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Apple MacBook Pro 13 Laptop Review

Apple MacBook Pro 13 Review Black Friday & Cyber Monday Deals
Written by zeeshan

I had a feeling I’d be reviewing a new 13-inch MacBook Pro sooner rather than later when Apple refreshed MacBook Air back in March with a new keyboard I knew it was only a matter of time before the company did the same for the 13-inch Pro sure enough earlier this week Apple unveiled a new model with a magic keyboard design already in use on the air and 16 inch MacBook Pro with that Apple’s laptop lineup is completely rid of the controversial butterfly keyboard as you’d expect a MacBook Pro refresh also means updated processors 13-inch Pro now comes with a tenth gen Intel CPU and Intel iris plus graphics at least and a higher-end models like the one Apple sent me for review also the entry-level config now comes with double the storage that’s 256 gigs meanwhile the high-end ones start with 16 gigs of ram instead of 8 and there’s a 32 gig upgrade option for the first time as before the 13-inch Pro starts at $12.99 and it’s available now for this review I’m mainly going to focus on performance and the typing experience spoiler alert it’s pretty great if you see my review of the 20/20 MacBook Air or my hands-on with last year’s 16 inch macbook pro.

Apple MacBook Pro 13 Laptop

You already know my thoughts on the magic keyboards design feel free to skip ahead if you’ve heard all this before for those just joining us the magic keyboard was inspired by the standalone magic keyboard that ships with the iMac line best to say both have scissor style key caps as opposed to the butterfly design used over the past few years that butterfly mechanism was designed to reduce key wobble but in practice it resulted in flat buttons that too often either failed to register presses or conversely produce double presses which is super annoying let me tell you in contrasts the keys here are cushier with a full millimeter of travel we’re not talking a full return to the pre butterfly MacBook Pro keyboards that some of you have been missing but they are noticeably deeper than the keys on the last gen model on the other hand the new keys also aren’t as wobbly as those long-ago ones we all remember so fondly now this is due to two things a rubber dome that sits just below the key cap and the design that locks the scissor mechanism into the key cap at the top of the stroke last note on the keyboard like the other Mac’s with magic keyboards this one has an inverted T arrow button out where the right and left buttons aren’t quite as tall as the up and down button stack in theory making them easier to find I feel I’ve mostly enjoyed this layout on the new Macs I’ve tested though for the first time during this most recent round I accidentally press the forward slash buttons a few times when I meant to hit the left arrow otherwise this is the same design as before from the aluminum chassis to the port selection which by the way includes a headphone jack and four Thunderbolt three sockets two on each side there’s also the same stereo speakers as last time the same three array mic and the same 720p webcam which serves me adequately enough in my never-ending stream of work from home meetings the touch bar is back to as is the touch ID fingerprint sensor in the upper right corner of the keyboard deck as ever it’s easy to set up and works reliably too as for the touch bar I still wish it weren’t there but I’ve made peace with it mostly anyway the 13 inch MacBook Pro is well still a 13 inch MacBook Pro as before it has a 13.3 inch Retina display with 2560 by 1600 resolution and apple’s auto adjusting true tone color technology as before the screen supports the p3 color gamut and has a 500 nits brightness rating that came in handy when I was working near the window on a sunny day though I also found myself cranking up the brightness in the Apple arcade game sayonara Wildhearts just because I could the game’s neon colors and deep blacks lend themselves really well to the panel here by the way all of this is to say it is a nice screen my only concern is that if someone buys the 13-inch pro now only for Apple to come out with a more drastically redesigned MacBook Pro later maybe one with a rumored 14 inch screen that person might feel cheated then again one never knows exactly what Apple is gonna do as with the new MacBook Air Apple partially upgraded the 13-inch Pro Line with 10th generation Intel processors that’s Intel’s 10 nanometer isolate chips to be exact the 13-inch MacBook Pro starts at $12.99 the model I tested was a $17.99 configuration with a 2 gigahertz quad core Core i5 processor Intel iris plus graphics a 512 gigabyte SSD and 16 gigs of RAM it’s important to note that while all can fix have quad-core processors