Forget the new MacBook Pro, Apple has something way better

Forget the new MacBook Pro, Apple has something way better

Updated April 30: Article originally published April 29.

Apple’s upcoming Worldwide Developer Conference will introduce new MacBook laptops to the already crowded family of macOS hardware. Part of this family is the inexplicable 13-inch MacBook Pro, which offers more performance than the MacBook Air laptops at a lower price point than the larger MacBook Pro laptops.

But that is false economy. Apple might still sell you a 13-inch MacBook Pro, but it’s not a laptop to consider even if it gets the expected upgrade in June.

Update: Sunday, April 30: Before some of the new consumer-focused MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models appear, presumably around WWDC, Apple has one more quirk to consider. One of the few arguments to buy the 13-inch MacBook Pro Over the Air is the twenty percent increase in processing power… it’s a small step considering how far the M2 Pro and M2 Max chipsets have come in the larger ones MacBook Pro models, and one that probably isn’t cost effective.

Apple is gearing up to offer another option for those looking for performance on a budget, with the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models arriving in the Apple Store’s refurbished section at a hefty discount . Joe Rossignol reports.

“The latest 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models are available with M2 Pro or M2 Max chips and offer up to 20% faster performance and up to 30% faster graphics compared to the previous generation. The laptops can be configured with up to 30% up to 96GB of RAM, compared to 64GB before.”

Let’s say Apple launches a new 13-inch MacBook Pro at WWDC in June. would you want it Does it offer any advantages in price, size or performance?

The obvious comparison is to the rest of the MacBook Pro family. These certainly have some of the best specs on the entire macOS platform right now. Combined with the larger screens, the M2 Pro and m2 Max chipsets will likely outperform the base M3 chipset when it arrives. This makes these laptops pretty future proof if your main consideration is performance.

If power isn’t your thing, what about size?

The small 13-inch consumer MacBook Pro simply cannot meet these requirements, since it comes close to the screen size of the current MacBook Air models. The larger-screen MacBook Pro machines are the only macOS laptops that have screens larger than the 13-inch standard. While Windows laptops have happily offered big screens in consumer-friendly models, Apple has proved a stubborn holdout. That’s set to change at WWDC with the launch of the 15-inch MacBook Air, allowing Tim Cook and his team to offer a large laptop at a more attractive price.

If not size, then what about budget?

The 13-inch MacBook Pro is more expensive than the current MacBook Air. For that $100 price increase, you get a small performance boost (which is largely due to the fan controlling processor temperature than any physical hardware upgrade) and that Word “Pro” on the machine. And as discussed before, if you want performance, don’t stop there, go higher.

The current $1199 M2-powered MacBook Air offers a notable savings over the 13-inch MacBook Pro. If you really want to work on a budget, Apple still sells the M1-powered MacBook Air, the macOS laptop that tore up the laptop spec rule book, for $999. It has the flexibility to meet most consumer needs while remaining the cheapest MacBook laptop on the market.

Apple’s 13-inch MacBook Pro and its M2 chipset continue to be a mysterious choice. It doesn’t offer the best value for money, it doesn’t offer exciting hardware, and it doesn’t offer a realistic upgrade for those who need power. Still, Apple is expected to upgrade this machine to the M3 chipset and sell it with a serious expression.

Do yourself a favour. When Apple releases this new MacBook Pro, look elsewhere.

Read the latest Mac, iPhone, and iPad headlines now in Forbes’ weekly Apple Loop column…

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