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Monday, December 4, 2023

Apple 13-inch MacBook Pro 2020 Review

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The Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2020) is the latest version of the professional MacBook company available with updated hardware and a significantly improved keyboard.

The 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro is probably Apple’s most crucial laptop, offering power and performance superior to conventional MacBooks, like the MacBook Air (2020), without asking for a price as high as a higher 16-inch MacBook Pro.

Therefore, you need to keep the price affordable while providing the performance and functionality demanded by professionals, especially in the creative industry.

In terms of performance, the new 13-inch MacBook Pro on paper looks promising, with new tenth generation processors offering a significant increase, and the base model now comes with twice as much RAM and twice as much storage as the previous model.

On our MacBook Pro 2020 (13 inches) compared to the MacBook Pro 2019 (13 inches), it clearly evolves between last year’s model and the latest version.

What makes the new 13-inch MacBook Pro more attractive to newcomers is the fact that this year’s model was launched at the same cost of $ 1,299 / AU $ 1,999 for the entry-level model. This means that the 2020 version is obvious, especially since the storage has doubled to 256 GB unless you find significant discounts for the 2019 model.

However, there is a pretty big caveat with the entry-level 2020 model; It has a much older Intel processor for Gene 8 and slower memory.

This means that if you want to take advantage of some of the biggest improvements Apple has made to the Apple MacBook Pro (13 inches, 2020), you’ll have to pay for the $ 1,799 / AU $ 2,999 model, which comes with an Intel processor. Core i5 tenth generation 2.0 GHz, 512 GB of storage, and 16 GB of faster RAM.

In terms of design, things are pretty much the same, as the 13-inch MacBook Pro 2020 model is a little thicker and heavier than the 2019 model, but otherwise, the exterior appearance has not changed.

Inside, there is now an improved keyboard that is comfortable to type with a decent key movement resulting in a satisfying typing experience.

Above all, the new keyboard, called Magic Keyboard, obviously solves the reliability problems encountered by keyboards on the old 13-inch MacBook Pro. If you’ve been disheartened by the keyboard of previous MacBooks, you can buy a new MacBook Pro with the certainty that you’re getting a much better keyboard.

Little has changed in the design, and that’s good news for anyone who likes the look of MacBooks, but there are aspects of the design that are starting to look a bit dated, like thick frames around the screen (which preserves the size and resolution of previous 13-inch MacBook Pro models).

With several excellent Windows 10 laptops offering an ever thinner and lighter design, Apple could leave behind the competition once it took it on the road. But we have no objection to the performance of the MacBook Pro (13 inches, 2020), as long as you buy a model with a tenth generation processor.

macOS and the various apps we worked on felt comfortable and flexible. The new processor’s additional performance combined with faster RAM made the 13-inch MacBook Pro a good leap over the previous model, especially if you want to open more tasks with many apps at once.

The battery life was also perfect, we beat many Windows 10 laptops with similar specifications, although we did notice a slight reduction in battery life compared to the previous model.

Yet overall, the new 13-inch MacBook Pro is a great laptop for people who don’t need or want the power of the main 16-inch model, but who need something. A little more powerful than the MacBook Air.

But we have to point out that even though we were impressed with the mid-range 13-inch MacBook Pro, we think the base version is now too compromised with older, slower hardware. It’s a shame Apple hasn’t offered its more affordable MacBook Pro update.

Prices and availability

The base model of the MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2020) ranges from $ 1,299 / $ 1,299 / AU to $ 1,999, which costs the same as the 2019 model. However, we have to make Apple work here. a little bit because the basic model.

Therefore, we cannot recommend the base model of the MacBook Pro 13 inch 2020 to professionals. Although it comes with 256 GB of storage, compared to 128 GB with the 2019 model, if you really want a cheap MacBook Pro, you’d better get a slightly older MacBook Pro for less money; there really won’t be much difference in performance.

It’s actually a mid-range 13-inch MacBook Pro model that we consider to be the absolute minimum that can be purchased. It comes with a tenth generation 2.0 GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 512 GB of storage and 16 GB of RAM for $ 1,799 / $ 1,799 / AU $ 2,999.

Going from eighth to tenth generation processors will not only make a big difference, but this version comes with faster RAM of 3.733 MHz, compared to 2.133 MHz of low bandwidth RAM.

You can also configure a 13-inch MacBook Pro 2020 with a tenth generation Intel Core i7 processor, up to 32 GB of RAM (for the first time on a 13-inch MacBook Pro) and up to a 4 TB SSD.

While we love the fact that Apple has released two new 13-inch MacBook Pro models at the same price as their predecessors, there is now an even bigger gap between the entry-level model and the regular model, both no longer worth considering the entry-level model.

Then, for creative people, that means you may be able to pay a little more than you would have done in previous years.


As we’ve seen with other recent versions of the MacBook, Apple hasn’t changed much when it comes to the basic design of the 13-inch MacBook Pro when the laptop shuts down.

It comes in the same silver or space color, and the dimensions are more or less the same, 304.1 x 212.4 x 156 mm (11.97 x 8.36 x 0.61 inches). This is slightly thicker than the previous model, which was 149 mm (0.59 inches) deep.

It’s also a bit heavier than 3.1 pounds (1.4 pounds) compared to 1.37 pounds in 2019. The difference won’t be too noticeable for most people and is reasonably light for a business laptop. However, there are many thinner and lighter 13-inch laptops. For example, the Dell XPS 13 (2020) weighs 2.2 kilograms (1.27 kg).

