Apple Macbook Pro 13-inch 2020 Review: Setting a new standard

March 31, 2022 0 Comments

Despite the major obstacles to the Covid-19 epidemic, Apple has been able to pull off a remarkable 2020 in terms of product launches. The company has not only launched its usual number of products but has also been able to bring a whole new product to market; M1 chips, which power the new MacBook Air, MacBook Pro 13-inch and Mac Mini. We have the MacBook Pro 13 ”for review and most of what has been said for this machine will apply to the MacBook Air and even the Mac Mini. So, is this new M1 chip as revolutionary as everyone else is making it? We have sure answers.

Apple MacBook Pro 13 “M1 Performance

The Apple MacBook Pro 13 ”we got for review is the base variant, which comes with M1 SoC (8 CPU cores, 8 GPU cores), 8GB memory and 256GB storage. This configuration costs 1,22,900 rupees, and I suspect that most people who want to use this machine will go with this configuration. Testing the M1-based Mac brings some challenges as traditional benchmarking tools hit a performance due to the Rosetta 2 translation level. So our tests are stuck on more real-world applications and real-world uses. In some cases, I’ve moved from a top-of-the-line 16-inch MacBook Pro to an M1-based MacBook Pro, and the transition has been flawless. Let me tell you the details.

If you’re a video content creator, you’ll be glad to know that FCP is already fully optimized for M1 Macs. This means you will have the same well-optimized experience. In terms of render time, 5-minute clips (4K to 1080p) were exported in 53 seconds, flat. Significant color grading is applied to the project with transitions in each clip, and finally, there are several text and animation layers to get to the top of the project. The 16-inch MacBook Pro, by comparison, takes 58 seconds to complete the same render. If you’re in favor of Adobe’s Video Editor Premier Pro, the company has just released a beta version designed for the M1 chip, and we’ll take a closer look.

For now, our tests use the Intel Mac version of Premier Pro, the Rosetta 2 running through the translation level. Exporting the same 4K project to a 1080p file, the MacBook Pro 13 ”lags behind the Intel version for a few seconds. It’s very interesting to see how the render is happening through the emulation layer. Similarly, for the Adobe Lightroom Classic, no M1 version is available, but even with emulation, Adobe’s popular photo editor works perfectly, providing speed and performance to match the 16-inch MacBook Pro powered by Intel Core i9. Best of all, the MacBook Pro 13 “fan rarely enters, and when it does arrive, it’s rarely heard. The fan helps keep the chip cool, allowing for durable performance that is especially effective for long renders. Truth be told, this 13-inch MacBook Pro is going too-to-toe with Intel Core i9-based 16-inch MacBook Pro in terms of functionality, where the price is less than half. However, it is even better.

Apple MacBook Pro 13 “M1 Battery Life

The whole point of Apple’s Silicon is that these chips offer significantly better performance than their Intel counterparts when using significantly less power. And boy, what does it deliver. For daily use only, I charge the MacBook Pro once every 3 to 4 days. This machine is used most of the time for typing documents, research stories on the web, most of the time using Spotify unnecessarily while using WhatsApp. The sound came occasionally through onboard speakers and some flowed through a Bluetooth headset. In the days when I had to edit a lot of photos in Adobe Lightroom Classic (still running through the Rosetta 2 translation level), I would still be able to use the MacBook Pro for 2 days on charge.

According to the Mac’s own battery usage widget, the maximum screen time I got was a little over 9 hours, but it was in those days when nothing was used except basic programs like browsers and word processors. Music and WhatsApp were still a part of this usage pattern. There are many ways to say the same thing here; The battery life of the MacBook Pro 13 ”is impressive and something you don’t have to worry about on a daily basis. This type of battery life used to be the domain of the MacBook Air, but the Pro defeated it by a large margin. There’s also an “optimized battery charging” mode that learns from your usage and charging patterns to maximize your Mac’s battery life.

Apple MacBook Pro 13 “M1 display

The MacBook Pro 13 ”actually has a 13.3-inch display with a 16:10 aspect ratio. The resolution of this panel is 2560×1600 and the type of panel is IPS-LCD. Supported color spaces are sRGB, Adobe RGB and, of course, DCI-P3. Unfortunately, due to inconsistencies between the calibration software and the M1 Mac we were unable to use our chlorimeter to measure the quality aspect of the panel. All we could do was edit a few images on the M1 Mac using Adobe Lightroom Classic and then review those images on a calibrated monitor. There was color reproduction on the spot, which led us to conclude that the Apple MacBook Pro 13 “display was calibrated for perfection in terms of sRGB color space. Once the software is updated for compatibility we will dive deeper into other aspects of the panel. Lastly, it also has a very bright panel, with 430-nit brightness in the center. The display is capable of both HDR10 and Dolby Vision content from your preferred source.

