New MacBook Pro 13-inch (2020): get more performance with the new M1 chip

(Image credit: Apple)

At Apple’s One More Thing event on November 10, the company revealed the new MacBook Pro 13-inch (2020). This may have come as a surprise to many, as the company has already released the MacBook Pro 13-inch (2020), a refreshed model of Apple’s smallest MacBook Pro.

However, while the earlier model used Intel processors (and in the case of the base model, stuck with the now quite old 8th-generation Intel CPU), the new MacBook Pro 13-inch makes use of the new 5nm M1 chip that has been custom designed by Apple itself.

The company promises that this new chip allows the new MacBook Pro 13-inch (2020) to perform better, and run longer on battery, than its Intel-based predecessors.

Apple claims this new MacBook Pro 13-inch (2020) is the world’s fastest, compact pro notebook (for machine learning, at any rate), up to three times faster than Windows laptops in its class, and 2.8 times faster than the previous generation of MacBook Pro.  

It’s said to have a battery life of 20 hours when playing video, which would give it the longest ever battery life for a MacBook Pro. 

Since this is a MacBook Pro, Apple has included “studio-quality” mics, as well as advanced camera ISP for the webcam, “best-in-class” security features, and two Thunderbolt ports with USB 4.0 support, allowing you to connect to more peripherals than ever – including an XDR display.

The new MacBook Pro 13-inch (2020) will launch next week, but you can preorder it now on Apple’s website, and we should be getting our hands on one soon for a full review, so that we can find out just how accurate some of Apple’s rather bold claims about the new hardware are. 

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? Apple’s powerful 13-inch MacBook Pro
  • When is it out? You can preorder now, with the release set for next week 
  • How much will it cost? Starting at $1,299 / £1,299 / AU$1,999

New MacBook Pro 13-inch (2020) release date and price

At Apple’s new MacBook Pro 13-inch (2020) launch event, the company stated that its revamped thin and light laptop will be available to preorder right now, with the actual release coming next week.

Prices for the MacBook Pro 13-inch (2020) start at $1,299 / £1,299 / AU$1,999 for the 256GB SSD/8GB RAM model, with the 2TB SSD/16GB RAM model selling for $2,299 / £2,299 / AU$3,499. 

For comparison, the MacBook Pro (2020) launched earlier this year for $1,299 / £1,299 / AU$1,999, so we’re not seeing the price cut on the MacBook Pro we were hoping to see now that Apple has moved to its own silicon, but the performance gain, it can be argued, makes up for this.

New MacBook Pro 13-inch (2020) specs

Without question, the biggest story when it comes to the specs of the new MacBook Pro 13-inch (2020) is the introduction of the new Apple M1 chip, and you can read all about it in our dedicated article, but the highlights include an eight-core CPU – featuring four performance cores and four efficiency cores – an eight-core GPU, and a 16-core Neural Engine.

Beyond the new M1 chip, there are several configuration options available. You can get either 8GB or 16GB RAM, and either 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB of SSD storage. 

The other configurable options involve preinstalled software, so if you want to save the hassle of having to install Final Cut Pro X or Logic Pro X, you can have Apple do it for you for $299 / £299 / AU$499 and $199 / £199 / AU$319, respectively

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