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Apple finally kills off the 13-inch Touch Bar MacBook Pro

Over the years, the 13-inch model has become less appealing to Pro users.

Devindra Hardawar / Engadget

Apple's Scary Fast event was an unexpected but welcome treat for Mac fans this season. And in true Halloween slasher movie fashion, Apple has officially ended the life of one of its most controversial laptops: the 13-inch MacBook Pro. For years, this model was an absolute star with its Pro-level specs and impressive build quality. However, as Apple updated and released newer laptops, the 13-inch MacBook Pro started looking less appealing, especially when Apple’s own chips made their way into the Mac. At this point, Apple's move to discontinue the 13-inch MacBook Pro doesn't come as a surprise.

The laptop hit a rough patch in 2016 with the introduction of the Touch Bar, which came as a part of a major redesign. The new look also included a thinner chassis, changes to the keyboard, a larger trackpad, Touch ID and the removal of all ports except the Thunderbolt ports and a headphone jack. As you may remember, the Touch Bar was a total hit or miss among the masses. Some people loved the innovation and the "magical" Touch Bar while others found it clumsy and not very useful. Apple eventually removed the Touch Bar by introducing the latest 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, but kept it on the 13-inch MacBook Pro.

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks under a graphic of the new MacBook Pro during an Apple media event in Cupertino, California, U.S. October 27, 2016.    REUTERS/Beck Diefenbach   TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Beck Diefenbach / Reuters

In 2023, the 13-inch MacBook Pro is a good laptop but it’s just not worth the investment anymore. The base model comes with Apple's M2 chip, which has given a nice little boost. It has an 8-core CPU, a 10-core GPU and comes standard with 8GB of RAM and 256GB storage, both of which can be bumped up for an additional cost. For day-to-day tasks and light work, it still performs well enough but well enough just doesn't cut it anymore for a "Pro" laptop. Especially when the new MacBook Air offers so much more and the 14-inch MacBook Pro has a better screen and more ports pro users actually need. Even so, Apple claimed for years that the 13-inch MacBook Pro remains one of its best-selling models. This likely has more to do with its lower price point.

Apple probably kept the model around as a budget-friendly Pro option, starting at $1,299, while the cheapest 14-inch model was $1,999. But with tonight’s introduction of the M3 14-inch MacBook Pro for $1,599, the 13-inch simply no longer makes sense — which would explain Apple's decision to move away from this one.

Follow all of the news from Apple’s "Scary Fast" October event right here.