Hands-On With the New July 2019 13-Inch MacBook Pro

Apple earlier this month introduced a surprise update to its MacBook Pro line, overhauling the entry-level 13-inch machine to bring it in line with more expensive models that were updated back in May.

We went hands-on with the new ‌MacBook Pro‌ to take a look at the new features, including a Touch Bar, an updated processor, a new keyboard, and more.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

Prior to the update, the entry-level 13-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌ hadn't been refreshed since 2017, so it was the last remaining ‌MacBook Pro‌ still using older keyboard technology that retained a row of function keys.

The new model replaces that row of function keys with a Touch Bar, bringing it in line with the rest of the ‌MacBook Pro‌ models. Other than that, physically, the new ‌MacBook Pro‌ looks much like the older model.

There is, however, an updated third-generation butterfly keyboard identical to the updated third-generation keyboard used in the May ‌MacBook Pro‌ refresh and the new 2019 MacBook Air.

This keyboard is made from updated materials with a new membrane that Apple says will cut down on failure rates that impact other earlier butterfly keyboards. ‌MacBook Pro‌ users should see fewer repeating and stuck keys, but the problem isn't entirely solved so these machines are already covered under Apple's keyboard repair program.

Internally, the new ‌MacBook Pro‌ is equipped with a 1.4GHz quad-core 8th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, a 128GB SSD, and it continues to offer two Thunderbolt 3 ports on the left side of the machine rather than the four found in the more expensive ‌MacBook Pro‌ models.

At first glance, the 1.4GHz processor looks like it might be slower than the earlier models that were available, but in practice, it's speedier because of the newer technology and the fact that it's using a four-core chip rather than a two-core chip.

Our tests found that it's faster than the earlier equivalent ‌MacBook Pro‌ models and quicker than some of the older 15-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌ models with Touch Bar. It's not even too far off some of the current 15-inch MacBook Pros. The video in this article, which is 4K and about five minutes in length, took approximately 4 minutes to export.

The entry-level 13-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌ promises 10 hour battery life, which seemed accurate in our testing. That number is, of course, going to drop for processor intensive tasks like video editing.

Price wise, the new ‌MacBook Pro‌ is the most affordable notebook in the ‌MacBook Pro‌ line, with pricing starting at $1,299. What do you think of the new entry-level ‌MacBook Pro‌ models? Let us know in the comments.

Related Roundup: MacBook Pro

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
16 months ago
Everyone wants to talk about the keyboard, but I’m far more bothered by 128 gb on a $1300 laptop in 2019.
Score: 47 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
16 months ago

What makes you hate the keyboard so much?

You're kidding right?

Apple makes nothing but **** keyboards now. Once they ditch the crap butterfly design they might have a computer worth buying.
Score: 38 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
16 months ago
Same junk keyboard. But faster.


(That’s a hands-on review. What Macrumors wrote was a re-hash of the product spec, revealing nothing new.)
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
16 months ago
I'm not buying another MacBook Pro until they get rid of these damned butterfly keyboards and go back to scissors keyboards. I need a keyboard that is comfortable to type on (the butterfly keyboards are like typing on a piece of concrete) and reliable. It's not good enough that they've implemented a new keyboard repair program. I use my current 2015 MBP for my business and I can't afford to be down for a couple of days just because of a completely avoidable keyboard problem. This is 2019. We shouldn't have to fret over keyboards. Get a clue Apple!
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
16 months ago
A nice laptop upgrade, but that keyboard..... can’t be trusted at the moment...
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
16 months ago
The keyboard has a 4 year warranty on it, which is longer than I’d keep any laptop, so I don’t see why people are still fussing over it. If it has a problem in a few years, Apple replaces the entire top case including the battery, so it’s a win.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

New Photos Offer Better Look at iPhone 12 Color Options

Tuesday October 20, 2020 2:34 am PDT by
As we wait for the iPhone 12 review embargo to lift later today, more pictures are circulating of the devices in real-world lighting conditions, providing a better look at the different colors available. Leaker DuanRui has shared images on Twitter of the iPhone 12 in white, black, blue, green, and (PRODUCT)RED. The black and white colors are similar to the iPhone 11 colors, but the other...

iPhone 12 Pro in Graphite and iPhone 12 in Blue Shown Off in Unboxing Videos

Monday October 19, 2020 8:20 am PDT by
While the iPhone 12 Pro does not launch until Friday, we now have an early unboxing video of the device courtesy of Twitter account DuanRui, providing a closer look at the shiny new flat-edge design and sleek Graphite color option. Ben Geskin re-uploaded the unboxing video to YouTube, which we've embedded below: Geskin has also uploaded an unboxing video of the iPhone 12 in Blue: ...

