Apple wowed us with the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro last year, sporting a fantastic new design and Apple’s intensely-powerful M1 Pro and M1 Max chips. Now, if reports are to be believed, Apple is already preparing a new update to the lineup that will see the advent of its new M2 chip series as the beating heart of its most-powerful laptop. This could debut as early as October following the launch of the iPhone 14 in September.
Beyond that, we’ve been told that not much is expected to change in Apple’s flagship MacBook, which makes sense given how recently it got a major design overhaul.
Here’s everything we think we know about the rumored new M2-powered 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro.
M2 MacBook Pro (2022) release date rumors
It has been posited by Ming-Chi Kuo that the new MacBook Pros will enter production in the fourth quarter of 2022. That could be as early as October, and could indicate that Apple has plans to launch these new laptops at a fall event before the holidays but post-iPhone 14.
Indeed, Mark Gurman tipped the new MacBook Pros for a release “as early as the end of 2022”, but did say this could slip into 2023. Ming-Chi Kuo stated as recently as this week that the new MacBook Pro was still on course for this Q4 mass production window. More recently, Gurman has suggested that Apple is already recording its iPhone 14 event, where we can also expect a new Apple Watch Series 8. Beyond this, he suggests that new Macs and iPads could debut in October (opens in new tab), stating recently that he expects at least a pair of machines from Apple’s upcoming Mac mini, Mac Pro, and MacBook Pro to debut.
M2 MacBook Pro (2022) design
As noted, we’ve been told to expect that not much beyond the processor is going to change with these new MacBooks. In June, Mark Gurman stated that the new MacBook Pros “won’t be radically new products beyond offering the speedier chips.” According to Gurman, that means Apple is sticking with the two 14-inch and 16-inch form factors that made it one of the best MacBooks Apple has ever created.
This also means we can expect broadly similar chassis to last year, with the more squared design, increased connectivity, and the divisive notch that Apple added to the MacBook Pro last year.
M2 MacBook Pro (2022) processors
This is where the new Macbooks get exciting, considering it is currently the only rumored change to the upcoming devices.
Mark 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 is likely going to stick with the same processor configuration as last year, 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 and MacBook Air, and the Ultra for the Mac Studio.
Gurman says that the M2 Max chips could offer up to 12 processing cores and 38 graphics cores, that’s up from 10 and 32 in the M1 Max. The M2 generally also 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 may not be ready in time. Ming-Chi Kuo stated recently that the next MacBook Pro may still adopt the 5nm chips for M2 Pro and Max, saving 3nm for another day.
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 (2022) Battery life, charging and ports
With no design change on the cards, don’t expect any big shake ups here. The only real insight we have about battery life is that Apple added the M2 to the MacBook Air earlier this year and has managed to keep the battery life at a similar level to the previous model. That could indicate that the M2 Pro and Max chips won’t draw significantly more power than the M1 versions, meaning there won’t be any noticeable impact on battery life.
M2 MacBook Pro (2022) Display
Again, there are no reports of any upgrades coming to the display of the new MacBook Pro. That means we can likely expect the same Liquid Retina XDR display as the current model.
M2 MacBook Pro (2022) storage and memory
While storage options will probably remain broadly similar, it’s very possible the new M2 Pro and Max chips will bring with them more unified memory, as well as a higher starting point beyond the current 16GB.
M2 MacBook Pro (2022) Price
With no rumored upgrades beyond the processor to talk about, it is highly possible that Apple may simply add the M2 Pro and Max chips to the MacBook Pro lineup as an extra, more powerful configuration option for the current lineup. In that case, we would expect the M2 Pro and Max versions to run higher prices than the current lineup. If Apple does replace the M1 Pro and Max versions, then the pricing may remain the same, starting at $1,999. However, Apple is currently battling economic headwinds including inflation and fluctuations in exchange rates that could see prices go up regardless.