2020 MacBook Pro 13 Is Boring, But Has Some Important Improvements

2020 13-inch MacBook Pro

The MacBook Pro being reviewed for this article is the 13-inch version that has a 2GHz quad-core 10th generation Intel Core i5 processor, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD. It retails for $1799, but you can easily find it in some stores for $1599.

What a letdown! After Apple completely redesigned their big MacBook Pro by shortening the bezels and putting in a 16-inch screen, many predicted they would do the same with the 13-inch version. In fact, most reports were sure it would have a 14-inch screen. Unfortunately, that may not happen until 2021. Still, there are many things about the new 13-inch Pro to like.

New Keyboard

I’m one of those who thought the Butterfly keyboard on the previous version of the 13-inch Pro wasn’t that bad. Of course, I’m in the minority — and that’s why Apple has given the new Pro its Magic Keyboard. Pressing down on Apple’s new keyboard gives your fingers a plush feeling, and you can probably type faster on this keyboard than most others.

The Magic Keyboard is probably the best you'll get on a laptop.

Improved Speakers

There has been some debate on whether or not Apple has improved the speakers on the 13-inch Pro. They certainly didn’t at the lower-end models, but — as Forbes points out — the higher-end model being reviewed here has the best speakers ever heard on a 13-inch device.

There is more bass as well as distinctive treble coming out of the speakers than previous versions. They only distort at high volumes. A friend of mine who was watching Rick and Morty with me was shocked on how well the sound traveled from such a small device. Even with the sound improvements, the 13-inch Pro lags far behind the 16-inch Pro, but that’s because Apple likely didn’t have as much room to insert more speakers and woofers.

10th Generation Processor

The new lower-end MacBook Pros only have an 8th generation processor. But the $1799 version reviewed here has a 10th generation Intel Core i5 processor, and it really helps speed things along. I edited some 4K videos using Final Cut Pro and was surprised how well the new 13-inch Pro handled the editing process. Then again, if I were a professional film editor who spend hours a day editing professionally, I would probably go for the 16-inch Pro.

Unfortunately….

Despite using the latest processors, the new MacBook Pro has WiFi 5 instead of WiFi 6, which is included on all the latest smartphones and PC computers. There are also the (relatively) thick bezels around the screen that look so 2015. Unfortunately, the battery life is just average. It will give you five to six hours of power usage. Unlike the 16-inch MacBook Pro, it’s not the type of laptop that allows you to leave the charger behind without any worries.

Conclusion

The 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro isn't a "must-upgrade-to" device.

If the Butterfly keyboard of previous MacBook Pro computers bothers you a lot, then an upgrade to the 2020 version may be worth it. Otherwise, it’s probably better to wait for the 14-inch Pro, which will likely be a real upgrade.

About Daryl

Daryl Deino has been a technology enthusiast since 1995 and has written for several newspapers and technology sites. Please reach him at [email protected]
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