A Quick Buyers Guide For The New 13″ MacBook Pro

Yesterday Apple released via press release the new 13″ MacBook Pro. It’s the latest MacBook to get the new “magic” keyboard which replaces the horribly unreliable butterfly keyboard.

RIP butterfly keyboard. It is about time you met your maker.

The key points to this new 13″ MacBook Pro are:

  • It has the new 10th-generation quad-core Intel Core processors with Turbo Boost speeds of up to 4.1GHz. These new processors are more power efficient and have more horsepower.
  • The integrated Intel Iris Plus Graphics deliver up to 80 percent faster performance over the previous generation 13-inch MacBook Pro. Or so Apple says.
  • The new graphics also enable users to connect to Pro Display XDR at full 6K resolution…. If you feel like dropping a insane amount of cash on a monitor to connect to this MacBook Pro.
  • Base storage has been doubled to a minimum of 256GB.
  • Did I mention that the horrible butterfly keyboard is replaced by the “magic” keyboard?

In terms of #fails, here are the two #fails that are present in the new 13″ MacBook Pro:

  • It has 802.11ac WiFi. This is a fail because the 10th generation chips support 802.11ax/WiFi 6. Plus the optic of having iPhones that support 802.11ax/WiFi 6 and MacBook Pros that don’t is really lame.
  • It has a 720p Webcam. Um, Apple, 2010 called. They want their webcam back. Seriously, when iPhones have front facing cams that are insanely great, it seems really pathetic that in 2020 Apple’s latest notebooks come with 720p webcams.

The question is, what should you get in terms of a 13″ MacBook Pro? Let me help you with that:

  1. Skip both the base model and the next model up: The reason why I say this is that Apple made the base model which starts at $1699 CDN and the next model up which starts at $1949 CDN are using 8th generation Intel processors. The ones you actually want come with the latest 10th generation Intel processors which start at $2399 CDN. Not only that, you get 4 USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports unlike the two models that I suggest that you avoid which come with 2 USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports. If that wasn’t enough, you get faster LPDDR4X RAM that you can upgrade up to 32GB. The two low end models max out at 16GB. Finally, you get much better graphics as part of the deal.
  2. 16GB is plenty of RAM for most people: You may be tempted to go to 32GB of RAM. But don’t. 16GB is plenty for most people unless you really need the extra RAM. For example you run Final Cut, or you have a lot of Chrome tabs open.
  3. 1TB of storage is plenty for most people: Though you can configure the new 13″ MacBook Pro with up to 4TB, 1TB is all you need. Everything else is overkill as there are very few use cases that require that amount of space.
  4. Consider skipping the i7 2.3GHz processor upgrade: The speed difference between the i7 2.3GHz processor and the i5 2.0 GHz is only going to be noticed if you push this machine using something like Final Cut where you are editing 4K video. If that’s you, then maybe the upgrade is worth it. For everyone else, this is a must skip.

Now all of that is great. But let me cover the other side of the coin. Which is why you shouldn’t get the new 13″ MacBook Pro:

  • If your needs are very basic, meaning that you surf the net, listen to music, and maybe do something in Microsoft Word, then the new MacBook Air might be a better choice. It is the same screen size in a lighter package that costs less. And it comes with variants of the new 10th generation Intel processors. Stick with the i5 processor version and you should be fine.
  • If you are a power user, which means that you run Final Cut X for example, you would likely be better off getting the 16″ MacBook Pro. It comes with discrete graphics and is a portable powerhouse. Though I will say that they use the 8th generation Intel processors which means that it is due for a refresh. Having said that, you do get an i9 processor version if you need all the power that your credit card can handle.

The new 13″ MacBook Pro is available now for ordering online at Apple’s website. They should be in resellers later this week. Hopefully this helps you to decide whether to get one or not.

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