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MacBook Lineup Guide (Early 2020)

Jullian Robin Sibi 0

Despite everything that’s happening in this current situation, Apple managed to release two new MacBook models: the 2020 MacBook Air and the new 13-inch MacBook Pro. Although the company kept the number of MacBooks at three, deciding which one to get is still confusing. I’m here to share this MacBook lineup guide to help you out!

Why MacBooks?

MacBook Lineup - MacBook Air

Apple’s MacBooks are good options for various kinds of people. From basic web browsing to photo and video editing, there’s probably a MacBook that’s right for you. ONE MORE THING! If you’re a gamer, I suggest you go get a Windows laptop. MacBooks (and Macs in general) haven’t been for gaming ever since and I don’t think Apple Arcade can change that.

What About The Keyboards?

In fairness to you, I agreed with the concern regarding the butterfly keyboards on recent MacBooks. It’s an insane issue to the point that ALL of the MacBooks in this list are in their Keyboard Service Program! Good thing that the program lasts up to 4 years since the purchase. I might have said it too soon because I already experienced problems with my MacBook Air.

2020 MacBook Air with Magic Keyboard

Now, the current MacBook lineup ditches that for a return to the scissor-switch keys with the Magic Keyboard. You no longer need to worry about that department anymore. (We also get back the inverted-T arrow key layout! Yay!)

Pro Tip: Buy One (IF YOU CAN) in Japan!

Apple Store Experience - Apple Ginza

If you happen to visit Japan, I highly recommend that you buy Apple products there. You can avail of Tax-Free in any Apple Store in Japan if you’re a tourist. Pricing is really close to the one in the US. You don’t even have to worry about any state tax! I’ll be putting in Japan pricing (alongside US and PH pricing) in this post for your convenience.

NOTE: The availability of the new MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pros are not known yet. Due to the current situation, all of Apple’s new products (including the new iPhone SE) cannot be delivered to the Philippines. Will update this page if the situation changes.

Disclaimer: Pricing is from the Apple Online Store (United States, Philippines, and Japan).

Apple MacBook Lineup
(Updated as of May 17, 2020)

MacBook Air

Apple is now basically saying that this MacBook Air is the MacBook for most people. With the old MacBook Air and 12-inch MacBook discontinued, this is the entry-level option. We now have the 3rd generation of this design. Unlike last year’s model, we now have a choice between the 10th generation Intel Core i3 and Core i5 processors. We also get bigger base storage starting with 256 and 512 GB of PCIe SSD. Let’s also not forget the new Magic Keyboard.

If you just want a MacBook that can pretty much do the basics, get the MacBook Air. It’s a no-fuss decision I think most people getting one would agree on. My only recommendation is to get the model with the quad-core Intel Core i5 if you need to do occasional photo/video editing.

Specs

  • 1.1 GHz dual-core 10th-gen Intel Core i3 / 1.1 GHz quad-core 10th-gen Intel Core i5 processor (Upgradeable to 1.2 GHz quad-core 10th-gen Intel Core i7)
  • 8 GB 3733 MHz LPDDR4X RAM (Upgradeable to 16 GB RAM)
  • 2560×1600 13.3-inch Retina Display with True Tone
  • Magic Keyboard
  • 2 USB-C Ports with Thunderbolt 3
  • Touch ID fingerprint sensor
  • Apple T2 Security Chip
  • Starts at 256/512 GB PCI-E based SSD (up to 2TB)

Pricing and Configuration

  • Base Model ($999 / P57,990 / ¥104,800)
    • 1.1 GHz dual-core 10th-gen Intel Core i3
    • 8 GB 3733 MHz LPDDR4X RAM
    • 256 GB PCI-E SSD
  • High-End Model ($1299 / P74,990 / ¥134,800)
    • 1.1 GHz quad-core 10th-gen Intel Core i5
    • 8 GB 3733 MHz LPDDR4X RAM
    • 512 GB PCI-E SSD

13-Inch MacBook Pro

The 13-inch MacBook Pro is the latest laptop to get a refresh in the last 12 months. Despite that refresh, Apple still made the configurations of this model as confusing as ever. All configs have the Touch Bar, Touch ID, and even the new Magic Keyboard.

The only differences within the 13-inch MacBook Pro lineup are:

  • Number of USB-C / Thunderbolt 3 Ports (2 vs 4)
  • 8th-Gen Intel processors on the Two-Port models, 10th-Gen on the Four-Port
  • Higher storage capacity to start (256GB on the Two-Port vs 512GB on the Four-Port)

If you do a lot of photo editing and video editing but still value portability, then the 13-inch MacBook Pro is for you. There’s a lot of choices to be made, so here are two of my recommended configurations:

  • The price-conscious pro now has a better deal with the 256 GB Two-Port Base Model starting at $1,299.
  • If you value future-proofing your laptop, go for either of the Four-Port Models. I recommend you go with the 1 TB model if you need more storage though.

