The new 13-inch MacBook Pro with a faster M2 chip launches this Friday. Ahead of time, early reviews of the notebook have been shared by some YouTube channels and media outlets, offering a hands-on look at the performance improvements.
The only notable change to the 13-inch MacBook Pro is the M2 chip, which features an 8-core CPU and a 10-core GPU. Apple said the M2 chip has up to an 18% faster CPU, up to a 35% faster GPU, and up to a 40% faster Neural Engine compared to the M1 chip. The new 13-inch MacBook Pro features the same design as the previous model, including the Touch Bar and two Thunderbolt 3 ports on the left side of the machine.
The new 13-inch MacBook Pro’s headphone jack has also gained support for high-impedance headphones, in line with the 14-inch and 16-inch models.
With the M2 chip, the 13-inch MacBook Pro can be configured with up to 24GB of unified memory, whereas the M1 chip maxes out at 16GB of memory. In line with the previous model, the notebook also supports up to 2TB of SSD storage.
13-inch MacBook Pro pricing continues to start at $1,299 in the United States, with space gray and silver color options available.
Many reviews agreed that it might be worth waiting for the redesigned MacBook Air with the M2 chip, which Apple says will be available in July. The new MacBook Air starts at a lower price of $1,199 and features newer design elements like MagSafe charging, a 1080p camera, thinner bezels around the display, physical function keys, and more.
However, one notable difference between the notebooks is that the MacBook Air features a fanless design, while the MacBook Pro has an active cooling system to ensure sustained performance for users with more demanding workflows.
WIRED‘s Brenda Stoylar:
If you just need a good, new laptop, wait for the upcoming MacBook Air. You get a slightly larger, more modern-looking screen, a better webcam, nicer speakers, and a fast-charging support, all in an overall lighter package (and fun colors!). This MacBook Pro remains an awkward middle child and doesn’t bring nearly enough to the table to be worth your while.
Gizmodo‘s Phillip Tracy:
Viewed in a vacuum, the MacBook Pro 13 is a great laptop with outstanding performance and unbeatable battery life, characteristics that put it ahead of some of its PC rivals. Zoom out and it’s hard to see where this model fits within Apple’s portfolio. The most direct rival to this entry-level Pro isn’t the more premium versions, but rather, the MacBook Air. Not only does the Air have a lower starting price, but it has a larger display, a better webcam, quad speakers, more interesting color options, a slimmer chassis, and the benefit of a traditional shortcut row.
The Verge‘s Monica Chin:
This would be the perfect device for someone like me — if it weren’t for the new MacBook Air. This new MacBook Air, also powered by the M2, is coming very soon. It will be, as far as I can tell from Apple’s website, the same price as the M2 MacBook Pro for the same specs in most cases (they level out at the $1,499 mark). But, unlike the MacBook Pro, the M2 MacBook Air did get a big redesign, and it includes all kinds of new features — including new colors, a larger display, a 1080p webcam, and, especially, MagSafe — that this device doesn’t have.
Chin shared several benchmarks comparing the new 13-inch MacBook Pro with the previous model powered by the M1 chip. Geekbench 5 results confirm the new 13-inch MacBook Pro has up to 18-20% faster multi-core performance than the previous model.
TheStreet‘s Jacob Krol said the new 13-inch MacBook Pro delivers even more impressive battery life compared to the previous model:
Notably, our battery test beat the promised 20 hours of video playback that Apple was promising. In our testing, the 13-inch MacBook Pro lasted for 23 hours and 15 minutes with a 4K playback test. I also set the brightness to 50% and turned off connectivity during the playback. It’s quite impressive, and in day-to-day use, it’s tough to make the MacBook Pro die.
I could easily have the 13-inch MacBook Pro last over a full day of use, coming in around 18 hours of full use, and the laptop can sit in standby mode for several days.