Updated May 15: Article published May 13.
Apple’s MacBook Air is a great consumer laptop, and its Apple Silicon chipset delivers more power than an equivalent Intel-based model can. For those looking for a touch more powerful on a budget, the only option is the odd 13-inch MacBook Pro.
There is now another option, and it will make you forget about the smallest MacBook Pro if you want a balance between budget and performance.
Update: Monday, May 15th. It’s important to remember that Apple Silicon has raised the bar for what the MacBook line can do. MacBook Air is the power for consumers to unleash a wealth of potential, from multimedia editing through app development and beyond. If Apple follows through on its existing conventions, the next generation MacBook Air will be the first to use the M3 chipset; The chipset raises the high-spec water mark again. Omar Muharram’s report:
The M3 chip and its derivatives will be built on a new 3nm manufacturing process, allowing Apple to build denser chips with additional CPU and GPU cores. Gurman expects the first M3-based Macs to be unveiled by the end of this year or Early 2024. All new 24-inch iMacs along with the updated MacBook Air and entry-level MacBook Pro are expected to feature the M3 chip.
It should be noted that the M1 Pro chipset is configured in such a way that it is superior to the M2. It would be fair to assume the M2 Pro will offer more power than the M2, and if that’s the case, finding more power while on a budget will have a winner… and it won’t be the new MacBook Air.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro powered by Apple Silicon was launched in 2020, along with the MacBook Air and Mac Mini. The latter showcased the M1 chipset for developers and those looking to get started with Apple Silicon on their desktop. The first was a mainstream consumer offering of a macOS laptop that’s still an audience today.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro? Its launch looked like an iteration of Intel’s suite in ARM, so no one was afraid — but the Pro’s main advantage over the Air was the power differential. Still, Apple Silicon offers a significant power advantage, and the MacBook Air – first with the M1 and now with the M2 – is more than efficient for consumers.
If power is your true calling, then you are looking for the newly launched M1 Pro and M1 Pro Max MacBook Pro laptops. If budget is a staple, the MacBook Air will be more than enough.
Let’s say there is a slight market for a “slightly more expensive and slightly more powerful” macOS laptop. Apple now offers a more attractive balance between price and power.
Apple is now offering the M2 Pro and M2 Pro Max versions of its larger MacBook Pros in its refurbished stores for a deep discount, initially in the US, but expect this to expand to several major countries, including the UK, over the summer.
Generally, refurbished Apple equipment carries a ten to twenty percent discount, but prices can vary. Stock levels on these laptops will be variable, so if you have a specific model and spec selection, keep checking back if it’s not immediately available.
Now read the latest Mac, iPhone and iPad headlines in Forbes’ weekly Apple Loop news roundup…
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