Apple is about to expand its M-powered MacBook Pro line with two new models: a 14-inch and a changed 16-inch model. And according to leaker Dylandkt (opens in new tab), whose leaks have checked out before, potential purchasers won’t have to pick between portability and power: both MacBook Pros will have the same M1X processors and identical performance.
As you’d expect, more inches means more money: when the M1X MacBook Pros join the 13” M1 MacBook Pro (2020) there will be “a noticeable increase in price over the 13-inch”, which currently starts at £1,299/$1,299; the 16-inch currently starts at £2,399/$2,399, so the 14-inch price will clearly sit somewhere in the middle of those two numbers.
For that money, when compared to the current M1 MacBook Pro, you’re expected to get a bigger screen, a more powerful processor and GPU, a brighter display, more ports and MagSafe charging.
Good things come in small packages
I’m glad Apple has apparently given the new MacBook Pros identical power regardless of size. I know I’m not the only MacBook Pro user who doesn’t want or need a big screen on my laptop: I’ve got a massive 4K display on my desk for work and for Logic Pro X, and that suits me fine. My MacBook Pro drives the big display when it’s parked and becomes perfectly portable when it isn’t.
My current MacBook Pro fits nicely in my daytime bags and my travel backpacks; the 16-inch model wouldn’t. It’d be too big on my desk, and definitely too big for the tray tables on the only airline and train seats I can afford to travel in.
By speccing the two sizes identically, then, Apple is doing a good thing: if you want the bigger display you can have it, but if you don’t then you’re not forced to buy a more limited specification.
That’s particularly important for the armies of freelance and contract creatives who buy their own Macs for work: that extra outlay feels particularly painful when it’s coming out of your own pocket.