Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2020) review: New processors and new keyboard enhance Apple’s lightweight business laptop Review

Apple ordinarily sticks to a relatively rigid cycle of yearly updates for its products but,

Apple ordinarily sticks to a relatively rigid cycle of yearly updates for its products but, most likely prompted by the recent economic uncertainty, it has accelerated its solution releases in current months. The MacBook Air and the thirteen-inch edition of the MacBook Pro had been last current in July 2019: the MacBook Air obtained an early update in March, and it’s now the turn of the thirteen-inch MacBook Pro.

The aspects of this update bear near assessment, as the thirteen-inch MacBook Pro now presents 4 standard configurations based on either eighth-technology or more recent tenth-technology Intel Main i5 processors. There are other distinctions between the numerous models much too, so it’s critical to compare the distinctive configurations so that you can choose which one ideal satisfies your desires.


The 2020 thirteen-inch MacBook Pro operates on eighth or tenth technology quad-core Main i5 or i7 processors with up to 16GB (eighth gen) or 32GB (tenth gen) of RAM, and up to 2TB (eighth gen) or 4GB (tenth gen) of SSD storage. 

Image: Apple

Style and design & attributes

When Apple updates the thirteen-inch MacBook Pro each calendar year, it usually keeps one configuration from the former calendar year available in get to provide a a lot more economical entry-level selection (even if the term ‘affordable’ is some thing of a moveable feast in which Apple is concerned). The starting off value for the 2020 edition continues to be the exact as last calendar year, at £1,082.50 (ex. VAT £1,299 inc. VAT) or $1,299, and that model does continue on to use the exact processor as its predecessor — an eighth technology, quad-core Main i5 operating at 1.4GHz, along with 8GB of RAM.

That entry-level model does get a tiny extra consideration, nevertheless, growing last year’s meagre 128GB SSD to 256GB. And, thankfully, all the 2020 models now consist of Apple’s new Magic Keyboard, with its enhanced ‘scissor’ mechanism that aims to provide a a lot more comfortable and responsive feel than the widely criticised ‘butterfly’ keyboards of current yrs (though this does bump the pounds up fractionally, from 1.37kg to 1.4kg). 


The new Magic Keyboard ditches the a lot-maligned ‘butterfly’ mechanism for a a lot more ergonomic and dependable ‘scissor’ mechanism.

Image: Apple

The new keyboard is unquestionably an enhancement, and feels firmer and a lot more responsive than the lifeless keyboard of earlier models. The Retina Display continues to be the exact, with all the 2020 models sharing the exact shiny and vibrant monitor, with 2,560 by 1,600 resolution (227dpi).

The 2nd standard configuration available on Apple’s web page merely doubles the storage as soon as a lot more — to 512GB — for an extra £200/$200, and it’s not right up until you step up to £1,499.17 (ex. VAT £1,799 inc. VAT) or $1,799 that you get the all-new 2020 update reviewed right here. 

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This new configuration now includes a tenth technology, quad-core Main i5-1038NG7 processor operating at 2.0GHz (up to 3.8GHz with TurboBoost), with built-in Iris In addition graphics, along with 16GB of RAM (operating at a speedier 3,733MHz) and a 512GB SSD. This model also includes 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports, alternatively than the meagre pair of ports available by the entry-level 1.4GHz model. We did not have the luxury of opening up our review unit, but it’s been claimed on the web that this 2.0GHz model has a new motherboard design that incorporates a 2nd cooling fan and a a lot more highly effective established of speakers (we did question Apple if that’s right, but have but to acquire confirmation).

Once more, you can double the size of the SSD on the 2.0GHz model to 1TB for £200/$200, or you can up grade to a Main i7 processor operating at 2.3GHz (up to four.1GHz with TurboBoost) for the exact amount. As constantly, nevertheless, Apple’s memory updates are quite highly-priced, costing £400/$four hundred to add another 16GB of RAM. You can also spend a more £600/$600 on a 2TB reliable-state drive, or £1,200/$1,200 for 4TB of storage. On the other hand, the extra Thunderbolt ports on this model make exterior storage updates a a lot a lot more economical and simple selection.


Apple’s announcement of the new thirteen-inch MacBook Pro claimed that it presents ‘up to 2.eight times speedier performance’ — but that’s in comparison to a dual-core model from two generations back. The effectiveness enhancement more than last year’s model is a lot more modest. The tenth technology Main i5 processor in our 2020 review unit achieves single- and multi-core processor scores of 5,five hundred and 17,950 when operating Geekbench four, as opposed to last year’s scores of four,870 and 17,three hundred.

Working the more recent Geekbench 5 developed scores 1,250 and four,480 for single- and multi-core effectiveness, which are equivalent to the scores of 1,308 and four,900 recorded by the a little bit a lot more highly-priced Microsoft Surface Notebook 3. On the other hand, the MacBook Pro edged ahead on graphics effectiveness, hitting fourteen.8fps with the Unigine Valley test, as opposed to 11fps for the Surface Notebook 3, or eleven.5fps for last year’s MacBook Pro model. That could feel like a reasonably modest variance, but the Valley test suite is rather demanding, so an boost of even a few frames for each 2nd continue to signifies a worthwhile enhancement. Apple also factors out that the MacBook Pro’s Iris In addition graphics can aid exterior shows of up to 6K resolution — like, of class, Apple’s own highly-priced Pro Display XDR. 

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The only minimal disappointment with the 2020 thirteen-inch MacBook Pro is that battery lifetime drops a little bit. Apple rates ‘up to 10 hours’ for both of those the eighth technology and tenth technology processors, and last year’s model with the eighth technology 1.4GHz processor did control an spectacular nine several hours forty five minutes when streaming video on the BBC iPlayer. On the other hand, this year’s a lot more highly effective tenth technology model could not rather match that, delivering eight several hours forty five minutes of streaming video via the BBC iPlayer. Even so, that’s more than enough to give you a full day’s perform with no problems, and also beats the Surface Notebook 3 by a superior two several hours.


The 720p FaceTime Hd digital camera in the big bezel higher than the monitor is due an update.

Image: Apple


The 2020 thirteen-inch MacBook Pro is a lot more of a ‘speedbump’ than a radical revamp, but Apple is clearly hoping to provide a tempting quad-core up grade to homeowners of older dual-core models, as effectively as competing with more recent rivals these types of as Microsoft’s Surface array. Its lightweight design and battery lifetime are continue to difficult to defeat, and it’s superior to see Apple lastly placing its keyboard problems to rest. So even though this year’s update could not be an vital up grade for homeowners of a lot more current models, it does be certain that the thirteen-inch MacBook Pro continues to provide an beautiful, portable design and strong effectiveness for enterprise people.

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