Apple announces new 13-inch MacBook Pro with Magic Keyboard

Sooner than expected, Apple has announced a new 13-inch MacBook Pro with a Magic Keyboard. It features optional Intel 10th Gen processors and starts at $1,299. In one sense, it is a minor spec-bump upgrade for the existing lineup of 13-inch MacBook Pros. But it also represents the end of an era: Apple no longer sells any new laptops with the much-maligned butterfly keyboard mechanism.

Apple has moved relatively quickly to cycle out the butterfly keyboard from its lineup. The 16-inch MacBook Pro was announced in November 2019, followed by a refreshed MacBook Air with Magic Keyboard this past March. In the span of six months, Apple has completely swapped out its entire laptop lineup with models that use better scissor-switch keyboards. Compare that to the five years it spent trying to make the butterfly keyboard mechanism work since the 2015 MacBook (now discontinued).

Image: Apple

As with the last MacBook Pro, Apple is sticking with Thunderbolt 3 / USB-C connectors, two or four of them in total (plus a headphone jack). The Touch Bar also remains for better or worse, alongside a Touch ID fingerprint sensor and — praise be — a real, physical Esc key.

The RAM can be upgraded to 32GB and the storage can be specced all the way up to 4TB. Apple says that 10th Gen Intel processors have a turbo boost up to 4.1Ghz and that the new Intel Iris graphics support the Pro Display XDR at full 6K resolution.

The base $1,299 model also comes with 256GB of storage, up from the 128GB in prior models. But it lacks the 10th Gen processor and starts with 8GB of RAM. An upgrade to 16GB of RAM is available for $100, down from the $200 Apple charged for the same upgrade in prior models.

There have been rumors that the display would be bumped up to something closer to 14 inches, following the 16-inch MacBook Pro’s reduced bezels. That doesn’t appear to be the case here. Apple says this 13-inch display can reach 500 nits of brightness and support the P3 wide color gamut.

It’s available today for order on Apple’s website and will arrive in “select Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Resellers later this week.” Education customers can save $100 on the base model’s price.


Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch with Magic Keyboard
The 13-inch MacBook Pro now has 16GB of faster, 3733MHz RAM in its “select” configurations, alongside a 256GB SSD.

Comments

FINALLY!!!!!

and they added 32GB of ram!!!

Too bad they couldn’t reduce the bezels. Not a huge issue, but I personally was really hoping for that 14-inch.

Hopefully it’s still on its way.

It’s a funny preference, the whole bezel thing. I like large bezels to keep me focused on the screen, and not get distracted by movement/things just-off-screen. I have an iMac Pro with it’s 1"+ bezels, and I’ve always liked the frame, it also help keep colors feeling more stable. I have a 27" LG 4K as a second monitor, and it’s bezels are 1/4" or so, I find the screen doesn’t have the "floating" effect many people like, it feels incomplete. $0.02

But really, the question is: when will the 16" get the 10th Gen Intel?

you’ve used bezel-less laptops and you get distracted? That’s such a weird thing, I can’t imagine it would actually be distracting with such a minimal change.

That’s definitely a valid preference in desktop monitors, but I think laptops need different optimization targets. With only so much space to work with, every bit of bezel is a reduction in work area, which is a bigger difference on smaller sizes.

I find 13" a bit cramped for getting into heavy work, 15" is nice to work on at a desk and I used to be all about them but as I’ve gotten used to smaller machines, they seem very large for carrying about now, certainly can’t use them on an airplane tray. 14" is, imo, the ideal size between not sacrificing portability and having enough screen real estate.

It’s a funny preference, the whole bezel thing.

I think people are wrongly confusing bezels being a "preference", when in reality the reason for them gone, at least in this case, is practicality.

Large bezels aren’t that big of a deal with a large 27" 4k monitor, because if you’re going that big, it means you have space to spare on a large enough desk.

On a laptop focused on portability though? Bezels suddenly matter way more, as smaller bezels allow you to have a bigger screen in the same form factor as last year. Which matters greatly for everything ranging from productivity to comfort. Everyone wants as large display as possible without having to carry around a large bulky device.

There’s absolutely no downsides for tiny bezels on a laptop (other than perhaps structural), unlike a phone where small enough bezels + curved displays are a mess when it comes to palm rejection and accidental touches.

