The early 2020 MacBook Pro 13 is on sale with an improved keyboard, more storage, and if you are willing to pay for it — faster performance. While there are some good reasons to buy the new MacBook Pro 13, there are also several reasons you should skip this model or that you should at least plan on spending a significant amount of money for the best version. Here is a look at the reasons you shouldn’t buy the 2020 MacBook Pro 13, and why you should go ahead and buy it.
Apple is hosting a MacBook event on November 10th, where we should see up to two 13-inch MacBook models. One of these could be a late-2020 MacBook Pro 13 update.
On the outside, the 2020 MacBook Pro 13-inch models all look the same, but there is a dramatic difference inside depending on how much you want to spend. If you buy the $1,799 MacBook Pro 13 model, you get the latest Intel 10th gen Core i processors that are vastly faster and include much better graphics performance. When you buy the entry-level Macbook Pro, you are getting an older 8th Gen Intel Core i processor. This isn’t a bad processor, but it feels like a poor value compared to the MacBook Air.
You can buy the 2020 MacBook Pro 13 from Apple, Amazon and B&H Photo starting at $1,299 ($1,199 with student discount). Apple sells three models including a $1,499 model and a $1,799 model. You don’t get the new processor until you bump up to the most expensive model, but we could see new processor options this week.
Here are the reasons you shouldn’t buy the 2020 MacBook Pro 13;
- Wait for New 13-inch MacBook Models
- Don’t Buy Unless You’re Getting the $1,799 Model
- See if the 2020 MacBook Air is a Better Fit
- Explore the New Dell XPS 13
Here are the reasons you should buy the 2020 MacBook Pro 13;
- Buy for the new Magic Keyboard
- Buy if You Need a New MacBook Pro Now
- Buy if You’re a Student or Find a Great Deal
- Buy if Payment Plans Are a Good Fit
Keep reading to learn about why you should buy the 2020 MacBook Pro 13, and why you should be looking at alternatives, spending a lot of cash or waiting longer.
Wait for New 13-inch MacBook Models
In June Apple announced new ARM processors for their computers. These are based on the processors found in the new iPhones, and on November 10th Apple is set to show off the first new models.
Bloomberg reports that we will see at least two 13-inch MacBook models with the Apple processors powering them. That means one is likely a new MacBook Pro 13. This would be the second new 13-inch MacBook Pro for the year, but that isn’t a huge shock.
Most buyers should hold off on buying a new MacBook Pro until after the event and any price updates take place this week.
Don’t Buy Unless You’re Getting the $1,799 Model
Apple sells three 2020 MacBook Pro 13-inch models, but the only brand new version is the one that starts at $1,799. Yes, all of the 2020 MacBook Pro models come with the new Magic Keyboard, but once you start to look deeper it’s clear that the base MacBook Pro is only getting an update to avoid all the keyboard problems.
If you choose the $1,799 MacBook Pro 13-inch model, you the following important upgrades;
- 10th Gen Intel Core i processor
- Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports
- Faster RAM
- Ability to Connect to More Display Options
Simply put you can choose between buying a 13-inch MacBook Pro with a 2020 processor option, or a processor that is several years old. Only the most expensive new MacBook Pro includes a new processor. This is important because it will deliver better performance across the board and better capabilities when editing video or using intensive applications. This model also uses the new faster RAM, which contributes to better performance. With the $1,799 MacBook Pro, you also get the ability to connect to a 6K display, which is only possible on this more expensive model.
Finally, you also get four Thunderbolt 3 ports on the more expensive model. This allows you to connect more accessories to your MacBook Pro without the need for a dock or adapter. You’re paying $500 more, but you’re getting a vastly better computer that will last you significantly longer. Click here to buy the best MacBook Pro 13 in 2020.
See if the 2020 MacBook Air is a Better Fit
- Stunning 13.3-inch Retina display with True Tone technology
- Backlit Magic Keyboard and Touch ID
- Tenth-generation Intel Core i3 processor
- Intel Iris Plus Graphics
- Fast SSD storage
For some users, the 2020 MacBook Air is going to be a vastly better option than the 2020 MacBook Pro 13. The 2020 MacBook Air starts at $999 and uses an Intel 10th Gen Core i processor. The base model uses a dual-core, but if you go with the $1,299 MacBook Air you get a quad-core Intel Core i 10th Gen Core i5 processor that is going to offer a lot of performance. Compared to the base 2020 MacBook Pro, the MacBook Air offers double the storage, bumping you up to 512GB.
