Apple has a pretty big problem with M2 (really, it’s the whole Apple Silicon lineup): it’s too good. What do I mean by it’s too good? Let me explain! See, Intel doesn’t just make a “Intel Core” (or I guess now it’s just “Intel Pentium”) or “Intel Core i3” or “Intel Core i7”. They make a die and then as part of the manufacturing process, defective dies get graded, adjusted, and “binned” appropriately. The best of the best will be Intel Core i7. The one that is absolutely terrible will end up being the “Intel Core” that gets shoved into low-end devices.
But here’s the thing about Apple: while they clearly “bin” their dies, they’re too good. The same package is being put into iPads, MacBook Pros, MacBook Airs, Mac minis, etc. That means when you buy a M2, you’re really just buying a form factor, screen, and accessories. Recently, I bought a MacBook Air M2 after trading in a bunch of devices. I already have a MacBook Pro M1, but I wanted a “thin and light” device for working on the road or traveling. Something that my iPad wasn’t really capable of. After using the MacBook Air M2 primarily for a few days now, the M2 is just so good. I could easily make this my main machine. If I was going to replace my MacBook Pro with a MacBook Air, I would probably upgrade the RAM. I got a model with 8 GB of RAM, but Apple Silicon does a really decent job managing it. I mentioned this back in my 2021 post when I tried out a MacBook Pro M1 (2020).
The MacBook To Get
Honestly, it’s going to come down to just a few factors:
- What your budget is.
- What ports you require to be on-board.
- What form-factor/size you want.
Honestly, the MacBook Pro line is turning into the line that can be pushed hard since they have active cooling. That active cooling does help out a lot. I’ve had my MacBook Pro M1 for just over a year now and I’ve really only had the fans come on at least once from what I’ve noticed. And that was when I was doing a bit of work where I had a dev Apache server running locally with PHP and MySQL and a ton of other apps open.
Now when I mention that you need to take into consideration your budget, what I mean by that is that it’s very easy to spec out a MacBook Air M2 to be around the same price as a MacBook Pro. In any instance, if you’re spending that much, spend the extra few dollars and go Pro. But for most people, the MacBook Air M2 in the base configuration will work just fine. With the addition of the 15″ MacBook Air, I think the MacBook Air line is going to take off even more. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if MacBook Pro sales dipped a bit – after all, a lot of people were buying the 16″ MacBook Pro just to have a large screen.
Don’t listen to Tech YouTube
Something that really pisses me off with Tech YouTube and Tech Mac YouTube is that they put machines through very unrealistic tests. Oh, the machine with passive cooling ends up thermal throttling while running 5 Cinnebench tests back to back? No shit! Oh the machine with one NRAND storage chip can’t write/read 10 gigs of storage in under 4 minutes? No shit! No one in the real world is doing that kind of work!
Buy Direct from Apple
Something that you need to do is buy direct from Apple. Why? Apple has a pretty easy going 14-day return policy. It’s basically no questions asked, no bullshit, and, to my knowledge, they don’t put you on a “list”. I occasionally will use Apple as a “test drive” whenever there is a product I want to test. I’ve also done this with Best Buy and holy hell, Best Buy does not like it when you return things… especially expensive Apple things! Back in 2020, I got the new 16″ MacBook Pro when it first came out. I wanted to test it out to see if I liked it. Well, turns out I don’t like large laptops. When I returned it to Best Buy, oh they really rubbed it in that they weren’t happy… “Computers, you’re about to take a $2100 hit” right on the radio. Right in front of me. This doesn’t happen at Apple. If you’re not happy with your purchase, Apple will take it back without making you feel bad.