Review: Apple's 2019 13-inch MacBook Pro is an excellent, inexpensive workhorse

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited July 22
Without an event, Apple quietly announced an updated base model 13-inch MacBook Pro that featured new quad-core processors, Touch Bar with Touch ID, T2 Security Chip, True Tone display, and an updated butterfly keyboard. Is this new $1299 laptop worth it?

Mid 2019 Base 13-inch MacBook Pro
Mid 2019 Base 13-inch MacBook Pro


We thought that the low-end MacBook Pro, formerly with Function Keys was dead. Last updated in 2017, it had been left behind by several updates to the models with Touch Bar.

But, those function keys are now gone. I'm personally not a fan of the Touch Bar, I much prefer the traditional function keys because they are physical buttons I can press and interact with, but the Touch Bar is what you make of it, though. You can do a lot of the basic functionalities on a MacBook Pro like adjust the screen brightness and volume, but you can also quickly pick out an emoji, or scrub through a YouTube video in Safari. If you're using first party pro apps like Final Cut Pro X or Logic, the Touch Bar can give you shortcuts to your editing tools to help you make edits quicker.

The addition of Touch ID is also really convenient for unlocking your MacBook Pro or authenticating passwords for sites or apps. I wouldn't say it's a game changer, but it is nice to have to not type in your password every once in a while.




Bright, colorful, and accurate

The display on the base model 13-inch MacBook Pro is beautiful. It's bright which tops out at 500 nits of brightness, and it supports P3 wide color gamut so it's color-accurate.

We think the MacBook Pro's display is one of the best displays on any laptop out in the market right now. If you're a photographer or a video creator, you'll enjoy using this laptop to edit photos or videos.

Mid 2019 Base 13-inch MacBook Pro
Mid 2019 Base 13-inch MacBook Pro


The addition of True Tone is also a nice feature that was previously only available on the higher tier MacBook Pros. True Tone essentially adjusts the color temperature of your display based on the environment you're in which helps for a more comfortable viewing experience.

I've turned this feature on maybe once or twice to test it out, and I didn't really find it all that useful since I'm always editing photos or videos when I'm using this computer, and need the color-accuracy. It is a feature that is of more use when color precision isn't strictly necessary, like surfing, gaming, or social media consumption

Sounds familiar

The updated butterfly keyboard is similar to the refreshed 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro we reviewed a few months ago, our opinions haven't changed much since then. Under these keys are these new key dome metals and membrane materials that are slightly different than the previous versions.

What this will do in the long run, isn't exactly clear right now. But, these materials also the reason why these keys may feel a bit softer than previous iterations. The key travel is almost non-existent, although they are a lot quieter now versus the older 2017 base model MacBook Pro.

The keyboard may start acting up a few months down the road, but for now it's working like it should. But, even if it does end up breaking, Apple will repair your keyboard at no cost for four years from the point of sale.

Mid 2019 Base 13-inch MacBook Pro
Mid 2019 Base 13-inch MacBook Pro


The speakers on this base model MacBook Pro haven't changed much from 2017. Despite being a hair smaller, it sounds relatively the same as it did in 2017. It sounds great for such a small laptop, and I've watched movies or YouTube videos on here for hours, as well as listen to a few of my Spotify playlists which vary from Hip-Hop, Country, and Pop.

The MacBook Pro speakers continue to be amongst the best laptop speakers, with the difference made more dramatic when comparing to a few Windows laptops that's this small and at this price point.

Impressive for a base model

When it comes to performance, our base model 13-inch MacBook Pro with a 1.4GHz i5 quad-core processor, 8GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and Intel Iris Plus 645 runs really well. In our initial first look, we were surprised how well it did in benchmark tests, and we compared it to the now mid-tier 13-inch MacBook Pro with four Thunderbolt 3 ports and the scores between the two were so small.

Geekbench 4 single and multi-core scores

With Geekbench, our base model 13-inch MacBook Pro received a single thread score of 4761 and a multi-core score of 16932. Comparing that score to the $1799 13-inch MacBook Pro with a 2.4GHz quad-core i5 processor, that machine got a single core score of 4993 and a multi-core score of 18283.

Geekbench score for 2019 13-inch MacBook Pro
Geekbench score for 2019 13-inch MacBook Pro

Cinebench R20 CPU score

Moving on to Cinebench R20, in our testing, the 13-inch MacBook Pro posted a CPU score of 1583 which is not bad at all at this price point. For comparison, the $1799 13-inch MacBook Pro with four Thunderbolt 3 ports posted a CPU score of 1779.

