MacBook Pro M2 Pro just tipped — should you wait or buy a MacBook now?

The MacBook Pro 2021 (14-inch)
(Image credit: Henry T. Casey)

Update: It now looks like new MacBook Pro production is underway, with production of the existing MacBook Pros slowing down to compensate.

Rumors for the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro 2022 are starting to appear. And that's making us wonder whether it's best to wait for these predicted new laptops to arrive, or buy a different MacBook in the meantime.

Now that the 13-inch MacBook Pro M2 and MacBook Air M2 are here, we now want to know what's going on with Apple's next generation of full-fat Pro notebooks. The claims that have been made so far make it sound like these replacements for the MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021) and MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021) won't be changing much, and that makes us think that only a few types of users will really benefit from holding out for their arrival.

Below we explore the reasons to both wait for the next revision of the MacBook Pro, and to ignore it and buy a MacBook right now. Take a look and hopefully we can help you decide how best to spend your money.

MacBook Pro M2 Pro: why you should wait

The primary reason to wait for the new MacBook Pros is the rumored M2 Pro and M2 Max chips that will power them. In his Bloomberg newsletter (opens in new tab), Mark Gurman says these new chips will focus on increased graphics performance, but looking at the regular Apple M2 chip suggests there could also be CPU improvements too, and perhaps a boost to power efficiency and battery life.

The Apple M1 Pro chip and Apple M1 Max chip impressed us with their awesome performance, and no doubt the newer versions will do the same. We'd expect to see both the 14-inch and 16-inch models take spots on our best laptops guide whenever they arrive.

Waiting for the new models to launch may also pay off if you want to buy the current MacBook Pro models, but at a discount. Recent MacBooks remain expensive even when they're not the latest model, but we should see some good deals on the M1 Pro/M1 Max models start to appear once Apple brings out their replacements.

MacBook Pro M2 Pro: why you shouldn't wait

Looking from an alternative angle, you may not want to wait for these next-gen MacBook Pros because the best MacBooks you can buy right now may already fulfill your laptop needs.

The existing MacBook Pro 2021, in its 14-inch and 16-inch guises, may also be just what you need even without the M2-based chips. Gurman says the "overall design and features" of the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros are unlikely to change with the new generation. That hopefully means you could buy a MacBook Pro now and enjoy the excellent 120Hz mini-LED display, powerful speaker system, 1080p webcam and comfortable keyboard without worrying you're going to miss out on major upgrades.

Another reason to buy a MacBook Pro right now is that waiting for the M2 Pro/Max MacBook Pros to arrive could leave you hanging on for longer than expected. Gurman's report says that these new MacBooks could arrive as soon as fall 2022, which would make sense given that would make it a year since the current-gen MacBook Pros debuted. However, he also says due to supply chain issues that the new MacBook pros may not arrive until spring 2023. If you want a MacBook upgrade sooner rather than later, waiting until next year may be too much of a stretch.

MacBook Pro M2 Pro: should you wait?

As the rumors stand right now, only a small group of users are better off waiting for the next-gen 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models. Those are the users who are able to take the laptops to their absolute limit with video and image editing, music production, CAD, software development or other high-intensity tasks, and will therefore benefit from the increased performance tipped for the M2 Pro and M2 Max chips above what the current M1 Pro and M1 Max can manage.

For the vast majority of potential customers though, it's likely not worth waiting for these new MacBook Pros. If you just want a MacBook for everyday use, then the MacBook Air M2 is the best option, as it will presumably be far cheaper than these rumored models while still offering the same macOS experience. If you're after a more premium experience, but don't need the most performance possible, then the current MacBook Pro M1 Pro/M1 Max models should fulfill that niche already.

There's also the 13-inch MacBook Pro M2 in between the Air and the larger Pros to consider. We aren't fans of its old-fashioned design, but it still has some benefits like excellent battery life and better performance than the Air on video editing tasks.

Richard Priday
Staff Writer

Richard is a Tom's Guide staff writer based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.