The newest and fastest

15-inch MacBook Pro (2019)

Last year's model

15-inch MacBook Pro (2018)

The 2019 MacBook Pro is mostly just a slight spec bump and change in the keyboard, with all the same storage and graphics options as the 2018 model; however, if speed is the most important factor to you, the newest MacBook Pro is the way to go.

From $2,399 at Apple

Pros

  • Faster processor
  • Butterfly keyboard made from new materials

Cons

  • More expensive

Last year's MacBook Pro is still a top performer when it comes to battery life and if you already have one, it's likely going to last you a few years yet depending on your needs; however, it is now slower than the newest model.

$2,200 at Amazon

Pros

  • Cheaper

Cons

  • Slower Processor
  • Older keyboard materials

This isn't a complete redesign and brand new MacBook Pro that has been the subject of rumors for a while now, but the 2019 MacBook Pro is a boost in processing speed and the butterfly keyboard got a material upgrade that hopefully can eliminate some of the problems we've seen with the keyboard on the older model.

The slight differences

When you're looking at the spec sheet, you'll notice that the processor is really the only difference. The base storage on all models (new and old) start the same and can be upgraded to the same 4TB SSD, and the graphics options also start with the same base congifurations and the upgraded options are the exact same.

MacBook Pro 2019 MacBook Pro 2018
Price $2,399 $2,200
OS macOS Mojave macOS Mojave
Display 15.4-inch Retina Display with True Tone 15.4-inch Retina Display with True Tone
PPI 220 220
Processor 2.6GHz 6-core 9th-generation Intel Core i7 processor; upgradable to 2.4GHz 8-core Intel Core i9 processor 2.2GHz 6-core 8th-generation Intel Core i7 processor
Graphics Radeon Pro 555X with 4GB of GDDR5 memory Radeon Pro 555X with 4GB of GDDR5 memory
Storage 256GB SSD (Available up to 4TB SSD) 256GB SSD (Available up to 4TB SSD)
Ports Four Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) Four Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C)
Battery life Approx. 10 hours Approx. 10 hours

The slightly modified butterfly keyboard in the MacBook Pro 2019 is the real wildcard here that you can't see on the spec sheet. While the keyboard hasn't been redesigned in any big way, the new materials ideally will prevent some of the well-documented issues people have been having with the butterfly keyboard featured on the 2018 MacBook Pro. Of course, its hard to really say if the issues are going to be resolved without months and months of testing the new materials in the 2019 MacBook Pro, so we don't know just yet whether or not the keyboard is actually an improvment.

Should you upgrade?

When it comes to upgrading from the MacBook Pro 2018 to the MacBook Pro 2019, that's going to come down to a personal choice. The MacBook Pro 2019 is faster on paper, and if your workload requires as much speed as you can squeeze out of your machine, it's likely worth the upgrade, especially if you'll take advantage of the optional eight-core Intel Core i9 upgrade option.

For the average consumer, who uses their MacBook Pro 2018 for everyday use and doesn't require the fastest machine possible, you likely don't need to upgrade

Now, if you're looking to buy MacBook Pro, or you're planning on upgrading from an older model of MacBook Pro — say the 2017 version or older — the 2019 MacBook Pro is an excellent option. Its new processors will be faster, and if you have the extra cash, you can tack on some impressive storage options as well.

Fastest MacBook Pro

15-inch MacBook Pro (2019)

More speed for the well-seasoned pro

The 2019 MacBook Pro is faster than last years model and comes with all the same add-on options for graphics and storage. While the new materials in the keyboard could improve the quality of life of the MacBook Pro, it's too early to say the keyboard is going to be any better.

Old reliable

15-inch MacBook Pro (2018)

Same old reliable MacBook Pro you know and love

While the processor is a tad slower on the 2018 model, it has all the same extra add-ons you can buy, meaning if you don't care about having the fastest machine, you can save a bit of money by purchasing the older model.

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