Last week, Apple released a couple of updates to the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. The MacBook Air update included a new lower starting price of $ 1099 along with True Tone Display support.
The update of the MacBook Air was nice, but the MacBook Pro update at the start level, which has not been updated since 2017, was far more convincing. The new start-up MacBook model comes with updated internals, Touch Bar and Touch ID support, and has the same basic price of $ 1299.
Touch Bar support is nice, but the most impressive with this update is the speed, thanks great partly to the 8th generation quad-core CPU that replaces the dual-core CPU on the previous iteration. The update makes the MacBook Pro at start level well worth considering, even for those who felt the previous model was too underpowered for their needs.
See our practical video review for details.
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2019 Input Level Specifications
- 1.4GHz Quad-Core Turbo Boost CPU up to 3.9GHz
- Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645 GPU
- 128GB Storage
- 8GB 2133MHz LPDDR3 memory  Apple T2 Security Chip
- Retina display with True Tone
- Touch Bar & Touch ID
- Two Thunderbolt 3-enabled USB-C ports
- Available in Space Gray and Silver
- $ 1299 starter price
2019 entry level MacBook Pro video review
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One of the biggest things to note with this new MacBook Pro is with its 1.4 GHz CPU. At first glance, the clock speed can occur just as badly as previous generation's non-touchable MacBook Pro that this device replaces. The 2017-year-old machine had an Intel i5 2.3 GHz processor. But that machine comes with a dual-core CPU, while this latest update contains a lot more stand in the quad-core CPU.
The new CPU is also turbo boosting up to 3.9 GHz for short bursts of extra performance, exceeding 3.6 GHz maximum boost for the previous generation. In other words, this processor, base 1.4 GHz clock speed and all, is a much more capable machine than its predecessor from a performance perspective.
Benchmarks help illustrate This story, but using the machine for real world tasks like Final Cut Pro X rendering and exporting, suggests that this machine is quite qualified for the entry position of Apple's MacBook Pro series.
As usual, Intel Quick Sync support is and it is HEVC encoding thanks to T2 Security Chip. These handy hardware features help to work lightly with the Final Cut Pro X pre-tuned video port.
When said, the machine stumbles predictably a little in terms of GPU intensive workloads, such as creating a Final Cut Pro X timeline, working with DaVinci Solve, or playing games. Intel Iris Plus 645 GPU is sufficient for light work, but begins to fall apart in heavy workplaces. Fortunately, the two Thunderbolt 3 ports on the 2019 MacBook Pro give you the ability to connect an eGPU to extra power when needed.
An area that appears to have regressed is SSD performance. Writing speeds are similar to last year's 2018 MacBook Air, but reading speeds get a noticeable downgrade in the Blackmagic Disk Speed Test and QuickBench test.
Is this a similar situation to the 2019 MacBook Air, which has been rumored to have received a downgrade in SSD speed to save money? It's hard to say, but I don't see anything wrong with the approach given to this machine's target demographic.
Even at slightly slower speeds, the machine is still more than fast enough to handle average workloads, even high-speed 4K video editing if needed. I like the idea that Apple gives users more choices instead of forcing them to adopt powerful hardware that they will never realistically benefit from.
Touch Bar & Touch ID
The most visible visual difference between this MacBook Pro and the 2017 model is the adoption of the touchline and touch ID. For the very best time since Apple introduced the Touch Bar with the 2016 MacBook Pro update, the input technology can be on Apple's entry-level MacBook Pro model.
 With the Touch Bar moved down the market, there is now a standard feature on every MacBook Pro that Apple sells. Depending on the display of the Touch Bar, it can be a good or bad thing. I have personally adopted an apathetic overview of the Touch Bar – I do not disclose it, but I would not lose insomnia if Apple canned the idea today. I find that it is largely an unnecessary addition, and I'm not alone in that feeling, but Apple obviously feels different.
