Just weeks after the release of Apple’s MacBook Pro with M2, retailers are offering discounts of up to $200 on the new macOS laptop. Does that mean the MacBook Pro is worth considering as entry-level, even with its flaws?
As with almost every computer on the market, the M2 MacBook Pro will be able to provide the basics; a solid web browser to work with almost every online service you can think of, tools for reading, creating and editing office documents, social media clients like Slack and Discord and so on.
Recently announced, limited-time deals at US retailer Best Buy take the entry-level 256GB M2 MacBook Pro to $1,099 and the 512GB model to $1,299. With the M2 MacBook Air models broadly priced at $1,199 and $1,499, has Best Buy signaled where the 13-inch MacBook Pro belongs in the portfolio?
It looks like that to me. The M2 MacBook Pro remains a throwback to Intel’s 2016 designs; you’ve got a screen with expansive bezels, lack of I/O ports, the technically impressive but barely alive Touch Bar, and much more. There’s a sense that Apple’s product team has done little more than switch from Intel to Apple Silicon and say “it will happen” before focusing on the rest of the MacBook portfolio.
However, Apple kept this consumer-focused MacBook Pro for at least two more years, falling awkwardly between the consumers’ MacBook Air and the professionals’ MacBook Pro.
It should offer more performance than the MacBook Air thanks to the active cooling of the M2 chipset, but it still falls short of the M1 Pro and M1 Max in the 2021 and 14-inch MacBook Pro models. larger MacBook Pro models, but it’s the MacBook Air that brings the new design cues and modern touches, not the smaller MacBook Pro.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro has a space in terms of marketing, however. It’s clearly not a “professional” MacBook Pro like the 14-inch and 16-inch models, but it puts a MacBook Pro-branded laptop within reach of consumers. While Apple Silicon’s MacBook Air ticks all the boxes, there will always be a group that will want the “Pro” branding as part of the experience… Even if other options are superior, they will pay for the name.
Would the 13-inch MacBook Pro suit you in everyday use? Almost certainly. Would any other Apple MacBook laptops offer a better experience in performance, portability and potential? Yup. The M2 MacBook Pro can be discounted, but that doesn’t change the fact that Apple offers much more value to the macOS user base than all other laptops.
Now read the latest MacBook, iPhone and iPad headlines in Forbes’ Apple Loop weekly news roundup…
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