A review of the new 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display so closely following a review of the 15-inch model has many layers. In isolation, the 13-inch Pro is just a smaller version of its well-regarded bigger brother, and so it’s easy to set expectations. But more broadly, the new 13-inch Pro is much more than that: it’s a logical endpoint for a number of Apple and tech industry trend lines and the start of a new wave altogether. It’s a mainstream laptop that uses all the space-saving tricks and techniques Apple learned building the MacBook Air to be as thin and light as possible, but still offers up a powerful Intel processor and a seven-hour battery life. The design language follows right along with the recently-introduced 15-inch Retina Macbook Pro, which itself was a subtle iteration on the MacBook Pro before it. And it has that Retina display — a technology that remains unmatched in the PC market.

None of this is surprising, but that’s not a bad thing: the 13-inch Pro is a predictable product in the same way that opening a present and receiving exactly the thing you’d wished for is a predictable experience. Apple has a playbook, and the new 13-inch Pro follows it closely. And as Apple’s most popular Mac, the 13-inch Pro tells us a lot about what Apple thinks mainstream computers should look like — which usually tells us a lot about what other PC manufacturers will think mainstream computers should look like.

But now that we’ve unwrapped this thing, does it live up to all these expectations? Can its relatively midrange internals handle the burden of that beautiful display? Is the $1,699 13-inch Pro worth the upgrade over the $1,199 13-inch Air, until now the laptop we’ve most often recommended? Most importantly, is this your next laptop? Read on to find out.