Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch
Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch, Explore the new interface with this all-new Mac 3-inch by tech giant Apple. Things around us change from time to time often, we tend to make everything better than yesterday. Well, following the same path the apple will not get us down with fascinating updates over its products.
The new Macbook is a workhorse with high feast specs, as its M1 processor drives the machine at its speed. Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch 2020 is a macOS laptop with a 13.30-inch display that has a resolution of 1600×2560 pixels. It is powered by a Core i5 processor and it comes with 8GB of RAM.
With this new chip at its core – the same one that powers the Mac Mini(2010) and the Macbook Air(2010), the new MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020) delivers much greater performance than the Intel CPUs powering its predecessor. According to Apple, it’s not only 2.8 times faster than the early model but also three times quicker than equivalent Windows laptops. At the same time, it has a longer battery life than the previous Intel models, thanks to the chip’s better power efficiency.
So, while it’s true that there was a strong challenger or two during our M1 Chipset like the AMD Ryzen 7 4800U-powered Lenovo Yoga Slim 7 and there’s a lack of major design updates, the MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020) still meets almost our expectations. If Apple wanted to launch something revolutionary, it certainly managed that.
What’s interesting is that the new MacBook Air (M1, 2020) is available with the same M1 chip, and with the same amount of RAM and 512GB storage, for $1,249.Usually, we wouldn’t compare the MacBook Pro with the MacBook Air, but considering how close the specs are, and the fact that the new MacBook Air also features a screen that supports the P3 color gamut, previously exclusive to MacBook Pros, there may be some people who think going for the Air is a better choice, especially as it comes with double the capacity for less money.
However, the MacBook Air (M1, 2020) has a fanless design, whereas the MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020) still has fans. This means the new MacBook Air is limited in how long it can run intensive tasks before its performance is throttled in order to prevent overheating, due to there being no fans to cool it down.
Specs in brief
Display size: 13.30-inch
Processor: Core i5
Graphics: Intel Integrated Iris Plus Graphics 645
Display resolution: 1600×2560 pixels
Let’s jump into the detailed view.
Display and design
Macbook stunned with a 13-inch Retina display with a resolution of 2560 x 1600, with True Tone technology (which changes the color temperature of the display depending on the ambient light), and P3 wide color gamut support. This last bit is incredibly important for photographers and video editors who need to work on projects that require accurate colors.
It’s a bright, vibrant display that remains excellent, so for many of us, the news that Apple hasn’t changed the screen will be a relief. However, Apple’s rivals like Dell, HP, and Razer are offering higher resolutions, and even OLED technology, to make some truly stunning laptop displays. Apple is in danger of being left behind.
The 13.3-inch screen still goes up to a bright 500 nits, but the bezels around it are still a little large by current standards. The speakers, mics, and overall build quality are above average. It’s a MacBook, and chances are good you know what that means when it comes to hardware. That includes the 720p webcam, which is not great.
That’s because with its dimensions of 0.61 x 11.97 x 8.36 inches (1.56 x 30.41 x 21.24cm) and a weight of 3.0 pounds (1.4kg) it’s pretty much the same as the previous model. It certainly looks and feels identical to previous MacBook Pro 13-inch models, so anyone hoping for a radical new look to match the radical new hardware within is going to be disappointed.
We may feel that this is a bit of a missed opportunity for Apple. It’s made a big deal of what a revolutionary change its move to the M1 chip is, along with macOS which is a big enough change to warrant naming it ‘macOS 11’, and not ‘macOS 10.17′ – so we’d have like to see Apple be just as bold with the look of the MacBook Pro 13-inch.
Apple would probably argue, along with some of its fans, that the MacBook Pro 13-inch’s design is perfect, so there’s no point changing it. In a way that’s fair – this is still a good-looking laptop after all, and it remains impressively thin and light; but when Apple’s rivals, such as Dell and HP, are doing some innovative things with their designs, be it super-slim bezels or 2-in-1 designs that let you use the laptop like a tablet, the MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020)’s look starts to feel a little dated.
The scissor-switch mechanism underneath the keys on the Magic Keyboard provides one millimeter of travel, a firm bounce, and a more resonant thunk than the butterfly keyboard. Still, for the purpose of this MacBook review, the design of the MacBook Pro 13-inch isn’t bad by any means, just rather familiar and that sense of familiarity is maintained when you open the laptop.
The screen is also unchanged, with a Retina resolution of 2560 x 1600. This results in a sharp image, but again Apple is being outclassed here by rivals such as HP and Dell, who are putting higher-resolution screens on their 13-inch laptops.
Still, the screen of the Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch remains bright and vibrant. It also supports the P3 wide color gamut, offering excellent color reproduction this is great for photographers and video editors, who need true-to-life colors, but it’s worth pointing out that the new MacBook Air also now comes with P3 wide color support. This makes them more affordable MacBook Air a viable alternative for budget-conscious creatives and deprives the MacBook Pro of a key selling point.
