Ahead of a retail release later this week, a number of reviews of Apple’s latest MacBook Pro laptops have been published by those with early access to the hardware. And they all sound the same cautious warning to those looking to update their macOS hardware.
This isn’t the laptop for you.
The new MacBook Pro laptops, sporting 14- or 16-inch displays and offered with the M2 Pro or M2 Max chipsets, are competent machines and deliver on the promises. Yet those promises are the same promises delivered by the M1 Pro and M1 Max models which countless macOS users have purchased over the last two years.
Does the bump in specs between the M1 and M2 family justify moving up to these laptops? For the vast majority of the early reviews, the answer is no; wait for a more significant release before upgrading.
Monica Chin for The Verge: “The 2023 MacBook Pro 16 is almost exactly the same as the 2021 MacBook Pro 16 except that there is a new chip inside… consider this a friendly finger wag in your direction. Your $2,500-plus 2021 model it is still fine.”
Lori Grunin for CNet: “Unless you need every little speed increase you can get, you needn’t feel the FOMO if you’ve got the last-generation MacBook Pro 16.”
Samuel Axon for Ars Technica: “For most intents and purposes, it is the 2021 MacBook Pro. The only difference is the inclusion of the new M2 Pro and M2 Max chips for boosted CPU, graphics, and machine learning performance over 2021’s M1 Pro and M2 Max”
Jason Snell for Six Colors: “Here’s what the new M2 MacBook Pro is not: new. Yes, it’s powered by a new generation of Apple silicon, but it’s very much the same laptop that was updated for the Apple silicon era in 2021.”
Michelle Ehrhardt for Gizmodo: “…reusing 2021’s design still leaves this generation of Pros feeling safe. Basic premium features like OLED and touchscreens still aren’t here, unlike on PCs, and there’s got to be a better way to get a good webcam on your $2,000+ laptop than a notch.”
These new MacBook Pro laptops are an enticing upgrade if you are still using Apple’s Intel-based MacBook Pro laptops from 2019 or earlier – the move up to Apple Silicon will be rewarding no matter the flavor, but will be most marked with these early 2023 MacBook For machines.
For those already in the new world of Apple’s ARM-based Mac machines, there’s very little beyond a lift in processor power in these laptops. For the investment required, the best choice may be to wait for the M3 family of chips. These are expected to move to a 3nm process (compared to the 5nm used in the M1 and M2 chipsets), use Apple’s latest OLED screen designs, and finally, introduce touch to macOS.
As for the new professional Pro laptops, these feel more like the ‘S’ updates of old on the iPhone, a way of keeping on top of the current specifications without bringing out a brand new laptop.
Now read the latest Mac, iPhone, and iPad headlines in Forbes’ weekly Apple Loop column…