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Apple 13-inch MacBook Professional (M2, 2022) evaluate: M1 homeowners aren’t lacking out


  • Efficiency enhance from M2 processor
  • Light-weight, slimline design
  • Shiny, vibrant Retina Show


  • Ageing design
  • 720p webcam
  • Costly purchase-time upgrades
  • No consumer upgrades

The MacBook Air grabbed many of the headlines at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Convention (WWDC) in June, boasting a modern new design and the introduction of Apple’s second-generation M2 system-on-chip (SoC). That is hardly stunning for the reason that MacBook Air is, in accordance with Apple, “the world’s finest promoting laptop computer”, however it meant that this extra modest replace for the 13-inch MacBook Professional went nearly unnoticed — in truth, it acquired barely a minute throughout the opening WWDC Keynote speech. 

That is maybe inevitable, because the 2022 version of the 13-inch MacBook Professional is, primarily, a pace bump that does little greater than drop the brand new M2 chip into the identical 13-inch laptop computer design that is been in use for a number of years. And, in lots of respects, the MacBook Air is now the extra engaging of the 2 laptops. The one actual benefit of the MacBook Professional is that its fan-assisted cooling system permits its processor to run at full pace for longer than the passive cooling of the MacBook Air. Which may give the MacBook Professional the sting for skilled customers who do not thoughts buying and selling a bit further weight for extra sustained efficiency of their key apps and software program. 

Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch (M2, 2022)

MacBook Professional (2022): 13.3-inch Retina show (2560 x 1600, 227ppi), M2 chipset, 8GB-25GB of RAM, 256GB-2TB of SSD storage.

Picture: Cliff Joseph / ZDNET

Value & choices 

If you happen to’re within the US, then the value of the 13-inch MacBook hasn’t modified, nonetheless beginning at $1,299 when geared up with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of solid-state storage. The entry-level UK worth, nonetheless, has elevated from £1,299 to £1,349. 

There are not any improve choices for the M2 processor itself, though the M2 runs at 3.5GHz, in comparison with 3.2GHz for the earlier M1, and steps up from Eight to 10 GPU cores. The 8GB of RAM is annoyingly restricted for an expert laptop computer, although, and Apple’s reminiscence upgrades are as costly as ever, costing $200 to double as much as 16GB, or $400 for those who go for the utmost 24GB. Storage upgrades are equally dear, costing $200 for 512GB, $400 for our 1TB evaluate unit, or $800 for 2TB.  

Design & options 

There actually are only a few variations between the M1 and M2 variations of the 13-inch MacBook Professional. That is no dangerous factor, although, for the reason that M2 version is simply as slim and lightweight as its 2020 predecessor, measuring 304mm huge by 212mm deep by 15.6mm thick. The load stays the identical too, at 1.4kg — not a lot heavier than the 1.24kg of the brand new MacBook Air. 

The 13.3-inch Retina Show stays the identical too, with 2560 by 1600 decision (227ppi) and 500 nits brightness that gives a daring, vibrant picture that works properly for streaming video and leisure. The Retina Show additionally helps each Adobe RGB and the DCI-P3 color customary required for professional-level video and graphics work.  

Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch (M2, 2022): keyboard

Not gone but: the Contact Bar.

Picture: Cliff Joseph / ZDNET

This unambitious replace does signify a missed alternative, although. The 13-inch MacBook Professional retains the unloved Contact Bar that Apple has already faraway from different MacBook Professional fashions, and is the one MacBook Professional mannequin that is nonetheless restricted to 2 Thunderbolt/USB Four ports. 

Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch (M2, 2022)

Two Thunderbolt/USB Four ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack on the other facet is all you get.

Picture: Cliff Joseph / ZDNET

It is also disappointing to see that it retains the identical 720p webcam as its predecessor. The webcam does work properly in comparatively low mild circumstances, however it could’t match the sharpness of a very good 1080p webcam. That is disappointing for a laptop computer with a beginning worth of $1,299, and it stays odd that an organization with Apple’s affinity for eye-candy ought to have such an apparent blind spot relating to webcams.  


