While the MacBook Air M2 saw a significant redesign that was more akin to 2021’s MacBook Pro 14-inch and MacBook Pro 16-inch, this year’s 13-inch MacBook Pro was effectively the same as its predecessor, only with a new chipset. Nevertheless, both notebooks found a slot in our best laptops and best MacBooks lists.
Though you could argue that things weren’t all that exciting for MacBooks in 2022, we could see something substantial from Apple in 2023 — including systems with powerful new M2 Pro chips and a new larger screen size for the MacBook Air.
So, what can we expect to see from MacBooks in 2023? We detail the latest rumors and provide educated guesses of what we’ll see
New MacBook Pro M2 models
New 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro M2 models could arrive early next year according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, whose Power On (opens in new tab) newsletter discusses the long-rumored MacBook Pro M2 laptops. Per Gurman’s report, Apple originally planned to release the new premium laptops in late 2022, as he claimed earlier this year. However, due to internal delays, the notebooks were reportedly bumped to early 2023.
Aside from packing an Apple M2 chip, Gurman claims the new MacBook Pros won't see any significant redesigns. This would be similar to how the new iPad Pro 2022 is effectively the same machine as its predecessor, only with a faster chip.
We’re not expecting much to change other than the chipset used, but given the already-impressive power of the 13-inch MacBook Pro M2, the boost to power and efficiency from Pro and Max versions will likely be very notable indeed. Our own Apple M2 benchmark tests saw some impressive results.
It’s possible that these new laptops, which would replace 2021's MacBook Pros, could appear at Apple's spring product launch event, which usually takes place in March each year. That would also fit with the release of the major updates to macOS Ventura (13.3) and iOS 16 (16.3), which are slated for a February or March debut, according to Gurman.
Another leak from tipster LeaksApplePro says the 2023 MacBook Pros will likely pack new M2 Pro and M2 Max chips. Speaking on Twitter (opens in new tab), the leaker claims that the performance on the 2023 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros will be “worth the wait." Apparently, the new Apple laptops will offer better speeds, longer battery life and will produce less heat in the process. However, they may not come with any design or port changes this time around.
None of that is particularly surprising. After all, the 2021 MacBook Pros already introduced a refreshed design — complete with a new selection of ports. Similarly, the fact that the newer M2 Pro variants will offer better power and efficiency is almost a given, since that’s been the case with previous Apple Silicon releases as far back as the original M1.
Leaked benchmarks for the MacBook Pro with M2 Max suggest a hefty power boost is coming, compared to the M1 Max. The M2 Max will reportedly offer a 12-core CPU (up from the M2’s 8 cores), 38 graphics cores and support for up to 96GB of RAM.
It’s not clear what the M2 Pro will offer, though its hardware specs are likely to sit somewhere between the M2 Max and the standard M2 chip. Both incoming MacBook Pros are also said to offer faster LPDDR5X RAM, which would offer the machines much better bandwidth for work with high-intensity apps.
MacBook Air 2023 with 15.5-inch display
According to display analyst Ross Young, spring 2023 could also see the launch of a 15.5-inch MacBook Air, likely with an M2 chip. Young claims that panel production for a 15.5-inch MacBook Air will start in the first quarter of 2023, and thus assumes a spring launch is in the cards.
Young is reasonably accurate when it comes to such information, and a 15.5-inch MacBook Air makes a good bit of sense. That’s because the Dell XPS comes in 13-inch and 15-inch versions, as does the Microsoft Surface Laptop 5, with its 13.5-inch and 15-inch models.
Dell's larger XPS tends to fit in more powerful specs, while Microsoft Surface Laptops keep the same specs but add in a larger screen. Both have their places in the laptop world, and a MacBook Air M2 with a larger screen is likely to have its place in the Mac lineup.
While the MacBook Air M2’s 13.6-inch display is generally great (even with the notch), some users would no doubt welcome a larger screen. If Apple can deliver the power of the current Air and offer a larger screen without cranking up the weight by a significant amount, it could have another excellent and relatively affordable MacBook on its hands.
Furthermore, with a larger chassis, this rumored MacBook Air could sport a larger battery, which could result in even longer battery life. The current Air M2 lasted for 14 hours and 6 minutes in the Tom's Guide battery test, so we could see longer endurance from the 15.5-inch model.
The main concern here would be price. For example, the iPhone 14 Plus is $100 more than the standard iPhone 14. If Young’s MacBook predictions pan out, we hope a 15-inch MacBook Air is only $100 to $150 more expensive than the current model.
What else can we expect from MacBooks in 2023?
Two 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros and a 15-inch MacBook Air seem like a decent lineup of Apple laptops for 2023, but could we see anything more? Rumors haven’t suggested anything beyond the MacBooks covered here. Because of that, it's doubtful we'll see more than three Apple laptops next year.
If rumors and reports are accurate, 2023 may not see the release of radically different MacBooks. A 15-inch MacBook Air would grab headlines, though this device might only be a larger version of the model released in 2022. The rumored MacBook Pros reportedly feature the same design language as 2021's models. However, the inclusion of the equally rumored M2 Pro and M2 Max chips could make them worthwhile for power users.
Further down the line, we've heard rumors about MacBooks with OLED displays on the horizon, such as a MacBook Air with OLED screen for 2024. And Apple is reportedly also working on foldable OLED screen (opens in new tab)s that could be used for laptops or tablets. In fact, we could see a 20-inch foldable MacBook at some point, but there's no timetable for this.
Keep an eye on Tom's Guide for the latest rumors and news surrounding Apple MacBooks in 2023.