A very light, well-priced, hardy laptop with a killer battery...

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21QjlhHv6tL._AA280_ (Tim) Through the years, I've owned more Apple computers than I can keep track of, and at least fifteen of their laptops. Some months back I traded in a 15" MacBook Pro for the then-new 13" aluminum MacBook. It's been the best laptop I've ever owned, and I say that despite being about to receive a new 13" MacBook Pro from Apple because of the problems I've been having with it. The upgrade is, of course, at no cost and you can all learn the lesson that it's dangerous to buy the first iteration of a new computer body. But fear not, my problems are not documented on the web as being shared with many others.

It scared me to go to a smaller screen but my aged eyes have not experienced any additional challenges with the 13" screen. It was worth it for the smaller footprint and (especially) lighter weight. I take the computer everywhere and my elbow is quite happy having shed the weight of the 15" Macbook Pro. So weight, speed, screen quality, keyboard, great glass trackpad, long battery life, smaller and lighter AC adapter than the MacBook Pro, extreme ease of adding RAM or switching out the hard drive, low price, all topped out with the absolutely bulletproof aluminum unibody casing; all have made me a happy camper.

Still, there are two things I haven't liked...

First, despite my guess that I'd not miss it, it's been a pain not to have the backlit keyboard. Although I touch-type, there have been many times when I've been in the dark searching for a particular key and had to resort to tilting the screen back towards the keyboard to find it. Second, I think I'd prefer a matte screen. Most times I like the glossy one, but there are times when I've been working outside and was really annoyed by the glare.

But here are several reasons I'm pleased Apple is shipping me the upgraded 13" Macbook Pro released last week. In addition to the things I already liked about my 13" alum MacBook, the upgraded Apple MacBook Pro MB990LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop  is even better. Apple has upgraded the LED panel for an LCD backlit glass display. They've also upgraded the processor and video card. The old ExpressCard slot has been exchanged for an SD (Secure Digital) slot now standard on the 13" MacBook Pro. (SD cards are what most digital cameras use.)

The old 4 1/2 to 5 hour battery that could be recharged around 300 times has been replaced with a new lithium-polymer battery rated at 7 hours and 1,000 charging cycles. Firewire 800 has been put back in. And now the MacBook Pros ship with backlit keyboards. So I'm happy.

Then, this morning, TidBits broke the news that the new MacBook Pros also will be able to boot off an SD (Secure Digital) card. This will be a great boon when trouble hits.

All this to say, if you can live with carrying around an Apple logo, I've never used more appropriate technology than this new 13" MacBook Pro. But then, when I travel I stay at Marriott properties, so you see I'm no stickler for tightly parsing coporate identities.