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MacBook Pro 15in (2019) review

MacBook Professional 15in (2019) assessment

Apple’s up to date the MacBook Professional for 2019. On this assessment we’re wanting on the 15in mannequin, and now we have the last word 15in MacBook Professional spec right here to check. However is that this greater than a processor refresh? Discover out in our full assessment.

We’ll start by rapidly mentioning the Contact Bar-equipped 13in MacBook Professional fashions, which had been additionally up to date in June 2019. The 13in MacBook Professional with Contact Bar has seen a minor processor tweak, from 2.3GHz to 2.4GHz Quad-Core processors. In contrast to the 15in fashions that we’re taking a look at on this assessment, these 13in MacBook Professionals are nonetheless utilizing Eighth era Espresso Lake chips. Nothing else has modified, even the graphics processors are the identical.

Our most important purpose for referring to the smaller MacBook Professional sibling is to emphasis that the improve to the 15in fashions is much extra vital. Right here now we have a transfer from Eighth era Espresso Lake to Ninth era Espresso Lake Refresh chips, to the uninitiated that may sound like much less of a formidable leap than the same old transfer from processors of 1 ‘lake’ to a different, however these new Espresso Lake chips signify a transfer from 6- to Eight-cores.

These new chips are primarily designed for artistic professionals and avid gamers, therefore them being extra suited to the 15in MacBook Professional. Nonetheless, they do have some advantages for these performing normal workplace duties and different extra consumer-focused purposes, in as a lot as they might save battery life as a result of they will run in low-power mode. We’ll take a more in-depth take a look at the processors and different up to date parts beneath.

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

Design & Construct

The MacBook Professional design hasn’t actually modified since 2016 when Apple launched theh 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 obtainable in Area Gray along with the usual Silver end.

The scale additionally modified very barely again in 2016 and nothing has modified in that respect since. The 15in mannequin measures 34.92cm x 24.07cm x 1.55cm (13.75in x 9.48in x zero.61in) and weighs 1.83kg (four.02lb). Previous to 2016 it measured 35.89cm x 24.71cm x 1.8cm (14.12in x 9.73in x zero.71in) and weighed 2.02kg (four.46lb).

The opposite change in 2016 was the return of the title “MacBook Professional” to the bezel beneath the display.

Talking of the display, 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 modifications 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 you could end up lacking Magsafe, the magnetic energy cable that might disconnect relatively than pull your laptop computer to the ground in the event you tripped over it. We don’t suppose that many individuals will discover themselves on this considerably unlikely state of affairs, nevertheless it’s probably honest few might be annoyed in the event that they need to unplug one thing from a USB-C port in an effort to cost their laptop computer.


The opposite large change that got here in 2016 and has considerably plagued MacBooks ever since pertains to the keyboard. A brand new ‘butterfly’ mechanism beneath the keys meant that the laptop computer could possibly be a fraction slimmer. By way of how this modifications the typing ‘really feel’ we discover that the shortage of journey is usually a little disconcerting, like the important thing is not actually transferring beneath our fingers, and we additionally really feel that the keys are a little bit shut collectively, nevertheless 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 instances of those new keyboards affected by a difficulty 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 doable to simply take away a key and clear it such as you might 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 subject. So in the event you do encounter it inside 4 years of buying your MacBook Professional, Apple will restore it for you at no cost. So if it’s one thing you might be 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 modifications to the keyboard materials in 2019 that might go some technique 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.

If, like us, you have a tendency to make use of an exterior keyboard together with your MacBook when sat at your desk (we desire to make use of an Apple Magic Keyboard) the keyboard points actually shouldn’t cease you from shopping for the latest MacBook Professional. Alternatively, in the event you can wait a 12 months earlier than updating then we suspect that Apple might be endeavouring to fully rectify this downside earlier than the subsequent MacBook Professional launches – and when that mannequin arrives we count on far more than a brand new keyboard.

Learn in regards to the 2020 MacBook Professional right here.

What you get in your cash

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

As we talked about 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, nevertheless it implies that the top-or-the-range mannequin now has Eight-cores, relatively than maxing out at 6-cores. It additionally implies that the processor contained in the entry-level 15in MacBook Professional is now even higher than the processor that was 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, with the identical processors as customary, and the build-to-order selection of a Radeon Professional Vega 16 or Radeon Professional Vega 20 – choices that had been added in October 2018. In case you want a robust graphics card these could possibly be an awesome choice for you, and now we have examined the Radeon Professional Vega 20 so we will examine that to the Radeon Professional 560X that was within the MacBook Professional we examined final 12 months.

