new year, new MacBooks. With little fanfare, Apple has introduced updated 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros, now equipped with Apple-made M2 Pro and M2 Max chipsets. That’s pretty much the only major change from the predecessors of the 2021 MacBook Pro. That’s not the only announcement of new hardware, though. There’s also a more powerful Mac Mini, with an M2 chip, priced at a tantalizingly low $599.
The new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models are the first to feature Apple’s M2 Pro and M2 Max chips, successors to the 2021 M1 Pro and M1 Max. Last year, Apple introduced the standard M2 chip in the MacBook Air and 13. One-inch MacBook Pro, but these newer chipsets are more powerful and efficient.
You can choose any chip for each machine; they offer up to a 12-core CPU, with the M2 Pro stepping up to a 19-core GPU and the potential for up to 32GB of unified memory. Go with the M2 Max and you can upgrade to a 38-core GPU and up to 96GB of unified memory for really power-hungry tasks. Dealing with those upgrades drastically increases the price, but thankfully, the base price remains the same for these laptops. the 14-inch MacBook Pro starts at $1,999 and the 16 inch model it costs $2,499. You can order them now and 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. Image processing is reportedly less 40 percent faster on the M2 Pro than the M1 Pro. too. All of this should lead to improved performance across the board, but the proof will be in the pudding: we’ll have our take on these devices soon.
Other benefits of MacBooks include support for 8K/60Hz and 4K/240Hz external displays when you use the HDMI port, as well as Wi-Fi 6E support if you have a Wi-Fi 6E router. Much more remains the same as its predecessors. You get the same great 120Hz display, durable construction, and improved port selection that includes 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-inch and 16-inch laptops are heavy, not exactly the machines you’d want to take with you everywhere. There’s still no Face ID either (just Touch ID).
We weren’t thrilled with the battery life either, but Apple has addressed this somewhat in the latest model. Specifically, the 16-inch MacBook Pro has been bumped up to 22 hours of battery life, up from 21. It’s not a huge boost, but it’s still what Apple claims is “the longest-lasting battery ever in a Mac”.