MacBook Pro 13-inch M2: what do the first tests think?

Presented earlier this month, the MacBook Pro M2 is already hitting the market and the first feedback is already there. What should we think of Apple’s new entry-level Pro laptop?

In early June, Apple was hosting WWDC 2022 and the item was marked with several major announcements. The apple brand has formalized its new M2 chip and formalized, in stride, a new 13-inch MacBook Pro. For this 2022 version, Apple has not completely revised its copy and it is the MacBook Air which benefits from the most notable changes. However, the MacBook Pro 13” M2 arouses a certain curiosity and can even boast of being the first to ship the second generation of Apple Silicon chip. But is it enough to convince and impose itself on the segment of 13-inch machines?

A brand new engine, the same body

The main novelty of this 13-inch MacBook Pro is the presence of the M2 chip. After a first convincing attempt, Apple wants to drive the point home with this new generation. On paper, this M2 chip comes in the form of an 8-core processor (CPU) and an 8 or 10-core graphics part. This is complemented by a 16-core neural engine (for AI) and up to 24 GB unified memory. According to Apple, the M2 offers up to 18% faster processor and graphics performance (GPU ) up 35%. It also offers improvements for the multimedia part while its new generation neural engine performs 40% more operation than the M1.

MacBook Pro 13″ M2 256 GB at the best price Base price: €1,599

The M2 chip makes the difference

Apple’s promises come true and our colleagues from 01net evoke “a nice leap forward compared to the M1”. The performance gain is close to what the Cupertino giant announces (“17.94% in multicore”); which allows the M2 to compete with Core i3 or i5 from Intel and even dominate “pretty much the low-power Core i7”. As with the previous generation, Apple shines with “its Watt performance ratio” and the M2 manages to be “almost on par with the Core-i7 1260P […] dominating it with a short head”.

From the side graphics performancethe M2 shows itself “40% more efficient than the M1” et “four times more than the latest Intel 13-inch MacBook Pro”.

Apple M1 vs M2
© Apple

As we explained in this article, the M2 is indeed the replacement… of the M1. It does not come to shake up the hierarchy and the variants of the M1 (Pro, Max, Ultra) are high-end chips. Still according to 01net, the M2 defends itself in Single Core against the M1 Pro and logically gives way in other areas. “With the exception of the result in Single Core, the M1 Pro retains control, in multicore (+12%), and also and especially in Compute (+23.6%), which measures the performance of the graphics part”can we read in the test.

Same story with our colleagues at Presse-citron which confirms that the MacBook Pro M2 has it underfoot. Too much perhaps since apart from the figures, this extra power is not always essential on a daily basis. “We didn’t feel a huge power gain over the MacBook Pro M1 which already fulfilled the contract perfectly”, says the site. Nevertheless, the Pro orientation of the machine helps to save precious minutes. That constitutes “a significant plus in terms of productivity and profitability”.

Finally, this new engine seems more interesting for those who have not crossed the course of the M1.

An air of deja vu

If Apple dusts off the inside of its entry-level portable machine, we can not say that its design evolves. This new model “takes the exact same chassis as the 13″ MacBook Pro with M1 chip”, as noted by Presse-Citron. We can even go further by noting, as 01net does, that the appearance “hasn’t really changed since 2016” except for the Touch Bar bracket. The latter is still present on this model.

MacBook Pro M2 Test
© Lemon squeezer

You also have to deal with “the same sparse connection” and judged “far too poor to meet the needs of professionals”. This 1.4 kg laptop is limited to two Thunderbolt/USB4 ports and a 3.5 mm jack. So do not rely on a port for microSD card, USB-A or the MagSafe. All these elements are absent subscribers while 01net points out “the efforts made by the competition, Chinese or American, in particular at Dell with the XPS 13”.

Note that if “The MacBook Pro M2 has an excellent display quality” according to Lemon Squeezer, Apple isn’t making any changes. While the health crisis has reminded us of the importance of having a good webcam, the latter is always in 720p and ” bad quality “. It does not evolve and remains a weak point on a machine which nevertheless targets teleworkers.

13-inch MacBook Pro: an enduring machine

On a laptop, battery life is at least as important as power. The 13-inch MacBook Pro M2 delivers on performance, but also on battery life. It manages to do a little better than its predecessor with an autonomy of 17h11 in general-purpose use, against 4:57 p.m. for the model with M1 chip; if we are to believe the statements made by 01net. The difference is minimal, but you have to take into account that this new model is also more powerful. Apple therefore manages to do better in these two determining criteria.

MacBook Pro M2 Test
© Lemon squeezer

Was the bet successful?

These first tests tend to confirm that the apple brand masters its subject with its Silicon chips. For Lemon Squeezer, it is “hard not to be thrilled with this MacBook Pro 13” M2″. Apple’s machine ticks many boxes and “the M2 stands on its own” for 01net. However, it seems to be stuck in a design “comfortable and well finished”, but which does not evolve. Added to this is “historical incongruities” like the webcam ” obsolete “ or the Touch Bar.

Also remains the question of the positioning of this machine who questions our two colleagues. Like us, they wonder if the 13-inch MacBook Pro M2 is wrong suffer from competition against the MacBook Air M2. The latter is entitled to more novelties and could do better than his half-brother. While waiting for the test of new MacBook Air M2, you can already consult our handling.

MacBook Pro 13″ M2 512 GB at the best price Base price: €1,829

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