Base 2019 13-Inch MacBook Pro Teardown Reveals Larger Battery, Soldered-Down SSD, and Updated Keyboard Material

iFixit has shared a teardown of the new entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro, which was refreshed this week with Intel's latest 8th-generation processors, a True Tone display, Touch Bar, Touch ID, and the Apple T2 security chip.


The teardown reveals a larger battery with a 58.2 Wh capacity, which slightly exceeds the 54.5 Wh battery found in the previous-generation function key model. iFixit guesses this is how the 2019 model manages to power the Touch Bar, Touch ID, and T2 chip while keeping the same 10-hour battery life.

To make room for the Touch ID sensor alongside the Touch Bar, iFixit notes that Apple appears to be using a slightly smaller heat sink. The speaker opposite the fan also looks to have been shrunk in size.

While the previous-generation entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro had a modular SSD, storage is soldered down in the 2019 model. However, there are some newly modular components, including the Thunderbolt board and the speakers. This configuration is in line with other modern MacBook Pro designs.

As we confirmed earlier this week, the notebook has the same third-generation butterfly keyboard with updated material as the higher-end 2019 MacBook Pro models introduced in May, with Apple promising improved reliability.


Like most other modern MacBooks, this model earned a low repairability score from iFixit due to the usual concerns, such as Apple's use of proprietary pentalobe screws, a glued-in battery, and soldered-down storage and RAM. One positive is that the trackpad can be replaced without touching the battery.

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Base 2019 13-Inch MacBook Pro is Up to 83% Faster Than Previous Generation in Benchmarks

Apple this week updated its entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro with a Touch Bar and Intel's latest 8th-generation Core quad-core processors, and benchmarks for the 2019 model are now beginning to surface.


Geekbench 4 scores indicate the base 2019 model with an 8th-generation 1.4GHz quad-core Core i5 processor has up to a 6.8 percent increase in single-core performance, and up to 83.4 percent faster multi-core performance, compared to the base 2017 model with a 7th-generation 2.3GHz dual-core Core i5 processor.

Specifically, the 2019 model has average single-core and multi-core scores of 4,639 and 16,665 respectively based on eight Geekbench results, while the 2017 model averages 4,341 for single-core and 9,084 for multi-core.


The new entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro is powered by Intel's Core i5-8257U processor, which appears to be a custom variation of its Core i5-8250U processor designed for Apple. The 15W chip is part of the Coffee Lake family and has a max Turbo Boost frequency of up to 3.9GHz.

The notebook can also be upgraded to an 8th-generation 1.7GHz quad-core Core i7 processor. This configuration uses Intel's Core i7-8557U, which is likewise believed to be a custom variation of its Core i7-8550U processor, with a TDP of 15W and a max Turbo Boost frequency of up to 4.5GHz.

Only one Geekbench result is available for the 1.7GHz configuration so far with single-core and multi-core scores of 4,835 and 15,515 respectively. There is room for variance here as more results come in, but this would be a performance increase of up to around 60 percent compared to the equivalent 2017 model.

Apple advertises the new entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro as "two times more powerful" than the previous generation. The benchmarks approach this at up to 83 percent, but performance in real-world usage will vary.

Apple did not update the entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro in 2018, which is why 2017 models serve as the previous-generation comparisons.

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New MacBook Air and Base 13-Inch MacBook Pro Have Same Keyboard as Higher-End 2019 MacBook Pros

Good news: both the new MacBook Air and the new entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro models introduced today have the same third-generation butterfly keyboard design with an updated material as the higher-end 2019 MacBook Pro models introduced in May, we've confirmed directly.

2019 MacBook Pro keyboard teardown via iFixit

Apple previously said the new material should substantially reduce issues that some users have experienced with its butterfly keyboards in recent MacBooks, according to The Loop. Apple apologized for the issues in March, but it continues to insist that a "small percentage" of customers are affected.

Apple has not elaborated on the new material, but the repair experts at iFixit completed a teardown of the 2019 MacBook Pro and discovered a "subtle change" made to the silicone membrane covering the keyboard switches.

Whereas the membrane in the 2018 MacBook Pro is "semi-opaque" and "feels like silicone," iFixit said the cover in the 2019 model is "clearer and smooth to the touch." Based on infrared analysis, it appears the 2018 membrane was made with polyacetylene, while the 2019 covers uses polyamide, aka nylon.

Despite the new material, Apple has added all 2019 MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro models, including today's refreshed entry-level configuration, to its keyboard service program — hopefully out of an abundance of caution.

