Notebookcheck

Apple MacBook Pro 13 2019 laptop review: Good performance, but no real innovation

Andreas Osthoff, 👁 Andreas Osthoff (translated by Stephanie Chamberlain), 10/03/2019

Still top? Apple has provided its beloved MacBook Pro 13 with 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports, an updated processor, as well as a revised Butterfly keyboard. But is that enough to keep playing in the subnotebook upper league in 2019?

Apple has modified its MacBook Pro 13 lineup a bit since the cheaper version has also received the touch bar now. Despite there still being significant differences on the inside, the two versions can only be distinguished externally by the number of Thunderbolt or USB-C ports. Today we'll take a look at the more expensive model with 4 TB3 ports, which has only been slightly updated though. Alongside the revised Butterfly keyboard, there's a new Intel processor with Iris graphics including eDRAM cache. But are the model updates enough for it to stay at the top of the subnotebook charts in 2019?

Since the construction of the MacBook Pro hasn't changed since 2016, please refer to our full review of the 2018 model for more information regarding the case and ports:   

Apple MacBook Pro 13 2019 i5 4TB3 (MacBook Pro 13 2019 Series)
Memory
8192 MB 
, LPDDR3-2133
Display
13.3 inch 16:10, 2560 x 1600 pixel 227 PPI, APPA03E, IPS, glossy: yes
Mainboard
Intel Cannon Lake-U PCH-LP Premium
Storage
Apple SSD AP0512, 512 GB 
, 466 GB free
Soundcard
Intel Cannon Lake-LP - cAVS
Connections
4 USB 3.1 Gen2, 4 Thunderbolt, 4 DisplayPort, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm connector, 1 Fingerprint Reader, Brightness Sensor
Networking
Broadcom 802.11ac (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5), Bluetooth 5.0
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 14.9 x 304.1 x 212.4 ( = 0.59 x 11.97 x 8.36 in)
Battery
58 Wh Lithium-Polymer
Operating System
Apple macOS 10.14 Mojave
Camera
Webcam: 720p FaceTime HD
Additional features
Speakers: stereo, Keyboard: chiclet, Butterfly v3, Keyboard Light: yes, 61-watt power adapter USB-C, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
1.37 kg ( = 48.33 oz / 3.02 pounds), Power Supply: 275 g ( = 9.7 oz / 0.61 pounds)
Price
2249 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

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RatingDateModelWeightHeightSizeResolutionBest Price
91%10/2019Apple MacBook Pro 13 2019 i5 4TB3
8279U, Iris Plus Graphics 655
1.4 kg14.9 mm13.3"2560x1600
90%07/2019Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2019-20QE000VGE
8665U, UHD Graphics 620
1.1 kg14.9 mm14"2560x1440
88%02/2019Dell XPS 13 9380 i7 4K
8565U, UHD Graphics 620
1.2 kg11.6 mm13.3"3840x2160
86%12/2018Razer Blade Stealth i7-8565U
8565U, GeForce MX150
1.3 kg14.8 mm13.3"1920x1080
87%08/2019HP Envy 13-aq0003ng
8565U, GeForce MX250
1.2 kg14.7 mm13.3"1920x1080

Size comparison

323.5 mm / 12.7 inch 217.1 mm / 8.55 inch 14.9 mm / 0.587 inch 1.1 kg2.45 lbs307 mm / 12.1 inch 211.5 mm / 8.33 inch 14.7 mm / 0.579 inch 1.2 kg2.65 lbs304.6 mm / 12 inch 210 mm / 8.27 inch 14.8 mm / 0.583 inch 1.3 kg2.89 lbs304.1 mm / 12 inch 212.4 mm / 8.36 inch 14.9 mm / 0.587 inch 1.4 kg3.02 lbs302 mm / 11.9 inch 199 mm / 7.83 inch 11.6 mm / 0.4567 inch 1.2 kg2.7 lbs
Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2019 i5 4TB3
Broadcom 802.11ac
730 MBit/s ∼100%
Dell XPS 13 9380 i7 4K
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1435 Wireless Network Adapter
682 MBit/s ∼93% -7%
Razer Blade Stealth i7-8565U
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
638 MBit/s ∼87% -13%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2019-20QE000VGE
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
617 MBit/s ∼85% -15%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (30.9 - 950, n=120)
535 MBit/s ∼73% -27%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2019 i5 4TB3
Broadcom 802.11ac
710 MBit/s ∼100%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2019-20QE000VGE
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
652 MBit/s ∼92% -8%
Razer Blade Stealth i7-8565U
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
643 MBit/s ∼91% -9%
Dell XPS 13 9380 i7 4K
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1435 Wireless Network Adapter
577 MBit/s ∼81% -19%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (36 - 949, n=120)
528 MBit/s ∼74% -26%

Input devices – MacBook Pro 13 with Butterfly keyboard

Material for the Butterfly keys has been modified, but the silicon membrane is preserved (Source: iFixit)
Material for the Butterfly keys has been modified, but the silicon membrane is preserved (Source: iFixit)

The keyboard remains a controversial topic among users. Apple presented the so-called Butterfly keys with the 2016 models for the first time. Through the special construction, the height was significantly reduced, but at the same time the key travel was massively reduced. Although the keystroke is very precise, not every user likes the typing feel due to the short travel.

