Mac pro laptop 2019

Mac pro laptop 2019 DEFAULT

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Editor's Note 7.19.21: Laptop Mag doesn't generally recommend laptops two years or older. If you're in the market for a new MacBook, please check out our reviews on the MacBook Pro 2020 (13-inch) and Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch, M1, 2020)

The "MacBook Pro Lite" is no more. At least that's what I've been calling the entry-level MacBook Pro 13-inch over the last couple of years. It had an old 7th-gen processor, no Touch ID or Touch Bar, and a questionable keyboard.

The new MacBook Pro 13-inch for 2019 (starting at $1,299, $1,499 as tested) packs a much faster 8th gen Intel Core CPU and both Touch ID and the Touch Bar. And while the keyboard still isn't great, Apple has introduced minor enhancements that will (hopefully) make it more reliable. Add in more than 10 hours of battery life and you have one of the best laptops around, and the best Apple laptop for most people -- at least those who want a future-proof system.

MacBook Pro 13-inch (2019) price and configuration

The 13-inch MacBook Pro starts at $1,299 and includes a 1.4-GHz 8th-gen Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD, which is not enough storage for the price. The $1,499 model I tested boosts that to 256GB but keeps the other specs the same.

MORE: Best Apple Laptops

If you're willing to spend $1,799, you can move from two Thunderbolt ports on the entry-level and midrange models to four Thunderbolt ports and upgrade to a faster 2.4-GHz 8th-gen Core i5 CPU. Those who buy AppleCare+ can use our Apple Warranty Check guide to learn how to view the remaining time on their plan.

MacBook Pro 13-inch (2019) design

This is going to sound like a broken record, but Apple really needs to shake things up on the design front. The 13-inch MacBook Pro has sported the same aesthetic for years. It's a handsome and elegant look, for sure, with a solid unibody aluminum chassis. But the design is a bit on the chunky side, and the bezels look chunky, too, next to the likes of the Dell XPS 13.

While you do get two color options with Space Gray and Silver, I would have liked for Apple to add the same gold color hue that the MacBook Air offers.

This is going to sound like a broken record, but Apple really needs to shake things up on the design front.

Weighing 3.02 pounds and measuring 11.97 x 8.36 x 0.59 inches, the MacBook Pro 13-inch is portable enough to slip in a backpack without it weighing you down. Still, the Dell XPS 13 (2.7 pounds 0.3-0.46 inches thick), the HP Spectre x360 (2.8 pounds, 0.6 inches) and the MacBook Air (2.8 pounds, 0.2-0.6 inches thick) are all slimmer and lighter.

MacBook Pro 13-inch (2019) ports

Just the kind of minimalism I don't like, this version of the 13-inch MacBook Pro packs a whopping two Thunderbolt 3 ports, which are both on the left side. That means you can charge your system and use one other peripheral at the same time, unless you spring for a dongle or use a USB-C hub at your desk. The right side houses a headphone jack.

Despite having a thinner chassis, the Dell XPS 13 offers three USB-C ports (two of which support Thunderbolt 3), plus a microSD card slot. And the HP Spectre x360 comes with both USB-C and a traditional USB-A port.

Sure, you can get four Thunderbolt 3 ports from Apple if you step up to the $1,799 model, but I don't feel like you should have to pay an extra $500 for that privilege (though that config does include a faster CPU and graphics).

MacBook Pro 13-inch (2019) display

Whether you're a creative pro or you just appreciate a stellar picture, the 2560 x 1600-pixel Retina Display on the 13-inch MacBook Pro is one of the best I've seen on any laptop.

When watching the 4K trailer for The Lion King on this laptop, I could make out individual wisps of fur on Simba's paw as he placed it on the muddy footprints of his father, and the sweeping African vista looked gorgeous with its pale blue sky and sun-dappled baobab tree in vibrant green.

Whether you're a creative pro or you just appreciate a stellar picture, the 2560 x 1600-pixel Retina Display on the 13-inch MacBook Pro is one of the best I've seen on any laptop.

The MacBook Pro's panel also impressed in our labs, as it registered a very good 163% of the color gamut and a bright 441 nits. That MacBook Air's screen is good, but it's dimmer and covers less of the color spectrum (100% / 343 nits). The 1080p version of the Dell XPS 13 (126% / 357 nits) also falls behind the MacBook Pro, as does the 4K display model (119% / 375 nits. The screen on the HP Spectre x360 (150%/287 nits) is about as colorful as the MacBook Pro but notably dimmer.

