December 6, 2023

Rumors earlier than the Scary Quick occasion that Apple held on Monday night mentioned the bottom 13-inch MacBook Professional will probably be refreshed alongside the high-end 14-inch and 16-inch variations. These rumors modified tune as we bought nearer to Monday. They claimed there can be no replace for the 13-inch laptop computer whose place in Apple’s lineup many individuals query.

As quickly as Apple’s M3 MacBook Professional phase started, it was clear the place Apple was heading with it. There wouldn’t be a refresh for the 13-inch MacBook Professional as a result of Apple had simply discontinued it. As a substitute of reusing the outdated TouchBar, a portless design that no person actually desires, Apple did issues otherwise this 12 months.

Apple gave us an entry-level M3 MacBook Professional that rocks the design it launched a number of years in the past. The entry-level MacBook Professional now is available in the identical 14-inch shell because the dearer variations and rocks the identical {hardware}, apart from the chip that drives it. However because the M3 brings important efficiency and power good points, the bottom M3 MacBook Professional simply grew to become a game-changer.

As somebody about to decide on his subsequent MacBook between the 15-inch MacBook Air and the 14-inch MacBook Professional, I’ll say the model new M3 14-inch mannequin is an unimaginable pitch.

The 14-inch mannequin prices $300 greater than the M2 13-inch MacBook Professional and 15-inch MacBook Air. However, for that $1,599 beginning worth, it presents super efficiency, nice battery life, the identical nice display screen because the high-end MacBook Professionals, and many ports.

Apple’s M3, M3 Professional, and M3 Max chips. Picture supply: Apple Inc.

M3 MacBook Professional efficiency

In terms of efficiency, I’m glad to see that my gaming prediction got here true. All M3 chips will supply huge GPU efficiency in comparison with their predecessors, bringing options like ray tracing to the Mac. That’s one thing that builders will take note of. A function that ought to come to the M3 MacBook Air, contemplating the bottom M3 MacBook Professional additionally options the identical GPU powers because the high-end MacBook Professionals.

By way of efficiency, the M3 MacBook Professional is restricted to the 8-core CPU and 10-core GPU M3 model, certain. However you may stand up to 24GB of unified reminiscence as a substitute of the bottom 8GB. Storage-wise, you may improve to a 2TB SSD from the bottom 512GB mannequin.

Apple M3 MacBook Pro upgrades.
Apple M3 MacBook Professional upgrades. Picture supply: Apple Inc.

Battery life enhancements

Earlier than the Apple occasion, I questioned what kind of battery enhancements we’d get from the M3 MacBook Professionals, fearing that Apple wouldn’t actually transfer the needle. However I used to be partly mistaken. The M3 Professional/Max variations of the MacBook Professionals retain the 18-hour (14-inch) and 22-hour (16-inch) battery estimates of their predecessors.

However the M3 MacBook Professional will get a 22-hour estimate, on par with the 16-inch model. That’s 2 hours longer than the M2 13-inch MacBook Professional it replaces. Nonetheless, the M2 mannequin nonetheless will get a 17-hour wi-fi net battery life estimate in comparison with 15 hours for the 14-inch model.

The M2 MacBook Airs include an 18-hour battery life estimate, although I anticipate the M3 variations may even get higher battery life quotes.

Apple's M3 chip powering the cheapest 14-inch MacBook Pro.
Apple’s M3 chip powering the most cost effective 14-inch MacBook Professional. Picture supply: Apple Inc.

The mini LED display screen

Whereas the 13-inch MacBook Professional was caught with a 60Hz LCD display screen, the entry-level M3 MacBook Professional will pack the identical 120Hz Liquid Retina XDR show because the dearer MacBook Professionals.

The display screen delivers the identical efficiency throughout the board. Apple up to date the Liquid Retina XDR display screen, which helps 1600 nits of peak brightness for HDR content material and 1000 nits of sustained brightness. SDR content material will get as much as 600 nits of brightness, which is 20% brighter than earlier than. The 13-inch variant topped at 500 nits of brightness.

Apple's M3 MacBook Pro used in the wild.
Apple’s M3 MacBook Professional used within the wild. Picture supply: Apple Inc.

MagSafe charging and the ports

In contrast to the 13-inch mannequin, the M3 MacBook Professional will get the brand new chassis that Apple launched a few years in the past. Which means you get MagSafe charging and extra ports: 2 USB-C Thunderbolt ports, one HDMI connector, and an SDHX card slot.

Comparatively, the 13-inch mannequin solely had two Thunderbolt ports.

With all that in thoughts, the M3 MacBook Professional is now an important challenger for the MacBook Air. The 14-inch laptop computer may very effectively turn out to be a best-seller.