Welcome to our regular roundup of our Apple Breakfast column, including all the Apple news you missed this week in a handy bite-sized recap. We call it Apple Breakfast because we love it with a cup of coffee or tea in the morning, but it’s also cool if you want to read it over lunch or dinner.
Don’t be tempted by a laptop you don’t need
In a recent episode of this column, I discussed the simple idea that the price and quality of Apple’s products, especially Macs, don’t always scale quickly. At the entry level, a small extra expense of $200 or $300 will make a huge improvement in your experience, while at the high end, a lot of extra money will give you relatively little obvious gain unless you are a very high end user. In terms of value for money, certain dollars are spent more wisely than others.
That’s the logic on which we base our recommendation not to buy the heavily compromised $1,199 M2 MacBook Air, while a slightly more advanced configuration offers much better performance. But it also means you have to be careful about jumping to the premium models, where your dollars have much less effect. The sweet spot, as always, is the inbetweener: at the extremes of the range, you’re either getting too little or paying too much.
The mirror image of the baseline Air at the top of Apple’s laptop range is the MacBook Pro. Aside from the confusing 13-inch MacBook Pro, the 14-inch and 16-inch Pros, even in their cheapest configurations, come in at staggering prices that can easily creep into the high $3,000 range, but the average user will find little difference. marks in everyday use compared to a $1,499 Air.
That was not always the case. Before Apple silicon came on the market, the performance difference between the Air and the Pro was much greater, and it made sense for many moderate users to spend a little more to get a machine that would not only perform better if they bought it, but also several years later. A Core i7 15-inch MacBook Pro was expensive, but it was also guaranteed to last much longer than a Core i3 MacBook Air or Core m3 MacBook.
Today, the improved specs in the Pro machines are really for professional users – or to be more precise, a bang that will only appear in the most demanding apps used only by the most demanding users, for a proportionally high number of bucks. The M1 Pro and M1 Max chips available in these machines are faster than the newer M2, and that’s before you count their extra RAM. The Pros also deliver better screens and sound systems, more ports, and the option of much more storage. In other words, these are serious machines with serious spec lists.
Apple’s chips are so good now, the question is not whether the specs are good or even whether they are good enough to justify the price. What matters is whether they meet your requirements. It’s easy to get carried away by top-notch specs and an enthusiastic sales assistant, but for anyone who isn’t a high-end video producer on the go, an M1 Pro or Max MacBook Pro is probably overkill. Even if you have $1,999 or $2,499 to spend on a laptop, your money should be better spent elsewhere. Maybe extra memory on an M2 Air for example.
(The cheaper 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro is something of an outlier and it’s hard to recommend outside of a good deal. It’s not nearly as expensive as a 14-incher, but as our review explains, in most respects and for for most customers this is a weaker alternative to the MacBook Air, with a smaller screen, heavier case and fewer color options.)
Ultimately, we come to two factors when deciding which MacBook is the right choice. The first is the inconsistent relationship between price and quality, which tends to give intermediates a better value than budget or premium alternatives. The second is the need to research not only what you can afford, but what you really need from a laptop.
And for most laptop buyers, both factors should lead you to the same conclusion. You don’t need a MacBook Pro, no matter how much you want one.
Trending: Top Stories of the Week
The iPhone 14 went from ruin to boom faster than a A16 benchmarknotes the Macalope.
With the launch of the latest Samsung Galaxy Z Folda foldable iPhone feels further away than ever.
apples next iPhone SE needs these five Google Pixel 6a features.
No, throttling and overheating is not a problem on the M2 MacBook Air.
We love the mac mini but it’s a really bad time to buy one.
Jony Ive has revealed Steve Jobs’ one-word advice on design and his… anger over a lot of current design.
The rumor mill
This fall’s launch schedule will bring the greatest devices Apple has ever made – literally.
The average selling price of the iPhone 14 series can be: above a thousand dollars. Here’s why you’re probably paying more for your iPhone this year.
It seems that the iPhone 14 announcement will be another virtual event, with Apple still nervous about in-person gatherings.
The Full-size HomePod is on its way back! Apple is reportedly in the process of developing smart speakers, cameras and displays.
Apple will reportedly switch all AirPods cases to USB-C in 2023, if Lightning keeps disappearing of the company’s products.
Mind you, Apple is even preparing for ditch USB-Cif reports of a brand new 4-pin connector on the next iPad Pro are correct.
Podcast of the week
Is a smart home revolution in the works at Apple? In this episode of the Macworld Podcast, we talk about Apple’s efforts in the smart home market and what we could see from the company in the near future. Linger!
You can watch every episode of the Macworld Podcast on Spotify, Soundcloud, the Podcasts app or our own site.
Software updates, bugs and issues
Hold on to your hat: Apple is bringing back the iPhone battery percentage indicator! Although this alternative design is a bit more beautiful.
A small change in the latest iOS 16 beta suggests updating your AirPods is about to happen get a lot easier.
Apple has a playback error in iMovie and Final Cut Pro X. We’ll explain how to update.
And with that, we’re done for this week. If you would like to receive regular round-ups, sign up for our newsletters. You can also follow us on Twitter for breaking news stories. See you next Saturday, enjoy your weekend and stay Appley.