The M1 MacBook Pro models that Apple introduced in November 2020 have proven to be impressive additions to Apple's line up, with powerful processors, a staggering 20 hours of battery life, and graphics capabilities that far surpass the integrated Intel graphics of their predecessors - and the remaining 13in MacBook Pro models that are still powered by Intel processors.
These M1 MacBook Pro (review) models, which start at £1,299/$1,299, are quite possibly the best 13in MacBook Pro that Apple has sold in a long time.
Those are all great reasons to buy the M1 MacBook Pro. However, there are a few drawbacks. For one, RAM is limited to 16GB, which will be considered too limiting for some.
Another disadvantage is the fact that the M1 Chip is still in its infancy, and therefore not every piece of software you might require will be native (read about the Apps that work on the M1 Chip). This could mean that the apps you need don't run as well as they could.
This shouldn't actually be a huge issue as Apple's M1 Macs do feature Rosetta, which translates the x-86 instructions used by Intel processors into something that can be understood by the M1 Chip. But running native apps is preferable to running apps via Rosetta. If that is important to you - especially if you want to run Windows on a Mac - then the Intel-powered MacBook Pro may still be your best bet. Read: Will Windows run on Apple Silicon M1 Macs?
There is also the fact that we are nearing the first anniversary of the M1 MacBook Pro and attention has started to turn to the next generation of the M1 - and more specifically to Apple's plans for those two other 13in MacBook Pro that weren't updated in November 2020.
This is the biggest reason why it is not a great time to buy a new MacBook Pro: Apple is very likely to update the two MacBook Pro that currently have 2.0GHz Intel processors, and the plans that Apple has for those two laptops sound very enticing.
First up the new MacBook Pro models are said to have a 14in mini-LED display and a brand new "iPhone 12-like" design. Other changes are said to include more ports - including an SD card slot.
Mini-LED should make for even better displays with better contrast, deeper blacks and richer colours. The screen tech will also allow for a thinner design.
This new Mac will also bring the next generation of Apple's own processor. We expect it to feature the M1X, although it could be the M2. Either way, we can expect more processor cores and more graphics cores, and hopefully support for more RAM.
It's not all new additions, there will also be some omissions: namely the Touch Bar, which Apple is said to be retiring. We won't miss it, but you might. Read: Will anyone miss the Touch Bar?
All this will come at a price though. The new 14in MacBook Pro is likely to replace the 2.0GHz 13in MacBook Pro, which costs from £1,799/$1,799. That's a lot of money when you consider the M1 MacBook Pro models start at £1,299/$1,299.
The M1 MacBook Pro might be getting on for a year old, but it's clear that Apple's first foray into designing processors for the Mac has been a successful one. If you want a new MacBook Pro that won't break the bank then the M1 MacBook Pro will be a great option. You can see the best deals on the £1,299/$1,299 model below.
If you are enticed by a MacBook Pro with a bigger screen, faster processor and better graphics then the upcoming 14in MacBook Pro may be worth waiting for. You have a few months to save up as we expect that it will launch in October 2021.
Another option, even further down the line, is the successor to the 27in iMac. If you are on the market for a new iMac read: Should I buy a 27in iMac now or wait?