Apple Releases iPadOS and iOS 14.1 With Multiple Bug Fixes Ahead of iPhone 12 Launch

Tuesday October 20, 2020 10:06 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 14.1, the first major updates to the iOS and iPadOS 14 operating system updates that were released in September. iOS and iPadOS 14.1 come a week after Apple released the golden master versions of the updates to developers. The iOS 14.1 update can be downloaded for free and it is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access...

Watch: iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Unboxing Videos and First Impressions

Tuesday October 20, 2020 6:05 am PDT by
Apple's embargo has lifted for iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro reviews. In addition to our detailed review roundups for each device, we've rounded up over a dozen unboxing videos and first impressions below. iPhone 12 in Blue on left and iPhone 12 Pro in Pacific Blue on right via Engadget Key new features of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro include a flat-edge design, 5G support, a much faster A14 ...

Gold Version of iPhone 12 Pro Apparently Has a More Fingerprint Resistant Stainless Steel Frame

Tuesday October 20, 2020 11:56 am PDT by
iPhone 12 Pro reviews hit the web today, and one of the more interesting tidbits came from TechCrunch's Matthew Panzarino, who revealed that the Gold version of the device apparently has a more fingerprint resistant coating applied to the stainless steel frame. From his review:Most of the iPhone 12 Pro finishes still use a physical vapor deposition process for edge coating. But the new gold...

Photographer Austin Mann Tests the iPhone 12 Pro's Camera

Wednesday October 21, 2020 4:14 am PDT by
Travel photographer Austin Mann usually performs an in-depth review of new iPhone models to test their camera performance in real-world scenarios. To test Apple's new iPhone 12 Pro, Mann traveled to Glacier National Park, Montana. Mann focused on some of the biggest camera upgrades with the iPhone 12 Pro, including the upgraded Wide lens, Ultra Wide Night mode, and LiDAR autofocus, across a...

iPhone 12 Pro Max Has Smaller 3,687 mAh Battery According to Regulatory Filing

Tuesday October 20, 2020 8:48 pm PDT by
Apple's new iPhone 12 Pro Max is equipped with a 3,687 mAh battery, which is around 7% less capacity than the 3,969 mAh battery in the iPhone 11 Pro Max, according to a regulatory filing published by TENAA, the Chinese equivalent of the FCC. The regulatory filing, spotted by MacRumors, also lists the iPhone 12 Pro Max with 6GB of RAM as seen in benchmark results last week. Apple has filed ...

5G Drains iPhone 12 Battery 20% Faster Than 4G in Benchmark

Wednesday October 21, 2020 3:17 am PDT by
After the first reviews for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro emerged yesterday, a new report by Tom's Guide reveals the extent of battery life reductions when using 5G. The report outlines a test wherein the iPhone surfs the web continuously at 150 nits of screen brightness, launching a new site every 30 seconds until the battery drains. Interestingly, the test was run on an iPhone 12 and...

Hands-On With Apple's iPhone 12 and 12 Pro MagSafe Cases

Tuesday October 20, 2020 1:33 pm PDT by
Apple's iPhone 12 and 12 Pro are launching this Friday, and ahead of that release date, Apple is shipping out various accessories like the MagSafe charger and MagSafe cases. Yesterday we took a look at the MagSafe charger, and today our MagSafe case came in the mail, so we thought we'd take another look at the charger to see how it works with the case and just how strong the case magnets are. S ...

Reliable Leaker Suggests AirTags 'Coming Soon' in Two Different Sizes

Tuesday October 20, 2020 1:53 am PDT by
Apple's rumored AirTags Bluetooth tracking devices could launch imminently and will be available in two size options, based on new tweets from cryptic-but-reliable leaker L0vetodream. In typical enigmatic style, the leaker first tweeted this morning that a "big one" and a "small one" are "coming soon," but withheld what they were referring to. However that was followed an hour later with the ...