Apple MacBook Pro 2019 review
Apple is back with a refreshed MacBook Pro and it’s what many fans of these iconic laptops have been desperately waiting for.
The big upgrade comes to the firm’s entry-level machine which means users get all the goodies of a top-end Pro at a much more affordable price.
In fact, this £1,299 Mac now offers some of the best value-for-money ever seen from Apple.
Express.co.uk has been using the new Pro for the past few weeks and there’s definitely plenty of reasons to head right out and buy one.
First of all, you still get the stunning aluminium design that’s put Apple at the top of its class with this new machine offering a style and durability that’s almost impossible to beat.
Although Apple hasn’t changed the look in this latest upgrade, the new MacBook Pro is just as beautiful as when it first launched.
The solid aluminium case oozes class and its supreme build quality should help it cope with the perils of life on the road.
Design is still an area where Apple excels and there’s elements of the MacBook Pro that may seem trivial but should be applauded.
This portable PC is light yet balanced to perfection which makes it ideal for long periods of use on your lap.
And there’s still that joy of being able to use one finger to open the screen – something that only becomes noticeable once you’ve tried to perform the same task on one of its rivals.
The new MacBook Pro includes an updated processor and interactive Touch Bar
Although the overall look hasn’t been updated, there’s plenty of extra features that make this an exciting proposition.
Firstly, Apple has boosted the internal performance with an 8th-generation 1.4GHz (Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz) Intel i5 quad-core processor now powering this machine.
These updated brains will easily cope with the needs of most users and we’ve had no issues putting it through some more taxing tasks such as Photoshop and basic video editing.
However, if you are worried that might not be enough power you can upgrade to the 1.7GHz processor for an extra £270.
Along with that speed bump, another thing you’ll notice about the new Pro is the fact it gets Apple’s clever Touch Bar.
This interactive feature was first introduced back in 2016 but, until now, you’d only get access to it if you were prepared to pay a hefty premium.
Apple MacBook Pro review
Now Apple is including this mini display on its base level Mac laptops and that’s good news for consumers.
The Touch Bar basically adapts and changes depending on what software you are using on the main display.
Start typing in pages and you’ll get editing options and suggested words or switch to Messages and you’ll get instant access to every emoji.
The Touch Bar works across a whole range of Apple and third-party applications including Chrome and Photoshop.
Some have been a little critical as to the point the of the Touch Bar but there’s easily enough uses to make it a worthwhile extra to this machine.
The new MacBook Pro costs £1,299
There’s also one further boost to this display which runs across the entire top of the keyboard as tucked in the right corner is now a fingerprint scanner.
This makes it much easier to switch on your Mac plus you can use it for other security features including installing new apps and paying for purchases online via Apple Pay.
Along with the faster speeds and Touch Bar, other things worth mentioning are that huge trackpad which still offers the best experience on the market and Apple’s stunning 13-inch Retina display is just as bright, colourful and pin-sharp as before.
This screen also includes Apple’s clever True Tone technology which means it changes colour depending on the light around you.
So, that’s all the good news about the new MacBook Pro but are there any niggles with this portable PC?
In many ways, it’s tough faulting the Pro as this machine now offers so many benefits at a much more reasonable price.
However, there are a few little things that you should be aware of before buying one.
The MacBook keyboard has been criticised in the past
The two USB-C ports aren’t enough
First up it’s the ports.
Apple ditched the standard USB socket in favour of USB-C a few years ago.
Most people have now accepted this decision and the fact you’ll need a bag full of adaptors if you want to plug in external disks, memory cards or ethernet cables.
We don’t mind this change but Apple has only included two Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports on the MacBook Pro and they are both on the same side of the machine.
One of the best features of the more expensive Pro laptops is they include four ports on either side meaning you can charge the device or plug in endless accessorises much more easily.
Only having two sockets isn’t great for those wanting a more professional machine and why Apple hasn’t put one on either side is totally baffling – we can only think it comes down to cost.
Along with the ports, there’s also the keyboard.
The US tech firm has come in for a huge amount of criticism for its butterfly-style design which some people have complained isn’t all that appealing to type on.
Reliability issues have also been a major concern although a recent update to the keys should now stop any further problems – time will tell if the keyboard troubles have now been fully fixed
Finally, we need to mention battery life.
There’s no question that this new Pro machine has lasted longer than some other MacBooks we’ve tested in the past.
On average we’ve been getting around six or seven hours of use when watching videos and browsing the web.
That’s fine, but with some Windows-powered devices now claiming over 20-hours of playtime on one charge, Apple is going to need to work out a way of boosting things in the future.
The MacBook Pro offers serious value for money
The new MacBook Pro is a truly fabulous laptop which offers some seriously good value for money.
Apple’s update means you get an improved processor and the clever Touch Bar at a price more people can afford.
The addition of the fingerprint scanner also brings a faster way of accessing your digital life and its overall design is by far the best on the market.
This 2019 MacBook Pro is a total joy to use but it does have some minor niggles.
We would have liked Apple to bring even more battery life to the table and the two USB-C ports is a frustration plus there is still that slight lack of confidence in the keyboard.
However, if you are looking for a laptop to power you through the next few years and don’t want to pay a small fortune then this is the machine of your dreams.
In fact, it’s such good value for money it’s almost impossible not to recommend.