New Macs smackdown! [Cult of Mac Magazine No. 305]

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New Macs smackdown in Cult of Mac Magazine No. 304
Get the latest on the new MacBook lineup.
Cover: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Apple just radically simplified its laptop lineup, rolling out great updates to the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro (and killing two models). Now the big question is, which Apple laptop is right for you? Here’s our buyer’s guide to the new MacBooks.

Find out what makes these new machines so enticing and different in this week’s issue of Cult of Mac Magazine. Grab it for free from the iOS App Store to enjoy on your iPad. Or read the rest of the best Apple news, reviews and how-tos in your browser by clicking on the headlines below.

New MacBook Pro teardown reveals surprising internal tweaks

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2019-MacBook-Pro-13-teardown
Here’s what’s inside the new 13-inch MacBook Pro.
Photo: iFixit

iFixit just got its hands on Apple’s newest 13-inch MacBook Pro, which can only mean one thing: It’s time to take a look at what’s inside its svelte aluminum shell.

The new model ships with a Touch Bar, Touch ID, and the Apple T2 Security Chip as standard. It also boasts newer Intel chips that promise up to 83% faster multi-core performance.

But that’s not all you get for your money. There’s a bigger battery inside it, too — plus some other surprising tweaks. And not every change is a good one.

Why it’s a great time to upgrade your aging MacBook

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Apple devices
Don’t let your old Mac drag you down. Cult of Mac can help you upgrade on the cheap.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple might not be selling the 12-inch MacBook anymore, but it’s still a terrific ultraportable — and prices are falling fast. You can also find some stellar discounts on the MacBook Pro.

It’s a great time to upgrade, then. And Cult of Mac can help you snag your new machine for even less. Here’s how.

2019 MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro: Which is right for you?

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MacBook on desk
Look at all those ports!
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Apple’s current laptop lineup is the simplest it’s been in a while. It consists of the 13-inch MacBook Air, and two sizes of MacBook Pro, which are almost identical apart from size.

If you want a 15-inch Apple notebook, then the choice is easy. But if you want a 13-incher, which should you pick? That’s what we’ll look at today, pitching the 13-inch MacBook Air against the 13-inch MacBook Pro.

Newest 13-inch MacBook Pro brings unbelievable speed boost

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2019 MacBook Pro Fortnite
The new MacBook Pro will knock your socks off.
Photo: Apple

Apple promised its newest 13-inch MacBook Pro would deliver faster performance than the previous model. But we weren’t expecting to be up to 83% faster!

That’s the kind of speed increase you’re getting with the latest model, according to early benchmarks. It gives existing owners a massive reason to upgrade — even if they have no interest in the Touch Bar.

Apple brings True Tone to MacBook Air, faster chips to MacBook Pro

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The late-2018 MacBook Air with Retina display.
They’re now more affordable, too.
Photo: Apple

Apple has updated the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro for the back-to-school season. And they’re now more affordable.

The newest MacBook Air now ships with a True Tone display — just like its more expensive siblings. The newest 13-inch MacBook Pro is powered by faster Intel chips, while the entry-level model now offers a Touch Bar with Touch ID.

We react to the departure of Jony Ive, this week on The CultCast

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CultCast 394
The Jony Ive era has come to a close.

This week on The CultCast: We knew it was coming, but now it’s official. Jony Ive is leaving Apple. Plus: The 16-inch MacBook Pro could arrive sooner than you think; Apple just poached one of the world’s premiere ARM CPU architects; and we’ll tell you about the huge Apple scam going around that you need to watch out for!

Our thanks to Squarespace for supporting this episode. Easily create a beautiful website all by yourself, at Squarespace.com/cultcast. Use offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain..

16-inch MacBook Pro could arrive sooner than you think

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A concept for how a next-gen MacBook Pro could look.
Photo: Viktor Kadar

A new 16-inch MacBook Pro is coming this fall, according to analysts at IHS Markit. This would give it the largest screen size of any MacBook Pro model currently available. (Although it still would be smaller than the dearly departed 17-inch model.)

The analysts claim Apple will unleash the new laptop at the company’s September media event alongside the new iPhone.

Sluggish iPhones sales leave Apple with surplus OLED problem

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iPhone X
The iPhone X was the first iOS device to get an OLED display.
Photo: Apple

Weak iPhone sales over the last two years could cause Apple to bring OLED displays to the iPad or MacBooks a bit earlier than expect.

Apple owes Samsung Display hundreds of millions of dollars because it agreed to purchase a certain amount of OLED displays per year. With iPhone sales in a slump, Apple hasn’t bought as many OLEDs as it promised but the two sides are reportedly discussing alternative solutions other than sending a giant pile of cash to Samsung.