Specs

Two-Port Model

  • 1.4 GHz quad-core 8th generation Intel Core i5 processor
    (Upgradeable to 1.7 GHz Quad-core 8th generation Intel Core i7)
  • 8 GB 2133 MHz LPDDR3 RAM (Upgradeable to 16 GB)
  • 2560×1600 13.3-inch Retina Display with True Tone
  • 2 USB-C Ports with Thunderbolt 3
  • Touch Bar and Touch ID
  • Apple T2 Security Chip
  • Starts at 256/512 GB PCI-E based SSD (up to 2TB)

Four-Port Model

  • 2.0 GHz quad-core 10th generation Intel Core i5 processor
    (Upgradeable to 2.3 GHz Quad-core 10th generation Intel Core i7)
  • 16 GB 3733 MHz LPDDR4X RAM (Upgradeable to 32 GB)
  • 2560×1600 13.3-inch Retina Display with True Tone
  • 4 USB-C Ports with Thunderbolt 3
  • Touch Bar and Touch ID
  • Apple T2 Security Chip
  • Starts at 512GB / 1TB PCI-E based SSD (up to 4TB)

Pricing and Configuration

  • Two-Ports
    • Base Model ($1299 / P74,990 / ¥134,800)
      • 1.4 GHz quad-core 8th-gen Intel Core i5
      • 8 GB 2133 MHz LPDDR3 RAM
      • 256 GB PCI-E SSD
    • High-End Model ($1499 / P86,990 / ¥154,800)
      • 1.4 GHz quad-core 8th-gen Intel Core i5
      • 8 GB 2133 MHz LPDDR3 RAM
      • 512 GB PCI-E SSD
  • Four-Ports
    • Base Model ($1799 / P104,990 / ¥188,800)
      • 2.0 GHz quad-core 10th-gen Intel Core i5
      • 16 GB 3733 MHz LPDDR4X RAM
      • 512 GB PCI-E SSD
    • High-End Model ($1999 / P116,990 / ¥208,800)
      • 2.0 GHz quad-core 10th-gen Intel Core i5
      • 16 GB 3733 MHz LPDDR4X RAM
      • 1 TB PCI-E SSD

16-inch MacBook Pro

Apple MacBook Lineup Guide - 16-inch MacBook Pro

If there’s a laptop in the MacBook lineup that got a visual refresh, it’s the 16-inch MacBook Pro. This was the first MacBook to get the new Magic Keyboard. Alongside that is a bigger 16-inch display which gives this laptop smaller bezels than the rest of the lineup.

This still remains the only MacBook with discrete graphics in it. (It still uses AMD since Apple and Nvidia have a beef.) You can now get up to 8 TB of SSD storage, up to 64 GB of RAM, and up to a 9th-gen Intel Core i9 processor. (10th-gen chips weren’t out during its release.)

My recommendations for this laptop are more flexible and really depend on your needs. If this will be your only machine, I suggest getting more storage out of the gate. (1 or 2 TB would do unless you REALLY need more storage)

Specs

  • 2.6 GHz 6-core 9th generation Intel Core i7 / 2.3 GHz 8-core 9th generation Intel Core i9 processor (Upgradeable to 2.4 GHz Quad-core 9th generation Intel Core i9)
  • 16 GB 2666 MHz DDR4 RAM (Upgradeable to 64 GB)
  • AMD Radeon Pro 5300M / 5500M with 4GB of GDDR6 memory
    (Upgradeable to AMD Radeon Pro 5500M with 8GB of GDDR6 memory)
  • 3072×1920 16-inch Retina Display with True Tone
  • 4 USB-C Ports with Thunderbolt 3
  • Touch Bar and Touch ID
  • Apple T2 Security Chip
  • Starts at 512GB / 1TB PCI-E based SSD (up to 8TB)

Pricing and Configuration

  • Base Model ($2399 / P141,990 / ¥248,800)
    • 2.6 GHz 6-core 9th generation Intel Core i7
    • 16 GB 2666 MHz DDR4 RAM
    • AMD Radeon Pro 5300M with 4GB of GDDR6 memory
    • 512 GB PCI-E SSD
  • High-End Model ($2799 / P165,990 / ¥288,800)
    • 2.3 GHz 8-core 9th generation Intel Core i9
    • 16 GB 2666 MHz DDR4 RAM
    • AMD Radeon Pro 5500M with 4GB of GDDR6 memory
    • 1 TB PCI-E SSD

I hope this MacBook lineup guide helps you out in deciding which one to get. Even though there will always be something new in the horizon (like that ARM MacBook), it’s better to buy one now if you need one.

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THAT’S LOOKING FOR A MACBOOK!

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Updated 2020/5/17: Replaced the 2019 lineup with the early 2020 lineup.

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