What Apple got wrong about the 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro

13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar
13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (Image credit: iMore)

On Star Wars Day, Apple announced the next-generation 13-inch MacBook Pro. The new laptop finally replaces the heavily criticized butterfly mechanism with a Magic Keyboard, while offering beefed-up internals at the same price points as previous models. Unfortunately, there's at least one familiar area where the machine disappoints.

Like many MacBooks before it, the 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro includes an inferior 720p FaceTime HD camera.

Why is this? Perhaps even Tim Cook doesn't know for sure. But until Apple makes a camera change, especially to the MacBook Pro lineup, you're going to see stories like this bashing one of of the company's most expensive products on the market.

Ugh, Apple

As I noted earlier this week, the new 13-inch Mac offers double the RAM and storage found on the 2019 model. It also includes a better chipset and graphics card. Beyond this (and the new keyboard), the two models are primarily the same, starting with the paltry 720p FaceTime HD camera.

Keep in mind, you get this camera, regardless of how much you pay for the laptop. The least expensive 13-inch MacBook Pro (2020) is $1,299 while the most expensive will set you back $3,599.

Though Apple is often criticized for selling expensive mobile devices, even the $399 iPhone SE (2020) offers a better front-facing camera than any of the 2019/2020 MacBooks. You can certainly argue it's much more essential to have a better camera on your iPhone.

Still, the MacBook Pro deserves at least some camera update at this point, especially when you consider how much Apple charges for the laptops. Aggravating trivia: a 720p FaceTime HD camera has come on every MacBook Pro, going back to the early 2011 model!

What I said in March when the MacBook Air (2020) was released should be repeated now with the new 13-inch MacBook Pro:

Apple has often made truly bizarre cost-cutting moves when it comes to hardware. For years, for example, the company has insisted on having entry-level iPhones with 16GB of storage. Including an outdated 5W USB Power Adapter with iPhones is another classic Apple move as is removing extensions from Mac power adapters.... As it stands, shame, shame, Cupertino.


What say you? Leave your comments or concerns about the new MacBook Pro below.

Bryan M Wolfe
Staff Writer

Bryan M. Wolfe has written about technology for over a decade on various websites, including TechRadar, AppAdvice, and many more. Before this, he worked in the technology field across different industries, including healthcare and education. He’s currently iMore’s lead on all things Mac and macOS, although he also loves covering iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Bryan enjoys watching his favorite sports teams, traveling, and driving around his teenage daughter to her latest stage show, audition, or school event in his spare time. He also keeps busy walking his black and white cocker spaniel, Izzy, and trying new coffees and liquid grapes.