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
Senior Editor, Computing
Luke Larsen is the Senior editor of computing, managing all content covering laptops, monitors, PC hardware, Macs, and more.
The Dell XPS 15 has one major advantage over the MacBook Pro
The screen of the 2021 MacBook Pro.

It's no secret that 15-inch laptops (and bigger) are the powerhouses of portable computing. They're used for gaming, content creation, video editing, and serious work.

Two of the best laptops are the Dell XPS 15 and the Apple MacBook Pro 16, each of which recently received updates to faster CPUs and GPUs, but otherwise remained mostly the same. Both are excellent laptops that offer great performance, outstanding build quality, and excellent input options -- but which one is right for you? Well, if it comes down to price, the XPS 15 the much more affordable option. That alone will make the decision easy for some people.

Read more
MacBooks could finally get Face ID to boost your security
Apple's 15-inch MacBook Air placed on a desk.

Apple is working on bringing its Face ID authentication system to MacBooks, in what could be a major move to boost your Mac’s security. That’s according to a newly granted patent (number 11727718) that describes the benefits of Face ID and how it could be added to Apple’s laptops.

In the patent, Apple explains that computers are capable of a great deal of different tasks, and many of them can involve storing or handing over your sensitive information -- information that should not fall into the wrong hands. To stop that from happening, some form of authentication system (like Face ID) could be implemented into laptops to toughen up their security.

Read more
Apple could soon kill off the Mac Pro, new report claims
Apple's new Mac Pro sits on display in the showroom during Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC).

It’s likely we are now only a few weeks away from seeing Apple’s first Macs loaded with M3 chips, but the entire lineup has apparently just been leaked for all to see. And there are a few big surprises among the rumored Macs.

We’ve gained these revelations thanks to journalist Mark Gurman, whose reports are usually impressively accurate when it comes to upcoming Apple products. Gurman’s latest report is allegedly based on chip configurations Apple is testing internally, so things could change in the future.

Read more