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If there's one thing you should know about the differences between the previous inch MacBook Pro and the newest model, it's the latter's new keyboard. The revamped Magic Keyboard represents a complete redesign over the one found on its predecessor, which feels flat and shallow compared to the new iteration.
I've said this before and I'll say it again: the new keyboard feels exactly like what you should be getting from a premium laptop like the MacBook Pro. For what you're paying, you shouldn't have to compromise with a keyboard that feels stiff and lacks depth. Or even worse, numerous customers and tech reviewers have reported instances of the keys simply not working properly over the past few years since the Butterfly keyboard was introduced in Apple launched a free keyboard repair program to address customers with affected machines, but now it's taken the bolder step of moving away from the Butterfly mechanism entirely.
The inch MacBook Pro also has the Touch Bar just like its predecessor and the inch model, one of the main characteristics that distinguishes it from the MacBook Air. The Touch Bar still feels a bit gratuitous — it's nice to have, especially now that you don't have to pay extra for it, but you don't necessarily need it either. I've occasionally found it useful for flipping though tabs in Safari, but don't really find myself using it for other shortcuts.
All models come with a quad-core processor with a higher clock speed compared to the Air, which features a dual-core processor at the base level. The higher-end variants of the MacBook Air also run on processors with a lower clock speed compared to the MacBook Pro. A processor with more cores generally means its better-equipped to juggle multiple tasks.
What's puzzling, though, is Apple's decision to keep Intel's 8th generation processors — the same chips from the previous generation that Intel originally announced in — in the base model. Meanwhile, several Windows rivals offer 10th generation Intel chips in machines that cost hundreds of dollars less. That model also has a lower-resolution screen than the MacBook Pro, but does come with support for touch input.
I am able to regularly open dozens of web browser tabs throughout the work day without overwhelming the machine and sending the fans whirring, as is typically the case when using the slimmer MacBook Air. On occasion, my MacBook Pro unit gets a little noisy before quickly quieting down when I have more than 20 tabs open, but that was the exception rather than the norm. For what it's worth, I had a very similar experience with Dell's XPS 13, which sometimes seemed stressed after opening nearly two dozen tabs but quickly recovered.
When playing "Tomb Raider" at its highest resolution on both systems, I noticed that graphics looked a bit more fluid and smooth on the MacBook Pro versus the MacBook Air. The MacBook Pro's battery life falls a little short of Apple's claims of 10 hours, but is still enough to get through an entire work day. In my experience, the laptop lasts for about eight hours before I have to plug it in, but it's important to remember that battery life will always vary depending on factors like screen brightness and the types of programs you're running.
The new inch MacBook Pro is a middle ground in Apple's laptop lineup: it offers more power than the less expensive MacBook Air in a design that's about just as portable, while the pricier inch Macbook Pro is better-suited for those looking for more of a desktop replacement. The inch MacBook Pro isn't a major refresh, but the addition of the much-improved Magic Keyboard finally makes the inch Pro worth recommending again.
Apple's newest MacBook Pro is a smart option for Mac loyalists looking to replace their aging laptop with a machine that's powerful and lightweight. But, as is typically the case with Apple products, it's not the best deal compared to the competition. For example, you have to pay extra to get Intel's latest processors, since the base model comes with older chips. If you're not partial to Apple, there are also other compelling Windows options to consider, like the Dell XPS 13, which offers a newer processor for the same price.
Still, if you're sticking with Apple's Mac ecosystem and want a portable work machine, there's no doubt that the new MacBook Pro is what you've been waiting for. Tech Angle down icon An icon in the shape of an angle pointing down. Home Angle down icon An icon in the shape of an angle pointing down.
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There's also plenty of power in the MacBook Pro. The entry-level model has eighth-generation chips that Apple says are still more powerful than what you get in a MacBook Air, but I wasn't able to test that version in time for the review. So, I did most of my testing on the more expensive model, which was able to handle running the main display and two inch monitors with plenty of tabs open, music playing and more. The same situation felt a bit sluggish on Apple's more affordable MacBook Air.
That let me plug in and and charge an external keyboard or mouse, or my iPhone, without having to use a dock or unplug a monitor. I'm still testing battery life, but Apple promises 10 hours of web surfing. That typically is mostly true if you have the screen dimmed down below the top brightness and use Safari instead of Google Chrome. But, you should be able to get through most of a workday as long as you're not slamming it with power-heavy tasks like video editing.
If you are, plug it in. It really isn't. It measures just about the same, just thicker across the whole body instead of tapering to a thin design, and weighs 3. I like the added power here. One thing that stood out to me compared with the MacBook Air is that the fans can get pretty loud at times. I was editing photos for a story while on a Slack video call with colleagues and running two external screens and the fans were blowing loud enough that it was sometimes hard to hear people on the call.
It's not overwhelming, but you notice it. And this is by design, since the fans need to spin to keep the processor cool and the computer running. Also, Apple still includes a p webcam while other companies, like Microsoft , have moved on to much better 5-megapixel sensors.
That wasn't always a huge deal to me, but it's much more noticeable now that we're all home doing video chats. I really wish Apple would boost the camera quality. It's perfect if you want a lightweight workhorse that can do some photo and video editing, run several external displays at the same time and run lots of apps without slowing down.
The inch MacBook Pro sits right between the two, in price and capability. I like that it has the power to hook up to a bunch of screens and can run everything I need when I'm at my desk, and that it's not much heavier than a MacBook Air when I carry it in a backpack not that I'm going anywhere anytime soon. It has newer and faster 10th-generation Intel processors, GB of storage, twice the memory and it's faster memory, too and four Thunderbolt 3 ports instead of just two.
It's a big bump in price, but I think this is the one if you're coming from an older MacBook Pro. Skip Navigation. Investing Club. Key Points. The keyboard is finally fixed on all of Apple's laptops now. If you can't afford the Pro, consider the MacBook Air instead.