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$ 1,499 13-inch 1.4GHz quad-core Core i5 MacBook Pro (2019) review



Apple's latest revolution of the MacBook series makes it much easier to understand the audiences of Apple's laptops. And with the release of the new 13-inch 1.4GHz Core i5 MacBook Pro, Apple also made it easier to choose a 13-inch model.

It's easier now because you don't have to decide if you're willing to sacrifice some features when choosing an entry-level model over the higher ends. Before the recently updated base model was released, there was a division within the four 13-inch models. Apple offered two entry-level models without the Touch Bar, and two high-end models with it. (The input level models also lacked some other features, but the main missing feature was the Touch Bar). So when it came down to picking a 1

3-inch MacBook Pro, you had to consider whether you were willing to give up some features at the lowest price.

The Touch Bar-less models are no longer – they have now touched Bar and the other missing features at the same prices as before. Now it basically comes down to processor speed, storage capacity and price.

Apple last updated 13-inch MacBook Pro at the start level in 2017. If you have an older MacBook and have been up for an upgrade because you have waited to see what Apple is doing with these models, you won't be disappointed, unless you don't care about the touchline. The new 13-inch 1.4GHz Core i5 MacBook Pro provides an attractive performance boost over its predecessor, especially with software that utilizes multiple processor cores. Combine the performance and new features, and you have a laptop that now feels like a real member of the MacBook Pro family.

Introducing Touch Bar

Apple introduced the world to the Touch Bar in the 2016 MacBook Pro, but left it off the two most affordable 13-inch models. If you are not familiar with the touchline, there is a strip of touch screen that replaces the top row of function keys found on a typical keyboard.

  13in 2019 14ghz mbp touchbar feature Roman Loyola / IDG

] The touchline is new to the 13-inch entry-level MacBook Pro, so now all of the MacBook Pro models have it.

The interface options displayed on the touch bar change based on what you use on your Mac. For example, if you are in Safari, you can see the buttons for your favorites, and pressing a button will take you to the appropriate web site. If you have multiple Safari tabs open, they appear in the touch bar and you can switch between them by pressing each one. The finder, record, maps, other Apple apps, and third-party apps show interface touch options. It can be a useful way to navigate your Mac.

Or you can find the Touch Bar excessive. Many users prefer to have the function keys than the touchline, because these keys are important for their daily use. With this in mind, Apple made it so you can customize the touchline to show the keys you want in the apps you use. You can also enter the keyboard system selection and adjust the touch bar so that it always displays, such as function keys. Apple even has a support document that shows you how to customize the touchline.

I hesitate to declare the Touch Bar either useful or useless, because each person has a different way to use the Mac. I can say that it is not part of my regular Mac usage, which involves touch pressure while watching the screen almost all the time. I can't make myself look down at the touch bar and use the interface when the same options are available via hotkeys or a few mouse clicks. Developers particularly regret that the esc key is a bit out of place and has no tactile feel.

  13i 2019 14ghz mbp mba f keys Roman Loyola / IDG

One of the differences between Apple's two portable lines: The MacBook Pro (left) has the touchline, while the MacBook Air (right) has feature keys.

I can't find the touch bar to be the user interface. But perhaps the opposite applies to you; Maybe you love it, or if you haven't used the Touch Bar before, you'll find you love it.

Press ID and T2

In addition to the Touch Bar, the input level is 13-inch MacBook Pro now Press ID, a fingerprint sensor located on the right side of the touch bar. It was already available on the other MacBook Pro models, even the MacBook Air.

If you have used Touch ID on iPhone or iPad, you will be at home with Touch ID on Mac. You can use it when you need to enter a password, for example, when you log back in to your Mac, after sleeping, when shopping online, or when you ask Mac to approve a change. (When you first log in to your Mac after you turn it on, you'll need to enter your password. After that, you can use Touch ID for the rest of this usage cycle until you turn off your Mac.)

When Touch ID was first available on Mac, I didn't think much about it. I use a password manager and get quick access to it even though a menu bar icon. Most of the time, this is a quick, easy way to access and set passwords when needed. But the more I used Touch ID on Mac, the more I have come to appreciate it. For example, when you log on to a website, click the user name box a popup that shows the registered user names logged into the keychain. If there is a fingerprint icon, you can use the touch ID. Press the touch ID button and you're in. It's a more efficient way than using the password manager. It only saves a few seconds, but it is very satisfying.

  13 in 2019 14ghz mbp touchid Roman Loyola / IDG

Touch ID makes it much easier to log into places where a password is required.

The Touch ID is managed by the T2 processor, which provides a secure enclosure for fingerprint data, and also handles several other security features. T2 handles disk encryption, and support Apple's secure Boot feature, which ensures that you are running a legitimate trusted Mac or Microsoft Windows operating system. T2 also handles the image processing of the MacBook Pro's built-in FaceTime HD camera, which is still in a disappointing 720p resolution.

Keyboard and Thunderbolt 3

The new MacBook Pro sports the third generation butterfly switch keyboard found in the other MacBook Pros and MacBook Air. This version of the keyboard has a silicone membrane that helps to keep dust out and to help mute the sound that the keys provide when writing.

The third generation version is an improvement, at least when it comes to noise reduction. It is not as high as the previous keyboard, but it is still very loud, telling you that the previous keyboard was really loud. I've never had any mechanical issues with the previous keyboard, so I can't definitely say the third generation is better in this regard. But there have been many reports of keyboard problems, and while Apple has said that a large majority of its customers like the butterfly keyboard, the company has a keyboard service program that replaces the keyboard for free if a laptop is eligible. (Yes, the new 13-inch MacBook Pro is included in the list of qualifications.)

