Apple's M2 MacBook Pro Isn't the Successor It Should Be

Last decades tech, and not even cheap. Or Pro.

  • Apple’s latest M2 MacBook Pro is 2016-era tech with a new chip inside.
  • The reviews are lukewarm at best.
  • Only buy this if you really love the Touch Bar.
13-Inch M2 MacBook Pro


Apple's first M2 Mac has hit the usual review sites, and… nobody really cares.

Apple's M2 MacBook Pro is the weirdest computer in its lineup. It has the word "Pro" in its name, but that's the only pro thing about it. It uses Apple's latest M2 chip, which is just incredible, but it puts it inside a case design so old that it still has huge black screen borders and a Touch Bar. This might be Apple's best-worst computer in quite a while.

"An old design, fewer ports, an even older set of speakers, a pathetic camera, a ridiculously slow charging system because there's no MagSafe charging, and a Touch Bar that shouldn't find its way in any MacBook," Linda G Thompson, Mac user and CEO of software developer told Lifewire via email. "M2 MacBook Pro is a disaster. In essence, it claims to offer value for money, but doesn't offer enough, claims to perform but doesn't pack enough punch. In general, the M2 MacBook Pro is like an old car slapped with a new body kit; it looks great, but it doesn't work out so great in the long run."

MacBook Old

Apple announced two M2 MacBooks at its 2022 WWDC event: this one, which is already on sale, and the M2 MacBook Air, with a brand-new case design, bigger screen, and MagSafe charging port, which is still not available.

But the M2 Pro is anything but new. It’s essentially a 2016 Touch Bar model with an Apple Silicon chip inside. It has absolutely nothing to do with the new Apple Silicon MacBook Pro that starts at $2,000, are incredible work machines with brand-new screen technology, MagSafe, plenty of Thunderbolt ports, an SD card slot, and more.

13-Inch M2 MacBook Pro multitasking


For context, when Apple first launched its home-grown Apple Silicon chips, it put them into existing Mac designs—MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and Mac mini. These M1 Macs were essentially just the old Intel lineup with new innards. This had a few advantages. One was that it was easier than changing everything at once. Another is that it showed just how much more power and battery life the chips could provide over the Intel versions while running the exact same computers.

And third, it didn't scare off customers who wanted a Mac but didn't care about all that Apple Silicon nonsense.

Even back then, this "Pro" was a little odd. The only difference between it and the MacBook Air was the Touch Bar and a fan, and the fan wasn't even needed for the first M1. It seemed to exist only so Apple could say it had a MacBook Pro in its new lineup.

But now, with real MacBook Pros, and a new MacBook Air designed around the M2 chip, it seems even weirder.

Why Is Apple Selling It?

The M2 MacBook Pro 13 is old, old tech, and nobody should buy it. It might be the cheapest M2 Mac, but the M2 chip isn’t that much better than the M1, and you can still get an M1 MacBook Air for a $999 starting price.

"[If] you glance around at the rest of Apple’s other laptops, it seems like a relic from a bygone era that’s somehow survived into the present," says Apple journalist and reviewer Jason Snell on his Six Colors blog.

M2 MacBook Pro using Final Cut Pro


There are a few good reasons for Apple to keep this around, though. The first is purely the price. Apple keeps old iPhone models on sale for a few years at lower prices, and now it's doing the same with Macs. Budget-conscious buyers can get the latest M2 chip for a low price, and corporate buyers can get cheap "Pro" models with the latest silicon inside for cheap.

There's also a big gap, price-wise, between the MacBook Air and the cheapest modern MacBook Pro. Until Apple either makes a new non-Air, non-Pro MacBook to fill that gap, the 13-inch M2 Pro is there.

And finally, this could all be about the Touch Bar. Maybe Apple still has a warehouse full of them somewhere and wants to use them up before finally killing off its most disappointing Mac. That's where my wager would go.

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