On a laptop focused on portability though? Bezels suddenly matter way more, as smaller bezels allow you to have a bigger screen in the same form factor as last year. Which matters greatly for everything ranging from productivity to comfort. Everyone wants as large display as possible without having to carry around a large bulky device.

For every person who wants a bigger screen in the same form factor (build the screen size around the laptop), you’ll have an equal number wanting the same size screen in a smaller form factor (build the laptop around the screen size). There’s just no way to please everybody. And "everyone" does not want the same thing; even those who want smaller bezels.

There’s absolutely no downsides for tiny bezels on a laptop (other than perhaps structural),

Screens aren’t really available at any possible size; they’re available at certain specific sizes. So manufacturers have to choose what size they want for a given laptop.

If the choice is between, say, a 13 and a 14 inch screen, a manufacturer might conclude that more of their customers would choose a slightly smaller laptop – even if it means slightly larger bezels to accomodate the laptop’s internals – with the smaller screen than dealing with a potentially larger laptop with a larger screen.

So yes, there are potential downsides to bezel-less laptops. A laptop without a bezel is a laptop designed around a screen size. The size of the screen determines the size of the laptop. That implies that the laptop itself could have been smaller with a smaller screen, and many people would have chosen a smaller laptop. Especially when you’re talking about a 13" laptop, which is more or less an ultrabook, I think most people would choose to have it be as small as possible.

For every person who wants a bigger screen in the same form factor (build the screen size around the laptop), you’ll have an equal number wanting the same size screen in a smaller form factor (build the laptop around the screen size). There’s just no way to please everybody. And "everyone" does not want the same thing; even those who want smaller bezels.

So Apple decided to please no one.

I’m with @AniMill on this, when doing "work" work on a MacBook the bezels help to frame what you’re doing if you’re in full screen. Yes I know that sounds odd but if you’re used to it it really helps!

I also use a zBook and love the bezels on that too!

I don’t necessarily like large bezels, but I do like some frame around the screen.

It’s not because of distraction, it’s for the same reason you hang a picture in a frame: It sets it off from the background.

I think it’s clearly more than just preference. Bezels minimize distractions for everyone to some degree but bezel-less just photograph nicer and look like a more futuristic device. Some people prefer that aesthetic (although it’s mostly "look at me" vanity) and might even work better because of the way it makes them feel. But yeah, bezels aren’t just an artifact from previous generations of technology, they also improve workflow.

Keep telling yourself that. This is clearly a case of justifying a shortcoming by calling it a feature. Set this next to a Dell XPS 13 and tell us how preferable it is to have the bezels. And then a year or two from now when Apple finally reduces the bezels?

Glossy bezels are about as helpful as no bezels in providing a distraction-free background.

The thing is not even Wi-Fi ax. Apple is just being super disappointing right now. Not including ax in a pro machine released in May 2020, trash.

I wouldn’t say trash but it is disappointing. My 2013 Air had 802.11ac which was relatively early adoption.

So more waiting, but that also means the 14" should come with a nice Tiger Lake update. I wish they’d also use Renoir, but that single vendor status is what it is.

This sounds amazing except for the fact that the exchange rate is really bad. 18.69 for 1USD for me.

Doesn’t really sound that amazing at all. 13" instead of 14" with smaller bezels, and the only model that offers 10th gen Intel chips is the most expensive one at $1800 – the others are still using 8th Intel CPUs.

That’s the big letdown. Even the Air is all 10th gen CPUs, and that had better single threaded and GPU performance in bursts than the 8th gen Pros. Were there not enough chips? It’s possible with Intels 10nm, but still, only the high end model gets the big update, apart from the keyboard that should have been fixed ages ago.

Total letdown. They could have killed two birds with one stone: more screen real-estate and thinner bezel.

Big rumour fail.

No option for 32 GB RAM in Europe so far. Also, the models start again at a paltry 8 GB of RAM.

But are these the updated models yet? In the German Store, it still says 8th Generation chips (plus 8GB etc.). Either Dieter is wrong or there has been an error while updating the store…

Nevermind, I didn’t scroll down enough (and you probably didn’t, either). There are 8th gen and 10th gen devices offered, and the 10th gen start with 16GB

Yeah, they only updated the top-of-the-line model with new specs. That’s quite misleading tbh.

Yeah, they only updated the top-of-the-line model with new specs. That’s quite misleading tbh.

How is it misleading when it is clearly marked what they are? Even the Verge’s article says that the 10th gen chips are optional.

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