More problematic, however, were the reliability problems, which we're not able to adequately test in the context of a review report. For each new generation, Apple has slightly modified the keys, with the biggest change definitely being the use of a silicon membrane. This allows a quieter typing noise but is especially intended to prevent the penetration of dirt. However, the problems have not disappeared as a result. This year, the material of the keys has been slightly modified, but the silicon membrane is preserved. The subjective typing feel hasn't changed with the 2019 models, but we can't say at this point how reliable this version of the keyboard will be.  Due to the many problems, there are also rumors that the manufacturer will opt again for traditional scissor keys for future models.

Display – Apple laptop continues having a very good IPS panel

Subpixel array
Subpixel array

We can be brief about the display, because there are no fundamental changes and even the model number (APPA03E) matches last year's model. The 13.3-inch display (glossy) offers 2560 x 1600 pixels and still looks subjectively great. Thanks to TrueTone, the color temperature is automatically adjusted to the environment via a sensor, and as a user, you get used to it surprisingly quickly. Scaling issues are also a foreign word for macOS. In addition, the brightness is adjusted to the ambient light with a lot of sensitivity. Although some other manufacturers (e.g. HP) are doing this too, it's still rare in the Windows sector.

There are no problems with the measured values either. The average brightness is just under 500 nits, the contrast is very good at 1500:1, and there is no visible screen bleeding. With the predecessor, we could still measure a flicker of the backlight at an extremely high frequency. That was not the case this time, but that wasn't classic PWM either way.

471
cd/m²
504
cd/m²
473
cd/m²
477
cd/m²
518
cd/m²
472
cd/m²
453
cd/m²
496
cd/m²
455
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
APPA03E
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 518 cd/m² Average: 479.9 cd/m² Minimum: 5 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 87 %
Center on Battery: 513 cd/m²
Contrast: 1524:1 (Black: 0.34 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 1.5 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6, calibrated: 2.6
ΔE Greyscale 2 | 0.64-98 Ø6.2
99.9% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 78.4% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.22
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2019 i5 4TB3
APPA03E, , 2560x1600, 13.3
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2018 Touchbar i5
APPA03E, , 2560x1600, 13.3
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2019-20QE000VGE
LP140QH2-SPD1, , 2560x1440, 14
Dell XPS 13 9380 i7 4K
ID: AUO 282B B133ZAN Dell: 90NTH, , 3840x2160, 13.3
Razer Blade Stealth i7-8565U
Sharp LQ133M1JW41, , 1920x1080, 13.3
HP Envy 13-aq0003ng
InfoVision M133NVF3 R2, , 1920x1080, 13.3
Response Times
-7%
21%
-39%
-24%
24%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
43.2 (22, 21.2)
46 (21, 25)
-6%
33.6 (16.4, 17.2)
22%
64.8 (31.6, 33.2)
-50%
57.6 (29.2, 28.4)
-33%
31 (15, 16)
28%
Response Time Black / White *
29.6 (15.6, 14)
32 (17, 15)
-8%
24 (12.4, 11.6)
19%
38 (19.2, 18.8)
-28%
34 (17.6, 16.4)
-15%
24 (14, 10)
19%
PWM Frequency
118000 (75, 150)
22730 (24)
4000 (90)
Screen
2%
-62%
-27%
1%
-31%
Brightness middle
518
519
0%
338
-35%
428.3
-17%
429.8
-17%
768
48%
Brightness
480
504
5%
315
-34%
414
-14%
403
-16%
778
62%
Brightness Distribution
87
95
9%
88
1%
88
1%
89
2%
82
-6%
Black Level *
0.34
0.33
3%
0.43
-26%
0.27
21%
0.32
6%
0.48
-41%
Contrast
1524
1573
3%
786
-48%
1586
4%
1343
-12%
1600
5%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
1.5
1.4
7%
4
-167%
2.69
-79%
1.08
28%
3.49
-133%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
2.8
2.8
-0%
7.9
-182%
6.19
-121%
3.96
-41%
7.41
-165%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
2.6
1.7
35%
2.01
23%
1.21
53%
2.07
20%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
2
2.2
-10%
6.2
-210%
3.7
-85%
1.3
35%
4.09
-105%
Gamma
2.22 99%
2.22 99%
2.13 103%
2.1 105%
2.23 99%
2.54 87%
CCT
6898 94%
6908 94%
6787 96%
6706 97%
6452 101%
6452 101%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
78.4
77.3
-1%
68.1
-13%
60.4
-23%
61.4
-22%
60
-23%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
99.9
99.99
0%
97.8
-2%
93.5
-6%
96.3
-4%
92
-8%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-3% / 0%
-21% / -49%
-33% / -29%
-12% / -3%
-4% / -23%

