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MacBook Pro 13-inch (2019) Review

MacBook Professional 13-inch (2019) Evaluate

The “MacBook Professional Lite” is not any extra. Not less than that is what I have been calling the entry-level MacBook Professional 13-inch over the past couple of years. It had an outdated Seventh-gen processor, no Contact ID or Contact Bar, and a questionable keyboard.

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The brand new MacBook Professional 13-inch for 2019 (beginning at $1,299, $1,499 as examined) packs a a lot sooner Eighth gen Intel Core CPU and each Contact ID and the Contact Bar. And whereas the keyboard nonetheless is not nice, Apple has launched minor enhancements that may (hopefully) make it extra dependable. Add in additional than 10 hours of battery life and you’ve got the very best Apple laptop computer for most individuals — at the very least those that need a future-proof system.

MacBook Professional 13-inch value and availability

The 13-inch MacBook Professional begins at $1,299 and features a 1.Four-GHz Eighth-gen Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD, which isn’t sufficient storage for the value. The $1,499 mannequin I examined boosts that to 256GB however retains the opposite specs the identical.

MORE: Finest Apple Laptops

In case you’re keen to spend $1,799, you may transfer from two Thunderbolt ports on the entry-level and midrange fashions to 4 Thunderbolt ports and improve to a sooner 2.Four-GHz Eighth-gen Core i5 CPU.


That is going to sound like a damaged report, however Apple actually must shake issues up on the design entrance. The 13-inch MacBook Professional has sported the identical aesthetic for years. It is a good-looking and stylish look, for positive, with a stable unibody aluminum chassis. However the design is a bit on the chunky facet, and the bezels look chunky, too, subsequent to the likes of the Dell XPS 13.

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Whilst you do get two shade choices with Area Grey and Silver, I’d have appreciated for Apple so as to add the identical gold shade hue that the MacBook Air gives.

That is going to sound like a damaged report, however Apple actually must shake issues up on the design entrance.

Weighing Three.02 kilos and measuring 11.97 x eight.36 x Zero.59 inches, the MacBook Professional 13-inch is transportable sufficient to slide in a backpack with out it weighing you down. Nonetheless, the Dell XPS 13 (2.7 kilos Zero.Three-Zero.46 inches thick), the HP Spectre x360 (2.eight kilos, Zero.6 inches) and the MacBook Air (2.eight kilos, Zero.2-Zero.6 inches thick) are all slimmer and lighter.


Simply the type of minimalism I do not like, this model of the 13-inch MacBook Professional packs a whopping two Thunderbolt Three ports, that are each on the left facet. Which means you may cost your system and use one different peripheral on the identical time, until you spring for a dongle or use a USB-C hub at your desk. The appropriate facet homes a headphone jack.

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Regardless of having a thinner chassis, the Dell XPS 13 gives three USB-C ports (two of which help Thunderbolt Three), plus a microSD card slot. And the HP Spectre x360 comes with each USB-C and a standard USB-A port.

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Certain, you will get 4 Thunderbolt Three ports from Apple if you happen to step as much as the $1,799 mannequin, however I do not really feel like you need to need to pay an additional $500 for that privilege (although that config does embody a sooner CPU and graphics).


Whether or not you are a artistic professional otherwise you simply respect a stellar image, the 2560 x 1600-pixel Retina Show on the 13-inch MacBook Professional is without doubt one of the greatest I’ve seen on any laptop computer.

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When watching the 4K trailer for The Lion King on this laptop computer, I may make out particular person wisps of fur on Simba’s paw as he positioned it on the muddy footprints of his father, and the sweeping African vista regarded attractive with its pale blue sky and sun-dappled baobab tree in vibrant inexperienced.

Whether or not you are a artistic professional otherwise you simply respect a stellar image, the 2560 x 1600-pixel Retina Show on the 13-inch MacBook Professional is without doubt one of the greatest I’ve seen on any laptop computer.

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The MacBook Professional’s panel additionally impressed in our labs, because it registered an excellent 163% of the colour gamut and a brilliant 441 nits. That MacBook Air’s display screen is sweet, but it surely’s dimmer and covers much less of the colour spectrum (100% / 343 nits). The 1080p model of the Dell XPS 13 (126% / 357 nits) additionally falls behind the MacBook Professional, as does the 4K show mannequin (119% / 375 nits. The display screen on the HP Spectre x360 (150%/287 nits) is about as colourful because the MacBook Professional however notably dimmer.


The twin audio system that flank the keyboard on the MacBook Professional produce wealthy and nuanced sound, as I found when streaming “What The?!” from 311. The swirling guitars and pulsing beat had been highly effective with out overwhelming the dueling vocals from S.A. Martinez and Nick Hexum. In the meantime, James Earl Jones’ voice sounded much more god-like than normal once I watched The Lion King trailer, and the hovering strings received very loud with out getting distorted at max quantity.

Keyboard and Touchpad

As somebody who has been utilizing the 2nd-generation MacBook Professional Butterfly keyboard for a few years, something is an improve. And I do discover the 4th-gen Butterfly keyboard on this new MacBook Professional to be quieter and barely extra comfy. Extra vital, Apple says that it has added a brand new materials to the mechanism to forestall reliability points, similar to unintentional double presses or keys not registering.