MacBook Pro 13-inch (2019) audio

The dual speakers that flank the keyboard on the MacBook Pro produce rich and nuanced sound, as I discovered when streaming "What The?!" from 311. The swirling guitars and pulsing beat were powerful without overwhelming the dueling vocals from S.A. Martinez and Nick Hexum. Meanwhile, James Earl Jones' voice sounded even more god-like than usual when I watched The Lion King trailer, and the soaring strings got very loud without getting distorted at max volume. But if you want a more intimate concert, you'll want to invest in a solid pair of noise-cancelling headphones.

MacBook Pro 13-inch (2019) keyboard and touchpad

As someone who has been using the 2nd-generation MacBook Pro Butterfly keyboard for a couple of years, anything is an upgrade. And I do find the 4th-gen Butterfly keyboard on this new MacBook Pro to be quieter and slightly more comfortable. More important, Apple says that it has added a new material to the mechanism to prevent reliability issues, such as accidental double presses or keys not registering.

The 0.86 mm of key travel we measured is still well below that of most laptops, but that is properly balanced by the 70 grams of actuation force required. In my testing, I reached 71 words per minute with 92.3% accuracy, which is comparable with my average. There are rumors that Apple is working on a whole new keyboard for a future MacBook Pro, but there's no telling when or if that will show up.

MORE: MacBook Keyboard Troubleshooting Guide

There's not much to say about the touchpad, other than that it is very large and works really well. You just don't have to think about scrolling or performing gestures like three-finger swipes up for activating Mission Control view. And that's the way it should be.

MacBook Pro 13-inch (2019) Touch ID and Touch Bar

Apple used to reserve the Touch ID sensor and Touch Bar for the more premium 13-inch MacBook Pro, but they've now made their way to the entry-level model. I'm happy about one of those decisions.

Touch ID makes it easy to unlock your Mac with a single press, so you don't have to rely on a password. Plus, you can use it for the App Store, iTunes, Apple Pay and in the Safari and Chrome browsers. Yes, a Face ID feature would be faster, but that will probably come in future Macs.

MORE: How to Customize the MacBook Pro Touch Bar

I'm more ambivalent about the Touch Bar. In some cases it actually makes it harder to get things done, such as raising or lowering the volume. For instance, you press the volume key and then slide up or down, as opposed to just hitting the volume up or down button. There are some shortcuts I like, such as being able to skim through photos and pressing on my favorite sites when using Safari, but overall, I'd prefer a proper touch screen.

MacBook Pro 13-inch (2019) performance

Here is the biggest reason to get the 13-inch MacBook Pro over the 2019 MacBook Air. The MacBook Pro packs a much faster quad-core, 8th-generation Core i5 processor (U series), compared with the weaker dual-core Core i5 chip (Y Series) in the Air.

There's a pretty stark difference regarding real-world performance. Take our video-editing test, in which we transcode a 4K clip to 1080p. It took the MacBook Pro just 14 minutes and 42 seconds, compared with 36 minutes on the Air. By comparison, the Dell XPS 13 took 19:20 and the HP Spectre x360 22:30.

In everyday use, I found the MacBook Pro very responsive. Even with 22 tabs open in Chrome, the Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw trailer started streaming instantly. And that was with Slack, Skype and Pixelmator also running in the background.

On Geekbench 4, a synthetic benchmark that measures overall performance, the MacBook Pro scored 17,366, which is more than double the MacBook Air. The MacBook Pro also surpasses the XPS 13 (14,936) and the Spectre x360 (14,935).

The MacBook Pro continues to offer one of the fastest SSDs in a laptop. On the Blackmagic Disk Speed Test, the system notched a write speed of 1,220 MBps. The MacBook Air was slightly behind at 1,011. The XPS 13 mustered only 226.4 MBps on the same test, while the Spectre x360 was slightly better at 616.3 MBps.

The MacBook Pro continues to offer one of the fastest SSDs in a laptop.

If you're looking to game, the MacBook Pro will deliver a smoother experience. For instance, on the Dirt 3 racing title, we saw 30.87 fps from the MacBook Pro and just 19.89 fps from the MacBook Air. We consider 30 fps playable.

MacBook Pro 13-inch (2019) battery life

No offense to the MacBook Air, but here's yet another reason to choose the Pro over it. The 13-inch MacBook Pro features a 58.2 watt-hour battery, compared with a 49.9 WHr battery on the Air. On the Laptop Mag Battery Test, which involves continuous web surfing at 150 nits of screen brightness, the MacBook Pro lasted an excellent 10 hours and 39 minutes, which outlasts the 8:51 from the Air.

Still, the Pro doesn't make our list of laptops with the longest battery life, as other ultraportables last longer on a charge. The HP Spectre x360 turned in a runtime of 12:07, and the 1080p version of the XPS 13 endured for 12:22.