Cinebench R20 score on 13-inch MacBook Pro
Cinebench R20 score on 13-inch MacBook Pro

Unigine Heaven results

With everything set to default, we decided to run Unigine Heaven several times to find out how the Intel Iris Plus 645 graphics performs under load. The new 13-inch MacBook Pro got a score of 784, and an average frames per second of 31.1 with a max frames per second of 66.7.

If you're looking to game on your Mac or if you rely heavily on the graphics card, we recommend picking up an external graphics solution -- and we have some suggestions for enclosures if you go this way.

Unigine Heaven benchmark
Unigine Heaven benchmark

SSD is slower, but not the slowest

Moving on to BlackMagic's Disk Speed Test, the $1299 base model 13-inch MacBook Pro tops out at around 495MB/s for its write speeds and around 1350MB/s for its read speeds. Not the fastest drive the Apple offers, but it's still leagues better than a spinning hard drive, and faster than SATA drives.

Speeds increase a bit with the larger drive because of increased parallelization, and again still on the $1799 13-inch MacBook Pro with four Thunderbolt 3 ports.

Black Magic Disk Speed Test on base model 2019 13-inch MacBook Pro
Black Magic Disk Speed Test on base model 2019 13-inch MacBook Pro

Final Cut Pro

If you're a video creator and you're curious about Final Cut Pro X's performance, we compiled five minutes of 4K H.264 footage, we then added color grading, and exported the same timeline several times with background rendering on and off. And with it on, we got an exported file at 2 minutes and 45 seconds and with background rendering off, it exported the video at 10 minutes and 26 seconds.

For context, my daily computer, the 2018 15-inch MacBook Pro with a 2.6GHz 6-core i7 processor, 32GB of RAM, and Radeon Pro 560X graphics exported the video in 1 minute and 55 seconds with background rendering on, and 8 minutes and 15 seconds with background rendering off. Whether or not the 50 second difference is worth big money, is up to the reader to decide.

2019 MacBook Pro running Final Cut Pro X
2019 MacBook Pro running Final Cut Pro X


The 1.4GHz i5 quad-core processor works like a charm in most scenarios and we haven't run into any issues in real world usage. The T2 chip helps with some encoding jobs. We've discussed this before, but given that the 2017 model has the T1 chip, there will be notable differences in encode times versus the old model.

Mid 2019 Base 13-inch MacBook Pro
Mid 2019 Base 13-inch MacBook Pro


Battery life on this base model 13-inch MacBook Pro is very good. We were able to use this laptop for nine to ten hours consistently for everyday use, with expectedly less when using Chrome or doing other tasks hitting the processor hard for long periods of time.

Whether we were browsing the web, writing on Google Docs in Safari, watching a few YouTube videos or movies, and doing some light photo editing work, this laptop proved to lasts for hours.

Starting at $1399, it's the best bang for the buck MacBook

For $1399 with the base specs, it's a great entry to Apple's pro line of laptops. Sure, you're not getting super high end specs, but this laptop is more than capable of doing everyday tasks like photo editing, video editing, as well as give you great battery life that will last for hours.

However, if you're looking to upgrade the RAM or SSD, the price can go up quite a bit. If you were to configure the base model 13-inch MacBook Pro with 16GB of RAM, and 256GB SSD you're looking at $1699, which is closing in on the mid-tier, four Thunderbolt 3 Port 13-inch MacBook Pro at $1799 that packs a slightly better processor, two additional Thundetbolt 3 ports, but with only 8GB of RAM.

If you're a student or you're looking for a new laptop for Photoshop work, video editing or something to help you complete your work, this new MacBook Pro is the one you should pick up. Sure, the storage is a miniscule 128GB, but you can always pick up an external SSD, network storage, or a cloud service to aid this issue, and they're also a lot cheaper than upgrading the laptop through Apple.

Mid 2019 Base 13-inch MacBook Pro with True Tone
Mid 2019 Base 13-inch MacBook Pro with True Tone

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

How to save on Apple's new MacBook Pro

Shopping at Apple Authorized Resellers can often save you a significant amount of money on Mac computers, even Apple's new MacBook Pro, which is eligible for exclusive coupon savings on CTO models at Adorama with coupon code APINSIDER when used with our special pricing links.

