Forget The MacBook Pro, Apple Has Bigger Pans


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Apple’s new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro laptops continue to pick up critical acclaim, but there’s a warning for those looking for an affordable MacBook Pro. While a 13-inch model running the benchmark-busting Apple Silicon M1 chipset is available, it’s hard to recommend it when Apple has better options now and in the future.

First up, and perhaps most obviously, if you want a MacBook Pro, then buy an actual MacBook Pro. I know the label on the 13-inch model says its a Pro but when you look at increased performance on offer with the M1 Pro and M1 Max if your buying choice is determined by the need for more power, the tiny step up from the MacBook Air is nothing compared to the increase when you move to the Pro and Max variants in the 14-inch and 16-inch models.

Once you strip out the performance options you end up with a head to head of the entry-level MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air variants, at which point the price difference between the two machines comes into stark contrast. What exactly are you getting for the extra $300? An extra GPU core and the dead-end user interface that was the Touch Bar; is that enough?

If you need an all-round laptop, that’s more than good enough in each area, then Apple has designed that. It’s the MacBook Air. The extra power of the M1 chipset compared to the previous generations unlocks the potential of the Apple Silicon MacBook Air more than any other Air made.

All that said and done, if you are in that very narrow window of needing a bit more power but nothing excessive over the MacBook Air, if you need just a shade more performance from your GPU cores, and if your can’t invest in the $2000 entry-level 14-inch MacBook Pro, then consider this.

Apple is working on the next generation MacBook Air that goes on sale later this year. That is expected to come with the new design features seen in the high-end MacBook Pro laptops, (notably the improved I/O ports, the new miniLED display technology, and the various software improvements in…