Apple is expected to release the first revision to the 2021 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro soon. Here’s everything we expect to see with the M2 Pro chip and M2 Max chip MacBook Pro notebooks so far.
Could this be an email?
Have you ever had a meeting that you know should have just been an email? That might be happening to the MacBook Pro/iPad Pro event this year.
Mark Gurman at Bloomberg has hinted over the last two weeks that Apple is unlikely to hold a second fall event this year. Instead, Apple could simply brief select members of the tech media on the new machines and put out a press release.
That’s partly because the big upgrade to these Macs is largely just beefier versions in terms of performance. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a possibility for exterior updates, however.[Update 10/18/2022: Apple releasing new iPads and an Apple TV 4K via press release seals the no event deal. Mark Gurman also suggests that MacBook Pros may be a November product.]
2022 MacBook Pro colors?
Expecting space gray and silver MacBook Pro colors again is the safe bet. Something new has happened since the last round of MacBook Pros, though. In June, Apple made a darker aluminum finish called midnight. The MacBook Air is the only machine to sport this blackish-blue shade of metal so far.
If the MacBook Pro came in the new color, it would both look newer and be the first midnight notebook with an all-black keyboard. While many still await an all-black MacBook Pro, this would be a great alternative to silver and space gray.
MacBook Pro customers last year were also disappointed that the USB-C MagSafe 3 cable only came in white/silver. It color-matches the silver MacBook Pro, but it’s not a match for space gray customers. Apple has since released color-matching USB-C to MagSafe 3 cables for space gray, starlight, and midnight. Surely, Apple will bundle the space gray version with space gray MacBook Pros with this revision.[10/18: The M2 iPad Pro update does not include Midnight. This doesn’t bode well for a Midnight MacBook Pro.]
M2 Pro and M2 Max
Finally, the real reason for the upgrade is internal.
Apple introduced its M1 Pro and M1 Max processors in October 2021 alongside 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros. The company kept the Apple silicon upgrade train chugging along last spring with the even more powerful M1 Ultra.
Then Apple started the M2 cycle in June with the MacBook Air. We can probably expect the same M1 to M2 performance boost, just scaled up for Pro and Max versions in new MacBook Pros. Yes, that might mean more fan activity to prevent throttling. That’s still to be decided.
Unless you’re eking out the most performance from your MacBook Pro, this likely won’t be a year-over-year update that M1 Max customers require. If you bought an M1 Pro last year and you’re ready for a Max flavor instead, M2 Max is your chance.
Mark Gurman at Bloomberg has emphasized that graphics performance will be the focus of these new chips.
Here are some other possibilities we hope to see with the new MacBook Pros:
- 16-inch MacBook Pro fast charging over USB-C; this wasn’t quite possible with the M1 Pro/Max version.
- More RAM? Apple increased the RAM limit for the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro with M2.
- Center Stage webcam? Probably not, especially after the Studio Display hoopla.
- M2 Ultra version? Don’t hold your breath. Ultra is essentially two Max chips, and that kind of performance would probably chew through battery life.
- Speaking of battery life and performance, High Power Mode on the M1 Max 16-inch MacBook Pro cranks up graphics-intensive tasks. Maybe we’ll see this feature come to more versions of the new MacBook Pro
Whether the M2 Pro and M2 Ultra 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros come via press release or an Apple event, we expect to learn the fate of these new machines soon so stay tuned.
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