Entry-level MacBook Pro could usher in Apple's next-gen M2 chip

'Bloomberg's' Mark Gurman suggests a new, entry-level MacBook Pro will introduce the M2 chip while cutting the Touch Bar and Mini LED display.

M2 processor chip. Network digital technology with computer cpu chip on dark motherboard background....

Apple may usher in its next-gen M2 chip with a new, entry-level MacBook Pro that phases out the Touch Bar once and for all according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman.

Gurman didn’t note what size this entry-level MacBook Pro will be, but considering Apple’s latest 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models were just released a few months ago, this rumored model is most likely replacing the 13-inch MacBook Pro that was released in November 2020. Since the 13-inch MacBook Pro is the only current MacBook to still feature the Touch Bar, Apple might finally be saying goodbye, not that most people will really decry its loss, even if it does have some uses.

Affordable alternative — Gurman detailed in his Power On newsletter that the new entry-level MacBook Pro will follow the trend of its higher-end counterparts by dropping the Touch Bar altogether. Gurman added that the entry-level MacBook will differentiate itself from the higher-end options by using downgraded processors, storage options, and displays, which will not offer the new ProMotion or Mini LED technology that’s on the 14-inch and 16-inch models.

Apple's 16-inch MacBook Pro features a mini-LED display with ProMotion technology.Apple

Still, the upcoming MacBook Pro refresh could be worth the upgrade as Gurman noted that it’ll be built with the M2 chipset that Apple has been working on. The M1 chipsets that the most recent MacBooks run on have been received as a major success, especially since they offer better performance and improved battery life compared to the Intel processors that Apple transitioned away from.

Powered by M2 — Gurman said that the new entry-level MacBook Pro will be “one of many Macs in the pipeline with the M2 chip,” including a new 24-inch iMac, entry-level Mac mini and a revamped MacBook Air. We still haven’t heard much about the MacBook Air that’s expected to debut sometime this year, but rumors have circulated about it having a Mini LED display, a webcam notch, and now, the M2 chip.

Laptops aside, Gurman also reported that Apple is gearing up to reveal a new iPhone SE with 5G compatibility, as well as a new iPad Air, on March 8. Gurman said that the new affordable iPhone will have a faster processor and an improved camera, while the iPad Air will also have a new CPU and 5G connectivity.