As talked about, the M2 chip consists of an 8-core CPU identical to the M1, however now steps up from Eight to 10 cores for its built-in GPU. The M2 additionally will increase the utmost quantity of built-in ‘unified’ reminiscence from 16GB to 24GB, with 100GB/s reminiscence bandwidth that’s 50% larger than that of the M1. That has led Apple to assert a efficiency improve of 39% over the M1 for duties reminiscent of gaming and picture processing. The fan-assisted cooling system of the MacBook Professional additionally appears to present it an edge over the M2 model of the MacBook Air, because it been reported that the Air’s passive cooling system typically forces it to throttle processor efficiency when beneath intense stress with the intention to scale back warmth output. 

Our check outcomes had been considerably combined, however nonetheless present the M2 pulling clearly forward of the entry-level M1. The M1 model of the 13-inch MacBook Professional achieved a rating of 1,707 for single-core efficiency in Geekbench 5, whereas the M2 manages 1,900 — in truth, that rating even outguns the 1,790 single-core efficiency of the M1 Extremely utilized in Apple’s high-end Mac Studio.   

The M2 pulls additional forward on multi-core efficiency too, scoring 8986, in comparison with 7395 for the M1. Nonetheless, it is the Geekbench Compute check of graphics efficiency that exhibits the best enchancment, with the M1 scoring 20,440 whereas the brand new M2 strides forward with 30,180. That is in step with Apple’s claims for picture processing efficiency, however we noticed comparatively little distinction in 3D graphics, with the M2 solely nudging barely forward to 30fps within the 3DMark Wildlife Excessive check, in comparison with 29fps for the M1. In distinction, the M1 Max processor used within the 16-inch MacBook Professional scored 121fps, whereas the M1 Extremely of the Mac Studio — with no fewer than 48 GPU cores — romps off into the sundown with 209fps.  

So whereas the M2 does present a worthwhile pace bump when in comparison with the M1 chipset, it is nonetheless no match for the M1 Max and Extremely with their further CPU and GPU cores. 

However, as at all times, the Apple Silicon MacBook vary nonetheless has one ace up its sleeve, within the type of excellent battery life. Like its M1 predecessor, the brand new M2 13-inch MacBook Professional claims battery lifetime of ‘as much as 17 hours’ for wi-fi internet shopping, and 20 hours for video playback. And whereas many rival laptops fall far in need of the producer’s boasts, we discovered that the M2 mannequin lasted for a full 19 hours and 56 minutes when streaming full-screen video from the BBC iPlayer, with the display screen brightness set to a wonderfully watchable 50%. If you happen to’re not utilizing the wi-fi on a regular basis, then the 13-inch MacBook Professional may genuinely have the ability to present a full 24 hours of battery life. 


The M2 MacBook Professional isn’t a serious improve, and homeowners of the two-year-old M1-based mannequin should not fear that they are lacking out on the ‘subsequent huge factor’. It is also a bit disappointing that Apple hasn’t finished extra to replace the ageing design of the 13-inch MacBook Professional. Even so, the M2 chipset does present a welcome pace bump, and will properly show a tempting improve for homeowners of older Intel-based MacBook Professionals.

Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch (M2, 2022): specs

Picture: Apple

Apple MacBook Professional 13-inch (M2, 2022) specs

Processor Apple M2 (8-core CPU, 3.5GHz)
Graphics built-in 10-core GPU
RAM 8GB, 16GB, 24GB (Unified Reminiscence)
Storage 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB (SSD)
Show 13.3-inch Retina
Decision 2560 x 1600 (227ppi)
Brightness 500 nits
Color gamut sRGB, Adobe RGB, DCI-P3
Bluetooth 5.0
Wi-Fi Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)
Ports 2x Thunderbolt/USB 4
Enter 65/66-key keyboard, Contact Bar, Pressure Contact trackpad
Webcam 720p FaceTime HD Digital camera
Audio 3x microphones, stereo audio system, 3.5mm headphone jack
Battery capability 58.2Wh
Battery life (claimed) as much as 20h film playback, 17h wi-fi internet
Charging 67W USB-C energy adapter
Dimensions 304mm x 212mm x 15.6mm (11.97in. x 8.36in. x 0.61in.)
Weight 1.4kg (3.0lbs)
Value from $1,299 / £1,349

Options to think about

Mac customers are spoilt for alternative for the time being, with a number of MacBook fashions providing each M1 and M2 processors. And, in fact, PC rivals reminiscent of Microsoft’s Floor vary are at all times eager to get a slice of Apple’s pie.


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