MacBook Pro 13 inch 2022 (M2 processor) in the test: Fast, familiar and surprisingly cheap – Forbes | Hot Mobile Press

Does this brand new Apple MacBook Pro laptop look familiar? It should. Unlike the redesigned 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros released last fall, this new 13-inch remains largely the same physically. It even retains the Touch Bar touchscreen strip on the keyboard that was removed from the larger, redesigned MacBook Pros.

The big change in this generation is inside: this is the first MacBook Pro to feature Apple’s latest M2 processor (the MacBook Air now also has an M2 processor). Is this upgrade alone enough to buy the 13-inch Mac? let’s find out

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Apple MacBook Pro 13 inch in a nutshell

Advantages:

  • Spectacular speed
  • Impressive battery life
  • The only option for Touch Bar fans

Disadvantages:

  • Connectivity is limited to two USB-C ports

Apple MacBook Pro 13 inch 2022 (M2 Processor) Specifications

Price as tested: $1,299 | CPU: Apple M2 | Display: 13.3 inches, 2560 x 1600 pixels, 500 nits Storage: 256GB SSD Memory: 8GB | Battery: Rated up to 20 hours of video playback | Dimensions: 12 x 8.4 x 0.6 inch | weight 3 pounds


Apple MacBook Pro 13 inch: Design

Talk about deja vu. This design is identical to the previous MacBook Pro 13-inch. Same display, same shape, same keyboard and same Touch Bar. Does that mean the laptop design is bad? Not at all, it was and still is a great design. It’s just that we’ve also seen the even sleeker design of the newer MacBook Pro 14-inch and 16-inch, not to mention the super-thin MacBook Air that’s set to debut next month.

The latest 13-inch MacBook Pro is Apple’s classic aluminum unibody design. The lid is tapered and still houses the Touch Bar. The Magic Keyboard has fantastically comfortable keys, as seen in the previous iteration. Read on to learn more about the Touch Bar and keyboard. Externally, it is identical to its predecessor. This is a lovely laptop, in both Space Gray and Silver finishes, but some might wish it had been redesigned to match its larger siblings.

The classic look has limited connectivity, with just two USB-C ports (supporting USB 4 and Thunderbolt 3) and a headphone jack. In fact, you only have one USB-C port as the second port is for your power connection. To connect more stuff, you need a paid dongle. Even the new MacBook Air M2 is a step up, as this model adds back the MagSafe power connector, just like larger MacBook Pro models coming in late 2021. The larger Pro models also add an SD card slot, an HDMI port, and up to four additional USB-C slots.


Apple MacBook Pro 13 inch: display

The 13.3-inch display is unchanged and remains excellent. It’s a perfect rectangle with a bright, detailed screen and no upgrade to the 720p FaceTime HD camera – a disappointment in a video-dominated age. In contrast, the larger MacBook Pro models both have a screen that minimizes the bezel and extends to the corners of the laptop. The display extends so far that the webcam is housed in a cutout in the top edge. The new design looks great, but many will prefer this 13-inch model as it has the classic look with no notches.


Apple MacBook Pro 13 inch: keyboard and touch bar

Because the 13-inch MacBook Pro retains everything about the previous generation’s physical design, the 13-inch MacBook Pro occupies a unique place in Apple’s lineup: it’s the only MacBook that remains with Apple’s touchscreen Touch Bar. The Touch Bar was a controversial addition when it was introduced in earlier MacBook Pro laptops in place of the traditional row of function keys. One difference since it was first introduced: Apple refined that touchscreen strip by making it shorter so a physical Esc key could sit on the left side, perhaps because people accidentally touched the Touch Bar.

While not everyone likes the Touch Bar, I love its versatility and intuitive design. The Touch Bar can predict words or email addresses for me in relevant applications, or show small thumbnails of any webpage I have open while in Safari, visual conveniences I appreciate. My favorite Touch Bar assistant: When I position the Safari window to the left and partially cover the back and forward buttons to change the page, the Touch Bar shows these back and forward arrows that you click you can type instead. Unfortunately, I suspect this might be the last laptop to include it; It remains to be seen if developers are working on new features that will take full advantage of the Touch Bar.

As for the keyboard, the Magic Keyboard is awesome and so comfortable you’ll wish all keyboards were like this. The keyboard features inviting, perfectly sized keys with plenty of travel and pleasant responsiveness. The keyboard will serve you well whether you’re typing your magnum opus or a simple, snappy email.


Apple MacBook Pro 13 inch: Performance

As you would expect from an updated Apple processor, the performance of the 13-inch MacBook Pro is outstanding. The big step up, of course, came with the introduction of the M1 processor in 2020, which eclipsed previous Mac laptops.

Still, the M2 processor represents another leap in performance. How much faster is it? A lot of. Enough that you will notice the change – even in everyday tasks. According to Apple, the M2 runs about 40% faster than the M1 and 6x faster – that’s 600% – than the most recently released Intel-based MacBook Pro.

The M2 MacBook Pro feels amazingly fast in use. It whipped up every task I threw at, from opening large files to playing high-resolution videos with buttery smoothness, even with dozens of windows open.

In addition, the MacBook Pro fan never turned on. In other words, the power draw was never so great that the laptop got even slightly warm – which is a big change from the normal experience.

There are two versions of the M2 processor, both with eight CPU cores. The faster of the two versions with 10 GPU cores is the one on this laptop. A less powerful one with eight GPUs can be found on the upcoming MacBook Air. You can upgrade to the better chip on the Air, but at a price. For comparison, the Air with 256GB of memory and the smaller chip is $1,199, while the Pro with the faster chip and the same memory is $1,299. If speed really matters, this is the chip you should go for, because to get this chip in the air it costs $1,499 (although you get 512GB of storage and the MagSafe connector for that price).


Apple MacBook Pro 13 inch: battery

The M2 processor also promises better battery life, and it is sensational indeed. Apple rates the laptop at up to 20 hours of video playback, a full two hours more than the Air can handle. That number is about the same as the M1 generation MacBook Pro 13-inch, but for this spec, Apple has quoted 20 hours for playing movies in the Apple TV app, not just movies (meaning those highs achieved when using Apple’s video-optimized app). . That, too, feels about right after my real-world use. The battery lasts for a whole day without an outlet, so you can leave your power brick at home.


Is the MacBook Pro 13-inch Wor it?

If you want an Apple MacBook Pro, this 13-inch model is the most affordable option. It lacks the new design and larger screen of the 14-inch model, but the price difference is exceptional: The 14-inch model starts at $1,999, which is $700 more.

While the new design is fantastic, that price difference is a huge gap. I think many people will be more than satisfied with the classic design of the 13-inch MacBook Pro with a display that is only 0.9 inches smaller (and without a notch). You’re getting a pro-tier laptop with the fastest M2 processor available at a price that’s just $100 more than the Air, with its slower chip. Touch Bar fans looking for an upgrade will find this model an easy – and only – choice.

If you’re used to the performance of a MacBook Pro and intend to handle processor-intensive tasks involving video and image processing, the MacBook Pro 13-inch is the right choice and represents excellent value for money.

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