* ... smaller is better

CalMAN grayscales (target color space: P3)
CalMAN grayscales (target color space: P3)
CalMAN saturation (target color space: P3)
CalMAN saturation (target color space: P3)
CalMAN ColorChecker (target color space: P3)
CalMAN ColorChecker (target color space: P3)

As usual, Apple displays are already very well calibrated out of the box, and you don't have to make any adjustments afterwards. This applies to both the grayscales and the colors, which are already below the target value of 3. This also allows image editing in both the sRGB and P3 color spaces, and you'll only need an external monitor for AdobeRGB.

vs. sRGB: 99.9% (Argyll)
vs. sRGB: 99.9% (Argyll)
vs. AdobeRGB: 78.4% (Argyll)
vs. AdobeRGB: 78.4% (Argyll)
vs. P3: 99.1 % (CalMAN)
vs. P3: 99.1 % (CalMAN)

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
29.6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 15.6 ms rise
↘ 14 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 71 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (24.9 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
43.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 22 ms rise
↘ 21.2 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 63 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (39.7 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9370 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

The display is still glossy, but the degree of reflection is not as high as with other competitors. Combined with its high display brightness, the MacBook Pro 13 can also be used outdoors as long as you can avoid reflections from direct light sources.

Performance – MacBook Pro with quad-core CPU and faster Iris GPU

With its quad-core processor and integrated Iris GPU, the MacBook Pro 13 offers plenty of power for a subnotebook and is equipped for all common applications used in everyday life. In order to be able to conduct our full benchmark package, we did some testing on Windows 10 (BootCamp). Performance may be slightly affected as it depends a lot on the optimization of Apple's own BootCamp drivers.

 

Processor

As in the past, Apple relies on special Intel processors that you don't actually find in other products. That's also the case here, because while virtually all current subnotebooks use Whiskey Lake U processors (or the newer Ice Lake chips), Apple uses Coffee Lake U processors. The special features are the increased TDP of 28 watts and the stronger Intel Iris Plus 655 GPU with its own eDRAM cache.

The Core i5 in our review device is the 8279U and can reach a maximum of 4.1 GHz via Turbo Boost. While last year's MacBook Pro 13 wasn't really able to convince us, the 2019 model leaves a much better impression now. In the single-core tests, the competition's mobile Core i7 chips still have an advantage, but the MBP 13 is clearly ahead in the multi-core test. At the beginning of the latter, we briefly see a maximum consumption of the processor of 46 watts (3.9 GHz), but this settles very quickly at ~33 watts. This corresponds to a clock speed between 3.3-3.4 GHz.

More technical information on the Core i5-8279U is available in our CPU section.

Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Dell XPS 13 9380 i7 4K
Intel Core i7-8565U
184 Points ∼100% +9%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2019-20QE000VGE
Intel Core i7-8665U
180 Points ∼98% +7%
Razer Blade Stealth i7-8565U
Intel Core i7-8565U
174 Points ∼95% +3%
HP Envy 13-aq0003ng
Intel Core i7-8565U
172 Points ∼93% +2%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2019 i5 4TB3
Intel Core i5-8279U (Win10)
169 Points ∼92%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2019 i5 4TB3
Intel Core i5-8279U (macOS)
166 Points ∼90% -2%
Average Intel Core i5-8279U
  (166 - 169, n=2)
168 Points ∼91% -1%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2018 Touchbar i5
Intel Core i5-8259U (macOS)
154 Points ∼84% -9%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (20 - 185, n=272)
116 Points ∼63% -31%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2019 i5 4TB3
Intel Core i5-8279U (macOS)
757 (min: 744.32, max: 757.06) Points ∼100%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2019 i5 4TB3
Intel Core i5-8279U (Win10)
743 (min: 717.66, max: 745.63) Points ∼98% -2%
Average Intel Core i5-8279U
  (743 - 757, n=2)
750 Points ∼99% -1%
Dell XPS 13 9380 i7 4K
Intel Core i7-8565U
717 Points ∼95% -5%
Dell XPS 13 9380 i7 4K
Intel Core i7-8565U
677 Points ∼89% -11%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2019-20QE000VGE
Intel Core i7-8665U
701 (min: 574.56, max: 701.36) Points ∼93% -7%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2018 Touchbar i5
Intel Core i5-8259U (macOS Software Update)
687 Points ∼91% -9%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2018 Touchbar i5
Intel Core i5-8259U (macOS)
608 Points ∼80% -20%
Razer Blade Stealth i7-8565U
Intel Core i7-8565U
651 Points ∼86% -14%
HP Envy 13-aq0003ng
Intel Core i7-8565U
517 Points ∼68% -32%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (32 - 757, n=282)
338 Points ∼45% -55%
Cinebench R15 Single
Cinebench R15 Single
Cinebench R15 Multi
Cinebench R15 Multi
Cinebench R15 Multi
Cinebench R15 Multi

The small MacBook Pro also performs very well when it's under sustained stress, because there's practically no drop in performance. Even after 25 runs of the Cinebench loop, the value remains roughly constant. This is by no means common with a compact device. Even on Windows, there's only a brief drop before the result stabilizes again at about 740 points. There are no limitations on battery power. 

