13-inch MacBook Pro review: Apple’s M2 is a worthy follow-up to the M1

13-inch MacBook Pro review: Apple’s M2 is a worthy follow-up to the M1

Apple’s new 13-inch MacBook Pro is a bit hard to recommend given the options in Apple’s lineup, but that doesn’t change the key takeaway: the new second-generation M2 chip doesn’t disappoint.

While Apple calls the 13-inch MacBook Pro its “most portable Pro laptop,” there’s nothing particularly “Pro” about it. It has too few ports for power users and can’t match the performance of the 14-inch MacBook Pro; however, it offers little to ward off would-be buyers from the soon-to-release, similarly-specced MacBook Air redesign. .

That said, the real story is that this is the first laptop to launch with the second-generation ARM-based processors for the Mac. The M2 is an exciting follow-up to the already impressive M1 and a promising harbinger of things to come. future Macs that deserve the moniker Pro.

specs

Specs at a glance: 2022 MacBook Pro 13-inch
Screen 2560×1600 at 13.3 inches
operating system macOS Monterey 12.4
CPU apple m2
RAM 16 GB
GPU apple m2
HDD 1TB SSD
networks WiFi 6; Bluetooth 5.0
ports 2 Thunderbolt/USB 4 3.5mm headsets
Size 0.61 × 11.97 × 8.36 inches (1.56 × 30.41 × 21.24 cm)
Weight 3 pounds (1.4kg)
Warranty 1 year or 3 years with AppleCare+
revised price $1,899
Other advantages 1080p FaceTime HD camera

There’s just one big difference between the 2022 13-inch MacBook Pro and the 2020 model it replaces: It has Apple’s second-generation M2 system-on-chip instead of the M1. We’ll spend most of our time here on that, but let’s leave out a few other key details.

Starting at $1,299, the laptop offers two base storage configurations: 256GB or 512GB for an additional $200. You can further upgrade to 1TB or 2TB for a substantial price increase.

Regardless of which configuration you buy, the port selection is the same and fairly limited: There are just two Thunderbolt/USB-4 ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Because it lacks the new MagSafe charging port found on its bigger 14-inch and 16-inch siblings (and the upcoming MacBook Air redesign), one of them will often be occupied by a connection to the power supply.

That means most of the time, this laptop effectively has one port. Thunderbolt has the performance to work with an external dock or adapter to drive multiple devices. Still, it seems a bit odd that a laptop marketed for professionals offers less flexibility than the similarly priced, specced MacBook Air that’s just a few weeks away.

Like its M1-based successor, the 2022 13-inch MacBook Pro can only drive one external display (up to 6K) in addition to its built-in display. This is a potentially overwhelming limitation for power users and various types of professional workflows, and it appears to be shared with the upcoming MacBook Air as well.

Other key specs include a 1080p front-facing camera, Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, and a 13.6-inch 2560×1664 resolution display with 500 nits of peak brightness. (We tested it and confirmed roughly that brightness range.) That screen compares well to the Air, but it’s far inferior in almost every way to what you get on the 14-inch MacBook Pro.

One of the few notable advantages it has over other laptops in Apple’s lineup is its promised 17 hours of battery life for wireless web browsing. That compares to 15 hours for the next MacBook Air, 14 hours for the 16-inch MacBook Pro, and 11 hours for the 14-inch MacBook Pro.

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