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 difficult to recommend given the options in Apple’s range, but that does not change the key: The new second-generation M2 chip does not disappoint.

While Apple calls the 13-inch MacBook Pro its “most portable Pro laptop,” there is nothing particularly “professional” about it. It has too few ports for advanced users, and it can not touch the performance of a 14-inch MacBook Pro – but it offers little to pull potential buyers away from the correspondingly specified and soon-to-be-launched MacBook Air redesign. .

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

Specifications

Specifications at a glance: 2022 13-inch MacBook Pro
Screen 2560 × 1600 at 13.3 inches
OS macOS Monterey 12.4
processor Apple M2
RAM 16 GB
GPU Apple M2
HDD 1TB SSD
Network Wi-Fi 6; Bluetooth 5.0
Harbors 2x Thunderbolt / USB 4, 3.5 mm headphones
Size 0.61 × 11.97 x 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 $ 1899
Other benefits 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-a-chip instead of the M1. We’ll be spending most of our time on that, but let’s get some other important details out of the way.

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

Regardless of which configuration you buy, the port range is the same, and it’s quite limited: There are only two Thunderbolt / USB-4 ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Because it lacks the new MagSafe charging port found in the 14-inch and 16-inch siblings (and in the upcoming MacBook Air redesign), one of them will often be picked up by a connection to the power block.

This means that most of the time, this laptop actually has one port. Thunderbolt has throughput to work with an external dock or adapter to handle multiple devices. Still, it seems a little strange that a laptop marketed to professionals offers less flexibility than the otherwise similarly priced and specified MacBook Air that is a few weeks away.

Like the M1-based successor, the 2022 13-inch MacBook Pro can run only one external monitor (up to 6K) in addition to the built-in monitor. This is a potentially crushing limitation for super users and several types of professional workflows, and it’s one that seems to be shared with the upcoming MacBook Air as well.

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

One of the few notable advantages it has over other laptops in Apple’s range is the promised 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.