/Apple Refreshes 13 & 15-Inch MacBook Pros for 2019: Adds 8-Core Intel CPUs & Revised Keyboard

Apple Refreshes 13 & 15-Inch MacBook Pros for 2019: Adds 8-Core Intel CPUs & Revised Keyboard

Apple on Tuesday introduced refreshed versions of its MacBook Pro 13-inch and 15-inch laptops, updating the machines to use Intel’s latest 8th and 9th Gen Core processors, as well a further refinement to the company’s butterfly keyboard switches. In particular, Apple is now offering Intel’s 8 core processors as an upgrade option with the 15-inch MacBook Pro, marking the second time in a year that Apple has added more cores to this laptop, with Apple touting that the newest model is up to 40 percent faster than its predecessor. Otherwise, these new 2019 models are pure spec-bumps over the 2018 models, offering faster CPUs but are otherwise unchanged from their predecessors as far as displays, dimensions, and other specifications are concerned.

This refresh comes surprisingly swiftly for Apple, who over the last few years has taken a slower track in refreshing its laptops. Intel only announced their 45 Watt 9th Gen Core mobile parts a month ago, so this is relatively quick for Apple. Meanwhile the 13-inch model doesn’t get quite the same boost here, but its updated 8th Gen Core processor options are faster than the models it replaces.

Along with the new CPUs the refreshed laptops are also introducing a further update to Apple’s butterfly keyboard switches, which have gone through a few generations of tweaks now in response to reliability issues. According to The Verge, while Apple isn’t calling this a fourth-generation keyboard, the company has none the less using a new material in part of the butterfly mechanism to further reduce issues with the keyboard. Despite Apple’s efforts thus far, issues have persisted with the butterfly switches, so time will tell how the latest iteration does.

Otherwise, as noted above the base specifications for the other aspects of the MacBook Pros haven’t changed. In the case of the 15-inch mode, this means a 15.4-inch display supporting a 2880×1800 resolution (along with DCI-P3 color gamut as well as True Tone technology), accompanied by AMD’s Radeon Pro 555X/560X-series or Radeon Pro Vega GPUs, with the top-of-the-range model configurable with the Radeon Pro Vega 16 or 20 chip. Meanwhile, DRAM and SSD options include 16 GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD on the base model, with 32 GB of DDR4 RAM and SSDs ranging from 512 GB to 4 TB available as upgrades.

MacBook Pro 15-Inch 2019 Models
Model 6-Core 8-Core
CPU 2.6 GHz
Core i7-9750H
6 CPU Cores
(Coffee Lake)

Configurable to Core i9-9980HK

2.3 GHz
Core i7-9880H
8 CPU Cores
(Coffee Lake)

Configurable to Core i9-9980HK

GPU Intel UHD Graphics 630 + AMD Radeon Pro 555X (4GB)

Configurable to Radeon Pro 560X with 4 GB of GDDR5 memory

Intel UHD Graphics 630 + AMD Radeon Pro 555X (4GB)

Configurable to Radeon Pro Vega 16 with 4GB of HBM2 memory or Radeon Pro Vega 20 with 4GB of HBM2 memory

Display 15″ 2880 x 1800 IPS LCD
DCI-P3 Gamut
True Tone
Memory 16 GB DDR4-2400
Configurable to 32 GB of DDR4-2400
SSD 256GB PCIe SSD

Configurable to 512GB, 1TB, 2TB, or 4TB SSD

512 GB PCIe SSD

Configurable to 1TB, 2TB, or 4TB SSD

Touch Bar Yes
I/O 4x Thunderbolt 3 (supports DP1.2 & USB 3.1 Gen 2 modes),
3.5mm Audio
Battery Capacity 83.6 Wh
Battery Life 10 Hours
Dimensions 1.55 cm x 34.93 cm x 24.07 cm
Weight 4.02 lbs (1.83 kg)
Price $2399 $2799

Despite the fact that Apple now offers more powerful hardware with its 2019 15-inch MacBook Pro, the company still outfits the machines with an 83.6 Wh battery that is rated for up to 10 hours of operation. Of course, real-world will depend on usage model, display brightness, and so on.

