MacBook Pro 13-inch 2020 – To buy or not to buy?

The MacBook Pro 13 inch 2020 was just released a couple of weeks ago and I received it as a gift. I got it with the following specs: 1.4GHz Quad-Core Processor with Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz; 512 GB Storage; Touch Bar and Touch ID.

  • 1.4GHz quad-core 8th-generation Intel Core i5 processor
  • Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz
  • Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645
  • 8GB 2133MHz LPDDR3 memory
  • 512GB SSD storage¹
  • 13-inch Retina display with True Tone
  • Magic Keyboard
  • Touch Bar and Touch ID
  • Two Thunderbolt 3 ports

I’ve since had to return it due to a faulty port but here are some of my thoughts on it –

  1. Keyboard was definitely the draw – I currently use the MacBook Pro 13 inch (Retina) and I was reluctant to move to another MacBook because of the previous keyboard. The keyboard of the new MacBook Pro has reverted to the ‘scissor-switch mechanism’ keyboard, which makes typing a lot more comfortable and convenient.
  2. The touch bar needed a bit of getting used to (used it for a week and didn’t get fully used to it). With my older MacBook having physical buttons for the function keys, the change was massive – and it also didn’t help that the touch bar was frequently warm to the touch. What I liked about the touch bar, though, is that it easily customisable. This allowed me to keep the bar to the button format, for easier access.
  3. The almost edge to edge display allowed a cleaner look and feel. This isn’t new from the previous model, but from my 2014 MacBook Pro, this is definitely a plus. Less border, more screen, why not? The true tone mode for the retina display (it’s an optional setting) detects the light of the environment from a sensor and changes the colour on the machine, making it less glaring for the eyes.
  4. The 2020 model is significantly lighter than my 2014 model. With fewer ports, and smaller chips and parts, the 2020 model is just slightly heavier than an older MacBook Air model, making the machine even more portable.

What needs getting used to –

Only two ports!
  1. Thunderbolt ports, and the lack of other ports. The model I bought came with two thunderbolt ports, and these ports are the only way for this machine to be connected to anything or device.

    This is honestly a huge drawback of the revised MacBook models. The dependence on dongle can be annoying, but many light-weight dongles are available online and are generally quite compatible with the machine.
  2. Machine heats up easily – but it could be due to the fact that I usually have quite a lot of applications running. The heat dissipates as fast as it goes, so I do not see it as a huge drawback.

Considering that the MacBook Pro hasn’t had a huge overhaul in recent years, skeptics are less than impressed with the new features, but the change of the keyboard has definitely drawn in the crowd (for users like me!).

All in all, the increase reliance on the dongle, and the lack of MagSafe needs getting used to, but the MacBook remains a powerful machine which I enjoy using because of the speed, and the operating system.

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