Apple could fix the MacBook lineup with this one change

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Alex Blake

By Alex Blake December 23, 2023 8:00AM

An unfastened MacBook Pro connected a table.Luke Larsen / Digital Trends

I was arsenic amazed arsenic anyone erstwhile Apple killed disconnected nan 13-inch MacBook Pro successful October 2023, but astatine nan time, it was decidedly a pleasant revelation alternatively than a nasty shock. Now, though? There’s thing I wish Apple had done differently.

Looking astatine Apple’s MacBook Pro lineup today, it’s almost perfect. How tin Apple execute that just-out-of-reach perfection? Maybe it should deliberation astir dropping nan M3 MacBook Pro. I know, I know, it’s only conscionable been released, but spot maine — it needs to go.

In an awkward spot

The 14-inch MacBook Pro pinch M3 Max spot seen from behind.Luke Larsen / Digital Trends

To beryllium sure, nan 14-inch M3 MacBook Pro is simply a awesome departure from nan aged 13-inch exemplary it replaced. Compared to its predecessor, it has a superior XDR show pinch thinner bezels and larger 14-inch dimensions. There are amended speakers, much ports, and an extremity to nan SSD throttling that truthful bedeviled nan 13-inch MacBook Pro. In short, Apple fixed a bunch of problems.

So why americium I saying Apple should driblet a laptop that is truthful overmuch amended than what came earlier it? Well, while it whitethorn beryllium beautiful bully correct now, things could alteration quickly — successful conscionable a mates of months, successful fact, erstwhile nan M3 MacBook Air comes out. When that happens, we’ll spell correct backmost to having a MacBook Pro that feels sorely retired of place.

While sidesplitting disconnected nan 13-inch MacBook Pro made nan lineup consciousness much “pro,” nan M3 MacBook Pro that replaced it has its adjacent stock of drawbacks. For 1 thing, you tin only link a azygous outer display, while nan entry-level exemplary comes pinch just 8GB of memory. That would beryllium bad capable fixed its $1,599 starting price, but Apple besides charges an limb and a leg to upgrade nan RAM. Calling a laptop a “Pro” instrumentality that only has 8GB of RAM and tin only support 1 outer show feels a spot misleading.

What’s more, nan M3 MacBook Pro will only consciousness pro for a small while longer. That’s because an M3 MacBook Air is conscionable months away, and erstwhile some nan MacBook Pro and nan cheaper MacBook Air travel pinch nan aforesaid chip, a batch of group are simply going to opt for nan much affordable model.

Sure, nan comparison betwixt nan M3 MacBook Pro and nan M3 MacBook Air won’t beryllium arsenic stark arsenic it was during nan M2 procreation erstwhile we recommended skipping nan 13-inch MacBook Pro wholly and buying nan MacBook Air instead. But nan M3 MacBook Pro will surely suffer immoderate of its luster regardless.

It shows Apple still hasn’t rather sewage nan MacBook scope right. The M3 MacBook Pro sits successful an awkward spot betwixt nan MacBook Air connected nan 1 manus and nan M3 Pro MacBook Pro connected nan other. Instead of trying to shoehorn a laptop into this gap, possibly Apple should conscionable driblet it.

Where do we spell from here?

Looking down astatine nan keyboard and trackpad connected a MacBook Pro.Luke Larsen / Digital Trends

With nan latest 16-inch and 14-inch MacBook Pros, Apple has done a beautiful bully occupation of bringing backmost immoderate much-needed differentiation to its MacBook roster. Now, if you want an affordable laptop pinch tons of awesome features, you get a MacBook Air. If you request high-end capacity and an unthinkable display, you bargain a MacBook Pro.

The pricing differences person helped to stress this: nan MacBook Air starts astatine $1,099 for nan latest model, while nan MacBook Pro originates astatine $1,599. But I cognize that sidesplitting disconnected nan M3 MacBook Pro would make that favoritism moreover clearer because correct now, it sits uncomfortably adjacent to nan MacBook Air, pinch its 8GB of representation and entry-level M3 performance.

Removing it from nan MacBook scope would create clear dividing lines not conscionable successful position of instrumentality monikers, but successful nan chips they use. It would mean nan slightest powerful spot successful nan MacBook Pro would beryllium nan M3 Pro. In different words, pro chips for pro laptops. What’s clearer than that?

It would, of course, mean nary $1,599 introduction constituent into nan MacBook Pro scope – instead, you’d astir apt beryllium looking astatine $1,999 for nan cheapest MacBook Pro, which is what nan M3 Pro models commencement at. That’s a lot, and I cognize plentifulness of group would balk astatine nan cost.

But keeping it astir only muddies nan MacBook waters. The M3 MacBook Pro has its problems, and its beingness will only consciousness weirder erstwhile nan M3 MacBook Air launches. Maybe Apple should deliberation astir dropping it earlier things get moreover much confusing.

Editors' Recommendations

  • New MacBooks are coming, but they aren’t worthy waiting for
  • Macs whitethorn yet beryllium moving connected from 2020
  • Apple 16-inch MacBook Pro: don’t make a correction you’ll regret
  • Will nan Vision Pro switch nan Mac? Why Apple will person to tread carefully
  • I’m yet fresh to extremity recommending Apple’s cheapest MacBook

Alex Blake

In ancient times, group for illustration Alex would person been shunned for their nerdy ways and unusual opinions connected cheese. Today, he…

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Apple MacBook Pro 14 beforehand position showing show and keyboard deck.

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An unfastened MacBook Pro connected a table.

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The lid of Apple's 15-inch MacBook Air look from above.

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