Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition vs Macbook Pro (2020)

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Winner
Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition Laptop: Intel Core i7-9750H - NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 - 15.6" 4K OLED Touch - 32GB RAM - 1TB NVMe SSD, CNC Aluminum, RGB Lighting, Thunderbolt 3, Mercury White
Best Price
Apple 16" MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, 9th-Gen 8-Core Intel i9 2.4GHz, 64GB RAM, 2TB SSD, AMD Radeon Pro 5500M 8GB, Space Gray, Late 2019 Z0XZ004ZY / Z0XZ00061
Model
Blade 15 Studio Edition
MacBook Pro 2020
Test Result
Test Result 9.9/10 Excellent June 2020
Test Result 9.6/10 Very good June 2020
Manufacturer
Razer
Apple
RAM
32 GB
64 GB
CPU
Intel Core i7-9750H
9th-Gen 8-Core Intel i9
Graphics Card
NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000
AMD Radeon Pro 5500M 8GB
Storage Capacity
1TB SSD
2TB SSD
Battery Time
Value for money
Weight
4.87 lbs
8.05 lbs
Pros
  • Best Performance in the Video / Media Editing industry
  • Awesome 4K Display
  • Super lightweight, nothing better for transportation than this Laptop
  • Very high performance
  • Very Comfortable Magic Keyboard with Touch bar included
  • Very thin
Cons
  • Very Expensive, but you get the best for it..
  • Not many new changes compared to the previous models
Winner
Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition Laptop: Intel Core i7-9750H - NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 - 15.6" 4K OLED Touch - 32GB RAM - 1TB NVMe SSD, CNC Aluminum, RGB Lighting, Thunderbolt 3, Mercury White
Model
Blade 15 Studio Edition
Test Result
Test Result 9.9/10 Excellent June 2020
Manufacturer
Razer
RAM
32 GB
CPU
Intel Core i7-9750H
Graphics Card
NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000
Storage Capacity
1TB SSD
Battery Time
Value for money
Weight
4.87 lbs
Pros
  • Best Performance in the Video / Media Editing industry
  • Awesome 4K Display
  • Super lightweight, nothing better for transportation than this Laptop
Cons
  • Very Expensive, but you get the best for it..
Best Price
Apple 16" MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, 9th-Gen 8-Core Intel i9 2.4GHz, 64GB RAM, 2TB SSD, AMD Radeon Pro 5500M 8GB, Space Gray, Late 2019 Z0XZ004ZY / Z0XZ00061
Model
MacBook Pro 2020
Test Result
Test Result 9.6/10 Very good June 2020
Manufacturer
Apple
RAM
64 GB
CPU
9th-Gen 8-Core Intel i9
Graphics Card
AMD Radeon Pro 5500M 8GB
Storage Capacity
2TB SSD
Battery Time
Value for money
Weight
8.05 lbs
Pros
  • Very high performance
  • Very Comfortable Magic Keyboard with Touch bar included
  • Very thin
Cons
  • Not many new changes compared to the previous models

We tested and compared the Macbook Pro 2020 versus Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition in terms of Performance, Price, Display Quality, Battery life, Portability & more.

Above you can see the Ranking with the results and below you will find the in-depth reports of each Laptop in the test.

Ranking First: Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition

Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition review

Pros

  • Best Performance in the Video / Media Editing industry
  • Awesome 4K Display
  • Super lightweight, nothing better for transportation than this Laptop

Cons

  • Very Expensive, but you get the best for it..

To coincide with the launch of NVIDIA’s new Studio program, Razer launched its Studio Edition Blade 15 to attract the attention of creative professionals. Even though a Quadro graphics card would not have been necessary, the 15-inch model has it all and is clearly aimed at the professional user.

On top of that, the device was given a new coat of paint and sent to the market with full equipment up to a 4K OLED screen with touch function. How this workhorse, which costs approximately $4000, performs in practice, can be seen in this Techtestreport article on the following pages.

In recent years and months, especially genuine gaming notebooks have become increasingly slimmer and more portable thanks to the ever more efficient hardware components, making them real companions in everyday life.

The graphics forge not only made the first Quadro graphics cards with RTX units mobile, but has also been certifying corresponding devices for its new Studio range for a few months now.

