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 little hard to recommend given the options in Apple’s lineup, but that doesn’t change the main conclusion: 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 demanding users and cannot match the 14-inch MacBook Pro in terms of performance. It offers little to draw potential buyers away from the comparably specced and soon-to-be-launched MacBook Air redesign.

Specifications at a glance: 2022 13-inch MacBook Pro
Screen 2560×1600 by 13.3 inches
operating system macOS Monterey 12.4
Processor Apple M2
RAM 16GB
GPU Apple M2
HDD 1TB SSD
Networking Wi-Fi 6; Bluetooth 5.0
Ports 2x Thunderbolt/USB 4, 3.5mm Headphone
Mate 0.61×11.97x 8.36″ (1.56×30.41×21.24 cm)
Weight 3 pounds (1.4 kg)
Guarantee 1 year, or 3 years with AppleCare+
Price as rated $1,899
Other benefits 720p FaceTime HD Camera

But the real story is that this is the first laptop to be released with second-generation ARM-based processors for Macs. The M2 is an exciting sequel to the already impressive M1 and a promising harbinger of things to come with future Macs nicknamed “Pro”.

Specifications:

There’s only one major difference between the 2022 13-inch MacBook Pro and the 2020 model it replaces: The new machine features Apple’s second-generation M2 system-on-a-chip instead of the M1. We’ll spend most of our time on this, but let’s get a few other important details out of the way.

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

Regardless of which configuration you buy, the port selection is the same, and it’s quite limited: there are just two Thunderbolt/USB-4 ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Since it lacks the new MagSafe charging port found in its 14-inch and 16-inch big siblings (and in the upcoming MacBook Air redesign), one of those will often be taken up by a connection to the power brick. .

That means this laptop usually has one port. Thunderbolt has the throughput to handle multiple devices with an external dock or adapter. Still, it seems a little odd that a laptop marketed to professionals offers less flexibility than the otherwise comparably priced and spec MacBook Air that’s on sale in a few weeks.

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

Other key specs include a 720p front-facing camera, Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, and a 13.6-inch display with a 2560×1664 resolution with a maximum brightness of 500 nits. (We tested it and confirmed roughly that brightness range.) That screen compares well to the Air, but it’s inferior in almost every way to what you get with the 14-inch MacBook Pro.

One of the few notable advantages the 2022 13-inch MacBook Pro has over other laptops in Apple’s lineup is its promised 17 hours of battery life for wireless web browsing. That’s compared to 15 hours for the upcoming MacBook Air, 14 hours for the 16-inch MacBook Pro and 11 hours for the 14-inch MacBook Pro.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.