Details on how to redeem the code can be found in our deals roundup, as well as in our MacBook Pro 13-inch Price Comparison Guide, which is a top source for deals across Apple resellers.

Those looking for the lowest price period on a 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar should also check out closeout discounts on 2018 13-inch MacBook Pros, potentially saving shoppers hundreds of dollars while supplies last.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 77
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,860member
    It is still expensive for what you get. This especiallyl after upgrading to a reasonably sized SSD.  
    SweeTangodysamoriairelandcroprmike54kestral
  • Reply 2 of 77
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,953member
    ...I've watched movies or YouTube videos on here for hours, as well as listen to a few of my Spotify playlists which vary from Hip-Hop, Country, and Pop.

    ...
    Reviewing these laptops must be really hard, grinding work.   But, I guess somebody's gotta do it!

    P.s.  Not sure that I agree with the suggestion that those buying the base model should supplement the crappy little drive with an external drive or cloud storage.   Shelling out an extra $200 for a decent (not great) drive would only hurt for a moment.
    chasmbigpicsmuthuk_vanalingamtoysandmepscooter63
  • Reply 3 of 77
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 1,888member
    wizard69 said:
    It is still expensive for what you get. This especiallyl after upgrading to a reasonably sized SSD.  
    Update or don’t update the SSD you get a second CPU as a bonus. Show another brand cheaper.
    edited July 20 chasmwilliamlondonpscooter63
  • Reply 4 of 77
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,266member
    wizard69 said:
    It is still expensive for what you get. This especiallyl after upgrading to a reasonably sized SSD.  
    Agreed. I find myself comparing it to the $1500 13” MacBook Pro 5,5 I bought in 2009 and I feel like the storage and base CPU are kind of lame on this new model. Yeah, the 2009 model was a dual core only, and came with only 4GB RAM (which I expanded for less than $100), but it had real function keys, a reliable keyboard with decent travel, far more than just two I/O ports, an analog AND digital audio output, a 2.5GHz base clock, and 250GB storage.

    Ten years later, while the type of storage and CPU are technically superior, I suspect that it looks, to casual buyers, like the new model is missing things. This isn’t quite the “technology gets better and cheaper over time” comparison I would’ve hoped for.

    A friend of mine has been feeling very negative about what she sees she can get for her money in a new MacBook Pro, compared to her own 2010 model. I’m not the one giving her these negative impressions; she did the reading all herself. If anything, I’ve been still behaving like an Apple advocate when talking to her about what she might want to consider (she’s a Logic user and therefore needs a Mac to keep using Logic).

    Apple is not looking good, from the perspective of average buyers. Between these skimpy MacBooks and the “Mac Pixar”...
    irelandwilliamlondonmike54anantksundaram
  • Reply 5 of 77
    ...non-upgradable = unappealing from this camp...
    edited July 20 wg45678GeorgeBMacwilliamlondonpscooter63
  • Reply 6 of 77
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,162member
    wizard69 said:
    It is still expensive for what you get. This especiallyl after upgrading to a reasonably sized SSD.  
    ...non-upgradable = unappealing from this camp...
    Is the ANY Apple product either of you would buy now?
    MisterKitwilliamlondonpscooter63
  • Reply 7 of 77
    lkrupp said:
    wizard69 said:
    It is still expensive for what you get. This especiallyl after upgrading to a reasonably sized SSD.  
    ...non-upgradable = unappealing from this camp...
    Is the ANY Apple product either of you would buy now?

    The iMac (non-pro) remains an apparent last bastion of (in Apple terms :) hardware flexibility - options would be appreciated...

    I hope to upgrade another Time Capsule and add to the fleet that are all working from as far back as 2008 vintage to Apple's credit with appreciation! For those that prioritize security and speed (vs flexibility or costs) the T2 regimen offers much, however is such a one size fits all and is the digging required to integrate it all, including cost premium and repair limitations 'for the rest of us' ?

    For consideration: https://www.macworld.com/article/3245764/the-t2-chip-makes-the-imac-pro-the-start-of-a-mac-revolution.html#tk.rss_news

    edited July 20 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 8 of 77
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,643member
    What the hell do you old codgers actually do with the FUNCTION BAR part of the function keys?