The new range includes notebooks with fast components that are fit for everyday tasks in creative environments such as design offices or film and video companies. In order to meet the high demands also with regard to colour space coverage, studio devices must also have a high-quality display and be equipped with a high-capacity battery for long running times on the move.

Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition keyboard

At a minimum, NVIDIA specifies a ninth-generation six-core CPU, 16GB of memory and a 512GB SSD, and a large color space display. This should enable pictures and videos as well as complex rendering work to be carried out quickly and easily on the move.

NVIDIA not only provides its partners with specifications, but has also worked hard to develop its own Studio driver, which improves compatibility with special programs and provides a number of optimizations.

These include Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Substance Painter, Autodesk Flame, Blender Cycles, Dimension 5 D5 Fusion, Luxion KeyShot, and Davinci Resolve, which can also be accelerated using the dedicated RT and Tensor cores.

Theoretically, Razer’s Blade 15 and Pro family devices that we’ve tested so far are also studio-ready, but for the professional creative worker they have a completely independent series that stands out from the previous devices in some places.

Thus, Razer relies on a calibrated 4K touch display with OLED technology, which covers the DCI-P3 color space 100%, and uses a genuine Quadro graphics card with RTX and of course massive memory instead of a gamer GeForce.

The heart of our almost $4000 test sample is an Intel Core i7-9750H, whose six computing cores work at up to 4.5 GHz and which can access an NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 with a proud 16 GB GDDR6 video memory.

Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition video editing

It also comes with a lush 32GB of DDR4 memory and a fast NVMe SSD from Samsung, which offers a capacity of 1TB. However, there is no additional hard disk drive due to lack of space. Razer also preinstalls the Pro version of Windows 10.

The studio edition of the Razer Blade 15 is also optically recognizable: It doesn’t rely on a black color scheme but comes in a chic silver-white. How the creative notebook performs in practice can be read in this Techtestreports’ following pages.

Hardware

The Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition relies on really powerful hardware that should be more than fast enough for all situations and thus cuts a good figure even in professional use when editing videos and photos or for complex rendering tasks.

Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition side view

Our test sample is driven by an Intel Core i7-9750H, currently the most popular Coffee Lake R processor in the high-end sector. It offers a total of six CPU cores, supports twelve threads and gets down to work with a speed of up to 4.5 GHz.

The graphics card is somewhat unusual, as Razer is using an NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000, which was released just a few weeks ago by NVIDIA for mobile workstation notebooks. Like the GeForce RTX 2080 (Super), it is based on the 13.6 billion transistor TU104 GPU of the Turing generation, but provides proud 3,072 CUDA cores and thus 256 more processing units than the fastest GeForce model in the notebook so far.

Memory is also a major drawback, because while 8 GB is the limit for player graphics cards, the professional Quadro can fall back on twice that amount and thus on a whopping 16 GB GDDR6. The connection, however, still remains at 256 data lines.

The Max-Q variant only has a basic clock rate of 600 MHz, but reaches at least 1,350 MHz in boost, according to the data sheet. Up to 1.710 MHz are reached in our test device.

In addition, there is a total of 32 GB DDR4 memory with 2,666 MHz and a 1 TB NVMe-SSD from Samsung, which is of course quickly connected via PCI-Express. The display measures 15.6 inches in its diagonal, is capacitive and is based on OLED technology. Razer fits all of this into a chic unibody case made of aluminum in a silver-white color scheme.

Design

With dimensions of 355 x 235 x 17.8 mm and a total weight of only 4.67 lbs, the Studio Edition of the Razer Blade 15 is extremely compact and light – especially when it comes to height, as many other creative notebooks such as the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin or even the Razer Blade Pro from the company cannot quite keep up in terms of mobility. The Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition is therefore already very well suited for working on the go.

Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition photo video editing

As you’re used to from a Razer notebook, the Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition once again uses a metal case in unibody design, which is CNC-milled. This is already used in the current generation of the Razer Blade 15. Instead of the black coloring, silver-white color accents are used in the studio version. Razer calls this Mercury White.

While the chassis mainly uses silver color nuances, the keycaps of the keyboard are kept in white. The otherwise poisonous green Razer logo on the screen cover is also available in the studio version, but it is kept in a white tone and thus appears much more simple. Overall, the Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition looks very noble.