MacBook Pro 13-inch (2019) heat

No surprise here. The MacBook Pro kept its cool on our heat test, in which we stream video for 15 minutes before measuring different parts of the notebook. The MacBook Pro stayed under our 95-degree comfort threshold, hitting 91 degrees on the keyboard, 88 degrees on the underside and just 82 degrees on the touchpad.

Bottom line

The 13-inch MacBook Pro (2019) shows us where we are in the evolution of Apple's laptops. The best MacBook for most people costs $1,299. You can complain about the "Apple Tax," but I'm telling you that this system is a better value than the MacBook Air at $1,099. You get a much faster processor, brighter display and considerably longer battery life for your money.

Should anyone get the Air? Yes, those who prefer a thinner and lighter design, hate the Touch Bar and really don't mind less horsepower. But overall, my recommendation is the MacBook Pro 13-inch. I just wish Apple included more ports.

If you are willing to go the Windows route, the Dell XPS 13 is still our pick for best overall laptop, as it offers a comfier keyboard, an additional USB-C port and microSD card slot, and a slimmer and sleeker design. Plus, it lasts longer on a charge. But if you're set on macOS, the 13-inch MacBook Pro is the one to get.

Credit: Laptop Mag


MacBook Pro 13-inch (2019) Specs

BluetoothBluetooth 5.0
CPU1.4GHz quad'core 8th'generation Intel Core i5 processor, Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz
Display Size13
Graphics CardIntel Iris Plus Graphics 645
Hard Drive Size128GB SSD
Hard Drive TypeSSD
Highest Available Resolution2560 x 1600
Native Resolution2560 x 1600
Operating SystemmacOS Mojave
Ports (excluding USB)Headphone, Thunderbolt 3
RAM Upgradable to16GB
Size0.59 x 11.97 x 8.36 inches
Touchpad Size5.3 x 3.2
Warranty/Support1 yr limited
Weight3.02 pounds


Responsible for the editorial vision for, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.
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Apple updated its 15-inch MacBook Pros with faster 9th Gen Intel processors, making them the fastest MacBooks ever. Another change, a modification to its controversial 'Butterfly' key switch, is supposed to increase reliability, though it doesn't address the shallow travel issue.

Still, this MacBook Pro offers all-day battery life, pumps out tons of volume, and features a bright, colorful and sharp display. Yes, the pros (pun intended, sorry) outweigh the cons, including Apple's aging design language. And when it comes to performance, this MacBook Pro is one of the best laptops around and one of the best business laptops for those who need to run demanding programs. 

15-inch MacBook Pro 2019 cost and configuration options?

The 15-inch MacBook Pro was released in June 2019 starting at $2,399. The base model includes a 9th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of memory, 256GB of SSD storage and a Radeon Pro 555X graphics card with 4GB of GDDR5 memory. If I were to buy a model with my own money, I'd upgrade this model to a 512GB SSD, which brings the total price to $2,599.

MORE: MacBook Pro 13-inch with Touch Bar (2019) - Full Review

We tested the maxed-out version of the 15-inch MacBook Pro 2019, which costs $6,549 and packs a 9th Gen Intel Core i9-9980HK processor (the 2.4-GHz version), 32GB of memory, a 4TB SSD and a Radeon Pro Vega 20 graphics card with 4GB of HBM2 memory.


This iteration of the MacBook Pro has been out since 2016, but it feels even older, as it's visually similar to the 2012 to 2015 designs that introduced the Retina-resolution display. Slim and chic, but bearing an aesthetic that's both refined and aging, the MacBook Pro is both iconic and stale. It's not as cool as the latest 15-inch HP Spectre x360.

The other facet of the MacBook Pro design that's not holding up well over time is its display's bezels, particularly the 0.5-inch black bar above the screen. Side by side with the 2019 Huawei MateBook X Pro, which has 0.15-inch bezels, even the MacBook Pro's 0.3-inch side bezels look a tad chunky.

At 4 pounds and 0.6 inches thick, the 15-inch MacBook Pro is lighter than the Dell XPS 15 (4.2 pounds, 0.7~0.5 inches) and the HP Spectre x360 (4.6 pounds, 0.76 inches). The 13.9-inch MateBook X Pro (2.9 pounds, 0.6 inches) is lighter.

Ports and Touch Bar

While I appreciate the 15-inch MacBook Pro's quartet of Thunderbolt 3 ports, it's time we talked about its lack of the time-tested Type-A port, which is still important to many users - including pros. The XPS 15, MateBook X Pro and Spectre x360 all feature both Type-C and Type-A ports.