the two lower end ones which cost $12.99 for $2.99 use 8th gen chips not tension they also come with eight gigs a memory not sixteen and the speed of the RAM is slower too in other words even if a 1299 or $14.99 configuration is likely to be just fine for you you’ll need to test at least the 1799 model to enjoy what Apple is touting as new performance and that’s just what I have here you can find more benchmarks in our written review but for a taster we ran a 4k encoding test where we transcoded the same minute-long 4k trailer to HD using the app handbrake Pro got the job done in 1 minute and 26 seconds after running this test twice the bottom of the laptop got quite hot the fans at least stayed reasonably quiet for the pros have managed to submit at time it probably would have needed a discrete GPU in real-world use the pro had no problem handling my workload which includes multiple chrome windows and tabs plus slack Spotify notes photos messages and increasingly video calls on different platforms for the purposes of my testing I also introduced something that’s not normally part of my routine fortnight the game ran smoothly at 1280 by 800 on low settings with a framerate limit of 60fps although the fans definitely started to pipe up in addition to sayonara Wildhearts I spent some time with where cards fall those games ran well too and pushed the fans less than fortnight did it’s worth noting that the 13-inch Pro maxes out at Intel iris + graphics though other components are upgradable through Apple’s online store you can opt for a 2.3 gigahertz quad-core core i7 CPU there’s also that 32 gig Ram option I mentioned on the storage front you can outfit your machine with a one terabyte two terabyte or even four terabyte SSD when it comes to battery life Apple promises up to ten hours each of Wireless web usage an Apple TV video playback the same claims it made with the last gen model in our standard video rundown test my machine managed 11 hours and 33 minutes not the 13 hours or more you can expect from competing machines like the Galaxy book flex or the Dell XPS 13 but still pretty good speaking of flex and XPS 13 here’s what we think you’ll be cross shopping or should be if you’re considering shelling out $12.99 plus for the new 13-inch MacBook Pro first up the newly announced Microsoft Surface book 3 which starts at $1,600 the starting price on the 13.5 inch model is higher than the entry-level 13-inch Pro but if its 10th gen Intel processor year after Microsoft undercuts Apple by 200 bucks the surface book 3 also touts longer battery life up to 15 and a half hours according to Microsoft and importantly the surface book 3 is available with optional discrete Nvidia graphics in exchange for those extra features and longer battery life though you’ll have to deal with slightly more heft which makes sense you should also consider Microsoft Surface laptop 3 which starts at $1000 whereas a Microsoft Surface book has a removable touch screen the surface laptop line is more of a conventional laptop like the MacBook Pro the 13.5 inch surface has Intel iris + graphics and 10th gen Intel processors and it delivers around eleven and a half hours of battery life though Microsoft’s line doesn’t bother with 8th gen chips the lower end and as a bonus it is lighter than the 13-inch pro I saved the best for last you definitely want to look at the Dell XPS 13 which starts at $12.99 for the newest model the same price as a 13-inch pro for the money you get a tenth gen Intel processor not an eighth gen ship though you need to step up to the 15:49 model to get until iris plus graphics but you know that’s still less expensive than Apple’s cheapest iris plus MacBook Pro it’s also much lighter than the 13-inch Pro and it beats it out on battery life to nearly 16 hours in our tests we actually even use the p-word in our review perfect the new 13-inch MacBook Pro addresses one of our biggest complaints with the last gen model the frustrating typing experience now it’s that much easier to recommend with the Retina display speakers touchpad battery life and overall performance rounding out the mix the case for choosing the 13-inch pro over competing Windows machine will be tougher at least for someone who’s open to using either OS other machines offer some combination of lighter weight longer battery life discrete graphics or better specs for the money for shoppers who have been holding out for a new MacBook Pro with a better keyboard you can upgrade now and feel confident you’re making a good choice for folks in the market for a portable machine with decent graphics and long battery life the 13-inch MacBook Pro is just one of several strong options of right now.

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zeeshan

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