The worst Apple product of 2022 was an obvious choice

Most Apple products aim to achieve a higher quality than the rest of the technology industry. Amazingly, the company manages to hit that mark more often than not.

But in 2022, one Apple product was simply the company’s worst release of the year—one that felt both lazy and misguided, a cash-in that loses much of the momentum generated for this particular product category. The product I’m talking about is of course the M2 MacBook Pro 13-inch.

13-inch MacBook Pro, seen at an angle from the back.

This is a laptop that just shouldn’t exist. This laptop continues to use an outdated chassis that is over six years old at this point. That’s right, a “new” MacBook launched in 2022 is actually a six-year-old laptop with a new chip inside. Despite Apple launching a sleek, completely redesigned M2 MacBook Air, the company decided to update this old design on the side—simply because it’s a popular choice.

It is an understandable business choice from that point of view. Why withdraw a successful product from the MacBook line?

The justification for calling this a “Pro” laptop is extremely generous.

It is a MacBook “Pro” after all. That name means something to people, even those who may not follow the latest technology very closely. They buy a MacBook “Pro” and expect a device that is a significant step up from the MacBook Air, possibly with the hope that it can run some heavy applications adequately.

What they may not realize is that not only is this a very old laptop design, but it also uses the exact same M2 chip as the MacBook Air. The justification for calling this a “Pro” laptop is extremely generous. A couple of fans? An hour or two with longer battery life. Really? You still can’t even connect two monitors to this thing without buying an external dock. It’s a serious stretch to call this a “Pro” laptop in any sense of the word—not unless you also consider the MacBook Air a “Pro” as well.

I won’t bother to get into all the performance issues that came with this thing when it launched.

The M1-powered MacBook Pro on a coffee table.

But hey, maybe you like the design. Maybe you’re nostalgic for that particular era of Apple design or really like the Touch Bar (for whatever reason). And if you didn’t know better, you can upgrade from a very old Mac to this MacBook Pro and find yourself enjoying the experience. I’m not trying to take that away from you. Apple Silicon really is that good, and if you upgraded to the M2 MacBook Pro from a much older machine, you’ll likely be impressed.

But in the context of the other choices you have in the MacBook line, it just doesn’t make sense. By buying this laptop, you’re sacrificing a lot of new features and technology to keep an old design. It comes with a low-end 720p webcam, and doesn’t have the extended keyboard layout of newer MacBooks. The M1 MacBook Air is much better value for money, while the M2 MacBook Air is far more cutting-edge. And if you really need a “Pro” laptop, the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros are where you should be looking.

With the M2 MacBook Pro, Apple is selling a product based solely on the good associations people have with the brand. It’s a laptop that almost no one should buy, easily making it the worst Apple product of the year.

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