Apple Unveils Faster MacBook Pros and Mac mini with New M2 Chips

Apple Unveils Faster MacBook Pros and Mac mini with New M2 Chips

Apple Inc. has released its first new products of 2023, introducing faster versions of its high-end MacBook Pro laptops and the Mac mini desktop. The new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros look similar to the previous models but feature more powerful M2 Pro and M2 Max chips to replace the M1 Pro and M1 Max processors. This marks the first expansion of the M2 chip, which was first introduced in the MacBook Air and a low-end MacBook Pro last year.

The new Macs bolster a product line that brought in $40.2 billion last year, accounting for more than 10% of Apple’s revenue. The company also plans to bring a variation of the M2 chip to its high-end Mac Pro desktop computer later this year. Additionally, Apple is working on new versions of the MacBook Air, including a larger model with a 15-inch screen.

The Apple M2 Pro chip now boasts as many as 12 main processing cores, a significant performance increase from the previous maximum of 10 cores. The graphics capabilities have also been improved, now reaching up to 19 cores, compared to the previous high of 16 cores. The M2 Max chip doubles performance for graphics, climbing to as many as 38 cores from a prior maximum of 32 cores.

The laptops also received a memory boost, with the maximum now being 96 gigabytes on models with the highest-end M2 Max chip. This is an improvement from the previous limit of 32 gigabytes on both. Storage continues to top out at 8 terabytes. Battery life has also been slightly increased, going to 18 hours from 17 hours on the 14-inch model and up to 22 hours from 21 hours on the 16-inch variation.

The new MacBook Pros also gain WiFi 6E, which can offer faster wireless performance in some circumstances, in addition to a more powerful HDMI port for driving more advanced external displays. The Mac minis also feature the same M2 chip as the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro, while the M2 Pro version includes the same chip as in the new high-end MacBook Pro.

The roll-out of a Mac mini with a faster M2 Pro chip has allowed the company to discontinue one of its last remaining models with Intel chips. The company also stopped selling a high-end Mac mini with a non-Apple processor. The only Intel machine in Apple’s lineup is now the Mac Pro desktop.

Apple Mac Mini

The updated 14-inch MacBook Pro starts at $1999, while the 16-inch version continues to be priced at $2499. The Mac mini costs $599, $100 less than the prior version. All of the new Macs begin shipping on Jan. 24, Apple said.

The release of the new machines was originally planned for 2022, and the delay is expected to weigh on the company’s most recent quarterly results. Apple warned investors that the lack of a MacBook Pro update would negatively affect its holiday sales, which will be disclosed on Feb. 2.

Besides the new Macs, Apple is planning to use 2023 to introduce a mixed-reality headset, it’s first major new product category since the Apple Watch went on sale in 2015. It is also working on the iPhone 15 line, a new HomePod speaker, and Apple Watches with updated processors. In the longer run, Apple is aiming to bring touch screens to the MacBook Pro beginning in 2025. This move would give Apple’s high-end computers better parity with devices from Microsoft Corp., Dell Technologies Inc., and other laptop makers. It also will help Apple offer a more unified software experience across its products.

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