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Apple MacBook Pro 13 2019 i5 4TB3 Intel Core i5-8279U, Intel Core i5-8279U; macOS: Ø750 (744.32-757.06)
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2019 i5 4TB3 Intel Core i5-8279U, Intel Core i5-8279U; Win10: Ø741 (717.66-745.63)
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2018 Touchbar i5 Intel Core i5-8259U, Intel Core i5-8259U; macOS Software Update: Ø688 (666.16-693.55)
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2018 Touchbar i5 Intel Core i5-8259U, Intel Core i5-8259U; macOS: Ø579 (560-607)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2019-20QE000VGE Intel Core i7-8665U, Intel Core i7-8665U: Ø632 (574.56-701.36)
Dell XPS 13 9380 i7 4K Intel Core i7-8565U, Intel Core i7-8565U: Ø675 (576.21-734.96)
Dell XPS 13 9380 i7 4K Intel Core i7-8565U, Intel Core i7-8565U: Ø621 (517.08-693.73)
Razer Blade Stealth i7-8565U Intel Core i7-8565U, Intel Core i7-8565U: Ø627 (623.29-676.66)
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
10533
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
24096
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
6551
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
51.62 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
8.29 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.93 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
743 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
166 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.3 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
88 fps
Help

System performance – MacBook Pro with fast PCIe SSD

The MacBook Pro 13 is a very fast and responsive system, which is mainly due to the fast PCIe SSD. All inputs are implemented quickly, and there are no long waiting times when opening applications. By the way, this also applies to Windows 10, which we installed via BootCamp. Our tests and benchmarks worked without any issues here too. So if you use some programs that don't exist for macOS, you don't need to worry about any problems.

