Apple’s “Scary Fast” event brought an unexpected but pleasant surprise for Mac enthusiasts this season. In a move reminiscent of Halloween slasher movies, Apple has officially laid to rest one of its most controversial laptops: the 13-inch MacBook Pro. This model had once shone as a star, boasting Pro-level specs and exceptional build quality. However, as Apple continued to roll out newer laptops, the 13-inch MacBook Pro began to lose its appeal, particularly as Apple’s own chips found their way into the Mac lineup. Consequently, Apple’s decision to discontinue the 13-inch MacBook Pro hardly comes as a shock.
The laptop encountered a turbulent period in 2016 with the introduction of the Touch Bar as part of a significant redesign. This new look included a thinner chassis, alterations to the keyboard, an enlarged trackpad, Touch ID, and the removal of all ports except for Thunderbolt ports and a headphone jack. The Touch Bar, as you may recall, sparked polarized opinions. Some embraced the innovation and the “magical” Touch Bar, while others found it cumbersome and of limited utility. Apple eventually bid farewell to the Touch Bar when it unveiled the latest 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models but retained it on the 13-inch MacBook Pro.
In 2023, the 13-inch MacBook Pro remains a decent laptop, but its value proposition has diminished over time. The base model is equipped with Apple’s M2 chip, providing a modest performance boost with an 8-core CPU, a 10-core GPU, and the standard 8GB of RAM and 256GB storage, both of which can be upgraded at an extra cost. While it still performs well for everyday tasks and light work, this level of performance no longer aligns with the expectations for a “Pro” laptop. This is especially evident when considering that the new MacBook Air offers more features, and the 14-inch MacBook Pro boasts a superior display and the essential ports that professional users require. For years, Apple touted the 13-inch MacBook Pro as one of its best-selling models, likely due to its more affordable price point.
Apple may have retained this model as a budget-friendly option within the Pro lineup, starting at $1,299, while the lowest-priced 14-inch model was $1,999. However, with the introduction of the M3-powered 14-inch MacBook Pro at $1,599 during this event, the 13-inch model no longer fits the bill, prompting Apple’s decision to phase it out.