Apple has updated its 13-inch MacBook Pro to include a better processor, double the storage, and a new Magic keyboard to make up for issues with the notorious Butterfly keyboard.
From today, all 13-inch MacBook Pros will utilise the new scissor-switch style Magic Keyboard instead of using the much-maligned Butterfly switch keyboard of old. They also all benefit from double the storage space meaning the base spec MacBook Pro now comes with a 256GB SSD as standard. There's also the inclusion of the new Touch Bar design across the board with a minor tweak - a physical escape key has been returned.
There's also the not so small matter of a processor and RAM upgrade, but that's solely for the two more expensive MacBook Pros. Both see an upgrade to a quad-core 10th generation Intel Core i5 processor. The lower-priced model providing a base clock of 2.0GHz and Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz with the pricier option clocking in at 2.3GHz/4.1GHz. There's also the option of upgrading further still to a 10th generation Intel Core i7 processor for a price. RAM has also been upgraded to 16GB 3733MHz LPDDR4X as standard. There's also an upgrade to the integrated graphics switching to Intel Iris Plus which Apple believes will deliver up to 80 percent faster performance than the previous generation.
It's a hefty upgrade for a premium-priced system that was still relying on 8th generation processors until yesterday, but it comes at a price. To enjoy the latest processor, you'll have to pay a minimum of £1,799. Ouch.
This news comes at a time when pundits were expecting to see the introduction of a new 14-inch version of the MacBook Pro and possibly the inclusion of a discrete graphics card or improved audio so the update falls short in a few areas. Still, there's no denying it's well overdue even if it is more of a refinement than anything else. The switch to a Magic Keyboard is certainly a big deal given how many complaints have been made about it in recent times but we're still not sure that's quite enough for Apple to get away with saying that all these upgrades make the 13-inch MacBook Pro 'even better value for our customers'.
Rumours have been spreading recently that Apple will switch to an ARM-based chip in future but ultimately, we suspect many would wish they'd switch to a deal with AMD to truly see the Pro name be worthwhile.
The new MacBook Pro is available now from the Apple Store online and stores, once they re-open.
March 26 2021 | 18:30