As for ports, you will again only have four Thunderbolt 3 ports (or two in the entry-level model) and one audio port. For a professional laptop, the lack of ports, especially the legacy USB-A ports, will disappoint (but not surprisingly) and mean that if you don’t have all USB-C devices, you need to buy an adapter.

However, when you open the new 13-inch MacBook Pro, you’ll see a big difference. Indeed, Apple has finally replaced the controversial Butterfly Change Keyboard (which has often been subject to reliability issues) with the new Magic Keyboard Keyboard ‘also used in 16-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air (2020).

This is an extremely welcome change. This solves the problems that previous models had with the keyboard (like locked keys), but it offers a much more tactile and enjoyable typing experience.

Since its debut on the 16-inch MacBook Pro last year, we’ve been fans of the new keyboard, and we’re happy that it also appears on the 13-inch model. For anyone postponing the purchase of a MacBook due to well-reported keyboard issues, the new 13-inch MacBook Pro may change their mind.

The Touch Bar, a thin screen above the keyboard, is again present and gives you contextual keys that you can press. Not everyone likes the Touch Bar, but many apps like Photoshop now use it, giving you quick access to the tools.

That makes it a little easier to find, and yet it’s a reliable way to connect to your MacBook (or pay for things using Apple Pay) using only your fingerprint. We have found that it works much better than many fingerprint scanners included in Windows 10 laptops. It has never stopped reading fingerprints correctly while using it.

On the other side of the keyboard, the Escape key is again a separate key (instead of being included in the touchpad), which makes it easier to find, and the arrow keys now look like a converted T, like many portable keyboards, which makes the design much more intuitive.

However, one thing we would like Apple to change in design is the thick bezels around the screen. As a result, the new 13-inch MacBook Pro looks pretty outdated, especially compared to Windows 10 laptops like the Dell XPS 13, which have ultra-thin bezels that allow the device to be smaller without affecting the size of the screen. ,,

Apple has shown with the 16-inch MacBook Pro that it can reduce images, allowing it to turn on a larger screen without the entire laptop is much larger than the 15-inch model. Hopefully, Apple will modify the 13-inch model in the same way in the future, maybe for the 14-inch MacBook Pro?


We’ve now spent enough time with the MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2020) to run our benchmarks and test its daily performance, and we’re still impressed with the laptop. macOS Catalina works lightly, resulting in a smooth and sensitive experience, and the apps we tested load well and quickly.

We also used a Chrome browser with many open tabs, which is notorious for memory, and the 13-inch MacBook Pro continued to perform very well.

Its multi-hour capacity thanks to the new Intel processor as well as the faster LPDDR4X 3,733 MHz RAM, which means that the new 13-inch MacBook Pro feels less compromised than the powerful 16-inch model.

It’s important to note that this concerns the mid-range 13-inch MacBook Pro, which comes with a ten-year-old Ice Lake Core i5 processor. A 13-inch MacBook Pro with an older processor and slower RAM will not perform as well as the one we had.

The new tenth generation Intel Core i5 processor not only offers better computing performance than its predecessor, but it has also improved the integrated graphics.

This is crucial because unlike the larger 16-inch MacBook Pro, the 13-inch MacBook Pro does not have a dedicated GPU. So if you’re going to be using the new MacBook Pro for graphics-intensive work like video editing and 3D rendering, you’ll trust the integrated Intel Iris Plus Graphics processor.

Integrated GPUs cannot offer the same performance as a dedicated graphics card, so if you really need graphics power, you’ll need to get a 16-inch MacBook Pro with its AMD Radeon Pro 5300M GPU.

However, the Intel Iris Plus graphics included in Intel’s tenth generation chips represent a big leap over previous generations, and Apple claims to deliver 80% faster performance when it comes to 4K editing. And the fastest display. It now allows you to connect a 13-inch MacBook Pro to Apple Pro Display XDR in full 6K resolution.

Again, the improved graphics performance on Intel Iris Plus graphics is only available on 13-inch MacBook Pro 2020 models with tenth generation processors.

If you opt for the base MacBook Pro 2020 13 inch model with the eighth-generation Intel processor, you will have to face the old, less powerful Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645.

Apple’s decision to stick to the eighth generation base chip in the base model is particularly frustrating, as it means (with slower RAM) that the performance gap between the 13-inch MacBook Pro and its middle layer is high. The final models have never been so good.

Battery life

Battery life is one area where MacBooks have traditionally proven to be better than the competition for Windows 10, and the 2020 model of the 13-inch MacBook Pro does not disappoint. It has a 58-watt battery (and a slightly larger base of 58.2 watts/hour in the base model).

This should offer 10 hours of battery life, which is almost the same as that promised by the previous model. In our benchmark battery life test, which included 1080p loop video playback, the battery lasted respectable eight and a half hours.

This is certainly impressive for a laptop and means that if you don’t do strenuous tasks like editing and video processing, the new 13-inch MacBook Pro should take about a day to work. Complete at no cost.

It is also ideal for maintaining the life of the battery. This means you can close the lid, let it sit for a few days, and your laptop will still have the battery. This is generally not the case with Windows 10 laptops, which even seem to drain the battery.

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Fadehan Emmanuel
Fadehan Emmanuel
Moore is an associate contributor of Xplorion. Got a NEWS TIP related to this story or to anything else in the world of big tech? Please e-mail him: mooreplug[at]gmail.com. You can also connect with him via the connections below the box.
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