PCMark 10
Digital Content Creation
Razer Blade Stealth i7-8565U
GeForce MX150, 8565U, Lite-On CA3-8D256-Q11
3704 Points ∼100% +3%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2019 i5 4TB3
Iris Plus Graphics 655, 8279U, Apple SSD AP0512
3593 Points ∼97%
Dell XPS 13 9380 i7 4K
UHD Graphics 620, 8565U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
3370 Points ∼91% -6%
HP Envy 13-aq0003ng
GeForce MX250, 8565U, Toshiba KBG30ZMV512G
3133 Points ∼85% -13%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2019-20QE000VGE
UHD Graphics 620, 8665U, WDC PC SN720 SDAQNTW-512G
3111 Points ∼84% -13%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2018 Touchbar i5
Iris Plus Graphics 655, 8259U
2975 Points ∼80% -17%
Productivity
Dell XPS 13 9380 i7 4K
UHD Graphics 620, 8565U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
6911 Points ∼100% +40%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2019-20QE000VGE
UHD Graphics 620, 8665U, WDC PC SN720 SDAQNTW-512G
6870 Points ∼99% +40%
HP Envy 13-aq0003ng
GeForce MX250, 8565U, Toshiba KBG30ZMV512G
6789 Points ∼98% +38%
Razer Blade Stealth i7-8565U
GeForce MX150, 8565U, Lite-On CA3-8D256-Q11
6575 Points ∼95% +34%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2019 i5 4TB3
Iris Plus Graphics 655, 8279U, Apple SSD AP0512
4922 Points ∼71%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2018 Touchbar i5
Iris Plus Graphics 655, 8259U
4390 Points ∼64% -11%
Essentials
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2019 i5 4TB3
Iris Plus Graphics 655, 8279U, Apple SSD AP0512
8595 Points ∼100%
Dell XPS 13 9380 i7 4K
UHD Graphics 620, 8565U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
8466 Points ∼98% -2%
Razer Blade Stealth i7-8565U
GeForce MX150, 8565U, Lite-On CA3-8D256-Q11
8373 Points ∼97% -3%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2019-20QE000VGE
UHD Graphics 620, 8665U, WDC PC SN720 SDAQNTW-512G
8199 Points ∼95% -5%
HP Envy 13-aq0003ng
GeForce MX250, 8565U, Toshiba KBG30ZMV512G
7465 Points ∼87% -13%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2018 Touchbar i5
Iris Plus Graphics 655, 8259U
7364 Points ∼86% -14%
Score
Razer Blade Stealth i7-8565U
GeForce MX150, 8565U, Lite-On CA3-8D256-Q11
4219 Points ∼100% +12%
Dell XPS 13 9380 i7 4K
UHD Graphics 620, 8565U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
4172 Points ∼99% +10%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2019-20QE000VGE
UHD Graphics 620, 8665U, WDC PC SN720 SDAQNTW-512G
4005 Points ∼95% +6%
HP Envy 13-aq0003ng
GeForce MX250, 8565U, Toshiba KBG30ZMV512G
3882 Points ∼92% +3%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2019 i5 4TB3
Iris Plus Graphics 655, 8279U, Apple SSD AP0512
3779 Points ∼90%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2018 Touchbar i5
Iris Plus Graphics 655, 8259U
3284 Points ∼78% -13%
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Razer Blade Stealth i7-8565U
GeForce MX150, 8565U, Lite-On CA3-8D256-Q11
5065 Points ∼100% +12%
HP Envy 13-aq0003ng
GeForce MX250, 8565U, Toshiba KBG30ZMV512G
4922 Points ∼97% +8%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2019-20QE000VGE
UHD Graphics 620, 8665U, WDC PC SN720 SDAQNTW-512G
4696 Points ∼93% +4%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2019 i5 4TB3
Iris Plus Graphics 655, 8279U, Apple SSD AP0512
4537 Points ∼90%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2018 Touchbar i5
Iris Plus Graphics 655, 8259U
4399 Points ∼87% -3%
Dell XPS 13 9380 i7 4K
UHD Graphics 620, 8565U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
4304 Points ∼85% -5%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2019 i5 4TB3
Iris Plus Graphics 655, 8279U, Apple SSD AP0512
4056 Points ∼100%
Razer Blade Stealth i7-8565U
GeForce MX150, 8565U, Lite-On CA3-8D256-Q11
3873 Points ∼95% -5%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2019-20QE000VGE
UHD Graphics 620, 8665U, WDC PC SN720 SDAQNTW-512G
3823 Points ∼94% -6%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2018 Touchbar i5
Iris Plus Graphics 655, 8259U
3665 Points ∼90% -10%
HP Envy 13-aq0003ng
GeForce MX250, 8565U, Toshiba KBG30ZMV512G
3331 Points ∼82% -18%
Dell XPS 13 9380 i7 4K
UHD Graphics 620, 8565U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
3296 Points ∼81% -19%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
4056 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
5689 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4537 points
Help
Apple SSD AP0512
CDM 5/6 Read Seq Q32T1: 3047.1 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write Seq Q32T1: 1968.6 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K Q32T1: 468.33 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K Q32T1: 212.84 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K: 11.42 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K: 49.73 MB/s
CDM 6 Write 4K Q8T8: 189.48 MB/s
CDM 6 Read 4K Q8T8: 1171.82 MB/s

Graphics card – MacBook Pro 13 with Iris Plus 655

GPU-Z Iris Plus Graphics 655
GPU-Z Iris Plus Graphics 655

The Intel Iris Plus 655 is a powerful integrated graphics card that has a 128MB eDRAM cache. The maximum clock speed in combination with the core i5-8279U is 1150 MHz. More technical information on the Iris Plus 655 can be found on our GPU site. 

Although performance is noticeably higher than with the popular UHD graphics GPUs of most subnotebooks, this model is also best qualified for the multimedia area. Thanks to the integrated video decoder, playing high-resolution videos is no problem at all. A little gaming is also possible, but the titles shouldn't be too demanding. An overview of the gaming benchmarks of the Iris Plus 655 can be found here.

While CPU performance has increased compared to the 2018 model of the MBP 13, the iGPU has stagnated since the benchmark results are virtually identical. This puts the Iris Plus 655 well ahead of the "normal" UHD Graphics 620, but behind AMD's iGPUs and also significantly behind the new Ice Lake GPU in the Lenovo Yoga C940. In the actual gaming benchmarks, however, the gap is either much smaller or the iGPUs are even on par. The MacBook Pro 13 benefits from the eDRAM cache here. Performance remains constant on battery power.

