Teardowns and benchmarks: All the details about Apple’s newest 13-inch MacBook Pro

Teardowns and benchmarks: All the details about Apple’s newest 13-inch MacBook Pro

As is tradition, repair guide site and parts vendor iFixit tore down the latest Mac to see what’s different inside and to assess its repairability. This time it’s the new, entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, which replaced the previous Touch Bar-less low-end MacBook Pro in Apple’s store last week. Combine that with now-public Geekbench benchmarks of the machine, and we have a clear picture of what the lowest-price MacBook Pro model is all about.

Let’s start with the benchmarks, as dug up by MacRumors: the refreshed low-end 13-inch MacBook Pro managed an average 4,639 Geekbench 4 score in single-core performance and 16,665 in multi-core. Compare that with 4,341 and 9,084, respectively, in the previous bottom-tier 13-inch MacBook Pro, and you’re looking at up to 83% faster performance in the new machine.

No

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Apple updates entry-level MacBook Air and Pro, discontinues MacBook

Apple updates entry-level MacBook Air and Pro, discontinues MacBook

Enlarge / The 2018 MacBook Air is 10% thinner than the old MacBook Air and weighs 2.75lbs. (credit: Valentina Palladino)

Today, Apple refreshed much of its entry-level laptop lineup in time for a “Back to School” push that includes slashed prices for educators and students. The initiative some other perks, too, like a free pair of Beats headphones with certain Mac and iPad purchases. Additionally, the company discontinued the 12-inch MacBook and significantly cut prices of solid-state storage upgrade options across the Mac lineup, including in high-end models like the MacBook Pro and iMac Pro.

13-inch MacBook Pro updates

Previously, the 13-inch MacBook Pro lineup was divided into two categories: low-end, Touch Bar-free models, and higher-end models with Touch Bars. Now, every unit in the lineup is equipped with a Touch Bar, which brings into question some speculation by onlookers that Apple doesn’t want to further invest in the

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Apple introduces a recall program for some MacBook Pro laptops with faulty batteries

Apple introduces a recall program for some MacBook Pro laptops with faulty batteries

Today, Apple sent out a press release and published a customer support document announcing a new voluntary recall-and-replace program for certain MacBook Pro models that contain batteries that may overheat, and which may have the potential to be a fire risk.

The recall program is limited to certain 15-inch MacBook Pros from 2015, which were sold “primarily” between 2015 and 2017, Apple says—so pre-Touch Bar, Retina models from near the end of that form factor’s life cycle. The company’s support page offers a field wherein a consumer can input their serial number to find out if their laptop is affected.

“Because customer safety is a top priority,” Apple wrote, “Apple is asking customers to stop using affected 15-inch MacBook Pro units.” The company hasn’t provided details about the nature of the problem other than to say, “in a limited number

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Apple releases iOS 12.3.1 and a supplemental update for macOS 10.14.5

Apple releases iOS 12.3.1 and a supplemental update for macOS 10.14.5

Enlarge / From left to right: the iPhone 8, the iPhone XS, the iPhone XR, and the iPhone XS Max. (credit: Samuel Axon)

Just a little over a week after iOS 12.3 hit iPhones and iPads everywhere, Apple has released iOS 12.3.1—a minor update that fixes a couple bugs. Earlier this week, Apple also released a supplemental update for macOS 10.14.5 to fix issues with the T2 chip on some MacBook Pros, addressing a common user complaint.

The iOS update primarily focused on fixing some issues with the Messages app. More specifically, it addresses a bug that prevented the “report junk” option from appearing on applicable threads and another one that made unknown senders appear in your main inbox when they shouldn’t. Additionally, it addresses an issue that affected VoLTE calls.

Apple’s patch notes for iOS 12.3.1 are as follows:

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Apple refreshes MacBook Pro with updated keyboard, 8-core 9th-gen Intel CPUs

Apple refreshes MacBook Pro with updated keyboard, 8-core 9th-gen Intel CPUs

Enlarge / The 2017 and 2018 15-inch MacBook Pros side by side. Each has a butterfly keyboard. (credit: Samuel Axon)

In the second update to the current crop of MacBook Pros since they were released in July 2018, Apple this week has expanded the available CPU options for both the 13-inch and 15-inch models. The 15-inch MacBook Pro has moved to Intel’s 9th generation CPUs and offers 8-core options for the first time in the product line’s history. The 13-inch saw a more modest CPU specifications bump. The MacBook Pro’s price points remain the same.

Just as importantly, Apple has made another update to its butterfly keyboards in the MacBook Pro. This marks the fourth generation of the butterfly keyboard that has divided users and seen some widely publicized hardware failures that resulted in an ongoing repair program from Apple. Apple claimed significant improvements to reliability in the third generation

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Blackmagic eGPU Pro mini-review: Quiet, fast, and extremely expensive—like a Mac

Blackmagic eGPU Pro mini-review: Quiet, fast, and extremely expensive—like a Mac

There are many criticisms of Apple’s Mac products, but one of the most commonly cited is that they often don’t have graphics power that’s comparable to what you’d see in similarly priced Windows machines. Unfortunately, the company currently offers no desktop tower in which you could, say, slot two super-powerful gaming graphics cards, either.

Some of that could change soon when Apple moves to its own silicon on Macs or when it introduces a new Mac Pro. But for now, the company’s official answer to this line of criticism is doubling down on external GPU support in macOS. Support for this began during the High Sierra cycle and was expanded upon in some helpful ways in last year’s Mojave OS release.

In addition to providing software support for eGPUs, Apple has developed what is more or less its official-ish eGPU

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