We had hoped to see new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models launched in 2022, but that never happened. Instead, no new Macs were announced in the year’s final quarter for the first time in nearly two decades. So instead, the stage seems set to see these new laptops released in the first half of this year.
Although the existing 2021 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros are now more than a year old, they remain mighty against perhaps every Mac currently on the market except the Mac Studio, which launched a few months later. When their successors are announced, we don’t expect many changes to be made, but that’s not necessarily bad, as you’ll read more below.
Here’s everything you need to know about Apple’s MacBook Pro (2023) models.
M2 MacBook Pro (2023): iMore’s predictions
Bryan M. Wolfe
If you own a current 14- or 16-inch MacBook Pro model, there’s likely to be less to get excited about when it comes to this year’s upgrades. If you’ve been hanging onto older Intel-based models, however, 2023 might be a terrific time to make the jump to Apple silicon and experience the M2 Pro and M2 Max.
M2 MacBook Pro (2023): Release date rumors
On October 15 (opens in new tab), Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman said Apple plans to introduce a second-generation 14-inch MacBook Pro and a third-generation 16-inch MacBook Pro in the coming days via an Apple website press release.
Previously, Ming-Chi Kuo said the new MacBook Pros would enter production in the fourth quarter of 2022. And Gurman tipped the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro for releases “as early as the end of 2022” but did say this could slip into 2023. Ming-Chi Kuo stated that the new MacBook Pro was still on course for this Q4 mass production window.
Mark Gurman has since revised his prediction to suggest Apple will roll out its new MacBook Pro models early in 2023. However, Gurman says this is unlikely to be in January or February. Instead, he expects a March release window.
To start 2023, Gurman noted the new MacBook Pros would look similar to their 2021 predecessors. Inside, they’ll include the M2 Pro or M2 Max chips. The analyst believes the new machines will arrive “in the first half of this year.” If history is a guide, May could be the month for this to happen.
In 2019 and 2020, MacBook Pro models were announced that month. Before this, models launched in the first half of the year arrived in June (2017), May (2015), and March (2015), respectively.
M2 MacBook Pro (2023): Design
We’ve been told not to expect design changes on this year’s 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models. In June 2022, Mark Gurman stated that the new MacBook Pros “won’t be radically new products beyond offering the speedier chips.” That means Apple is sticking with the same form factor that made the current models among the best MacBooks Apple has ever created.
This form factor is squarer by design, includes a somewhat divisive camera notch, and offers more connection options. On this last point, we saw the return of ports not named Thunderbolt that Apple pulled on earlier models, such as an SDXC card slot and HDMI port. Apple also re-introduced the popular MagSafe charging port.
Beyond this, the current laptops include the words “MacBook Pro” etched into the bottom of the machine.
M2 MacBook Pro (2023): Processors
This is where the new Macbooks get exciting, considering it is currently the only rumored change to the upcoming devices.
Gurman has previously stated that Apple has five more M2-powered Macs in the works, including M2 Pro and M2 Max 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros. This confirms that Apple will likely stick with the same processor configuration as the earlier model, with a Pro and Max version of its M2 chips powering the new Macbook Pro. That reserves the base M2 for the 13-inch MacBook Pro (2022) and MacBook Air (2022), and the M1 Ultra for the Mac Studio.
Gurman says that the M2 Max chips could offer up to 12 processing cores and 38 graphics cores, up from 10 cores and 32 cores in the M1 Max, respectively. The existing M2 generally offers performance gains of around 20 percent on the M1, so this could be a pretty impressive leap in performance.
Still open for debate is whether these will use the 5nm or the 3nm process. The latter would be another improvement in power and efficiency, but it may not be ready in time. Supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo stated in 2022 that the next MacBook Pro may still adopt the 5nm chips, saving 3nm for another day. In a report towards the end of August 2022, Kuo reiterated those claims, saying that Apple’s next batch of MacBook Pro models will not feature 3-nanometer technology.
This is a shame because, according to TSMC, the 3nm process brings with it upgrades of 70% logic density gains, 15% speed improvements at the same power, and 30% power reduction at the same speeds.
M2 MacBook Pro (2023): Battery life
No battery charge advances were made between the Apple M1 and Apple M2. This suggests the 2022 versions of the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro will continue to offer up to 11 and 14 hours between charges, respectively. These numbers aren’t terrific, especially for the 14-inch MacBook Pro model, but they are much better than Apple promised on its Intel-based laptops.
M2 MacBook Pro (2023): Display
There are no reports of any upgrades coming to the display of the 2022 MacBook Pros. That means we can expect the same excellent Liquid Retina XDR display on each model.
The 14-inch model has a 14.2-inch mini-LED backlit display with a screen resolution of 3024 by 1964 pixels. In addition, it offers an XDR brightness of 1000 nits, 1600 nits for HDR content, and an SDR brightness of 500 nits max. By contrast, the larger MacBook Pro offers a 16.2-inch mini-LED backlit display with a screen resolution of 3456 by 2234 pixels and similar brightness levels.
M2 MacBook Pro (2023): Storage and memory
While storage options will probably remain broadly similar, the new M2 Pro and Max chips will likely bring more unified memory and a higher starting point beyond the current 16GB. Apple tipped this off when it introduced the first M2 MacBooks in 2022. For example, the 13-inch MacBook Pro (2022) features 24GB of unified memory versus the earlier model’s 16GB. By contrast, while the 2020 MacBook Air offered 16GB of unified memory, the 2022 model maxes out at 24GB.
More memory means you can open more programs simultaneously, and those programs should run quicker and smoother.
The current 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models offer 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB of unified memory, depending on whether you select an M1 Pro or M1 Max chip. I’d suggest the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro (2023) models (with either an M2 Pro or M2 Max chip) are likely to start with 32GB of unified memory and max out at 128GB like the Mac Studio (2022) does with the M1 Max or M1 Ultra.
M2 MacBook Pro (2023): Price
Apple could add M2 Pro and Max chips to the MacBook Pro (2023) lineup as an extra, more powerful configuration option for the current lineup. In that case, we would naturally expect the M2 Pro and M2 Max versions to run at higher prices.
However, if Apple replaces the M1 Pro/Max versions with M2 Pro/Max versions, the pricing for the 14- and 16-inch models may remain the same, starting at $1,999 and $2,499, respectively.
There are two points to keep in mind. First, Apple introduced the MacBook Air (2022) at a starting point of $200 more than the previous model. The differences between the models are significant, however, so the price change is more warranted. There’s also the issue of the global economy. Due to increasing inflation and fluctuations in exchange rates, Apple spent 2022 increasing the prices of some of its most popular products outside the United States. With inflation still at historically high levels, price increases might also come to products announced this year.