13-inch M2 MacBook Pro review – same design but a performance and battery boost

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  • VERDICT

The M2 13-inch MacBook Pro offer a noticeable improvement from the M1 and offers peace of mind to professional users who need to have power and performance at their fingertips.

Apple announced its new M2 processor at the recent Worldwide Developer’s Conference and one of first products it was used with was the 13-inch MacBook Pro. Tech Guide has been test driving the machine for the past week.

Design-wise the 13-inch MacBook Pro has not changed a bit – it’s what’s under the hood that counts.

It retains its slick design and relatively thin (1.56cm) and light (1.4kg) proportions.

It also has the same full keyboard, two Thunderbolt/ USB 4 ports and a headphone jack.

Those ports can be used for charging, to connect an external display and to transfer data at up to 40Gbps.

The new M2 chip allows for up to 24GB of unified memory (what we used to call RAM) and has a faster 8-core CPU, up to 10-core GPU and a 16-core Neural Engine.

On top of all that there’s 50 per cent more memory bandwidth than M1.

You can do things like edit multiple streams of 8K and 4K video, instantly edit numerous complex images and play the latest cutting-edge graphics intensive games.

When editing video in Final Cut Pro, the M2 13-inch MacBook Pro is 1.4x faster than the M1 and up to six times faster than a quad core Intel Core i7-based MacBook Pro.

In terms of image processing, the M2 MacBook Pro 13-inch is 1.4x faster than the M12 MacBook Pro and 3.4x faster than a quad-core Intel Core i7 MacBook.

We’ve had the 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro for a week and it’s one sleek unit.

While we put it through its paces with some video and image editing – we didn’t get near its potential.

Pro users can rest assured it can deliver the performance that need when they are in the move, on location or on the set.

Also onboard is an active cooling system so users can enjoy peak performance for longer whether you’re editing or rendering.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro is going to stay in the game even longer because it can cool things down when it needs to.

That’s the biggest difference between the M2 MacBook Air and the 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro.

They are priced $100 apart (the MacBook Air will be available in late July) but the M2 MacBook Air doesn’t have the active cooling and can’t handle the longer streaks of performance like the MacBook Pro – that’s why it’s called Pro and this is the machine that creative professionals will choose.

Onboard is a stunning Retina Display which give you hyper accurate colour when working with your content and editing images and video.

It has 500 nits brightness and P3 wide colour gamut which offers 25 per cent more colours than sRGB.

Other improvements with the M2 chip are a HD FaceTime camera with better image signal processing so you’ll always look your best – and sound your best through the built-in studio mic which has improved signal to noise ratio like a professional-grade microphone.

The M2 13-inch MacBook Pro also has the Touch Bar instead of a row of function keys which can change to suit the application you’re using.

And it’s all secured with Touch ID which can instantly unlock the MacBook Pro, authorise Apple Pay payments and open password protected files.

With the M2 processor the result is a new level of power efficiency.

It manages to deliver maximised performance while offering miserly power consumption.

This higher performance per watt means the M2 can run fast, run cool and play at the top of its game for a really long time.

The battery life is up to 20 hours of run time on a single charge.

That’s where this power efficiency comes into play. We noticed battery life with Apple’s M1 chip almost doubled – we’d never seen an improvement like that before.

And the now with the M2, that gets even better.

But while the M2 offers about a 20 per cent improvement on the M1 it can’t outperform the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips that were offered with the Mac Studio and 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros.

They are two chips fused into one and have set a benchmark that’s higher than the M2 chip.

The M2 13-inch MacBook Pro starts at $1,999 – that has an 8-core CPU, 10-Core GPU, 8GB unified memory and 256GB SSD storage.

It goes on sale from tomorrow.

VERDICT

The M2 13-inch MacBook Pro offer a noticeable improvement from the M1 and offers peace of mind to professional users who need to have power and performance at their fingertips.

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