LAPTOP Magazine reviews Apple’s new 13-inch MacBook Pro: ‘The best MacBook for most people’

Apple's 13-inch MacBook Pro
Apple’s 13-inch MacBook Pro (2019)

Mark Spoonauer for LAPTOP Magazine:

The “MacBook Pro Lite” is no more. At least that’s what I’ve been calling the entry-level MacBook Pro 13-inch over the last couple of years. It had an old 7th-gen processor, no Touch ID or Touch Bar, and a questionable keyboard.

The new MacBook Pro 13-inch for 2019 (starting at $1,299, $1,499 as tested) packs a much faster 8th gen Intel Core CPU and both Touch ID and the Touch Bar. And while the keyboard still isn’t great, Apple has introduced minor enhancements that will (hopefully) make it more reliable. Add in more than 10 hours of battery life and you have the best Apple laptop for most people — at least those who want a future-proof system.

The best MacBook for most people costs $1,299. You can complain about the “Apple Tax,” but I’m telling you that this system is a better value than the MacBook Air at $1,099. You get a much faster processor, brighter display and considerably longer battery life for your money.

MacDailyNews Take: The travel of the keyboard is a matter of taste, but, anecdotally, it seems like Apple may have improved the reliability with their latest version.


      1. True that. Apple brings out things when it’s good and ready.

        Also, depends on your need for a new machine. In any event, for the first time in a long time, Apple seems to be making progress and showing a coherent vision on virtually all of its product lines at the same time for the first time in quite a while.

        I don’t see my ideal machine when I look at Apple’s Mac offerings, particularly its laptop/notebooks, but I can understand what I see and see improvements in both the hardware and meaningful evolution of MacOS (in conjunction, e.g., with Sidecar and the iPad). And in the case of axing the “PinkBook,” and the one machine with the earlier KB, the lineup just makes more sense.

        Less really can be more. How many tortured articles have you seen about how to pick a mobile Mac out of the confusion that was the case for the last year?

        So I got myself to an Apple store yesterday and spent a little time with the new 13″ entry level MBP and came away pleased. I could barely type at all on Gen 1 of the butterfly and was horrified by the noise. Gen 3 doesn’t seem nearly so bad.

        And the 13″ is clearly more “portable” while fitting into most of my current use cases. I could buy a 16GB/512GB -and- a new iPad Pro with a pencil for less than I’ve been thinking about spending on a 15″ and have lots of interesting options and computing flexibility.

        I’d prefer to give them one more rev to bring out that rumored new KB, but if turns out to be longer, I’ll probably start pulling triggers next summer.

      1. Choice is good. Paying disposable prices on disposable computers is better that premium prices on “stay as you bought them” ones.

        But seriously a Chromebook? Who cares?
        And my Surface is not rotting, and my main machine now, begrudgingly, is my Trashcan hexacore.

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