13in MacBook Pro M2 Reviews: Worth An Upgrade?
Apple’s new 13in MacBook Pro M2 is now out but is it worth buying or should you be waiting for the redesigned M2-powered MacBook Air? Let’s find out…
Apple didn’t reinvent the wheel with the 13in MacBook Pro with its new M2 chipset. Rather, the only real difference between it and its M1-powered predecessor is its new M2 chipset. The design is essentially the same and while there are some improvements under the hood, it now has support for high-impedance headphones, this new MacBook Pro is a tricky beast to quantify.
And that’s not because it isn’t any good, it is because Apple’s new MacBook Air with M2 is coming really soon and, as noted in nearly every review of the 13in MacBook Pro M2, it is a better laptop in nearly every way, having a larger display, the same CPU, a better webcam, superior speakers, and a more impressive, slimmer overall design. Oh, and the new MacBook Air will retail for less too.
Told you it was difficult to pin this laptop down. In some respects, it is a monster. The battery life is incredible, it has massively powerful, and for nearly every type of user – from casual to professional – it will be more than enough for the next several years. But why have Pepsi when you can have Coke? Why get a MacBook Pro today and risk MEGA FOMO when the new MacBook Air drops? Or, am I just being completely stupid?
Let’s take a look at a broad cross section of 13in MacBook Pro M2 reviews to find out what the rest of the tech world has been saying about Apple’s new M2-powered MacBook Pro…
13in MacBook Pro M2 Reviews
13in MacBook Pro M2 Specs
- Starting price: $1,299
- Display: 13.3 inches (2560 x 1600)
- Processor: Apple M2 (8-core)
- Graphics: Integrated 8-core M2 GPU | Integrated 10-core GPU
- Storage: 256GB to 2TB (1 TB as reviewed)
- Memory: 8GB to 24GB (16 GB as reviewed)
- Ports: 2 Thunderbolt / USB 4, headphone jack
- Touch Bar: Yes
- Security: Touch ID
- Audio: Stereo speakers, Dolby Atmos support
- Size: 11.94 x 8.36 x 0.61 inches
- Weight: 3.0 pounds
Specs Analysis – What You’re Getting
If you decide to buy the 13in MacBook Pro M2 today, you’re getting an absolute monster of a machine. You’ll be able to run it without issue for the next eight to ten years – Macs last an eternity compared to off-the-shelf Windows laptops. And the 13in MacBook Pro M2 comes with everything you’ll need for the foreseeable too, with excellent I/O, TouchID, and Dolby Atmos-tweaked speakers.
You also have options for either 8GB, 16GB, or 24GB of RAM and either 256GB or 1TB of storage – I’d go for the 1TB model if you plan on using the 13in MacBook Pro M2 for the long haul. With Apple’s newly minted M2 processor, you have an ungodly amount of performance at your fingertips too. But the M2, oddly, lacks the high-end punch of Apple’s M1 Pro and M1 Max CPUs that you’ll find inside its Mac Studio. Still, the M2 has been shown to run rings around Intel’s 11th Gen and 12th Gen CPUs which is all very impressive given that Apple’s only been doing this for a couple of years.
Again, this is a tale of swings and roundabouts. On the one hand, Apple’s M2 CPU is very impressive. The 13in MacBook Pro M2 blasts past nearly all of its competitors with respect to overall performance. And yet it does lack the overall power of last year’s (2021) M1 Pro and M1 Max-powered MacBook Pro machines. In this respect, Apple is competing with itself and, bizarrely, losing. This means, if you want the absolute best performance, either go with 2021’s MacBook Pro with either M1 Pro or M1 Max or wait for the M2 Pro/M2 Max versions of 2022’s MacBook Pro (these will probably land sometime next year).
Is The 13in MacBook Pro M2 Worth It?
A MacBook isn’t something you update very often. You buy one, run it for the best part of six-to-eight years, and then update it. Case in point: I’m running a 2014 iMac right now. It is still a solid performer, but it is starting to show its age, so I will likely be updating it in the not-too-distant future.
Would I get the 13in MacBook Pro M2? Probably not. If I were in the market for a MacBook today, I’d almost certainly hold fire until the new MacBook Air with M2 drops – it’ll be cheaper, just as powerful, and it’ll have a larger display and thinner overall design.
For my needs, though, I prefer to run a desktop which means I’ll be going with either the Apple Mac Studio or the Mac mini. I haven’t quite decided on which one yet though. But if you’re looking to buy a MacBook, the 13in MacBook Pro M2 is a hell of a machine. But it will pale in comparison to the soon-to-be-released MacBook Air with M2.
My advice? Wait for the MacBook Air with M2. You’ll save some money and get a much more compelling computer. And the new 2023 MacBook Pros with the M2 Pro and M2 Max chip are here!
Richard GoodwinRichard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He has written for Den of Geek, Fortean Times, IT PRO, PC Pro, ALPHR, and many other technology sites. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.
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