Which MacBook Pro Should You Buy?


There are several models to choose from if you’re in the market for a MacBook Pro. Apple has continued to update and improve its MacBook Pro lineup, offering a range of options with advanced specifications and features.

Whether you’re a creative professional looking for a powerful machine to handle demanding tasks, a student needing a reliable and portable laptop for schoolwork, or someone in between, there’s a MacBook Pro that suits your needs. We’ll explore the different options and help you decide which MacBook Pro is right for your use case.

1. 14-inch MacBook Pro: Portable Powerhouse

14-inch M2 Pro MacBook Pro models side by side
Image Credit: Apple

The 14-inch MacBook Pro is part of Apple’s 2023 releases with the upgraded M2 Pro or M2 Max chip. While this modern-looking machine is incredibly capable for most people, creative professionals who handle memory-consuming and graphically intensive tasks will appreciate them the most.

There is no drastic design change to the 14-inch MacBook Pro, but the Silver and Space Gray color options are great regardless. Although you may be disappointed if you were expecting features like Face ID, the rest of the 14-inch MacBook Pro’s specs make it worthwhile.

The M2 Pro and M2 Max chips are twice as fast as the aging intel chips and offer 16GB and 32GB unified memory, respectively; they can be configured upwards to 96GB of RAM. The battery can last up to 18 hours, allowing mobile professionals to continue their work on the go without worrying about a charging pack.

College students and other mainstream users might consider the whopping $1999 (up to $3,000 with configurations and upgrades) a bit much. On the other hand, for professionals, it becomes an exciting combination of portability and performance of upgraded M2 Pro and M2 Max chips.

2. 16-inch MacBook Pro: Maximum Performance

Press shot of Apple's new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro
Image Credit: Apple

Apple launched the 16-inch MacBook alongside the 14-inch MacBook Pro in 2023. While you can configure the 14-inch MacBook Pro with the M2 Max chip, the bigger 16-inch model has its own advantages.

For starters, it packs a bigger battery due to its larger footprint and, as a result, can deliver up to 22 hours of usage. Plus, you won’t have to worry about thermal constraints affecting its performance as the larger size allows it to dissipate heat better than the 14-inch model. So, if you’re always looking to work efficiently on the go and your budget allows it, this is the right MacBook Pro.

Besides these differences, the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro are nearly identical specs-wise. With the M2 Pro chip, you get a 12-core CPU, 19-core GPU, and 200GB memory bandwidth. The M2 Max also gets you a 12-core CPU, but you get a whopping 38-core GPU and 400GB memory bandwidth.

That said, if you really want the full performance of the M2 Max, you should lean towards the 16-inch MacBook Pro, as it’s a solid powerhouse if you work with heavy graphics like 3D modeling, complex photo and video editing, and sophisticated graphic design. Its bigger body can sustain heavy workloads for longer.

3. 13-inch MacBook Pro: Touch Bar Experience

MacBook Pro with touchbar and Apple mouse on the right

The 13-inch MacBook Pro is for those who don’t want to spend nearly two grand on a “pro” machine or those who miss the Touch Bar. It sits just above the redesigned 13-inch MacBook Air in terms of pricing and offers great value for money if you don’t mind the aging design.

While the redesigned 13-inch MacBook Air features the same M2 chip as the 13-inch MacBook Pro, the latter can sustain its performance for longer due to beefier cooling and a slightly thicker design. Plus, thanks to the beefier design, it packs a bigger battery that allows it to last for up to 20 hours, two hours more than the M2 MacBook Air.

And don’t forget that the base model M2 MacBook Air features an 8-core GPU, but with the 13-inch MacBook Pro, you get the full-fledged M2 chip with 10 GPU cores for the starting price. So, it’s definitely the MacBook to buy if you prefer performance over looks.

The performance of the 13-inch MacBook Pro is more than enough for students and mainstream users who plan to browse the web, code, and do a little bit of video or photo editing as a hobby. But if you’re a professional who makes money with your MacBook, you should lean towards the 14-inch MacBook Pro with the more robust M2 Pro chip.

Don’t Buy the Wrong MacBook Pro

Choosing the right MacBook Pro depends on your specific needs and budget. For most users, the performance of the 13-inch MacBook Pro should be adequate. But you can’t go wrong with the 14-inch MacBook Pro if you can fit it into your budget.

The 16-inch MacBook Pro, on the other hand, is for those who want the absolute best out of their laptops. The M2 Pro and M2 Max chips will provide the necessary processing power for prosumers who demand the ultimate performance.


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