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Apple is working on a cheaper M2 MacBook that could release in March

Expect less frills than the more expensive MacBook Pro models.

2021 macbook pro
Image: KnowTechie

Apple might be updating the base model MacBook Pro earlier than we thought. Over the weekend, Mark Gurman wrote about a new, cheaper M2-powered MacBook Pro model coming this year. Another report from industry source DigiTimes says that the MacBook Pro could be released as early as next month.

Writing in his weekly Power On newsletter, Gurman outlines what he thinks the new entry-level MacBook Pro will contain. Or more to the point – what it won’t contain, to hit the lower price tag.

He says Apple will drop the 120Hz ProMotion screen, and the mini-LED backlighting, from the existing M1 Pro- and M1 Max-powered MacBook Pro models. It also won’t feature the Touch Bar, moving back to physical F-keys.

READ MORE: The redesigned MacBook Air has been delayed to late 2022

The other thing he expects to disappear? Some of the internal storage options, so expect the lower-price MacBook Pro to have lower total storage options. It will be powered by the upcoming M2 chip, which is the successor to the M1 chip that is still used in the 13-inch MacBook Pro.

both sizes of 2021 mac macbook pro models
Two 2021 MacBook Pro models side-by-side (Image: KnowTechie)

The DigiTimes report says the cheaper M2-powered MacBook Pro is coming in March. Yes, at the same time as the iPhone SE 3, and the rumored refresh of the iPad Air.

The supply chain report also mentions that the M2-powered MacBook Pro will use most of the same components as the existing M1-powered MacBook Pro it is replacing. That will reduce the strain on Apple’s supply chain somewhat, hopefully meaning more will end up on store shelves.

READ MORE: Apple is supposedly working on a 20-inch foldable MacBook

With Gurman saying Apple is readying at least four M2-powered Macs this year, this 13-inch MacBook Pro refresh could well be one of them. It’s slightly odd to us that DigiTimes‘ sources are saying it’ll be a March release, as Apple usually releases all of its MacBook models around the same time.

We’re expecting a refreshed MacBook Air, 24-inch iMac, and a new Mac mini to release at some point this year. It’s entirely possible that Apple plans to release all four updated Mac models this summer, at a separate event to the rumored event in March that should release the iPhone SE 3.

READ MORE: New M2 MacBook Air appears to have an overheating issue

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience at KnowTechie, SlashGear and XDA Developers. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere, with particular focus in gadgetry and handheld gaming. Shoot him an email at joe@knowtechie.com.

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