Keyboard and trackpad
Apple dedicated with two main configurations of the 13-inch MacBook Pro. Physically, they’re nearly identical. Both of them have the new Magic Keyboard and a thin touch-enabled mini-screen forward of the keyboard called the Touch Bar. They also share the same dimensions: 0.61 by 12 by 8.4 inches (HWD) and 3.1 pounds. The main way you can tell them apart from the outside is by the number of ports.
As with previous models, the MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020) also comes with the Touch Bar, which is a thin screen that runs along the top of the keyboard. This is used by various applications to show context-sensitive buttons and tools, and several well-regarded creative tools, such as Photoshop, make use of it. Once you get the hang of it, you may find it extremely useful and will be glad to see it included in the latest model.
Speaking of the keyboard, Apple once again includes the new and improved Magic Keyboard, which replaces the keyboard from earlier pre-2020 models, which used the controversial Butterfly key switches, which were prone to sticking and other problems. The new keyboard is more reliable and comfortable to use.
The process isn’t terribly innovative, but rather an iteration of the way laptop keyboards have been designed for decades. The butterfly design, by contrast, is very innovative, but not in a good way, since its keys barely move when you strike them, providing an experience more akin to tapping on a touch screen than typing on the keyboard.
Perhaps the only benefit to the previous keyboard design is its ability to prevent light from spilling out around the key’s edges. You can definitely see this spillover in the Magic Keyboard. It’s a slightly messier look when you’re using it in the dark, but it’s hardly a deal-breaking annoyance.
A Touch ID button
A touch ID button is also included next to the Touch Bar and allows you to log in to macOS Big Sur, and pay for things using Apple Pay, with a quick scan of your fingerprint. It’s fast and reliable, really in an attractive way.
The Air is a fine choice for basic computing, but it lacks a few features that are exclusive to the MacBook Pro. Some are trivial, like the Touch Bar. This tiny touch screen replaces the row of function keys, but the functionality it offers depends greatly upon the app you’re using. Some apps, like the Safari web browser and Adobe Photoshop, make extensive use of the Touch Bar, offering the ability to open bookmarked web pages or adjust the diameter of a paintbrush tool.
Many other apps offer no Touch Bar support, however, in which case the Touch Bar just serves as a way to control basic functions like system volume and screen brightness.
The MacBook Pro and MacBook Air both have built-in fingerprint readers, which Apple calls Touch ID sensors. Located at the upper right corner of the keyboard, Touch ID doubles as the power button for the laptop, and can also be used to authenticate Apple Pay purchases and grant permissions to apps without typing your macOS account password.
The MacBook Pro 13-inch only features two Thunderbolt 3 ports, however, along with an audio output port, which means if you have devices that use the older USB ports, such as drawing tablets or memory sticks, or you want to plug in a monitor via HDMI, then you’re going to need an adaptor.
The M1 Macs are a huge departure from their Intel counterparts in some notable ways. The foremost concern of these changes is app compatibility. Apple promised a smooth transition, and they’ve mostly delivered on those promises.
Most of the common apps were not yet optimized for the M1 chip, this includes the Adobe suite of applications, MS Office, Handbrake, and of course, plugins for Photoshop and Lightroom. At the time of usage, all of these tools were running as smoothly and reliably as they do on an Intel-based Mac. The only notable difference here would be that apps that have to be run through the Rosetta 2 translation layer take around 30 seconds to launch but only on the first launch. Subsequent startups are fast, up until you reboot. It’s quite surprising the speed with which major software makers have released M1-optimised versions of their applications.
The M1 chip is built on an Arm architecture instead of an x96 architecture like Intel chips, but it still runs apps designed for Intel machines thanks to Rosetta 2, a translation process that runs in the background and is invisible to the user.
Now, one of the most exciting things about the Macs moving over to ARM-based architecture is the fact that it’s now possible to run iOS and iPadOS apps on the Mac. The Mac App Store in fact now has a section for iOS and iPadOS apps that have been made available for the Mac, but unfortunately, none of the popular are available via this route. However, if we can get our hands on an IPA file for the app you want to run, you can simply install it like you would any regular app, and it will run just fine. There are, however, some challenges addressed within the usage of the apps. Mobile for iPadOS installed on the Apple MacBook Pro 13” and after a few minutes into a match, it was observed banned by most of the users. This could be due to running the app in an environment it’s not meant for. Currently, the selection of iOS and iPadOS apps available via the Mac App Store is still rather weak, but hopefully, that will change in the coming months.
Apple is also encouraging developers to create Universal apps that use a single binary and run on both Apple Silicon Macs and Intel Macs. Further, Apple Silicon Macs are able to run apps that are designed for iPhone and iPad.
With the efficiency improvements introduced with the M1, the MacBook Pro has impressive battery life that far exceeds the battery life of the prior-generation model.
There’s a 58.2WHr battery in the M1 MacBook Pro models that lasts for up to 17 hours when browsing the web and up to 20 hours when watching movies in the Apple TV app.
The whole allure of Apple’s silicon is that these chips were said to offer significantly improved performance in comparison to their Intel counterparts while consuming significantly less power
The Intel-based MacBook Pro models last for up to 10 hours when browsing the web and up to 10 hours when watching movies in the Apple TV app. Again, these are big claims from Apple, and by its very nature you’re going to be using the MacBook Pro 13-inch for more intensive tasks than that, but we’ve usually found Apple’s battery claims to be pretty on the mark.
