13-inch MacBook Pro review: Apple’s M2 is a worthy successor 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 key: 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 it can’t match the performance of the 14-inch MacBook Pro. Still, it doesn’t offer much to steer potential buyers away from the soon-to-be-launched redesign of the similarly-specified MacBook Air. .

That said, the real story is that this is the first laptop to come out with second-generation ARM processors for Mac. The M2 is an exciting sequel to the already impressive M1 and a promising herald of what’s to come for future Macs that earn the Pro moniker.

Features

Specs at a Glance: 2022 13-inch MacBook Pro
Filter 2560×1600 at 13.3 inches
SE macOS Monterey 12.4
CPU Apple M2
RAM 16 GB
GPUs Apple M2
Hard disk 1TB SSD
Networking WiFi 6; Bluetooth 5.0
Ports 2x Thunderbolt/USB 4, 3.5mm headset
Cut 0.61 × 11.97 × 8.36 inches (1.56 × 30.41 × 21.24 cm)
lester 3 pounds (1.4 kg)
guarantee 1 year or 3 years with AppleCare+
Price as reviewed $1,899
Other advantages 1080p FaceTime HD camera

There’s only one major difference between the 2022 13-inch MacBook Pro and the 2020 model it replaces: it sports 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 cut 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 upgrade to 1TB or 2TB for a substantial price increase.

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

This means that most of the time this laptop actually has a port. Thunderbolt has the throughput to work with a docking station or external adapter to handle multiple devices. Still, it seems a little odd that a laptop marketed to professionals offers less flexibility than the otherwise similarly priced and specced MacBook Air, which is 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 crushing limitation for power users and several types of professional workflows, and it’s one that also appears to be shared with the upcoming MacBook Air.

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 peak brightness. (We’ve tested it and confirmed around that brightness range.) This screen compares well to the Air, but it’s vastly inferior in almost every way to what you get with the 14-inch MacBook Pro.

One of the few notable advantages it has over other laptops in Apple’s lineup is its promise of a 17-hour 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.

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