Apple unveiled the M1 Pro and M1 Max processors last September. The beefed-up M1 SoC variations power the redesigned MacBook Pro laptops, including the 14-inch and 16-inch options. These are the most powerful MacBook Pro models that Apple makes, and the pricing structure reflects that. The 14-inch model starts at $1,999, while the cheapest 16-inch version costs $2,499. However, if you are looking for a cheaper MacBook, you might want to wait a bit longer. An insider claims that Apple will launch a more affordable M2 MacBook Pro in 2022.
Apple still sells the $1,299 MacBook Pro that launched in late 2021, which offers buyers access to the first-gen M1 chip. It’s cheaper than the $1,999 14-inch MacBook Pro, but it still offers excellent performance and battery life. After all, the first-gen M1 SoC terrified Intel into running a massive anti-Apple ad campaign all year long.
Then there’s the $999 MacBook Air, which also runs on the same M1 SoC, meaning it offers performance similar to the M1 MacBook Pro. Battery life will be even better on the M1 MacBook Air.
But these are “old” devices that Apple launched in late 2020. Buyers looking for a more powerful M-series SoC might want to wait for the M2 MacBook Pro that’s supposedly coming out this year.
The M2 MacBook Pro
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman mentioned the new laptop in the latest edition of his Power On newsletter.
Gurman said the M2 MacBook Pro will be one of the several Macs set to feature the new SoC. However, the cheaper MacBook Pro will not offer the same perks as the more expensive, redesigned 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro options:
I’d expect the new entry-level MacBook Pro to match the high-end MacBook Pros by losing the Touch Bar, but key differentiators will be lesser displays, processors, and storage, and no ProMotion nor miniLED. It’ll be one of many Macs in the pipeline with the M2 chip, including refreshes to the 24-inch iMac, entry-level Mac mini and revamped MacBook Air.
The 2021 MacBook Pros feature a massive redesign in addition to introducing the M1 Pro and M1 Max SoC options. The laptops have larger displays, complete with a webcam notch at the top. These are mini-LED screens that support 120Hz refresh rates (ProMotion). The 2021 Pro models also bring back some of the old ports, including MagSafe charging. And they don’t feature a TouchBar display.
It’s unclear when the M2 MacBook Pro will launch or how much it will cost. As seen above, the M2 chip will power additional Macs this year. The new 2022 MacBook Pro laptop will not be the only affordable MacBook to consider. The redesigned MacBook Air should run on the same M2 SoC, which means that it should deliver performance similar to the M2 MacBook Pro.
Gurman also said recently that Apple might launch a new iMac Pro model. That might be the next Mac computer we’ll see in stores in 2022.