The 13-inch MacBook Pro 2020 gives you everything you’ve come to expect from a professional Apple machine with a newly redesigned keyboard to match. So why would you possibly not pick one up immediately? Two words – Apple Silicon.
In June, Apple dropped the bombshell that it would be transitioning away from Intel-powered Macs over the next two years. The move looks set to see the MacBook model become a lot closer to what we see on the iPad Pro 2020 and iPhone 11 – Apple-managed hardware and software from top to bottom.
Competing rumours have pointed towards the first MacBook ARM either being a new Apple Silicon-sporting MacBook Pro (via MacRumors) or a new (and returning) 12-inch MacBook (via Apple Insider). Either way, the device will be a seachange for Macs – potentially offering more power with lower power consumption and, if some rumours come to fruition, at a lower price.
Apple isn’t bringing an end to Intel Macs just yet, confirming during the Apple Silicon reveal that the transition period will last two years. The new ARM-based MacBooks don’t make the current MacBook Pro 2020 a complete non-starter though. If you need a MacBook right now then it’s a top-notch machine.
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MacBook Pro 2020 release date – When will it launch?
The Intel-powered 13-inch MacBook Pro 2020 is available to order right now from the online Apple store.
However, rumours suggest there will be a second iteration that will launch before the end of the year, featuring the officially confirmed Apple Silicon. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims this model will arrive in Q4 2020, while we’ll also see 14- and 16-inch variations arrive in 2021.
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MacBook Pro 2020 price – How much will it cost?
The Intel-powered 13-inch MacBook Pro 2020 has a starting price of £1299. The laptop features Intel’s 8th Generation i5 processor, 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD storage. If you want a configuration with Intel’s 10th Generation i5 processor, you’ll have to spend at least £1799. That will also get you 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD.
If you’re looking for the most powerful Pro available, you can buy a configuration with Intel’s 10th Generation i7 processor, 32GB RAM and a 4TB SSD for an eye-watering £3599. The majority of users will probably find this to be overkill, though.
There’s currently no word on how much the Apple Silicon model will cost, although we’re not expecting it to deviate drastically from the current MacBook Pro prices.
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MacBook Pro 2020 keyboard
The MacBook Pro 2020 has been updated with the Magic Keyboard. This means that the controversial butterfly keyboard is out and the new scissor mechanism is in. The new keyboard offers improved 1mm key travel for more comfortable typing sessions than its predecessor.
The MacBook Pro 16 saw an identical upgrade when it launched in 2019, so this isn’t a huge surprise. Still, it’s great to Apple ditching the Butterfly switches, which have been heavily criticised for lacking decent key travel.
The new 13-inch MacBook Pro also features a Touch Bar and Touch ID as well as a physical Escape key instead of the usual touch button.
We expect all of these features to transfer over to the upcoming Apple Silicon model too.
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MacBook Pro 2020 display
Many rumours suggested the MacBook Pro 2020 would see a new 14-inch Mini LED display with a slimmed down bezel. Nothing has changed for now as Apple sticks with the standard 13-inch panel. Not much has changed as far as the display is concerned either. Apple has opted for the usual 2560 x 1600 resolution, with a claimed 500-nit brightness and wide P3 colour coverage.
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (via MacRumors) still believes Apple will eventually launch mini-LED 16-inch MacBook Pro and a 14.1-inch MacBook Pro laptops, but they’re not expected to arrive until 2021.
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MacBook Pro 2020 performance
Apple has finally equipped the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Intel’s 10th Generation processors, but there’s a big catch – the entry-level configurations are still sporting the 8th generation chips, so you’ll have to pay at least £1799 for the pleasure.
If you do stump up the cash, the Ice Lake processor will allow you to dabble with casual gaming and video editing work without being lumbered with the weight a graphics card typically brings. If you’d rather have a discrete graphics card for more GPU power, you’ll need to buy the 16-inch MacBook Pro instead.
The entry-level MacBook Pro also sees 8GB RAM, but that can be upgraded up to 16GB or 32GB. Apple is also offering a lot of storage options, starting off at 256GB and climbing all the way up to an incredible 4TB if you throw enough cash Apple’s way.
If you’re willing to wait, Apple recently announced plans to integrates its own ARM-based processor into the entirety of its Mac range, including the 13-inch MacBook Pro. This chip will potentially see a more creative-focused performance, while also featuring superior battery efficiency. Recent benchmarks of Apple’s Transition Kit, made for developers preparing to make the Apple Silicon switch, showcased strong performance from the current 12Z Bionic that’s used on the iPad Pro 2020 (via 9To5Mac). Reports suggest an Apple Silicon model could arrive before the end of the year.