Standing in a Best Buy is an odd time for an existential crisis. Yet it's an almost certain occurrence, at least when you're there shopping for a laptop. More so than with any other product category, buying a laptop forces you to make all manner of decisions and prognostications about yourself. Do I play games? Will I want to play games sometime in the next four years? How much do I travel? How much will I travel? Am I going to be using Office much, or at all, or ever again? I have cable now, but am I going to become a cord-cutting Netflix aficionado sometime before I'm back here shopping for another new laptop?

Everything's a choice with laptops, everything a tradeoff. You want power, you're going to need a big, expensive, probably ugly machine. You want long battery life and a slim build, gaming's all but out the window. Good speakers and screens are hard to come by; so are great keyboards and trackpads. There's no such thing as having it all, no matter what you're willing to pay for it.

That's why the new 13-inch MacBook Pro is so intriguing. It's powerful, but it's not much thicker than the MacBook Air or your average Windows ultrabook. It has a great screen, and Apple claims it'll last for up to nine hours. On paper, it looks like the perfect balance: pretty portable and pretty powerful, in a pretty package. And it starts at $1,299, only $100 more than the same-size MacBook Air and $400 less than last year's model.

The 13-inch Pro is made for everyone. But for that kind of laptop, there's always a catch — a terrible trackpad here, a hideous heat or battery problem there. Last year it was the Pro's processor, which all too often appeared to be teetering on the edge of its capabilities. There has to be a catch this year too, right?