I love my 16-inch MacBook Pro, but I know it’s far too much for some people.
To be honest, it’s probably far too much for me.
That’s why I was particularly interested to see the emergence of ‘entry-level MacBook Pro’ rumours from none other than Mr Mark Gurman.
Now, a quick caveat: we don’t know if this is actually a thing, let alone when it’ll arrive if it is. But if Apple really is planning on replacing the current M1-based 13” MacBook Pro with something a bit fruitier, I think it could be their best product of 2022.
Let me explain why.
The current MacBook Pros ARE too powerful (for most people)
For most people, the base-level M1 Pro 14-inch MacBook Pro offers more than enough juice. I don’t care about the number of cores it has or the perceived deficiencies with ‘only’ 16GB of unified memory in a professional laptop: that thing absolutely smokes.
I don’t need my 16-inch MacBook Pro. I bought it, because I wanted to review it, and because I’m stupid. I could have saved my business a considerable amount of money by instead opting for that base-level 14” MacBook Pro.
The latter would still have enabled me to publish every video since October on time and to a standard with which I’m happy. The gains offered by my 16-inch beast are practically inconsequential.
I’ve said it several times, but it bears repeating: the top-spec MacBook Pros are intended for a tiny sub-section of the Apple user base who will actually make use of all that power, and an even smaller sub-sub-section who just want the best laptop available.
For everyone else, an entry-level MacBook could be the perfect, most cost-effective ticket.
What to expect from the entry-level MacBook Pro
Details on the rumoured new entry-level MacBook Pro are scarce, but there’s enough to make it an interesting topic of conversation.
Gurman tells us that this new machine will feature the so-called M2 processor. This is the natural successor to the M1 chip and is expected to focus on strong single-core performance, efficiency, and basically everything the M1 has done so wonderfully (just turned up a notch). It’ll likely appear in the next MacBook Air and updated 24” iMac, too.
That means it probably won’t compete blow-for-blow with the M1 Pro and M1 Max in terms of multi-core performance, but it will still deliver next-generation grunt and incredible battery stamina for a great many users.
Clearly, some further differentiation is required for this entry-level MacBook Pro. According to Gurman, this could come in the form of a lesser display (essentially, the absence of miniLED and ProMotion), and lower storage options.
It will also do away with the Touch Bar once and for all (remember – the current 13” M1 MacBook Pro is the only device with that now legacy feature).
That’s it; no note on the exact screen size (although we can take a punt at it being 14”, complete with notch), expected pricing, or any other potential handicaps. Although I’d wager that it probably won’t feature an SD card slot or HDMI port to further differentiate it from the M1 Pro and M1 Max MacBook Pros.
Why am I excited about this MacBook Pro?
The first MacBook Pro I bought was the entry-level version that came with the redesign back in 2016.
It was terrible.
It was slow, crippled by a lack of ports, didn’t feature the then-interesting and entirely new Touch Bar, and, basically, wasn’t a MacBook Pro at all. Oh, and it had the butterfly keyboard.
But I used it to start my first business and subsequently ran it into the ground. Despite its failings, that laptop never really held me back.
However, I always knew I could probably benefit from a slightly more powerful, capable, and more convenient MacBook Pro. There was also that constant nagging voice at the back of my head telling me, “it might say MacBook Pro on the front, but it isn’t a MacBook Pro, mate”.
If I’d started my business six years later, the emergence of a slightly more expensive but vastly more capable MacBook Pro would have been quite something. And I know there will be countless people in that same position today.
The absence of ProMotion and miniLED means precisely nothing. Trust me – as lovely as that 16-inch screen is on my MacBook Pro, those two technologies have no measurable impact on my productivity or enjoyment of the machine.
I genuinely hope we see this thing. Gurman remains a pretty solid source of Apple rumours, therefore I’m confident he’s onto something.
But what about you – are you as excited as I am about the possibility of a new, entry-level MacBook Pro this year?