Forget The New MacBook Pro, Apple Has Something Better

As Apple puts the new 13-inch MacBook Pro up for sale, it will be hoping that the comparatively low price, compared to the larger models, and the allure of the MacBook Pro name will bring in the customers. But those customers should take a moment to look at the rest of the Mac portfolio and think carefully about their needs.

This entry-level consumer MacBook Pro offers many advantages for Apple, but for consumers, those same points weaken the sales pitch.

First up is the design. Apple has waxed lyrical on the new design language introduced with the 14-inc and 16-inch MacBook Pro models. As part of this change, Apple brought back MagSafe charging, an increased number of useful I/O ports, new display technology, fast charging, and more. Many of these new features were passed on to the new MacBook Air also launched at WWDC.

The M2-powered MacBook Pro has none of these new features. It retains the design introduced back in 2016, the display has not been updated, and the ports remain limited. This is great for Apple’s supply chain management, but surely a new laptop should be new?

Apple can lean into the capabilities of the M2 chipset, but this is the same chipset as the new MacBook Air. The MacBook Pro does have a small fan to assist with cooling and allow the M2 to run hotter and offer more performance over the fan-less MacBook Air. No matter which laptop the M2 is in and which method of cooling is used, the M1 Pro and M1 Max in the larger Pro laptops outperform both of these laptops. I’ve no doubt that there is a very small subset of customers who need just a little bit more power than the MacBook Air offers, in which case this is the MacBook Pro, but if you are looking for power then you should be looking at the MacBook Pro laptops geared towards power.

Having an entry-level M2 MacBook Pro gives Apple a ‘cheap’ MacBook Pro in its portfolio and gives the impression that there is an affordable MacBook Pro. It fills a price point in the line-up and creates a smooth progression in the laptop range.

But this laptop is a false economy for consumers. Those looking for an all-around machine have a better option in the M2 MacBook Air. Those looking for a cheaper macOS laptop should instead be looking at the original M1 MacBook Air which Apple has kept on its books to have a modern $999 laptop. Those looking for more power will have no issues looking higher up the range.

This MacBook Pro answers many of Apple’s challenges in promotion, marketing, and device management. It doesn’t answer the needs of Apple’s customers looking for a laptop that suits them. Those questions are answered elsewhere in Apple’s MacBook range. Consumers should be looking there instead.

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