The MacBook Pro 2020 (13-inch) couldn’t have arrived at a better time; at least, not at a better time for me. Less than a month ago, my 2015 MacBook Pro lost a battle to a spilled St. Germaine and soda.
I didn’t fret, even with the knowledge that finding an open repair shop during a pandemic would be pretty much impossible. That’s because rumors of a new MacBook Pro launching soon provided a silver (or Space Grey) lining to the situation.
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That’s right. I knew I would buy whatever laptop Apple planned to reveal this month. Even if it didn’t sport a 14-inch display or offer a webcam boost, so long as the MacBook Pro 2020 had the Magic Keyboard, Apple already had my money.
Perhaps such blind loyalty isn’t something I should be proud of, but there’s something to be said for how well and for how long my now-broken computer served me.
My first-ever MacBook Pro gave me five great years of writing, streaming and Adobe suite-ing. It got me through college, where I edited a 60-page student magazine and ran a resume-making business. When I got locked out of the media labs at midnight, I could work on short video projects back in my dorm, then watch YouTube videos online before I went to bed.
I wanted another do-it-all computer I could rely on for another five years. Or even longer. I might not be an active gamer or graphic designer right now, but having a machine that’s versatile enough for whatever project, hobby or job I want to take up in my mid- or late twenties is important to me.
Why not the MacBook Air or 16-inch Pro?
I decided not to pick the newly-released and ready-to-ship MacBook Air. Though my colleague Henry T. Casey gave it 4 stars in his MacBook Air 2020 review, he suggested I try to wait. The performance fared fine for casual use, but the Air struggled with multi-tasking and didn’t “wow” on benchmarks. I don’t need “wow,” but I do need powerful and all-purpose.
So why not the 16-inch MacBook Pro that launched in December, you might ask? Have you seen the size of that thing? I’ve never gravitated towards a 15-inch computer in my life. I wouldn’t know how to pack it for travel, nor would it fit in any backpack I currently own. And of all that beastly computer’s bells and whistles, the 16-inch MacBook Pro review raved most over the Magic Keyboard, which I’ll get on my 13-inch MacBook Pro anyway. If only it were waterproof, too.
The 16-inch model’s starting $2,399 cost deterred me, too. While I’m of the belief excellent and long-lasting technology can justify a high price tag, I paid half of that ($1,199) for my 2015 MacBook Pro.
Why I got the $1,799 model
Now, I know Apple can be cute about its configurations. The new MacBook Pro may start at $1,299, but that entry-level model packs last year's processor. Only the two top tier versions, priced at $1,799 and $1,999, offer Intel’s 10-gen chip. Still, the 16-inch model makes that sound cheap.
But $1,799, which is how much I just spent for my new laptop, definitely isn’t cheap. Second to tickets to see Beyonce at Coachella, I’ve never spent that much in one sitting. But I’m getting a lot for my money: the newest processor, a 512GB SSD, 16GB of fast 3733 MHz RAM, and four Thunderbolt 3 ports. And, hopefully, another 5-plus years of reliable performance.
That said, I probably wouldn’t have upgraded to this new 13-inch MacBook if my 5-year-old one hadn’t met its untimely demise. I know I could have squeezed at least another spin around of the Sun out if it, but some things just aren’t meant to be. Especially not laptops and alcohol.
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