Apple MacBook Pro M2, 2022 Review

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Apple MacBook Pro M2, 2022 Review
Armed with Apple’s new M2 SoC, the MacBook Pro brings power, endurance, and a host of new features to that familiar, iconic chassis.


  • Stellar overall and gaming performance
  • Excellent battery life
  • Lightning-fast SSD
  • Great webcam
  • Comfortable keyboard


  • Stagnant design
  • Not enough ports

With the new MacBook Pro 13 ($1,899 tested, $1,299 beginning), Apple has a tough act to follow. Its predecessor, the show-stopping M1, caught the world by storm in 2020. And the ascent appears to be considerably steeper this time. There's no slick design refresh or new ports to get excited about. That means everything is riding on the new M2 SoC, and Apple, as usual, rises to the occasion.

Apple MacBook Pro M2, 2022 Details

  • Price: $1,299 (starting); $1,899 (reviewed at)
  • CPU: Apple M2 (8-core)
  • GPU: Apple M2 GPU (10-core)
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 1TB
  • Display: 13.3-inch, 2560 x 1600-pixel
  • Battery: 18:20
  • Size: 12 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Weight: 3 pounds 

Pricing and configuration of the Apple MacBook Pro

I chose the $1,899 MacBook Pro configuration, which includes the new Apple M2 SoC, 16GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD, and an Apple M2 10-core GPU. The entry-level model costs $1,299 and includes the Apple M2 SoC (System on a Chip), 8 GB of RAM, and a 256 GB SSD. The $2,299 variant adds 2 TB of storage. Each laptop has a 13-inch Retina display with a resolution of 2560 x 1600.

Design of the Apple MacBook Pro

The design of the MacBook Pro remains iconic, if not a touch stale. The whole chassis, like prior MacBook versions, is built of aluminium. My review device is space grey, but it also comes in silver. Except for the world-famous shiny Apple logo, the lid is unadorned.

The palm rest and keyboard deck are made of even more space grey aluminium. A large touchpad takes up the bulk of the palm rest. The keyboard is housed in a somewhat recessed deck that is flanked by two typical speaker grilles.

At 3 pounds, the MacBook Pro (12 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches) is a little on the heavier side. The Dell XPS 13 (11.6 x 7.8 x 0.6 inches) and 13-inch HP Spectre x360 (12.1 x 7.7 x 0.7 inches) are somewhat lighter at 2.8 and 2.7 pounds, respectively, while the Asus ZenBook 13 (UX325) is the slimmest and lightest at 2.5 pounds.

Apple MacBook Pro security

The MacBook Pro includes a number of security safeguards to keep your sensitive data safe. For speedy and secure logins, the Touch ID fingerprint scanner is elegantly placed in the power button. As part of its Safe Enclave software, the M2 chip also enables data encryption, hardware-verified secure boot, automated high-performance encryption, and improved runtime protections.

Apple MacBook Pro ports

fantasise about a 13-inch MacBook Pro loaded with ports However, it remains a pipe dream, as the most recent model still has only the bare minimum of ports. On the right, you'll find a headphone jack as well as two Thunderbolt connections. The Thunderbolt ports, on the other hand, support USB 4, which can deliver speeds of up to 40 Gb/s and a maximum of 15 W of power. 

Apple MacBook Pro display

It's sometimes beneficial to keep certain things the same. As always, the MacBook Pro features the same 13.3-inch, 2650 x 1600-pixel Retina Display. The display also has Apple's unique TrueTone software, which dynamically and very subtly changes the colour temperature of the display based on the light quality of the surroundings to provide an ideal viewing experience at all times. In addition, the display includes a P3 wide colour gamut, which has a larger colour range than sRGB. That implies brighter colours, which are always welcome.

The large bezels surrounding the Retina display are not as appealing as the Retina display itself. It's odd to see such thick bezels on such a high-end machine when the competition is frantically cutting every inch away. Hopefully, Apple will follow suit one day.

The teaser for the forthcoming Alice was filled with vibrant colour and precise detail. The rays of the sun reflected off actor Keke Palmer's jet-black two-strand twists. And as she lit an orange-red fire, the flames complemented her copper undertones nicely.

When we evaluated the colour reproduction capabilities of the MacBook Pro, it reported 77.5% of the DCI-P3 spectrum. This falls short of our premium laptop average of 84%. However, it outperforms the Spectre (77.4%), ZenBook (76.1%), and XPS 13 (69.4%).

