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MacBook Pro 15in (2019) review

MacBook Professional 15in (2019) evaluation

Apple’s up to date the MacBook Professional for 2019 with what proved to be the final 15in MacBook Professional – no less than for now.

Since then the 15in has been changed by a bigger 16in MacBook Professional mannequin, however whereas Apple itself not sells the MacBook Professional 15, you should purchase it from different retailers or refurbished. So is it nonetheless price contemplating?

The massive change to the 2019 15in was the transfer from Intel’s Eighth era Espresso Lake to Ninth era Espresso Lake Refresh chips. To the uninitiated that may sound like much less of a powerful bounce than the standard transfer from processors of 1 ‘lake’ to a different, however these newer Espresso Lake chips signify a transfer from 6 to eight cores.

These chips are primarily designed for inventive professionals and players. Nonetheless, they do have some advantages for these performing basic workplace duties and different extra consumer-focused functions, in as a lot as they may save battery life as a result of they’ll run in low-power mode. We’ll take a more in-depth take a look at the processors and different up to date elements under.

Earlier than we do, a fast phrase about what hasn’t modified.

Design & construct

Up till the newer 16in mannequin, the MacBook Professional design hadn’t actually modified since 2016 when Apple launched the Contact Bar and a Contact ID sensor, a bigger trackpad, and changed all ports with USB-C (which double up as Thunderbolt three). That 2016 mannequin was the primary MacBook Professional to be accessible in House Gray along with the usual Silver end.

The size additionally modified very barely again in 2016 and nothing has modified in that respect since. The opposite change in 2016 was the return of the title ‘MacBook Professional’ to the bezel under the display screen.

Talking of the display screen, the MacBook Professional has featured a Retina show since 2012. The Retina show was improved in 2016 when it gained an improved color gamut, extra brightness and higher distinction. Additional adjustments got here in 2018 when Apple added the True Tone show expertise that first appeared on the iPad Professional and basically makes positive that the colors displayed are correct whatever the lighting.

If you’re contemplating updating from an older, pre-2016 MacBook Professional it’s possible you’ll end up lacking Magsafe, the magnetic energy cable that will disconnect slightly than pull your laptop computer to the ground when you tripped over it. We don’t suppose that many individuals will discover themselves on this considerably unlikely situation, however it’s possible honest few will likely be pissed off in the event that they should unplug one thing from a USB-C port with a view to cost their laptop computer.


The opposite huge change that got here in 2016 and has plagued MacBooks ever since pertains to the keyboard. A ‘butterfly’ mechanism beneath the keys meant that the laptop computer might be a fraction slimmer. When it comes to how this adjustments the typing really feel I discover that the dearth of journey generally is a little disconcerting, like the important thing is not actually shifting beneath my fingers, and I additionally really feel that the keys are a bit shut collectively, however it does have its advantages: the butterfly mechanism implies that it issues much less the place on the important thing you press.

Nonetheless, there have been circumstances of those new keyboards affected by a problem the place mud trapped beneath a key can render that key unusable. The issue is that the problem can’t be fastened simply, it’s not potential to simply take away a key and clear it such as you may need prior to now. Because of the brand new design the entire keyboard must be eliminated.

The excellent news is that Apple does have a restore program for this very challenge. So when you do encounter it inside 4 years of buying your MacBook Professional, Apple will restore it for you totally free. So if it’s one thing you’re involved about that ought to give you some peace of thoughts.

The truth that the restore program was prolonged to incorporate the 2019 MacBook Professional doesn’t do a lot to point that the problem has been rectified, however we do know that Apple has made adjustments to the keyboard materials in 2019 that would go some approach to cease the problem occurring. Thoughts you, the corporate did add a membrane beneath the keys of the 2018 mannequin and that didn’t rectify the issue.

It is telling that the 2020 MacBook Professional fashions have swapped keyboard mechanism solely, so when you’re apprehensive it’s possible you’ll need to spending a bit further on a newer MacBook.

Specs and efficiency

Whereas little has modified on the skin of the MacBook Professional prior to now few years, there’s a change to the within.

As I discussed above, the 2019 MacBook Professional marks a transfer from Eighth-generation Espresso Lake to Ninth-generation Espresso Lake Refresh chips. This won’t sound very thrilling, however it implies that the top-or-the-range mannequin now has Eight-cores, slightly than maxing out at 6-cores. It additionally implies that the processor contained in the entry-level 15in MacBook Professional is healthier than the processor within the 2018 top-of-the-range mannequin.

Nonetheless, except for the processor nothing else has modified since 2018. The graphics choices stay the identical, starting from a Radeon Professional 555X as much as the Radeon Professional Vega 20 – the latter of which is within the mannequin I have been testing.