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The Zero.86 mm of key journey we measured continues to be nicely under that of most laptops, however that’s correctly balanced by the 70 grams of actuation drive required. In my testing, I reached 71 phrases per minute with 92.Three% accuracy, which is comparable with my common. There are rumors that Apple is engaged on an entire new keyboard for a future MacBook Professional, however there is no telling when or if that may present up.

MORE: MacBook Keyboard Troubleshooting Information

There’s not a lot to say concerning the touchpad, aside from that it is extremely massive and works rather well. You simply haven’t got to consider scrolling or performing gestures like three-finger swipes up for activating Mission Management view. And that is the best way it must be.

Contact ID and Contact Bar

Apple used to order the Contact ID sensor and Contact Bar for the extra premium 13-inch MacBook Professional, however they’ve now made their strategy to the entry-level mannequin. I am completely satisfied about a type of choices.

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Contact ID makes it simple to unlock your Mac with a single press, so you do not have to depend on a password. Plus, you should use it for the App Retailer, iTunes, Apple Pay and within the Safari and Chrome browsers. Sure, a Face ID function could be sooner, however that may in all probability are available in future Macs.

MORE: The best way to Customise the MacBook Professional Contact Bar

I am extra ambivalent concerning the Contact Bar. In some instances it really makes it tougher to get issues achieved, similar to elevating or reducing the amount. As an illustration, you press the amount key after which slide up or down, versus simply hitting the amount up or down button. There are some shortcuts I like, similar to having the ability to skim by images and urgent on my favourite websites when utilizing Safari, however total, I would choose a correct contact display screen.


Right here is the largest cause to get the 13-inch MacBook Professional over the 2019 MacBook Air. The MacBook Professional packs a a lot sooner quad-core, Eighth-generation Core i5 processor (U sequence), in contrast with the weaker dual-core Core i5 chip (Y Sequence) within the Air.

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There is a fairly stark distinction concerning real-world efficiency. Take our video-editing check, through which we transcode a 4K clip to 1080p. It took the MacBook Professional simply 14 minutes and 42 seconds, in contrast with 36 minutes on the Air. By comparability, the Dell XPS 13 took 19:20 and the HP Spectre x360 22:30.

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In on a regular basis use, I discovered the MacBook Professional very responsive. Even with 22 tabs open in Chrome, the Quick & Livid Presents: Hobbs & Shaw trailer began streaming immediately. And that was with Slack, Skype and Pixelmator additionally working within the background.

On Geekbench Four, an artificial benchmark that measures total efficiency, the MacBook Professional scored 17,366, which is greater than double the MacBook Air. The MacBook Professional additionally surpasses the XPS 13 (14,936) and the Spectre x360 (14,935).

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The MacBook Professional continues to supply one of many quickest SSDs in a laptop computer. On the Blackmagic Disk Pace Check, the system notched a write pace of 1,220 MBps. The MacBook Air was barely behind at 1,011. The XPS 13 mustered solely 226.Four MBps on the identical check, whereas the Spectre x360 was barely higher at 616.Three MBps.

The MacBook Professional continues to supply one of many quickest SSDs in a laptop computer.

In case you’re trying to recreation, the MacBook Professional will ship a smoother expertise. As an illustration, on the Dust Three racing title, we noticed 30.87 fps from the MacBook Professional and simply 19.89 fps from the MacBook Air. We contemplate 30 fps playable.

Battery Life

No offense to the MacBook Air, however this is but one more reason to decide on the Professional over it. The 13-inch MacBook Professional incorporates a 58.2 watt-hour battery, in contrast with a 49.9 WHr battery on the Air. On the Laptop computer Magazine Battery Check, which includes steady internet browsing at 150 nits of display screen brightness, the MacBook Professional lasted a wonderful 10 hours and 39 minutes, which outlasts the eight:51 from the Air.

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Nonetheless, the Professional would not make our listing of laptops with the longest battery life, as different ultraportables last more on a cost. The HP Spectre x360 turned in a runtime of 12:07, and the 1080p model of the XPS 13 endured for 12:22.


No shock right here. The MacBook Professional stored its cool on our warmth check, through which we stream video for 15 minutes earlier than measuring totally different components of the pocket book. The MacBook Professional stayed underneath our 95-degree consolation threshold, hitting 91 levels on the keyboard, 88 levels on the underside and simply 82 levels on the touchpad.

Backside Line

That is the place we’re within the evolution of Apple’s laptops. One of the best MacBook for most individuals prices $1,299. You possibly can complain concerning the “Apple Tax,” however I am telling you that this technique is a greater worth than the MacBook Air at $1,099. You get a a lot sooner processor, brighter show and significantly longer battery life to your cash.

Ought to anybody get the Air? Sure, those that choose a thinner and lighter design, hate the TouchBar and actually do not thoughts much less horsepower. However total, my suggestion is the MacBook Professional 13-inch. I simply want Apple included extra ports.

If you’re keen to go the Home windows route, the Dell XPS 13 continues to be our decide for greatest total laptop computer, because it gives a comfier keyboard, a further USB-C port and microSD card slot, and a slimmer and sleeker design. Plus, it lasts longer on a cost. However if you happen to’re set on macOS, the 13-inch MacBook Professional is the one to get.

Credit score: Laptop computer Magazine

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Mark Spoonauer, Editor-in-Chief
Liable for the editorial imaginative and prescient for Laptopmag.com, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has coated know-how for almost 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech trade occasions and makes common media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was beforehand critiques editor at Cellular Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Fashionable Science and Inc.
Mark Spoonauer, Editor-in-Chief on

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