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New 13 ″ MacBook Pro: what changes, what stays the same and what is missing

After a few months of waiting, behold, Apple today updated the 13-inch MacBook Pro the last model in its line of notebooks that had not yet received the Magic Keyboard. S has a problem: many people have turned their nose up at the upgrade, considering it insignificant and lazy on the part of Apple.

Yes, it is true that Ma was conservative in making improvements to the 13 ? Pro. Still, there are some important changes to the line and, perhaps even more importantly, some relevant differences inside of the family itself.

That's exactly what we're here for: highlighting what's new, everything that stays the same and everything you need to look out for before buying your new MacBook Pro.

Magic Keyboard

The first change of the new 13 ? MacBook Pro is the most obvious: the problematic keyboard with a butterfly mechanism goes out and enters (or, better said, returns) the traditional keyboard with scissor mechanism now called the Magic Keyboard. In practice, this means that you will have slightly softer keys, with improved touch feel, quieter and more reliable.

Touch Bar of the new 13-inch MacBook Pro

The Magic Keyboard also brought some layout differences on the keys: just like on the 16 ? MacBook Pro, here we have a physical Esc key on the left of the Touch Bar (which, because of that, has been slightly shortened). In the lower right corner of the keyboard, the directional arrows returned to the old scheme, where they all have the same height and form an inverted "T", much more friendly from the point of view of tactile usability.

With the transition, it?s also worth noting that the new 13 ? MacBooks Pro at the the coverage program for keyboards is part of the coverage, after all, it only applies to models with bad butterfly keyboards.

Processors

Here, one of the most important points of the update is noted: effectively, Apple has two "generations" of 13 "MacBooks Pro sold at the same time or, more precisely, two completely different generations of processors in the same family of laptops.

To better understand, see below the main features of the four "standard" models of the new MacBook Pro 13 "offered by Apple:

  • Input model: Intel Core i5 processor (8 generation) four cores and 1.4 GHz (Turbo Boost at 3.9GHz), Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD and two Thunderbolt 3 ports.
  • Intermediate input model: Intel Core i5 processor (8 generation) four cores and 1.4 GHz (Turbo Boost at 3.9GHz), Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD and two Thunderbolt 3 ports.
  • Intermediate model: Intel Core i5 processor (10 generation) four cores and 2GHz (Turbo Boost at 3.8GHz), Intel Iris Plus Graphics, 16GB of RAM, 512GB SSD and four Thunderbolt 3 ports.
  • Top-of-the-line model: Intel Core i5 processor (10 generation) four cores and 2GHz (Turbo Boost at 3.8GHz), Intel Iris Plus Graphics, 16GB of RAM, 1TB SSD and four Thunderbolt 3 ports.

In other words, the first two models still feature the same generation of Intel processors (the octave, "Coffee Lake") that fitted the previous models of the 13 ? MacBook Pro are, therefore, the same machines sold previously, with the difference only on the keyboard.

The two most expensive models, on the other hand, represent a ?real? upgrade: they upgrade to the tenth generation ("Ice lake") of Intel processors is the same as that already equipped the new MacBooks Air, but in faster models and improved RAM, too (see more below).

In other words: if you want to buy a machine really new, should invest in one of the two most expensive models of the new 13 ? MacBook Pro, those that have four Thunderbolt 3 ports and that start at US $ 1,800 (or R $ 21,800, in Brazil).

The different generations of processors, in addition to the obvious variations in performance that we will see between machines, also bring some practical limitations to the cheaper models of the new MacBook Pro.

Pro Display XDR support

the fact that only models with four Thunderbolt 3 ports natively support the Pro XDR Display. The two cheapest models, because they have older processors, cannot connect to Apple's professional monitor unless you connect the computers to an external GPU.

Pro XDR Display

Considering that the cheaper MacBooks Air can connect to the good Pro Display XDR, this seems to be a very strange choice on the part of Apple.

Graphics

All 13 ? MacBook Pro models continue to have graphics integrated with the processor. Iris Plus, from Intel. However, because we have two different generations of chips in machine versions, there are some practical differences.

Models with two Thunderbolt 3 ports continue to have the same connectivity as the previous generation: you can plug them into a 5K monitor or two 4K monitors simultaneously (all at 60Hz). Models with four ports can be connected to a 6K monitor or two 4K monitors (all, too, at 60Hz).

For more ?practical? measurements of graphical performance, we will have to wait for the first benchmarks with the new machines even though Apple promises gains of up to 80% on models with 10 generation chips.

Storage

Thanks to the cost, Apple seems to have realized that 128GB is a low capacity even for the most restrained users: the new models of the 13 ? MacBook Pro come from 256GB, reaching up to 4TB of storage previously, custom configurations reached a maximum of 2TB.

RAM

The entry models remain with 8GB of RAM, but now, the versions with four Thunderbolt 3 ports already depart with 16 GB of memory. For these models with the new Intel processors, it is possible to make a customized configuration with up to 32GB RAM models with older processors are still limited to 16GB.

There is also a considerable difference in the type of memory: MacBooks Pro with two Thunderbolt 3 ports have 2.133MHz LPDDR3 combs, the same as the previous generation; j machines with four ports, due to the newer processors, are equipped with 3.733MHz LPDDR4X RAM much faster and able to resist for more years in the cruel course of time.

Size and weight

Just like the MacBooks Air a few weeks ago, the new 13 ? MacBooks Pro gained a few grams and a few tenths of a millimeter in their measurements: the new models weigh 1.4kg (30g more than its predecessors) and have 15.6mm thick (against 14.9mm from the previous ones) all due, presumably, to the new Magic Keyboard.

The other dimensions (width and length) remain unchanged.

audio

The configuration of the built-in speakers remains the same, but now they support technology Dolby Atmos. Likewise, we have the same three microphones as the previous generation, but now, according to Apple, they are the type beamforming directional which is likely to yield a more accurate and clean audio pickup (we will wait for the tests, anyway).

Hallelujah, we still have a 3.5mm headphone jack.

What remains the same (and what we want to see)

If the changes of the new 13 ? MacBook Pro are discreet, the similarities stand out and, therefore, what we would like to see and which has not arrived.

Retina display of the new 13-inch MacBook Pro

Starting with screen: here we have the same 13.3 ? Retina IPS panel with a resolution of 2560 × 1600 pixels, support a wide range of colors and technology True Tone. No one disputes that a fantastic screen, one of the best in the segment, but rumors indicated that Apple could make the jump to 14 ? (with smaller edges) in this generation something that, for whatever reason (Coronavirus, perhaps?), Has not yet occurred .

THE drums it hasn't changed either: they are 58Wh or 58.2Wh cells, still capable of powering computers for 10 hours away from the outlet (according to Apple). The charger remains USB-C, with 61W of power.

We still have network support here 802.11ac Wi-Fi, with nothing to support Wi-Fi 6; the FaceTime HD camera still captures the same (and few) 720p.

The prices of the four versions offered also has not changed, at least in the USA: the cheapest model comes out $ 1,300, while the most expensive $ 2,000 versions with customized configurations can go well beyond this value, of course. And, as we noted in this article, prices underwent (more) an adjustment in Brazil, due to the high dollar.

With all the differences and similarities duly explained, now we throw the ball at you: is the upgrade worth it? Leave your opinions below.