On the underside, there are two separate air inlets and outlets for cooling the processor and graphics card in addition to the two rubberized feet. A maintenance flap, which would have given quick access to the memory, is unfortunately not there. The battery is also firmly built into the case.

Razer once again plays right at the top in terms of workmanship quality, which can be expected at a price of over $4000. The case is surprisingly stable and doesn’t give in at any point even under stronger pressure, which even applies to the otherwise rather vulnerable keyboard bed.

There are no annoying creaking noises on the hinges, as well as no after-shake of the screen, in which case the hinges remain very torsionally stiff. Nevertheless, the 15 incher can be opened with only one hand without any problems.

Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition display

All gap dimensions are excellently worked out, and there are no sharp edges despite the less rounded corners in comparison to earlier Razer notebooks.

As already the black case variant, the Mercury White Edition is also extremely susceptible to dust and grease stains, although these only become visible under certain viewing angles.

Keyboard, Touchpad & Ports

In terms of connectivity, the Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition offers everything a creative worker’s heart desires. It communicates wirelessly via WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5, but a traditional Gigabit Ethernet interface can only be implemented using an adapter – which Razer has saved due to its slim height.

There are two fast USB 3.2 Gen2 type A sockets and even a Thunderbolt 3 port, which is realized via type C. HDMI and DisplayPort are available for video output, and an SD card reader according to UHS III is also not missing. Many manufacturers are now saving on this, which is particularly annoying for photographers and the video fraction.

Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition keyboard technology

Otherwise, a headset can be connected via a 3.5 mm jack and the device can be finished with a Kensington look. The external 230 W power supply unit is plugged in via the left side of the device; the connection is extremely firm. A magnetic plug connection, such as Apple’s MacBook family offers, would secure the expensive bolide on the desk.

As with all Razer notebooks in the meantime, the Studio Edition of the Razer Blade 15 also offers a standard chiclet keyboard. It only deviates optically from the previous Blade 15, as the keys are also very smooth-running and thus offer a less crisp pressure point. Also annoying: Razer has once again done without the usual number pad.

Instead, there are large loudspeakers for audio output left and right of the keyboard and an RGB single key illumination, which can be configured via the in-house Chroma software. Although Razer by and large uses a standard layout, the arrow keys are directly integrated into the layout.

The touchpad is placed directly below the keyboard in the middle. Here, Razer relies on a clickpad that doesn’t have dedicated keys for the left and right mouse click, but instead has a glass surface with very good gliding characteristics.

Inputs up to multi-touch gestures are implemented quickly and precisely, mouse clicks are confirmed with a loud click. The pressure point is a bit spongy, though.

Display

For the Studio Edition of his Blade 15, Razer relies exclusively on an OLED display with UHD resolution and touch-sensitive touchscreen. The screen measures 15.6 inches in its diagonal and works with 3,840 x 2,160 pixels.

Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition display quality test performance
Razor Blade 4KTouch

Thanks to OLED technology, the panel has the best contrast values due to the absolutely dark black values. The Samsung panel is perfectly suited for outdoor use and thus also for on the go, because in our test the display reaches brightness values of up to 435 cd/m² and is also very well illuminated with a homogeneity of just over 95%. Between the brightest and darkest values are just 20 cd/m².

The color values are also correct thanks to the factory color calibration. In our test sample they average just 6,561 K and thus land almost a spot landing on the optimum value of 6,500 K.

You have to do without typical gamer features like G-Sync or a high refresh rate, though, but that doesn’t correspond to the Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition’s target group anyway.

Software

Once again, Razer has added a powerful software tool to its Studio Edition, as the Synapse software serves as a central point of contact for all important system parameters.

Not only the RGB backlight of the keyboard can be controlled here, but also the Windows key and various key combinations like Alt + F4 can be deactivated.

Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition setup mechanical keyboard

In addition, macros can be created, unused programs deleted and the performance mode set. The brightness of the screen and the battery characteristics can also be adjusted. However, temperatures and clock rates are not read out, as with the other devices in the blade family.

In the meantime, you don’t have to log in to the software with a user account for this – this was still necessary until a few months ago. Razer has completely dispensed with unnecessary software tools or demo versions; the installation of Windows 10 Pro is clean.

