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When Apple introduced M2 SOC sometime in mid-2022, it was introduced in their two best-selling laptops: the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro. The MacBook Air was updated with an all-new design and introduced new technologies. The MacBook Pro, meanwhile, basically had the same design from 2016 and except for the internals, nothing is changed. So why Apple is still selling the MacBook Pro M2 with a price difference of $100 against the MacBook Air?
Don’t get me wrong, the MacBook Pro is a solid laptop when it was released in 2016 and a solid laptop even in 2023. However, Apple is also selling its replacement MacBook Pro laptop. So why you should get the MacBook Pro M2? Here are several of the reasons:
Active Cooling: Unlike the MacBook Air M2, the MacBook Pro M2 has a fan for the CPU, or more specifically, the SOC. This ensures that the MacBook Pro can sustain performance longer than the MacBook Air M2. Tests have shown that in heavy workloads, the MacBook Air M2 will thermal throttle after 15 minutes while the MacBook Pro can carry on with peak performance.
TouchBar: TouchBar was controversial when Apple first introduced it in the 2016 MacBook Pro. On one hand, it was a fresh take on how to make better use of the function keys on the keyboard. But on the other hand, many users hated the fact that Apple assassinated the ESC key, forcing the user to look at the keyboard because the keys change with each application. If you love the TouchBar, this is the last MacBook that will ever carry it since they removed this feature in the latest generation of MacBook Pros.
Display: On one measure, the MacBook Pro has the IPS tech that will make the display slightly more vibrant, and can be viewed from many more angles, but on the other hand, nobody is complaining about the MacBook Air’s “basic” display.
And now here where the MacBook Pro M2 fails to deliver:
“Dated design”: To be fair, good design never goes out of style. Take, for example, the Hermès Birkin bag or the Porsche 911. But they do get updated from time to time. MacBook Pro is the same machine from 2019 where Apple stop improving on the design.
MacBook Air M2: While the MacBook Pro on paper is the better laptop because it is more capable, the MacBook Air is better because it is more useful. It’s light enough to be carried around and powerful enough to do whatever the typical user needs it to do
Pros have better options: If you are a professional that makes money from using the MacBook Pro, of course, you want to get the most bang for your buck and you are willing to invest in better tools to save work and effort. On the other hand, you also have someone else to pay for your work laptop. This is where the MacBook Pro M2 does not make sense at all because if you are a professional, of course, you will go for the MacBook Pro that has a more powerful graphics chip like the M2 Pro or M2 Max.
Stop gap MacBook Pro: The MacBook Pro M2 looks like Apple’s attempt to fill the gap between the sub $1,000 laptop for casual and the $2,000 professional laptop. Unfortunately, the MacBook Pro M2 is neither here nor there. Too heavy and bulky for a casual laptop, but too underpowered for a professional laptop.
No MagSafe: The MacBook Air M2 comes with MagSafe while the MacBook Pro M2 doesn’t. While you can safely charge with USB-C port on either laptop, you will loose one port when doing so.
So now we know that the MacBook Pro does not make sense than Apple telling consumers that they have a choice if they wanted to spend $1,500 on a laptop.
If you want to do casual computing on a laptop, the MacBook Air is second to none. If you are a serious player and making money on a laptop, stretch your budget and invest in a MacBook Pro with a professional chip.
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