Apple MacBook Pro 2020
The new Apple MacBook Pro's 13-inch Retina display delivers more than four million pixels, millions of colours and 500 nits of brightness ( Apple ) - Apple’s latest 13” MacBook Pro edition wants to be your flexible working hero: a sleek, portable laptop that’s almost as cycle-to-work friendly as the MacBook Air, with a magic keyboard for quiet typing in the office and double the storage for saving all those home-school presentations.

From the emoji-predicting touch bar to how it scores on sustainability, this is your pro guide to the Pro.

Double trouble

The basics in a nutshell: Apple’s latest 13-inch MacBook Pro is the same price as before, but with double the storage capacity, so more room for photos, Keynote presentations and large files. It comes in two models — one with two Thunderbolt 3 ports, with 256GB of storage, or the four-port edition, with an impressive 512GB — double the capacity of the previous generation.

Double the memory, too. Apple’s new notebook either comes with 16GB or 32GB of RAM the first time this has been available on any 13-inch Mac notebook and a gamechanger if you deal with large image files for work. Photographers can enjoy 50 per cent faster performance when editing massive images in Photoshop, while developers will be able to run multiple virtual machines simultaneously with ease. A creative genius for creatives.

Flex appeal

Apple’s new Pro laptop weighs just three pounds, almost as light as the MacBook Air so you won’t have any trouble cycling to work with it in your backpack. Its 13-inch Retina display delivers more than four million pixels, millions of colours and 500 nits of brightness, with up to 80 per cent faster graphics performance for creatives switching between homeschooling and design work.

Users’ main gripe? The battery life could be longer. Apple claims it has “all-day battery life”, but most testers warn that’s a push. On a full charge, it should see you through an afternoon’s work, but best to carry your charger if you’re planning a full day online.

Magic machine

Now for the fun parts. The Pro’s coolest new gizmo is its magic keyboard, a refined, ultra-quiet typing experience which first featured on the 16-inch Macbook Pro and is reason enough to make the new 13-inch Pro your notebook of choice.

The Magic Keyboard
The Magic Keyboard has rectified some of the issues with previous Pro models (Apple)

Developers asked Apple to bring the escape key back so they listened — a welcome return — and an inverted arrow key T-arrangement makes it easier to navigate spreadsheets and play games without having to look away from your screen. Keys feel stable thanks to a new keycap structure and scissor mechanism, and the result is a hit with Apple disciples: most users agree it’s the smoothest, most comfortable and quietest typing experience yet.

Like previous Pro generations, it’s touch-sensitive, too: Apple’s popular Touch Bar sits at the top of the keyboard for quick access to commands that change depending on what you’re doing and which app you’re using, while the Touch ID button sits next to it in the top right hand corner. Just tap your finger against it softly to unlock your machine or pay for that new bike helmet via Apple Pay.

Zoom points

Sure, it’s great for emails, but how does it pass the Zoom test? The short answer: the Pro’s webcam is decidedly average, which is surprising given the camera quality on Apple’s latest iPhones.

The company says camera disappointment among Pro users is common, but the problem actually lies with video-call platforms themselves. Most virtual conferencing apps like Zoom cap out at 720p — the Pro’s maximum resolution — so you wouldn’t be getting higher quality footage if you had a higher resolution webcam anyway.

Fortunately, what the laptop lacks in camera quality it makes up for in sound. Immersive stereo speakers deliver superb audio quality so you’ll hear your colleagues perfectly on that next Hangouts call as long as they eventually remember to turn off their mute button. Just slide your finger along the touch bar to adjust the volume.

Plug performance

The Pro comes with two or four Thunderbolt 3 ports, as mentioned — the four-port edition lets you plug your power into either side, which is handy when you’re a long way from a plug socket.

Apple MacBook Pro 2020 review
The Pro is great for multi-tasking, particularly when coupled with an iPad as a second screen (Apple)

Pairing technology is seamless: plug your laptop into a bigger screen when you’re in the office (there’s no standard USB slot so you’ll need an adaptor if you’re using a normal PC) and you can use your iPad as an extra screen in sidecar mode if you want to keep your Slack chat in a separate display. Just choose to extend, rather than mirror, your Mac in sidecar preferences.

Green screen

Five stars for sustainability. Apple’s latest notebook is one of the most planet-friendly laptops on the market. It boasts an Energy Star 5.0 rating and uses 100 per cent recycled materials in the solder of its logic board and at least 35 per cent recycled plastic in many of its components. The only downside is it doesn’t use recycled aluminium like the Macbook Air.

Apple also offers trade-in and recycling schemes so you can take it into any store and recycle old parts (and even non-Apple products) for free. A laptop for the eco-warrior too, then. Go pro.

The MacBook Pro 13 2020 is available to buy now, from £1,299,

Title : Apple MacBook Pro 2020 review: The flexible working hero we all need
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