 tabs open, including Safari, Chrome, Mac Mail for email, and iTunes. That’s a notable improvement over the older model.

Having four USB-C ports is great, particularly as they all support Thunderbolt 3 and can charge the machine. Connecting displays and other non-USB peripherals using USB-C is a snip, but it’s the odd USB-A flash drive, card reader or similar that becomes more difficult. 

Inateck MacBook Pro 13 Case 2017 & 2016 (A1706/A1708)/ Microsoft New Surface Pro 2017/ Surface Pro 4/ 3 Sleeve Case Cover, Compatible with iPad Pro 12.9" - Dark Gray £13.99 amazon uk

Price and competition

The 13in MacBook Pro with Touch Bar starts at £1088.00, see below for current prices and to buy.

Dell’s XPS 13 with a comparable screen and 8th generation Core i5 starts at £1,399 (buy here), Microsoft’s Surface Laptop has recently had a price drop at Amazon starting at £881 (buy here), while the Surface Book 2 starts at £1,449 (buy here).

Apple MacBook Pro MPXQ2B/A, 13.3-inch, i5, 2.3GHZ, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD Space Grey 2017 UK Model £1088.00 amazon uk

Apple 13-Inch Macbook Pro with Retina (Space Grey) - (Intel Core i5 3.1 GHz, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD) £1464.00 amazon uk


The 13in MacBook Pro is the polished article, but as usual you get what you pay for, there are certainly cheaper competitors that are also excellent, but none of them have quite the same combination of build quality, excellent keyboard, massive trackpad and choice of USB-C ports.

The newer Intel chips mean one of the downfalls of the previous model has been significantly improved. The battery life has improved, now lasting a full working day and almost keeping up with the competition.

Yes, it is still expensive, still lacking a USB-A port, and when pushed very hard it feels under powered, whilst its competitors are using much more powerful eighth generation Intel chips available. But the 13in MacBook Pro is such a joy to use and does feel that little bit more superior over its rivals.


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