Temperature levels

Despite the high-end hardware and compact design, the Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition doesn’t have any problems with temperatures. Even under absolute full load, which we are used to simulate with Prime95 and Furmark, the Intel Core i7-9750H reaches a comparatively cool 74°C, the NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 even stays below the 70°C mark.

In the worst case, both components fall back to their base clock rate of 2.6 GHz and 600 MHz respectively, but in less demanding practical use, the 4.5 GHz of the Coffee Lake R CPU and the 1.710 MHz of the Quadro GPU are reached without any problems.

Thus the surface temperatures are at an acceptable level. We measured up to 44.3°C at the peak and thus clearly undercut the magic 50°C mark. We measured this value in the second quadrant on the bottom and thus exactly where the cooling of processor and graphic card meet.

In return, only a maximum of 41.2°C is reached in the keyboard bed and top case area. The 15 incher gets warmer on the underside due to its design. We measured about 33.9 and 33.0 °C on average under load.

Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition ports

In normal office use, the hardware isn’t put under as much strain, which naturally results in lower temperatures. Then it’s only 33.6 °C at the peak, the Razer Blade 15 Studio’s surface temperatures are an average of 29.1 and 28.6 °C. The heat is thus distributed very well on the metal case.

However, the Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition is only conditionally a quiet pedal. In normal 2D mode, the 15 incher switches off its fans completely until a certain temperature level is reached and thus works passively and therefore completely silently – also because there are no mechanical components such as a hard disk.

However, the cooling turns up considerably under load and reaches a noise level of 45.7 to 46.7 dB(A), depending on the load scenario. Compared to high-end gaming notebooks, whose graphic cards usually offer less shader units, the noise level is okay, though.

They partly reach over 50 dB(A) and are thus anything but quiet. The Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition does a good job in terms of cooling and volume.

Battery Life

For mobile use, Razer has given the Studio Edition of its Blade 15 an 80 Wh battery. It manages to supply the device with power for over 470 minutes and thus just under eight hours in office mode. However, the dedicated Quadro graphics is disabled and the efficient and economical Intel UHD graphics of the Coffee Lake R CPU is used.

Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition display white design

If computing power is required and the dedicated 3D accelerator is activated, the runtimes are significantly reduced. Then the OLED screen turns black already after 130 minutes and thus after a little more than two hours.

The battery is fully operational again after about an hour and a half via the external 230 W power supply. Then the Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition gets its due between 18.1 and 146.5 W, depending on the load.

Verdict

With the Studio Edition of the Blade 15, Razer is not only building on the success of the product family, but is adding to it in many ways. On the one hand there is the extremely good display.

Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition back view

Due to the OLED technology, it offers very good contrast values, is extremely bright and can therefore also be used in the field. Thanks to factory calibration, the color temperatures are almost optimal. In addition, the touch screen is touch-sensitive and thus reacts to input with the finger.

On the other hand there is the upscale hardware equipment. Even if it wouldn’t have been necessary for the studio certification at all, Razer has opted for a mobile Quadro graphics solution.

With 3,072 shader units, the NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 offers the super-extension of the GeForce RTX 2080 and can also access twice the amount of memory with 16 GB GDDR6 video memory.

This accelerates professional software at the highest level. Of course, NVIDIA’s latest Studio driver is pre-installed, which improves compatibility with corresponding software tools and at the same time offers further optimizations.

The rest of the equipment can also be seen with 32 GB DDR4 memory, a 1 TB PCI Express SSD and modern connections up to Thunderbolt 3 and WiFi 6. The manufacturing quality is at the highest level thanks to the CNC-milled metal unibody case and also contributes to the cooling, because despite the compact dimensions the 15 incher remains cool and comparatively quiet.

In office mode, the system even works passively and thus completely silently. The battery allows runtimes of about two to almost eight hours, which is very good considering the given performance.

Only the keyboard and touchpad has room for improvement. There is no numeric keypad, the keys themselves are much too smooth, especially those of the clickpad are very spongy.

All in all the the Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition is ranking first versus Macbook Pro (2020) due to its unbelievable great performance, especially for video / photo editing and other high performance programs for the office!

