Apple unveils new 13-inch MacBook Pro with Magic Keyboard

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Apple just unveiled a refreshed version of its 13-inch MacBook Pro.
Image: Apple

It’s no secret that Apple’s 13-inch MacBook Pro is the brand’s most loved model. Sadly, the last generation device fell short in a lot of ways. On Monday, Apple announced that the 13-inch notebook is getting an upgrade—one that brings the new Magic Keyboard along with it.

The refreshed 13-inch MacBook Pro features double the storage space of the previous generation, 10th-gen processors, and the Touch Bar atop the Magic Keyboard. Although it’s still early to say, this may be the nicest MacBook we’ve seen in years.

Flawless Typing Experience

Apple made a big mistake with its laptops in the past few years in relation to the keyboard. Many previously devout users jumped ship because of the lackluster typing experience. When the 16-inch MacBook Pro refresh was announced last November, it became clear that Apple was fixing the issue.

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Like its larger sibling, the new 13-inch MacBook Pro features the new Magic Keyboard. This replaces the butterfly keyboard that everyone hated so much. It features a generous 1mm of key travel thanks to a newly redesigned scissor mechanism. Users will experience a smooth, stable movement that ends in a satisfying degree of key feedback.

Despite the fact that this is a 13-inch notebook, Apple decided to use the classic inverted-“T” arrangement for the arrow keys. It’s extremely refreshing to see this on such a small laptop as many have defaulted to making the up and down keys half of their normal size. The inverted-“T” makes finding the arrows much easier while playing games and navigating spreadsheets.

Meanwhile, the new 13-inch MacBook Pro has a physical Escape key next to the lengthy Touch Bar and Touch ID components. It’s also nice to see these high-end features included in the compact notebook.

Apple claims that the new laptop’s keyboard “delivers the best typing experience ever on a Mac notebook.”

Image: Apple

Speed Upgrade

Newer MacBooks typically don’t have a problem with speed. However, when it comes to computers, there’s no such thing as too fast. The new 13-inch model packs a punch with 10th-gen quad-core Intel processors in its high-end configurations. Those upgrading from the dual-core 13-inch MacBook will see 2.8 times faster performance according to Apple.

Although it shouldn’t come as surprise, the laptop doesn’t feature a dedicated graphics card. Apple has never targeted its MacBooks at gamers and it doesn’t intend to do so now.

That being said, the refreshed 13-inch model features integrated Intel Iris Plus Graphics. This leads to 80 percent faster performance over the previous model for things like video editing, 3D rendering, and playing some less-demanding titles.

Plus, the new graphics capabilities allow users to connect their MacBook to a Pro Display XDR at full 6K resolution. That’s a pretty impressive feature for a laptop (albeit the need for external hardware).

All the Memory

Given that MacBooks are the choice of many creative professionals, a large hard drive is a must. Apple knows that and has been working to increase the storage capabilities of its computers in recent years. The previous MacBook Pro benefitted from a lightning-fast solid-state drive (SSD) with sequential read speeds of up to 3.0 GB/s.

Now, the refreshed model takes that speed and adds even more space to it. The bare-bones model will feature 256GB while the top tier boasts 1TB. That’s double the storage across all of the standard configurations compared to last generation. Users who need even more storage can grab a new 13-inch MacBook Pro with up to 4TB.

The new models will also have more RAM memory as well. Apple is offering 16GB of the faster 3733MHz memory as a standard configuration. Meanwhile, for the first time in a 13-inch Mac notebook, consumers will be able to get up to 32GB of memory. This opens the door for things like running multiple virtual machines and editing ultra-high-res images and videos.

Brilliant Display, Sleek Body

Despite the shortcomings of Apple’s Mac line in recent years, one thing has always remained consistent—its beautiful displays. That is no different in the latest 13-inch model. It features a stunning Retina display that packs in more than four million pixels. The screen is capable of reaching 500 nits of brightness and supports the P3 wider color gamut.

It also features a new True Tone technology that delivers a more natural view for editing and design work.

Part of what makes the 13-inch MacBook so alluring is its compact form factor. Users should be thrilled to get the upgraded features of this machine in such a small package.

It weighs in at just three pounds and everything is housed in a sleek aluminum unibody. Consumers can choose from either space gray or silver. The 13-inch Macbook Pro also features excellent speakers that put out wide-stereo sound for watching movies and listening to music.

Focus on Security

Anyone following news related to Apple in recent years knows that the company is putting security and privacy at the forefront of its mission. That being said, the new 13-inch MacBook Pro is getting some security-focused features.

Most notable is Apple’s T2 Security Chip. This innovative second-gen silicon automatically scans software that loads during the boot process to ensure that it hasn’t been tampered with. It also delivers on-the-fly data encryption for everything users store on the built-in SSD.

Apple claims that the T2 chip gives the MacBook Pro the “most secure boot process and storage of any computer.”

13-inch MacBook Pro Pricing Details

The new 13-inch model will ship with macOS Catalina and the many features that come with it.

As for pricing, the structure is the same as that of the previous generation. The cheapest model will cost $1,299 while the top tier reaches $1,999. It is worth noting that the two lowest-price models don’t have the new 10th-gen processors. They only make an appearance in the $1,799 and $1,999 configurations. As usual, education customers will be eligible to save $100 on the base model.

The new 13-inch MacBook Pro is available to order starting today on Apple’s website. It will arrive in “select Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Resellers later this week.”

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