Apple MacBook Pro (M2, 2022) review: An old friend gets a performance boost
The MacBook Pro (M2, 2022) represents one of Apple’s more curious releases in recent times.
Unlike the redesigned MacBook Air, this updated Pro machine has largely been left untouched. Compared to the previous generation, there’s actually only one change – the introduction of the shiny, new M2 processor.
On paper, this laptop does provide an option to those who crave the Touch Bar – or, equally, those who want the ‘Pro’ label without having to stretch to the lofty asking prices of the revamped MacBook Pro duo released in 2021.
However, we suspect that’s a very niche group. And it’s also true that this latest MacBook Pro features an older design, fewer ports and a worse quality camera compared to the new MacBook Air – and costs more.
So, what’s the real story with this revised Apple laptop? Is it still an option worth considering, or should you skip straight to the M2 Air? We’ve been testing it in order to find out.
Due to the nature of the latest MacBook Air announced alongside it, the MacBook Pro (M2, 2022) sits in a strange place in Apple’s lineup. Not only is the Air cheaper, but it also features better specs.
So, naturally, there’s plenty of speculation over why this device still exists in the range. Does Apple want to ensure it has a ‘good’, ‘better’ and ‘best’ offering in the form of the 13-inch, 14-inch and 16-inch models? Was it just very easy for the company to replace the M1 processor with an M2 processor and be done with it?
Whatever the reason, the new processor packed inside continues to push what’s possible with Apple’s laptops. Even in the short space of time since the M1 model was released, Apple’s tech has come on leaps and bounds.
Ultimately, then, this is still a very good laptop – it’s just not the best value.
So, the question is: do you bite the bullet and enjoy that speed in an old design, or wait a bit longer for the more desirable MacBook Air. While we’ve only briefly played with the Air ahead of its full release in July, we strongly suspect it will be a better pick for most users.
Long story short, the 2022 iteration of the 13-inch MacBook Pro hasn’t changed from the M1 2020 model – at all. That means you still get the same design, with its two Thunderbolt USB-C ports, 3.5mm headphones jack, and the Touch Bar that’s been eliminated in newer designs.
The model, then, still also features the same 13.3-inch display, which comes complete with a 720p webcam for those all-important video calls.
If you’re already a MacBook Pro user, the design doesn’t deviate too much from what you’ll already have – and it hasn’t, really, since the Touch bar was introduced.
It works, but, for our money, it isn’t nearly as nice as the refined 14-inch MacBook Pro, or the new MacBook Air, which come complete with bigger displays, better cameras and more port options.
That’s not to say that the look of this model is to be completely written off, though. The Pro models have always been robust and ready to be chucked into a bag, and nothing about that approach changes here.
You could even argue that the slightly smaller form factor (13.3-inches, compared to the 13.6-inch MacBook Air) makes it a bit more travel friendly in terms of size, even if it is still 200g heavier.
Design changes to one side, the big difference here is performance. The 13-inch MacBook Pro now has the new M2 processor inside, which is the next iteration of the M1 processor announced in 2020.