Rumor has it Apple has plans for a MacBook Pro 2022, and so far all indicators point to it being a new entry-level MacBook Pro packing the next big thing in Apple silicon.
That’s potentially huge, because last year Apple shook up the laptop market in a big way with the release of the current entry-level MacBook Pro M1. That 13-inch Pro delivered unprecedented improvements in performance and efficiency compared to its predecessors, in large part thanks to the power of the M1 chip.
It was so good it catapulted the 13-inch Pro to a top spot on our list of the best laptops you can buy. Apple has since released the redesigned 14-inch MacBook Pro and 16-inch MacBook Pro with your choice of M1 Pro or M1 Max chips, but those systems start at $1,999 and $2,499, respectively.
But now Apple has a new Pro expected to debut in 2022, one that may well replace the $1,299 13-inch M1 Pro as the entry-level model. If it incorporates the smart design changes we saw in the 2021 Pros while improving upon its predecessor the way all of Apple’s M1-powered MacBooks have, the rumored MacBook Pro 2022 could be one of Apple’s biggest releases of the year.
MacBook Pro 2022 rumored release date
Apple hasn’t announced plans to launch a new MacBook Pro in 2022, and until it does we won’t have a clear idea of when such a product might be released.
However, that hasn’t kept us from putting our thinking caps on and prognosticating a bit. Apple tipster and Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman has claimed that Apple has a lot of product releases planned for 2022, including a cheaper MacBook Pro with M2 power. Apple’s product release cycle is predictable enough that we can make a reasonably educated guess about when the next MacBook Pro’s release date will be: in the fall of 2022, sometime between September – December.
That would be roughly a year after the big debut of Apple’s new 2021 MacBook Pros, and two years after the company unveiled the original 13-inch MacBook Pro with M1 and MacBook Air with M1. And since Apple is tipped to also release a new MacBook Air 2022 next year, it makes sense for the company to unveil them together again at the end of the year.
MacBook Pro 2022 price speculation
Until we hear official word from Apple, we won’t know for sure how the expected MacBook Pro 2022 will be priced.
But based on everything we’ve heard so far, it seems likely the starting price of said MacBook Pro will be less than $2,000, and likely as low as $1,299 to $1,499. That speculation is based entirely on the fact that the MacBook Pro 2022 is rumored to be a new entry-level model, and since the current entry-level Pro is the aging 13-inch MacBook Pro with M1 (starting price $1,299), a replacement will probably cleave pretty closely to the same pricing scheme.
That said, there’s good reason to believe Apple might go a little higher with the starting price of a new MacBook Pro 2022. The 16-inch MacBook Pro 2021 cost about $100 more than its predecessor, for example, and the smaller 14-inch Pro saw a similar price bump. So if Apple tries something similar with a new Pro next year, we expect to see the starting price of a new MacBook Pro 2022 jump to $1,499.
MacBook Pro 2022 design
Scant details have yet emerged about what to expect from a new MacBook Pro 2022 in terms of design changes. The internal design of these machines has been the most popular subject of discussion so far, as the next Pro is rumored to include an all-new piece of Apple silicon: the Apple M2 chip.
Externally, it’s reasonable to expect Apple will bring the design improvements of the 2021 MacBook Pros to a new model in 2022. That means a flatter lid with thinner bezels around the display, though if Apple aims to trim costs for this entry-level Pro it may well ditch the mini-LED displays we love on the 2021 Pros in favor of a cheaper IPS LCD Retina display like those found on MacBook Airs.
We also expect to see the addition of an HDMI out and SD card reader alongside the usual complement of Thunderbolt 4 ports. Personally, I hope a new Pro in 2022 will have the same MagSafe 3 charging port that Apple introduced on the 2021 Pros, as its easy to use and I appreciate having the option to charge via either MagSafe 3 or USB-C.
Also, don’t be surprised if the MacBook Pro 2022 is designed with a notch in the top bezel. A notch surrounds the webcam built into the 2021 Pros, and despite causing problems, the notch is okay. Really, you get used to it.
MacBook Pro 2022 specs
The most exciting thing we’ve heard so far about the specs of a new MacBook Pro in 2022 is Mark Gurman’s report that it will contain the Apple M2 chip. Word is that the M2 will sport the same 8-core CPU as the original M1 chip (albeit running at higher clock speeds), but with a 10-core GPU instead of the 8-core GPU on the M1.
If that pans out, we may be looking at a situation where — much like in November of 2020 — Apple unveils a new MacBook Pro and a new MacBook Air running on the M2 chip in 2022. However, we’ll have to wait and see how the chip in the updated entry-level Pro stacks up against the M1 Pro and M1 Max, the souped-up M1 chips Apple packed into the 2021 Pros.
MacBook Pro 2022 outlook
While we still know very little about Apple’s plans to release a new MacBook Pro in 2022, what we’ve heard so far is good reason to be optimistic about your odds of seeing one. Apple’s gone from strength to strength on the computing front since the late 2020 release of its inaugural M1-powered MacBooks, and late 2022 seems like an optimal time to trot out a refreshed entry-level MacBook Pro with an improved M2 chip.
What’s more intriguing is the prospect of comparing the performance of a new MacBook Pro 2022 against the 2021 Pros with their M1 Pro and M1 Max chips. They’re already so fast that you just have to ask: how good will the rumored M2 chip be?
The upgraded M1 Max chip in our 16-inch MacBook Pro 2021 review unit delivered absolutely beastly performance, especially when working with video, and it’s hard to imagine a new entry-level MacBook Pro topping that. But then, our review unit was priced at over $4,000, whereas we’re expecting the MacBook Pro 2022 to start at less than $1,500. How will they stack up?
We’ll just have to wait and see about getting one in for testing when the next MacBook Pro is finally released.