You are giving up the Touch Bar when you choose the MacBook Air, but you still get Touch ID and Siri support on your laptop. For many users, this is going to be a better option than the entry-level MacBook Pro 13 in 2020. Wait a few weeks and you’ll have the latest performance comparisons to look at.
Explore the New Dell XPS 13
If you are looking for an ultra-portable notebook with a lot of power, make sure you check out the 2020 Dell XPS 13. This is a small and powerful notebook with 10th Gen Intel Core i processors, up to 1TB of storage and 32GB of RAM.
I’ve been testing this new model for the last week and packs a punch, offers a touch screen, and a beautiful design. If you haven’t tried a Windows laptop in a while, or if you are looking for something new, make sure you check out the Dell XPS 13.
Buy for the new Magic Keyboard
The biggest improvement on the 2020 MacBook Pro 13 is the new Magic Keyboard. This is a new style of MacBook Pro keyboard that uses a scissor-switch instead of the butterfly switch that the older model used. The old keyboard was loud and fickle. Many users reported sticking keys, broken keyboards, and an array of problems. Apple even offers a keyboard replacement program on the old model to fix issues at no charge.
The 2020 MacBook Pro 13 joins the 2020 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro 16 in using this new keyboard. The Magic Keyboard offers better travel, the distance the keys move when you press on them, and made it more reliable. After months of using it on the MacBook Pro 16, this is a great upgrade to consider, especially if you are still using a 2016 MacBook Pro with the old-style keyboard.
Buy if You Need a New MacBook Pro Now
Have you been holding off on buying a new MacBook Pro until the 2020 models arrived? If so, you may want to upgrade and get this new model — even if you are buying the base option.
This new model is going to be faster than using a three to a five-year-old laptop, and you will get the TouchBar, better speakers, better microphone, and other upgrades that will make your laptop experience better.
Not everyone can buy the $1,799 model or wait for the rumored 14-inch MacBook Pro that is likely not coming until 2021 at this point.
Buy if You’re a Student or Find a Great Deal
Students can save $100 on the MacBook Pro 13-inch right now from Apple and get free AirPods plus 20% off AppleCare+ with the Apple Back to School Deals. This is a good deal for most students, especially if they need AirPods.
If you aren’t a student, you can save on a MacBook Pro at B&H Photo, Best Buy, and Amazon when sales often include discounts of $100 or more depending on the model that you want and the specs that you need.
When you find a deal that offers at least $50, it might be the right time to buy the 2020 MacBook Pro.
Buy if Payment Plans Are a Good Fit
Apple now offers Apple Card Monthly Installments, which are essentially 0% payment plans for the MacBook Pro spread out over 12 months. If you pay this off in that period there is no interest charged to your card. This can help you afford a new MacBook Pro that you need for work or school without breaking the bank or paying a lot of fees for interest payments.
Here is more information about how the Apple Payment Plans work.
Wait for Better Processors and Graphics
Wait if you want a MacBook Pro that is better at processing video and if you need a machine that is faster at compressing or decompressing files.
The high-end 2020 MacBook Pro 13 comes with a 10th Gen Intel Core i processor and the 16-inch MacBook Pro uses a 9th Gen Intel Core i processor. If you are looking for more power, you may want to hold off for the 2020 MacBook Pro that is still coming.
While the average day to day tasks on your computer will likely feel about the same as the current models, the 2020 MacBook Pro should process video faster and do a better job of quickly compressing and decompressing files.
The graphics card that comes with these processors already shows at least a 50% boost in real-world graphics performance according to Macworld. This also means that you will be able to use these with the new Pro Display XDR and it should support up to three 4K displays at 120hz, two 5K displays at 60hz, or a single 8K display at 30 Hz.
If you decide to get an Apple processor-powered MacBook Pro that is likely coming this week, you can expect faster performance, longer battery life and potentially better graphics performance, but you will want to wait and see what reviews say.
Last update on 2020-12-15. This post may contain affiliate links. Click here to read our disclosure policy for more details. Images via Amazon API
This article may contain affiliate links. Click here for more details.