Apple updated the MacBook Pro for the M2-series today. The updates were mostly a spec-bump as widely rumored, and that is fine with me. An M1-series MacBook Pro would provide what I need, but I’ve been waiting a bit since the M2 version was so close.
In general, not much has changed. The form factors, case designs, screens, ports, and keyboards are the same as last year’s models. I crossed my fingers hoping that Midnight would be added as a color option, but the choices are still Silver and Space Gray. The biggest changes are with the M2 silicon on the inside, followed by an updated HDMI port that supports 8K video, faster Wifi 6E, an extra hour of battery life, and a maximum memory ceiling of 96 GB (up from 64).
Both models offer an M2 Pro and M2 Max, which provides a 20% improvement in CPU performance and a 30% improvement in GPU performance over their predecessors. The M1 Pro included either 8 or 10 cores, with 2 efficiency cores and the remaining 6 or 8 performance. The M2 Pro adds 2 more efficiency cores, bringing the total to 10 or 12 cores. Apple has added additional GPU cores as well, bumping the Pro from 16 to 19 and the Max from 32 to 38.
From an update perspective it’s pretty standard, but my new MacBook Pro will be an awesome machine for the next five years or so. I’ve purchased a 14″ model in Space Gray with the 12 core M1 Pro, 32 GB RAM, and a 2 TB SSD. I’ve never run into CPU performance issues with my MacBook Air, but I have run into some pretty big issues with memory. Quadrupling the memory should take care of that and the extra performance of the M2 Pro over my M1 won’t hurt either. I sprung for the 2 TB SSD because I can store my current year of photos on my Mac without plugging in an extra drive. I’ll still use my Envoy Express, but I won’t need it as often.
I’m really looking forward to the display – the extra screen real estate, the improved brightness, true HDR, and the smooth 120 hz refresh rate. The additional ports are also very welcome since I can’t simultaneously power my MacBook Air while importing photos from an SD card reader and writing them to my Lightroom library on my Envoy Express. Going forward I won’t even need an adapter unless I’m importing from my CF Express card.
My MacBook Air is still an amazing machine, and outside of Lightroom, I’ve never had any issues with it. It’s fast for the web, email, music, video watching (and editing), the battery lasts all day, and it’s light. It will find a new home with Sally, replacing the 13″ MacBook Pro Retina (Early 2013) that she’s using now (which used to be mine). She doesn’t use her Mac that much, so the Air, even with its 8 GB memory, will last her a while.
It’s currently looking like it will arrive during the first few days of February, just in time for Nikon to hopefully announce a new camera for me to use it with 🙂