MacBook Pro Review

MacBook Pro 2018 Review

Our test of the 2018 MacBook Pro 

A little over a year after the 2017 MacBook Pro, Apple unveiled the MacBook Pro 2018 a decade ago. The novelties are quite few, but not uninteresting. We have been testing the new Apple laptops for a week, and we now offer our test of them


The arrival of Intel's Coffee Lake chips is the main novelty of this new generation of MacBook Pro. The processors of the 13.3 "models change from two to four cores, while those of the 15.4" models go from four to six cores. By performing performance measurements with Geekbench, we observe a rather slight increase in performance when only one heart is requested, but a real explosion of power when all hearts are put to use. It's simple: the 2018 MacBook Pro 13.3 ", with a score of 4,605 in single-core and 16,901 in multicore, made such progress that it exceeds the models 15,4" of the year last! The 15.4 "models, with respective scores of 4,991 and 5,032 in single-core and 20,832 and 21,257 in multi-core, take off.

We tested the performance of these new chips in a more concrete way with our traditional conversion test on HandBrake (2:35, x264 1080p to x265), which has the particularity of soliciting very strongly the processor. As you can see in the graph below, we find the very big power gains of the MacBook Pro 13.3 ", but less pronounced: stuck in a smaller chassis and heats faster, the Core i5 quadricoeur clocked at 2.3 GHz this time not to exceed the old Core i7 models 15.4 ". But it comes to tickle them very closely ... For the 15.4 "models, the increase in power is also more measured than what the Geekbench benchmarks allowed, the Core i7 hexacrossers clocked at 2.2 GHz and 2 , 6 GHz nevertheless allow to make progress of about 10% compared to the previous generation

With a doubling of the number of hearts, the MacBook Pro 13.3 "2018 is the very good surprise of this test of processors, and it should give pause to users who so far opted for a model 15.4" only for its raw power. It is a little less good, of course, but it is also noticeably cheaper and its compactness can be an advantage for some


If the MacBook Pro 13.3 "of 2018 sparks the side of the raw power, the graphics performance remains far below what are able to offer dedicated graphics cards 15.4" MacBook Pro. With its Iris Plus 655, which is a simple evolution of the Iris Plus 650 models of 2017, the MacBook Pro 13.3 "of 2018 has very similar performance to last year's models (it is even slightly worse) on our Cinebench R15, but staying within the margin of error.) The Radeon Pro 555X and 560X 15.4 "MacBook Pro can achieve progress of 18% and 13% compared to the Radeon Pro 555 and 560 from last year

For those who need good graphics performance, the MacBook Pro 15.4 "keeps a big advantage on the MacBook Pro 13.3". The small notebook can nevertheless pull out of the game thanks to an external graphics card. Apple took advantage of the launch of the MacBook Pro 2018 to market an eGPU designed in collaboration with Blackmagic. With a Radeon Pro 580 graphics card with 8GB of GDDR5 memory, including the high-end iMac 27 "5K, it allows the MacBook Pro 13.3" to have a higher graphics power than the MacBook Pro 15.4 "This graphic card is sold for $ 695 on the Apple Store, but the price difference between the MacBook Pro 13.3" and 15.4 "of 2018 is 800€


Apple has not announced a change on the side of autonomy, which is still supposed to be 10 hours for models 13.3 "and 15.4" models. To counterbalance the integration of more consumer components, Apple has indeed incorporated slightly more capacity batteries: the 13.3 "models and pass from 49.2 W / h to 58 W / h, and 15.4" models of 76 W / h at 83.6 W / h. In real life, note that it is particularly difficult to achieve an autonomy of 10 hours; it was the case on older models and it is still the case on these. To achieve such longevity, you have to make big compromises on the brightness of the screen, and avoid launching too greedy software. However, our tests (which consist of doing exactly the same thing on several machines at the same time) show that the 2018 models are progressing well compared to the 2017 models. On the 13.3 "model side, we can win up to at 10% autonomy, which can be more than half an hour on a full charge.On the side of 15.4 models, the progress is a little less marked, but a quarter of an hour can sometimes enough to save the day

True Tone screen

The True Tone feature allows the panel to automatically adjust its colorimetry to suit the surrounding brightness. With a warm light, the screen will take on a warmer hue. With a colder light, it will take a more bluish tint. This novelty is interesting for the visual comfort and the rest of the eyes, and the transitions of the screen are sufficiently well managed so that the user does not notice the progressive change of color. If you are working with the image, however, we advise you to disable True Tone, which is certainly relaxing but which alters the colorimetry


As we have seen many times, Apple has reviewed the mechanism of its keyboard so that it is resistant to dust incrustations and that keys are less likely to hang over time. It will take a few months before we can get a true idea of the progress in reliability of this new keyboard. However, we can now appreciate the sound difference of these new keys, which are a little quieter and emit a less slamming sound, softer to the ear (you can find a comparative record on this page). It's clearly not day and night, but the Apple Butterfly Keyboard is particularly noisy and so it's a good thing

Say Siri

The Apple T2 chip, which improves the security of the Mac, also allows the MacBook Pro to gain the "Dis Siri" feature, which triggers the voice assistant Apple by the sound of his voice, without having to to launch it beforehand. While setting up the computer (but it can be done later), you are asked to say a few sentences that allow macOS to recognize the sound of your voice. Then just say "Dis Siri" to have access to Siri's incompetence without moving a finger


The 2018 MacBook Pro is making great progress on the power front, and the few improvements here and there make this update rather interesting (especially if you plan to offer a 13.3 "model). of the MacBook Pro, we can not help but be frustrated by this new vintage, because the 2018 MacBook Pro always responds better to certain uses, but it forgets some developments that seem to us more and more essential, such as SSD capabilities and / or rates, is it really worthwhile to offer 3.2 Gbit / s speeds on a 15.4 "MacBook Pro flash memory at € 2,799? only has 256GB of storage as standard? We know, Apple's laptops are expensive, and Apple likes to offer configurations a little too undersized in "call prices" to cause the move upmarket. But sometimes, it shows a little too much

As always, Apple continues to market the old models of MacBook Pro at a reduced price on the Refurb Store, which allows to reduce the bill without making too great compromises: prices start at € 1,609 for 13.3 "models (compared to € 1,999 for current models on the Apple Store), and € 2,249 for 15.4 "models (versus € 2,799 for current models). But if we often advise the models of previous years to save money, we will be less categorical this year: besides the big power gains, the MacBook Pro 2018 is supposed to solve the keyboard problems of the old models (for which Apple has launched a repair program), and so it can represent the choice of security if you plan to keep your computer for many years

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