NEW MacBook Pro 13″ 2020 Announced!

Earlier today Apple announced an update to the MacBook Pro 13”.  It’s a relatively incremental but effective update that should assist those looking to upgrade to a 2020 Apple computer.  There are a few things to keep in mind when making a purchasing decision especially since the MacBook Pro isn’t the only 2020 MacBook release that we have seen from Apple.

The Pro Models all received the following upgrades.  The computers feature the new scissor switch keyboards, finally ending the era of butterfly switches.  In addition to that, they also have upgraded the speakers to stereo high dynamic range. The speaker performance will be closer to the improved MacBook Air 2020 rather than the MacBook Pro 16”, which is unfortunate.  The last upgrade that was seen across all models is the battery life, they are still rated for 10 hours of use.

At the starting price point of $1299 the consumer will now be given 256GB of base storage, compared to the 128GB that was provided previously.  An upgrade from the base 8GB of RAM to 16GB will cost $100, which is half of the previous cost to make this upgrade.  The same 8th generation processor is used from previous models, and you will only find two Thunderbolt 3 ports.  So, the base model only received a few upgrades, but that is demonstrated in its pricing compared to its more powerful counterparts.

Apple MacBook Pro 13

Apple MacBook Pro 13″ (2020)

The NEW MacBook Pro 13″ )2020) is available in multiple configurations starting at $1299. The $1799 price point begins to bring some of the major upgrades including the 10th Generation Intel processor.

Apple MacBook Pro 13

The model that costs $1,799 features the 10th generation Intel chips which bring more RAM (16GB) and faster LPDDR4X RAM, as well as 512GB, is the base storage, and four Thunderbolt 3 ports are provided.  The CPU improvements are minimal with the newest chip, but the graphics performance can see an improvement of up to 80% thanks to the Intel Iris Plus.  LPDDR4X RAM is also significantly faster, it is 3733MHz compared to 2133MHz on the base models.  Although, everyday tasks may not see noticeable improvements.  Unfortunately, despite the 10th generation Intel chips supporting Wi-Fi 6, the 2020 MacBook’s are still limited nice up to Wi-Fi 5.  Although it comes at a cost, the more expensive model sees many improvements that do prove their value.  Especially since after a few upgrades on the base model, it pushes consumers quite close to the cost of the upgraded model’s price of $1,799.

As for the thermals, the MacBook Pro 16” update in late 2019 saw airflow improvements that benefited performance including a higher running clock speed of the CPU.  The MacBook Pro 13” is believed to follow the similar internal layout to previous generations, a single fan in the base models and a dual fan setup on the upgraded options.

A common comparison or decision people try to make is whether they should purchase a MacBook Air 2020 or MacBook Pro 13”.  There are also rumors of the 14” MacBook Pro potentially nearing its release, and that continues to make the comparative decision difficult.  Especially because the MacBook 14” is expected to feature a Mini LED display that will likely place it in a premium starting price tier.  But for now, the MacBook Air’s introduction of quad-core processor options this year makes it a more compelling decision to those who are seeking a minimized weight experience, but it still needs a bit of power outside of its graphics reliance. 

Since the max specification MacBook Air comes up to the price point of the base MacBook Pro, I believe power users should definitely consider the MacBook Pro, and more specifically the upgraded models if their budget allows.  The Pro is more capable, and the increased investment does provide much more value with the ports, storage, and the chips that allow for greater speeds and power. It makes the most sense for those who do video editing, will need additional storage, or plan to upgrade the RAM.