    Oh that's right, nothing. You're also apparently ignorant of the fact that your precious function keys are literally one tap away on a touchbar. So sit down and shut up already! Your incredibly productive function keys haven't gone anywhere! #sosickofignorantwhiners #dosisdeadalready
    edited July 20 MisterKitmacplusplusthtStrangeDayschiaSolifastasleep
  • Reply 9 of 77
    wg45678wg45678 Posts: 16member
    chasm said:
    What the hell do you old codgers actually do with the FUNCTION BAR part of the function keys?

    Oh that's right, nothing. You're also apparently ignorant of the fact that your precious function keys are literally one tap away on a touchbar. So sit down and shut up already! Your incredibly productive function keys haven't gone anywhere! #sosickofignorantwhiners #dosisdeadalready
    Yes, but they should have kept the ESC key. "Command-.", the early Mac escape, doesn't work everywhere and seems to be getting abandoned as those of us that dealt with 80s and 90s Macs (which had neither function or escape keys) fade away. 

    Regardless, in this day and age, selling a computer with 128kB hard disk is an shame, especially given how little the upgrade to at least 256k or 512k really costs Apple. Especially given the "Pro" moniker on this model. The offering should be 512kB, 1GB, 2GB. Take 1% off the net profit margin and just do it, Tim. 
    edited July 20 irelandGeorgeBMackestralanantksundaramdysamoria
  • Reply 10 of 77
    henrybayhenrybay Posts: 105member
    The butterfly keyboard is a dealbreaker. Until Apple replaces it, every MacBook is problematic. 
    irelandGeorgeBMacwilliamlondonmuthuk_vanalingamanantksundaramdysamoriazroger73
  • Reply 11 of 77
    henrybay said:
    The butterfly keyboard is a dealbreaker. Until Apple replaces it, every MacBook is problematic. 
    Yep. Promises of repair don’t mean much if you’re not anywhere near an Apple Store for weeks or months on end.
    irelandmuthuk_vanalingamdysamoriazroger73
  • Reply 12 of 77
    wg45678 said:
    chasm said:
    What the hell do you old codgers actually do with the FUNCTION BAR part of the function keys?

    Oh that's right, nothing. You're also apparently ignorant of the fact that your precious function keys are literally one tap away on a touchbar. So sit down and shut up already! Your incredibly productive function keys haven't gone anywhere! #sosickofignorantwhiners #dosisdeadalready
    Yes, but they should have kept the ESC key. "Command-.", the early Mac escape, doesn't work everywhere and seems to be getting abandoned as those of us that dealt with 80s and 90s Macs (which had neither function or escape keys) fade away. 

    Regardless, in this day and age, selling a computer with 128kB hard disk is an shame, especially given how little the upgrade to at least 256k or 512k really costs Apple. Especially given the "Pro" moniker on this model. The offering should be 512kB, 1GB, 2GB. Take 1% off the net profit margin and just do it, Tim. 
    Yes, upgrade me to a 512kB drive!
    fastasleep
  • Reply 13 of 77
    nicholfdnicholfd Posts: 36member
    wg45678 said:
    Regardless, in this day and age, selling a computer with 128kB hard disk is an shame, especially given how little the upgrade to at least 256k or 512k really costs Apple. Especially given the "Pro" moniker on this model. The offering should be 512kB, 1GB, 2GB. Take 1% off the net profit margin and just do it, Tim. 
    Really?????
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 14 of 77
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,277member
    ...non-upgradable = unappealing from this camp...
    I suspect (and have read educated guesses from writers here) that the vast majority of Apple laptop customers didn’t perform DIY upgrades. You’re confusing yourself as a DIY tinkerer with the mass market. 
    chiawilliamlondonmacxpresspscooter63
  • Reply 15 of 77
    ClarusClarus Posts: 8member
    This new 13" is a major step up from the previous base model, which was only dual core. However, from what I've read elsewhere, this base model still has a single fan instead of the two fans of the higher versions. The old fan was noisy; would like to know what the single fan sounds like under load, the previous base model single fan was whiny and irritating. The dual fans have a more gentle sound.

    chasm said:
    What the hell do you old codgers actually do with the FUNCTION BAR part of the function keys?

    Oh that's right, nothing. You're also apparently ignorant of the fact that your precious function keys are literally one tap away on a touchbar. So sit down and shut up already! Your incredibly productive function keys haven't gone anywhere! #sosickofignorantwhiners #dosisdeadalready
    There isn't much true in what you wrote. And commentary hashtags? Seriously?

    I liked the function keys, and I used them in several applications that made good use of them, like Lightroom. The Esc key, I used even more, since it is a shortcut for clicking Cancel. I see where the Touch Bar could be quite useful in surfacing and encouraging discovery of important functions for beginning users.

