Lisa Gade reviews Apple’s 2018 refresh of the 13” MacBook Pro, which doubles CPU core count from 2 to 4, has Intel Iris Plus 655 graphics, full speed Thunderbolt 3 on all ports, and a 3rd gen Butterfly keyboard, the Apple T2 co-processor and a True Tone display. We look at the base $1,799 model with the 2.3 GHz Intel 8th gen Coffee Lake U 28 watt Core i5-8259U CPU, 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD. The Mac laptop is also available with a Core i7, up to 16GB RAM and high capacity SSDs. Note that the non-Touch Bar model has not been refreshed.
Looking for the 2018 15” MacBook Pro? That review is here:
this is Lisa from mobile tech review and this is the 2018 13-inch MacBook Pro which physically looks identical to the 2017 and 2016 13 inch MacBook Pro models so this time around a police decided to refresh the touch bar models only right now the non touch bar is still stuck at last generation Intel Core i7 CPUs nothing has changed there and the price hasn't gone down either go figure who knows what's gonna happen with that anyway we have the base model of the touch bar which sells for $17.99 $1,800 pretty expensive right you get a Core i5 and as usual Apple has done what they do it the 13 inch MacBook Pro which is a good thing they use a special 28 watt Intel CPU inside this is the coffee like you series and this is somewhere in between the 15 watt Ultrabook CPUs that we see in competing Windows laptops and in that non-touch bar Mac and their six core these days 45 watt CPUs used in the 15-inch MacBook Pro gaming laptops mobile workstation so performance is better than average that's always stood in favor of the 13-inch MacBook Pro you still have four Thunderbolt three ports supporting us PC gen 2 and no legacy ports other than a headphone jack so yes it's still dongle hell oh goodie goodie goodie and inside we still have the same 720p FaceTime camera no face ID yep but inside now we have the Apple t2 coprocessor which replaces the t1 it handles the touch bar functionality it handles touch ID so we have the fingerprint scanner built in here and handles Drive Encryption SSD stuff all of that sort of thing also we have a third gen butterfly keyboard which feels pretty much the same as the last gen maybe it's hair a bit more tactile but it's a little bit quieter Apple says that's what they did to change it with a third generation but uh those of you watched my 15 inch MacBook Pro review know that they also put little silicone membranes under each key could be to quiet it but it also happens to match up with their patent for a dust ingress protection system so each of the key has its own little silicon condom underneath probably does keep out dust and it does make it a teeny bit quieter we're gonna look at it now so again we have the core i5 model and this is kind of an oddball CPU number because pretty much on the Apple is probably going to use this the 28 watt CPS are not usually used by any other Windows laptop manufacturer it's a 2.3 gigahertz core i5 dish 8259 U has turbo boost to 3.8 gigahertz you can get it with a core i7 as well we'll talk about upgrades later they are pricey upgrades personally I think in terms of thermals and in terms of performance the Core i5 is plenty good enough the core i7 really is the same architecture just a higher clock speed pretty much this is a quad core CPU four cores which we've seen in the Windows Ultrabook family where they went from 2 cores to 4 cores with their 15 watt CPUs so same W of course here potential doubling of performance for applications that use multiple cores which many applications do these days because multiple core CPUs have been around for gosh a long time now and Apple isn't exaggerating about that performance nor where PC manufacturers when they went from 2 to 4 cores and said well performance is just about double it's noticeably faster in fact if you take a look at the graph we have of ham break encoding times my usual test file is shot with an iPhone at 4k and then what I do is I take it and I convert it down using handbrake to using h.265 format which uses the CPU so it's a good CPU test down to a 1080p 30 frames per second video and you can see the performance there is really very excellent obviously lower is better means it took less time to do that and is closer to the the mobile workstation speed products like the Razer Blade 15 and gaming laptops in it is 2 usual Windows 15 watt quad-core ultrabook like our Lenovo ThinkPad x3 8e yoga which is a core i5 dish 8250 U so somewhat like the 15-inch MacBook Pro it doesn't look like the laptop spends a lot of time peaking in turbo boost not quite as much as with the 15-inch but still it's odd because the performance overall as you saw is quite good and it's up to 35 to 40% faster for some tasks that are well optimized on the Mac for example Adobe Lightroom performs well on the Mac obviously Apple's own Final Cut performs well and then I can brake performs well on the Mac and as always Adobe Premiere not so much it's just not well optimized the Mac with the graphics and CPU temperatures and something like Cinebench r15 which is pretty demanding one of the tests that we do when we test Windows laptops and gaming laptops particularly is to run that test back-to-back over and over again five to ten times because usually that score will drop as it gets hotter the CPU has to throttle back and guess what with this one it didn't throw a little which is actually very excellent performance in fact the scores sometimes went up one or two points so the thermal situation here is well handled and as always with Apple if to them it's very important that it's not particularly hot to the touch it does get hotter than the 15-inch because there's less space to dissipate heat but it's not burning hot it's not uncomfortable but it can get toasty if you're pushing it hard certainly the keyboard area it's great fan noise is usually pretty quiet and that's one criticism I have of Apple like I said I would use a program called Mac's fan control M ACS so that program will let you actually control fan speeds which in this case means raise them we have