This means any 2019 MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, or any Mac with a butterfly keyboard that experiences keyboard issues such as sticky or inconsistently responding keys qualify for free repairs from Apple for up to four years after the original purchase date worldwide, regardless of warranty status.

With the 12-inch MacBook having been discontinued today, this means every notebook that Apple sells today features this new material for improved reliability. Whether the new material actually cuts down on the issues or not remains to be seen, as the sticky or repeating keys often take time to manifest.

Looking forward, reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple plans to adopt a new scissor keyboard in future MacBooks, including a new MacBook Air later in 2019 and a new MacBook Pro in 2020. While the MacBook Air was updated today, the only change was a True Tone display, so a processor refresh could still follow this fall along with the new keyboard if Apple finally plans to ditch the butterfly mechanism.

To initiate a keyboard repair, visit the Get Support page on Apple's website to book a Genius Bar or Apple Authorized Service Provider appointment.

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Apple Drops Prices on High-End Storage Upgrades for iMac, iMac Pro, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and Mac Pro

Alongside a refresh of the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro this morning, Apple has also dropped the price on high-end storage upgrades across the Mac lineup. This includes the iMac, iMac Pro, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and even the soon-to-be-discontinued Mac Pro.


For the most part, 1TB SSD upgrades have dropped by $200 on the iMac, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini; and 2TB SSD upgrades have dropped by $400 on the Mac mini and MacBook Pro. The ultra high-end 4TB SSD upgrade for the MacBook Pro has dropped by $1400.

For the iMac Pro, 2TB SSD upgrades have been marked down by $200, while the 4TB SSD upgrade has dropped by $1200.

The updates continue into the old Mac Pro as well, with the 1TB upgrade dropping by $200. Apple has also removed the 64GB RAM option for the Mac Pro from its store, and made this model only available in 16GB and 32GB options.

Head to Apple.com to see more of the changes to high-end upgrades on the Mac.

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Apple No Longer Sells a MacBook Pro Without a Touch Bar

With the entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro being refreshed with a Touch Bar and other new features today, Apple no longer sells a MacBook Pro without a Touch Bar in its current lineup. In other words, it is no longer possible to buy a new MacBook Pro with a physical escape key directly from Apple.


The Touch Bar has been a controversial feature since its debut on the 15-inch MacBook Pro in October 2016, with some critics describing it as a gimmick. The entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro was until now a way around the Touch Bar, with its physical escape key earning it the nickname of "MacBook Escape."

A physical escape key remains available on MacBook Air models.

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Entry-Level 13-Inch MacBook Pro Updated With 8th-Gen Processors, Touch Bar, Touch ID, and T2 Security Chip

Apple today announced it has updated its entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro with the latest 8th-generation Intel Core quad-core processors for up to two times faster performance. The entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro also now features the Touch Bar and Touch ID, True Tone, and the Apple T2 security chip.


Pricing starts at $1,299 in the United States, or $1,199 for qualifying students through Apple's education store.

More details to follow…

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MacBook Air Updated With True Tone Display and Lower $1,099 Starting Price

Apple today announced that it has updated the MacBook Air with a True Tone display and lowered the price of the notebook to $1,099 in the United States, or $999 for qualifying students. 2018 models started at $1,199.


In addition, the entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro has been updated with the latest 8th-generation Intel Core quad-core processors for up to two times faster performance. The entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro also now features the Touch Bar and Touch ID, True Tone, and the Apple T2 security chip. Pricing starts at $1,299, or $1,199 for qualifying students.

More details to follow…

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Mass Production of iPad 7 Said to Begin This Month, Followed by 16-Inch MacBook Pro in Fourth Quarter

Mass production of a new iPad will begin in July, followed by mass production of a new 16-inch MacBook Pro in the fourth quarter of this year, according to a supply chain report from Taiwan's Economic Daily News today.


The report, relayed by Japanese blog Mac Otakara, claims that Taiwanese manufacturer Radiant Opto-Electronics will be the exclusive backlight module supplier for both the new iPad and the 16-inch MacBook Pro. No further details were provided.

The new iPad likely refers to the rumored 10.2-inch model that is expected to succeed the low-cost 9.7-inch iPad. Apple introduced the low-cost iPad in March 2017, and refreshed it in March 2018, but March 2019 came and went without an update as Apple instead launched the 10.5-inch iPad Air and a new iPad mini.


The source of the 10.2-inch iPad rumor, CoinX, has an accurate track record. The mystery account previously tweeted the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR names of the 2018 iPhones before anyone else, and was also accurate about the 10.5-inch iPad Air, the 2018 iPad Pro being 5.9mm thick, and more.

