Apple has a whole new MacBook Pro lineup, and it’s quite a bit different than before. There’s a new entry-level model, a gorgeous new color, and faster speeds all around, which means there will be a whole lot of people wondering if their old machine is good enough. We’ll help you decide whether to upgrade.
The key factor to consider is this: which MacBook do you currently own, and how much of an improvement will you enjoy by upgrading?
You own: M2 Pro/M2 Max MacBook Pro (14-inch/16-inch)
Should you upgrade? No
Why? The M3 Pro/M3 Max offers a nice speed boost over their M2 Pro/M2 Max predecessors but it doesn’t appear to be anything that will be especially noticeable over the prior generation. Otherwise the screen and specs are basically the same, so you should be plenty happy with your M2 Pro/M2 Max machine for at least another generation—especially since you’ve owned it for less than a year.
Who should upgrade? If you absolutely must have the latest Apple color, then grab a Space Black model and sell your Space Gray one.
You own: M2 MacBook Pro (13-inch)
Should you upgrade? Yes
Why? The M2 MacBook Pro never should have been sold as a Pro machine—or really at all. It had an inferior chip, screen, and design compared to the M2 Pro/M2 Max models, and wasn’t all that much faster than the entry-level MacBook Air. The main thing it had going for it was the Touch Bar. You’re going to pay at least $100 more for the 14-inch M3 MacBook, but the display alone is well worth the price.
Who shouldn’t upgrade? Anyone who wants to keep the Touch Bar needs to hold onto their M2 MacBook Pro for as long as possible.
You own: M1 Pro/M1 Max MacBook Pro (14-inch/16-inch)
Should you upgrade? Possibly
Why? When the M1 Pro/M1 Max MacBook Pro arrived two years ago, it brought substantial changes to the line, with a new design including a 14-inch model, a much improved display, and of course, a major chip upgrade over the Core i7 and Core i9 Intel processors. If you bought one of the base configurations then, you might want to consider an upgrade—especially since you can still get about 50 percent of what you paid for the M1 with an Apple trade-in and more if you sell it privately.
Who shouldn’t upgrade? If you maxed out your M1 Pro/M1Max machine with extra storage or RAM you should be good for another generation at least. And while the M3 Pro/M3 Max will be quite a bit faster, it’s not like the M1 Pro/M1 Max are slow. Otherwise the display and design haven’t changed much.
You own: M1 MacBook Pro (13-inch)
Should you upgrade? Yes
Why? For the same reasons as the M2 model above. The 14-inch M3 model will be better in every way, even though you won’t be able to get it in Space Black.
Who shouldn’t upgrade? Again, it’s all about the Touch Bar. If you love it, keep it. (Though maybe get a 14-inch M3 too.)
You own: 16-inch MacBook Pro (Intel Core i9)
Should you upgrade? Definitely
Why? Apple’s first 16-inch MacBook Pro was a fantastic machine with a gorgeous display and excellent keyboard, but we all knew it was just a placeholder until the Apple silicon transition came along. Sure enough, a year later the base M1 chip nearly bested it and the M1 Pro absolutely demolished it. Everything about the new 16-inch MacBook Pro is vastly improved, so if you’ve been waiting for just the right moment to make the leap from Intel, now’s the time.
Who shouldn’t upgrade? The 16-inch MacBook Pro from 2019 has two things going for it: It still supports the latest version of macOS (Sonoma) and has a fantastic keyboard. Otherwise, it’s an old machine with old chip and an old design. The sooner you get rid of it the happier you’ll be.