Are you pro enough for a Space Black MacBook Pro? Not if you scrimp on its M3 chip

Apple Mac Event
(Image credit: Apple)

The 'Scary Fast' Apple event is done and dusted and it brought with it a number of new announcements. Things kicked off with the M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max chips and continued with the arrival of three new Macs.

One of those Macs was the long-awaited M3 24-inch iMac, a machine that finally replaces the M1 version that has been on sale since its introduction back in 2021. But as important a product that can be for Apple, I'm much more interested in the laptops. In particular, my attention is firmly on the new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros that have now been refreshed with all-new Apple silicon.

But the new chips, as cool as they might be, aren't really the most interesting thing. That label is reserved for a new color. A color that will surely be the only color to have if you're picking up a new Mac laptop. The problem? You'll have to spend a lot of money to get it.

Space Black for (almost) everyone

The new color is of course Space Black, a finish that I'm told is darker than Space Gray without being actual black. I also gather that it's still going to show fingerprints, but those who buy Apple's best Macs probably have a Pro Display XDR cleaning cloth to hand at all times, anyway.

Snark aside, it's a stunning color. But while Apple says this is most definitely a color that evokes the "pro" name, it seems that not every MacBook Pro is as pro as the next. Not when it comes to Space Black, anyway.

That's because those who want to get that swish new color will have to buy a 14- or 16-inch MacBook Pro with an M3 Pro or M3 Max chip to get it. Go that route and you can choose between Space Black and Silver — is that even a choice? — but if you opt for a 14-inch MacBook Pro with an M3 chip, everything changes. For you, it's Space Gray or Silver. You don't deserve Space Black for skimping on CPU and GPU cores, it seems.

Just look at it though

MacBook Pro M3

(Image credit: Apple)

It's an interesting decision to be sure, and I'd love to know why Apple came to the decision that only the most pro of MacBook Pro buyers can get its most pro color. If a color can even be pro at all.

I'm writing this on a 16-inch Space Gray MacBook Pro and I adore it. I get what Apple means when it says that Space Black is a pro color, even though I feel myself cringe as I say it. But it's true — darker colors seem more pro. I don't make the rules, that's just the way it is.

From the images Apple has shared, a 16-inch MacBook Pro in Space Black will be one giant slab of hotness. And while I'm not advocating for spending a few thousand dollars to upgrade just for the color, anyone who is upgrading anyway is going to be in for a treat.

At least, I think so. Because Apple hasn't really shown this thing off. I'd have expected the MacBook Pro's press release to be full of lifestyle photos showing the Space Black color off to the fullest. But there aren't any. That seems like a strange decision when Apple just made a big deal about the new color in its streamed event.

Maybe those fingerprints are worse than we thought and Apple didn't have a microfiber cloth to hand when taking its photos.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.