Press ID, on the other hand, is great. It was heavily missed on the previous generation of the MacBook Pro, and I'm delighted that it will finally appear on the market. Now, all of the laptops that Apple sells, including the MacBook Air, feature the Touch ID feature, which allows you to sign in to the MacBook Pro and approve much easier.
T2 Security Chip
With the release of the updated MacBook Pro on the MacBook Pro Apple T2 security chip is now found in all Apple laptops. The T2 chip and Secure Enclave are often associated with the Touch ID, but that is not the only purpose of the T2 chip.
Apple's T2 has many hats and is capable of handling a variety of tasks including:
- Secure Enclave Coprocessor
- Press ID
- APFS encrypted storage system
- Secure startup
- System controller
- Image signal processor
- Audio controller
- SSD controller
As you can see, T2 does a lot of things, and even more than is listed here. For example, it will disable the microphone for privacy when the lid of the MacBook Pro is closed. In future updates to MacOS, the T2 chip will handle even more features like Activation Lock for Mac.
Thunderbolt 3 Ports
Although we now get Touch Bar and Touch ID support on the MacBook Pro base, we're still unfortunately stuck with only two Thunderbolt 3 ports sharing a single Thunderbolt 3 bus. Most can only do well with just two ports, but power users who own many Thunderbolt 3 accessories should seriously consider getting to the four port model.
Flexibility – it is much more convenient to have gates available on both sides of the machine, something that this model lacks. Instead, the right side of the machine contains a single solitary 3.5 mm headphone input and nothing more.
Thunderbolt 3 is incredibly useful, especially now in 2019 when there is no shortage of great Thunderbolt 3 accessories to take advantage of. There are docks, external GPUs, SSDs, audio interfaces, monitors, 10 Gigabit Ethernet interfaces, and the list goes on. With as many external devices as we have available, having only two ports can be a bit limiting.
Nevertheless, you can usually work around the port restrictions, especially when connecting to a device such as the Blackmagic eGPU that supplies power to the MacBook Pro, and has another Thunderbolt 3- port on the unit itself to facilitate the setup of daisy chains.
Like the newer MacBook Pro that launched back in late May, this news-level update model has an updated keyboard that uses new materials. This is technically the new update of the butterfly key switch since they debuted, and the jury is still out about this update giving some meaningful improvements to the keyboard's reliability.
 In any case, this 2019 MacBook Pro is already eligible for the Apple Keyboard Replacement Program, so you don't have to worry at least if you're experiencing problems.
My biggest grip on the keyboard is not the lack of reliability, although obviously there has been a black mark on Apple in recent years. My biggest problem is the sheer lack of key travel provided by the key switches of the butterfly. These keyboards, in my opinion, are suboptimal to write on and introduce unnecessary wrists and finger fatigue.
The good news is that Apple is planning to go back to several finger-friendly case switches, which should make the keyboards feel more like typing on a magic keyboard, which provides far superior touch feedback. It has no impact on the state of this keyboard, but at least we know Apple is working on a better solution for future portable models.
It's been two years since we last saw an update to the entry -level MacBook Pro, but the wait was well worth it. Not only did we get access to the Touch ID and Touch Bar, but we got the T2 chip and all the security and performance benefits it brings to the table, along with a fast quad-core CPU.
The CPU upgrade, in particular, this machine gives a big leap over its predecessor. The powerful CPU provides impressive performance for multicore workloads, although there is some bottleneck of the integrated graphics.
With two Thunderbolt 3 ports in tow, there's not a LOT of room for expandability, but that's enough for MacBook Pro users on a budget. For example, you can connect an SSD, an eGPU or both, and push the machine longer than it can go on its own.
Apple has shown over the last couple of years that it really cares about the Mac series, and professional users in particular. This latest update shows that Apple is committed to even giving entry-level users a valuable boost to performance and functionality.
What are your thoughts on the new 2019 level MacBook Pro? Sounds down in the comments with your thoughts and opinions.