If you’ve been holding out your purchase for a new laptop, then you might want to think about the new laptop which Apple has just announced. Ahead of June’s Worldwide Developers’ Conference (WWDC), Apple has dropped the new 13″ MacBook Pro, which completes the refresh of their laptop lineups following the launch of the Macbook Air in April, and the 16″ Macbook Pro in November 2019.
Does it warrant its price tag though? We explore.
So what has changed for the new lineup of 13″ MacBook Pro? Firstly, all of them have a base SSD storage of 256gb as opposed to 128gb, giving you better value for what you’re forking out compared to the previous generation of MacBook Pro.
There are also two different tiers of processors for this new 13″ MacBook Pro – one with the 8th-generation quad-core Intel Core processors, and one with the newer 10th-generation. Why not just make them all 10th gen, you ask? Intel is a producer of these chips which means that Apple has no control over the pricing of them, and the same goes for PC laptops using these chips that are also charged a premium for including them.
The 10th-Generation processors may be faster but they’re not that much faster compared to their 8th-gen counterparts. This gives you the flexibility of choice – you don’t have to fork out that much to spec up if you don’t want to. Allowing you to choose all the other benefits of the new 13″ MacBook Pro (which we will get to), without having to pay that much if you don’t want to.
Since the introduction of Apple’s butterfly keys in the 2015 MacBook, it has been complaints after complaints, but there’s light at the end of this tunnel. Apple realised their mistake and the design flaws of the butterfly keys and has gone back to the more traditional “scissors” key since the 2019 16″ MacBook Pro.
With the 16″ Macbook Pro, 2020 MacBook Air and even the new Magic Keyboard for the 2020 iPad Pro all featuring this new-old scissors key design, we finally see the butterfly keys phased out of their entire lineup with the 2020 13″ Macbook Pro. There’s a 1mm key travel, making typing a very enjoyable tactile experience, especially if you find yourself typing a lot for work. However, this means that the chassis is thicker, by just a mere 0.7mm to account for the key travel; a small price to pay for a better typing experience if you ask us.
The “Escape” key which was previously incorporated in the Touch Bar is now a standalone button, much to everyone’s delight, but let’s not forget what a beautiful feature the Touch Bar is in the first place. Introduced in the 2016 MacBook Pro lineups, the Touch Bar is integrated into different programs and applications to improve your workflow. It becomes the timeline when you launch Adobe’s Premiere Pro, so that you can scrub through it easily, it’s also fully integrated with emojis and predictive text, so typing on your MacBook Pro is as easy as typing on your iPhone.
For die-hard Apple fans, the ecosystem is what draws them in and keeps them there. The seamless integration between apps and even something as simple as using AirDrop to transfer images from your iPhone to your MacBook Pro is something that only Apple has managed.
The new Mac OS Catalina is a good example of this as well. With its Sidecar feature, you can now use your iPad as a secondary display or as tablet input to draw, sketch or write with Apple Pencil in any Apple or third-party Mac app that supports stylus input. This is especially useful if you need an additional screen real estate to have a reference document open while you write, or preview a video when editing on Premiere Pro.
On a more personal note, my husband and I are always at odds when it comes to our gear. He loves his PCs and would never transition from a Windows OS to Mac OS, and the same goes for me (but that said, he does love his iPhones dearly). When the time came for him to shop for a new laptop, I was introduced to his world where the launches are puzzling (since all the brands have their own launch schedule throughout the year), and the design aesthetics are not as beautiful as Apple’s.
One thing which really struck me was the build quality. I’ve been using Apple’s laptops since iBook G4 in 2004 and have transitioned through MacBooks, and MacBook Pros since then, and none of the laptops have ever broken or cracked on me. Most of the PC laptops which I have touched on that faithful day felt flimsy, with hinges that seem like they would break after a while. For some reason, I was really involved in the decision-making process and we finally decided on the new Razer Blade 15″, which featured an aluminum chassis that I’ve often taken granted for in Apple’s MacBook Pros. The Razer Blade’s price tag would have been more than what I would fork out for a MacBook Pro (but that’s because the Razer Blade has better specs), but this is very telling of the value you get with a higher price tag.
Yes, you do have the option of buying cheaper PC laptops with more up-to-date specs since there are new PC laptop launches all year round, but if you want to purchase something that will last you a few years, that can take some of life’s bumps and hard knocks, then go for a laptop with a good build quality. I’m not saying it has to be the MacBook Pro, but if you do get one, you’ll be enjoying it for years to come.
The new 2020 13″ MacBook Pros starts from $1,899 and will be available on the Apple Store later this week.