Forget the new MacBook Pro, Apple has something better

Now that the MacBook Pro powered by M2 is on sale, we can take a closer look Apples last macOS portable. Following the revelation to WWDC 2022, this entry-level MacBook Pro looked like a great way for Apple to use up a lot of spare parts and old models, but would it have value for the consumer? With the review embargo now lifted, let’s find out who got early access to Apple’s hardware…

It’s probably worth noting that compared to laptops of five or six years ago, the MacBook Pro M2 is a significant step up, with performance that would be highly sought after in 2016. Simply because it’s better than the average laptop of a few years ago. doesn’t mean it’s the best laptop right now. Apple has a large portfolio of Macs, and if you want to look outside of macOS, there are plenty of other options in the Windows and Linux world.

Those who opt for this MacBook Pro are going to be buying a design that, frankly, looks tired. There might be a school of thought that this buys “a design classic”, but Apple has shown with the larger MacBook Pro models that it can still offer stunning form and pack a lot more features than this which is offered in the 13-inch MacBook. Pro. All the important points that Apple deems useful in the ripped models are inexplicably missing. Monica Chin for The Verge:

“This MacBook Pro has the exact same chassis as the 13-inch MacBook Pro M1 released in 2020 (which itself used a design from 2016). It’s the same 2560 x 1600 display, the same Magic Keyboard, the same two Thunderbolt ports, the same Touch Bar, and the same slightly tapered sides. Don’t forget all those cool new (technically old) design features, like HDMI ports, SDXC slots, and MagSafe charging that Apple put on models MacBook Pros he released in late 2021? Yeah, none of those are here”

Perhaps the biggest issue with using the old design is the display. Larger MacBook Pro laptops feature the new mini-LED technology, and even the MacBook Air – which retains the old LED/IPS display – still carries over the new physical design. CNN’s Mike Andronico:

“The 14-inch MacBook Pro, 16-inch MacBook Pro, and the new MacBook Air M2 all adopted virtually bezel-less displays with only a small notch at the top; the MacBook Pro M2’s thick black borders around the display give the feeling wasted space by The new 13-inch MacBook Pro still comes with a 720p webcam, and while it’s fine for most people’s video calling needs, there’s a noticeable lack of detail and clarity when compared side-by-side with the 1080p camera on my 14-inch Pro.”

The new MacBook Pro has two advantages worth considering. The first is that the M2 will offer more performance than the MacBook Air’s M2 because the Air is a fanless design compared to the fan-equipped Pro; which will allow the M2 to run slightly warmer, giving a touch of extra performance…but that still won’t be enough to come close to the power of the M1 Pro and m1 Max chipsets in the larger MacBook Pro laptops. PCMag’s Brian Westover:

“The M2 chip is an improvement over the M1, but not as significant as the older M1 Pro and M1 Max options, and the M2 MacBook Air is coming soon, offering what will likely equate to similar performance with the same processor, but a fully updated design.”

The other area is battery life, with Apple reporting that the MacBook Pro offers 20 hours of battery life, two more than the Air. Jacob Kroll:

Notably, our battery test exceeded Apple’s promised 20 hours of video playback. In our tests, the 13-inch MacBook Pro lasted 23 hours and 15 minutes with a 4K playback test. I also set the brightness to 50% and disabled connectivity while playing. That’s pretty impressive, and in day-to-day use it’s hard to put the MacBook Pro to death.

While the M2 MacBook Pro appears to be a competent laptop, that’s isolated. Once you bring in the 14-inch MacBook Pro which has a lot more power and the upcoming MacBook Air M2 which offers better value with the new design, it’s hard to justify this MacBook. Brian Heater for TechCrunch:

“It’s effectively the latest 13-inch MacBook wrapped in a better processor. It’s hard to get excited about it. It’s just that, in a line that contains the 14-inch MacBook Pro and the upcoming 13-inch Air , that seems utterly pointless. It’s not a complaint you can lay that often against a company like Apple, which has traditionally gone to great lengths to shrink its product lines. And while more choice is usually a good thing, for most consumers in most situations, it’s honestly not a difficult decision.”

Apple will release the MacBook Air M2 in a few weeks. There may be a few pitfalls in this package, but right now the recommendation that comes out of all the MacBook Pro reviews is to wait and see what else Apple has to offer, the MacBook Air seems like a much better choice.

Now read the latest MacBook, iPhone and iPad headlines in Forbes’ weekly Apple Loop news digest…

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