    And I'll tell you what. I went into the Touch Bar with an open mind. I customized it using the controls in macOS. I found that in Keyboard Shortcuts, you can make a list of applications where the Touch Bar should appear as function keys. Then I customized it further with Better Touch Tool, to a point where I liked how it was set up for various programs I use. In theory, it was all figured out.

    Then I tried to actually use it.

    I found that because I'm a touch typist, I'm never looking at the keyboard. I'm hitting keys while I look at the screen. That means I'm never looking at the Touch Bar. And it's not tactile, so if I try to hit a Touch Bar button by touch, I can't do it. I have to do what I normally don't: Look down at the keyboard. Sometimes, it's worth it to redirect my gaze downwards to use the Touch Bar. But a lot of times, it is not worth it. But the net effect is that my wonderful Touch Bar customizations didn't get used because I'm keeping my eyes on what I'm doing on the screen.

    But there is another frustrating side to the Touch Bar.

    With function keys, if I press a key without looking thanks to muscle memory, it does what it is supposed to do. But since the Touch Bar constantly changes depending on the context, you cannot rely on muscle memory. You have to look at the Touch Bar to make sure that what you are about to hit is what you thought was going to be there, because it might be something else. Plus, you have to look carefully to hit the right button, because you can no longer orient by touch for the four-key groups of tactile function keys.

    It is too easy to brush against the Touch Bar and have something happen that you didn't want to happen because you didn't mean to activate a Touch Bar control. With function keys, if you accidentally brushed the key, it didn't depress because you didn't press hard enough; it resists. Well, with the Touch Bar there is no pushback, so if a finger accidentally brushes against a Touch Bar control it is simply going to execute that. And because the Touch Bar constantly changes appearance, if you hit it without looking, sometimes you're not sure what it is you just accidentally set off with the Touch Bar.

    So not all of us are old codgers resistant to change. Some of us like change, and cool new things...but only when they're ergonomic and intuitive. Not a shape-shifting muscle-memory-eluding no-feedback Touch Bar.

    I use a MacBook Pro but my favorite Mac keyboard right now is the one on the MacBook Air, which no other Mac has: You get a real tactile function key row plus Touch ID, which I find really useful.
    edited July 21 muthuk_vanalingampentaepscooter63cropranonconformistmike54
  • Reply 16 of 77
    MisterKitMisterKit Posts: 269member
    In my opinion this new 13’’ MacBook Pro, even though an ‘entry level’ MacBook Pro, hits a real sweet spot. The goods are there. Not the least of which is the display. Those 2010 Macbook Pros might still be kicking and useful but they can’t match the display. Not to mention the CPU performance, ability to run the current and most robust MacOS, security.  Add more RAM and SSD space by all means if you can afford them. I have never bought a new Macbook/Pro. My newest is a 2011 that yes, is still very useful, and was purchased used. I am just about convinced that it would be a step forward to sell off a few of my older models and restart here with the new 13”.
    chiapscooter63
  • Reply 17 of 77
    irelandireland Posts: 17,649member
    I’m sorry, but 128 GB hard drive in 2019 is not inexpensive. Reviewer is leaving Apple away too lightly here. Apple should be hammered and embarrassed in the press, until they go 256 GB base on their “pro” Mac portable. Your advice to users is to get an external hard drive or NAS, really? And higher cloud storage requires a permanent recurring fee, so it adds up over time. Add built in store is handier, faster and trumps any external or networked solution. IMO the keyboard is lousy and the storage is greedy and stingy. This is Pro-naemic machine. They gave the processor quad core, but they took away features/size/speeds/ports to do so. We keep getting less computer for our money, IMO.

    Also notice, you call this computer inexpensive, but it’s not the model you personally bought, is it? How would you feel about owning this model as your Mac yourself? I wonder how long it was take for descriptors like “inexpensive” to drop from your awareness.
    edited July 21 williamlondonmike54kestral
  • Reply 18 of 77
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,860member
    dysamoria said:
    wizard69 said:
    It is still expensive for what you get. This especiallyl after upgrading to a reasonably sized SSD.  
    Agreed. I find myself comparing it to the $1500 13” MacBook Pro 5,5 I bought in 2009 and I feel like the storage and base CPU are kind of lame on this new model. Yeah, the 2009 model was a dual core only, and came with only 4GB RAM (which I expanded for less than $100), but it had real function keys, a reliable keyboard with decent travel, far more than just two I/O ports, an analog AND digital audio output, a 2.5GHz base clock, and 250GB storage.

