Apple Unveils Surprise 13" MacBook Pro with Magic Keyboard

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Today, in something of a surprise move, Apple announced the updated 13" MacBook Pro. The update itself isn’t a huge surprise—rather, it’s the timing, with this new model arriving earlier than many of us expected. Despite its sudden arrival, the new MacBook Pro does come with notable upgrades, including one many of us have been waiting for: the new Magic Keyboard.

By now, the issues with Apple’s butterfly keyboards are so well known, it’s not worth rehashing. However, if you’re unaware of what those issues are, here’s a summary of the general sentiment toward them: People don’t like them. It’s more complicated and nuanced than that but, ultimately, that’s what it boils down to. Conversely, people love (or very much like) Apple’s new Magic Keyboard. It’s widely credited with being an excellent typing experience and having a logical design and layout—basically everything the butterfly keyboard isn’t. And now it’s in the new 13" MacBook Pro, which means you’re going to get the best keyboard experience Apple has to offer.

Of course, the Magic Keyboard isn’t the 13" MacBook Pro’s only selling point. The latest model also features double the amount of storage across all variants—meaning the base model starts at 256GB and goes all the way up to 1TB. With an optional 10th-gen quad-core Intel® processor, the MacBook Pro delivers nearly three times the performance speed of its dual-core predecessor, as well as substantially faster performance for graphically intense tasks like 4K video editing and rendering, smoother gameplay, and more. On top of all that, select models of the new 13" MacBook Pro will include 16GB of Apple’s faster 3733 MHz memory, with the option of up to 32GB of memory—a first for the 13" MacBook Pro laptop.

The new 13" MacBook Pro’s other notable features are similar to highlights we’ve seen in other models, including the Retina display, Touch Bar, Touch ID secure login, and many more. It’s too soon to tell, but at first glance, the new MacBook Pro looks like the laptop a lot of us have been waiting for. It’s portable enough to take anywhere, it has a great screen and enough power to handle most demands, and it offers one of the top-rated laptop keyboards on the market. We’ll know more once we get our hands on one, but in the meantime, color us excited.

Customize your own new 13" MacBook Pro right now at B&H.

Are you as excited as we are about the new 13" MacBook Pro? Let us know in the Comments section, below.

24 Comments

 Who cares. How many new generation 13" laptops are they going to put out in a year.   No butterfly keyboard?  So what. Apple new that keyboard was no good...continued to use it...and were supposed to get excited that they ditched it??? Thats a selling point?  Seriously?

 Smells like when the iPod touch "that did not have a camera" came out...yet everybody wanted the camera on it. Every sub 100 dollar cell phone at that time had a camera. Camera technology had been around for a while and was pretty much outdated by the time Apple decided to jump on the bandwagon and add a camera to the iPod touch. 

 And again everyone was supposed to get excited about the addition of a camera to the Touch... instead of being ticked off that we had just purchased an iPod touch without the camera a few months earlier.

  Apple knew full well that most of us who had just purchased the iPod Touch without the camera "a few months earlier" would just swallow it and "turn around" and purchase the "newer" iPod touch that had the camera.

  Easy to see that Apple made us wait so they could sell a few more junk models (iPod Touches without the camera)....like they did with the Butterfly Keyboard before ditching it. Same goes for Apple and USB C technology...you know what I mean.

  Just more of the same....and shows what is important to Apple's Research and Development.

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Of course, they released it today, less than a week after I received my new customized MacBook Air.  Interestingly, my new Air has the Intel i7 processor, but the Pro still has the i5.  Don't know if that's a big deal or not (I'm not that techy).  Basically, I customized my Air so it's basically a Pro.  Oh well.

Y

Rafael O. wrote:

You have 14 days to return it if you like to buy the 13 inch macbook pro.

That's how it be sometimes! lol

On another note, I would be more interested in the gigahertz of the processor. I would take i5 at 2.6ghz than a newer processor with less GHz. 

The 2020 MacBook Air...?  Apple does like a bit of deceit by omission of full details, so the truth may be hidden in the actual processor model, and whether its an ultra-low power CPU... Once bitten, twice shy, in the Apple marketing game.

What is so magic about this keyboard?  It's basically the same as the keyboard on the 13 inch Dell XPS that I am typing this on.  The Dell has a 10th generation i7 processor and 16gig of RAM.  And it cost a whole lot less the Apple.  Sorry, but I just don't get it.

Jim L. wrote:

What is so magic about this keyboard?  It's basically the same as the keyboard on the 13 inch Dell XPS that I am typing this on.  The Dell has a 10th generation i7 processor and 16gig of RAM.  And it cost a whole lot less the Apple.  Sorry, but I just don't get it.

Couldn't agree more. Having been a computer technician for over 30 years and witnessed the development of the 'non-apple PC' as well as the 'Apple PC', it's understandable that Apple at one time had an edge over the rest of the graphical PC market due to its use of the Motorola-Freescale-IBM 'PowerPC's graphics processing abilities.  What I suspect is that many Apple buyers didn't realize is that beginning in early 2006, Apple began its switch to Intel CPUs, the same CPUs that powered the vast majority of non-Apple systems.  Apple did not loudly advertise this switch due to its previously nurturing of  "a feeling of animosity toward Intel among its loyal base. It would take time and money to convince Apple's most loyal customers that Intel was acceptable" [quote from Wikipedia].  Whether Apple continues to use Intel or completely replace Intel CPUs with its own remains to be seen.

