With no fanfare, just a release on its website, this Friday Apple announced the opening of pre-orders for its “new” MacBook Pro. The MacBook Air is expected for next month and apart from the M2, it will bring most of the new features.
On June 6, Apple organized a landing worthy of the name, with an impressive (and usual) wave of new versions of its operating systems, but also with two new products announced.
A new MacBook Air, redesigned around the second generation of the Apple Silicon chip, and a 13-inch MacBook Pro, which also includes the M2 but without benefiting from a redesign of its appearance. Apple then declared that the MacBook Air was its best-selling laptop, woe to the losers, the 13-inch MacBook Pro, in second place, didn’t deserve the same attention. Too bad for him and for us.
Two MacBook Pros, one price higher
Anyhow, it’s in fact its smallest Pro model, which Apple has just announced will be available soon. It can be pre-ordered from June 17th, which is Friday, and those interested can expect to receive it a week later, from June 24th.
As a reminder, the The 13-inch MacBook Pro comes in two models Basis, the configuration of which, as always, can be changed. As with the previous generation, they differ in the storage capacity offered as standard. The first, which starts at 1,599 euros (ie 150 euros more than the equivalent model in the M1), offers 256 GB of storage space. The second is more generous with a 512 GB SSD, but costs 1,829 euros – that’s also an increase of 150 euros in the prices due.
The M2 and a few tricks up its sleeve
Of course, the fact that the MacBook Pro doesn’t claim to be a new design implies that, unlike the M2, it retains the same splendor and goodness as the previous generation.
The first brick of Apple’s second-generation silicon chips for Mac brings its share of developments. The SoC is manufactured using the second iteration of TSMC’s 5nm etch process and features 20 billion transistors, a 25% increase over the M1. The larger chip still uses the same core distribution for the GPU part with four high-performance cores (codename Avalanche) and four energy-saving cores (codename Blizzard). However, each core is more efficient individually – even those that aim for energy efficiency. Apple announced up to 18% more performance with the same energy consumption.
The GPU part is also more muscular, offering ten cores now, versus eight for the M1, with a number of TFlops revised up, 3.6 versus 2.6 previously. With this, Apple promises a performance increase of 25% with the same power consumption and even an increase in the performance used of 35% with slightly increased energy consumption.
Finally, the last structural link of this M2, the neural network (Neural Engine), shows a performance increase of 44% compared to its predecessor. This is by no means anecdotal. This part of Apple’s silicon chip is used for everything to do with speech, text, and image recognition, to apply smart filters, etc. So many new software products that Apple is increasingly highlighting and developers working in its ecosystem to their development encouraged.
Finally, let’s not forget to mention another remarkable advance made by users who require the greatest possible resources. The M2 is compatible with a maximum of 24GB of RAM (DDR5) with a bandwidth of 100GB/s, with the M1 being capped at 16GB. There will therefore be more flexibility and responsiveness on a daily basis.
But, and the MacBook Air…
Selling at £100 more than the new MacBook Air, at first glance the MacBook Pro doesn’t seem to have tons of arguments in its favor. Its screen is now subtly smaller, it’s a bit heavier and bulkier, its webcam remains frozen at 720p – at the time of learning lessons from the pandemic, the audio system is less efficient, and finally it’s not noticeable, not by the amount of RAM it has from 8 to 24 GB, or by the amount of minimum and maximum storage, from 256 GB to 2 TB.
In short, why should you choose the MacBook Pro? Short mainly because it aims to provide better autonomy – two hours more according to Apple. For the previous generation, the 13-inch MacBook Pro set the bar higher than the MacBook Air.
Then because the fact that it embeds an active cooling system should allow it to push the M2 chip to its limits longer while maintaining a high level of performance …
Of course, all this deserves to be verified in tests. And it will have to be checked whether the gain is worthwhile without having the impression of working with a revised machine.
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