Listed here are the primary spec choices:

  • MacBook Professional 2.6GHz 6-core Ninth gen i7, TB four.5GHz, 256GB, Radeon Professional 555X, 16GB RAM: £2,349/$2,399. Out there on Apple’s web site
  • MacBook Professional 2.3GHz Eight-core Ninth gen i9, TB four.8GHz, 512GB, Radeon Professional 560X, 16GB RAM: £2,699/$2,799. Out there on Apple’s web site

There are additionally the next build-to-order choices:

  • 2.4GHz Eight-core Ninth gen i9 (+£180/$200)
  • RAM: 32GB (+£360/$400)
  • Graphics: Radeon Professional Vega 16 (+£225/$250) or Radeon Professional Vega 20 (+£315/$350)
  • SSD: 1TB (+£360/$400), 2TB (+£900/$1,000), 4TB (+£2,520/$2,800)

This is how our 2.4GHz Eight-core Ninth-gen i9 MacBook Professional with 32GB RAM, Radeon Professional Vega 20 graphics, and 4TB SSD bought on in our testing labs. We are able to examine it 2018’s 2.9GHz six-core i9 MacBook Professional and the 2019 three.6GHz Eight-core i9 iMac and some different machines with comparable spec. We’ll begin with these processors.


We ran Geekbench v4.three.three. Observe that there might be some discrepancies in scores based mostly on the model of Geekbench and the model of the working system we’re working on the Mac, however the outcomes ought to nonetheless give an excellent indication of simply how highly effective the brand new chips are.

Within the multi-core check the 2019 mannequin scored 31,066. A pleasant leap from the 2018 MacBook Professional mannequin’s 23,028. For a comparability with identical era chip, the iMac scored 33,484. It’s no shock that the iMac bought a better rating because the chip has a sooner clock velocity (three.6GHz), however it’s a extremely promising consequence from the MacBook Professional.


You’d anticipate the graphics card on this explicit 2019 MacBook Professional to carry out higher than 2018’s mannequin, since you’re evaluating a Radeon Professional Vega 20 with the Radeon Professional 560X that was within the 2018 mannequin we examined (and remains to be the usual providing in 2019’s MacBook Professional). It’s an identical story with the iMac, which options the 560X or 570X graphics as normal – however the mannequin we’ve examined had a Radeon Professional Vega 48 GPU.

That is an attention-grabbing comparability as a result of it exhibits simply how a lot of a distinction an excellent quick graphics card could make. And crucially, now you can plug in an exterior GPU, so even if in case you have a normal card there’s nothing to cease you plugging a sooner one in in a while.

As you’d anticipate, the graphics processor within the iMac gave it a rating of four,265 in Cinebench R20, above the MacBook Professional’s three,222. I can’t examine the GPU within the 2018 MacBook Professional as a result of we examined within the older model of Cinebench. Nonetheless, we’ve got check outcomes for a similar playing cards since they seem within the 2019 iMacs: the 560X scored 2,364 and the 570X scored 2,382.

We additionally run the Unigine Valley benchmark checks (which is useful as a result of these haven’t not too long ago been up to date). They check efficiency and stability below excessive graphical workloads. I ran this on the prime setting, Excessive HD.

The high-speed 2019 machine scored three,369 in comparison with the 2018 the machine we examined (with the 570X graphics) which scored 875. Common frames per second was an astonishing 81 in 2019, in comparison with 20.9fps in 2018. That iMac with what needs to be a superior graphics solely scored 2,287 and a median of 54.7 FPS, suggesting that one thing else was slowing it down.

Learn & Write velocity

The subsequent check we run is the AJA System Take a look at Lite, which evaluates drive efficiency. I examined utilizing fairly excessive settings: 5K RED, 4GB.

The 2019 MacBook Professional ‘learn’ three,013MB/s and ‘wrote’ three,070MB/s. As compared, the 2018 MacBook Professional recorded a median of two,914MB/s write and three,069MB/s learn. The distinction is small, however important.

That is one place the place the MacBook Professional will likely be superior to an iMac with a Fusion drive, which is the usual possibility for many iMacs. Among the iMacs we’ve got examined have a mixed SSD and arduous drive and so they noticed a lot decrease scores, 1,458MB/s learn and 685MB/s write.


The battery contained in the 15in MacBook Professional has a capability of 83.6Wh, which is unchanged from 2018.

Apple hasn’t modified its claimed battery life for this mannequin. As final 12 months it ought to nonetheless handle as much as 10 hours of wi-fi internet looking and 10 hours of iTunes film playback. After all if you’re utilizing the laptop computer to render a humongous file then the battery life will likely be decrease.

To present a real-world instance, I used the 2019 MacBook Professional to write down this evaluation on, and do a couple of different issues, and 24 hours after I began there was nonetheless 38% battery left.


It’s unlucky that the 2019 15in MacBook Professional continues to be stricken by the keyboard-related points, now solved in 2020’s fashions. It’s unlikely that you may be affected by this challenge although, and do you have to be, Apple will repair the issue totally free however you might not be prepared to take that danger.

Nonetheless, we do assume that the chance is price taking as a result of it is a excellent machine, and if you’re on the lookout for a Mac laptop computer designed for an influence consumer then that is the one 15in possibility accessible, and needs to be accessible for a lot lower than the 2020 fashions.

The actual fact is that this laptop computer hasn’t modified an ideal deal since 2018 although, so you possibly can discover a deal on one of many 2018 fashions and save much more cash on a equally speced machine – simply guarantee that it’s nearly as good deal.

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