Apple MacBook 13 Gets Magic Keyboard, Faster Performance, More Storage & it is Goodbye, Butterfly

Apple has unveiled the refreshed MacBook Pro 13. And if you think it is some cursory annual refresh, think again. Part of the new MacBook Pro 13 is the new Magic Keyboard, the 10th gen Intel Core processors and double the storage options than previously available. This means that you now get 512GB and 1TB storage options instead of 256GB and 512GB as on last year’s MacBook Pro 13, with the newer 10th gen Intel Core i5 processors. You also get 16GB RAM as standard on these variants, which is double the 8GB RAM that was standard till now. Apple says the prices of the new MacBook Pro 13 start at Rs 1,22,990.

It is interesting to note how Apple has swiftly phased out the butterfly keyboards from its MacBook lineup. It started with the new 16-inch MacBook Pro in November last year, and that continued with the refreshed MacBook Air earlier this year, Add the updated MacBook Pro 13 to that list, and Apple’s entire laptop lineup now has the new generation, scissor switch keyboards called the Magic Keyboard. That is not the only change on the keyboard front—the ESC key and the fingerprint sensor are physical keys and not integrated into the Touch Bar. This is also a change that the MacBook Pro 16 ushered in first.

“Whether you’re a college student, a developer, or a creative pro, the 13-inch MacBook Pro delivers powerful performance, a stunning Retina display, and all-day battery life in our most portable pro notebook. Today we’re adding the new Magic Keyboard, doubling the standard storage, and boosting performance, making the 13-inch MacBook Pro an even better value for our customers,” said Tom Boger, Apple’s senior director of Mac and iPad Product Marketing.

Do note, the MacBook Pro 13 line-up retains the previous generation Intel Core processors too, and by that we mean the 8th gen Intel Core i5 processors, as options too. The RAM can be upgraded to as much as 32GB and the storage can be configured all the way up to 4TB. Apple says that 10th gen Intel processors offer Turbo Boost speeds up to 4.1Ghz and that the new Intel Iris Plus graphics support the Pro Display XDR at 6K resolution. The integrated Intel Iris Plus Graphics deliver up to 80 percent faster performance over the previous generation 13-inch MacBook Pro for 4K video editing, faster rendering, and smoother gameplay.

Apple says that the new SSDs have sequential read speeds of up to 3.0GB/s, which is well, fast.

The 13.3-inch Retina Display can go as bright as 500 nits, supports the P3 wide colour gamut and supports the True Tone feature as well.

The change from the butterfly switch keyboard to the scissor switch keyboard is important, not just because they are different technologies but also the fact that it is a generational change ushered in earlier because the butterfly keyboards, which were common in MacBooks till last year, were less resistant to dust. In a scissor switch keyboard, interlocking pieces of plastic connect every individual key to the keyboard, moving in a “scissor-like” fashion when the key is depressed. In turn, a butterfly keyboard has each key which resides on a mechanism that has a hinge in the middle and depresses in a “V” shape every time a key is depressed. Though the Magic Keyboard has slightly more travel than the butterfly keyboard, the architecture means it is less prone to dust getting lodged and is also a bit more silent as you type.

Expect the new MacBook Pro 13 to arrive in stores in the coming weeks, with shipments and availability dependent on the lockdown situation in many parts of India, as the regions are classified according to the reported COVID cases—which dictates the amount of economic activity that can happen in that area.

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