Apple’s new 13-inch MacBook Pro sans Touch Bar and Touch ID is in many ways an evolutionary update, offering would-be buyers a lightweight, relatively powerful portable rig with a beautiful Retina display and solid keyboard and trackpad. But is a major redesign and minor internal upgrades worth a starting price of $1,499?
Like all the other MacBooks, the new Macbook pro is extremely well built. The hinge is perfectly weighed so that you can open the laptop with a single finger, the hinge is now all metal like the 12-inch Macbook and the keyboard area and the screen have almost no flex.
The keyboard is changed. It is now has individually lit keys which are wider, less travel and is more clicky than the 12-inch Macbook thanks to the Second generation of butterfly switches. Personally I still prefer the keyboard on the 2015 Macbook pro but this keyboard is still good. The touchpad is gigantic this year and is almost twice the size of the last gen. It is still force touch enabled which is great. The size if the trackpad makes it easier to use gestures and is the best trackpad on any laptop on the market. Due to the size of the trackpad, your palms will be resting on it while typing but apple has implemented palm rejection in it so that the cursor wont move around while typing.
This is the entry-level MacBook pro and it comes with 2 thunderbolt 3 ports on the left side of the chassis and 1 headphone jack on the right. The lack of ports on a ‘pro’ laptop is a sure bummer and it requires you to carry around dongles so that you can use your legacy ports like the 3.0 usb, sd card and HDMI. In the future we wont require dongles but for now you will need to carry around dongles.
The $1,499 MacBook pro comes with a dual core intel core i5-6360u cpu clocked at 2 GHz, Intel Iris pro 540 graphics and 8 gb of 1866MHz LPDDR3 ram and 256 gigabytes of PCIe-based SSD storage. The cpu isn’t that much faster but the graphic card gives almost twice the performance of the last gen. The biggest upgrade is in the read and write speeds of the nvme ssd in the MacBook pro which gives almost 1.6gb/s write and 2.0gb/s read speeds which is insanely fast. No other laptop can match these speeds.
The display on the MacBook pro is now DCI-P3 compliant which gives a wider colour gamut than a traditional LCD display. The display is also much brighter, almost twice the amount of brightness the last gen model had. Beyond a wider color space, the 13.3-inch LED-backlit display features the same 2,560-by-1,600 pixel native resolution and IPS technology as last year’s 13-inch Pro.
This laptop’s speakers are no joke. Apple promises “room filling sound” and the MacBook Pro delivers. Granted, laptop speakers will likely never serve as a replacement for studio monitors, because physics, but the Pro is more than adequate for all but the most demanding projects.
Apple claims a 10 hr battery life which is roughly true as the laptop lasted almost 9.2hrs during casual web surfing and watching movies.
The entry-level 13-inch Macbook pro is an amazing laptop which has everything you would wish for (well.. expect for the ports). The amazing design, performance and the touchpad are few of the standout features in the laptop i would recommend this laptop to anyone who doesn’t care about the fancy new touch bar in the more expensive models and for someone who needs good performance in a small, compact form factor.
Do not buy this laptop if you want a powerful laptop for graphic processing and 4k video editing and rendering as the dual core cpu will struggle in Adobe Première Pro. If you edit videos in final cut pro then the laptop is perfect for you.
The only downsides of the laptops are the lack of ports and the price tag. Personally I would rate the laptop at being worth for around $1,199 to $1,349.