MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Get Better and Cheaper for Back to School

Just in time for back-to-school season, Apple has refreshed two of its most affordable MacBooks for 2019. 

MacBook Pro 13-inch with Touch Bar

The $1,299 starting model of the 13-inch MacBook Pro has been updated with an 8th Gen Intel Core i5 processor, and finally gains the Touch Bar, Touch ID functionality and T2 Security chip of its more premium siblings. This starting model also now features a True Tone display. The rest of the Pro's specs remain largely unchanged, with the laptop housing 8GB of RAM, a 128GB SSD and Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645.

The main differences now between the entry-level MacBook Pro and pricier model is two Thunderbolt 3 ports versus four ports, faster performance and more powerful Iris graphics.

MacBook Air Gets True Tone

Apple's latest MacBook Air also got a price drop and minor spec bump. The laptop now starts at $1,099 and has gained a True Tone display. This model also packs an 8th Gen Core i5 chip, 8GB of RAM, 128GB of SSD storage and Intel 617 graphics.

College students can snag these laptops for even cheaper, as the new Pro costs $1,119 for school-bound buyers while the starting Air costs just $999 via the Apple Education Store starting today. Both laptops also include a free pair of qualifying Beats Studio 3 headphones.

With the arrival of these new entry-level Macs, Apple has stopped selling both the 12-inch MacBook as well as the previous generation MacBook Air. The death of the 12-inch MacBook is no surprise, though many Apple fans still prefer the older MacBook Air due to its deeper-travel keyboard.

Apple is rumored to abandon its divisive Butterfly keyboards by the end of the year, so those who yearn for those classic MacBook keys may want to wait a few months to see what shakes out. 

To find out which 13-inch MacBook is best for you check out our MacBook Pro vs Air (2019) face-off.

Michael Andronico
A devout gamer and tech enthusiast, Mike Andronico joined the Laptop team in July 2013. With a B.A. in Journalism from Purchase College and experience at GameNGuide, Examiner and 2D-X, Mike tackles everything from iPhone rumors to in-depth hardware reviews.