MacBook Pro 13-inch review (M2, 2022): Pro in name only | Engadget

Say hello to Apple’s most baffling laptop, the 13-inch MacBook Pro with an M2 chip. It was already a confusing computer when we reviewed the M1 model in 2020, which was out-shined by the fan-less MacBook Air. But now that there’s a new MacBook Air with a bigger screen and a more modern design, the 13-inch Pro seems a bit like a relic from another era. It’s from a time when Apple had to build machines around Intel’s hotter and less efficient chips, instead of taking full advantage of its own hardware.

To be fair, the 13-inch MacBook Pro is still a very nice computer, and the M2 chip gives it a decent performance boost. But it’s also something I can’t really recommend, not when the new Air offers so much more, and the 14-inch MacBook Pro has a far better screen, plus ports professionals actually need. Apple claims the 13-inch MacBook Pro continues to be one of its most popular models, and that’s not too surprising since it’s the cheapest “Pro” notebook in its lineup. Still, it’s 2022, and this MacBook Pro design has been around for years. Popularity is no excuse for being lazy.


  • M2 chip is very fast
  • Long battery life
  • Build quality is still great
  • Excellent keyboard and trackpad


  • No ProMotion Display
  • Thick screen bezels Touchbar remains annoying
  • Only 2 USB-C ports

Gallery: MacBook Pro 13-inch (M2, 2022) | 12 Photos

Now, I suppose it makes sense that Apple would coast a bit. The MacBook Pro’s unibody aluminum case still outshines the vast majority of PCs on the market. And, given the many design and supply chain constraints we’re facing amid the ongoing pandemic and chip crunch, it was probably smarter for Apple to focus on the new Air, as well as the 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pros. It’s just a shame that those priorities left the 13-inch model with the same chunky-bezeled display and anemic port selection we’ve seen for years.

And no, the Touch Bar doesn’t help the situation at all. Just when we thought we’d rid ourselves of Apple’s second screen misfire, it’s back to torture us again with disappearing function keys and constantly shifting app shortcuts. It’s almost as if Apple had some leftover Touch Bar stock it just had to unload, and we’re paying the price. Developers aren’t doing much more to take advantage of it, so in several years it’ll just be a useless appendage, like the last protohuman with a tail.

Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

Now that I’ve gotten my frustrations out, we can talk about what’s good: Apple’s new M2 chip. It offers 8 CPU cores and up to 10 GPU cores, which Apple claims will deliver 18 percent faster multithreaded performance, and up to 35 percent faster graphics speeds. The real upgrade for Pros, though, is that it now supports up to 24GB of RAM (instead of being limited to 16GB), and also has double the memory bandwidth. Together with support for ProRes encoding and decoding, the M2 should make the MacBook Pro a far better option for video editors who don’t want to make the leap to the pricier 14-inch model.

Our review unit, which featured the M2 chip (10 GPU cores) with 16GB of RAM and 1TB of storage, was noticeably faster in just about every benchmark. It scored almost 9,000 points in Geekbench 5’s multi-core test, whereas the M1 MacBook Pro was closer to 7,000 points. The M2 chip also blew away the M1 in Geekbench’s Compute benchmark, as well as Cinebench R23, where it scored 1,300 points higher than the M1 machine. The performance bump isn’t enough to dump the M1 MacBook Pro if you’ve already bought one, but it’s still nice to see Apple make some decent gains with its sequel chip.


Geekbench 5 CPU

Geekbench 5 Compute

Cinebench R23

Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch, (Apple M2, 2022)




Apple MacBook Pro 14-inch (Apple M1 Pro)




Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch (Apple M1 Max, 2021)




Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch (Apple M1, 2020)




Dell XPS 15 (Intel i7-12700H, RTX 3050 Ti, 2022)




Here’s the thing: we haven’t benchmarked the new MacBook Air yet, and based on my experience with the last model, I expect it to score about the same as the MacBook Pro. Once again, Apple’s big selling point for this computer is that it has a fan and more elaborate cooling system, allowing it to handle sustained workloads like video encoding or 3D rendering. The MacBook Air is still fan-less, so it will likely throttle performance significantly as it gets warmer.

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