New year, new MacBooks. With little fanfare, Apple has unveiled an updated 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro, now powered by the Apple-made M2 Pro and M2 Max chipsets. That’s practically the only major change here from the 2021 MacBook Pro predecessors. That’s not the only new hardware announcement, though. There’s also a more powerful Mac Mini, powered by an M2 chip, with a temptingly low price of $599.
The new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models are the first to introduce Apple’s M2 Pro and M2 Max chips, successors to the 2021 M1 Pro and M1 Max. Last year, Apple unveiled the standard M2 chip in the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro, but these newer chipsets are more powerful and efficient.
You can choose a chip for each machine; they offer up to a 12-core CPU, with the M2 Pro going up to a 19-core GPU and the potential of up to 32GB of unified memory. Opt for the M2 Max and you can upgrade to a 38-core GPU and up to 96GB of integrated memory for really power-hungry tasks. Tackling those upgrades raises the price dramatically, but thankfully the base price remains the same for these laptops. The 14-inch MacBook Pro starts a $1,999 and the 16-inch model costs $2,499. You can order them now and they will ship on January 24.
Apple says the M2 Pro comes with 20 percent more transistors than the M1 Pro and doubles the amount of bandwidth compared to the M2, from 100 GB per second to 200 GB per second. Image processing is also reportedly 40 percent faster on the M2 Pro than on the M1 Pro. All of this should lead to improved performance across the board, but the proof is in the pudding – we’ll have our take on these devices shortly.
Other improvements to the MacBooks include support for 8K/60 Hz and 4K/240 Hz external displays when using the HDMI port, as well as Wi-Fi 6E compatibility if you have a Wi-Fi 6E router. Much remains the same as their predecessors. You get the same great 120 Hz display, durable build and the improved port selection with three USB-C ports, HDMI, an SD card slot, a headphone jack and a MagSafe connector. However, that means the things we didn’t like stayed the same. These 14- and 16-inch laptops are heavy, not exactly the machines you want to lug around with you everywhere. There’s also still no Face ID (only Touch ID).
We weren’t thrilled with the battery life either, but Apple has addressed this somewhat in the latest model. In particular, the 16-inch MacBook Pro has a battery life of 22 hours, instead of 21 hours. Not a huge boost, but according to Apple it’s still “the longest battery life ever in a Mac”. We will see.