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 the Apple lineup, but that doesn’t change the key aspect – the new second-generation M2 chip doesn’t disappoint.

While Apple calls the 13-inch MacBook Pro its “most portable Pro laptop,” nothing is particularly “Pro”. It has too few ports for power users and can’t touch the 14-inch MacBook Pro in terms of performance, but it offers little to distract would-be buyers from redesigning the MacBook Air with similar and upcoming specs.

That said, the real story is that this is the first laptop to be released 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 herald of what’s to come on future Macs. who deserve the nickname of Pro.

Specifications

Specifications at a glance: 13-inch MacBook Pro 2022
Screen 2560 × 1600 at 13.3 in
Operating system macOS Monterey 12.4
processor Apple M2
RAM 16 GB
GPU Apple M2
HDD 1 TB SSD
Net Wi-Fi 6; Bluetooth 5.0
Ports 2 x 3.5mm Thunderbolt / USB 4 headphones
Dimension 0.61 × 11.97x 8.36 inches (1.56 × 30.41 × 21.24 cm)
Weight 3 lbs (1.4 kg)
Warranty 1 year or 3 years with AppleCare +
Price as reviewed $ 1,899
Other advantages FaceTime HD 1080p camera

There’s just one big 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 be spending most of our time here on this one, but let’s get some other key 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 substantial price increase.

Regardless of the configuration purchased, the port selection is the same and is quite limited – there are only two Thunderbolt / USB-4 ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Since the new MagSafe charging port found in its 14-inch and 16-inch big brothers (and the upcoming MacBook Air redesign) is missing, one of these will often be occupied by a connection to the power brick.

This means that most of the time this laptop actually has a port. Thunderbolt has the throughput to work with an external dock or adapter to manage multiple devices. However, it seems a little odd that a laptop marketed for professionals offers less flexibility than the similarly-priced MacBook Air that’s just a few weeks away.

Like its M1-based successor, the 2022 13-inch MacBook Pro can drive only one external display (up to 6K) in addition to the integrated display. This is a potentially overwhelming limitation for power users and different 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 screen with 500 nits of maximum brightness. (We tested it and confirmed roughly that range of brightness.) That screen compares well to the Air, but falls short in almost all respects to what you get with the 14-inch MacBook Pro.

One of the few noteworthy advantages it has over other laptops in the Apple range is the promised battery life of 17 hours for wireless web browsing. This is 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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