The dazzling return of the Touch Bar on the 13-inch MacBook Pro

Apple originally planned the Touch Bar as a revolution. However, she did not stand up for herself and soon became an unloved daughter-in-law. Still a bit annoying, without providing the crucial added value, and users had to press twice as often as a simple button, for example to increase the volume. For the 14- and 16-inch Macbook Pros, Apple also removed the Touch Bar last fall. In the new 13-inch MacBook Pro, the Touch Bar now makes a surprising return, as the product images show.

The new 13-inch MacBook Pro: M2 chip, Touch Bar and USB-C

And that is surprising, because Apple demands a suggested retail price of almost 1,600 euros for the cheapest new Pro model. It seems that the tech giant is almost embarrassing itself. Only the new MacBook Air (without the Touch Bar) received an official press release for Apple’s WWDC 2022 developer conference keynote, mentioning the new Pro only in passing.

Unloved Touch Bar. Although you can use settings such as mouseless color control and Co. control, you also need to control simple functions such as volume.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro has a larger battery with 20 hours of battery life, 8-24 GB of RAM, and up to 2 TB of SSD hard drive storage. The new 13-inch MacBook Pro also lacks the new MagSafe connector, which Apple has reintroduced for the 14- and 16-inch MPBs and is now bringing it to the new MacBook Air.

We can only speculate why Apple continues to rely on the Touch Bar and USB-C as it did with its 13-inch MacBook predecessor. Scene watchers speculate that Apple simply couldn’t have had the time to develop a new design. Apple has been working on the new MacBook Air for two years now. The new 13-inch Pro would then be comparable to the iPhone SE (2022), in other words an old design in which Apple has just inserted a new chip.

Maybe you even missed the Touch Bar? Well fine! Otherwise, your alternative could be the 14-inch MacBook Pro, which is only slightly larger and heavier, but a bit more expensive.

Apple’s new M2 chip: bigger and more powerful

The new M2 chip, which is also used in the 13-inch MacBook Pro, is slightly larger than its predecessor, but is also based on Apple’s new ARM technology. It works in almost all smartphones and is characterized by good computing power with minimal power consumption. Apple also has the M2 processor made in 5nm, but still wants to increase efficiency.

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Yes, hello! The M2 (right) is slightly larger than its predecessor and offers more performance with very low power consumption. (Photo: Apple)

Four high-performance CPU cores and four high-efficiency CPU cores, including 10 GPU cores, are combined on the chiplet. The performance improvement over the previous generation is moderate with 18% in CPU performance and 25% in graphics calculation. This is especially interesting for users with slightly higher requirements. The previous M1 chip, which is also based on ARM technology and impressed us in the MacBook Air M1, for example, is still available as a cheaper variant for MacBook Airs.

The real novelty: the MacBook Air (2022)

The MacBook Air (2022), which is also new, has a more angular design and is 20% smaller than the older generation. The housing is available in four colors and offers MagSafe connectivity, two Thunderbolt 4 ports and a 3.5 mm jack connector. Spatial audio, Touch ID, 1080p camera in the notch and the mentioned M2 processor complete the picture.

The Air is a good choice for mobile working. The 13.6-inch Retina display at 500 nits is bright enough for graphics and desktop editing. The battery life is really good with 18 hours of video playback.

The new MacBook Air (2022) should be available from 1,499 euros. That means the 2022 Air costs more than its predecessors. In return, Apple wants to offer the previous year’s M1 models at a lower price.

macOS Ventura: Focus on Productivity and Convenience

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All the news in a row. The new share option (left), Stage Manager (center), and Metal 3 for players (right). (Photo: Apple – with Hello Games hardware)

Both new MacBook lines can be updated to the new macOS Ventura. Ventura is barely distinguishable from its predecessor Monterey. Again, the developers decided to tackle the details and basics of the desktop OS:

  • The multitasking called Stage Manager should appeal to many users. This manager pushes all unused but open apps to the screen where they are neatly sorted and waiting for their next use.
  • The built-in Spotlight search now shows content previews of found files.
  • With the mail function you can retrieve messages that have already been sent and send messages on a specific date.
  • Apple has equipped the Safari browser with a collaboration feature that allows you to share entire collections of tabs with other users. Passkey, which generates an (according to Apple unbreakable) security key with Touch or Face ID with which you can unlock websites, is also gaining ground.
  • Gamers can look forward to Metal 3, a new graphics engine that polishes games and improves performance.
  • Improved continuity offers the possibility to use, for example, an iPhone as a Mac webcam.

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