Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2010): User Review

by Katerina Nikolova


Three years ago, I started university and naturally, I had to find a laptop to write on and study from. The hunt for a good device began. I have never used MacOS before and to be honest, I had myself looking towards the Lenovo direction. After a month of looking for a good laptop that would fit my budget and my preferences, my sister came up with an offer. She knew a friend of hers who was selling his old Apple MacBook Pro for a bargain. I was hesitant at first because the laptop was from 2010 and I’ve never used one quite like it. But I immediately loved it as soon as her friend showed it to me. It wasn’t just an old laptop. The guy was an engineer, so he had played around with it and turned it into a good working machine. The Apple MacBook Pro 2010 (A1286) usually has a DVD slot but instead of that, he had placed in its place an SSD that makes the operating system run extremely smooth. So, I chose it because I have always wanted a MacBook but could never afford a new one and at the end of the day, it turned out into an interesting decision. I’ve had my good share of stories with it and I continue to do so.  

Battery Life & Charging

I am always working on this laptop during weekdays. It is always on and it is almost never on the charger. I am moving with it from one meeting room to another, from my desk to another in order to communicate and deliver my best work. The battery has never been changed since 2010 and when I first got the device, it lasted longer. Now, the only life I can get out of it without a charger on is no more than 3 hours and a few minutes. Opening my battery application, I read there that this battery is 2536 days old and it hasn’t had a failure even once. I am perfectly fine with the state that it’s in. It’s 7 years old and it still serves its second owner the best it can. It usually charges quickly. I’ve noticed that it charges for about an hour and a half. On the whole, with my way of work, this is perfectly fine with me. Although, it does sometimes prevent me from taking the MacBook to my university when I know a charger won’t be near. I can never depend on it to make it out alive until the end of the day.  

Performance & Design

17342456_1452589841452655_1644134616_o The Apple MacBook Pro 2010 weighs 4.5 pounds, which is around 2.04 kg. Heavy for an Apple product. Way heavier than the Air. This is why, in most cases, I’d rather not carry it that much around with me. Not to mention that if I do carry it around carelessly, my SSD or my hard disc may get displaced. Which means opening up the whole device, positioning the drives, closing it up, checking whether it works or not, etc. This is one of the unpractical things about having an SSD in the place of your DVD slot. And as it is a 7-year-old device, it does get hot when I work too much on it. Rather, more when I bother it with heavier programs. But I owe this to the fact that I haven’t had it serviced (a.k.a cleaned) since I first bought it. Other than this, it’s faster than any other laptop of the same age. The operating system runs smoothly and I hardly ever get annoyed at it.  

Strength & Durability

I’ve had my share of stories with this device. It has been falling off of anywhere and hardly ever anything happens to it. It’s as strong as a bull… except for this one time. There was this period when I used to carry my laptop inside a women handbag. It fit and it seemed convenient for me at the time. But one evening, I came home to find a white screen and a flashing folder with a question mark on my screen. If you know even a tiny bit about Apple, you’ll know that this is usually a sign for the device failing to find an operating system. Guess what this meant – a displaced SSD that can’t be read in any way from my device. So, I went to the guy I bought the MacBook from and he had a quick solution to it – a piece of cardboard to hold the disc in place. And trust me, to this day I am still with that cardboard and my operating system keeps running as smoothly as ever.  

Best Features

There are so many things I love about this device. It has been with me for 3 years, almost never failing me.  

Battery percentages

One of the things I adore about it is the little dots on the side, which show you the percentage of your battery when you press a little button. 17274781_1452590864785886_2105753994_n It’s extremely convenient, especially when you carry around your device or when you are wondering whether you have to bring a charger with you. Apple has removed this feature from its new devices.  

Multiple ports

Another feature that I love is that it has so many ports. It looks super techy and cool. I must be the only one who has an Ethernet port and can simply use LAN cable without dongles (USB to Ethernet cable) which is a great benefit for me because when the Internet is bad at work I can put my cable and continue to work without any hassle.
A side shot of the MacBook Pro

A side shot of the MacBook Pro

The compact keyboard

Also, the keyboard is little and compact unlike any other keyboard of the Lenovo I was looking to buy. I am a writer and it’s extremely important for me to feel comfortable while writing and it does the perfect job.

The trackpad

I love the multi-touch trackpad of the MacBooks. It’s just designed for precise cursor control. It supports inertial scrolling, pinch, rotate, swipe, three-finger swipe, four-finger swipe, tap, double-tap and drag capabilities, which immediately eliminates the need for a mouse.

The never-ending space

Another thing I enjoy to the maximum is the fact that I have so much HDD capacity that I feel I could never run out of space. Without counting my operating system, which is on the SSD, my HDD capacity is 478.21 GB. Enough to store your whole life, isn’t it?  

Worst Features

Of course, old as it is, there are a few features that I dislike. The processor of the Apple MacBook Pro, which is 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, is not enough to play most of the video games I would like to. The resolution isn’t as good as most of the modern laptops. The native resolution of the built-in display is 1280 by 800 and I find it not good enough for playing games or even watching movies. It doesn’t support an external display – not the model but my laptop, which often causes me discomfort at work. Also, the model is so old, it doesn’t even support Apple TV. So, with all these things combined, I can’t even stream from it and watch on an external display in any possible case. I think these are the only things I dislike about it.  

Overall review

16402260_1408820989162874_1544426700_n To sum up, for its age, this device is absolutely stunning. It runs the latest MacOS, it’s fast and despite the little things that come from its age, it does a great job. I feel a great deal of sentiment for it as it’s the first personal computer I ever had, without having to share it with a family member. It’s dear to me and it holds a lot of memories from years I can label as self-improving. As I stare into its weird keyboard, shaped from the many fingerprints on it, I am thinking that I may never want to let go of it. The moment I buy a new device, the old MacBook will be placed at home with its many vinyl stickers on the back and be used and used and used ‘til it can’t put up with me anymore. A laptop so durable deserves to be used until it can’t be used anymore. Overall, what I can say about this old machine is that it’s a privilege to still have it used by me. Overall rating 9/10