Ranking Second: MacBook Pro (2020)

MacBook Pro (2020) review

Pros

  • Very high performance
  • Very Comfortable Magic Keyboard with Touch bar included
  • Very thin

Cons

  • Not many new changes compared to the previous models

Apple’s latest Pro Laptop has enough to satisfy professional users who need any increase in speed.

Since November, we hoped that the 16-inch Macbook Pro would soon be followed by an upgrade to the 13-inch Macbook Pro. But that wasn’t so soon.

Apple first upgraded the Macbook Air, and it wasn’t until more than a month later that the long-awaited new 13-inch Macbook Pro was finally released. The new models feature new CPUs, faster memory and new GPUs to increase its speed, and the new Magic Keyboard will bring back customers who decided to stay away from the version of the laptop with a butterfly keyboard.

apple macbook pro 2020 display performance

If you currently own a high-quality 13-inch Macbook Pro that you have purchased within the year, you may want to consider staying with this laptop a little longer. Although you’ll get nice speed gains with the new Macbook Pro, it can be difficult to justify the cost right now.

Unless you really, really want to get rid of the laptop because of the butterfly keyboard and replace a painful typing experience with a more enjoyable one.

This review takes a look at the 13-inch Macbook Pro’s configuration of $3999, which is equipped with a 9th-Gen 8-Core Intel i9, 64GB RAM, AMD Radeon Pro 5500M and a 2TB SSD. The $2500 model is the same, except with a 1 TB SSD.

The $1800 versions of the 2020 Macbook Pro 13-inch have the same eighth-generation 1.4GHz quad-core Core i5 processors as when they were released last year, but they now have the Magic Keyboard and twice the SSD capacity.

Keyboard & Touchpad

With the 16-inch Macbook Pro in November 2019, Apple began replacing its much-maligned butterfly-action keyboard with the new Magic Keyboard with scissor action. Macbook Air followed suit when it was updated in March 2020, leaving the 13-inch Macbook Pro as the only laptop with the butterfly keyboard.

With this update, the farewell tour with the butterfly keyboard is now complete. It has now completely disappeared from Apple’s laptop range and will not be missed (although Apple insists that the butterfly keyboard had its fans).

MacBook Pro (2020) test design

We documented our preference for the new Magic Keyboard in our reviews of the 16-inch Macbook Pro and the latest MacBook Air, and the implementation in the 13-inch Macbook Pro only underlines what we like about it.

The butterfly keyboard was hard on the fingers, loud and so unreliable that Apple had to start a keyboard service program for it. The new Magic Keyboard feels and sounds much better, softer and more comfortable to the touch and just not as loud. Over time we will know more about reliability, but we haven’t had any problems with this laptop, the 16-inch Macbook Pro and the new Macbook Air. This is a good sign.

Apple’s Touch Bar is useful and in good hands on the 13-inch Macbook Pro. For those of you who don’t know, the Touch Bar is a touchscreen strip at the top of the keyboard that replaces the function keys you might be used to.

apple macbook pro 2020 setup

Which keys appear on the Touch Bar depends on the application you’re using. For example, if you’re on maps, buttons can appear to get directions, find a location, mark a place as a favorite, and more.

The Touch Bar can be a useful way to use your Mac, but even after years (the Touch Bar was introduced on the Macbook Pro in 2016), I still can’t bring myself to use it regularly.

The Touch Bar can be customized for your use, so it doesn’t always have to show app-based options. I hesitate to say that the Touch Bar is unnecessary because I don’t think it is poorly implemented. I just can’t bring myself to use it for more than just F-key functions.

Hardware

The new 13-inch Macbooks Pro for $4000 are equipped with 10th generation Intel core processors and replace the processors of the eighth generation of their predecessors. Both versions have a 2.0 GHz Quad-Core Core i5 CPU with Turbo Boost up to 3.8 GHz and 6 MB L3 cache.

MacBook Pro (2020) keyboard
Macbook Pro 13 inch 2019

The previous processor was a 2.4GHz quad-core Core i5 processor, but the new processor is based on Intel’s Ice Lake microarchitecture, which provides better performance so the higher clock speed of the older CPU doesn’t mean much.

