At WWDC in June, Apple updated the 13-inch MacBook Pro with an M2 chip, but otherwise nothing really changed from the M1 version launched in 2020 (apart from the price quoted in certain parts of the world). has increased, but not in the US). But while the new 13-inch MacBook Pro lacks the impact of the MacBook Air, which has been completely redesigned and given a larger screen, should you consider buying one?
You can now order an M2 MacBook Pro from Apple.com, Best Buy and other retailers for delivery on June 24.
13-inch MacBook Pro M1 vs M2: Design
It would be difficult to tell the M1 and M2 MacBook Pro apart. Nothing has changed between the two models. It’s not that the design isn’t pretty and practical, it just looks dated unlike the redesigned 2022 MacBook Air and 14-inch MacBook Pro, both of which share a similar design language.
If you sit a 13-inch MacBook Pro next to one of the other Mac laptops, you’ll notice that the bezels around the edge of the screen are a lot thicker and the screen smaller. However, this has one potential benefit, depending on your point of view. The 13-inch MacBook Pro is now the only Mac laptop (other than the M1 MacBook Air still on sale) that doesn’t have a notch.
The purpose of the notch is to contain the camera, allowing Apple to shrink the bezel at the top and stretch the screen a little higher. Some feel the notch spoils the design, others note that it doesn’t really make any less workable space as the menu is placed on either side of the notch (although it can get in the way in full screen mode). It’s a compromise you have to make if you want a bigger screen.
13-inch MacBook Pro M1 vs M2: Touch Bar
There is another feature of the 13-inch MacBook Pro that sets it apart from any other Mac. This is the only model to keep the Touch Bar, a feature Apple added to the MacBook Pro in 2016 and removed from the 14-inch and 16-inch Pros in 2021.
The Touch Bar is divisive – some find it incredibly useful, others don’t see the point. It essentially replaces the function keys with an LED strip that can automatically adjust according to the app you’re using. It’s pretty useful for browsing videos in an editor, adding emoji, or correcting typos, for example.
But the market for the Touch Bar was always meant to be the power users of apps like Photoshop and Final Cut Pro, and it turned out they didn’t want it. Now that it’s gone from every other model, it seems unlikely that the Touch Bar will survive another update. So if you’re a fan, this might be your last chance to buy one.
13-inch MacBook Pro M1 vs M2: Display
The screen size of the 13-inch MacBook Pro hasn’t changed since the 2009 13-inch MacBook Pro. It’s actually a tad larger than 13 inches by 13.3 inches measured diagonally and is now the smallest laptop Apple sells after the M2 MacBook Air screen got bumped to 13.6 inches.
Display technology has improved since 2009, but not so much lately. You can count on 2560×1600 pixels, 500 nits of brightness, wide colors (P3) and True Tone technology (meaning that the colors and brightness adapt to the ambient light – making it easier on your eyes). None of these features are different from the previous generation.
If you want a better display, the best options come from the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro, where you’ll find Liquid Retina XDR displays with 1,000 nits of sustained full display, 1,600 nits of peak brightness, and ProMotion technology for adaptive refresh rates. up to 120Hz. And the MacBook Air has a Liquid Retina display with rounded corners and support for a billion colors.
13-inch MacBook Pro M1 vs M2: Specifications
The real difference between the M1 and M2 MacBook Pro is what’s inside. There are two standard M2 MacBook Pro:
8-core CPU, 10-core GPU, 8GB unified memory (up to 24GB), 256GB SSD storage (up to 2TB): $1,299 / £1,349
8-core CPU, 10-core GPU, 8GB unified memory (up to 24GB), 512GB SSD storage (up to 2TB): $1,499 / £1,549
The M1 MacBook Pro also had two standard models:
8-core CPU, 8-core GPU, 8GB unified memory (up to 16GB), 256GB SSD storage (up to 2TB): $1,299 / £1,299
8-core CPU, 8-core GPU, 8GB unified memory (up to 16GB), 512GB SSD storage (up to 2TB): $1,499 / £1,499
As you can see, the M2 chip offers a number of advantages, including 10-core graphics and up to 24 GB of unified memory, compared to 8-core graphics and up to 16 GB of memory.
The extra graphics cores and the ability to support 24GB of memory could be reason enough to choose the newer MacBook Pro, but the M2 brings more than that. The M2 delivers improved performance and efficiency for a faster CPU and a more powerful GPU. There’s also a 40 percent faster Neural Engine and 50 percent more memory bandwidth.
We hope to have benchmarks for the M2 soon and we’ll update this article once we have comparable data. We expect minor improvements of about 20 percent over the M1, but don’t expect the M2 to beat the M1 Pro or other variants of the M1.
Another hidden improvement relates to the audio capabilities of this Mac laptop. While the new M2 MacBook Pro doesn’t offer the four-speaker sound system of the M2 MacBook Air, the new model does get Spatial Audio support when playing music or video with Dolby Atmos on built-in speakers. This includes Spatial Audio with dynamic head tracking when using AirPods (3rd generation), AirPods Pro and AirPods Max.
13-inch MacBook Pro M1 vs. M2: Battery Life
The battery life is exactly the same as the M1 model at 20 hours. However, it is possible that some improvements in the M2 processor could lead to battery improvements. We’ll update this article as soon as we have data on testing.
13-inch MacBook Pro M1 vs. M2: Ports and Peripherals
Where the M2 MacBook Air has just received an extra port in the form of MagSafe, so that you do not have to give up one of your USB / Thunderbolt ports to charge, the M2 13 inch MacBook offers Pro still only have the same two Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports as its predecessor.
There is a minor change to the 3.5mm headphone jack, which now supports high impedance headphones.
The only other difference is that the M2 MacBook Pro comes with a 67W power adapter, instead of the older model’s 61W power adapter. In theory, this could speed up charging, but it’s not likely to make a huge difference, as the 13-inch MacBook Pro doesn’t support fast charging.
13-inch MacBook Pro M1 vs. M2: Price
While the price for the 2022-generation 13-inch MacBook Pro hasn’t changed in the US, it has in other countries.
The M2 13-inch MacBook Pro starts at $1,299 / £1,349. It previously cost $1,299 / £1,299.
The M2 13-inch MacBook Pro with 512GB SSD costs $1,499 / £1,549. The equivalent model cost $1,499 / £1,499.
It’s interesting to note that a similarly spec’d M2 MacBook Air is available for the same price as the more expensive MacBook Pro. You can get an M2 MacBook Air with 512GB SSD and 10-core GPU for $1,499 / £1,549. If you’re in doubt between the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, we’ve compared the differences between the two models.
While resellers are selling the M1 MacBook Pro, you may find some bargains below:
13-inch MacBook Pro M1 vs M2: our recommendation
We’ll have more to say about the M2 MacBook Pro when we review it, but for many, the appeal of the MacBook Air’s new design, along with its bigger, better, and brighter display and comparable price, will be a big factor. in a decision not to buy the M2 13-inch MacBook Pro. However, side by side with the model, the performance gains close the gap between the model and the more expensive MacBook Pros.