MacBook Pro 2022: M2 chip, familiar design, and more

The MacBook Pro 13 was one of the first devices to feature an Apple Silicon chip, originally in 2020. Now it needs to be upgraded, and rumors indicate that this update could arrive sooner how late.

But what can we expect from this new entry-level MacBook Pro? What will it look like, how much will it cost, and what features will it have? We’ve got all these answers and more in our MacBook Pro 13 rumor roundup – so let’s dive in.

Price and release date

We’ve had to wait since late 2020 for updates to Apple’s most affordable MacBook Pro, and now it seems certain that updates are coming this year. Many outlets and leaks said the product was activated Apple’s 2022 roadmap, and that makes sense, given that the 13-inch MacBook Pro is typically updated every one or two years.

Going further, we can be reasonably sure that a new MacBook Pro 13 will appear at Apple’s Peek Performance event on March 8, 2022. MacRumors claims to have heard from a previously reliable source who states that the device will be unveiled at Apple’s Peek Performance event on March 8, 2022. the event. Renowned journalist Mark Gurman, meanwhile, claims that Apple will launch “at least one” Mac at its March show, one of which could be the MacBook Pro, but he seems less certain than MacRumors’ source.

If the MacBook Pro 13 is launching with an Apple M2 chip, as some outlets have reported, that would seem odd. That’s because Apple hasn’t finished rolling out its M1 Pro and M1 Max-powered Macs, so it would be unusual to interrupt that process with a next-gen chip. This means that the MacBook Pro 13 may be delayed until later in the year.

But enough about the release date – what about the price? The current MacBook Pro 13 starts at $1,299, and Apple could keep the price the same. However, we wouldn’t be surprised to see pricing start at $1,399 or even $1,499. The MacBook Pro 14 and MacBook Pro 16 both saw slight price increases when they launched in 2021, so the MacBook Pro 13 might not escape a similar price hike.

Design: don’t expect a lot of changes

The M1-powered MacBook Pro on a coffee table.

There’s a school of thought that Apple will update the design of the MacBook Pro 13 to bring it in line with the MacBook Pro 14 and MacBook Pro 16. That means a thinner notch and bezels on the display, a more rounded chassis, and the ditch of the Touch Bar.

However, we believe this is unlikely. All of these changes cost Apple money to implement (not to mention recouping the cost of research). The MacBook Pro 13 is supposed to be an entry-level device, and in the current global situation Apple is unlikely to want the extra cost. If it’s to cut costs, it’s likely these changes will have to wait.

This line of thinking was reinforced by an anonymous source who spoke to MacRumors. According to this source, the MacBook Pro 13 will retain the same design as its 2020 edition, including the Touch Bar, with the only major change in the form of an M2 chip.

Journalist Mark Gurman largely agrees with this analysis. However, he thinks Apple might find a way to remove the Touch Bar once and for all. That would certainly make sense, as the MacBook Pro 13 is currently the only device to offer this feature, and removing it would bring the laptop in line with Apple’s other portable Macs. However, this does not correspond to the idea that no external changes are coming. We will have to see who is right.

Performance: a new generation chip

Apple M1 chip.

While the exterior appearance of the MacBook Pro 13 remains largely the same, what else can we expect to change? Well, performance is a key area where things are likely to improve.

Currently, the MacBook Pro 13 runs Apple’s M1 chip from 2020. It’s highly unlikely that Apple will ship the next edition with an M1 Pro or M1 Max, as these are high-end chips. range for high performance devices. But the company also can’t keep its entry-level MacBook Pro on the same chip for a few more years. This means that there is only one option left: the M2 chip.

This is the new generation version of the M1. Few details are known at this point, although journalist Mark Gurman shared some of his own expectations. He thinks the M2 will retain the same number of CPU cores as the M1 (eight) but divide them further towards performance. The M1 currently has four high-efficiency cores and four high-performance cores, but the M2 could shift that balance, perhaps with two of the former and six of the latter.

Gurman also expects GPU core count to increase, with 10 GPU cores in the M2 instead of seven or eight (depending on model) in the M1. That should mean better performance when rendering videos and playing Mac games.

Together, these changes aren’t huge, and M2’s esteemed benchmarks support that idea. But the aforementioned improvements should give the entry-level MacBook Pro a little more spring in its step for the next few years.

Elsewhere, keep an eye out for mention of Ultra Wideband technology or Apple’s U1 chip. In January, 9to5Mac noticed references to technology in the macOS Monterey 12.3 beta, suggesting it may be coming to Mac in the near future.

This Ultra Wideband technology in the U1 chip improves a device’s spatial awareness and allows its host device to better communicate with other U1 products. That means better AirDrop speeds, for example. Although it hasn’t arrived on any iPad model yet, a new iPad Air is being rumored for Apple’s March event – could the U1 appear in both the iPad Air and the MacBook Pro at the show? We will have to wait and see.

Ports, display and other features

The new MacBook Pro seen from the side.

After a years-long absence, the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros have arrived with some welcome additions: MagSafe, HDMI, and an SD card reader. Could the MacBook Pro 13 follow suit?

We hope so, but we don’t have high hopes. As we pointed out in the design section, it makes sense that Apple would stick with the existing chassis of this device, which unfortunately only features USB-C slots. We’d like to be surprised, though.

What about the display? We have to remember that the MacBook Pro 13 is positioned as an entry-level device, so it’s likely to miss some of the nicer features of its higher-end siblings. MacRumors’ source, for example, says it’ll go without a notch, and without a notch, we can’t expect thinner bezels either. Mark Gurman, meanwhile, says it will be the MacBook Pro 14 and MacBook Pro 16 lack the ProMotion and Mini-LED display. That’s a shame, but not unexpected.

Speaking of displays, the addition of the M2 chip could mean the MacBook Pro 13 has better support for external monitors. The M1 chip only supports one external display at a time, while the M1 Pro and M1 Max support two and three additional displays respectively. We hope the M2 at least matches the M1 Pro in this respect, as the current situation isn’t really good enough for any device billed as pro-level.

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Steven L. Nielsen