Intel iris + 655 graphics and again Apple OS does this with the 13-inch MacBook Pro you get a step up from the usual Intel UHD 620 graphics so a little bit better performance this is still not a gaming laptop and not anything close it doesn't have dedicated graphics but it gives a little extra umph which is nice if you're doing something like final cut of anything that's going to use a GPU and for older or casual games we're still using ddr3 low-power Ram here only the 15-inch MacBook Pro moved up to ddr4 so yeah it could be a little bit faster if they use ddr4 and it could go up to 32 gigs but I think in the 13-inch line they're thinking that maybe you're happy with 16 you have to be happy with 16 that's the maximum I think for a laptop that starts at $1,800 it's giving you're only eight gigs Aram is borderline offensive you're gonna have to pay $200 more to get 16 gigs around but well Apple upgrades are usually pretty expensive that's pretty fair because Ram prices are pretty high these days so that's not – too much of markup we are Nina how much the RAM upgrade costs now say you want to go up to 16 gigs of ram still sticking with like a core i5 and 512 gig SSD which is what you're going to find on say an HP Spectre x-360 or no Yoga 9:20 one of the competitors for around $1,200 or so I hate to tell you that's gonna bring up the prices to like $2,200 which is about the cost of the entry-level razor blade 15 a much more powerful laptop so there you have it the Mac tax is an action but now you know how much is gonna cost you if you want to put some upgrades into this or maybe just start with a higher and not like the 1999 model if you do want a 1 terabyte SSD though it's gonna be $600 which is almost twice the going rate for Windows laptop manufacturers or if you bought an m2 SSD yourself a fast one that said the RAM and the SSD are soldered on there a part of the motherboard here which has been the case ever since Apple came out with this particular design for the MacBook Pro model so Wyatt the way you want it you can't upgrade it afterwards the battery is kind of difficult to replace as always because it's that separate multiple cell design and it's glued to the upper casing so it can be replaced but you're going to want to take it to a Genius Bar to have Apple to do it it's not something that you would do yourself the display is Apple's usual 1680 by 1050 IPS display it's a glossy display but would put really good management of glare and hopefully that coating has a little better longevity than it did a couple of years ago where it's sometimes wore off I think that they got that under control now so a this change here now is we have the true tone display option like on the iPad pro and also the 2018 15-inch MacBook Pro and that's a pretty nice feature I like it a lot because I care about kind of color accuracy and not having too much blue white light burning my eyeballs when I'm sitting in the living room at night under kind of not very bright ambient light it looks at the ambient light and adjusts the warmth of the coolness of the display so if you're sitting in that man or woman came kind of place with not a lot of ambient lighting it's going to warm up to the display and make it more yellow if you don't like that you can turn that off there is no adjustment slider like Windows has for its nightlight mode however so you either take it or you leave it I like it the display the color accuracy on the box is pretty good a little too cool but it's pretty good overall and once you turn on true tone it actually makes it pretty much just spot-on as ever the gamut is excellent on this it covers p 3 color gamut which is a color space that's used in the film industry it really isn't the most useful for the rest of us in the world or the watching cinematic movie on your macbook pro but it still does very well complete full srgb coverage for example 91% of Adobe RGB same specs is on the 15-inch MacBook Pro gamma is spot-on contrast and certainly above average you can see the metrics on screen it's a fantastic display it is one of the selling points other than the fact there is no touch screen option and there certainly ain't no pan option laptop is a 58 watt hour battery which is a reasonable-sized battery it ships with the same USB based 61 watt charger and the 2-litre USBC cable and if you want that extension cable there still charging extra these days which is kind of insulting at the price too and I'm gonna keep moaning about that until they do something about that so they claim up to 10 hours of wireless web uses and calling and basic everyday productivity doing Netflix doing some photoshop that sort of thing not playing for tonight because that will certainly have lower battery life typically I saw 8 to 8 and a half hours easily enough and that's with brightness set to around 200 nits it's a little bit brighter than I would usually do the Windows laptop but because this display gets so bright and it's so gorgeous who can resist so that's a 13 inch MacBook Pro for 2018 if you have a 2016 or 2017 mile it could be tending upgrade just because you're doubling the court count and the performance jump is significant you saw that comparison that we had between the 2017 and the 2018 models running a couple of benchmarks and yeah it is significant however if you didn't like the 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pros because of the various compromises that incredibly shallow slightly annoying to me and keyboard which is at least is less noisy now the lack of legacy ports ie in the ports that we still all use every day like USB ports an HDMI those things are still against it as is the price tag if your Mac OS person then it's probably worth it to you because you want to stick with Mac OS if you're somebody who lives in both Windows and Mac worlds obviously it's a beautiful machine you get some nice performance out of this that you won't see it in competing 15-watt Ultrabook but you're paying for it to own these super mobile tech review be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more cool tech videos and thumbs up if you like this vid