MacBook Pro 2020 will get the upgrade it needs to beat Dell XPS 13

MacBook Pro
(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

The 13-inch MacBook Pro 2020 model could see an upgrade to 10th generation Intel CPUs, finally putting Apple's smaller flagship laptop on par with such rivals as the Dell XPS 13.

Twitter user rogame  (via Forbes) found evidence of Apple using the latest Intel Ice Lake CPUs within the code for MacOS 10.15.5 Beta 1 (and MacOS 10.15.4 as was later pointed out). Rogame believes that the use of the 15W versions of these CPUs points to a new version of the smaller MacBook Pro, featuring two Thunderbolt 3 ports for charging and data transfer.

The 2020 MacBook Air also uses Ice Lake CPUs, Intel's latest form of microarchitecture for laptop chips. But the ID numbers found here point to the standard U Series models of the Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 processors, rather than the lower power Y series models used on the Air.

Because the new MacBook Air uses Y Series chips, Apple's entry-level laptop lost our  MacBook Air vs Dell  XPS 13 face-off. However, if the MacBook Pro gets the processors based on the above leak, it should be a much better XPS 13 competitor.

This is great news for MacBook fans looking to upgrade from the previous generation of MacBook Pro, which has used the same generation of processors since 2018. These MacBook Pro models also use the Butterfly Keyboard, which has switches that many find both unreliable and uncomfortable. 

The larger MacBook Pro was upgraded last year, increasing in size from 15 inches to 16 inches and gaining a new 'Magic Keyboard' in the process. In March 2020 we saw the MacBook Air upgraded too, with improved internals and the Magic Keyboard. It makes sense to expect the smaller MacBook Pro to gain the Magic Keyboard, along with the processor upgrade.

We've also heard rumors that point to the 13-inch MacBook Pro getting a screen size increase to 14 inches, thanks to Apple shrinking the bezels around the display. Predictions from respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo say these changes will be unveiled in June, which happens to be when Apple will be holding a virtual version of its WWDC event.

This is the time Apple tends to reveal its newest versions of its operating systems, so a new MacBook would tie in perfectly with the latest version of macOS it will presumably shown off there.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.