In any event, due to its massive marketing campaigns, its proprietary nature [contrary to IBM's 'opening the box' and paving the way for the mushrooming of the non-Apple PC market], its aggressive elimination of any imitators [remember the Franklin Ace 100 computer?], its infiltration through discounts into college campuses across the nation and its pre-Intel capture of the media-creation market, it created for itself a market whose 'mystique' as superior to non-Apple PCs carries over to this day, despite the fact that the 'insides' of an Apple/MacIntosh system have been virtually identical in CPU, DRAM, HD, etc., to a non-Apple PC since 2006.  Additionally, there is also the phenomenon that pervades the mental recesses of a large segment of consumers, that if a product costs more, it must by that very fact, deliver more value.

So, as a result and like yourself, I have witnessed countless customers who have paid a premium price for the Apple 'mystique' [not to mention a less well-equipped system in many cases] and who seem to be resistant to any otherwise valid critique or insight.  This is not to say that Apple does not make a 'good' product, but you will definitely be paying a premium for the 'privilege' of being included in the 'mystique'.

You're not stating the obvious, which is that only Apple hardware (except for spurious Hackintosh variants) can run MacOS, which in my opinion is *vastly* superior to any of the Microsoft OSes (Bootcamp allows viable Windows installations on Macs, however). I use both platforms every day. Windows 10 machines are almost constantly having to be updated for security issues, or goofy *feature* additions and improvements. Mac OS-X certainly has its share of problems, but it will continue to be my preference until MS stops improving (?) Windows! (FWIW, Windows 7 was their best OS, in my experience)

Hi, Jim! That’s a totally fair question. Like you, I’m not totally up to speed on what makes a keyboard “magic” or not, but from my own personal experience, the Magic Keyboard did deliver the second best typing experience I’ve ever had on an Apple product. The best, in my opinion, is still the 2002 iBook G3 (which I still use!). But more to your point, I think judging keyboard quality is something of a subjective exercise. My best guess is that the Apple users who were unhappy with the butterfly keyboards will approve of this update.

can you please remove magic word PLEASE and be honest about the product  review. 

Hi, Bhavin! So, the reason we call it the "Magic Keyboard" is because that's Apple's name for the product. When we use the phrase "Magic Keyboard," we're not implying the keyboard is or isn't magical; we're simply stating its given name. Now, as far as an honest review goes: We haven't had a chance to test the new 13" MacBook out yet, so we can't say for certain how it performs. I can tell you that several of us did review the new 16" MacBook Pro (which has the same "Magic Keyboard"), and we were all pretty impressed with it. Hopefully, we'll be able to get our hands on the 13" MacBook Pro soon for an honest review. In the meantime, you can check out my review of the 16" MacBook Pro to see what I thought about the "Magic Keyboard."

On my late 2016 MBP, I had to replace the non-magic keyboard THREE TIMES because it failed so often and hard, and I don't even use it! I use an external keyboard over 99% of the time. When I have to use the built in one it when I find out that one or more keys doesn't work at all. Often the left command one.

Then there is the throttling of the CPU. Apple is so fascinated with making these things unnecessarily thin, that the CPU overheats and throttles down to where it takes forever to render video. Too thin for a decent fan I guess. So mine has one of those blue gel packs underneath it all the time so I can actually do work with it, as well as an external keyboard and external GPU.

I hope they fixed the throttling issue with this generation. At this point calling it a lap top is pretty wishful thinking as the GPU and external keyboard mean its no longer portable.

Hi, James! Really glad you mentioned throttling. If the keyboard was the biggest complaint about the last generation of MacBook Pro, thermal throttling wasn't far behind. Now, we haven't had a chance to review this model yet, but I can tell you that several of us tested out the new 16-inch MacBook Pro, and, to my knowledge, none of us experienced any significant throttling. I definitely didn't. That doesn't guarantee the 13-inch MBP will be throttle free, but assuming that Apple used the same redesigned throttle system in the 13-inch model, I'm optimistic it will avoid past throttling issues. Here's to hoping.

What is the story about battery replacement? Or is this supposed to be replaced in two years?

The battery is not user replaceable unfortunately.  You would need to contact Apple or an authorized Apple repair center to replace a defunct battery.

Thanks but no thanks. I have a 2017/8 macbook pro with a screen that turns off if you open it beyond 45degrees.  two thousand pounds worth of junk. 

It not great news for me because my new, pre upgrade MacBook Pro is literally in transit to me as we speak. That means no magic for me. I guess timing is everything. Oh well.

Return it for the new one. Apple has always been generous in doing things like that. 

Is this MBP only repairable by Apple, ie is it another “disposable laptop,” like other recent ones? I wish they would return to making MBPs that the user could replace/upgrade SSD, Memory, Battery. If they have done all 3, I’d order 2 or 3 today.

Wow. A "Magic" keyboard. Is that because it will work properly and reliably?

Is this another Apple beautiful design that falls down in execution and function? Remains to be seen. 

But not by me, for $!299.00 to $3599.00.  No way ever.

Hi Norman,

The new Magic Keyboard is a return to a classic keyboard mechanism that is highly regarded as reliable. It is also the same as was i the 16" MacBook Pro released recently and which received great reviews. My personal experience after reviewing the 16" for a few weeks is that the new keyboards are significantly better than the butterfly design on the MacBook I own.

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