MacBooks in 2023: the best launches so far and what’s coming next

An Apple MacBook Pro on a blue background
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple has been busy, as usual, keeping the fires stoked beneath its MacBook range to ensure that Apple aficionados get the best laptop experience possible. That's not to say it's been a whirlwind six months so far in 2023, mind you; we've only seen three actual product launches (arguably only two) – but there's plenty yet to come.

We've rounded up all the key details so you can stay abreast of Apple's MacBook plans in 2023 – that means everything we've seen so far, and everything we expect to see before the year is out, plucked from the grapevine and collated here for your viewing convenience.

Apple rarely misses – if you mosey on over to our ranking of the best laptops available right now, you'll spy last year's M2 MacBook Air 13-inch occupying the top spot, even though it's almost a year old at the time of writing. All the best MacBooks and Macs are set for a major shake-up in the not-too-distant future, though... more on that further down. 

MacBooks in 2023: what have been the biggest launches so far this year?

MacBook Air 15-inch vs MacBook Pro 14-inch

A new, larger MacBook Air arrived this year, but we think Apple should leave the big screens to the Pro series. (Image credit: Future)

Arguably the most important MacBook launch we've seen so far this year has to be the shiny new MacBook Pro, which launched back in January.

This professional-grade Apple laptop came in two flavors, the big, beautiful MacBook Pro 16-inch and its more compact sibling, the MacBook Pro 14-inch. The reason these laptops were exciting was that they were the first Pro laptops from Apple to feature the new M2 chip – more specifically, the M2 Pro and M2 Max, which offered stellar performance in productivity and creative workloads.

Also sporting the standard version of the M2 chip was the MacBook Air 15-inch, which enjoyed a surprise launch at Apple's WWDC 2023 event.

It's not quite as intriguing as the new MacBook Pros; it's essentially just last year's model with a bigger display, and some members of the TechRadar team feel that it's a pointless upgrade that runs counterintuitive to the compact design ethos of the MacBook Air series. In fact, maybe we need an even smaller MacBook! Ahem.

That's it so far, basically. There's not much else to discuss – though we were pleased to see that Apple added its M2 MacBook products to its Self Service Repair scheme. Right to repair is important, folks!

MacBooks in 2023: what launches are we expecting during the rest of the year?

macOS 14 Sonoma features

(Image credit: Future / Apple)

It's not been a landmark year for Apple in terms of Mac hardware, and that's probably not going to change in the next six months; the global chip shortage means that the exciting next-gen M3 MacBooks have been kicked down the road somewhat.

In other words, don't expect any more MacBooks this year. A recent Apple leak did state that two new Air models and three new Pro models are indeed on the way, equipped with the hotly-anticipated M3 chip, but all signs point towards these releasing in 2024.

That means the field is open for competing laptop manufacturers, and we're no doubt sure to see a ton of sleek new lightweight laptops arriving throughout the rest of the year. Intel has been keeping its 14th-gen laptop processors under wraps, but if the rumor mill is to be believed, they could provide some stiff competition for MacBooks.

Still, there is one exciting thing MacBook owners can look forward to: the release of macOS Sonoma, Apple's 20th iteration of the Mac operating system, announced alongside the 15-inch Air at WWDC.

If we're being totally honest, Sonoma is a relatively lightweight upgrade to macOS – Big Sur, this is not. That being said, it does pack some nifty features, like reactive widgets, Presenter Overlay for video calls, and an improved version of the Safari browser.

The biggest boost offered by macOS Sonoma is the new Game Mode, along with more functionality for developers in the Metal 3 suite. As Apple's hardware gets more and more powerful, gaming on macOS is slowly becoming a reality – and features like this will be an absolute necessity once M3 MacBooks arrive.

Christian Guyton
Editor, Computing

Christian is TechRadar’s UK-based Computing Editor. He came to us from Maximum PC magazine, where he fell in love with computer hardware and building PCs. He was a regular fixture amongst our freelance review team before making the jump to TechRadar, and can usually be found drooling over the latest high-end graphics card or gaming laptop before looking at his bank account balance and crying.

Christian is a keen campaigner for LGBTQ+ rights and the owner of a charming rescue dog named Lucy, having adopted her after he beat cancer in 2021. She keeps him fit and healthy through a combination of face-licking and long walks, and only occasionally barks at him to demand treats when he’s trying to work from home.