Should you buy the new MacBook Pro or Mac mini?

The new Mac mini and high-end MacBook Pro are the first Macs to receive Apple’s powerful new M2 Pro and Max chips. But should you upgrade to the new MacBook Pro (or Mac mini) or not?

It depends on which Mac you already have.

Should I buy the new MacBook Pro?

2023 MacBook Pro Upgrade Guide
What model of MacBook Pro do you have?
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

If you have a 2017 or earlier MacBook Pro model, your time is up. The new MacBook Pro will be a screamer in comparison. You get all the benefits of Apple silicon: better battery life, iOS apps and long-term support from Apple for years to come.

If you have one of the later Intel MacBook Pros, like the 2018, 2019, or early 2020 models, you can justify an upgrade if you have the extra cash. Apple silicon offers a significant performance boost over any Intel MacBook Pro and greater compatibility with iOS apps. But if you can’t stretch it, don’t worry. Your MacBook Pro will likely still be supported for a few more years, and next year’s M3 MacBook Pro looks even more promising.

If you already have a MacBook Pro with M1 (from Fall 2020 or later), you can easily skip this update. Speed ​​tests vary depending on what you’re doing, but the M2 offers an overall 20% boost over the M1 for most everyday tasks. For most people, this difference won’t be worth the cost of a new machine.

You can check which model you have by going to  > About this Mac.

Should I buy the new Mac mini?

2023 Mac mini upgrade guide
What model of Mac mini do you have?
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Apple has two models of the Mac mini: the entry-level model with the M2 and a high-end model with the M2 Pro.

If you have an Intel Mac mini, it’s time to buy the new Mac mini with M2. Starting at just $599, it will offer leaps and bounds, greater performance than any Intel model.

If you already have a Mac mini with M1, you can skip upgrading to Mac mini with M2. If you’re considering the M2 Pro model, which wasn’t an option on the last generation, you can justify an upgrade if you have the money. The M2 Pro will offer better performance for intense tasks like gaming and video editing.

You can check which model you have by going to  > About this Mac.

Should I buy the new HomePod?

The new HomePod is the resurrection of the original HomePod, which sold poorly due to its high price and premium features. The new HomePod offers a few modern goodies such as a temperature and humidity sensor, Ultra Wideband for seamless delivery of music from your iPhone and wire support for smart homes.

On the other hand, to keep the price down, Apple removed two of the speakers and microphones from the device. If you have an original HomePod, you can buy the new one if you really want to use the new features and you have the spare cash, but it’s hardly a necessity. Reviews have yet to determine whether the difference in sound is noticeable.

Compared to the HomePod mini, the new HomePod offers exactly the same feature set. The big difference, of course, is that the full-sized HomePod offers much fuller sound (and higher price). Upgrade to HomePod if you really want the rich bass and room-filling sound of the premium speaker. Better yet, get two: stereo HomePods will blow your ears off.


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