Apple recently announced some new additions to its Mac lineup — specifically a new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro as well as a revamped Mac Mini. The new Mac laptops can be configured with either an M2 Pro or M2 Max CPU, which Apple says should provide significant performance gains when stacked against the standard M2 processors employed by the latest 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air.
Both models are already available for preorder online, with units shipping on January 24th. The latest 14-inch MacBook Pro starts at $1,999, with configurations of the 16-inch version capable of reaching up to $3,499. However, this price range is a far cry from the starting price of the M2-equipped MacBook Air ($1,199) as well as that of the most recent 13-inch MacBook Pro ($1,299) and M1 MacBook Air from 2020 ($999).
Here, we’ve broken down what sets these models apart ahead of our full review to help you better determine which Apple laptop might best fit your needs and budget.
New book, same cover
The new iterations of the MacBook Pro don’t look terribly different from their 2021 entries and are reminiscent of the latest MacBook Air, which abandons the rounded physique in favor of a flatter lid and chassis that continues to showcase Apple’s distaste for sharp edges. The key upgrades take place under the hood and, according to Apple, are aimed at providing better performance and prolonging battery life.
Both the M2 Pro and M2 Max configurations of the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro offer more processing cores and memory bandwidth than either the 13-inch Pro or the latest Air, which use some variation of the standard M2 CPU that tops out at 100GB/s memory bandwidth as opposed to the 200GB/s offered by the M2 Pro or the 400GB/s of the M2 Max. Apple’s M2 Pro is also a more capable graphics processor, with a total of 19 GPU cores compared to the 10 you could get with the standard M2. The M2 Max will also be an option for the new MacBook Pro lineup, one that is equipped with a total of 38 GPU cores.
Unified memory is also receiving a massive upgrade, with a maximum of 96GB available for certain configurations of the new laptops. This is essentially four times the amount of RAM you can get in either the M2 MacBook Air or the 13-inch MacBook Pro. Moreover, you’ll still be able to configure the new MacBook Pro models with up to 8TB of onboard SSD storage as opposed to the 2TB cap seen on other variations of the MacBook.
While many of the hardware improvements coming to the new MacBook Pro will depend on which configuration you opt for, every model will feature Wi-Fi 6E connectivity in addition to Bluetooth 5.3.
As for their displays, the 14-inch Pro features a maximum resolution of 3024 x 1964, while the 16-inch version has a 3456 x 2234 resolution. However, when you compare this against the LED panel in the M2-powered MacBook Air, which offers a native resolution of 2560 x 1664, and the 13-inch Pro, which offers 2560 x 1600, both the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro still offer the best displays available on an Apple laptop.
The latest MacBook Pros also retain the same port selection found on the prior models from 2021 with a total of three USB-C ports — all of which are equipped to handle up to 40GB/s throughput — in addition to an SD card reader, a MagSafe 3 port, and a 3.5mm audio jack (forever may she reign). The HDMI port can also now support 8K displays at 60Hz or 4K displays at 240Hz.
We’ll be diving deeper into Apple’s new MacBook Pros with our full review, but for now, here’s a “by the numbers” breakdown of how the new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro configurations stack up against the 13-inch MacBook Pro and the M2 MacBook Air. We’ve also included the last-gen MacBook Air from 2022, which still sits at the bottom of Apple’s MacBook lineup.
2022 MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro versus 2023 MacBook Pros
|Specification||MacBook Air (2020)||MacBook Air (2022)||13-inch MacBook Pro (2022)||14-inch MacBook Pro (2023)||16-inch MacBook Pro (2023)|
|Display||13.3||13.6-inch with a notch cutout||13.3-inch||14.2-inch with a notch cutout||16.2-inch with a notch cutout|
|Resolution||2560 x 1600||2560 x 1664||2560 x 1600||3024 x 1964||3456 x 2234|
|Pixels per inch||227 PPI||224 PPI||227 PPI||254 PPI||254 PPI|
|Brightness||400 nits||500 nits||500 nits||1600 nits||1600 nits|
|Dimensions||11.97 x 8.36 inches||11.97 x 8.48 inches||11.97 x 8.36 inches||12.31 x 8.71 inches||14.01 x 9.77 inches|
|Thickness||0.63 inches||0.44 inches||0.61 inches||0.6 inches||0.66 inches|
|Weight||2.8 pounds||2.7 pounds||3 pounds||3.5 pounds (M2 Pro), 3.6 (M2 Max)||4.7 pounds (M2 Pro), 4.8 (M2 Max)|
|Quoted battery life (wireless web)||15 hours||15 hours||17 hours||12 hours||15 hours|
|Quoted battery life (video)||18 hours (Apple TV app)||18 hours (Apple TV app)||20 hours (Apple TV app)||18 hours (Apple TV app)||22 hours (Apple TV app)|
|CPU||Apple M1 8-core||Apple M2 8-core||Apple M2 8-core||Apple M2 Pro 10-core or 12-core or M2 Max 12-core||Apple M2 Pro 12-core or M2 Max 12-core|
|GPU||Apple M1 7-core or 8-core||Apple M2 8-core or 10-core||Apple M2 8-core or 10-core||Apple M2 Pro 16-core, 19-core or Apple M2 Max 30-core||Apple M2 Pro 19-core or M2 Max 38-core|
|RAM||8GB or 16GB||8GB, 16GB, or 24GB||8GB, 16GB, or 24GB||16GB, 32GB, 64GB, or 96GB||16GB, 32GB, 64GB, or 96GB|
|Storage||256GB, 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB||256GB, 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB||256GB, 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB||Up to 8TB NVMe SSD||Up to 8TB NVMe SSD|
|Ports||2 x USB 4.0 with Thunderbolt 4 support, MagSafe 3 Port||2 x USB 4.0 with Thunderbolt 4 support, MagSafe 3 Port||2 x USB 4.0 with Thunderbolt 4 support||3 x USB 4.0 with Thunderbolt 4 support, SDXC card slot, HDMI, MagSafe 3 Port||3 x USB 4.0 with Thunderbolt 4 support, SDXC card slot, HDMI, MagSafe 3 Port|
|Number of speakers||4||4||2||6||6|
|3.5mm headphone jack||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Biometrics||Fingerprint reader||Fingerprint reader||Fingerprint reader||Fingerprint reader||Fingerprint reader|
|Power adapter||Type-C, 30W or 35W dual (fast-charge with 67W power adapter)||Type-C, 30W or 35W dual (fast-charge with 67W power adapter)||Type-C, 67W||Type-C, 67W or 96W||Type-C, 140W|
|Colors||Silver, Gold, Space Gray||Silver, Starlight, Space Gray, Midnight||Silver, Space Gray||Silver, Space Gray||Silver, Space Gray|
|Wireless options||Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0||Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0||Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0||Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3||Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3|
The 2023 updates for the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro aren’t massive improvements, but the inclusion of new M2 processors may be just enough to move the needle for anyone on the fence about upgrading.