I sometimes run throughout somebody criticizing Apple as a result of MacBook Professional helps solely a single exterior show. However that’s a limitation of solely a few MBP fashions — most up-to-date ones can connect with many extra.
It affected the primary professional-grade MacBook with Apple silicon, which might be why persons are nonetheless confused immediately. Present fashions assist two or extra exterior screens, with one bizarre exception.
Confusion stems from Apple silicon transition
Exterior shows make MacBook customers extra productive. Extra screens means extra space to work in, and that may be important on 14-inch pocket book. Even a 16-inch display screen is small in comparison with a desktop monitor.
All MacBooks supply second-screen assist. So the query is, which may deal with extra than one?
It’s a query that solely grew to become vital when Apple introduced out its personal Mac processors in 2020. Earlier than then, Intel-based Professional fashions supplied loads of extra screens. However the very first MacBook Professional with Apple silicon supported solely a single exterior show.
That’s as a result of it used an Apple M1 processor. The 2020 MBP was a part of the Intel-to-Apple transition and was basically an Intel mannequin with a brand new chip plugged in. A chip that wasn’t utterly as much as the job of powering a professional-class laptop computer.
Exterior show limitation now solely impacts client MacBooks
The M1 was by no means supposed for pro-grade computer systems. It was for Macs aimed toward shoppers, just like the MacBook Air and Mac mini from a few years in the past. However it was the perfect Apple silicon accessible in 2020 so it went into the MacBook Professional launched that yr, too.
The primary MBP with Apple silicon is now a little bit of a historic quirk. The follow-up mannequin MacBook Professional used M1 Professional or M2 Max processors. These have been designed for professionals. That features assist for a number of extra shows. Each the 14-inch and 16-inch fashions may be related to 3.
This all began over once more with the Apple M2 launched in mid-2022. It is a consumer-focused processor and helps solely a single extra show. That makes it proper for the MacBook Air from final July.
The bizarre exception I discussed is the 13-inch MBP that Apple launched in summer time 2022. It has a primary M2, not a Professional or Max, so it gives solely a second display screen, no more. It’s bizarre as a result of it is a client machine, regardless of the identify — it’s a funds mannequin not aimed toward professionals.
And the common client doesn’t hook up multiple exterior show. Exceptions are virtually at all times somebody utilizing their consumer-grade laptop computer for professional-grade functions.
A nomenclature drawback
A part of the exterior show confusion stems from the way in which folks are likely to seek advice from Apple processors. “M1” is a single processor however the time period can be generally used as shorthand for a household of processors: M1, M1 Professional, M1 Max and M1 Extremely. The identical goes for M2.
It results in confusion. It’s simple to seek advice from an “M2 MacBook Professional” when the pocket book is actually an M2 Professional MBP. And somebody can learn “M2 MacBook Professional” and, as a result of the M2 helps just one further show, assume the pocket book being mentioned has the identical limitation. In actuality, it might tackle 4 extra screens.
Unfold the phrase
Should you already knew that MacBook Professional fashions with Apple’s Professional or Max chips assist a number of exterior shows, then this isn’t for you. However don’t assume everybody is aware of.
Seems these few MBPs which can be restricted to only one further display screen confused lots of people into pondering the limitation is common. So if you understand somebody nonetheless utilizing an Intel MacBook, you may be sure that they are additionally conscious that Apple silicon isn’t as restricted as they could assume. They is likely to be ready for a function that’s been accessible since 2021.
Additionally, remember that there’s a very good likelihood the upcoming Apple M3 will once more assist solely a second display screen and no more. We’ll have to attend for MacBooks with the M3 Professional and M3 Max to increase that’s quantity.