Apple's expectation that people should just carry around an adapter or hub -- many of us who are still using accessories with that non-reversible port -- is a lot to ask for when we're already throwing a ton of money at the company.

While Apple stays resistant to giving the MacBook a full, true touchscreen, the Touch Bar is found on every 2019 MacBook Pro.

Unfortunately, its use is mixed, as I've mostly found it good for finding and inserting emojis. The best part of this bar is the Touch ID sensor, though Apple gave that to the MacBook Air without burdening it with a Touch Bar

My biggest piece of advice is to remove the Siri button from your Touch Bar to avoid accidental actuation when touch-typing and missing the delete key by reaching too far (I'm far from the only one who's had this problem). Place the Mute button, or something else, in its place to leave yourself open to less disruptive mistakes.


The new 15-inch MacBook Pro's screen is just as bright, colorful and sharp as we've come to expect from Apple. Watching a trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home, the reds of Peter Parker's blood-shot eyes to the metallic gold of his armor showed that the MacBook Pro rendered colors well. Black shadows of rooms even looked super dark. The Retina Display also did a fine job of rendering the fiery details in the monster terrorizing Tower Bridge in London, and in the scrapes and scratches in the wall around graffiti of Iron Man's visage.

Our colorimeter rated the MacBook Pro's screen for producing 114% of the sRGB color spectrum. That's below the 144% workstation average, the rating from the Spectre x360 (157%), and similar to the scores from the Dell XPS 15 (115%), and the MateBook X Pro (104.2%).

Side by side with the Huawei MateBook X Pro, which has 0.15-inch bezels, even the MacBook Pro's 0.3-inch side bezels look a tad chunky.

The 15-inch MacBook Pro's panel emits up to 403 nits of brightness, which beats the 346-nit workstation average, the 371-nit XPS 15 and the 247-nit Spectre x360. The MateBook X Pro shines even brighter at 497 nits.

Keyboard and Touchpad

The MacBook Pro's keys offer a clicky typing experience that's rooted in the fourth iteration of Apple's controversial Butterfly-style key switch. The keys feature a super-shallow 0.6 millimeters of travel (well below the 1.5mm minimum that we look for), but require 71 grams of actuation force, which is above our 60-gram minimum. During my testing, I clicked to a rate of 70 words per minute (with 94% accuracy), which is a tad below my 80 wpm average.

Apple has been in hot water over its Butterfly keyboard, especially when it comes to accidental double-clicks andstuck keys. The company says that it has employed "a new material" that's supposed to help solve these types of issues, but we won't know for sure until we've used the 15-inch MacBook Pro over several weeks.

MORE: Uh Oh: Apple's MacBooks Have a New Keyboard Problem

At 6.1 x 3.9 inches, the MacBook Pro's Force Touch trackpad accurately tracks your input and can fool most people with its haptic feedback, which substitutes for an actual clickable mechanism. I found it serviceable during my taps, swipes and gestures, and while some people in our office don't mind that it doesn't click, I prefer the touchpads in most PC laptops, which do.


Listening to James Blake's album Assume Form in the Laptop Mag offices, I was impressed with the MacBook Pro's amazing sound from the sturdy, bumping bass of "Where's The Catch" to Rosalía's serene vocals on "Barefoot in the Park." I often had to turn the volume down because the MacBook Pro gets so loud that the sweet sounds of the British musician leaked out of the room, even with a door closed in a meeting room.

I'm OK with the absence of a utility for managing audio output, something other notebooks include for customization. That's how good the MacBook Pro sounds -- it's just right.


The MacBook Pro we tested is armed to the teeth, sporting a 9th Gen Intel Core i9-9980HK processor and 32GB of memory. When I split my screen with a 1080p YouTube video and a dozen Google Chrome tabs, I saw zero stutters or lag as I moved between tabs and jumped around the video. But that's not enough, as you should expect as much with this much CPU power. So, I did that normal test with Mail, Safari (with 10 tabs), Messages, Slack, Things, Bear, iTunes and Discord open in the background. Oh, and I was also trimming a 1080p MP4 video in QuickTime throughout the test. None of these activities put a dent in the MacBook Pro's speed.

On the Geekbench 4 general performance benchmark, the MacBook Pro hit a super-high mark of 31,012, which is 46% higher than the 21,246 workstation average, and higher than the 19,775 from the XPS 15 (Intel Core i7-8750H processor, 16GB of RAM), the 21,889 from the Spectre x360 (Intel Core i7-8750H processor, 16GB of RAM), and the 17,134 from the MateBook X Pro (Core i7-8565U, 16GB of RAM).

