Wednesday, Jan 18, 2023, 16:23 Mac: Hardware

Mac mini M2 & MacBook Pro 2023 – Our Opinion

Next week, Apple will begin deliveries for the Mac mini M2 and the MacBook Pro 14"/16". The unusual release date, only a few weeks after the Christmas season, comes about as a result of delays – with the unmet, previously planned appointment expected to have taken place at the end of October 2022 or in November 2022. In the remainder of this article, we'll take a quick look at what can be expected of the new models and which features we consider especially worthy of mentioning.

The New Mac mini M2 & M2 Pro – A Surprisingly Good Upgrade
Hardly anyone would have batted an eyelid were Apple to have increased the price of the new Mac mini, particularly in Europe. After all, after the last few price adjustments – it's clear that Apple's calculations have been based on a longterm, considerably weakened Euro. Even an identical price in comparison to the direct predecessor would have come as a pleasant surprise – but a decrease in price of €100 and US$100? That's more than just a pleasant surprise – it's practically a miracle.

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Even the device's position in the overall product line up has improved significantly. The new Mac mini accomplishes 2 roles – on the one hand it remains the most affordable Mac, and on the other hand the newer configurations also close the previous existing gap between the Mac mini M1 and the Mac Studio. Whether users are looking for a standard M2 desktop Mac, or one equipped with an M2 Pro (Mac mini), an M2 Max (upcoming Mac Studio), or an M2 Ultra (Mac Studio) – there will soon be a desktop Mac for every need in Cupertino's Mac lineup. The addition to the Mac mini's chip available configurations is a sensible step that will cover more individual requirements from customers. In the United States, a Mac mini with M2 Pro costs at least US$1,299, with an additional US$300 charge for an M2 Pro with a 12-core (instead of 10-core) CPU and 19-core (instead of 16-core) GPU. In Europe, the base price is €1,549, with an additional €345 price tag for the more powerful M2 Pro.

Even though the design has remained the same for almost 13 years now – in our opinion, the Mac mini M2 is a very successful upgrade and leaves little to be wished for. Of course, like most modern Apple products, the device isn't upgradeable after purchase – but this wasn't to be expected. This design-related restriction has been a staple of almost all Mac computers for over a decade now.

The MacBook Pro With M2 Pro & M2 Max – As Expected
2023's MacBook Pro brings hardly any surprises – the detailed specifications were already readily available thanks to leaks prior to the release. Prices did increase a little bit in Europe, however, not as drastically as many customers had feared. Apple already set an enormously high bar with the M1 version of the MacBook Pro (2021), satisfying the performance needs of most customers. For this reason, the newest iteration's performance isn't necessarily dropping any jaws.



The previous most powerful notebook on the market, the MacBook Pro 2021, has been succeeded by the MacBook Pro 2023 – now the best, fastest, and most persistent notebook on the market. The New MacBook Pro is simply a little bit better, faster, and has a slightly longer battery runtime (+1 hour). The new plus in the graphics department is also especially appreciated. If there were any weakness of the model's predecessor, it was most apparent in comparison to strong, dedicated graphics cards – which offer considerably more graphics power than the MacBook Pro 2021's moderate graphics performance. The first practical benchmarks over the next few weeks will be exciting – with Apple promising an overall +30% performance. One more aspect: HDMI 2.1, Bluetooth 5.3, and WiFi 6e 802.11ax are equally welcome improvements.

Our conclusion? The 2023 MacBook Pro is a welcome upgrade. Only one point of criticism has remained unaddressed since 2021. It would be nice if there were a MacBook Pro 16" for customers not in need of an extra punch in performance. Currently, it's impossible to purchase a MacBook Pro 16" with a standard M-chip – making the increase in price for customers desiring a 16" model all the steeper.

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