Apple did the most sane thing possible with the 13” MacBook Pro and none of us saw it coming

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 2 min read

Andrew Cunningham: Apple’s Cheaper 14-Inch MacBook Pro Is Killing the Old 13-Inch Version

Apple refreshed its MacBook Pro lineup earlier today, and there was one surprise that the rumor mill hadn't anticipated: a new base model of the 14-inch MacBook Pro with a plain-old M3 chip in it, starting at $1,599. That new 14-inch MacBook Pro is totally replacing the old 13-inch MacBook Pro in Apple's lineup.

Honestly, I’m shocked that I didn’t predict this. A week ago I guessed on Threads that there would be a “slightly redesigned 13” Pro” but I didn’t consider they would just put the M3 in the existing 14” body. It’s so obvious, so I’m blaming Apple’s weird product lineups in recent years (looking at you, iPad) for making me not see the obvious choice, but I’m happy they did it.

That said, I am bummed that you can spend $1,699 ($1,851 with tax where I live) and get a computer with 8GB RAM. Sure, not everyone needs more RAM, but it feels pretty shitty to me to sell someone a computer with cutting edge specs in most regards, but to give them a paltry amount of RAM. It’s 2023 and RAM costs basically nothing. I’ll allow it on the Air for a little longer, but on your Pro devices? Come on.

The death of the 13-inch MacBook Pro also means the death of the Touch Bar. Apple pitched the Touch Bar as the Mac's answer to the increased popularity of touchscreens in Windows PCs

I know there are some people who like the Touch Bar, and I’m sorry for your loss, but the Touch Bar was a remarkable failure for Apple, and the company did basically nothing to make it better over the 7 years it was around. I have a 13” M1 MacBook Pro for work, and it makes me want to scream every time I have to use that thing on the go. Even changing volume, the one first people like to say it does well, is absolutely terrible in my opinion: it requires me to be more precise with my hand to get to the control than hitting a physical button, and I need to wait a second for it to animate the slider opening up so that I can actually change it. It drove me crazy and I was so happy to see it go in the 14/16” Pro lineup in 2021.