Apple continues to provide its pro users with seriously fast SSDs. The Black Magic storage speed test captured a write speed of 2,610.8 Mbps from its 4TB PCIe SSD, a rate that's 19% faster than twice as fast as the 2,190 MBps write speed from the 1TB NVMe SSD in the MateBook X Pro.

Simply put, the 2019 15-inch MacBook Pro is blindingly fast, with beefy 9th Gen Core i9 performance and SSD speeds that give the competition whiplash.

On our Handbrake test, which tests how long a laptop transcodes a 4K video to 1080p, the MacBook Pro turned in a short time of 8 minutes and 10 seconds, which is about 25%less time than the 11:17 category average. The XPS 15 (10:12), Spectre x360 (10:45) and MateBook X Pro (22:50) all turned in longer times.

MORE: How to Close Frozen Programs on a Mac

The 4GB AMD Radeon Pro Vega 20 graphics card in the MacBook Pro produced gaming performance that falls in the middle of the pack. The device ran the modest racing game Dirt 3 at 120 frames per second at max settings, which is about two-thirds of the 192 fps category average and the 4GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti-powered XPS 15 (189 fps). The Spectre x360 features that same card, but posted a significantly lower 61-fps rate.

Battery Life

The 15-inch MacBook Pro packs a lot of battery life, with more endurance than most workstations. The Laptop Mag Battery Test (Wi-Fi surfing at 150 nits) drained the notebook in 10 hours and 21 minutes, nearly 4 hours longer than the 6:28 category average. The XPS 15 (11:53) lasted longer, while the Spectre x360 (8:09) and MateBook X Pro (8:19) ran dry in less time.

If you're considering 2019's 13-inch MacBook Pro, know that this larger model lasts longer. The smaller MacBook Pro lasted 8:41 on the Laptop Mag Battery test, giving it more than 1.5 hours less life than its big brother.


The 15-inch MacBook Pro starts at $2,399, but its 0.7-megapixel webcam is so lackluster it could be found in a $399 laptop.

That's not a significant knock against the laptop, though, as nobody expects an internal webcam that doesn't wash out lighting sources or doesn't skimp on detail, two issues evident in a selfie I shot in our office. My shirt and skin tone look relatively accurate, though, so it's functional enough.


Even though the Core i9 MacBook we tested is packing a lot of heat, it stayed relatively cool during testing. After we streamed 15 minutes of HD video on the notebook, our heat gun picked up temperatures less than our 95-degree Fahrenheit threshold: 83 degrees on the touchpad, 93 degrees on the keyboard, and 91 degrees on the underside.

Software: Mojave and -- soon -- Catalina

The MacBook Pro currently ships with macOS Mojave, a less-than-thrilling update. Its most promoted new feature was Dark Mode, which is coming to iOS this fall. Our favorite features include Continuity Camera and Quick Actions.

This fall, though, macOS Catalina will bring iPad apps to macOS with Project Catalyst, and give iPad owners the ability to extend their desktops. Oh, and iTunes is dying, in favor of the Music, Podcasts and TV apps.

Bottom Line

Simply put, the 2019 15-inch MacBook Pro is blindingly fast, with beefy 9th Gen Core i9 performance and SSD speeds that give the competition whiplash. On the downside, the MacBook Pro has spent a few too many years with the same look, and arguably far more time with the Butterfly-key switch than it should. The improvements in this year's Butterfly mechanism at least sound promising. Plus you get a great display, powerful audio and long battery life.

The cheaper Dell XPS 15 should definitely be your pick if you're looking for the most endurance, as it also lasted 1.5 hours longer on a charge, though it's not as fast and its display isn't as bright. But for those looking for the best MacBook around and who can afford the ultra premium price, the 15-inch MacBook Pro is the model to grab.

Credit: Laptop Mag


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Apple MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2019) Specs

BluetoothBluetooth 5.0
CPU8-core Intel Core i9-9980HK @2.4GHz, Turbo Boost up to 5.0GHz
Company Website
Display Size15.4
Graphics CardAMD Radeon Pro Vega 20
Hard Drive Size4TB
Hard Drive TypePCIe SSD
Highest Available Resolution2880 x 1800
Native Resolution2880 x 1880
Operating SystemmacOS Mojave
Ports (excluding USB)Thunderbolt 3, Headphone
RAM Upgradable to32GB
Size13.8 x 9.5 x 0.6 inches
Touchpad Size6.1 x 3.9 inches
USB Ports4
Video Memory4GB
Warranty/Support90 days of complimentary technical support, 1-year limited warranty.
Weight4 pounds
Wi-Fi Model802.11ac Wi-Fi wireless networking; IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n compatible


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