The display of the MacBook Pro is extremely bright, averaging 475 nits. It outperformed the 386-nit average, as well as the ZenBook (370 nits) and Spectre (370 nits) (369 nits). With 469 nits, the XPS 13 was the brightest.

Apple MacBook Pro audio

Skinny speakers with a powerful punch. I'm constantly astonished by how wonderful the stereo speakers on the MacBook Pro sound. PJ Morton and JoJo's beautiful tenor and soprano vocals as they narrated a story of falling in love during the track "Say So" charmed my ears almost instantly. The soundscape is large enough to accommodate the artificial wind instrument and the warm, soothing piano without overpowering the percussion.

The MacBook Pro, like most other Apple audio products, includes spatial audio capabilities for suitable material. When activated, the speakers will simulate a 3D audio area for a more immersive sound experience.

Apple MacBook Pro keyboard and touchpad

Apple's Magic keyboard has bouncy, strong feedback as well as big keycaps and ample key spacing. I spent hours composing this review with no pain. I quickly outperformed my 70-word-per-minute average, clocking in at 80 wpm on the 10-fast-fingers typing test.

I was able to compose this review in my darkened bedroom thanks to the illumination beneath the keycaps. The MacBook also incorporates the TouchBar, which can provide useful shortcuts based on the app that is presently open.

The enormous Force trackpad of the MacBook takes up most of the real palm rest, measuring 5.1 by 3.2 inches. There is never a point when I run out of navigation space, and the cursor never careens off from where I left it owing to unintended palm touch, thanks to outstanding palm rejection. I never had to be concerned about running out of room to manoeuvre. When you right- or left-click, the trackpad's edges provide robust feedback.

Apple MacBook Pro performance

All eyes are on Apple as it introduces its second-generation system-on-a-chip (SOC), the M2. The ARM-based 5-nanometer device features 20 billion transistors, up from the M1's 16 billion. The SoC has an eight-core CPU, integrated graphics, a unified memory architecture, Apple's Neural Engine, an enhanced image signal processor, and Apple's Secure Enclave, in addition to all those transistors.

The M2 has an eight-core CPU, four of which are dedicated to high performance and the remaining four to efficiency. According to Apple, the high-performance cores will give industry-leading single-threaded performance and, when combined, will provide a significant improvement to multithreaded performance. The performance cores improve CPU performance by 18% above their predecessor.

We've arrived to the crux of the problem. Apple made a lot of tall statements about the M2, and the chip comes up to the hype with its 16 GB of unified memory. I had 50 tabs open on Google Chrome, some of which were Tweetdeck, Slack, YouTube, Tidal, Gmail, Google Sheets, and Twitch, and the MacBook Pro chugged away with minimal latency or hang time.

The laptop also performed admirably in our simulated benchmarks. Starting with Geekbench 5.4, an overall performance test, the MacBook Pro scored 8,911, above the premium laptop average of 4,215 points. The M1 MacBook Pro received 5,882 votes. With a score of 5,254, the XPS 13 (Intel Core i7-1165G7 CPU) came the closest to matching the MacBook, while the ZenBook (Intel Core i7-1165G7 CPU) came in second. The Spectre and its 10th Gen Intel Core i7-1065G7 CPU finished last with 4,074.

The MacBook Pro dominated the Handbrake benchmark, in which we had the laptop transcode a 4K film to 1080p. The MacBook took 6 minutes and 51 seconds on the Silicon Beta version of Handbrake, while the M1 edition took 7:44. Both timings are still significantly quicker than rival systems. The ZenBook completed the assignment in 17:51, while the XPS 13 took 18:22. At 21:13, the Spectre was the slowest.

The MacBook received an 817 on the Puget Photoshop test, which runs through 21 distinct Photoshop jobs three times each run, topping the 613 average, the M1 MacBook's 649, and the XPS 13's 588. The ZenBook, on the other hand, won with a score of 742.

When we conducted the BlackMagic Disk Speed Test on the MacBook Pro's 1TB SSD, it received 2,797.7 and 2,824.9 megabytes per second on the read and write portions of the test, respectively, and 2,953.7 MBps on the write component. The M1 MacBook took a brief triumph with a read score of 2,824.9 MBps but fell short with a write score of 2,752.4 MBps. Both scores are quicker than the national average (2,012 MBps read, 2,028.3 MBps write).

