Following the release of a new and improved MacBook Air back in March, it seemed inevitable that the 13-inch MacBook Pro would be the next Apple laptop on deck for an upgrade, and it looks like Apple hasn’t disappointed. Although it may be a more modest refresh than many were hoping for, Apple has added at least one long-awaited improvement to the mix that we think many folks have been waiting for.
We’ve actually suspected for a while that a refresh’s of Apple’s 13-inch MacBook Pro was just around the corner, although as usual details and timing have been somewhat more vague, however the one thing that has seemed certain since last summer is that Apple would finally be phasing out its beleaguered butterfly keyboards in favour of a newer and more reliable scissor-switch design.
As later rumours suggested, this was heralded with Apple’s new 16-inch MacBook Pro released in the fall, but it wasn’t long after that reports began to appear that it would also be coming “soon” to the 13-inch MacBook Pro, so we suspect that a lot of people have been waiting to pull the trigger on a new MacBook in anticipation of this, in order to avoid rolling the dice on one of the older butterfly keyboard designs; after all, even though Apple offered a free repair program for users with keyboard problems, it’s still better not to have to take your MacBook in for repairs in the first place.
What’s New in the 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro
We’ve already mentioned the new keyboard, which for all intents and purposes should provide the same improved typing experience and reliability as the 16-inch MacBook Pro and the new MacBook Air that was released earlier this year, but there’s more in here than that.
Much like Apple did with its MacBook Air and Mac mini lineups earlier this year, the storage configurations have been doubled across the entire lineup, so the base models now comes with at least a 256GB SSD, with custom configurations available in up to 4TB on the higher-end model.
The premium 13-inch MacBook Pro (the one with four Thunderbolt ports) now gains a 2.0GHz quad-core 10th-generation Intel Core i5 CPU with Turbo Boost speeds of up to 3.8GHz, 16GB of 3,733MHz LPDDR4X memory, and a 512GB SSD in its standard configuration, promising to deliver up to 80 percent faster graphics performance. This model can be maxed out to a 2.3GHz Intel Core i7 with Turbo Boost speeds of up to 4.1GHz, plus 32GB RAM and a 4TB SSD
Plus, the beefed-up specs here also mean that you can now connect the 13-inch MacBook Pro to Apple’s Pro Display XDR at full 6K resolution, at least on the higher-end version. Notably, however, that model still can’t handle more than one 5K display or two 4K displays.
To be clear, only the higher-end 13-inch MacBook Pro got any meaningful spec bump. The entry-level model — the one with two Thunderbolt ports that only gained the Touch Bar last summer — hasn’t actually increased its performance in any meaningful way; it merely includes the new Magic Keyboard and the doubled storage configurations, with the exact same 8th-gen Intel processor and slower 8GB 2,133MHz LPDDR3 memory configuration as before. Unlike its higher-end sibling, it also still maxes out at 16GB RAM and a 2TB SSD.
How Much Does the New MacBook Pro Cost?
The new MacBook Pro models still start at $1,299, although this will only get you the entry-level model that’s basically the previous version with the new keyboard and double the SSD storage. That said, however, the vastly improved Magic Keyboard makes for a much better purchase by itself. The entry-level model can be configured with a 1.7GHz 8th-gen Intel Core i5 CPU, 16GB of RAM, and a 2TB SSD for $2,199.
The higher-end 13-inch MacBook Pro starts at $1,799 and comes standard with a 2.0GHz 10th-gen Quad-Core Core Intel i5 CPU, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD, while the maxed-out configuration offers a 2.3GHz Intel Core i7, 32GB of RAM, and a 4TB SSD for $3,599. Both models are available for order today on Apple’s online store and are expected to begin arriving to customers and show up in stores later this week.