No hype, but just a post on its website, Apple announced the opening of pre-orders for its “new” MacBook Pro this Friday. The MacBook Air is still expected for next month, and aside from the M2, it is he who will bring the most news.
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 features the M2, but without benefiting from a redesign of its appearance. Apple later explained that the MacBook Air was its best-selling laptop, woe to the losers, the 13-inch MacBook Pro, in a second, was not entitled to the same attention. Too bad for him and for us.
Two MacBook Pros, one more price
Either way, it’s really its smallest Pro model that Apple just announced imminent availability. It will be possible to pre-order it from next June 17th, or Friday, and those interested can expect to receive it a week later, from June 24th.
As a reminder, the The 13-inch MacBook Pro is available in two models base, whose configuration can be changed as always. As with the previous generation, they differ from each other by the storage capacity offered by default. The first, sold starting at 1,599 euros (or 150 euros more than the equivalent model in M1), offers 256 GB of storage. While the latter is more generous with 512 GB of SSD, but it will take 1,829 euros, once again this is a 150 euros increase in the prices charged.
The M2, and a few tricks up its sleeve
Of course, the fact that the MacBook Pro is not entitled to a new design means that it retains the same refinement and assets as the previous generation, unlike the M2.
The first stone of the second generation of Apple Silicon chips for Mac brings its share of evolutions. Manufactured using the second iteration of TSMC’s 5nm etching process, the SoC has 20 billion transistors, a 25% increase over the M1. The larger chip still relies on the same core distribution for the GPU part, with four high-performance cores (codenamed Avalanche) and four low-power cores (codenamed Blizzard). However, each core is individually more efficient, even those that aim for energy efficiency. Apple therefore announced up to 18% more power for the same power consumption.
The GPU part is also more muscular, now offering ten cores, against eight in the M1, with a revised upward TFlop number, 3.6 versus 2.6 previously. This allows Apple to promise a 25% increase in performance for the same power consumption and even a 35% increase in distributed power with slightly more power 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 the Apple Silicon chip is used for everything related to speech, text, image recognition, for applying smart filters, etc. So many new software products that Apple is increasingly highlighting and encouraging developers working in its ecosystem to develop.
Finally, let’s not forget to mention another appreciable advance from users who need as many resources as possible, the M2 is compatible with up to 24GB of RAM (DDR5), with a bandwidth of 100GB / s. , where the M1 has a limit of 16GB It will therefore be more flexibility and responsiveness on a daily basis.
But and the MacBook Air …
Sold for $ 100 more than the new MacBook Air, the MacBook Pro doesn’t seem to have many arguments for it at first glance. Its screen is now slightly smaller, it is a bit heavier and bulkier, its webcam gets stuck at 720p – at the time of the lessons to be learned from the pandemic, the sound system is less efficient and finally it does not stand out not for the amount of RAM it can offer from 8 to 24 GB or for the minimum and maximum amount of storage space, from 256 GB to 2 TB.
In short, why choose the MacBook Pro? In short, first of all, because it should guarantee better autonomy – two more hours according to data provided by Apple. On the previous generation, the 13-inch MacBook Pro raised the bar compared to the MacBook Air.
Second, because the fact that it incorporates an active cooling system should allow it to push the M2 chip to its limits for longer while maintaining a high level of performance …
Of course, all of this deserves to be checked in testing. And it will be necessary to see if it is worth making the money without the pleasure of having the impression of working with a redesigned machine.