Skip to main content

There’s a MacBook that Apple has no right to continue selling

A stack of MacBooks is pictured from the top down.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

With the launch of the new 15-inch MacBook Air, Apple has solidified its most fleshed-out Mac lineup in recent memory. There’s a MacBook for almost every conceivable budget and use case, ranging from the $999 M1 MacBook Air up to the upper echelons of the 16-inch MacBook Pro.

Considering how well the 15-inch MacBook Air has been received in early reviews, there doesn’t appear to be a bad choice in the mix. That is, until you stumble upon the MacBook hidden in the lineup that Apple has continued to sell for absolutely no reason. I’m referring to the 13-inch MacBook Pro, of course.

I’ve been complaining about this black sheep MacBook Pro since last year, when Apple made the head-scratching decision to keep it in the lineup when announcing the M2 chip. Despite having released a redesigned, new 13-inch M2 MacBook Air, the 13-inch MacBook Pro continued to have the same old chassis that’s been in use since 2016. Yes, you read that right — 2016, as in, seven years ago. That means no updated webcam, thick bezels, no MagSafe, and the maligned Touch Bar.

So, yes, Apple should discontinue the MacBook Pro 13-inch immediately. It had a great opportunity to quietly cancel it with the introduction of the 15-inch MacBook Air and the drop in price of the 13-inch Air. At the very least, it could have dropped the price. But no.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Yet here we are, halfway through 2023, and Apple still refuses to retire this thing. Why keep around a defunct old laptop that blemishes Apple’s otherwise stellar lineup? Well, it’s simple. It continues to sell. Apple made that clear in 2022, stating that the 13-inch MacBook Pro was the world’s second-bestselling laptop, only bested by the cheaper M1 MacBook Air. There’s nothing wrong, in theory, with updating one of its most popular laptops. I’m not going to fault Apple for wanting to keep that train rolling. People keep buying it, so why stop selling it?

Well, when you dig into the reason people are buying it, you start to see the ugly truth behind Apple’s marketing. It’s selling the idea that these laptops are somehow more “Pro” than the MacBook Air — and that’s simply not true. It uses the exact same chip, and given the more advanced design and features of the Air, the Pro is no more than a wannabe. And yet, when talking about the 13-inch MacBook Pro, Apple likes to mention how good it is at photo editing and image processing — while never mentioning how it compares to other similarly priced MacBooks in its lineup.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

So, come on, Apple. Now that we have the 15-inch MacBook Air, there is really no reason to buy the 13-inch MacBook Pro. They’re identical in price and performance, despite the 15-inch MacBook Air being better in every conceivable way. If anything, the 13-inch MacBook Pro is only a reminder of a bygone era for the Mac — one that isn’t remembered fondly, I might add.

If people want to buy it on discount from third-party sellers, you’re more than welcome. But it’s misleading for Apple to continue to sell it. If the company wants to protect its “Pro” brand and support its superior options, Apple needs to let go of this one for good.

Editors' Recommendations

Luke Larsen
Luke Larsen is the Senior editor of computing, managing all content covering laptops, monitors, PC hardware, Macs, and more.
MacBooks may get very strange (and exciting) in 2026
Foldable Macbook concept image created by LunaDisplay.

Apple's first all-screen foldable MacBook has been rumored for many years, and it's finally getting closer. Reports from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggest Apple plans to release its first foldable as early as 2026.

According to Kuo, Apple is considering both 20.25-inch and 18.8-inch panels that, when folded, would equate to a 14- to 15-inch MacBook and a 13- to 14-inch MacBook. Previous reports estimated a 2027 release for these all-screen MacBooks, but Kuo's latest information suggests we could see them as early the first half of 2026. And now that Apple has introduced its M4 chip, it's little surprise that these future devices are expected to run on M5 series processors.

Read more
Why you should buy a Mac mini instead of a MacBook Air
Apple Mac Mini side view showing edges.

Apple’s MacBook Air is an incredibly popular device, and it’s our pick for the best MacBook you can buy. But there’s a strong case to be made for passing over it and buying a Mac mini instead. Apple’s desktop computer is cheaper, supports more displays and ports, and is better for your posture. Those reasons could be enough to sway the balance in its favor.

If you’re on the fence, give this guide a read to see if it helps you make up your mind. Here, we’ll show you four of the most compelling reasons to buy a Mac mini instead of a MacBook Air.
It’s much cheaper

Read more
How to enable secure boot in Windows 11
Secure Boot setting in an ASUS BIOS.

Enabling Secure Boot is an important step in upgrading to Windows 11, as it's part of the system requirements. It ensures that unauthorized software can't run on your PC, and you will have to enable it before you install Windows 11 or it just won't work. Fortunately, enabling Secure Boot is as quick as changing a single BIOS setting.

Here's how to do it.

Read more