Last night, 17 January, Apple launched new 14in and 16in MacBook Pro models and Mac Mini models featuring the company’s new M2 Pro and Max SoCs (system on a chip). These are the first new Apple products of 2023 and they certainly won’t be the last.
The company didn’t make as big a deal with this product launch as it usually does. The announcement came via a simple press release and a pre-recorded video published on YouTube.
The MacBook Pro, now more ‘pro-er’
Apple hasn’t changed the design of the new MacBook Pro models from the M2-toting 13in model announced in June last year. Aside from making them larger and adding an extra Thunderbolt 4 port, of course. The major upgrades are internal in the shape of the beefier M2 pro and Max chips.
According to the fruit company’s press release, these new chips bring “even more power-efficient performance and battery life to pro users.” Well, we’d certainly hope so. Looking at the spec sheets, that seems to be the case – the numbers are larger.
The new MacBook Pro models can be specced with either the M2 Pro or Max chips with the Pro providing either 10 or 12 CPU cores, 19 GPU cores, and up to 32GB of unified memory. While the M2 Max has the same 12-core CPU as the Pro, it’ll feature 38 GPU cores and up to 96GB of unified memory. Both chips include Apple’s 16-core neural engine and both are available in either the 14in or 16in models.
Read More: Apple announces its new M2 chip at WWDC 2022
Apple has made tiny improvements to battery life with up to 18 hours in the 14in (up from 17) and 22 hours in the 16in (up from 21). Storage shouldn’t be an issue with both models capable of up to 8TB of space. These new MacBooks will offer improved wireless connectivity performance thanks to WiFi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3 standards. Along with the additional Thunderbolt 4 port over the 13in, the larger two also get a new HDMI 2.1 port that’ll support external display signals up to 8K60Hz.
Over the sea, the new MacBooks will be available from 24 January but we’ll likely have to wait an extra week or three before they arrive here. Prices start at $2,000 (R34,300) for the base spec 14in model and reach $6,500 (R111,500) for the fully-specced 16in. Locally? Expect them to cost more.
And in this corner
Over in the smaller corner, the new Mac Minis also receive some M2 love. That makes the Mac Pro (the cheese grater-looking thing) the only Apple machine without Apple Silicon. There’s speculation it will receive an update later this year as well.
The new Minis look pretty much the same as the previous models and are available with either the standard M2 chip or the Pro version – no Max option here. The new Mac Mini looks much the same as the last one, except around back where it counts. It has an expanded array of ports including Gigabit Ethernet (with an option to upgrade to 10Gb), up to four Thunderbolt 4 ports, two USB-A ports, a headphone jack, and an HDMI 2.1 port on the M2 Pro models.
The M2 model starts at $600 (R10,280), a whole $100 less than the last one, while the M2 Pro model will need at least $1,300 (R22,300) from your bank. As with the MacBooks, we’ll need to wait a little before we know local prices or when they’ll be available here.