Right here’s how the brand new versus outdated specs examine:

15in MacBook Professional for 2019

  • MacBook Professional 2.6GHz 6-core Ninth gen i7, TB four.5GHz, 256GB, Radeon Professional 555X, 16GB RAM: £2,349/$2,399. Accessible 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. Accessible 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)
  • All these choices can be found on Apple’s web site

15in MacBook Professional for 2018

  • MacBook Professional 2.2GHz 6-core Eighth gen i7, TB four.1GHz, 256GB, Radeon Professional 555X, 16GB RAM: £2,349/$2,399.
  • MacBook Professional 2.6GHz 6-core Eighth gen i7, TB four.3GHz, 512GB, Radeon Professional 560X, 16GB RAM: £2,699/$2,799.

Construct-to-order choices in 2018 included:

  • 2.9GHz 6-core Eighth gen i9, TB four.8GHz
  • RAM: 32GB
  • Graphics: Radeon Professional Vega 16 or Radeon Professional Vega 20 (these choices arrived in October 2018)
  • SSD: 1TB, 2TB, 4TB

What’s of curiosity right here is that the processor within the 2019 entry-level appears similar to the one within the top-of-the-range 2018 mannequin. Which is nice information in the event you didn’t buy that 2018 mannequin, as now you could possibly save your self £350 and, we count on, see related efficiency (though you’d even be taking a success when it comes to graphics card and storage).

Apple now not sells these 2018 fashions (apart from within the refurbished retailer) however you may have the ability to get one from an Apple reseller. Take a look at these MacBook offers, wherein case it’s value allowing for the similarities between these two machines when contemplating if it truly is a discount.

One other attention-grabbing comparability when it comes to specs is to look to the 2019 iMac, which was up to date in March 2019. For a lot of in search of a robust pc that doesn’t price over £5,000 it is going to be a selection between the MacBook Professional and the iMac. Learn our iMac vs MacBook Professional assessment.

So, onto our benchmarks.


Here 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 could possibly be some discrepancies in scores primarily based on the model of Geekbench and the model of the working system we’re operating on the Mac, however the outcomes ought to nonetheless give a great 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 similar era chip, the iMac scored 33,484. It’s no shock that the iMac bought the next rating because the chip has a quicker clock pace (three.6GHz), nevertheless it’s a very promising outcome from the MacBook Professional.


We’d count on the graphics card on this specific 2019 MacBook Professional to carry out higher than final years mannequin, as a result of we’re evaluating a Radeon Professional Vega 20 with the Radeon Professional 560X that was within the 2018 mannequin we examined (and continues 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 customary – however the mannequin we’ve examined had a Radeon Professional Vega 48 GPU.

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

As you’d count on, the graphics processor within the iMac gave it a rating of four,265 in Cinebench R20, above the MacBook Professional’s three,222. We are able to’t examine the GPU within the 2018 MacBook Professional as a result of we examined within the older model of Cinebench. Nonetheless, now we have 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 assessments (which is helpful as a result of these haven’t lately been up to date). They check efficiency and stability below excessive graphical workloads. We ran this on the prime setting, Excessive HD.

Our 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 ought 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 pace

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

The 2019 MacBook Professional ‘learn’ three,zero13MB/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 vital.

That is one place the place the MacBook Professional might be superior to an iMac with a Fusion drive, which is the usual choice for many iMacs. A few of the iMacs now we have examined have a mixed SSD and laborious 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. The 13in mannequin has a 58Wh battery.

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 searching 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 might be much less.

We run an identical check to Apple, operating a looping movie till shutdown, with the display calibrated at 120cd/m2 (with auto brightness disabled, and vitality saver settings set to that it would not fall asleep, we additionally flip off the keyboard backlight and disable the keyboard backlight auto modify setting). The 2018 MacBook Professional lasted a good 9 hours and 40 minutes. We count on an identical outcome for the 2019 mannequin, though modifications in working system have been recognized to have an impact prior to now.

In much less demanding battery assessments, we used the 2019 MacBook Professional to jot down this assessment on, and some different issues and 24 hours after we began there was nonetheless 38% battery left.


It’s unlucky that the MacBook Professional (and the MacBook and MacBook Air) proceed to be suffering from the keyboard-related points. It’s unlikely that you can be affected by this subject although, and must you be, Apple will repair the issue at no cost however you might not be keen to take that danger.

Nonetheless, we do suppose that the danger is value taking as a result of it is a very good machine, and if you’re in search of a Mac laptop computer designed for an influence person then that is the one choice obtainable.

The very fact is that this laptop computer hasn’t modified an awesome deal since 2018 although. You could possibly wait one other 12 months and preserve your fingers crossed new even higher MacBook Professional is on the way in which (hearsay has it a 16in mannequin with a 4K show is within the pipeline). Or you could possibly discover a deal on one of many 2018 fashions and save a bit of cash on a equally speced machine – simply ensure that it’s pretty much as good deal.

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