WWDC 2022. There it was again – the feeling Apple fans have been missing for so long . An event that demonstrates innovation and technological progress. An event that leaves its audience euphoric and impressed. Those who attended the spectacle could hardly believe their senses given the proclaimed performance. However, subsequent benchmarks also confirmed what was promised during the presentation.
Macbook Pro – unbelievable performance values arouse desire
The M1 chip, which was previously valued for its performance, was overshadowed by the Pro and Max variants. The impressive CPU performance of the M1 chip is already surpassed by the new evolutions by around 50%. It becomes even clearer when it comes to the performance of the integrated GPU. The Pro roughly doubles the performance here, while the Max shines with an increase in the Metal benchmark values of around 330 percent. In the meantime, Apple has announced the M2, the values of which slightly exceed those of the M1 processor, but still do not reach the Pro and Max variants.
The Macbook Pro is finally one of those products that arouses desires again. Because it impresses, because it’s well designed, and because it embodies what made Apple so great. In the course of this euphoria, you almost forget to question whether you really need this notebook. A question that acts like an emotional handbrake – but we would like to answer it anyway.
Unused potential at a high price – who actually needs so much performance?
In terms of price, entry into the Macbook Pro world begins at 1,599 euros for the 13-inch model with basic equipment (Attention, only available from July). But before we approach the lower price limit, we should first talk about the model with the Max chipset. Anyone who is impressed by the announcement and the performance of the Macbook Pro will certainly impulsively tend to the top model. Under this influence, however, in view of the high purchase price, at some point doubts arise as to whether you need this performance at all.
The most accurate answer to this question is that you only need it when you know you need it. This refers to power users who, for example, have extreme requirements for editing and editing videos. This target group can convert the potential of the chipset into more efficient work with almost no loss, and they are also aware of this. As already mentioned, the Max chipset only shows its full potential when the GPU is under heavy load. An application terrain that most Apple users will rarely enter.
Pro chipset as a sensible configuration for most users
So most users are already well served with the Macbook Pro and the smaller Pro chipset. However, if you want at least 32 GB of RAM and the larger 16-inch display anyway, the price advantage compared to the Max model decreases considerably. Equipped in this way, the model with the Pro chipset only costs around 400 euros less than a comparable notebook with the Max chipset – a relatively small surcharge for the performance reserves acquired. However, since 32 GB of working memory also seems rather oversized for many users, we would like to focus on the competition for the MacBook Pro with a Pro chipset.
A fundamental question arises in relation to the display size. If 13 inches or 14 inches are too small for you, you have to switch to the 16 inch Macbook Pro anyway. In this context, mobility should be weighed against stationary usability. If the device is primarily used for business trips and is also to be used regularly in confined spaces such as an airplane, more compact dimensions are of course very practical. If external screens are even connected, the screen diagonal should play a subordinate role anyway.
The Macbook Air as an attractive alternative to the Macbook Pro
In this case, the Macbook Air comes into play as an attractive alternative. Equipped with the M1 chip and configured with 16 GB of RAM and a 512 GB SSD hard drive, the model with a 13-inch display is around 650 euros cheaper (RRP around 1,600 euros) than a comparable Macbook Pro. You get a well-equipped Apple notebook for this price, which is completely adequately configured for most application areas thanks to the good performance of the M1 basic chip. A more compact design and around 20 percent less weight also make the Macbook Air pleasantly portable. If you want something more powerful and still don’t want to spend so much money, you should take a closer look at the new Macbook Air M2. The smallest configuration starts at 1,499 euros and offers quite a lot even compared to the new Macbook Pro M2: better speakers, fast charger and Magsafe connector.
If you like it even more compact, you should check whether the individual requirement profile is not already sufficiently covered by an iPad. Both the new iPad Air and the iPad Pro series are now equipped with an M1 processor. Together with the excellent Magic Keyboard for the iPad, the tablet can be used like a notebook. Of course, you’re limited to Apple’s iPadOS here. The iPad user has to do without the full range of functions of a macOS. Everything you need for typical work processes can usually be mapped very well by iOS apps.
The iPad Pro with Magic Keyboard as a notebook replacement – fast and compact
For example, a 12.9-inch iPad Pro with Magic Keyboard and 512 GB of storage is available for around 1,900 euros. Compared to the Macbook Air, this is of course not a bargain. However, the increased portability coupled with almost identical chipset performance could justify this surcharge for many users. The price and functional boundaries between the device types are increasingly blurred – in terms of performance, too, ever more compact manufacturing processes allow the use of modern components in almost all devices.
A clear example of this trend is the new iPad Air, which is hardly distinguishable from the 11-inch iPad Pro. Design, display size and performance are almost identical. Details such as higher quality speakers, Face ID instead of the fingerprint sensor and more advanced camera technology are what ultimately differentiate the two devices from each other. It is interesting that even the retail price reflects these rather marginal differences. An iPad Air with 256 GB of memory is not much cheaper than an 11-inch iPad Pro with the same memory configuration. Similar to the notebooks, the Pro devices only stand out from the cheaper series from certain configurations. Larger screen diagonals or high storage capacity are reserved for the respective Pro series.
Rethinking everyday work – technical progress as an opportunity for new structures
While the Pro series is primarily aimed at users with a professional background, the Air series is increasingly developing into a lifestyle product family. This is made clear not least by the selection of different housing colors. If you don’t like the sober, elegant colors “space gray” and “silver”, you can go for more extroverted variants such as blue or violet on the Air devices. But just like with the devices, the boundaries are also blurring when categorizing the users. Working from home and a structural rethink give rise to application scenarios in which professional and private requirements merge. So if you are thinking about buying a new device, you should break away from old patterns. Perhaps a notebook can replace the stationary Mac. Maybe modern iPads even represent a real alternative. What are the advantages of switching to other types of devices and what freedoms do you gain with it? A mind game that can definitely have a positive impact on everyday work.