Apple also offers faster memory in the new 13-inch Macbook Pro. The 2133MHz LPDDR3 memory of the previous laptop has been upgraded to 3733MHz LPDDR4X, which should help improve performance. Standard configurations now start at 16GB of memory; previously it was 8GB. And Apple now offers a 32GB upgrade that costs an additional $400.

Professional users should pay special attention to the Intel Iris Plus graphics in the new laptop. You can now connect a 6K display (which you couldn’t do before), such as Apple’s Pro Display XDR, or a 5K display. Or you can connect up to two 4K displays.

It’s still a built-in graphics processor, and it shares its graphics memory with the Mac’s main memory. According to Apple, the Iris Plus has 33 percent more execution units than its predecessor (64 instead of 48), so you should notice a noticeable improvement in graphics performance.

The performance improvement from the old Macbook Pro to the new model looks impressive. We often see an increase of 10 to 15 percent, but in this case it’s 24 percent. The newer generation Intel processors have lower core clock speeds and boost clock speeds, but the new “Ice Lake” microarchitecture delivers better performance per clock.

apple macbook pro 2020 video editing

It’s also hard to ignore that a single core of the new Macbook Pro 13-inch can keep up with a single core of the Macbook Pro 16-inch, despite significantly lower core and boost clock speeds. But as you’ll see, the larger notebook stands out in terms of multi-core performance.

When it comes to multi-core performance, the new Macbook Pro offers a modest improvement over the model it replaces. With a Geekbench 5 score of 4480, that’s an improvement of just over 14 percent. Considering that the new model has a maximum boost clock speed of 3.8 GHz and the old model was clocked up to 4.1 GHz, that’s pretty impressive.

As you can see, the 16-inch Macbook Pro leaves all 13-inch models in the dust. With eight cores, it has a significant advantage. That’s not surprising, since that’s twice as many cores as in the 13-inch models.

Graphics card & Performance

The new Macbook Pro also features a new built-in graphics processor. The new and old graphics units have both been confusingly named “Intel Iris Plus”, but they’re quite different. The Iris Plus on the old model had 48 execution units and 128MB of built-in DRAM.

MacBook Pro (2020) package hands on

There is no part listed in Intel’s CPU database that exactly matches the specifications of Apple’s new model, but it most likely contains the G7 variant of Intel’s latest integrated GPU. This is an updated architecture with better video encoding and 64 execution units.

Using Geekbench 5’s OpenCL test, which runs computational tasks with the GPU, we found a performance change of about 10% compared to the Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645 used in the current entry-level 13-inch Macbook Pro.

The 16-inch Macbook Pro was included in the test to give an idea of how well Iris Plus performs compared to the integrated Intel UHD 630, which is in the 16-inch laptop.

However, the 16-inch laptop also has a discrete graphics processor – either the AMD Radeon Pro 5300M or 5500M – which offers performance that clearly outshines any integrated graphics processor.

Metal is Apple’s 3D graphics and computing system, and here we see a much more dramatic 30 percent improvement with Iris Plus Graphics 645 over Iris Plus Graphics 645, and performance is more than twice that of the Intel UHD 630.

We ran some more benchmarks to measure the performance of the new laptop. In this section of the test, we looked at the new MacBook Pro for $4000 and the cheapest 13-inch Macbook Pro for $1,499 with an eighth-generation 1.4GHz quad-core Core i5.

apple macbook pro 2020 side view

In addition to two more Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports, for the additional $500, you get an updated processor, more and faster RAM, double the SSD memory, and more robust graphics. This should result in better performance. We wanted to get a feel for how much more performance you can get.

The Cinebench R20 benchmark is a CPU multithreaded benchmark that is more intensive than Geekbench 5’s multi-core CPU test, with the 2.0 GHz quad-core Core i5 being just over 16 percent faster than the 1.4 GHz quad-core Core i5. As Cinebench is a rendering test, this result is especially interesting for graphics professionals.

This is another rendering test. Here we see a 12 percent improvement with the 2.0 GHz quad-core Core i5.

The Unigine Heaven and Valley benchmarks are real-time graphics tests that focus on GPU performance. The newer Macbook Pro was 16 percent faster in Heaven and 20 percent faster in Valley.

We took the 4K video Tears of Steel and converted it to Handbrake using the Fast 1080p30 preset. The 2.0GHz quad-core Core i5 is about 17 percent faster than the 1.4GHz quad-core Core i5.

