Apple announces a new M1-powered 13-inch MacBook Pro

M1 13 Inch Macbook Pro
M1 13 Inch Macbook Pro (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • The new 13-inch MacBook Pro has been announced.
  • It uses the new M1 SoC.
  • That means it's super fast.

Apple's new 13-inch MacBook Pro is here and it's powered by the equally new Apple M1 SoC. And if Apple's numbers are any indication, this thing is going to be scary fast.

Apple says that the new M1 chip means this 13-inch MacBook Pro is the world's fastest compact pro notebook, something proven by Xcode's ability to build apps up to three times faster than the previous generation.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro is Apple's most popular pro notebook. Students use it to power through college, and pros use it to channel their creativity. With the M1 chip and Big Sur, the 13-inch MacBook Pro becomes even more powerful and even more pro. The 8-core CPU, when paired with the MacBook Pro's active cooling system, is up to 2.8x faster than the previous generation, delivering game-changing performance when compiling code, transcoding video, editing high-resolution photos, and more. The 8-core GPU is up to 5x faster, allowing users to enjoy super smooth graphics performance whether they are designing a graphics-intensive game or a new product. And with M1, the 13-inch MacBook Pro is up to 3x faster than the best-selling Windows laptop in its class.3 ML is up to 11x faster, and for on-device ML tasks that use the Neural Engine, the new 13-inch MacBook Pro is now the world's fastest compact pro notebook.4 With up to 17 hours of wireless web browsing and up to a staggering 20 hours of video playback, MacBook Pro delivers up to twice the battery life of the previous generation and the longest battery life ever on a Mac.

Apple also reckons we can look forward to the ability to play back 8K ProRes video without a single frame drop – something previously not possible. The machine should stay cool and quiet as well, with a new active cooling system thrown in for good measure.

When compared to the previous generation, the M1-powered 13-inch MacBook Pro can:

  • Build code in Xcode up to 2.8x faster.
  • Render a complex 3D title in Final Cut Pro up to 5.9x faster.
  • Fluidly design intricate game scenes in Unity Editor up to 3.5x faster.
  • Perform ML tasks in Create ML up to 11x faster.
  • Separate out beats, instrumentals, and vocal tracks from a recording in real time in djay Pro AI, thanks to the amazing performance of the Neural Engine.
  • Play back full-quality, 8K ProRes video in DaVinci Resolve without dropping a single frame.
  • Compile four times as much code on a single charge, thanks to the game-changing performance per watt of the M1 chip.

In terms of connectivity, the new 13-inch MacBook Pro offers two Thunderbolt and USB 4 ports via USB-C.

2020 M1 13 Inch Macbook Pro Lifestyle

2020 M1 13 Inch Macbook Pro Lifestyle (Image credit: Apple)

The addition of the M1 and macOS Big Sur means 17 hours of web browsing away from the charger and 20 hours for local video playback. Impressive stuff.

The new M1-equipped 13-inch MacBook Pro will sell for $1299. There will be some degree of built-to-order options available, though, with up to 16GB of RAM configurable. That base model comes with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD.

The new machine is available for order today with devices shipping next week. Of course, if you want a new machine a little quicker – or cheaper! – there are some great deals to be had.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.