Apple MacBook Pro graphics

The MacBook Pro's inbuilt M2 GPU allows it to do something unexpected: run games. I'm really excited to get up up and personal with the M2-optimized Resident Evil 8. But until then, I'll have to make do with benchmarks.

We noticed a frame rate of 25 frames per second at Very High on 1920 x 1200 when we performed the Rise of the Tomb Raider benchmark. That's one frame more than the premium laptop average of 24 fps. However, when we repeated the test at 1800 p, the M2's frame rate plummeted to 12 fps. The XPS 13 achieved 12 frames per second, matching the ZenBook.

During the Sid Meier's Civilization Gathering Storm test, the MacBook Pro achieved 51 frames per second compared to the M1's 29 frames per second, outperforming the 28-fps average as well as the ZenBook and XPS 13, which achieved 21 and 16 frames per second, respectively.

Apple MacBook Pro battery

The longest battery life for a MacBook Pro ever According to Apple, the M2 MacBook Pro will withstand 20 hours of uninterrupted movie playback and 17 hours of online surfing. We didn't achieve exactly those figures, but we got close. On the Laptop Mag Battery Test, the MacBook Pro lasted 18 hours and 20 minutes (continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness). That is far longer than the 10:01 premium laptop average.

The ZenBook finished in 13:47, while the Spectre finished at 13:19. The timing for the XPS 13 was 11:07. The M1 MacBook 13, which lasted 16:32, was the only machine that came close.

Apple MacBook Pro macOS Ventura

What good is a new chipset if it doesn't come with a new operating system? MacOS Ventura is included with the new MacBook Pro (and Air). I won't go into too much detail (keep tuned for our future review), but I wanted to highlight some of the more fascinating new features.

Mail, for example, has an improved search capability as well as the option to unsend mail, whereas Messaging allows you to unsend, mark messages as unread, and amend a previously sent message. You may share photographs and videos with up to five family members using the iCloud Shared Photo Library. PassKeys, Apple's "next-generation credential that can't be phished or leaked and seeks to replace passwords for good," is also available for security.

I have to confess that I still like the general design. It's stunning. has a vibrant, eye-catching colour palette that captures and holds your attention. I like the translucent dock at the bottom and the squircle-shaped applications that live in it. The applications have the same appearance and colour palette whether you're on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac, making switching between the three a breeze.

However, Safari remains the main attraction for the majority of macOS users. As someone who frequently has over 40 tabs open in Google Chrome, I love how Safari handles tabs. Not only do you get large, readily identifiable tabs, but when you hover your mouse over a tab, you get a lovely, huge preview picture of the website, which reduces tab confusion. Translation, which can instantaneously decode a page into seven languages, is another fascinating function. As an extra security safeguard, Safari provides password monitoring, which alerts you if your credentials have been hacked. A Privacy Report is also available, which stops companies from monitoring you when you visit a website.

But it was the quickness, especially while loading webpages, that truly impressed me. Chrome took 2.23 seconds to load, but Laptop Mag took only 0:69 seconds. When I opened Tweetdeck on Safari, it only took 2:09 to load all of my columns, which is substantially faster than Chrome's 10:10. ESPN loaded in 2:34 seconds in Safari and 4:71 seconds on Chrome.

Apple MacBook Pro heat

The MacBook Pro, unlike the Air, includes an active cooling mechanism to keep things cool. Even with 40 tabs open and Rise of the Tomb Raider going, the fan stayed silent. The touchpad recorded 79 degrees Fahrenheit during our heat test (running a 15-minute fullscreen HD film), which is significantly below our 95-degree comfort criterion. The touchpad and undercarriage were similarly chilly, measuring 81 and 82 degrees, respectively.

Apple MacBook Pro webcam

Although it only has 720p quality, the camera on the MacBook Pro is one of the nicest I've used to date. The FaceTime camera provides excellent video quality with better automated white balance, a wider dynamic range, and superior noise reduction thanks to the upgraded image signal processor in the M2 chip.

During the course of this evaluation, I utilised the laptop for multiple video chats and received positive feedback. My colleagues observed sharp, crisp visuals with excellent colour reproduction. Someone even complemented me on matching my clothing to my hair colour. Despite the fact that the sun was streaming in through the window, the white balance made me seem dewy and fresh-faced rather than washed-out and overexposed. My statements were loud and clear thanks to the new three-mic array.

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