Battery Life

The battery of the $4000 Macbook Pro is slightly smaller than that of the cheaper models, which are rated at 58.2 watt hours, with 58 watt hours. According to Apple, the battery lasts “up to 10 hours of wireless web, up to 10 hours of Apple TV App movie playback.

MacBook Pro (2020) back view

To test the battery life, we looped a video until the battery runs out. (We should note that in this situation, instead of setting the screen brightness to 150 nits as usual, we set the brightness slider in System Preferences to about 90 percent) We tested both the new laptop and the $1,499 model, and both laptops lasted just over 8 hours.

The new laptop had no problem surviving a normal working day, which included using various business applications, Internet access and occasionally watching an Internet video.

Display

Apple’s Macbook-Pro range underwent a significant change when the company launched the 16-inch Macbook-Pro, which was preceded by a 15-inch model. The larger display was achieved mainly by reducing the black frame that surrounded it.

So when rumours began to circulate about the successor to the 13-inch Macbook-Pro for 2019, there was of course speculation that the same treatment of the bezel would be used, resulting in a new 14-inch Macbook-Pro.

But this did not happen. The screen is the same as before, with the same thick black frames. It’s still a 500 nitre retina screen with a resolution of 2560 x 1600 and support for the wide P3 colour space and True Tone. And it still looks great, with even backlighting, sharp text and beautiful colours.

MacBook Pro (2020) display review

But it’s disappointing that the 14-inch screen wasn’t available. My personal preference is for larger screens, but apart from that, there’s an aesthetic with the frame that only really caught my eye with the 16-inch Macbook-Pro, and it’s even more accentuated when you’re also using an iPhone that doesn’t have a home button.

The larger bezel looks outdated, even almost old. The design of the Macbook-Pro series has been around for years, so an outdated look is a possibility, but the smaller bezel on the 16-inch model was enough to give the design a slightly refreshed, modern look.

Apparently Apple made a design decision not to change the frames. We can only speculate about why. There have been rumours that Apple will launch an ARM-based Mac laptop, maybe as early as 2021, and maybe there is a mindset that links significant design changes to that.

Or maybe there’s a more practical reason: maybe there are performance and thermal issues with using a larger display in this small form factor. At this point, it’s all just a guess.

Features

Apple also used this opportunity to adapt the standard SSD configurations of the 13-inch Macbook-Pro. Gone are the 128GB SSD configurations – thank God. Apple’s range now starts at 256 GB and ends at 1 TB, with two 512 GB models in between. You can increase the storage up to 2TB if you want to pay more.

The model for $1,499 has two Thunderbolt 3/USB-3 ports, while the model for $4000 has four.

If you haven’t already done so, you should consider buying a USB C hub, especially if you have external devices that use a USB A port. You can check our guide to see which adapters you may need.

MacBook Pro (2020) screen benchmarks

Apple has introduced a new 6-speaker system with the 16-inch Macbook-Pro that sounds pretty powerful. However, the new 13-inch Macbook-Pro hasn’t been treated in the same way as the 16-inch Macbook-Pro. It still has the same wide stereo speaker system as before. And it sounds good, but it’s clearly not in the same league as the 16-inch model.

In this era of working from a distance, the facetime camera in Apple’s laptops has received new attention. It’s still a 720p camera, and its image quality is very disappointing, especially when compared to the forward-facing cameras of modern iPhones. It has not been improved for too long.

Verdict

Apple users have been waiting for an upgrade to the 13-inch MacBook Pro. The question here is whether the new laptop contains enough to be worth the investment.

For professionals, there’s certainly enough to think about, especially if the Macbook Pro you’re using is more than two years old. The CPU boost is noticeable, but you’ll especially like the increase in graphics performance.

If you don’t spend most of your time with professional applications that can take advantage of faster graphics, and if you own a 13-inch Macbook Pro purchased within the last year, you’re probably okay for now.

However, there’s the new Magic Keyboard, and if you’re absolutely sick of the butterfly keyboard, you should make the switch.

All in all the the Macbook Pro 2020 is ranking second versus Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition. If you cant accept just a bit less performance and more comfortability for your fingers due to the better keyboard, the Apple MacBook 2020 is the right choice for you!


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