According to Mac’s own battery usage widget, the highest screen on time I got was a little over 9 hours, but that was on days when nothing more than basic programs such as browsers and word processors were used. Music and WhatsApp were still a part of this usage pattern. There are so many ways to say the same thing here; battery life on the MacBook Pro 13” is beyond impressive and is something you won’t have to worry about on a day-to-day basis. There’s also an “optimize battery charging” mode which learns from your usage and charging patterns in order to maximize the lifespan of your Mac’s battery.
The MacBook Pro 13” continues Apple’s track record of housing some of the best-sounding speakers in the market. This machine does not come with the force-cancellation subwoofers we find on the bigger 16-inch model, but these speakers are still well within the realm of impressive. Whether it’s watching movies or listening to music, the MacBook Pro 13” delivers excellent clarity even at its loudest.
The M1 MacBook Pro supports 802.11ax WiFi, which is known as Wi-Fi 6, the newest WiFi protocol that’s faster and more efficient than the prior-generation 802.11ac WiFi with up to 1.2Gb/s throughput. It also supports Bluetooth 5.0.
The Intel MacBook Pro is limited to 802.11ac WiFi, aka WiFi 5.
Power and performance
The good news is that those fears seem to be almost completely unfounded. The MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020) is a brilliant performer. In day-to-day use, macOS Big Sur feels fast and responsive, and we were able to quickly open up and run several intensive applications at once, swapping between them with ease.
The fact that we were able to edit 8K footage using a laptop running integrated graphics (rather than using a more powerful and expensive, dedicated graphics card) was incredibly impressive. Macbook launched with a 10th Gen Intel Core i5 processor, 16GB of LPDDR4X RAM, and a 512GB SSD. Relative to my three-year-old MacBook Pro with similar specs, it is a noticeable upgrade in speed and performance across the board. If you have a newer machine, you might not notice as big a difference.
One of the big benefits of this upgraded model is the improved Intel Iris Plus graphics. (There’s no separate GPU option.) Apple claims Final Cut exports will be 60 percent faster, for example. What’s surprised me slightly, however, is how apps that don’t traditionally take advantage of new GPUs in Apple machines fared. Adobe Premiere exports haven’t matched the midrange 16-inch MacBook Pro we tested last year, but they’ve outperformed my expectations.
Throughout our time with the new MacBook Pro, where we used both new M1 versions of apps, as well as older versions that had been made for Intel-based Macs, we were incredibly impressed by the performance, and our synthetic benchmark tests showed that the M1 chip can easily rival 11th generation Intel CPUs – and we were seeing a performance that at times compared with the 16-inch MacBook Pro, a much more expensive device.
Compared to the high-performance cores, the high-efficiency cores use a tenth of the power while still delivering the performance that Mac users need for everyday tasks.
According to Apple, the M1 chip’s CPU is up to 2.8x faster than the Intel chip in the prior MacBook Pro, and GPU speeds are up to 5x faster. All M1 MacBook Pro models come with the 8-core GPU, unlike some MacBook Air models that have a 7-core GPU.
MacBook Pro 13-inch did get a little warm towards the back, and we’d sometimes hear the fans kick in, but this was after only sustained high-intensity use. For most of the work we did on the new MacBook Pro 13-inch, the fans were not needed, so the laptop was virtually silent. Not only was the day-to-day performance of the MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020) impressive, but the battery life blew us away. Apple promised that this model would come with the longest battery life “ever in a Mac”, and it wasn’t lying. We ran a looped 1080p video with the screen at 50% brightness until the battery died, and it lasted just under 13 and a half hours. This is seriously impressive, and a huge 5-hour increase over the previous model in the same test.
The fact that Apple is not only ensuring that pretty much all older Mac apps work on the M1-toting MacBook Pro 13-inch but also thousands of iOS apps as well really highlights what a poor effort Microsoft has made with Windows 10 on ARM. It needs to seriously up its game.
The fact that the MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020) has fans means it can work harder and longer than the MacBook Air (M1, 2020) as well. Due to its fanless design, the new MacBook Air has to throttle performance (by lowering the speed of the M1 chip) to avoid overheating. This makes the Pro the better choice for professionals that are using it for prolonged intensive tasks, such as rendering complex 3D animations. The results also predict that what a big improvement the M1 chip is compared to the previous model with a 2.0GHz Intel Core i5-1038NG7 quad-core processor. Scoring 1,732 in the single-core tests, and 7,590 in the multi-core tests, it roundly beats the earlier model, which scored 1,268 and 4,490 in the same tests. The extra four cores of the M1’s CPU (it’s an octa-core chip) are obviously doing some heavy lifting here.
There’s no doubt that the MacBook Pro 13-inch is a fantastic laptop for creatives. It offers incredible performance for such a thin and lights laptop, and the battery life easily surpasses similar workstation laptops. The M1 chip has been particularly impressive, as even though it is Apple’s first attempt at a laptop chip, it offers brilliant performance – the fact that we were able to easily edit complex 8K projects on this machine still astounds us.