Apple unveiled the M2 (System-on-Chip) at WWDC 2022 in early June, with the next-gen processor already equipping two new Macs that are available for sale. The M2 powers the 13-inch MacBook Pro, which features the same design as its predecessors. The redesigned MacBook Air also comes with two versions of the M2 chip. But the M2 Pro and M2 Max high-end SoCs that will power the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models aren’t here.
However, you might not have to wait too long if a new report is accurate. Apple might launch the M2 Pro and M2 Max MacBook Pro models between fall 2022 and spring 2023.
Release dates for the 2022 MacBook Pro refresh
The 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro that Apple just launched represents the entry-level MacBook Pro you can buy. It offers performance on par with the M2 MacBook Air. It’s actually slightly better than the Air, as the Pro comes with a fan. That means the M2 MacBook Pro can sustain peak performance for longer before throttling top speed.
The 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models are Apple’s best possible Pro laptops. They feature the big redesign Apple introduced last year, complete with a bunch of ports and MagSafe charging. That design will stay in place for at least a year, and we don’t need leaks for that. Apple doesn’t refresh MacBook designs with every generation.
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman said in his Power On newsletter that the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models are “likely to stay roughly the same.” The big update for the new laptops represents the new M2 Pro and M2 Max SoCs.
As for the launch window, Gurman gave a wide estimate. Apple might launch the refreshed laptops anywhere between fall 2022 and spring 2023. That’s because Apple might still deal with supply-chain challenges that might impact the launch schedule for both devices.
What will the M2 Pro and M2 Max have to offer?
The M2 SoC is already a big upgrade over its predecessor. The chip scores better in benchmarks than the M1, but it can’t touch the M1 Pro and M1 Max that power the 2021 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models. The M2 supports LPDDR5 memory and features a few additional GPU cores (up to 10) that should help improve graphics performance.
We’ll have to wait for Apple to explain the sort of CPU and GPU improvements it has devised for the M2 Pro and M2 Max processors. But Gurman already provides a hint of what to expect from the upcoming MacBook Pro models featuring the M2 chip variations. The insider says the focus will be on the graphics side, just like the standard M2.
Improving the GPU performance should increase the overall performance of the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models. It would also turn them into better gaming machines.
It’s also important to remember rumors claiming Apple’s first-gen mixed reality glasses will run on a variation of the M2. Since the AR/VR headset will have a big focus on content consumption, including games, it’s clear that the GPU aspect must be a priority for Apple’s SoC right now.
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