As far as connectivity is concerned, the new Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch laptops feature 802.11ac Wi-Fi with Bluetooth 5.0 as well as four Thunderbolt 3 ports supporting up to four 4Kp60 displays or two 5Kp60 monitors. Besides TB3 connectors, the notebooks are equipped with a 3.5-mm headset jack.

The latest 15.4-inch laptops from Apple are already available directly from the company’s website as well as retail outlets. The model with a six-core CPU and the Radeon Pro 555X starts at $2,399, whereas the SKU with an eight-core CPU and the Radeon Pro 560X starts at $2,799.

MacBook Pro 15-Inch (Base Model)
Model 2019 2018 2017 2016
CPU 2.6 GHz
Core i7-9750H
6 CPU Cores
(Coffee Lake-R)
2.2GHz
Core i7-8750H
6 CPU Cores
(Coffee Lake)
2.8GHz
Core i7-7700HQ
4 CPU Cores
(Kaby Lake)
2.6GHz
Core i7-6700HQ
4 CPU Cores
(Skylake)
GPU Intel UHD Graphics 630 + AMD Radeon Pro 555X (4GB) Intel UHD Graphics 630 + AMD Radeon Pro 555X (4GB) Intel HD Graphics 630 + AMD Radeon Pro 555 (2GB) Intel HD Graphics 530 + AMD Radeon Pro 450 (2GB)
Display 15″ 2880 x 1800 IPS LCD
DCI-P3 Gamut
True Tone
15″ 2880 x 1800 IPS LCD
DCI-P3 Gamut
Memory 16GB DDR4-2400 16GB LPDDR3-2133
SSD 256GB PCIe SSD
Touch Bar Yes
I/O 4x Thunderbolt 3 (supports DP1.2 & USB 3.1 Gen 2 modes),
3.5mm Audio
Battery Capacity 83.6 Wh 76 Wh
Battery Life 10 Hours
Dimensions 1.55 cm x 34.93 cm x 24.07 cm
Weight 4.02 lbs (1.83 kg)
Price $2399 $2399 $2399 $2399

As for the 13-inch MacBook Pro, things are far more straightforward. Since there haven’t been any core count increases, we’re just looking at CPU frequency bumps. While we haven’t been able to identify the specific SKU Apple is using in the base model, it’s a 2.4GHz base/4.1GHz boost part, up from the 2.3Ghz/3.8GBz processor found in the 2018 model. Similarly, the high-end model now boats a Core i7 2.8GHz/4.7GHz CPU.

Pricing on the two 13-inch models remains unchanged. The base model starts at $1,799, and the high-end model at $2,099.

MacBook Pro 13-Inch w/Touch Bar (Base Model)
Model 2019 13-Inch 2018 13-Inch 2017 13-Inch 2016 13-Inch
CPU 2.4GHz/4.1GHz
Core i5-8???U
4 CPU Cores
(Coffee Lake)
2.3GHz/3.8GHz
Core i5-8259U
4 CPU Cores
(Coffee Lake)
3.1GHz/3.5GHz
Core i5-7267U
2 CPU Cores
(Kaby Lake)
2.9GHz/3.3GHz
Core i5-6267U
2 CPU Cores
(Skylake)
GPU Intel Iris Plus 655
(128MB eDRAM)
Intel Iris Plus 655
(128MB eDRAM)
Intel Iris Plus 650
(64MB eDRAM)
Intel Iris 550
(64MB eDRAM)
Display 13″ 2560 x 1600 IPS LCD
DCI-P3 Gamut
True Tone
13″ 2560 x 1600 IPS LCD
DCI-P3 Gamut
Memory 8GB LPDDR3-2133
SSD 256GB PCIe SSD
Touch Bar Yes
I/O 4x Thunderbolt 3 (supports DP1.2 & USB 3.1 Gen 2 modes),
3.5mm Audio
Battery Capacity 58 Wh 49 Wh
Battery Life 10 Hours
Dimensions 1.49 cm x 30.41 cm x 21.24 cm
Weight 3.02 lbs (1.37 kg)
Price $1799 $1799 $1799 $1799

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Source: Apple