Apple MacBook Pro plays an IPS LCD panel with 13-inch Dolby Vision support

Apple MacBook Pro 13 ”M1 compatibility and usage

The M1 Macs are a huge departure from their Intel counterparts in some notable ways. The main concern of these changes is app-compatibility. Apple has promised a smooth transition and they have largely fulfilled those promises. When setting up the Apple MacBook Pro 13 for review, the general apps we use have not yet been optimized for the M1 chip. These include the application’s Adobe Suite, MS Office, Handbrake and of course plugins for Photoshop and Lightroom. During testing, all of these devices ran as smoothly and reliably as Intel-based Macs. The only significant difference here is that the apps have to run through the Rosetta 2 translation level, which takes about 30 seconds to launch but only on the first launch. Subsequent startups are quick until you reboot. It’s amazing that major software makers have released M1-optimized versions of their applications at speed. BlackMagic M1 has released DaVinci Resolve 17.1 with native support for Macs. Adobe’s Photoshop, Premier Pro, Premier Rush and Audition are all available in public beta and are very effective. Microsoft has also updated Office Suite. These machines are being announced in just a month and a half. We hope that most developers will start porting their apps to at least universal binary, if not the native M1 version in the near future.

Run iOS and iPadOS apps on M1 Macs

Now, one of the most exciting things about Macs moving to ARM-based architecture is that it is now possible to run iOS and iPadOS apps on Mac. In fact the Mac App Store now has a section for iOS and iPadOS apps that have been made available for the Mac, but unfortunately none of the popular ones through this route are available. However, if you can get your hands on an IPA file for the app you want to run, you can install it just like any regular app, and it will work. But there are some challenges. For example, Instagram is not available on Mac, but we were able to get the official IPA file for Instagram and install it on Apple MacBook Pro 13 ”. However, after running the app, I was greeted by a small window and a hard to use user interface. This is because Instagram is only available for the iPhone and so, the content moves in a small window that cannot be resized. Also, the app is designed with touch-based navigation in mind, so using a keyboard and trackpad to work is a bit difficult. Similarly, we managed to get a Call of Duty: Apple MacBook Pro 13 ”for iPadOS installed on mobile and a few minutes after the match, was banned. This may be due to the app running in an environment for which it is not. Currently, the selection of iOS and iPadOS apps available through the Mac App Store is still weak, but hopefully this will change next month.

Apple MacBook Pro 13 “M1 Sound

The MacBook Pro 13 ”continues Apple’s track record of having some of the best sounding speakers on the market. This machine does not come with the force-cancellation subwoofer we find in the larger 16-inch models, but these speakers are still in the state of impressive. Whether it’s watching a movie or listening to music, the MacBook Pro 13 “also provides excellent clarity. On many occasions, I find myself using onboard speakers instead of headphones and still have a good listening experience.

Apple MacBook Pro 13 ”M1 keyboard, trackpad and I / O

The new 13-inch MacBook Pro uses a scissor switch on the keyboard, which is available on the Magic keyboard. The typing experience on this keyboard is really nice for short, but strong travel. What makes the typing experience even better is that you don’t have to hit the center of the key to register a keystroke. The touchbar is at the end of a lot of criticism, but I actually find it quite helpful, especially when it comes to volume adjustment or brightness changes. Even with applications like MS Word, Excel, Safari and even Spotify, the Touch Bar provides quick access to the most logical of setting options. Then there is the trackpad, a small glass rectangle that continues to set standards for the rest of the industry. Finally, you’ll find two USB-C ports that comply with the USB4 standard, similar to Thunderbolt 3.0.

Should you buy Apple MacBook Pro 13 ”M1?

Simply put, the Apple MacBook Pro 13 ”is amazing. For the longest time, the lack of a separate GPU has weakened the older 13-inch MacBook Pro, especially when it comes to video workloads. With a complete change in architecture, this machine is squeezing performance metrics that parallel the top-of-the-line Intel-based MacBook Pro. And it’s not that this performance is coming at a significant price. You still get ridiculously good battery life, even though the machine retains things like a great color accurate display, a great keyboard and a really nice and accurate trackpad as standard. However, there are some things to keep in mind. If you’re a video-based content creator, you’ll want not just 16GB of RAM, but at least one terabyte of storage. If you are a photographer or music producer, you can do with a little less storage, but I still strongly recommend 16GB RAM. If you are a hobby photographer, filmmaker or a music producer, you can stay away from 8GB RAM as it will run everything smooth and without any hiccups, but professionals want better longevity. If content creation isn’t your jam, just go with the MacBook Air, which will offer very similar levels of performance and battery life, but won’t be suitable for long renders due to the fanless design.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.