    Ten years later, while the type of storage and CPU are technically superior, I suspect that it looks, to casual buyers, like the new model is missing things. This isn’t quite the “technology gets better and cheaper over time” comparison I would’ve hoped for.

    A friend of mine has been feeling very negative about what she sees she can get for her money in a new MacBook Pro, compared to her own 2010 model. I’m not the one giving her these negative impressions; she did the reading all herself. If anything, I’ve been still behaving like an Apple advocate when talking to her about what she might want to consider (she’s a Logic user and therefore needs a Mac to keep using Logic).

    Apple is not looking good, from the perspective of average buyers. Between these skimpy MacBooks and the “Mac Pixar”...
    I have an AMD based laptop bought at the end of 2017 that was far cheaper than this turd.  It has ports and importantly a keyboard that works well.  The variety of ports means I can easily support a variety of legacy equipment plus I have a really decent AMD GPU in the machine.  

    While this machine might not have the build quality of an Apple laptop it hasn’t broken down!   I can’t say that for the 13” MBP I had before. I honestly believe these new machines are giving Apples customers a real screwing over.  

    This screwing over puts people like like your friend in tough spot.  The literally are in a position where they need to decide if a work flow change makes sense to avoid the obvious rip off that Apples machines have become.  I don’t envy people in this position at all as there often is no easy path to avoid the ripoff these machines have become.  
    ElCapitandysamoria
  • Reply 19 of 77
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,860member
    lkrupp said:
    wizard69 said:
    It is still expensive for what you get. This especiallyl after upgrading to a reasonably sized SSD.  
    ...non-upgradable = unappealing from this camp...
    Is the ANY Apple product either of you would buy now?
    I still buy Apples cell phones but this is due more to a lack of choice than anything else.  I have no desire to run Android and it’s spyware.  So far there is no real alternative so I put up with the high prices.  
  • Reply 20 of 77
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,953member
    dysamoria said:
    wizard69 said:
    It is still expensive for what you get. This especiallyl after upgrading to a reasonably sized SSD.  
    Agreed. I find myself comparing it to the $1500 13” MacBook Pro 5,5 I bought in 2009 and I feel like the storage and base CPU are kind of lame on this new model. Yeah, the 2009 model was a dual core only, and came with only 4GB RAM (which I expanded for less than $100), but it had real function keys, a reliable keyboard with decent travel, far more than just two I/O ports, an analog AND digital audio output, a 2.5GHz base clock, and 250GB storage.

    Ten years later, while the type of storage and CPU are technically superior, I suspect that it looks, to casual buyers, like the new model is missing things. This isn’t quite the “technology gets better and cheaper over time” comparison I would’ve hoped for.

    A friend of mine has been feeling very negative about what she sees she can get for her money in a new MacBook Pro, compared to her own 2010 model. I’m not the one giving her these negative impressions; she did the reading all herself. If anything, I’ve been still behaving like an Apple advocate when talking to her about what she might want to consider (she’s a Logic user and therefore needs a Mac to keep using Logic).

    Apple is not looking good, from the perspective of average buyers. Between these skimpy MacBooks and the “Mac Pixar”...
    I fully agree...
    One could say that Apple has taken the "Thin, light, minimalist" design too far.  But I would say that they took it to its logical conclusion -- as far as it can go.   And, for some, that is a perfect design and suits their wants and needs perfectly.   But, for others, not so much -- it involves too much compromise.

    The discussions here on AI always seem to evolve around what Apple should or shouldn't do to the THE MacBook Pro.   I think that is short sighted.

    The MBP is primarily off-the-shelf components most anybody could buy and assemble -- what sets it apart is the MacOS and Apple's ecosystem.
    So, it makes sense to me that Apple could easily put together a great Full Function laptop (call it a Work Station) with a great keyboard not constrained to be thin and with ALL of the standard keys, upgradable memory and storage, a full range of ports, excellent cooling, cursor buttons on the trackpad -- and even a docking port on the bottom to pop it into a docking station and start it up without opening it up. 

    Thin, light minimalist laptops are great -- for some.   Others don't want to have to deal with the limitations inherent in the design.  Mac users shouldn't have to shape their wants and needs to match Apple decides to offer.
    kestraldysamoria
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