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Geek Review: Apple 13-Inch MacBook Pro M2 (2022)

There was a time when Apple’s offerings were more structured, in that the American company would release a few models of a device, and while users could opt for larger storage or better hardware, there wasn’t much in terms of range.

These days, the company has smartphones and tablets across different sizes, with varying hardware and software combinations, and this breath of range has now carried over onto its laptops. With the recent launch of its M2 chipset, where the debut of 2020’s M1 chip saw the tech company finally ditch Intel processors in lieu of its own more powerful offerings, the MacBook Pro 13-inch is now the first Apple laptop offering this latest iteration of Apple’s Silicon chipset.

If you’ve been using Apple’s M1 machines, then you know how amazing its CPUs are, as they outperform the Windows equivalents. Optimised for power conservation and extended performance, M1 machines can be used for a full day without needing a charge, and this new M2 powered machine once again establishes Apple as a leading chipmaker and device manufacturer all rolled into one, delivering a magnificent machine.

macbook pro

The M2 chip surpasses the M1 in every way, offering greater performance and efficiency, now packed in a smaller form factor that MacBook Pro fans know and love. In our tests, the M2 chip beats the M1, which has already outperformed Windows devices, and is available from just S$1,879, compared to the S$2,999 starting price of a MacBook Pro 14-inch. 

The only thing that has remained unchanged with this MacBook Pro 2022 is that while Apple saw fit to upgrade some of the internals, it hasn’t done much with the classic built of the machine. Unlike the MacBook Pro 14 and 16-inch models that come with a greater variety of ports, this model has the classic dual USB-C, and 3.5mm headphones jack, and that’s it. It also comes with the same display and webcam as earlier models, and meanwhile, the upcoming MacBook Air 2022 M2 unit will have a slightly larger display due to thinner bezels, as well as a better quality 1080p webcam.

Does this mean that you should simply wait for the MacBook Air 2022 instead? That’s where the intricate complexities of Apple’s hardware offerings come into play. The top end models will have the best specifications, along with a larger price tag, and while there are some hardware options that favour the MacBook Air 2022 over the MacBook Pro 2022, this device has a few superior options as well.

For one thing, the MacBook Pro 2022 starts with an 8-Core CPU and 10-Core GPU, compared to the 8-Core CPU and 8-Core GPU on the MacBook Air 2022. Simply put – if you are using the machine for more than just simple photo editing or word processing, having more GPU cores translates to quicker rendering and processing of video. This also explains why this model also comes with a single fan, to cool the machine should you put it through its paces. 

With an 8-Core CPU, 10-Core GPU, up to 24GB of Unified Memory and 2TB of storage, the 13-inch MacBook Pro M2 is a great laptop for day-to-day use. It can handle simple tasks, from browsing the internet and watching videos, to tackling heftier tasks such as editing ProRes and 8K videos on Final Cut Pro with ease, as well as power through creative apps like Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom CC. 

And best of all, Apple understands the power requirements of such a laptop, and has given this model a larger 58.2 watt-hour battery, which touts 20 hours of video playback and 17 hours of wireless web surfing, compared to the smaller 52.6 watt-hour offered by the MacBook Air 2022, which touts 18 hours of use. In our use, we managed to get between 17 to 19 hours of regular use, which is by far one of the biggest attributes of this machine. 

On Geekbench 5, we compared the MacBook Pro 13-inch 2022 (8-Core CPU, 10-Core GPU, 16GB Unified Memory) review unit with the M1 Max MacBook Pro 16-inch 2021 (10-Core CPU, 32-Core GPU, 64GB Unified Memory), and the results are impressive, and showcases how amazing the M2 CPU is. 

On the M2 CPU, we had a single-core score of 1,933, and a multi-core score of 8,725, versus the single-core score of 1,758 and multi-core score of 12,014 on the M1 Max machine. In other words, the M2 beats the M1, and expectedly performs below that of the upgraded M1 chips from last year. At least, until Apple eventually upgrades the M2 chips.

Ultimately, while we wish Apple could have beefed up the display and camera, it does offer alternative options for those who do want them, in the form of last year’s 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pros. Those looking for a video and photo editing machine won’t necessarily consider the upcoming MacBook Air 2022. The Touch Bar, which has been a MacBook Pro mainstay since 2016 but were removed from last year’s MacBook Pro line-up makes a return here, but given the adherence to the older design, we reckon this might be the last that we’ll see of this chassis and Touch Bar combination.

GEEK REVIEW SCORE

Summary

The 13-inch MacBook Pro M2 is a powerful productivity workhouse that taps on the new M2 chip, even if it doesn’t offer the best Apple currently has to offer.

Overall
8.1/10
8.1/10
  • Aesthetics - 8/10
    8/10
  • Build Quality - 9/10
    9/10
  • Performance - 9/10
    9/10
  • Value - 7/10
    7/10
  • Geek Satisfaction - 7.5/10
    7.5/10


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