Apple announced a new 13-inch MacBook Pro with a Magic Keyboard, earlier than expected. It features available 10th Gen Intel processors and will launch at $1,299. It is, in one sense, a slight spec-bump update to the current 13-inch MacBook Pros lineup. Yet it also marks the end of an era: Apple no longer markets new laptops with the design of the much-maligned butterfly keyboard.
Apple has moved fairly quickly from its range to turn the butterfly keyboard off. The 16-inch MacBook Pro was revealed last November, followed this past March by a refreshed MacBook Air with Magic Keyboard. Apple has absolutely swapped the entire laptop range over a six-month period with models that use improved scissor-switch keyboards. Compare that to the five years since the 2015 MacBook (now discontinued) is spent trying to make the butterfly keyboard mechanism work.
As with the last MacBook Pro, Apple sticks to Thunderbolt 3/USB-C connectors, with a minimum of two or four of them (plus a headphone jack). Beside a Touch ID fingerprint sensor and — praise is — a true, physical Esc key, the Touch Bar still remains for better or worse.
The RAM can be upgraded to 32 GB and up to 4 TB of capacity can be spectacled. Apple says 10th Gen Intel processors have a turbo boost up to 4.1Ghz, and the latest Intel Iris graphics support the full 6 K resolution Pro Monitor XDR.
The $1,299 base model now comes with 256 GB of storage, up from the previous 128 GB model. But the 10th Gen processor is absent and begins with 8 GB of RAM. An upgrade to 16 GB of RAM is available for $100, down from the $200 Apple paid on previous versions for the same upgrade.
There have been reports that, despite the reduced bezels of the 16-inch MacBook Pro, the monitor would be bumped to something nearer to 14 inches. That’s not exactly the case here. Apple claims that this 13-inch panel can reach 500 nits of brightness and endorse the wide gamut of P3 colors.
It’s available today for order on Apple’s website and will arrive later this week in “select Apple Stores and Apple Certified Resellers.” Education clients will save $100 on the price of the base model.