3DMark
2560x1440 Time Spy Graphics
HP Envy 13-aq0003ng
NVIDIA GeForce MX250, Intel Core i7-8565U
899 Points ∼100% +45%
Lenovo Yoga C940-14IIL
Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), Intel Core i7-1065G7
835 Points ∼93% +35%
Average Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655
  (619 - 633, n=3)
625 Points ∼70% +1%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2018 Touchbar i5
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655, Intel Core i5-8259U
624 Points ∼69% +1%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2019 i5 4TB3
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655, Intel Core i5-8279U
619 Points ∼69%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (85 - 1130, n=36)
493 Points ∼55% -20%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2019-20QE000VGE
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i7-8665U
431 Points ∼48% -30%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Razer Blade Stealth i7-8565U
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8565U
3726 Points ∼100% +86%
Lenovo Yoga C940-14IIL
Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), Intel Core i7-1065G7
3156 Points ∼85% +57%
HP Envy 13-aq0003ng
NVIDIA GeForce MX250, Intel Core i7-8565U
2988 Points ∼80% +49%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
2568 Points ∼69% +28%
Average Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655
  (2004 - 2260, n=3)
2111 Points ∼57% +5%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2018 Touchbar i5
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655, Intel Core i5-8259U
2070 Points ∼56% +3%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2019 i5 4TB3
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655, Intel Core i5-8279U
2004 Points ∼54%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2019-20QE000VGE
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i7-8665U
1357 Points ∼36% -32%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (222 - 3726, n=241)
1050 Points ∼28% -48%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Razer Blade Stealth i7-8565U
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8565U
21755 Points ∼100% +44%
HP Envy 13-aq0003ng
NVIDIA GeForce MX250, Intel Core i7-8565U
20618 Points ∼95% +37%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
18581 Points ∼85% +23%
Average Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655
  (14343 - 16698, n=3)
15375 Points ∼71% +2%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2019 i5 4TB3
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655, Intel Core i5-8279U
15084 Points ∼69%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2018 Touchbar i5
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655, Intel Core i5-8259U
14343 Points ∼66% -5%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2019-20QE000VGE
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i7-8665U
10656 Points ∼49% -29%
Dell XPS 13 9380 i7 4K
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i7-8565U
9582 Points ∼44% -36%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1484 - 22615, n=269)
7646 Points ∼35% -49%
3DMark 06 Standard
17176 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
57033 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
11806 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
1903 points
3DMark Time Spy Score
705 points
Help
low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 78.454.349.415.5fps
Dota 2 Reborn (2015) 846333.329.9fps
X-Plane 11.11 (2018) 42.829.525.1fps

Emissions – MBP 13 is often quiet but loud and warm under load

Noise emissions

The two fans of the MacBook Pro 13 are often disabled in everyday use, and you can enjoy a silent system. It also takes some time under load for the fans to start. Under sustained load, the speed is continuously increased, and a maximum of 41.8 dB(A) is also clearly audible. Nevertheless, given the good performance, we still consider the value to be appropriate, and the fans have also become quieter compared to the 2018 model. We couldn't hear any other electronic noises.

Noise Level

Idle
29 / 29 / 29 dB(A)
Load
33.9 / 41.8 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 29 dB(A)
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2019 i5 4TB3
Iris Plus Graphics 655, 8279U, Apple SSD AP0512
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2018 Touchbar i5
Iris Plus Graphics 655, 8259U
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2019-20QE000VGE
UHD Graphics 620, 8665U, WDC PC SN720 SDAQNTW-512G
Dell XPS 13 9380 i7 4K
UHD Graphics 620, 8565U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
Razer Blade Stealth i7-8565U
GeForce MX150, 8565U, Lite-On CA3-8D256-Q11
HP Envy 13-aq0003ng
GeForce MX250, 8565U, Toshiba KBG30ZMV512G
Noise
-5%
6%
-3%
-4%
-1%
off / environment *
29
29.6
-2%
28.4
2%
28.4
2%
28.4
2%
30
-3%
Idle Minimum *
29
29.6
-2%
28.4
2%
29.4
-1%
28.5
2%
30
-3%
Idle Average *
29
29.6
-2%
28.4
2%
29.4
-1%
29
-0%
30
-3%
Idle Maximum *
29
29.6
-2%
28.6
1%
29.4
-1%
29.1
-0%
30
-3%
Load Average *
33.9
36.7
-8%
31.5
7%
34.6
-2%
42.8
-26%
Load Maximum *
41.8
46.7
-12%
33.1
21%
46.8
-12%
41.6
-0%
39.5
6%
Witcher 3 ultra *
32.5
41.4

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

Stress test (Win 10)
Stress test (Win 10)

Due to the defensive fan control, the aluminum housing warms up a bit, even under low load, but remains in the noncritical range at ~28 °C (~82 °F). Even under load, the device doesn't get close to being really hot; But the approximately 45 °C (~ 113 °F) in the middle area of the top is noticeable when typing, and you shouldn't necessarily use the MacBook on the lap in this scenario.

In the stress test with the two tools, Prime95 and FurMark (Win 10 BootCamp), the good performance from our CPU tests continues. We see a constant consumption of 32-33 watts here too, which the CPU and the GPU now have to share though. The four processor cores therefore work "only" at 2.3 GHz and the integrated graphics card at ~750 MHz. Compared to other subnotebooks, however, these are once again excellent values.

