Apple could soon put an M3 chip in its worst laptop

Apple’s MacBook line is full of great laptops, but the 13-inch MacBook Pro really doesn’t feel like it belongs. However, a new report claims that Apple will update this device with an M3 chip later this year rather than just kill it.

The news comes from 9to5Mac, and the site says its sources have confirmed the 13-inch MacBook Pro will get a refresh with a new M3 chip, possibly at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June.

Why is this a confusing step? Well, right now, the 13-inch MacBook Pro is Apple’s least appealing laptop. You get the same performance as the M2 MacBook Air but pay $100 more for the privilege. It has chunkier display bezels, an inferior webcam, and overall just feels dated compared to Apple’s other MacBooks.

Equipping the 13-inch MacBook Pro with an M3 chip won’t change that, as Apple is expected to update the MacBook Air to get the same chip as well. While the M3 will be a next-gen upgrade thanks to its use of a 3-nanometer manufacturing process, incorporation into both laptops will deprive the 13-inch MacBook Pro of any significant advantage – and ensure it remains an unappealing option for buyers.

Tellingly, 9to5Mac’s report claims that Apple even considered dropping the “Pro” part of the 13-inch MacBook Pro’s name, but ultimately decided against it. This suggests that even Apple knows its laptop isn’t a true professional device, which doesn’t bode well.

Much more on the horizon

The report also touched on other issues, including noting that Apple is working on a 15-inch MacBook Air alongside a 13-inch model, both of which will come with the M3 chip. These devices will be announced together, possibly at WWDC.

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Interestingly, 9to5Mac says the M3 chip will be the only choice for these laptops, meaning there are no M3 Pro or M3 Max options. There has been speculation that the 15-inch MacBook Air could come with a higher-end chip, but this latest report suggests that won’t be the case. That’s not too surprising since these high-end chips would likely need a fan to keep them cool, and the MacBook Air is inherently fanless.

The report follows Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman’s claims that a number of new Macs are in the works, including 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Airs, a new iMac and a revamped Mac Pro. Gurman’s report didn’t mention the 13-inch MacBook Pro, so there doesn’t seem to be a consensus on that device yet.

With WWDC just a few months away, it won’t be long before we find out if Apple has decided to keep the 13-inch MacBook Pro in the lineup or ditch it for good. While the M3 chip could boost its performance significantly, Apple still has a lot more to do to convince everyone that this is a laptop worth buying.

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