The launch of Apple’s 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro laptops last month promised the most powerful macOS laptops yet. Tim Cook’s team delivered on their promise, albeit with some compromises on the lower spec units.
But the extra performance and price premium to unlock that potential pushed the MacBook Pro into a niche reserved for those who demand high demands from their macOS computer rather than daily work. The MacBook Pro is no longer the “automatic” choice for users.
Apple 16-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. Focus on the MacBook Pro logo
Perhaps one of Apple’s biggest initiatives has been to elevate the performance of the MacBook Pro in the workstation realm while ensuring that the public still sees it as a “normal” computer in which to could invest thousands of dollars, just to get as many as possible on the Data Sheet.
Thanks to Apple Silicon raising the performance bar, the MacBook Air offers more than enough performance for consumers looking for a machine for everyday use. Enthusiasts will find the MacBook Air (even in the M1 machine, which opens the wallet at $999) enough to meet their needs.
It’s also worth considering if you need the portability of a MacBook. Undoubtedly, throughout 2023, the iMac and Mac Studio will receive updates for the M2 platform to match the Mac Mini. With Apple’s push to unify the Mac and iPad, you might be better off with a more powerful desktop computer and a more portable tablet.
And if it’s performance you’re looking for, we’re still waiting for a Mac Pro with Apple Silicon.
The new MacBook Pro laptops build on the success of the first MacBook Pro M1 Pro and M1 Max laptops, but are they built enough to be considered new machines? Anyone investing in the MacBook Pro for heavy-duty work will always be happy with more performance, but is twenty percent enough? In terms of raw performance, the M2 family delivers that on all counts.
Apple accountants may like the idea of a regular update cycle for the MacBook Pro, which is modeled after the iPhone, but a relatively small bump in the processor won’t be enough for existing owners.
Since Apple pretty much kept the entire package, there’s no temptation to update for new hardware tweaks. Apple is certainly working to bring new elements to the macOS laptop platform. A quick look at Apple’s patents over the past few years reveals ideas that are both very Apple and very commercial. There are talks of a laptop screen that extends to both sides of the case, replacing the keyboard with a haptic touchscreen, several examples of taking the trackpad and extending it to cover the entire lowercase collating, and new key types and input methods.
Although patents don’t always reach the final hardware, Apple’s stubborn refusal to touch the screens of its laptops has been cornered. Tighter integration between macOS and iPadOS, market pressures and evidence of larger supply chain orders suggest that macOS laptops will be touch-enabled in the future.
The MacBook Pro is seen in a shopping mall in Krakow, Poland on January 11, 2023. (Photo by Beata… [+] Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Photo only via Getty Images
Apple’s latest MacBook Pro models are certainly new laptops, but are they new enough to live up to the expectations behind that word? For me, these MacBook Pro laptops are a good choice for those who need serious performance whether they are new to the platform or upgraded from one of the Intel MacBook Pros.
These laptops certainly resemble the iPhone “S” models that offered a mid-cycle upgrade. Maybe Apple should have called it the “MacBook Pro S” series?
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