Max. Load
 43.9 °C
111 F
45.7 °C
114 F
42.2 °C
108 F
 
 41.3 °C
106 F
45.3 °C
114 F
39.4 °C
103 F
 
 32.5 °C
91 F
31.8 °C
89 F
32.1 °C
90 F
 
Maximum: 45.7 °C = 114 F
Average: 39.4 °C = 103 F
42.7 °C
109 F
44.2 °C
112 F
43.7 °C
111 F
39.9 °C
104 F
41.9 °C
107 F
40.2 °C
104 F
34.2 °C
94 F
35.1 °C
95 F
34.6 °C
94 F
Maximum: 44.2 °C = 112 F
Average: 39.6 °C = 103 F
Power Supply (max.)  47.3 °C = 117 F | Room Temperature 23.5 °C = 74 F | Voltcraft IR-900
(-) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 39.4 °C / 103 F, compared to the average of 30.7 °C / 87 F for the devices in the class Subnotebook.
(-) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 45.7 °C / 114 F, compared to the average of 35.8 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22 to 57 °C for the class Subnotebook.
(±) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 44.2 °C / 112 F, compared to the average of 40.1 °C / 104 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 28.3 °C / 83 F, compared to the device average of 30.7 °C / 87 F.
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are reaching skin temperature as a maximum (32.5 °C / 90.5 F) and are therefore not hot.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.6 °C / 83.5 F (-3.9 °C / -7 F).
Stress test surface temperatures (top)
Stress test surface temperatures (top)
Stress test surface temperatures (bottom)
Stress test surface temperatures (bottom)

Speakers

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2029.430.82529.133.63124.332.44030.334.65025.931.9632629.88022.431.610022.541.112521.545.616021.948.520023.15625021.559.731521.964.140019.467.450018.869.263019.367.480018.166.7100017.471.912501769.6160016.869.4200016.266.9250015.966.331501670.1400015.867.7500015.965.3630015.659.7800015.559.11000015.461.61250014.962.8160001561.4SPL2979.7N1.247.7median 17median 65.3Delta2.25.427.529.429.728.624.127.824.728.222.629.722.433.422.137.42242.720.546.120.547.920.150.220.953.419.85619.958.618.96218.863.817.368.617.168.116.868.916.267.815.563.615.462.915.262.715.154.11562.214.965.114.760.514.657.714.454.514.449.928.476.81.139.1median 16.8median 60.52.14.9hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseApple MacBook Pro 13 2019 i5 4TB3Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2019-20QE000VGE
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2019 i5 4TB3 audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (79.7 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 12.8% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (11.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.2% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (4.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 3.4% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (5.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (12% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 7% of all tested devices in this class were better, 3% similar, 89% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 20%, worst was 50%
Compared to all devices tested
» 6% of all tested devices were better, 2% similar, 93% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2019-20QE000VGE audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (76.8 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 11.2% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (7.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 5.1% higher than median
(+) | mids are linear (5.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.9% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (9.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (14.4% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 10% of all tested devices in this class were better, 4% similar, 86% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 21%, worst was 51%
Compared to all devices tested
» 13% of all tested devices were better, 4% similar, 84% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Energy management

Energy consumption

Apple was again able to reduce idle power consumption a little compared to last year's model. Here you can also see that macOS works more efficiently or that the BootCamp drivers are not perfectly optimized, because we measure a maximum idle consumption of 10.2 watts on Windows compared to 8.2 watts for macOS. This briefly goes up to 63 watts under load, after which the consumption settles at 58 watts. This means that the 61-watt power adapter is just enough, but there's not much room for manoeuver.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.38 / 0.97 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 2.2 / 7.2 / 8.2 Watt
Load midlight 54 / 63.9 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2019 i5 4TB3
8279U, Iris Plus Graphics 655, Apple SSD AP0512, IPS, 2560x1600, 13.3
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2018 Touchbar i5
8259U, Iris Plus Graphics 655, , IPS, 2560x1600, 13.3
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2019-20QE000VGE
8665U, UHD Graphics 620, WDC PC SN720 SDAQNTW-512G, IPS, 2560x1440, 14
Dell XPS 13 9380 i7 4K
8565U, UHD Graphics 620, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ, IPS, 3840x2160, 13.3
Razer Blade Stealth i7-8565U
8565U, GeForce MX150, Lite-On CA3-8D256-Q11, IPS, 1920x1080, 13.3
HP Envy 13-aq0003ng
8565U, GeForce MX250, Toshiba KBG30ZMV512G, IPS, 1920x1080, 13.3
Average Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655
 