If mass production of the new iPad begins this month, a release is likely on the horizon, but it is unclear if it will be a summer or fall product.

16-inch MacBook Pro rumors began with well-known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Back in February, he said the notebook would launch at some point in 2019 with an "all-new design." Last month, IHS Markit analyst Jeff Lin said the notebook will launch in September and have a display resolution of 3,072×1,920 pixels.

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Kuo: Apple to Use New Scissor Switch Keyboard in Future MacBooks, Starting With 2019 MacBook Air Refresh

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes Apple will do away with its controversial butterfly mechanism keyboard in future MacBooks, beginning with a refreshed MacBook Air later this year.


In a report obtained by MacRumors, Kuo says Apple will instead use a new keyboard design based on scissor switches, which should provide better key travel and durability than the more failure-prone butterfly keyboard.
There have been successful developments in the new scissor keyboard. The new keyboard could improve the typing experience by offering longer key travel and durability by adopting glass fiber to reinforce the keys' structure.
Kuo believes a new scissor switch keyboard will also be used in the MacBook Pro, but not until 2020. Perhaps tellingly, Kuo made no mention of the 16-inch MacBook Pro he has previously suggested Apple will launch later this year.
We believe the partially refreshed MacBook Pro models will also adopt a new scissor keyboard in 2020; shipments of MacBook models equipped with a new scissor keyboard will grow 500–700% YoY in 2020. Though the butterfly keyboard is still thinner than the new scissor keyboard, we think most users can't tell the difference. Furthermore, the new scissor keyboard could offer a better user experience and benefit Apple's profits; therefore, we predict that the butterfly keyboard may finally disappear in the long term.
Apple's butterfly keyboards are highly controversial and have been called out as one of the company's worst design decisions due to their penchant for failure due to small particulates like crumbs or heat issues.

Following years of anecdotal complaints from customers, and a few class action lawsuits, Apple initiated a worldwide service program, offering free repairs of 2015-and-later MacBook and 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pro keyboards, which are equipped with low-profile butterfly switch mechanisms.

Apple in 2018 debuted MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models that use an updated third-generation butterfly keyboard. The third-generation keyboard has a thin silicone barrier behind each key, which was put in place as an ingress-proofing measure to prevent dust from getting in the keys.

Clearly the hope was that the updated keyboard would cut down on failures, but the 2018 MacBook Pro is still prone to keyboard issues, and Apple acknowledged as much in March.

Kuo says the new replacement keyboard will be supplied solely by specialist laptop keyboard maker Sunrex rather than Wistron, which currently makes the butterfly keyboards for Apple. The analyst expects the new Sunrex keyboard will go to mass production in 2020 and will make the Taiwan-based firm Apple's most important keyboard supplier.

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Damaged 15-Inch 2015 MacBook Pro Demonstrates Why Apple Initiated Battery Recall Program

Apple in June launched a voluntary recall and replacement program for 15-inch MacBook Pro models with Retina display sold between September 2015 and February 2017, citing defective batteries that could overheat and pose a fire safety risk.

Right after the replacement program was announced, designer Steven Gagne shared some images of a MacBook Pro that caught fire, and those images were today surfaced by PetaPixel, giving us a look at why 2015 MacBook Pro owners should take this recall seriously.


Gagne said that the battery in his MacBook Pro exploded, causing a small fire and filling his house with smoke. He heard the sound of the battery popping, and then smelled a strong chemical scent. The MacBook Pro wasn't plugged in and it was in sleep mode.

He was able to get to it quickly enough to extinguish the fire before it did real damage, but the seriousness of the damage to the MacBook Pro emphasizes that this could have been far worse.


Apple has asked customers with a 15-inch MacBook Pro from 2015 to stop using it until the battery inside can be replaced. Apple has a website outlining the recall program, with MacBook Pro able to enter a serial number to see if they need a battery replacement.

The recall affects the 15-inch MacBook Pro from 2015 and does not impact later models released in 2016 and beyond. Those with 15-inch 2015 machines will need to visit an Apple retail location, an Apple Authorized Service Provider, or contact Apple support to arrange a mail-in repair.

You can determine which Mac you have by clicking on the Apple logo in the menu bar and selecting "About This Mac." The year of the machine is listed in parentheses, and affected machines will say "15-inch, Mid 2015."


According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Apple has received a total of 26 reports of batteries overheating, including five reports of minor burns and 17 reports of minor damage to nearby personal property.

Apple sold approximately 432,000 affected MacBook Pro units in the United States and 26,000 in Canada.

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