Forget the new MacBook Pro, Apple has something better

With Apple deciding to break a two-decade streak of launches by not announcing a new Mac in the final quarter of the year, what’s next for the MacBook family? I’m sure the faithful will always wait for the latest releases, but anyone else looking for a new MacBook right now can consider Apple’s current offerings in general, and the latest MacBook Pro in particular.

Still, every other option available both right now and in the near future is a far better choice than Apple’s latest laptop.

First, a reminder that the current new MacBook Pro (released at WWDC in June 2022) is Apple’s awkward combination of an M2-powered MacBook Air with a MacGyvered fan for some extra cooling. It allows the processor to run slightly faster than the Air, but you pay a lot for this small increase over the Air. If you’re in the MacBook game for power, you need a ‘professional’ MacBook Pro; those looking for Apple’s definition of value for money should stick with the MacBook Air.

What about those looking for raw power? The 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro laptops powered by the M1 Pro and M1 Max chipsets are more powerful, but built on previous-generation Apple Silicon. The long-awaited upgrade to the presumptively named M2 Pro and M2 Max that many expected to arrive in Q4 2022… did not appear. They are on the cards for the first half of 2023.

Those looking for a larger laptop have plenty of choices in the Windows market, but Apple has kept the larger screened MacBook options under the Pro designation. With Apple Silicon raising the performance baseline to levels more than suitable for most consumers (even if Tim Cook and his team missed the deadline), a bigger screen on the MacBook Air would be one of the most anticipated upgrades. The supply chain suggests Apple is preparing a 15-inch screen for its consumer wearable — an option that would be a welcome diversion from Apple’s traditional portfolio.

It’s also worth asking if you actually need a laptop. Do you leave your desk and work on the go enough to justify the portability, or would a smartphone or tablet paired with an iMac or Mac Studio be a better choice?

You can look elsewhere in the current range, save up for a real powerful laptop or wait for a bigger screen. Apple has many options now and in the near future… and they’re all better than the new MacBook Pro.

Now read the latest Mac, iPhone and iPad headlines in Forbes’ weekly Apple Loop column…

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