Last week Caitlin’s new 13″ MacBook Pro was delivered by FedEx. I was super excited for it to come, but my excitement subsided when I realized how similar it was to my aluminum MacBook. I knew it was basically the same, but it didn’t register right away. For Caitlin however, this was HUGE. She has been using a 12″ Apple iBook G4 for over 3 years now and that thing seems like a dinosaur compared to the new ones.

Top: 12″ Apple iBook G4. Bottom: New 13″ MacBook Pro

The 3 key differences between the new 13″ MacBook Pro and the previous aluminum MacBook are a 7 hour battery, improved LED screen, and a faster processor. Apple also tweaked the ports a little and brought back FireWire (800 this time) and a SD card slot. The battery life is AWESOME on the new MBPs btw. I was also interested to see how the new screen with “60% more color gamut” compared to my MacBook screen.

For this test I used the same Apple background image and  full brightness on both Macs. Erik helped me with these tests and we looked at the screens from a variety of different angles. From the normal straight-on viewing angle, it was hard to tell a difference. The new mac didn’t seem to be any brighter than the aluminum MacBook. It’s a bit hard to tell from the photo as the glossy screen does weird things with the Flash. The picture doesn’t really do it justice from this view.

Left: New 13″ MacBook Pro. Right: Late 2008 Aluminum MacBook.

After experimenting with different angles, we noticed that you could tell a significant difference in the screens when viewing them from above or below normal eye level. Notice how the new MacBook Pro performs MUCH better from these angles. You can see how the older MacBook has a blue tint when viewed at these angles.

Left: Late 2008 Aluminum MacBook. Right: New 13″ MacBook Pro

Left: Late 2008 Aluminum MacBook. Right: New 13″ MacBook Pro

So it might not be immediately apparent that the screen is any different, but if you experiment with it a bit you will notice that it is definitely better. Overall, I’m very impressed with the new 13″ MacBook Pro offering. Apple has bundled all of the key features of the previous “Pro” family into a portable and affordable 13″ version. Nice work!