My main problem with the keyboard (in addition to the noise) is that it is uncomfortable to write on. There is not enough key skill in my taste, and it feels like I'm crushing my fingers on a hard board. Sometimes the bones are a little sore after prolonged use. There is something about the key distance that doesn't work for me either. I make several typos using this keyboard than I do with other keyboards.

Rumors have been floating around Apple being able to develop a new scissor keyboard for MacBooks in the near future. So if you want to wait and see the approach of a new laptop with a keyboard change, wait a while.

  13 in 2019 14 gb mbp keyboard keys Roman Loyola / IDG

This is the third iteration of the butterfly keyboard. Could it be the last?

A key difference between the input level models and the two high-end 13-inch laptops is the number of ports. MacBook Pros $ 1,299 and $ 1,499 have two Thunderbolt 3 ports on the same page, while $ 1,799 and $ 1,999 models have four (two on each side). Having only two Thunderbolt 3 ports can be a problem if you use your laptop in a manufacturing environment and you need to connect external storage, monitor, power cable, and other devices. The only other port on the laptop is a headphone jack.

If you think that $ 1,799 is a steep price to pay just because you need those extra ports, keep in mind that the $ 1,799 model also has a faster processor and a slightly better graphics processor. You can also consider purchasing a Thunderbolt 3 docking station.

Within $ 1,499 13-inch MacBook Pro

The MacBook Pro's 13-inch MacBook Pro input features an eighth-generation 1.4GHz Core i5 processor. Its predecessor has a 2.3 GHz Core i5, but remember it's not just an older processor, it only had two cores. The new 1.4 GHz processor now offers four cores. And, as we can see, the lower base clock speed doesn't mean slower performance, as the boost speeds are the same.

Apple also upgraded the graphics in the new laptop running the new True Tone screen. Apple goes with an integrated Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645 subsystem, which replaces an Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640. 645 uses a 128 MB buffer, a boost over its predecessor 64 MB, but it is shared with the main memory.

The model in this review is the laptop equipped with a 256 GB SSD, which sells for $ 1,499, $ 200 more than the baseline model that has the same processor, but comes with a 128GB SSD. If you can afford increased storage, I recommend it. You can fill 128 GB quickly, plus, a teardown of the laptop by the folks on iFixit shows that the storage module is fixed and cannot be upgraded later.

  13i 2019 14ghz mbp mba stacked Roman Loyola / IDG [19659009] The 13-inch MacBook Pro (bottom) and MacBook Air (top) have virtually the same size, except that the air melts in thickness.

Another thing that iFixit points out in the demolition is that Apple seems to have trimmed a hot tube inside the new laptop to fit into the new Touch Bar and T2. Could there be problems with the new laptop running hotter than usual? During the test, I did not encounter any heat-related performance problems and did not notice anything unusual during normal daily use. But there is something to keep an eye on in the long run.

According to Apple's specifications, the battery of the new laptop is slightly larger than that of the $ 1799 and $ 1,999 13-inch MacBook Pro. The battery in $ 1,299 and $ 1,499 models is rated at 58.2 watts, a 0.2 increase over its pricier brothers. Apple's runtime calculations for all 13-inch MacBook Pro models are the same, though: 10 hours of wireless web or iTunes movie playback, and 30 days of standby time.

Performance

Dual-core Core i5- 7360U processor, which was in the older 13-inch MacBook Pro input level, has been replaced by quad-core Core i5-8257U. For reference, the current MacBook Air uses a 1.6 GHz dual core Core i5-8210Y, and the current $ 1,299 12-inch MacBook used a 1.2 GHz dual-core Core m3-7Y32.

Geekbench 4 single-core results

  13in 2019 14ghz mbp geekben4 single cpu IDG

The results are score. Longer bars / higher scores are better. Click to enlarge.

In single-core performance, the new MacBook Pro is about 10 percent faster than its predecessor. The results are similar when comparing the new MacBook Pro with the MacBook Air. An interesting note about the new MacBook Core i5 processor: It has a 6 MB buffer, while the old MacBook and current MacBook Air have a 4 MB buffer. This difference in cache can be part of the reason why the new MacBook Pro is faster.

The difference is much greater when comparing the new MacBook Pro with the 12-inch MacBook, although the Core m3 in the MacBook was never known as a speedster, so the 30 percent difference is not surprising.

Geekbench 4 multi-core results

  13in 2019 14ghz mbp geekben4 multi cpu IDG

The results are score. Longer bars / higher scores are better. Click to enlarge.

Multi-core performance is where the new 1.4GHz Core i5 MacBook Pro stands out. It has twice the process cores of its predecessor, and it is therefore not surprising to find that it almost doubles its performance. The new MacBook Pro also offers more than twice the performance of the current MacBook Air, which has a dual-core processor.

We ran several other benchmark tests on the new MacBook Pro and compared the results with the current MacBook Air. You can see these results below.

Bottom Line

It is clear from the reference results that the people who clearly want to benefit from the 13-inch MacBook Pro update are those in a production environment that relies on Apps that utilize multiple processing kernels. The jump from two to four cores without a jump in price is significant and makes the new laptop an attractive investment.

The modest increase in single core performance can make owners of newer MacBooks decide to wait, especially if your daily use involves using productivity programs, internet access, and other office type work.

Overall, it is good to see that the MacBook Pro at the start level now mirrors the features of the pricing models in the same line. It no longer feels like you're missing something, just because you need to save a few bucks.


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