Apple launches faster versions of MacBook Pro and Mac Mini

Godfrey Elimian
…Mac mini gains M2 and M2 Pro chips in first upgrade since 2020
Apple announces a Mac Mini with the M2 and M2 Pro
Apple announces a Mac Mini with the M2 and M2 Pro

Apple has unveiled faster versions of its high-end MacBook Pro laptops and the Mac mini desktop as its latest products today.

The newly launched 14-inch and 16-inch Macs are similar to the prior models launched in 2021. However, they come with different and more powerful M2 Pro and M2 Max chips, which replace the M1 Pro and M1 Max processors. They will bolster a product line that brought in $40.2 billion last year, accounting for more than 10% of the tech giant’s revenue.

Apple is working on new versions of the MacBook Air, including a larger model with a 15-inch screen. The latest devices released include a variation of the M2 chip the company is bringing to its high-end Mac Pro desktop computer later this year.

Apple launches faster MacBook Pros and Mac Minis
MacBook Pro with M2 Pro and M2 Max

The new notebooks mark Apple’s first expansion of the M2 chip, which debuted in the MacBook Air and a low-end MacBook Pro last year.

Read also: Nigerians need over 300 workdays to purchase Apple’s latest iPhone 14 Pro

Upgrades in Apple’s latest release

These latest Mac minis come more than two years after the last upgrade to the device in 2020. They have the same appearance as the previous iteration. The Mac Mini also has the M2 chip in the 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. The M2 Pro model also incorporates this chip.

Apple skipped out on bumping its specs in the last upgrade when the M1 Pro and M1 Pro Max debuted in late 2021. The M2 chip debuted in June 2022 on the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro and later expanded to the iPad Pro; this is the first time it’s come to a desktop.

Apple launches faster MacBook Pros and Mac Minis
Mac Mini with M2 Pro
New 12 Core Processor computers

The chips in the latest models provide comparatively significant performance improvements, maintaining Apple’s shift away from using Intel Corp. processors inside its Mac computers. Up from a maximum of 10 primary processing cores, the M2 Pro will now feature as many as 12.

The company stopped selling a high-end Mac mini with a non-Apple processor on Tuesday. The only Intel machine in Apple’s lineup is now the Mac Pro desktop. Also, the Mac Mini is the latest device from Apple to receive the upgrade to the M2 chip; this time, it also comes with the Pro version of Apple’s processor.

This is the first time Apple has brought Pro-tier chips to the Mini. Previously, the Mini could only be purchased with the same M1 chip as the MacBook Air. This time, it comes with a more potent chip series from Apple.

The graphics capabilities will reach up to 19 cores from a prior high of 16. The M2 Max doubles performance for graphics, climbing to as many as 38 cores from a previous maximum of 32 cores. 

Storage and Battery Life

Apple is also increasing the hardware’s capacity. The RAM on the laptops is also increased, reaching a maximum of 96 gigabytes on models with the most advanced M2 Max chip. The previous maximum on both was 32 gigabytes. The maximum storage capacity is still 8 terabytes.

The M2 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage are included in the Mac Mini’s standard configuration. Along with two USB-A ports and two Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C) connections, an increase from the Thunderbolt 3 ports on the previous model, it has an HDMI port, Gigabit Ethernet, and a conventional headphone jack.

The M2 Pro configuration of the new Mac Mini features 16GB of RAM, 512GB of SSD storage, and an additional two Thunderbolt 4 ports alongside the ports already available on the standard M2 model.

Battery life has increased slightly, 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. 

New Prices

Regarding its prices, the updated 14-inch MacBook Pro starts at $1999 (N1,479,2660) at the current exchange rate of N740, while the 16-inch version continues to be priced at $2499 (N1,849,260).

The Mac mini costs $599, $100 less than the prior version. All of the new Macs begin shipping on Jan. 24, Apple said. 

Apple also said that the new MacBook Pros gain WiFi 6E, which can offer faster wireless performance in some circumstances and a more powerful HDMI port for driving more advanced external displays. 

Bloomberg first reported on Apple’s plans for the new MacBook Pros and Mac minis last year, including the expectation that they would launch in early 2023. Apple had originally aimed to roll out the new machines in 2022, and the delay is expected to weigh on its most recent quarterly results.

The company warned investors that the lack of a MacBook Pro update would negatively affect its holiday sales, which Apple will disclose on Feb. 2.

In addition to these most recent updates, the corporation had previously stated that it would release VR headsets this year and start planning to release touch-screen Macs in later years, perhaps as soon as 2025. This is anticipated to compete with its existing touchscreen market rivals.

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