13-inch MacBook Pro M2: Five reasons to hold off on buying one
June 16, 2022 June 16, 2022
On Friday, June 17, Apple will open up preorders for the 13-inch MacBook Pro. It’s the first Mac with Apple’s next-generation M2 processors, to be followed be the redesigned MacBook Air next month. But while it may appear to be a “new” device, the MacBook Pro is actually packing plenty of older features that we thought Apple had jettisoned. So should you buy one? Here are five reasons why you might want to hold off.
It’s more expensive than the M2 MacBook Air
While Apple hasn’t increased the price of the M2 MacBook Pro, it’s still in an awkward spot as far as pricing goes. Starting at $1,299, it’s $100 more than the upcoming MacBook Air with a larger screen and similar processor (8-core GPU versus 10-core GPU). The MacBook Pro does come with more storage (512GB vs 256GB) and a better cooling system, which will enable faster speeds for longer durations, though most users probably won’t notice.
True professionals, however, are likely to be better suited to the M1 Pro and M1 Max models in the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros. They’re more expensive, of course, but you’re getting more screen, better battery life, and more build-to-order options.
It has Apple’s older design and display
The 13-inch MacBook Pro has long used the same classic design, and there isn’t really anything wrong with it. Still, now that Apple has shaken up the template with the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro and redesigned MacBook Air, the MacBook Pro 13-inch’s sizable bezels feel downright outdated.
There’s also the display. The 13-inch MacBook Pro doesn’t have Apple’s newer Liquid Retina technology, which brings more colors and rounded corners to match the contours of the design. It’s still a nice screen, but compared to the other Pro models with the XDR and the M2 MacBook Air, it’s not as good. Plus it’s not the smallest in Apple’s lineup since the MacBook Air got a bump to 13.6 inches.
It’s lacking in ports
Apple and discussion about ports go hand-in-hand, but it’d be fair to say the company’s mea culpa last year that saw the reintroduction of an SD card reader, HDMI and MagSafe on the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros has gone down well with consumers and pro users.
On the MacBook Pro M2, though, you get none of those things. The M2 model has the same ports as last year: two Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Even the M2 MacBook Air has better ports with MagSafe (so you don’t have to use a USB-C port for charging) and support for high-impedance headphones. Of course, if you use a docking station with your laptop that won’t be an issue, but we’d still rather have MagSafe.
The camera is still 720p
Apple had been mocked somewhat for its steadfast commitment to the 720p FaceTime HD camera that has adorned Macs for years, but last year saw it finally get with the times and replace it with a 1080p sensor on the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro. As expected, the M2 MacBook Air also got the better camera hardware, but not the 13-inch MacBook Pro.
Granted, once macOS 13 Ventura arrives, you’ll be able to use your iPhone as a webcam with Continuity Camera, but that’s hardly an excuse to have a terrible webcam in 2022.
Better models are coming
While there’s always an argument that saving your money will net you a much better product further down the line, that’s traditionally been more of a concern for phone or tablet purchases. Now that Apple’s (almost) all-in on Apple silicon and the next-generation M2 has arrived, there’s always going to be a question of whether or not to wait a few months for the next round of upgrades.
While we never quite know what the future holds, it seems a fairly safe bet that another MacBook is on the way soon. There are rumors of a 15-inch model on the way as well as an M2 Pro/M2 Max update to the existing MacBook Pro models. That’s something to consider before dropping $1,299 right now.
But…the Touch Bar
Other than the processor, there’s nothing new about the new MacBook Pro. That means it’s still the last MacBook—probably ever—to have a Touch Bar. So if you like it, there’s no other model that has it. And honestly, now that we no longer have it on the higher-end MacBook Pros, we actually kind of miss it.