Average of class Subnotebook
 
Power Consumption
-15%
-3%
-28%
-52%
-23%
-3%
-43%
Idle Minimum *
2.2
2.3
-5%
3
-36%
5.2
-136%
6.7
-205%
3.9
-77%
2.4 (2.2 - 2.7, n=3)
-9%
6.65 (1 - 36, n=596)
-202%
Idle Average *
7.2
8.7
-21%
6.3
12%
8.6
-19%
8.6
-19%
7.8
-8%
6.33 (3.1 - 8.7, n=3)
12%
9.86 (2.06 - 39, n=596)
-37%
Idle Maximum *
8.2
12.2
-49%
8.9
-9%
10.5
-28%
9.4
-15%
10.8
-32%
8.9 (6.3 - 12.2, n=3)
-9%
12.2 (3.9 - 55, n=596)
-49%
Load Average *
54
53.3
1%
40.8
24%
44.2
18%
64.1
-19%
53
2%
55.7 (53.3 - 59.7, n=3)
-3%
33.5 (6.3 - 75, n=586)
38%
Load Maximum *
63.9
64
-0%
67.5
-6%
47.5
26%
64.1
-0%
62.7
2%
68.6 (63.9 - 78, n=3)
-7%
40.6 (7.6 - 111, n=589)
36%
Witcher 3 ultra *
63.7

* ... smaller is better

Battery life

The battery capacity of 58 Wh hasn't changed, but there's an improvement in runtimes though. In addition to the increased efficiency, this can also be due to further software optimizations. In our two practical tests with the display brightness adjusted to 150 nits, the MacBook Pro 13 lasts around 11.5 hours (Wi-Fi test) and just under 12 hours (video test), respectively. Both values are very good and not only outperform the predecessor but also the other competitors by 1.5 hours at least.

Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 (macOS)
11h 27min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
12h 01min
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2019 i5 4TB3
8279U, Iris Plus Graphics 655, 58 Wh
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2018 Touchbar i5
8259U, Iris Plus Graphics 655, 58 Wh
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2019-20QE000VGE
8665U, UHD Graphics 620, 51 Wh
Dell XPS 13 9380 i7 4K
8565U, UHD Graphics 620, 52 Wh
Razer Blade Stealth i7-8565U
8565U, GeForce MX150, 53.1 Wh
HP Envy 13-aq0003ng
8565U, GeForce MX250, 53.2 Wh
Average of class Subnotebook
 
Battery Runtime
-13%
-24%
-32%
-17%
-25%
-33%
H.264
721
651
-10%
586
-19%
475 (182 - 1174, n=114)
-34%
WiFi v1.3
687
581
-15%
493
-28%
464
-32%
571
-17%
512
-25%
473 (206 - 806, n=214)
-31%
Witcher 3 ultra
94
96.7 (81 - 115, n=3)

Pros

+ excellent case and workmanship
+ huge trackpad with great precision
+ in daily use, mostly very quiet and cool
+ high Wi-Fi transfer speeds
+ very good display with flawless scaling
+ very good speakers
+ improved battery life
+ 4x Thunderbolt 3 with full bandwidth

Cons

- cooling works at the limit
- no USB-A or HDMI ports
- poor webcam
- very expensive – especially upgrade price premiums
- power adapter at the limit
- potential reliability problems with the keyboard

Verdict

In review: Apple MacBook Pro 13 2019. Review device provided by:
In review: Apple MacBook Pro 13 2019. Review device provided by:

With the 2019 model of the MacBook Pro 13 with 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports, Apple has only done a light model update. The manufacturer's main focus this year was certainly the update of the cheaper MacBook Pro 13 (2x TB3), which has also been equipped with the Touch Bar now.

Somewhat surprisingly for us, the CPU performance has improved significantly despite the rather similar processor, and performance doesn't drop, even under sustained load. This is rare in the subnotebook category. Nothing has changed in terms of the display either, but the panel is still one of the best on the market and doesn't have to dread the comparison to the competition. In addition, it's also one of the few panels in the 16:10 format.

Increased CPU performance and a slightly revised keyboard: The changes to the 2019 MacBook Pro 13 with 4x Thunderbolt ports are minor and in no case justify an upgrade from last year's model. Nonetheless, the MBP 13 is still a great subnotebook.

In addition to the well-known advantages (great case, perfect touchpad, 4x Thunderbolt 3, long battery life), the disadvantages of the predecessor remain. The Thunderbolt ports are extremely versatile, but in everyday use you often need adapters. There is no SD card reader, and the keyboard is still a subjective matter, but the reliability problems of the past years have already left an unpleasant aftertaste. Finally, there's still the high price and the usually high price premiums for hardware upgrades. But none of this changes the fact that the 2019 version of the MacBook Pro 13 is also a great subnotebook.

Apple MacBook Pro 13 2019 i5 4TB3 - 10/02/2019 v7
Andreas Osthoff

Chassis
90 / 98 → 92%
Keyboard
85%
Pointing Device
100%
Connectivity
66 / 75 → 87%
Weight
71 / 20-75 → 92%
Battery
89%
Display
91%
Games Performance
54 / 78 → 69%
Application Performance
86 / 85 → 100%
Temperature
89%
Noise
94%
Audio
84 / 91 → 92%
Camera
50 / 85 → 59%
Average
81%
91%
Subnotebook - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Apple MacBook Pro 13 2019 laptop review: Good performance, but no real innovation
Andreas Osthoff, 2019-10- 3 (Update: 2019-10- 5)